- "I was apprentice to the most powerful being in the galaxy once. I was destined to become… so much more."
Maul, once known as Darth Maul, was a Force-sensitive Dathomirian Zabrak male who established himself as a crime lord during the reign of the Galactic Empire. Once, however, he was the Sith apprentice of Darth Sidious, and therefore, a Dark Lord of the Sith. Having trained in the ways of the Force, Maul was a formidable warrior strong with the dark side and deadly skilled in lightsaber combat. In addition, he was a scheming mastermind who plotted his return to power despite losing his place in the ranks of the Sith.
Born during the era of the Galactic Republic, Maul was the son of Mother Talzin, leader of the Nightsisters of Dathomir, and also had a sibling, the Nightbrother Savage Opress. Sensing his potential, Sidious took Maul as an apprentice while he was still a child. Anointed by his Sith Master as Darth Maul, the Dathomirian was raised to hate the Jedi Knights that served the light side of the Force. Desiring to see the Jedi Order fall, Darth Maul trained for the day when the Sith would exact revenge on their ancient foes. The time for revealing the Sith's continued existence to the Jedi came during the Invasion of Naboo, when Darth Maul confronted Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though he killed Jinn, Maul was, in turn, defeated by Kenobi, who bisected the Sith assassin at the waist. Darth Maul was believed to be dead in the aftermath of the battle, but Maul ultimately survived, emerging a decade after his defeat, during the height of the Clone Wars.
Despite learning that his Master took a new apprentice, Darth Tyranus, Maul still believed that he was a Sith Lord. Taking his brother as an apprentice, Maul and Opress held that they were the true Sith rather than Sidious and Tyranus. He then devised a scheme to seize power on the planet Mandalore, overthrowing the New Mandalorians and installing the Death Watch as the new ruling government. In addition to the Mandalorians, Maul expanded his criminal enterprise, the Shadow Collective, to include the Pyke Syndicate, Black Sun, and the Hutt Clan. However, as his power increased, Maul became a threat to his former Master's plan, resulting in a confrontation that concluded with Opress's demise and Maul's capture by Sidious. After escaping with the help of his Mandalorian super commandos, Maul resumed his reign on Mandalore until he was overthrown by the Grand Army of the Republic.
Maul survived the end of the Clone Wars, witnessing the Great Jedi Purge of Order 66 and Sidious's rise as Galactic Emperor. Chastened by his former Master on the principle of the Rule of Two, Maul abandoned his claim to the mantle of the Sith, focusing instead on building an empire of his own—the Crimson Dawn—by controlling the criminal underworld. Ultimately though, Maul remained driven by the desire for revenge, specifically against Sidious, the Master who disowned him, and Kenobi, the Jedi who defeated him. During his conflict with the Jedi fugitives Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger, Maul tracked Kenobi to Tatooine, determined to finally end their rivalry for good. Their last lightsaber duel ended when the Jedi Master struck down his old nemesis. Believing that Kenobi had consigned himself to a life of exile to protect the Chosen One, Maul died taking comfort in the belief that he would be avenged once the Sith's prophesied destruction was realized.
- 1 Biography
- 1.1 Early life
- 1.2 Serving the Sith
- 1.3 Exile in the Outer Rim
- 1.4 The Clone Wars
- 1.5 Ruler of Mandalore
- 1.6 Age of the Empire
- 1.7 Legacy
- 2 Personality and traits
- 3 Powers and abilities
- 4 Equipment
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Appearances
- 7 Sources
- 8 Notes and references
- 9 External links
- "Sidious promised to make me his right hand, but instead, he stole what was most dear to me... my own flesh and blood. My son!"
- ―Mother Talzin recounts how Maul became Darth Sidious's apprentice
In 54 BBY, the boy who would be dubbed Darth Maul was born the son of Mother Talzin on Dathomir. As a Dathomirian Zabrak male, he was a Nightbrother and had two blood brothers, Feral and Savage Opress. Later in his life, Maul claimed that he once had a real name but that he had long since forgotten it. Before his first birthday, Talzin gave the Zabrak infants their first tattoos. When Maul was still a child, Mother Talzin became an ally of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith, and the two exchanged wisdom and power. Despite considering to make her his apprentice, Sidious instead took the Zabrak boy once he realized the youngling's Force potential. Once under Sidious's tutelage, he trained as his Sith apprentice, and was eventually given the title "Darth Maul" by his master.
For years, Darth Maul was trained to become a weapon of the Sith. He became an acrobatic warrior, one trained to be relentless against his enemies, and learned to use a dual-bladed lightsaber, eventually crafting his own, using pieces that he had stolen or otherwise acquired, noting the amount of pain and blood that had gone into the construction of his weapon. During his training, Sidious took Maul to Malachor to bear witness to a great battle that occurred there between the Jedi and the Sith. Maul mastered his anger, letting it burn in him, and under his master's supervision, began to turn his anger into hate. Sidious forced Maul to breathe in the ashes of Sith warriors, slain when an ancient weapon was activated in the Sith temple on the planet. While breathing in this ash, Maul had visions of members of the Sith order being struck down by the Jedi. He felt the slash of saber after saber as he felt the death of his Sith brethren. His Sith training made Maul long for revenge against the Jedi Order, which had defeated the Sith a millennium earlier. With his master, Darth Maul hoped to destroy the Jedi and restore the Sith to galactic power.
However, Maul's hatred of the Jedi was more personal. He was filled with anger when he realized that as a child, the Jedi had not come for him. Maul did not know if they found him unworthy or simply ignored him, and their neglect fueled his rage, counting the days until he could have his revenge. He was impatient with his master's planning, resenting the pain and suffering he felt as he waited for his time to unleash himself on the galaxy that had hurt him so much.
