Star Wars Voice Actor Sam Witwer Discuss the Process of Bringing Maul Back to Life

At the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the true leader behind Crimson Dawn is revealed to be none other than Maul (formerly Darth) reappearing for the first time in film since the release of Episode I: The Phantom Menace back in 1999. And while the film over the years has had it’s fair share of criticism, the Character of Maul (despite his lack of character in the film) is always brought up as one of the best things about the film. His iconic look, his double bladed lightsaber and of course Duel of the Fates, fighting both Obi Wan Kenobi and Qui Gon Jinn.

Related imageIn Episode I Maul was portrayed by both Ray Park and Peter Serafinowciz, similar to Park and Witwer, Park would physically play Maul with Serafinowciz later dubbing him in Post Production. Originally Actor Benicio Del Toro was cast as Darth Maul but left the project after George Lucas cut unceremoniously the majority of Maul’s lines, allowing Ray Park and Peter Serafinowicz to be cast. Though Del Toro would return many years later to portray the Character of DJ in Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.

Sam Witwer as many Fans will know has voiced the Character of Maul for many years now in both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars: Rebels (He also voiced the Character of Starkiller in the Force Unleashed Games too) Recently in an interview with Witwer recited how the collaborated process to bring Maul back was done:

“Ray and I have known each other for a while. In fact, we’ve been bumping into each other for years, not just at Cons but at restaurants and airports, constantly just, ‘Oh, hey, Ray.’ It’s very, very funny. We started talking. Ray had already seen all the animated stuff, but he wanted to know, he’s like, ‘What do you feel are the key points that I should check out again?’ He wanted to just really get on the same page with that stuff. I wanted to get on the same page. We talked, we collaborated.”

– Sam Witwer

As far as the process of two Actors both contributing to creating the one Character, each Actor worked off of the other to seamlessly blend their performances to create the Character of Maul.

“I recorded my dialogue, then Ray shot it lip-syncing the dialogue, and then I recorded again to accommodate what Ray did that was, say, different than what I did because, frankly, I think that [director] Ron Howard and them were absolutely right,” the actor detailed. “The way to bring this character to life on the screen is to have both me and Ray have our input and our ability just to have our chance to do what we think should be done.”

– Sam Witwer

Image result for sam witwer darth maul

While Sam has became what many Fans would call the “Voice of Darth Maul” (similar to how Mark Hamil IS the Voice of the Joker) he went on to express how much of an influence Ray had on the Character since his appearance since The Phantom Menace:

“I will tell you, I was so pleased when I saw what Ray did because it was like, ‘Oh, he’s incorporating the hell out of what we’ve done in the last eight years with Darth Maul,’ because the Phantom Menace Maul, very stoic. He is the disciple. He is the student. He is a soldier for the Dark Side. Now years hence, he’s not quite that guy anymore. He’s got a little bit of a sense of humor. He’s in charge. He’s got charisma, a different kind of charisma than he had in, say, Phantom Menace. It was so wonderful to see Ray do in live action what I had been seeing the animators do with Maul for years. That was a thrill to see Ray really incorporate that.”

– Sam Witwer

Now that Solo: A Star Wars Story has been released on Digital, 4K-HD, Blu-Ray and DVD, Fans have now started to ask for another addition to the Solo Stories. Though Solo writer Joe Kasdan has said he’s not “holding his breath” for another one, though would very much like too. Maybe if (and that’s a big if) if Solo: A Star Wars Story were to do well on home video, maybe LucasFilm will continue the Solo Stories. As Maul’s cameo hinted that there was more to tell. What’s he got planned with Crimson Dawn? How’d he go from the head of a criminal empire to a hermit on Malachor? (As seen in Season 2 of Star Wars Rebels) I’d also like to address that Maul knew of Vader and that he wasn’t a match for him. Which could possible mean a confrontation between the two. Could you imagine that?

Well we’ll just have to wait and see. But odd aren’t quite in our favour. (Though that’s how Han usually like it)

Connor Heggie