Sam Witwer began voicing Maul in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, going on to reprise the role in Star Wars Rebels and a number of other appearances of the character, leading fans to wonder when he could possibly carry that skill over into the world of live-action. That opportunity eventually arrived when he voiced the character for Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is an event he never fully believed would happen.
“Shock and disbelief,” Witwer shared with ComicBook.com of his reaction to learning he’d be voicing Maul. “I have had fans come up to me over the years and they say things like, ‘Hey, do you think Maul will ever be in a movie and you’ll voice him?’ I would just say, ‘That’s adorable. That’s so sweet. No, of course not. That’s never going to happen, but so cute that you think that that would ever happen.’ Or they’d say things like, ‘Do you think they’ll ever make The Clone Wars again?’ I’d be like, ‘Shh, you’re okay. Go to sleep.’ I would have this slightly, I hate to say it but, condescending thought of, ‘I know how the business works, and the fans don’t, but they have enthusiasm. It’s wonderful that they have this enthusiasm.'”
The character debuted in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, with Ray Park conveying the Sith’s physicality while Peter Serafinowicz created the character’s voice. While Park returned for the Solo cameo, Witwer stepped in with his vocal talents, as he has become a defining performer in the character’s legacy.
Crossing over from the animated series to a live-action appearance has seemingly called into question how the industry works, with Witwer joking that he needs to rethink many of the things he thought he knew.
“Now I’m rethinking everything because all these things that the fans have told me were going to happen have happened,” the actor joked. “I’m like, ‘Okay, maybe I don’t know how the business works. Maybe the fans do, and I need to go back to school and figure out how this all works,’ because this was never supposed to happen. Me as, what, the big bad in the Star Wars movie with Ray Park?”
Witwer went on to detail the connection he has to Park and his disbelief at the exciting opportunity.
“Ray Park was the first Star Wars celebrity I ever met before I was even an actor,” the actor admitted. “I looked at him 20 years ago like, ‘Oh my god, what would it be like to be an actor in a Star Wars movie?’ Now here, 20 years later, I’m voicing that same guy. I’m like, ‘I don’t get what’s happening. This is weird. It’s very weird.'”
Solo: A Star Wars Story is available instantly on September 14th digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD and on Movies Anywhere and on Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, and On-Demand on September 25.
While it’s unclear in what capacity Witwer could potentially be involved, Star Wars: The Clone Wars will return for a Season Seven next year on Disney’s streaming service.
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