From the moment the first trailer for The Force Awakens hit, the Star Wars sequel trilogy has been a non-stop lightning rod of controversy as fans battled over the creative choices made by the franchise while flying under the Disney banner. So this latest revelation about who George Lucas originally intended as the villain is sure to go over well.
In the new behind the scenes book, The Star Wars Archives: 1999-2005, author Paul Duncan takes a deep dive into the making of the prequel trilogy and Lucas’ creative process. Through his research, Duncan discovered that the Star Wars creator had plans for the sequel trilogy that were dramatically different from what Disney delivered and would have involved bringing back the fan-favorite character Darth Maul. Via Polygon:
We already know from various parts of that galaxy far, far away that being cut in half wasn’t enough to stop Darth Maul, but apparently the Sith fighter would have been the main heavy of Lucas’ sequel trilogy with the aid of mechanical legs. Joining him, in theory, was Sith Lord Darth Talon, from the Dark Horse comic book Star Wars: Legacy. Lucas says “Maul eventually becomes the godfather of crime in the universe because, as the Empire falls, he takes over,” and that Talon was the Vader of the trilogy.
If that last part sounds familiar, Maul was revealed to have a similar role in the closing moments of Solo: A Star Wars Story, and he would’ve appeared in the sequel that was shelved after the film underperformed. But while Maul seems to be getting a raw deal when it comes to live-action Star Wars, he was featured prominently in The Clone Wars and Rebels animated series, which are both regarded by fans as some of the franchise’s best work. For proof, look no further than The Mandalorian, which is being shepherded by Clone Wars and Rebels creator Dave Filoni and is easily the hottest thing to happen to Star Wars in years.