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You Likely Didn't Know The Actor Behind Days Gone's Deacon St. John Is A Star Wars Legend

A deadly virus has decimated the globe. Everyone you know has been infected. One horrible situation worsens when all those people you thought were dead begin walking around. The zombie apocalypse is one of the most popular storylines in movies and video games. After the success of the "Resident Evil" franchise, many game developers tried their hands at pitting players against the undead.

2019 brought Bend Studio's and Sony Entertainment's entrance into the genre with "Days Gone." The game follows Deacon St. John as he traverses the post-apocalyptic Pacific Northwest avoiding zombies called Freakers and attempting to keep his friend alive and find his long-lost (and presumed dead) wife. The odd combination of "The Last of Us" and "Sons of Anarchy" became PlayStation 4's 8th highest-selling game of the year. While, according to Gaming Bolt, plans for a sequel were scrapped, fans of the game may soon get a live-action adaptation, as Sony is reportedly working on a "Days Gone" movie.

Paramount to any video game is the voice cast, and "Days Gone" has one of the best in the business leading the way with Sam Witwer as Deacon. Witwer has had a long career in voice and live-action work. Fans of The CW may recognize him as the "Supergirl" villain Ben Lockwood/Agent Liberty. And keen-eared fans may also recognize him as a bit of a legend in the "Star Wars" franchise.

Witwer voiced Darth Maul across multiple Star Wars animated series

Darth Maul (Ray Park) was perhaps the most menacing aspect of the less than triumphant return of the "Star Wars" franchise, "Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace." Not only does his silent stalking of the Jedi Knights build tension for the inevitable face-off, but his dispatching of Qui-Gon Jin (Liam Neeson) is surprising and devastating. His almost immediate death at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) implied that fans would never see the double-bladed lightsaber wielder again.

However, to the fans' delight and the Republic's dismay, the disgraced Sith returned from the depths in the popular animated series "Star Wars: The Clone Wars." One of the most complex parts of resurrecting the menacing Darth Maul was giving the character a voice. Sam Witwer gives a fantastic performance as Maul, bringing the malevolent character to life for 11 episodes of "The Clone Wars" and five episodes of "Star Wars: Rebels." He even provided the voice of the character for the spin-off movie "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

Casting Witwer as Darth Maul was an inspired choice, but it really wasn't out of left field. The actor was no stranger to either voice work or the "Star Wars" franchise when he played the part. Prior to "The Clone Wars," he portrayed another legendary character from the galaxy far, far away in a different medium.

His legendary Star Wars exploits began in video games

In the wake of the first "Star Wars" film, an expanded universe of tie-in novels, comic books, animated shows, spin-off movies, and live-action series have followed. Sam Witwer has taken his portrayal of Darth Maul to the realm of video games in multiple projects, while also bringing to life other noteworthy characters. He's even voiced Emperor Palpatine on multiple occasions. However, as legendary as Darth Maul and Palpatine are, Witwer brought an original character to life in an earlier video game, which spawned a sequel and has been heralded by outlets like Den of Geek as one of the most ambitious "Star Wars" video games to date.

In 2008, "Star Wars: The Force Unleashed" brought fans the story of Galen Marek, aka Starkiller. The two games chronicled his journey from the dark side to the light, unlike other "Star Wars" projects that focus on the reverse path. Witwer's performance as the tormented secret apprentice to Darth Vader is one of the more beloved aspects of the game and started him on a path to being a legend in the galaxy far, far away. That's especially true considering that Galen Marek, Emperor Palpatine, and Darth Maul are only the most notable of Witwer's various roles in the "Star Wars" universe.  

With a "Days Gone" movie potentially on the horizon, the studio could do worse than bring aboard the actor who already knows Deacon St. John inside and out and who is a legend in the world of "Star Wars."