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The Star Wars Stealth-Action Game We'll Never Get To Play

In the fifth episode of the second season of The Mandalorian, the titular bounty hunter meets up with the Jedi Ahsoka Tano and her pair of white lightsabers, introducing lore from producer Dave Filoni's animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels into a live action Star Wars project in a major way.

This isn't the first time, however, that a live action Star Wars project has drawn from lore first featured in Filioni's projects. Solo: A Star Wars Story included a cameo by The Phantom Menace antagonist Darth Maul, who was presumed dead at the end of Episode 1, but revealed to be alive in The Clone Wars.

Prior to Disney's acquisition of LucasArts in 2012, plans for Darth Maul were not limited merely to animated appearances and a brief live action cameo, but included a starring role in a video game, alternately titled Star Wars: Maul and Battle of the Sith Lords.

The Sith that never was

The first of its two titles comes courtesy of key art posted by the game's concept lead at developer Infinity Ward, Thomas A. Szakolczay. Among the images he shared is a cover or title screen in a style still used by key art for modern Star Wars games like 2020's Star Wars: Squadrons. Darth Maul's face takes up the majority of the space, and is accompanied to its left by a familiar-looking logo, including the requisite Star Wars branding and the "Maul" subtitle in a futuristic font. In short, it looks official, and not like a project long since canceled.

Szakolczay also shared designs for both Darth Maul and other characters (mainly Sith), who were going to populate the game's Coruscant setting. Maul, notably, stands on a bionic pair of legs, since Maul's fight with Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan left him legless.

In addition to the various Sith lords and warriors, Szakolczay also designed new Stormtrooper armor and a variety of bounty hunters, rounding out his initial strokes for its unique game world.

The dark side, unleashed

Battle of the Sith Lords, meanwhile, was the title attributed to the game in a video made by Game Informer, in which one of the publication's writers detailed the project based on time he spent interviewing some of its creators. The video also includes the only publicly available footage of this video game's Darth Maul in action.

Andrew Reiner, the writer in charge of profiling Battle of the Sith Lords, explained that while its gameplay resembles franchise classic The Force Unleashed on the surface, it was intended to be much more violent. Maul's lightsaber would not just damage enemies by colliding with a hitbox, but was going to chop off enemy limbs like a real-life lightsaber presumably would.

Reiner also explained that the game is unlikely to ever see the light of day. It was not canceled because it failed to meet a standard of quality — its development never got to a point at which it was possible to establish its quality — but simply because games that were in development at the time of Disney's Star Wars acquisition were scrapped en masse.