Original Darth Maul Voice Actor Recorded Lines For 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' But Got Replaced

Even though Solo: A Star Wars Story ended up being a disappointment at the box office, there were fans who still came away satisfied. That might have been helped by the fact that the ending of the movie featured a surprise twist that no one saw coming: the return of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace villain Darth Maul.

The end of Solo: A Star Wars Story reveals that Darth Maul is the mastermind behind the Crimson Dawn criminal organization that set the entire heist at the center of the movie into motion. The voice is provided by actor Sam Witwer, who played Darth Maul when the character returned during The Clone Wars animated series, as well as Star Wars Rebels. But it turns out the original voice actor from The Phantom Menace, Peter Serafinowicz of Shaun of the Dead and The Tick, had actually recorded dialogue for the movie as well. Unfortunately, he ended up being replaced before the final cut hit theaters.

Original Darth Maul Voice Actor Almost Returned for Solo

While appearing on Collider Live, Peter Serafinowicz was asked whether or not he was approached to provide the voice of Darth Maul again for Solo: A Star Wars Story. When the actor confirmed as much, the hosts followed up to ask why he passed up the part, and it turns out he didn't. Serafinowicz explained:

"I didn't [turn it down]. I thought, 'How cool to bring this character back.' Ray Park was doing it. It was all secret. I went in and [recorded dialogue]. I recorded this scene. I went to whatever studio it was, Pinewood Studios, and I was on the set. I spoke to Ron Howard for about half an hour about the character and what he'd become, which was about 29 minutes more than I spoke to George Lucas about it 20 years ago. 'Just make him sound evil.' That was it.

So I did it. And it was all super secret. Ray Park was coming in the day after to do the actual physical thing. They had to bring him in a blacked out limousine, and there was an area of the set that was off limits to everybody. It was all secret, secret, secret. Anyway, I was excited that this film was gonna come out, because I was gonna take my kids and their friends... and it'll be a cool thing. We'll just go with your friends to see the new Star Wars film and then your dad's in it... Then I got this e-mail [after the premiere] saying, 'Sorry, but we actually changed the voice actor to the guy who plays him in [the animated series], which is kind of fair enough. They said it was better for the continuity of the thing, but it was a bit disappointing."

It does make sense as to why Lucasfilm would want to use Sam Witwer instead of Peter Serafinowicz. After all, it was Witwer who brought the character back to life on The Clone Wars. And since Solo: A Star Wars Story follows that trajectory of events, you'd want the same voice actor, if only to satisfy the character's biggest fans who keep up with Star Wars outside of the movies. But even so, it's terrible that no one told Peter Serafinowicz about swapping him out until after the movie had premiered. Plus, he didn't even get invited to the premiere, which is a bit silly, if you ask me.

It would have been cool to hear Peter Serafinowicz reprise his role as Darth Maul, but since it doesn't sound like we'll see the original path for a Solo franchise pan out as Lucasfilm intended, it likely won't become much more than that little cameo, at least for the time being. Perhaps we'll see Darth Maul again in a different continuation of that story thread in a future spin-off. In the meantime, check out the drastically different alternate designs that were considered for the characters return.