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For the most part, 2018’s Solo: A Star Wars Story was disconnected from anything Force-related, with one key exception. Following the death of crime boss Dryden Vos, Qi’ra, Han Solo’s old flame, contacted the leader of the Crimson Syndicate, Darth Maul, who ordered her to rendezvous with him on Dathomir.
Darth Maul’s cameo clued Star Wars fans who only watched the movies that Darth Sidious’ former apprentice was alive and well in this part of the Star Wars timeline, and had made a name for himself in a galaxy far, far away’s criminal underworld. However, Sam Witwer, who returned to voice Maul after previously portraying him in The Clone Wars and Rebels animated TV shows, recently revealed that Maul’s appearance in Solo went down a lot differently, to the point that he even growled. As Witwer recalled:
[There were] a lot of things in this script where he growls, he does this, he does that. I don’t think those are right and I can tell you why I don’t think those are right. I can tell you what I think he should say instead (Laughs).
Originally the plan for Solo: A Star Wars Story was to bring back both Ray Park and Peter Serafinowicz to physically play and voice Darth Maul, respectively, just like what was done in The Phantom Menace. However, after Serafinowicz recorded his lines, the movie’s team decided to replace him with Sam Witwer, who’d already expressed interest in reprising the role since he was intimately familiar with Maul’s backstory.
Sam Witwer didn’t elaborate on what specifically went down in this original Darth Maul scene, although it sounds like the way he was being intimidating didn’t match how he was depicted during the Clone Wars era. In any case, once Witwer was officially brought into Solo: A Star Wars Story, that’s when he and Dave Filoni, who’s been one of the Star Wars franchise’s most integral creative figures for over a decade now, started suggesting changes that would make the character’s depiction more faithful, which including having him wield a different lightsaber. Continuing in his interview with SW Holocron, the actor said:
There was stuff that had to happen once I got hired. There was a reshoot that had to happen because people like me and Dave Filoni were letting them know there were a lot of details that weren’t consistent. That’s not me saying these people didn’t know what they were doing because they were making a movie and doing it at lightspeed. Ultimately, they did the right thing because they hired the people who were the experts on this like Dave Filoni and, I dare say, me, because I’m kind of an expert on what we’ve been doing with Maul for the past decade, y’know? They were very open to hearing what we had to say and, again, they were so open that they did a reshoot.
Chronologically speaking, Solo: A Star Wars Story marks Darth Maul’s penultimate onscreen appearance in the Star Wars universe, with Rebels wrapping up his arc. However, Maul is currently a major player in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7, with the final episodes of the show revealing what he was up to as the galactic conflict concluded. Along with Sam Witwer resuming his Maul vocal duties for the show, Ray Park also did motion capture work for the character.
All this being said, there’s still the loose end of Maul and Qi’ra’s burgeoning relationship. While it’s doubtful that all be explored in a movie since the prospects of Solo 2 being made don’t look good, perhaps Disney and Lucasfilm might decide to follow up with those two in a Disney+ series. If that’s not in the cards either, one would imagine the odds are strong that we’ll at least reunite with Maul in a novel or comic book series in the future.
Star Wars: The Clone Wars Season 7 is unfolding on Disney+, which is offering a free seven-day trial. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more important updates concerning the entire Star Wars franchise.