With director J.J. Abrams heading to London to start principle photography on Star Wars: Episode VII at the beginning of 2014, it’s fun to speculate about what familiar faces will pop up in the new trilogy. Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher are all rumored to reprise their iconic roles. It’s also been hinted at that the new trilogy may follow the rise of the Solo twins, Jaina and Jacen, from the expanded universe< a>. Whatever direction the story takes, Episode VII should be a fun return to that “galaxy far, far away.” One actor who is itching to come back is Ray Park. The accomplished martial artist and stuntman is very interested in reprising his role as the fan-favorite Sith Lord Darth Maul.
Recently, at Wizard World Con in New York City, Park expressed a keen excitement about donning the black Sith robe one more time. While it’s unclear if Abrams intends to bring back Darth Maul, Park is willing and eager to revisit the evil character again. “Just give me food and water, and I’m there,” he said.
The 38-year-old has ideas about a potential role, and mentioned that he’d like to return, “with something a little bit spicy,” like his iconic double-edged lightsaber. He also thinks the character should be shirtless in order to show off his Nightbrother clan tattoos.
Park said he loved his time as Darth Maul and values being part of larger Star Wars mythology. When the first trailer for The Phantom Menace was released, he teared up when he saw his character in action. I think we all shed a tear the first time we saw that red, double-ended lightsaber.
Introducing the evil Sith was one of the biggest and most memorable additions George Lucas made with The Phantom Menace. One look at that sinister red and black scowl and you know he’s not someone you want to tangle with, unless you’re a Jedi Knight. But Lucas also unceremoniously killed the character off in the film’s climax, leaving a lot of unrealized potential on the table.
Since The Phantom Menace, Maul’s popularity has grown exponentially, appearing in his own spinoff novels and comic books, including Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, Star Wars Tales 9, and Star Wars: Visionaries. In the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, writer and producer Dave Filoni, with voice actor Sam Witwer, resurrected him after being bisected by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sporting new cybernetic legs, he teamed up with his brother, the aptly named Savage Opress.
Star Wars: Episode VII will hit theaters everywhere sometime during the summer of 2015, with or without Ray Park. Until then, check out this badass lightsaber battle between Darth Maul, Savage Opress, and Darth Sidious: