It looks like after much speculation and geek debate, Darth Maul will be returning to the Galaxy Far Far Away via the Clone Wars this season. After hinting towards his return at the end of the Savage Oppress story arc in Clone Wars Season 3, supervising director Dave Filoni confirmed recently over at Entertainment Weekly that Maul would be back in force with the full blessing of plaid clad billionaire George Lucas:
Filoni was as surprised as anyone during a Clone Wars story meeting when Star Wars creator George Lucas asked Filoni to figure out a way to bring Darth Maul back. He had introduced a similar warrior, the powerhouse Savage Oppress, in the third season of Clone Wars because of the lack of a Maul-type antagonist.
Oppress plays a major role in the return of his “long-lost brother,” Filoni says, and fans can expect Darth Maul to reignite his rivalry with Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Jedi Knight who cut him in half.
Filoni expects a strong reaction from fans, but he promises he didn’t bring back Darth Maul for a short-lived stunt.
“There’s a lot of ground that has not been covered as far as Darth Maul is concerned, so there’s a lot of room to grow with him,” Filoni says. “It’s all balanced with, ‘Boy, we’ve gotta make this really good because this is a really big deal.'”
And of course the official teaser for the return of the soft spoken horned Sith:
So what the hell, I guess if they can make this work then I’ll try my best to enjoy it. I was very skeptical and thought it verged on sacrilege when they announced Darth Maul’s brother would be showing up on the Clone Wars but I ended up enjoying the living crap out of that. The best episode of that season featured the best three way lightsaber fight I’ve seen. And with three dark side users no less….
Maul is just in time for the big 3D re-release of Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 2012 and I’m sure that’s just around the time we’ll be getting the episodes he’ll be showing up in. The only questions I have are simple, the first one being the most irrelevant. Which planet is he supposedly exiled on? It’s somewhere in the Outer Rim according to Mother Talzin, and I’ll be a little let down if its effin’ Tatooine because there couldn’t be a more overused, boring planet. My second question is how in the bloody hell is this dude still breathing? I’m sure force-users (Dark Side especially) can withstand some brutal hits, but homeboy was sliced in two by my buddy Obi-Wan. So will he be rocking the robot leg look that he made look so fashionable in the non-continuity story from Star Wars: Visionaries? Maybe some sweet type of hover chair? That would be God awful but it wouldn’t be the first time us Star Wars fans were completely put out.
My last question is who will be voicing him? More specifically will it be Sam Witwer? For those of you non-hardcore Star Wars geeks, Sam Witwer is the guy who played Vader’s secret apprentice, Starkiller (Galen Marek) in the awesome Force Unleashed video game and it’s less than satisfying follow up the Force Unleashed 2.
He’s already had a stint in the Clone Wars in Season 3’s Mortis trilogy as the uber dark side using Anchorite The Son, which he completely owned. The guy also does an excellent Emperor Palpatine voice as evidenced in the Force Unleashed video games. It’s already been confirmed that Witwer will be returning to voice a character for this season 4 of the Clone Wars but it’s just a question of whom. Check out this little snippet from Witwer via Theforce.net that reveals absolutely nothing about whom he will play:
“Sam Witwer: I’ve already returned to The Clone Wars to do voiceover.
Riley: Oh really?
Sam Witwer: I am currently, as we speak, working on episodes, many episodes for a character that I have not played… well… it’s… what can I say without getting fired?
Riley: We don’t want you to get in trouble or anything.
Sam Witwer: I’m told the announcement is gonna happen in a couple months.
Riley: Nice tease!
Sam Witwer: It’s an amazing character. It is an amazing, amazing character. I’ll put it to you this way. I was driving over to a buddy’s house and Dave Filoni calls me up, gets me on the phone, and he says, “Listen, so we want you to come back to work and we need you to play…” and he tells me the character’s name. And I almost had a car accident. And he says, “Can you do it?” And I’m like yes. And then I worried about later whether I could do it or not. But I was like yes, yes, I will do that. So it is a tremendous opportunity and I can’t wait for you guys to find out about it.”
Now I wouldn’t call Darth Maul an amazing character or anything. Amazingly bad ass maybe, but character wise there wasn’t much to him. Even if you read any expanded universe material based on him it’s nothing to blow any skirts up. But Witwer did almost had a car accident, so that’s promising. He better not have risked his life on the account of finding out he was playing Wicket of the Ewoks or Uncle Owen…