As excitement builds for “Obi-Wan Kenobi,” new information continues to reveal that the Disney+ limited series was once supposed to look very different. Following last week’s news that the first batch of scripts from writer Hossein Amini were scrapped in favor of a more uplifting story, a new report from The Hollywood Reporter revealed that the show was also set to feature legendary “Star Wars” villain Darth Maul. However, the character ended up being a casualty of the show’s creative overhaul, when pre-production was halted in 2020 and writer Joby Harold was brought in to craft a new story.
Original actor Ray Park (who played Darth Maul in 1999’s “The Phantom Menace”) had signed on to reprise his role as the Sith Lord, according to multiple sources in the article. The report contains conflicting stories from different sources, with some saying that Park was simply rehearsing with the show’s stunt team and others saying that he had begun filming footage as Darth Maul. IndieWire has reached out to Disney for comment.
Regardless, it appears Park had signed on and was actively preparing to play Darth Maul when the character was cut from the show. Park’s Darth Maul was reportedly supposed to be hunting a young Luke Skywalker, with McGregor’s Obi-Wan Kenobi protecting the future Jedi.
But Jon Favreau, who created “The Mandalorian” and “The Book of Boba Fett” and has considerable creative influence over Disney’s “Star Wars” universe, objected to the idea over concerns that it would be too similar to a story on Season 2 of “The Mandalorian.” The plotline was ultimately scrapped in favor of a new story that features Darth Vader returning to screens as the show’s villain.
Park was not the only actor affected by the shakeup, as the creative overhaul also led the production to recast the role of young Luke Skywalker, with the coveted job going to newcomer Grant Feely.
Expectations were already enormous for the high-profile limited series, but this news continues to raise the pressure, as “Star Wars” fans will certainly expect the show to deliver after hearing what they missed out on.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi” is set to premiere May 25 on Disney+.