With excitement building over the Obi-Wan Kenobi series that will be premiering near the end of May, we know a few things about the series – namely, that it will feature a rematch between Kenobi and Darth Vader.
We also know that it will not feature another Sith with a history with Kenobi, Maul. But was it ever going to?
Well, in mid-March The Hollywood Reporter ran an article about what happened with the re-writes and delays on the series, and added that Maul was originally supposed to appear, played once again by Ray Park. But even in that article, a Lucasfilm source denied that it was ever in the plans for Maul to appear or that Park was ever on set for it.
More recently, showrunner and director Deborah Chow said in an interview with Total Film that Maul was never in the plans for as long as she’s been working on the series. “As long as I’ve been involved, we’ve never had Darth Maul in any of it. Dave [Filoni] did a beautiful job of telling that story already.”
She is referring, of course, to Star Wars Rebels, in which Maul discovered Kenobi was still alive and tracked him down to Tatooine, only to meet his demise at the hands of his old foe. It’s really well done and terrific storytelling, so there’s no need to re-do it. Furthermore, Rebels has quietly become an absolute staple for Star Wars stories and is foundational for so much of the storytelling that’s happening, so rather than ignoring it the live-action filmmakers are leaning into it. That’s surely helped by the fact that Filoni is increasingly involved in all aspects of Star Wars storytelling on-screen, and he worked with Chow on The Mandalorian. It doesn’t make sense to think they would have also considered bringing Maul into this series.
Granted, Chow hasn’t been involved with the project since the very beginning of rumblings about it, but she has been involved from about as early on as this project goes. We know that the Kenobi project has been long-rumored and in the works for a while, so it’s possible that in one brainstorming meeting along the way Maul was brought up, but that’s a very far cry from him originally being supposed to be in the series. I think it’s pretty safe to assume that’s never been in the plans, at least as long as this iteration of the project has been developed.
Because beyond just not fitting in with Rebels, it wouldn’t fit in to this series either – and Chow knows it. They wanted to bring back Vader. “And Vader casts such a dark shadow in this,” Chow said, “that to have Maul as well, it might be a little bit much.”