One of the most iconic, and at the same time most under-utilized, characters in the live-action Star Wars universe (or, at the very least, the Prequel episodes), hopes of future double-bladed lightsaber fights were cut short when Darth Maul was cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace. Even though the character later returned, with a pair of mechanical legs, in the recently canceled Star Wars: The Clone Wars, voiced by Being Human star (and Star Wars: The Forced Unleashed alum) Sam Witwer, many fans still consider the fate of Darth Maul a major missed opportunity.
However, now that Disney has acquired Lucasfilm and the Star Wars universe from creator George Lucas, could we see actor Ray Park reprise his role as Darth Maul in a new live-action adventure in the galaxy far, far away?
While any talk of a live-action Darth Maul return is entirely premature at this point but actor Ray Park, who portrayed the character in Episode 1, is eager to reprise the role - with very basic demands in mind. Speaking at Wizard Con about the possibility of returning as the Sith Lord (reported by MTV Geek), Park said:
“Just give me food and water, and I’m there.”
We already have confirmation that solo Star Wars movies featuring fan-favorite characters will be released alongside the next episodic trilogy, for example:
- Star Wars: Episode 7 in 2015
- Solo Film #1 in 2016
- Star Wars: Episode 8 in 2017
- Solo Film #2 in 2018
- Star Wars: Episode 9 in 2019
As a result, since Han Solo and Boba Fett are rumored to be the first two characters to get standalone treatments, it stands to reason that Darth Maul could appear as a side character in an existing (or future) solo project. Understandably, some fans might feel like bringing Darth Maul back (with fancy mechanical legs) would undercut the impact of his Episode 1 death but, keep in mind, given that Lucasfilm is pursuing standalone stories set in pre-Episode 7 timeframes, it's possible that the filmmakers could bring Maul back for an appearance - prior to his chronological introduction in Episode 1.
Given that the Zabrak warrior isn't known for lengthy exposition, and is mostly a one-man killing machine, it's less likely that Maul would get his own solo film - but he could serve as a great antagonist in the rumored Yoda spinoff movie or Seven Samurai-inspired Jedi team-up. Considering Zack Snyder is busy helping Warner Bros. with their budding DC Universe, talk of his standalone Jedi film was probably exaggerated but that doesn't mean that Darth Maul wouldn't be a great fit for a similar battle between Light and Dark sides of the Force.
So what could we expect from Darth Maul if he were to return? According to Park, he's ready to up-the-ante again. After introducing fans to a live-action double-bladed lightsabers, MTV Geek indicates that the actor wants to wield two double-bladed lightsabers at once. At the very least, Park hopes to come back “with something a little bit spicy” and asserts that he'd like to be shirtless - to feature the character's tattoos.
Park also expressed interest in reprising his role as Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe 3: "I really hope they ask me back" - which, at this point, is much more likely than a new movie featuring Darth Maul (especially since G.I. Joe 3 is actively moving forward). While Park has not been formerly approached about either a Star Wars movie or the G.I. Joe sequel, Snake Eyes is one of only a few characters that has been featured in both Rise of Cobra and Retaliation, so it's hard to imagine director Jon Chu wouldn't include Park in number three.
We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy sees the same potential in Darth Maul.
Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for future updates on Star Wars as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.
Star Wars: Episode 7 is set for release in 2015.
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