No matter how you feel about the Star Wars prequels, they definitely featured some memorable villains. As well as becoming better acquainted with Darth Sidious, a.k.a. Emperor Palpatine, we spent time with the likes of Darth Maul, Count Dooku, General Grievous, and eventually, Darth Vader.
In General Grievous' case, he was actually first introduced in 2003's Star Wars: Clone Wars, a precursor to The Clone Wars animated movie and TV show. Despite being a visually striking baddie, he was undeniably odd, portrayed as an unknown organic creature housed within a robotic body. He was also a skilled lightsaber expert despite being neither a Sith nor Jedi.
George Lucas has previously argued that he was meant to serve as "an echo of what Anakin is going to become," but we're pretty sure Grievous was only there to look cool in some eye-catching fight scenes. Either way, there was a time when a very different backstory was considered for one of Revenge of the Sith's big bads.
Talking to /Film (via SFFGazette.com) about his work as a writer on The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Henry Gilroy revealed that there was a time when Lucas wanted Grievous to secretly be Darth Maul!
"George was considering that Grievous was Maul behind the armor plate. It made sense. He's cut in half, and he's in this robot body or whatever," the writer explains. "I'm glad that Grievous is his own thing anyway, but I thought it was interesting that the concept guys almost talked George into that."
This would have been a fun surprise, and arguably a better way to justify the raspy baddie's presence in Revenge of the Sith. Ultimately killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Grievous played a much larger role in The Clone Wars TV series, but never really receive a particularly compelling backstory.
For Maul's sake, though, it's probably for the best this didn't happen. After all, he was later revealed to be alive and ended up becoming one of the Star Wars franchise's best characters in his own right along the way after what was only really a relatively minor role in The Phantom Menace.
How would you have felt about this General Grievous twist?