"Star Wars" fans are puzzled: Does a legendary opponent appear in "Obi-Wan Kenobi"?

Without a doubt, he made one of the best and most exciting developments in "Star Wars": the former Sith Lord Darth Maul (Ray Park). Already in his debut "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace" he was one of the (few) highlights of the film with his cool looks, his menacing presence and the double-bladed lightsaber. All the more disappointing was his supposed death in the finale, when he was cut in the hip by Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and fell into a shaft.
However, as we learn in the animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars", Darth Maul survived. In it, the former Sith Lord (equipped with new mechanical legs) dives into the criminal underworld and from a certain point even rules over the planet Mandalore. In the follow-up series "Star Wars Rebels" Maul even becomes the leader of the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn. But Maul never loses sight of his true goal: to exact revenge on his nemesis Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Since "Obi-Wan Kenobi", a series about the Jedi master who watches over young Luke Skywalker after the fall of the Republic on Tattooine, starts on May 25, 2022 at Disney +, one question in particular comes to mind: Will Darth Maul return in it? In any case, there are a few points that speak in favor of it – but also many that rule out a return.
That's why Darth Maul could be in Obi-Wan Kenobi
Will Obi-Wan Kenobi reunite with Darth Maul (Ray Park)?

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The first trailer for "Obi-Wan Kenobi" already provides a big hint for the return of Darth Maul. From about 30 seconds, his music theme sounds, which already gave the legendary fight scene between him, Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon Jinn in "A Phantom Menace" its epic touch. Unfortunately, there are no further references to Darth Maul in the trailer.
However, Maul's return is far from ruled out. After all, he's alive at the time "Obi-Wan Kenobi" is set, directing the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate from his home planet of Dathomir. And what fan wouldn't want arch-rivals Maul and Kenobi to meet in another live-action film and once again engage in a lightsaber duel?
Also, a return of Maul, who actually dropped his Darth Sith title in Star Wars Rebels, would be the big surprise in Obi-Wan Kenobi. So far, each of the previous "Star Wars" real series has shone with a surprising appearance of a well-known character. In the second season of "The Mandalorian" there was a reunion with Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Ahsoka Tano (Rosario Dawson) and Bo Katan (Katee Sackhoff). The latter had previously only appeared in the animated series. And also in "The Book of Boba Fett" a character from "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" celebrated his real debut: Cad Bane (Corey Burton/Dorian Kingi). If Disney continues the trend, Maul for "Obi-Wan Kenobi" would be the logical consequence. Maybe he'll show up at the end of season 1 and be prepared as an antagonist for season 2, which is supposed to come after all. Maul would definitely be perfect for that. He already had a live-action cameo. Namely, Maul was seen briefly in a hologram at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Maybe he'll succeed in a similar appearance in "Obi-Wan Kenobi".

Why Darth Maul is unlikely to return to Star Wars

But while there are many arguments in favor of it, Maul's return is at least unlikely – if not impossible. On the one hand, there is already a main antagonist for the first season of "Obi-Wan Kenobi" with the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend), who hunts down the last surviving Jedi with his henchmen. There was a first look at him in the trailer for the "Star Wars" series. Also on board is Obi-Wan's other and much more important nemesis, Darth Vader (Hayden Christensen).
On the other hand, the story of Maul is actually finished. In "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" we saw his rise – from the finished wreck on the garbage planet of Loth Minor to the ruler of Mandalore. In "Star Wars Rebels" we then witnessed his time as a crime boss and his downfall. After this narrative exploitation, Maul doesn't have that much meat anymore. A new story with Darth Vader and the Grand Inquisitor seems much fresher.
Last but not least, according to rumors recently reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Maul's return was ruled out relatively early in production of "Obi-Wan Kenobi." As the US magazine claims to have learned from insider circles, there were initially ideas for the ex-Sith Lord to appear in the "Star Wars" series. And it's also been filmed with actor Ray Park, though it's unclear whether these were test shots or scenes for the series. But supposedly the "The Mandalorian" makers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni put a stop to it. They were probably given the script by "Obi-Wan Kenobi" director Deborah Chow, whose story they felt was too close to their projects and too "small" overall. So they encouraged her to think "bigger". It even got through to Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy, who then paused production on "Obi-Wan Kenobi" so the script could be changed. And with that, Maul was finally out of the running.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: Is Darth Maul Coming Back Now?

However, "Star Wars" has always been good for one or the other surprise lately. To rule out Maul's return completely could also turn out to be naive. After all, the surprise would be too great to reveal in advance. So maybe there will be a reunion with the former Sith Lord soon. It would definitely be cool.

This article first appeared on TVSPIELFILM.de.

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