Star Wars Rebels has never been afraid to pull from the vastness of the Star Wars universe. That includes classic characters, Clone Wars characters, and even the old Expanded Universe. Just about anyone can show up. A surprise addition, one that has paid off for a while, is the inclusion of Darth Maul. Maul was “reborn” in The Clone Wars, then he had a big impact on Rebels. However, it wasn’t supposed to be as big an impact as it appeared. Apparently, he was supposed to die rather quickly after he returned to the show. This comes from Rebels Executive Producer Dave Filoni, who states to io9:
“Originally, Maul perished in the season two finale where he returned. It was a one-off appearance. So originally in that episode you were gonna get Vader fighting Maul, Vader would have killed Maul, and then fought Ahsoka.”
So, why did Filoni and the writers opt to keep Maul alive? “It just became unwieldy,” he said. “It’s more of a fan fiction fun thought that they fought. The emotional drama was really between Vader and Ahsoka. So we decided to let Maul live.”
But of course, he will be back, and this time he’s getting a rematch with Obi-Wan Kenobi. “You always felt Obi-Wan had this great track record of taking out a Sith Lord in the past,” Filoni said. “We wondered, [by bringing back Maul], did we rob him of what he was able to accomplish?”
Star Wars Rebels is currently in its third season on Disney XD. The show was just picked up for a fourth season.