It can’t be denied that the Obi-Wan Kenobi show has gone through several ups and downs over the years. Initially, it was going to be a movie. But that didn’t work out, especially after Solo: A Star Wars Movie tanked at the box office.
So Lucasfilm ultimately decided to make it into a show for Disney+. The show was announced during the 2019 D23 Expo. It was confirmed during the official announcement that Ewan McGregor would be returning as the titular Jedi.
Later on, we got to know from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy herself that Obi-Wan Kenobi had stalled production to polish the script and story.
During 2020’s Disney Investor Day, we got more details about the show as Hayden Christensen was announced to return as Darth Vader in the show.
Vader’s inclusion made everyone sit up and take notice. After all, the friction between Kenobi and Vader is a classic part of Star Wars. Over time, we got to know that other villains like the Inquisitors were going to be a part of the show as well.
However, it looks like one particular villain was abandoned in favor of Vader.
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) reports that Darth Maul was initially going to be in the Kenobi show. But he was removed as a result of a creative change behind-the-scenes.
The site revealed that actor Ray Park, who played the character in The Phantom Menace, was all set to reprise his role in the show. Originally, writer Hossein Amini worked on the show with director Deborah Chow.
But production was paused in early 2022, and Amini was replaced by Joby Harold. THR also noted that director Chow showed the scripts to The Mandalorian showrunners Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni.
The duo was concerned about Obi-Wan being too similar to the show they were running. This is because it too looked like a story of a lone wolf-like character being in charge of a cub.
Also, in the initial script, Maul was going to be one of the main villains, and Vader wasn’t even a part of the main storyline. The site also said that Favreau and Filoni pushed Chow to “go bigger.”
Due to this, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy paused production. The outlet also shared that Ray Park was on set even for stunt training as well as pre-production.
THR also noted that Ray Park might have shot footage for the show. But another source said that it might have been just test footage. As for the creative change, one source said that it was dave Filoni who “conceptually keyed in” to bring Darth Vader back as the main villain.
A source for Lucasfilm said that Darth Maul was never going to be in the Kenobi show.
It makes sense to have Maul as the big bad since he met Kenobi during The Phantom Menace. If that storyline had happened, fans would have seen a different rematch fight tied to Qui-Gon Jinn’s death during the first Star Wars prequel film.
However, fans have agreed that using Vader instead of Maul was a good decision. After all, most Star Wars fans already know what happens between Kenobi and Maul.
So having Maul show up will lessen the impact of his ending in Rebels. As such, putting the focus on Vader will allow the show to have a more powerful storyline with a better emotional impact due to Kenobi and Anakin’s history.
On the other hand, the report suggests that Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are already charting out the small screen universe of the mega-franchise. Now, this definitely adds up with all the reports of Favreau getting a huge contract to continue developing stories in the Star Wars galaxy.
We don’t know right now if Filoni has the same deal in place. But Lucasfilm would be a fool to not lock him into a contract. Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to premiere on Disney+ on May 25, 2022.
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