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John Ary From Austin Comic Con 2012: Ray Park!!


John Ary here with another Q&A from last weekend's Austin Comic Con.  
Today Ray Park recalls his time working with George Lucas on Star Wars: Episode 1.  He reveals for the first time ever how the character of Darth Maul was supposed to die before Lucas reworked the scene due to its intense action.
Also Park explains how videogames and action figures influence his fight choreography, which different melee weapons they toyed around with before settling on the double blade lightsaber, and he shows off for the crowd when he borrows the bow staff from a Gambit cosplayer in the audience.


I filmed several other Q&A discussions during the con that I'll be uploading throughout the week.  For more video news, reviews and interviews subscribe to the AICN Youtube channel and follow me on Twitter.






Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 31, 2012, 10:05 a.m. CST

    Darth Maul was a great character...

    by gerry derboven

    ahhh. how i wish that somehow we could get more Star Wars. Wouldn't it be great if Lucas would other people take over the franchise. ah, but to dream...

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST


    by vettebro

    Lucas was so narrow minded that he didn't realize that he had a great Sith character. He should not have killed him off so fast. Dumb move. Darth Maul is the only thing worth watching in the Ep. 1.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 10:14 a.m. CST


    by vettebro

    Lucas was so narrow minded that he didn't realize that he had a great Sith character. He should not have killed him off so fast. Dumb move. Darth Maul is the only thing worth watching in the Ep. 1.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 10:56 a.m. CST

    Lucas ...the screen writing genius...

    by Paratrooper_Activity

    creates one of the most visually stunning villians in movie history ....and then kills him after 3 minutes of screen time. FUCK.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 11:18 a.m. CST

    What a great guy!

    by Cracklite

    So damn congenial and warm, sure he's no Lawrence Olivier, but he made Darth Maul immortal and clearly is the best thing about that otherwise shitty movie. Bravo Mr Park!

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 11:19 a.m. CST

    What a great guy!

    by Cracklite

    So damn congenial and warm, sure he's no Lawrence Olivier, but he made Darth Maul immortal and clearly is the best thing about that otherwise shitty movie. Bravo Mr Park!

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Great guy!!! A lot of convetion guest could learn from him!

    by trooperprop

    Did meet him just after sleepy hollow in the netherlands at a very small convention. He is the most friendly guest I ever seen. He had time for everyone and you could see he actually enjoined it. He also did some unplanned lightsabre action.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Met him at Celebration III

    by Logan_1973

    Good guy.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 12:08 p.m. CST

    A New Hope?

    by J

    I admit, the announcement that Disney is now officially master of the Star Wars Universe was a ground-shaking moment. Nerds across the globe spontaneously burst forth in dance and shouts of “YubYub!!” like the hairy, chubby little Ewok SOBs we are. The mantra of ‘Hail! Hail! The Wicked George is….well…not dead…..but….gone?’ continues to ring forth throughout the web and traditional media. It is almost as if we collectively believe that our years of mounting heartbreak and disillusionment with how the franchise was being run into the ground by it’s father/creator reared up like so much force lightning to lay him low, leaving nothing but a feeble, crusty-old white man. (Truly, what IS a Nubian?) Still, although the Honeymoon period of this newly revealed relationship has only begun and we are all vicariously spending our days amongst the tangled sheets and sweaty bodies of the emerging four billion dollar negotiations, it is only a matter of time until reality firmly insinuates itself into this little loveorgy and starts leaving the proverbial bathroom door open. Face it, we are all going to have to take a long hard look at this pairing, no doubt soon to be blessed with some soul-numbing E! News amalganame like ‘DisCas’ or ‘LucNey’, and individually ask ourselves “Is this relationship really going to be good for me?” Personally, my answer is yes, I believe it could be. I do want to make one thing clear though….I am not a hater of George. In fact, I have the utmost respect and understanding for the guy. I know what it’s like. George is like any father. He had a great time at conception. He was floored by the emotional impact of delivery. Doted on it during its infancy. Spent time he didn’t really have holding it in his lap, reading to it and tucking it in with a heartfelt kiss to the forehead during the toddler years. Was proud when he realized that others actually liked it and told him how cute it was and how it would one day grow up to be something incredible. How, being a father actually made him more popular with the women. Then, a sequel. More to love and be proud of. More to show off his virility. A little less time to spend, but he makes the effort and it shows. Although he would never admit it out loud, the second one is his favorite. But, still, it’s getting tough balancing everything. He tries to make time to take them out, push them on the swing and show just how great they are compared to the neighbor’s kids. Then, number three comes along and things begin to slip. There is the money to take care of. Work is really starting to overwhelm and, no matter how much he branches out, he insists on trying to take care of everything himself. He realizes that outside forces have taken over raising his little ones, who aren’t so little any more. His own influence is rapidly slipping away and, even though it is obvious that this may not be a bad thing, he puts his foot down and tries to regain control. He pulls them to his chest, makes what he considers necessary ‘advancements’ and ‘improvements’ that were not available when they took their first steps, and turns them back out into the world for all to see. He is crushed when Child Protective Services shows up at his door and informs him that, if he doesn’t watch his ass, they will be taken away from him for their own good. He thinks long and hard about it and decides to put his efforts into starting a new family. He brings forth into the world a fresh new baby. One with a cherub’s face, but all too obvious dark ties to its older siblings. To compensate, he insists on having it wear that demented pink bunny costume with the floppy ears, just to try and please everyone. It doesn’t work. He tries again. This time, he makes sure to add a little sugar and spice and delivers his first female offspring, full of gooey love and romps through tall grass amongst giant ticks. She is received a little more favorably, but he realizes that dealing with a daughter’s particular needs is much more tricky and decides to rush out another newborn. One that will hopefully make up for any questions as to his masculinity. A desire that, as it often does, leads to unnecessary overcompensation. His newest gift to the world turns out to be a full-blown bully replete with deep-rooted self esteem issues and a lack of willpower leading to self-abuse, rebellious behavior, falling in with the wrong crowd and culminating in unwarranted violence and unrequited love. He realizes his mistake too late and is left to face the fact that, although his intentions may have always been pure and his actions based on love, he still wound up with a brood of thoroughly fucked-up children. Children that we all, as a society, must now contend with. Love ‘em too much, or Love ‘em not enough, Dote on ‘em or flat out Ignore ‘em, they’re still gonna wind up broken. That’s just the way it is. To me, George did the only honorable thing he could do at this point. He admitted that he could not do anything more for them, much as he loves them all, and he turned the task of recovery and further positive growth over to the one person who has both the means and the desire to do what is best in everyone’s interest – Uncle Walt. Sure, there are those pesky, yet persistent rumors that The W was possibly a Nazi and that the only way he really liked children was crispy and with a side of bleu cheese dressing. But that is the past, and surely has no bearing on the heritage he left behind. Of course, the point could well be made that Disney has become the Walmart of the entertainment world. It may even be fair to say that any further decisions for George’s beloved family will be made based much more on the proposition of how much money can be made than on one man’s personal desire to create an upstanding and productive citizen, but is there really any difference between the two? When, exactly, are we forced to admit that, through all of the love and all of the heartache and all of the effort we put into raising our children, it is with an understanding that they will, in turn, provide for us when we are old and drooling with arthritic hands and a load of crap in our pants? This is simply how the world turns. And I believe that Disney, who has already had many years of close collaboration with GL and his many offspring, will do right by us all. They may do it for different reasons, but I am confident that, in the end, a new light will be shone upon this particular universe. One that will confidently show us the wonders yet to be seen and rekindle the brightness the world first perceived on that fine spring day, a long time ago (in 1977).

