The Phantom Menace

Darth Maul voice actor hints he could return for Star Wars: The Bad Batch

It wouldn't be a Star Wars animated series without this Phantom Menace...

With the final season of the much-beloved animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars recently wrapping up on Disney+, fans are clamoring for more Star Wars animation. Luckily, Lucasfilm recently announced a new spinoff series from The Clone Wars. The Bad Batch will follow the group of "faulty" clones from the first arc of Clone Wars' final season, but not much else is known about the show. However, one voice actor may have revealed the return of Darth Maul himself.

While streaming himself playing Thief 2 on Twitch, voice actor Sam Witwer spoke of The Bad Batch, calling it "absolutely beautiful." He then started describing the story of the first few episodes, saying he's "very pleased because that's an area of Star Wars that isn't often visited." He quickly kept mum after that, but there's plenty to go on from just these few words alone.

Darth Maul on Mandalore in 'Star Wars: The Clone Wars'Lucasfilm

Witwer's villainous voice talent is all over the Star Wars auxiliary media, from playing the Son in The Clone Wars' creepy Mortis arc to the tempting voice of the Dark Side in the kids' game show Star Wars: Jedi Temple Challenge. He's best known, though, for bringing the presumed dead Zabrak Sith Apprentice Darth Maul to the small screen, providing the voice throughout his appearances in The Clone Wars and into Star Wars: Rebels.

Considering The Bad Batch follows the events directly following Order 66, Darth Maul would be the most obvious answer to which role Witwer would reprise since he survived the finale and later turns up in Rebels. However, that leads to more questions. Namely: What did Darth Maul do post-Order 66? We know from his appearances in Rebels he eventually turns his back on the formal Dark Side, but it's unknown how exactly he got to that point.

Maul in 'Star Wars: Rebels'Lucasfilm

Perhaps the future of The Bad Batch will not pose Maul as the villainous figure he's always known to be, but will actually show an internal struggle as he tries to cope with Palpatine's reign while knowing he can't do much to change the course of events by himself. It would be quite the change for a character like his to show so much emotional depth and nuance, but Star Wars has always told surprisingly cinematic and heart-touching stories throughout its animated series.

The Inverse Analysis — Sam Witwer's return doesn't guarantee Maul will pose the same scheming mastermind we've seen so far in Star Wars canon. We know where his story takes him in Rebels, so this series could be an interesting way to show his path in realizing how he was deceived by his master and how he, like Ahsoka before him, could reject his Order entirely and seek his own ways of using the Force.