While Peter Serafinowicz voiced Darth Maul when the character was introduced in The Phantom Menace, Sam Witwer took over vocal duties on the tattooed Zabrak for The Clone Wars, Rebels and various video games. So when Solo: A Star Wars Story brought back Ray Park to physically cameo as Maul, the filmmakers also decided to have Witwer deliver the dialogue. As Witwer explained, being asked to do so came as a shock, particularly since he'd already bid farewell to the character several times in recent years. The actor explained to CinemaBlend:
I sure wasn't expecting it. It was a little bit of a surprise. Look, it was shock and disbelief. I didn't believe what I was being told, and furthermore, I didn't know the story at the time, so it had to be explained to me what the significance of this whole plot was. And then getting on the phone with Ray Park and sharing our giddiness over the fact that we had the opportunity to do this. But yeah, look, I've publicly said goodbye to the Maul character I think twice. When Clone Wars was over, I think I did a few interviews where I said, 'Ah, it was a wonderful time and I'm saying goodbye to the character.' And then he was back for Rebels. And then after Rebels, he gets killed and I go, 'Well, it was a wonderful run and I'm saying goodbye to the character.' And then Solo...
Well, Solo: A Star Wars Story came and the character returned again. According to the actor, there's a certain irony to the fact the franchise and the audience who follows it closely can't let the character go. He also told us:
Look, it's one of those things where this guy just kind of refuses to die. And I gotta say, I gotta credit Ray Park and George Lucas for creating a character that the audience doesn't want to let go. I love that. And considering the fact that Darth Maul, the whole theme of that character is that he can't let certain things go, there's a certain ironic, wonderful twist that the audience also doesn't want to let go with that character.
The Phantom Menace isn't one of the more well-received Star Wars movies, but Darth Maul definitely came out of the first Prequel Trilogy installment with a sizable fanbase, and although that movie indicated that Maul met his demise, he later became an integral player in The Clone Wars and Rebels animated shows, not to mention has led several comic book series. Rebels marked the end of Maul's journey when he was once again cut down by Obi-Wan Kenobi, but Solo: A Star Wars Story opened up a new chapter of Maul's life by revealing him as the leader of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate at the height of the Empire's reign across a galaxy far, far away. So even though we know how Maul's story ends, now there are new opportunities to further flesh out his history, and like Sam Witwer mentioned when I interviewed him ahead Solo's home release, this is further proof of the character's enduring legacy.
Darth Maul popped up toward the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story when Qi'ra contacted him following the demise of Dryden Vos, and while Maul was disappointed to learn that the coaxium shipment had been stolen, he ordered Qi'ra to Dathomir so he could work more closely with her. Given Solo's poor box office performance, it's doubtful this storyline will be continued in a sequel, but perhaps it can still be explored someday in a novel or comic book series. It also remains to be seen if/how Maul will fit into The Clone Wars Season 7, which was announced to at San Diego Conic-Con in July and will drop on the Disney streaming service next year.