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 12:15 p.m. CST

    Just sayin'

    by J

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Ray Park is such an awesome guy, I almost forgot how sexy smooth Ary's voice is

    by Talkbacker with no name

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 2:30 p.m. CST

    Everyone I've ever heard that's met him says he's totally cool.

    by Playkins

    Props, he's obviously a great person.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 3:49 p.m. CST

    it's a BO staff bro

    by sith_rising

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 4:44 p.m. CST

    Ray Park single-handedly brought the kickass to Epi-1

    by Darth Macchio

    They should have used his real voice. He has the accent that means "bad guy" in Star Wars land (British) and they ended up voicing him as somewhat "normal", almost soft-spoken, not all gravel-voiced. But yet they did overdub his voice. Park was perfect as Maul. An excellent villain completely out of place in a rather crappy movie. The look he gives Obiwan as they're waiting for the energy fields to drop is perfect...pacing back and forth... Honestly, Lucas owes a lot to Park for making Phantom Menace so much better than it would have been without him.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 5:19 p.m. CST

    Loved Park as Maul

    by smudgewhat

    I honestly don't remember him speaking in Ep. 1 (only say it once) but I liked his near silence. It made him so much more menacing that he had no need for language. He's just a cold killer.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 5:34 p.m. CST


    by John Ary

    You win the No Prize for the day. Good catch.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Just watched the Obi-Wan/Maul fight on youtube and...

    by murray_hamilton

    I have to say, the CG looks really bad. I haven't watched the prequels in years and they definitely have not aged well. There is something to be said for building actual sets; it just looks better.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    The final fight scene in Episode 1 made me cry

    by Nathan Gullian

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 10:29 p.m. CST

    Ray Park makes a great Snake Eyes too!

    by Pablo

    He is one of the few redeeming features about Star Wars:Episode 1 and the last GI Joe movie.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 11:21 p.m. CST

    I've met Ray twice at DragonCon

    by VAwitch

    at room parties (along w/ a few BSG actors). Both times, he was gracious at the geeks, and very friendly. At the time, he'd done Darth, Hallow & Toad - and loved to talk about all of them, as well as Mortal Kombat. I have to lol at the fact he is the same height as me; very unpreposing... but you also get the feeling he knows his shit.

  • Oct. 31, 2012, 11:55 p.m. CST

    heart on sleave. what a cool guy

    by 77AD

  • Nov. 1, 2012, 12:45 a.m. CST

    Straight up jealous

    by Taragor

    Guy has played my childhood hero Snake Eyes and brought helped create my fav SW character. Loved what he did for the Headless Horseman. He is living as I would hope I would if I were in his shoes...a huge ass smile on my face

  • Nov. 1, 2012, 8:11 p.m. CST

    > Feel a sense of awe ... Brilliant.


  • Nov. 2, 2012, 7:39 a.m. CST

    Love that he's an 80s kid/geek like so many of us!

    by The PimpDragon

    Can't believe he freakin' name dropped "Boulder Hill" from M.A.S.K.! Dude gets mad props for his unbelievably kind fan service, too. I wish more celebs embraced the fun of cons to this level!