Lucasfilm has made no secret of the fact that the big villain of the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+ is Darth Vader. But apparently he was a later addition to the process of developing the show. Initially, Obi-Wan had a different structure and a different villain — Obi-Wan’s old prequel nemesis, Darth Maul.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Maul was removed and replaced by Vader during the period when Lucasfilm decided to replace the show’s original writer, Hossein Amini, with Joby Harold. It was Amini who wanted Maul on the show...

Sources note that Filoni and Favreau were concerned about Obi-Wan covering similar ground as Mandalorian — the Lone Wolf and Cub-like story of Kenobi coming out of hiding to protect a child-aged Luke Skywalker. Maul was one of the villains who would participate in the hunt for the pair; Vader was nowhere to be found in this faraway galaxy at this stage, according to those with knowledge of the project. Also, Filoni and Favreau pushed Chow and the show to “go bigger,” according to several sources.

Eventually, Lucasfilm decided they wanted to take the show in a different direction, and subbed Amini for Harold. (Although THR also quotes an unnamed Lucasfilm source who said “Maul was never intended to return for the series.”)

Darth Maul made sense for a show set between the prequels and the original Star Wars trilogy, at least since we now know from Solo: A Star Wars Story and various Star Wars cartoon series that he survived his apparent death in The Phantom Menace. But then Vader makes sense too, and he and Obi-Wan have a much longer and more tragic relationship to build off of in the series. Still, you can bet fans are going to be wondering what the original version of Obi-Wan was going to look like for years to come.

Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney+ on May 25. The series will run for six episodes.

Sign up for Disney+ here.

Obi-Wan Kenobi Images