There is always a lot of pressure with each new Star Wars release, which is understandable considering how deeply ingrained the franchise is in so many people's childhoods. This familiar pressure was felt in the lead up to the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story by everyone involved, including Darth Maul voice actor Sam Witwer, who had some reservations about the character returning, particularly if he was played by someone other than him.

"When it came to Maul in Solo, and I was asked about it, I rang them up. At many times, I've said it's okay for you to go to someone else and that's happened several times. But with Maul, I actually put my foot down and said 'Listen. Do what you have to do, but I think you might be making a mistake if you don't hire me for this.' Because you're counting on the fans."
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"A lot of fans are going to say I don't get it, he died in Phantom Menace, and then a lot of other fans are gonna say, 'Oh with The Clone Wars I get what's happening here with the Shadow Collective. That's what's going on here with the Shadow Collective.' So since you're leaning on the fans who understand what the Shadow Collective is, and the way you want to construct the scene where you want to hear his voice and then see him, doesn't that serve to reason that the fans have to recognize the voice? It's probably got to be me, and not to mention I've been playing the guy for a decade."

Witwer's reasoning for wanting to return to the role so badly is pretty sound. The last thing most audiences saw of Darth Maul was his severed body falling down an endless hole thanks to the smooth moves of Obi-Wan Kenobi. So, Witwer argued that for the character's return in Solo to make sense they would be relying mostly on the shared knowledge of those viewers who had seen The Clone Wars series, and that to really make it all fit together Maul needed to have the same, familiar voice.

Considering he has been playing the character of Darth Maul for so long, it is perfectly reasonable for Sam Witwer to feel so passionate about his re-introduction to the live-action Star Wars universe, and really his comments do well to demonstrate his passion for the part.

Solo: A Star Wars Story explored the backstory to fan-favorite character and loveable rogue Han Solo, and also set up a franchise that seemingly is no longer going to happen. The biggest tease toward a sequel comes towards the end of the movie's runtime, where Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra contacts the double-sided lightsaber-wielding Darth Maul, connecting it with the events of the Clone Wars animated series.

The movie is infamous for having a very troubled production, including several director changes, and though it proved to be an enjoyable adventure, many felt it was not a worthy prequel for one of the franchise's most beloved characters. Witwer's comments come to us courtesy of SW Holocron.

Jon Fuge at Movieweb
Jon Fuge