Darth Vader’s return in ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ reportedly Dave Filoni’s idea

Fans will already know by now that the biggest baddie in the galaxy will be back in the Disney Plus series, Obi-Wan Kenobi. But according to recent reports, that wasn’t always set to be the case, with a very different villain originally set to be the antagonist to our robed Jedi.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was originally planned that Darth Maul would be the primary bad guy in the series, with original actor Ray Park even said to have been present on set. Following a complete script overhaul, however, Park’s role was written out of the project, with Hayden Christensen ultimately coming on board to fill the role of villain as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader.

Purportedly, Lucasfilm was not happy with the script that featured Darth Maul, and when shown to writers Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau, they said it had too many elements similar to their hit show The Mandalorian. This caused a halt in production back in 2020 and Joby Harold was eventually hired to write a new version, with Filoni and Favreau telling director Deborah Chow to “go bigger.”

Well, within the Star Wars universe you can’t really get much bigger than Darth Vader himself, with THR‘s sources saying that bringing back the Sith Lord was Filoni’s idea. Ewan McGregor’s Kenobi will face off against his student-turned-enemy played by Christensen, marking the two actors’ first on-screen appearance together since 2005’s Revenge of the Sith. Alongside Vader, we will have the Grand Inquisitor (Rupert Friend), from Filoni’s animated series Star Wars Rebels, and newcomer Imperial Inquisitor Reva (Moses Ingram), hunting down any Jedi who survived The Great Jedi Purge.

Obi-Wan Kenobi is scheduled to be released May 25, 2022, exclusively on Disney Plus.