The debut of Solo: A Star Wars Story brought with it the first live-action appearance of Darth Maul since 1999's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, featuring Ray Park's return to the saga. The brief scene featured a seated Maul, preventing audiences from seeing his robotic legs that he had gained after Phantom Menace, though Lucasfilm has officially released concept art of the appendages.
In The Phantom Menace, Maul was seemingly killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi, though the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars shed light on what really happened to the Sith after the fateful encounter.
After falling down a ventilation shaft, Maul channeled his anger and hatred into a will to survive. He obtained mechanical legs to escape an intergalactic junkyard and, consumed by anger and madness, turned his back on the Sith and dropped his "Darth" moniker. Instead, Maul went on to become a ruthless crime lord with his brother Savage Oppress.
Maul's legs have gone through multiple iterations, with the concept art for Solo leaning more into more human-like anatomy than some of his other more savage mechanical upgrades.
Despite Park's tenure as Maul being short-lived in the prequel films, he made a major impact on audiences, making him one of the more beloved villains from the galaxy far, far away. As excited as fans were to see Maul's return, Park was equally as excited to return to the series.
"I found out last June/July when we were in Guatemala," Park shared with Forbes. "I got the phone call from Lynne Hale from Lucasfilm. And it was really nice of her, because she said to me 'Ray, we're just calling to see if you would like to do it.' And I went [inhales slowly] 'Yeah. Do you want me on the plane now?'"
In Solo, Park merely realized the physicality of the character, while Sam Witwer provided the voice.
"I really lay a lot of the credit at Ray's feet. He brought an amazing presence and a wonderful performance to it in Phantom Menace. It's really stuck with us all as fans," Witwer shared with ComicBook.com. "Ray had created a character that was very healthy in the fans' eyes and in the hearts of fans, really had a wonderful life that went beyond Phantom Menace, all because of the presence of Ray Park. I got to jump on there and maybe add a little bit more to it. Ray and George [Lucas]. I believe it was Iain McCaig who created the art. There's so many people that helped create this thing that I have now been able to attach my name to."
Fans can get more Maul when Solo: A Star Wars Story hits Blu-ray and DVD on September 25th.
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