Reports of a new Obi-Wan Kenobi project have been circling for years, and now that the upcoming Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi series is premiering in just two months, new reports are emerging about the initial plans for the project, with The Hollywood Reporter claiming that Ray Park was set to return to the galaxy far, far away as Darth Maul. The sources cited by the outlet offer varying accounts of the shakeup, with some saying Park was prepping for pre-production and stunt training, while another Lucasfilm source claims Maul was never set to appear, while others claim that Darth Vader was enlisted to fulfill the role of the series' antagonist.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is directed by Deborah Chow and was initially written by Hossein Amini, with the rumors about the initial project being that it started as a feature film, yet those plans were modified when Solo: A Star Wars Story was a disappointment. Pre-production was set to start shortly after the debut of The Mandalorian, with producers Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni reportedly pushing Obi-Wan Kenobi to go bigger with its ambitions.
In addition to pushing ambitions further, initial plans were to see Maul hunting for Luke Skywalker as Obi-Wan served as a protector, igniting concerns that this trajectory was too similar to the relationship seen in The Mandalorian with Din Djarin and "Baby Yoda."
It's entirely feasible that the initial plan for an Obi-Wan adventure was to feature Maul, especially given that the character made his first return to live-action with Solo in 2018. Having little more than a glorified cameo, it seemed to set the stage for his return to the franchise in a major way, likely in the form of an Obi-Wan movie. Of course, given that film's reception and the various creative shifts seen in the entire Star Wars franchise in the years since, it's surely not unheard of that the project has evolved quite a bit since it was initially conceived of.
What this report also seems to inadvertently confirm is that, while there's a number of theories about what we could see in the new series, it seemingly won't feature Darth Maul in any capacity.
Star Wars: Obi-Wan Kenobi debuts on Disney+ on May 25th.