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Star Wars: How Darth Maul voice actor prevented a major Clone Wars continuity error

How Sam Witwer caught a Star Wars: The Clone Wars continuity error in the middle of a recording session

Star Wars: The Clone Wars poster
Image credit: Lucasfilm

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Not many people know Star Wars the way that current Lucasfilm Chief Creative Officer Dave Filoni does. The legendary producer has been instrumental in bringing many Star Wars projects to life, including Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels, The Mandalorian, and countless others. Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy refers to Filoni as a “Lucas encyclopedia,” and considers him one of the company's most vital resources. In short, it would be hard to find someone who knows more about Star Wars than Dave Filoni.

That’s why the Clone Wars cast was completely shocked when Darth Maul voice actor Sam Witwer out-geeked him during his very first recording session. Not only that, but Witwer had caught a continuity error that had completely gone over Filoni’s head. Witwer shared this story at a Clone Wars anniversary panel at C2E2 in 2023.

“The first time I showed up to work with these guys I was not playing Maul,” Witwer began. “I was playing almost the prototype that would lead to Maul, which was a character called the Son of Mortis. I was super intimidated because at that point I was already a fan of the show, and I didn’t know what character I was coming in for. And then I learned, 'Oh yeah, it’s not a big deal, he’s just the Dark Side of the Force, so play that.'”

Witwer continued speaking about recording the episode, which was titled “Overlords.” In the episode Anakin Skywalker believes he’s communicating with the spirit of his late mother Shmi, but it’s actually a false vision meant to lure him to the Dark Side. According to Witwer, the original version of that scene had different dialogue. “Matt Lanter did this amazing scene with the ghost of Shmi Skywalker. He did this amazing scene of ‘I have a wife, I want you to meet her.’ And everyone is getting so emotionally involved.”

Witwer said that he raised his hand meekly when Filoni attempted to move on to the next scene. “Well, I don’t know if he would say 'I would like you to meet her' because Shmi and Padme met in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace,” Witwer recalled telling Filoni. “And Dave at that point just goes (puts head down). He knew it. He knew that. I looked over to Ashley and she said to me ‘I’ve never seen anyone out-geek Dave Filoni before.’ So, I think that’s when they decided to keep me around.”

Ahsoka Tano voice actress Ashley Eckstein backed up the story with her own. “People ask me about this. This is like the stuff of legends. Like, did Sam Witwer really out-nerd Dave Filoni?”

The line was changed, with Anakin now telling Shmi, “I have a wife. You’ve met her.” Witwer believes that the moment endeared him to Dave, and that there were no hard feelings. It goes to show you, in a galaxy as big as Star Wars, continuity errors can be hard to avoid. Even for the most skilled Jedi.

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