George Lucas’ original plans for the sequel trilogy are entirely different from what Disney provided to fans. Placing the spotlight on Darth Maul would have effectively changed the direction of the narrative of the Skywalker Saga, and this would have eventually led to a face-off between the Sith Lord and Luke Skywalker down the line.
Reddit user bothanspy89 unearthed evidence from the latest book, Star Wars Archives: Episodes I-III The Prequel, that George Lucas originally intended to use Darth Maul as the main villain of the recently-concluded sequel trilogy. Lucas revealed that Maul “eventually becomes the godfather of crime” in his own version of the sequel trilogy:
Darth Maul trained a girl, Darth Talon, who was in the comic books as his apprentice. She was the new Darth Vader, and most of the action was with her. So these were the two main villains of the trilogy. Maul eventually becomes the godfather of crime in the universe because, as the Empire falls, he takes over.
Lucas then went into detail on how his sequel trilogy will further expand the roles of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa, describing the latter’s role as the one who tries to “build the Republic” from the ground up and defend it against gangsters
The movies are about how Leia- I mean, who else is going to be the leader?- is trying to build the Republic. They still have the apparatus of the Republic but they have to get it under control from the gangsters. That was the main story. It starts out a few years after Return of the Jedi and we establish pretty quickly that there’s this underworld, there are these offshoot stormtroopers who started their own planets, and that Luke is trying to restart the Jedi.
On the other hand, Lucas shared that Luke eventually “rebuilt much of the Jedi” from scratch, setting the stage for a new generation to take over.
He puts the word out, so out of 100,000 Jedi, maybe 50 or 100 are left. The Jedi have to grow again from scratch, so Luke has to find two and three-year-olds, and train them. It’ll be 20 years before you have a new generation of Jedi. By the end of the trilogy, Luke would have rebuilt much of the Jedi, and we would have the renewal of the New Republic, with Leia, Senator Organa, becoming the Supreme Chancellor in charge of everything. So she ended up being the chosen one.