The Obi-Wan Kenobi Series Was Originally Going To Feature Darth Maul

It remains to be seen what the verdict will be on the "Obi-Wan Kenobi" series but it turns out that the "Star Wars" show could have been radically different than what ultimately came to be. As we know, Hayden Christensen is set to return as Darth Vader in May on the Disney+ series. However, an earlier version of Ewan McGregor's long-awaited return to a galaxy far, far away would have seen none other than Darth Maul as one of the main villains.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the previous version of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" that was scrapped ahead of production would have seen Maul as one of the primary villains, making for a reunion between McGregor's Obi-Wan and the Sith lord he cut in half in "The Phantom Menace." What's more, it's said that Ray Park, who played the part in "Episode I" in addition to his brief part in "Solo: A Star Wars Story," was also said to be returning and had been deep in prep for the part.

Things get a bit murky from here, as it's said that Park was actually on set for pre-production and was involved in stunt training. A source said some footage of Park was shot, though another says it may have just been test footage. It is not believed that Maul will appear in the new version of the show, which was written by Joby Harold with input by the show's director, Deborah Chow, who directed several episodes of "The Mandalorian" as well. It is also worth pointing out that an anonymous Lucasfilm source denied that Maul was ever involved in the show.

Star Wars Rebels already did it

The piece notes that it was largely Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, the duo behind "The Mandalorian," that stepped in to see "Obi-Wan Kenobi" change radically. The filmmakers were apparently concerned that the shows would have been too similar, and Filoni argued that they should go bigger, which is how Darth Vader and the Inquisitors came into play. While Vader wasn't in the trailer, the Inquisitors were a big part of it.

Another huge thing to consider is that Filoni has been guiding "Star Wars" for more than a decade as the man behind "The Clone Wars" and "Star Wars Rebels." He knows this universe extremely well. To that end, Maul and Obi-Wan already had their big reunion in "Rebels" in an episode titled "Twin Suns" that is highly regarded by many fans. Plus, Maul got a great deal of screen time in both of those shows. It could be argued that bringing him back for this show, even though it is live-action, may have been treading on ground that has already been covered. Filoni would have been well aware of that. All of this to say, the changes may have been for the best, even if a great many fans would like to see Maul in the flesh again.

"Obi-Wan Kenobi" debuts on Disney+ on May 25, 2022.