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Darth Maul In ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Originally Killed Major Character

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Darth Maul In ‘Star Wars Rebels’ Originally Killed Major Character

According to Freddie Prinze Jr., Star Wars Rebels would have seen the demise of Kanan Jarrus much earlier in the story of the show, and he would have died at the hands of Darth Maul.

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A controversial choice, right? In the interview with Collider, the actor reflected on his time working with Lucasfilm Animation on Star Wars Rebels, and how thrilled he was to be a part of that universe. "Getting to be a Jedi, the first moment is the best moment," he told them, and revealed how he'd been hoodwinked by the project's code name until he started a chance conversation with an anonymous actor in the car park. "He went, 'Oh, you're here for Star Wars?' I was like, 'No, man, I'm here for something called Wolf Pack.' He goes, 'No, man, it's Star Wars.'" That realisation might have been the key to Prinze Jr's success in the casting call, and he explained: "I was looking at the role way different. I knew what they wanted. It was like Han Solo with a lightsaber."

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He continued to say that Trials of the Darksaber, the fifteenth episode of the third season, was his favourite part of the project, but it was Twilight of the Apprentice that sparked some serious discussion between writer Dave Filoni and the higher-ups on Star Wars Rebels. "Dave and I talked about me dying at Maul's hand, at the end of Season 2," revealed the actor. "But then the same people who didn't want me for the project suddenly said, 'No, he can't die. He has to be in every episode.'" If that U-turn hadn't happened, we might have been witnessed a very different arc for the young Ezra Bridger.

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As Ezra's mentor, Kanan was tasked with teaching the boy how to wield and control his powers as well as the doctrines of the light side of the force. It was a huge responsibility for Kanan who was a Padawan, but his realisation that he would guide Ezra's growth and not stifle it led to his knighting by the Sentinel. Losing Kanan on Malachor would have almost certainly facilitated Ezra's conversion to the dark side, as Maul wanted his powers for his own goals. However, Maul blinded Kanan rather than killed him here, creating a new challenge for the character and changing his ways into a balanced and wise Jedi.

Darth Maul and Ezra Bridger in Star Wars Rebels / Credit: Lucasfilm Animation
Darth Maul and Ezra Bridger in Star Wars Rebels / Credit: Lucasfilm Animation

'The death, which everyone gives me the most credit for, has nothing to do with me," said Prinze Jr. on the scene. "There's no dialogue there. That's all Dave, the animators, music and people more talented than me that made you think it was me." Kanan's sacrifice on Lothal City allowed the Rebels to escape and continue their fight, and in a beautiful moment, his sight was momentarily restored, letting him see his love Hera Syndulla before dying and becoming one with the force. As the upcoming Ahsoka TV show takes place after Ezra and Thrawn go missing, we will likely see the character's legacy and the impact of his loss on a new stage.

Featured Image Credit: Lucasfilm Animation

Topics: News, TV

Imogen Donovan
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