Last week, we were treated with the very first trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi which got a lot of fans excited as they'll get to see Ewan McGregor's return in the titular role and the first live-action appearance of the Inquisitors. As we all know, the series will also feature the return of Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader. However, as it turns out, that wasn't originally supposed to be the case.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Obi-Wan Kenobi was originally going to feature an appearance of Darth Maul, with Ray Park set to return in the role and was in active prep prior to production. However, the scenes were scrapped due to creative overhaul, and other antagonists such as Darth Vader were added to the script instead.
In the original version, which was written by Hossein Amini, the series was supposed to focus on Kenobi coming out of hiding to protect a child-aged Luke Skywalker. Maul was one of the villains who would be hunting for the pair and Vader wasn't going to show up at all. However, when director Deborah Chow showed the scripts to Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni, the pair was concerned about its similarities to The Mandalorian and suggested Chow that the show should go "bigger." When Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy heard the concern, she paused the project before hiring Joby Harold as the new writer.
In addition, the series has also already cast an actor who will play young Luke Skywalker, but no scenes with him were shot. There was also conflicting information on whether Park actually went to set to pre-production and stunt training or shot some test footage. In the end, Maul was entirely cut from the story. It was also reported that it was Filoni's suggestion to bring back Vader and introduce the Inquisitors. However, when the outlet asked Lucasfilm to confirm the information, the studio denied it and said that Maul was never intended to bring back to the series.
It is an interesting piece of information that also gave us a context on the behind-the-scenes drama of Obi-Wan Kenobi prior to Harold's take over. We did hear before that Lucasfilm scrapped the original scripts although there was no information back then about the reason behind the creative overhaul. While it is unfortunate that Maul will not be part of the series, we did get to see the much-awaited fight between Maul and Kenobi in Rebels. Also, based on the trailer, the Inquisitors might be the best direction for the series rather than bringing back Maul.
We've also been hearing a lot of behind-the-scenes drama in other Star Wars projects so it's not surprising that Obi-Wan Kenobi had a similar situation as well before they moved forward with the story that they want to tell. Right now, we can't judge if this new direction is better since we haven't seen the series. All we can do for now is wait and assess the series based on what it is. Despite the creative overhaul, it is still exciting to see the return of McGregor and some of the elements in the prequel trilogy.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is set to premiere on May 25 on Disney+.