One thing that has excited Star Wars fans almost as much as as the next film is the return of the much-beloved animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars for a seventh season to complete Dave Filoni’s story. The series was an unfortunate casualty of Disney’s buyout of Lucasfilm and formally ended with its fifth season, though it got some amount of closure with a dozen fully produced and animated episodes being branded as The Lost Missions for a sixth season on Netflix. Its cancellation left a sting for fans, especially since Filoni was fairly open about how much more he wanted to do.
One of those things was an arc called ‘The Siege of Mandalore’, a storyline involving Ahsoka Tano, Captain Rex, Bo Kotan and Darth Maul as they fought to free Mandalore from the former Sith Lord’s rule just around the time Revenge of the Sith begins. Elements of this story have been hinted at in other Star Wars media, namely the Ahsoka novel and Star Wars Rebels, but Filoni refused to provide any more context for how the events unfolded. ‘The Siege of Mandalore’ will finally be explored in the seventh Clone Wars season and Filoni revealed some huge news regarding it.
During the Star Wars Celebration panel for The Clone Wars, Filoni spoke about the improvements to the animation his team have been able to accomplish, particularly with the anticipated lightsaber battle between Maul and Ahsoka. In order to really showcase the epicness of this upcoming fight, Filoni actually brought in Darth Maul actor Ray Park and placed him in a motion-capture suit to animate over within the episode.
“I’m trying to find ways to make this show better, to give you guys more than you’ve ever had before, and so one of the things I thought would be great is as much as the Obi-Wan vs. Maul fight was brief [in Rebels], I wanted this fight to be big. I wanted this to be an epic lightsaber fight. We haven’t done too many of those in Clone Wars over the years so this one had to be among the best, if not the best we did. The best way to have a great lightsaber fight is go talk to somebody who has done lightsaber fighting. I know Ray Park from over the years and I said ‘Ray, wouldn’t it be great if, now that I’ve done more live action stuff, why don’t we just suit you up in a mo-cap suit and have you be Darth Maul again?’ So when you see Maul fighting it’s gonna be really Maul fighting.'”
Park reprised the role in a cameo for last year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story, along with Sam Witwer returning as Maul’s voice. It sounds though like fans have quite an exciting fight to look forward to with Park back in a much more physical capacity for Maul. Continuing on his praise of his animation team, Filoni said “My animation lead and I were watching it and as well as they have done everything in the past when Maul has done lightsaber fighting, there’s just something unique about the way Ray moves. It’s a skill, it’s an art and it’s truly him. I was just thrilled we could bring that and have Sam, the body and the voice, together again. It was a great moment watching him perform it.”
Are you excited to see Ray Park back as Maul and the mixture of The Clone Wars‘ animation with Park’s motion-capture? Let us know below…