darth maul

Thanks to ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’, we saw a number of beloved characters from the ‘Star Wars’ universe return to the big screen. Although, some familiar faces have been popping up on the small screen as well because of ‘Star Wars Rebels‘ on Disney XD. The popular animated series has reintroduced a number of favorites to the show such as Princess Leia, Yoda, and Ahsoka Tano to fight alongside Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus, and the rest of the crew of the Ghost. But after previously teasing the involvement of a certain red and black faced Sith Lord, we’ll finally get to see him join the fray at last. 

After much speculation regarding the identity of the Old Master from the season two teaser for ‘Star Wars Rebels,’ we can confirm that it is indeed Darth Maul, the double-sided lightsaber-wielding villain from ‘Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’. Following his death in the film at the hands of Obi-wan Kenobi, the character has been resurrected in ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’ and Dark Horse Comics’ various ‘Star Wars’ books with a mechanical bottom half of his body. But since then, Maul appears to have had a slight change of heart and turned from his villainous ways. At least, that’s what it looks like in this sneak peek from Entertainment Weekly that finds Ezra in a Sith temple and voice actor Sam Witwer reprising his role as Darth Maul:

Ahead of the season finale next week on March 30th, EW spoke to executive producer Dave Filoni about the decision to bring Darth Maul back in the latest ‘Star Wars’ animated series. And though the plans that they had originally conjured up for him have changed, it’s cool to see that the people working on this show are just as much fans as they are the architects of this cherished saga:

“The genesis of this idea is actually kind of an interesting one. I had pointed out several times in story meetings that we have an opportunity – if we wanted to – to actually have Darth Vader fight Darth Maul. That was something that [co-producer] Simon Kinberg and I were like, ‘Oooh…’ Then there was the opponent in the story meetings who would say, ‘Well, that’s fan service,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah – exactly.’ [Laughs] I don’t see the problem with that, but you know we were very careful that we don’t just do things because they’re cool. We want to do things that are story driven.

[But] I have to say that by the end of it, the story was completely different than where we had started. I don’t want to necessarily promise something that doesn’t happen – the Vader/Maul thing is interesting at a fandom level. [But] the more compelling personal story becomes about Ahsoka and Vader.”

With the Sith essentially driving Maul mad by turning their backs on him, it will be very interesting to see him seek revenge on those that have wronged him. But based on that clip, it seems like he’s looking to help Ezra with his training. We’ll have to wait and see exactly how noble the Old Master’s intentions are, but until then, here are some new looks at Darth Maul from the episode airing on Wednesday at 9:00pm on Disney XD:

Star Wars Rebels Darth Maul 2

Star Wars Rebels Darth Maul 1

What do you think about Darth Maul appearing in ‘Star Wars Rebels’? Do you think that he’ll eventually face off against Darth Vader in a mind-blowing force-filled lightsaber battle that has only ever occurred in our imaginations and sometimes acted out with action figures? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.