Ray Park Becomes Darth Maul Again At Star Wars Celebration

It takes some elbow grease to transform into one of the most powerful Sith Lords in the galaxy. But for Darth Maul actor Ray Park, some of it simply comes naturally.

During his exclusive "Prepare to be Mauled" panel at the annual Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Park talked all things dark-sided with fellow franchise actor Warwick Davis, who hosted the discussion. The pair dove into Park's past as Darth Maul, touching on everything from the tiny hoop earring Park tried to hide from George Lucas to his incredible physical prowess.

Park explained that movies fueled his passion for high-intensity martial arts like kendo. "I wanted to be like the guys in the movies," he said. "That's how I started my martial arts."

He put his impressive moves to good use in The Phantom Menace, even whipping out a particularly technical move called "the butterfly kick."

While reminiscing about his time playing the devilish Maul, Park admitted that the horns, red-and-black face makeup, creepy contact lenses, and dirty teeth he donned gave him a sort of rush. The makeup, which one Star Wars creative described as something that "instantly shows you someone who is a real menace" really sealed the deal for Park to embrace the character's fiendish behavior.

"The look of Darth Maul, the Sith Lord, I think was cool," he said. "I think [with] the makeup and the horns and the lenses and the teeth, you just can't help being naughty, you know? You just can't help being that character."

After talking about his Darth Maul past, Park embraced the present. Along with Davis, he stood up on stage and guided a group of audience members through some Phantom Menace choreography. Park stepped back into his Darth Maul roots, wielding a plastic lightsaber alongside cosplayers dressed as Rey, Palpatine, and Kylo Ren.

Park flourished his weapon, spun around in style, and struck an epic Sith pose during his instruction. He then turned his palm to the panel attendees and used the Force to raise everyone from their seats before promptly setting them back down. Audience members got a second treat when Park practiced a duel with a Qui-Gon Jinn impersonator. It all came together for a full reenactment of the iconic fight scene from The Phantom Menace.

Park's display at Star Wars Celebration proves that once you're a Star Wars fan, you're a fan for life. And in his case, he'll likely always be Darth Maul. As he put it, "I think we all have a bit of a dark side in us. I just try to bring that out in myself [for] the character."

Mission accomplished, Mr. Park. If you missed all the action as it happened live, we've got a video for you below.

Since Star Wars Celebration runs until April 16, expect to see more interviews, exclusive interviews, and special screenings throughout the weekend. Meanwhile, take a look at the untold truth of Darth Maul.