Last week's episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars gave fans the showdown between Ahsoka and Maul they've been waiting years to see, with the above featurette depicting how the production blended a variety of techniques to make the sequence truly exemplary. Knowing how long fans have been waiting for this encounter, the series pulled out all the stops to give audiences an experience that would cement itself as not only one of the best duels seen in the seven seasons of the series, but one of the best bouts seen in any corner of the galaxy far, far away.
As evidenced in the featurette, director Dave Filoni enlisted former Maul actor Ray Park to create a motion-capture performance, pitting him against stunt performer Lauren Mary Kim as Ahsoka, while Sam Witwer provided the villain's signature vocal menace. The style of the animation, however, prevented the animators from lifting the motion-capture performances directly, with Keith Kellogg previously detailing how the Lucasfilm animation team blended the various elements for the sequence.
"We actually did a little test, where we saw what it looked like with straight mo-cap, and it felt very odd to see that compared to everything else," Kellogg shared with Looper. "We really ended up using it as a guideline. We had video reference of it, and we were able to take it into our story package and use it."
Park debuted Maul back in 1999's Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, with the Sith seemingly meeting his demise at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi. The Clone Wars series allowed the villain to be revived, as fans learned that his anger inspired him to survive his bisection, going on to craft mechanical legs to continue his reign of terror. The actor then returned to the role for a brief appearance in Solo: A Star Wars Story, exciting fans that we could be getting more live-action appearances from the figure.
While there might not be any confirmed plans for Maul's live-action return, he has proved a powerful presence in the final episodes of The Clone Wars, with the animation team ensuring Park's physicality is in the villain's DNA. Given that this might be fans' last glimpse at Maul for the foreseeable future, it's clear that the animators wanted to give him the sendoff he deserved.
The final two episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars debut on Disney+ on May 1st and May 4th.