George Lucas Wanted To Ruin The Best Star Wars Villains
George Lucas originally wanted General Grevious to be Darth Maul in disguise.
Legendary filmmaker, George Lucas originally wanted General Grievous to be Darth Maul in disguise. The shelved idea was shared by Star Wars writer Henry Gilroy who said the director thought about revealing the Sith Lord behind the armor plate, “It made sense,” he told Slash Film. “He’s cut in half, and he’s in this robot body or whatever.”
The idea, according to George Lucas, was to have Darth Maul in a droid shell as an echo of what Anakin was going to become. While the concept is interesting, Gilroy says he’s glad that Grievous is his own thing. The Separatist General is an organic being, although most of his body is cybernetic. He became a lightsaber expert after studying with Count Dooku.
He is ultimately killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, with George Lucas reviving Darth Maul in a different story. General Grievous was given his own back story in the 2005 comic book “The Eyes of Revolution” from Star Wars: Visionaries. He was originally Qymaen jai Sheelal, an organic reptilian humanoid native from the planet Kalee.
In the story, the people of Kalee were at war with the Huk species and Sheelal was considered a demigod for his victories during battle. But when Ronderu lij Kummar, a warrior he fell in love with, was killed during a mission, Sheelal rechristened himself as General Grievous. The tale was created by the team who worked on Revenge of the Sith when George Lucas wanted to revive Darth Maul.
General Grievous also appeared in the 2003 animated television series, Star Wars: Clone Wars. The character made his first-ever appearance in the season two finale of the show. He leads the Separatist droid armies on Hypori as they surround a group of Jedi, but easily defeats and kills most of them, keeping their lightsabers as trophies.
Meanwhile, George Lucas did eventually bring back Darth Maul in the 2008 The Clone Wars series. After surviving the brutal battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi, the villain was fitted with robotic legs to continue his quest for revenge. But he was defeated by his arch-nemesis once again in Star Wars Rebels which many feels was the best way for the character to be written out for good.
Interestingly, George Lucas had planned for Darth Maul to serve as the main antagonist of the sequel film trilogy. But these plans were scrapped after Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. Still, the character reappeared a few times in the Star Wars franchise, including the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story, voiced by Sam Witwer.
When Disney announced the Obi-Wan Kenobi series, despite George Lucas not being involved, there were rumors that Darth Maul would return as the villain. Instead, fans got to see Darth Vader clash with Kenobi, cementing his journey to the Dark Side. The original plans for the series did include the return of Maul. But they were abandoned in favor of an epic rematch between the Jedi Master and his former student.