Darth Maul makes a 'Star Wars' comeback in 'Clone Wars'
Long thought deceased, the horned villain makes his triumphant re-entry to the Star Wars universe in the March 9 episode of the Cartoon Network animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars (airing at 8 ET/PT Fridays). It's part of an epic four-part season finale that begins Friday, as Count Dooku aims to destroy his former assassin Asajj Ventress and the Dathomirian witches known as the Nightsisters.
Moviegoers can check out Darth Maul's untimely "death" —Obi-Wan Kenobi sliced him in half with a lightsaber, and then let him fall to his apparent doom down a shaft — in theaters now with Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace 3D.
Ray Park played him in the movie, and the man who voices the animated Maul, Being Human star Sam Witwer, comes to the show with some impressive Star Wars cred: He also voiced the character of Darth Vader's apprentice Starkiller in The Force Unleashed video games.
In the upcoming Clone Wars arc, General Grievous launches an attack on Maul's homeworld of Dathomir, and Mother Talzin of the Nightsisters has told Savage Opress (voiced by Clancy Brown) about Darth Maul, sending Opress on a quest to find his long-lost brother.
Clone Wars supervising director Dave Filoni says fans will see sides of Maul not shown in his all-too-brief Phantom Menace appearance.
"We saw the warrior, definitely. But what we weren't as aware of was how trained Darth Maul was — not fighting using the ways of the Dark Side, but his intellect and his cunning as he learned from Darth Sidious."
There will be some changes in store for the resurrected Sith lord, according to Filoni, beginning with how he survived. He says it's pretty dark and dramatic, and in regard to facing off with Obi-Wan again, "there's going to be a lot of want for revenge in his mind, what he's been thinking about through what must have been a terrible trial."
Filoni promises fans will find out the secret behind his new lower half and, instead of wielding his double-bladed lightsaber from Phantom Menace, Maul will have only a fragment of it left since it, too, was damaged in battle.
"That was another one of the tricky things," Filoni says. "You want him to have a lightsaber, but there's no Lightsaber Mart he can go to and buy himself a new one."
With Maul's demonic face on the front of current action-figure packages and LEGO sets in toy aisles, it looks like he's definitely going to be back for a while.
"To go through all the trouble and believability to bring this character back, it would be a shame if it was once again a short-lived thing," Filoni says. "A lot of effort went into the resurrection of Darth Maul, and I'm going to make it worthwhile for the fans, that's for sure."