Sam Witwer on how Darth Maul’s scene in Solo: A Star Wars Story changed

Last Updated on July 30, 2021

Sam Witwer, Ray Park, Darth Maul, Star Wars, Solo, The Clone Wars

While SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY didn't exactly wow audiences upon its release nearly two years ago, the film did contain a few surprises, notably the appearance of Darth Maul, who had not been seen in a live-action STAR WARS film in almost twenty years. Ray Park once again played the role of Darth Maul, but as with his initial appearance in THE PHANTOM MENACE, the character was voiced by another actor.

The voice of Darth Maul in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY was provide by Sam Witwer, who has played the character in multiple appearances throughout Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels. Peter Serafinowicz voiced Maul in THE PHANTOM MENACE and he was originally brought back to lend his voice to the character once again for SOLO, but he was later replaced by Sam Witwer, who recently spoke with Star Wars Holocron and discussed how Maul's character was quite different in the original script.

[There were] a lot of things in this script where he growls, he does this, he does that. I don’t think those are right and I can tell you why I don’t think those are right. I can tell you what I think he should say instead (Laughs). So I did run the math and said in this case I’m actually going to play a card I haven’t played with Lucasfilm before and say, ‘You’re making a mistake if you don’t go for me.’ Now, do whatever you have to do, try out whatever you have to try out, but I think you’re making a mistake if you don’t get me in there.

"[Peter] Serafinowicz has even said that he recorded stuff for Maul and it didn’t quite work the way that they thought it would," Witwer continued. "That wasn’t actually a decision thing. That was actually someone who was not totally in on the Lucasfilm camp going, ‘Okay who played him on The Phantom Menace? Serafinowicz, grab him.’ He’s such a talented, talented guy and I admire the hell out of his work, but it was not recognizably the character and it wasn’t even recognizably The Phantom Menace character. It was a very different thing and they weren’t getting the right stuff." Once Witwer came onboard, he explained that "there was stuff that had to happen once I got hired. There was a reshoot that had to happen because people like me and Dave Filoni were letting them know there were a lot of details that weren’t consistent. That’s not me saying these people didn’t know what they were doing because they were making a movie and doing it at lightspeed. Ultimately, they did the right thing because they hired the people who were the experts on this like Dave Filoni and, I dare say, me, because I’m kind of an expert on what we’ve been doing with Maul for the past decade, y’know?"

Although Sam Witwer has the utmost respect for Peter Serafinowicz, he said that the original voice-over for Maul in SOLO "just didn’t sound recognizable as the character from The Phantom Menace nor the character from Clone Wars. It was a totally different thing. They needed people to recognize the voice, so there it is." While SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY was clearly setting up a few sequel threads with Maul's character, who was now the head of Crimson Dawn, the failure of the film has cast doubt that we'll ever see those characters again.

Source: Star Wars Holocron

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Based in Canada, Kevin Fraser has been a news editor with JoBlo since 2015. When not writing for the site, you can find him indulging in his passion for baking and adding to his increasingly large collection of movies that he can never find the time to watch.