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Star Wars: Bringing Darth Maul Back From The Dead Was George Lucas' Idea

Despite only appearing in two live-action films in George Lucas' galaxy far, far away, Darth Maul (Ray Park) remains one of the most beloved "Star Wars" characters. In "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace," the Sith warrior's first appearance was voiced by Peter Serafinowicz, and then Sam Witwer took over voicing the role for Maul in "Solo: A Star Wars Story." Witwer had already ably voiced a resurrected Maul during "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" from 2012-2020, but the animated version of Park's character would never have happened had Lucas not insisted on bringing him back to life.

"We would be in a story meeting, and [Lucas] would often say stuff like, 'I've got an idea and you're gonna love it,'" Dave Filoni said during a panel at the 2017 Star Wars Celebration (via ComicBook.com). "And I thought, 'Ohhhhh, that so seldom lines up.' Then he said, 'We're bringing Darth Maul back,' and I said, 'Really?'"

As "Star Wars" fans well know, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) sliced Maul in half — the Jedi clearly didn't have the high ground either — and that was thought to be the end for Palpatine's (Ian McDiarmid) apprentice. But when Filoni worked on "Star Wars: The Clone Wars," Lucas dropped the daunting task of bringing the dead villain back to the land of the living right into his lap.

Lucas spearheaded Darth Maul's resurrection

In "Phantom Menace," Darth Maul careens down the reactor shaft on Naboo after his loss against Obi-Wan, but this was hardly the end. George Lucas wanted to resurrect Maul, so Dave Filoni oversaw his return during "Star Wars: The Clone Wars" Season 4, Episode 21, "Brothers." Maul is alive on the planet Lotho Minor and is discovered by his brother Savage Opress (Clancy Brown) writhing on mechanical, spider-like legs.

"One of the things I really loved about 'Phantom Menace' was that he was cut in half, and I thought that was so smart because it ends the debate, not like Boba [Fett] going into the Sarlaac," Filoni said during the same discussion. "Endless debate, right? I mean, it's over, he's cut in half. And he [Lucas] said, 'No, he's coming back.' And I said, 'Well how does that work?' And he said, 'I don't know, you'll figure it out.'" In Season 4, Episode 22, "Revenge," Mother Talzin (Barbara Goodson) creates new cybernetic legs for her revenge-crazed son.

Maul's resurrection created major complications for Obi-Wan (James Arnold Taylor). Their highly anticipated rematch came as Obi-Wan and Asajj Ventress (Nika Futterman) teamed up against Maul and Opress, but Obi-Wan was forced to retreat. Later, Obi-Wan and Adi Gallia (Angelique Perrin) tried to defeat the Nightbrothers, but Opress slayed Gallia. It wasn't until "Star Wars: Rebels" that Maul's thirst for revenge got the better of him. The Jedi ended what began on Naboo, and he finally killed Maul while watching over Luke Skywalker.