Fact: Benicio Del Toro, originally set to play Darth Maul, decided against the role when George Lucas removed most of Maul’s lines.
This is a rather quick answer.
During the shooting of Phantom Menace, Benicio del Toro was hitting his peak after his role in the ‘Usual Suspects.’ When Phantom Menace came around for the Star Wars saga, Benicio jumped all over the part of Darth Maul. A few months into him accepting the part, George Lucas decided to cut most of Darth Maul’s lines in the film.
For that, Benicio walked from the role. If you have seen any of Benicio’s work, you know he is no slump for acting. He felt that he couldn’t do anything with the character.
To take his place, martial artist, stuntman, and actor Ray Park was selected for the role. Only 3 lines remained for Darth Maul’s part when filming was completed movies. It was the greatest thing to ever happen to Park who became an instant icon. Since then, Darth Maul is the most iconic character in Star Wars, plus Park made a pretty penny for his mainly mute role.