The Dark History Of Darth Maul
The Tragic Life Of A Mysterious Figure
CONTENT WARNING: ABUSE
Maul is arguably one of the most recognizable Star Wars characters, if not for the unique character design then the stunning, dramatic entrance in The Phantom Menace. Many fans are unaware of his whole past, especially what happened prior to his reappearance in Rebels. Maul is a pretty complex character. He was extremely important to the Star Wars story and continued to make an impact even after losing his Sith status.
His story began with the Nightsisters, a clan of dark magick-wielders who resided on Dathomir. Maul was born to the leader of these women, Mother Talzin. He had a relatively positive childhood along with his two brothers, but it didn't last long. His mother was an ally to Darth Sidious, and Maul’s struggles with anger caught Sidious’s attention. The Sith Lord saw the potential in Maul to be something powerful, so he forced Mother Talzin to hand the child over. Things got extremely grim from here.
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Maul became the subject of Sidious’s tests, thrown into a pit and faced with endless abuse. He was beaten daily and starved frequently in an effort to increase the initial anger he held, and it worked. Maul’s anger and hate grew, and Sidious got his powerful servant.
A Sith’s training was not a happy one. It was rough, violent, and designed to brew hate. He was trained to be a relentless unyielding force and a master of acrobatic fighting styles. The training he went through helped to foster Maul’s desire for revenge against the Jedi. However, his motivations extended further. The Jedi came for Force-sensitive children, like saviors in the galaxy. They never came for Maul, though, and in his eyes they allowed him to go through the abuse.
Maul was restless to exact his revenge, risking his reveal in many situations. Sidious put a halt to these behaviors, threatening death should he continue. Knowing he should satiate his apprentice’s appetite for violence before something got out of hand, Sidious sent Maul to deal with some pirates interfering with the Trade Federation. He handled the situation, killing anyone who may have caught on to the Sith’s identity. Maul then returned to his master for more training and murder.
Finally, Maul became a true instrument in his Master’s plan for galactic domination. He was dispatched to find the Queen of Naboo after she, along with two Jedi, escaped the Trade Federation’s clutch. He let himself fall further into the acidic emotions of the Sith. Maul waited for the Jedi to come to him, dueling both at once and dominating the flow. In this fight, Maul was successful in killing Qui-Gon Jinn, but he was cut in half by Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi.
One would think being cut in half would be the end, but that was not the case. He used the Force to grab onto a handhold and managed to tumble into a garbage chute, surviving because of his Zabrak species, family line, and Sith powers. His sanity was leaving him, however, and this course of events cemented his hatred towards Obi-Wan, a drive that would come into play later.
Now in exile on Lotho Minor, Maul pulled the energy to make a set of spider-like metal legs for moving. His brother, Savage Opress, came to find him and bring him home to Dathomir. Opress brought him to their mother in an effort to restore his mind. His mind was repaired and his spider legs were replaced with a pair of cybernetic ones. His desire for revenge was ever-present.
Over time, Maul and his brother wrought havoc in the galaxy. Maul and Kenobi’s paths would cross on two separate occasions. In the first duel, Kenobi backed out in order to prevent anger and negative emotions from overtaking him. The second duel left Opress without an arm, forcing the brothers to flee.
Nearly dead and floating through space aimlessly, the brothers were found by the Pre Vizla's Mandalorian splinter group Death Watch. While in the Death Watch’s custody, Maul discovered the Death Watch also shared similar hate and desire for vengeance toward Kenobi. Maul would ally himself with the exiled Mandalorians, and built the Shadow Collective, which would become a powerful crime syndicate.
The group planned to overthrow the Mandalorian government. Things went according to Maul’s plan, down to the predicted betrayal by the Death Watch. It did not take the brothers long to force submission from half of Death Watch and take control of the planet, though.
During the conflict, Maul recognized that he could use the pacifist Mandalorian leader Duchess Kryze as bait for Kenobi. The plan worked. Maul killed the Kryze in front of Kenobi with the Darksaber, leaving the Jedi to stew. Maul lost his hold on Kenobi once again, though. Not long after Kenobi's escape, Sidious killed Opress, leaving Maul stricken with grief. Maul fought back aggressively but succumbed to the power of his former master.
After the Separatists brought war to the planet and overpowered the forces of Mandalore, Maul reached out to his mother. The wise and powerful Mother Talzin had predicted that Sidious wished for her death. She ordered Maul to basically be her puppet, gathering forces to fight the Separatists and to set a trap for Dooku and Grievous. It did not go according to plan, however, and Maul watched his mother die by Grievous’s hand.
His crew fled back to Mandalore, where Maul resumed his rule. An attempted coup led to a duel between Maul and Ahsoka. He was forced to flee for a time but quickly returned to once again confront Ahsoka.
Maul eventually lost the duel and was captured by the Jedi. However, Order 66 was enacted, and he escaped in the chaos. With the arrival of the Empire, Maul became a target of the Inquisitors. He always managed to evade them, however, and earned the nickname “The Shadow.” Maul absorbed himself in the hate and desire for revenge against both Sidious and Obi-Wan. He then returned to Dathomir to learn more about his birth culture.
In order to gain power, Maul went in search of the Sith Holocron, leading him to the Sith temple on Malachor. He could not enter it nor could he leave as his ship was wrecked. After years of being stranded, the Rebels characters Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus, as well as Ahsoka Tano arrived on the planet. Maul told Ezra half-truths in order to gain his trust and assistance. He also saw the potential in the boy to become his apprentice.
The others were reluctant to trust Maul, but they ended up without much of a choice. Vader would arrive at Malachor soon. Maul eventually betrayed the Jedi, revealing his true motives. The tide turned against his favor and Maul was forced to flee. He later concocted a new plan to combine Kanan's Jedi Holocron with his Sith one. While he could not open it himself, he knew Ezra could. They combined the holocrons, and Maul saw fractured proof that Obi-Wan was alive.
Maul eventually took Ezra to Dathomir, where the remaining magick of the Nightsisters helped repair the fractured visions. They were shown the location of Obi-Wan and that he held the key to destroying the Sith. Maul made his way to Tatooine alone and quickly got lost among the dunes. Once again, he manipulated Ezra to lure out Obi-Wan. It worked, and the final battle between the old enemies commenced.
The battle was filled with callbacks to the past. Obi-Wan assumed the stance his former master favored and Maul attempted the fatal blow that ended Qui-Gon Jinn many years prior. Obi-Wan saw it coming though and changed positions. He dealt Maul a fatal blow to his chest. Maul questioned Obi-Wan about the boy from many years ago, learning he was the true Chosen One. He knew that the Empire would eventually be destroyed and at least some of his pain would be avenged. After a long painful life, Maul finally found his peace.
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Written By Ayden Hassertt
Syndicated From Culture Slate
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