Serving the Sith
First encounter with a Jedi
- "Jedi. The peacekeepers of the Galactic Republic. Cowards. Wallowing... nesting... hiding in the peace they enforce. Their strength is waning. Deep down, they know they cannot maintain order forever. And when their time begins to tumble into darkness.. they will find me waiting for them."
- ―Maul as he stalks Khaat Qiyn and her apprentice
Several years into his training as Sidious's apprentice, Darth Maul began to become impatient. He longed for a confrontation against the Jedi. Maul spent time hunting wild game, such as rathtars on Twon Ketee, and stalking the Jedi Khaat Qiyn and her Padawan, Bairdon Jace, in the shadows on Coruscant. It was while hunting rathtars that Maul reflected on their viciousness, ruthlessness, and freedom. The rathtars he hunted had no master, unlike himself. Sidious warned Maul to avoid the Jedi until his plans were ready to unfold. While he praised Maul for this thirst for vengeance, Sidious did not want Maul revealing himself until the time was right. Sidious threatened Maul with death if he continued to risk detection.
In an attempt to satiate Maul's bloodlust, Sidious sent him to the Kellux system to dispatch pirates who were interfering with the Trade Federation. Maul traveled to Kellux and dispatched the pirates who had kidnapped members of the Trade Federation. A pirate, mistaking Maul for a Jedi, begged for his life in exchange for information. The pirate informed Maul that Xev Xrexus of the Xrexus Cartel had captured a Jedi Padawan who was going to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Maul dispatched the remaining pirates as well as the kidnapped members of the Trade Federation and began his search for the Padawan.
Maul hired a group of bounty hunters (Cad Bane, Aurra Sing, Vorhdeilo, and Troo-tril-tek) and traveled to Nar Shaddaa in an attempt to learn the location of Xrexus's auction. Maul got into a bar brawl after being accused of being a Jedi. He was blinded during the fight by the Quarren gangster Dirty Calgriz—whom Maul quickly killed thereafter—and was nearly surrounded when the fight was intercepted by Bane, Sing, and Vorhdeilo. Bane informed Maul that the bounty hunters had gotten hold of an invitation to Xrexus's auction. The bounty hunters had killed the Haddrex Gang and stolen their ship and protocol droid, FE-B3. Troo-Tril-Tek and Maul tortured FE-B3 until they extracted the location of the auction.
Maul and the bounty hunters then traveled in the Haddrex Gang's ship to a space station in the Drazkel system to attend the auction. Xrexus told those gathered that the Padawan, a Twi'lek named Eldra Kaitis, had been found on a crashed Republic transport vessel which had been attacked by pirates. While Xrexus greeted her guests, Maul searched the space station and found Kaitis in a holding cell. While searching for Kaitis, Maul was caught sneaking around the station by Xrexus, and Maul provided a fake name, Seris Madreth of the Haddrex Consortium, to trick Xrexus. Maul then spoke with Bane and the other bounty hunters to come up with a clean way out and a backup plan.
Maul returned to the auction, where he allowed the Moogan Jee Kra to take Kaitis. Maul and his bounty hunters then confronted Jee Kra and his crew at their ship. There, Maul and his bounty hunters killed Kra and his crew. Maul told Bane to get the ship into space and confirmed to Kaitis that he was a Sith. However, Xrexus had planted an explosive on the shuttle, and it was forced to crash-land on Drazkel's moon.
On the moon's surface, Maul, Kaitis, and his bounty hunters survived the crash. Maul and his bounty hunters saw that Xrexus was sending ships after them and split up; Maul and Kaitis would lead the hunters away while Bane, Sing, and Vorhdeilo would take a ship from them. When they were surrounded by the hunters, Maul gave Kaitis her lightsaber, and the two of them fought the hunters together. After defeating the hunters, Maul and Kaitis prepared to fight each other.
Both proved to be a match for each other. At first, Kaitis used her lightsaber to cause a landslide that buried Maul. As she was going in for the kill, Maul rose and stabbed her through the chest. He then destroyed FE-B3, after which he was picked up by Bane and the other bounty hunters using a stolen Flarestar-class shuttle. Maul compensated them, and they dropped him off at Xev's hideout. There, Maul killed Xrexus to ensure the Sith's secrecy. He then returned to Lord Sidious on Coruscant. His master knew he had killed the young Padawan, but he pleased his master by telling him that his lust for Jedi was not satisfied.
Working with Zek Peiro and return to Malachor
- "Breathe deep, my apprentice. Let us see what the dark side has to show you."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Darth Maul
Maul, in disguise, formed a fake cartel under Kaitis's name and later worked with the Force-sensitive Zek Peiro in intercepting shipments of scarn, a compound used to manufacture spice. Maul and Peiro fought several of their buyers and found the scarn. He killed Peiro with a piece of metal and left him. Maul returned to Sidious, who spoke of his concern about Maul's antics and how he was as foolish as Peiro.
After killing Peiro, Maul and Sidious returned to Malachor to expand his Sith training. During his time on Malachor, Maul breathed the ashes of the long-dead Sith and had a Force vision. In his vision, Maul was a Jedi and saved a fellow Zabrak from a creature. Maul was invited to dinner with other Zabraks to thank him. Maul, disgusted by the Zabraks' idolization of the Jedi, became a Sith and beheaded the entire group. After his vision ended, Maul was praised by his master, and Maul realized that it would take more than his rage and emotions to destroy the Jedi.
Revealing the Sith to the Jedi
- "At last, we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last, we will have revenge."
- ―Darth Maul, to Darth Sidious
After years of looking for revenge against the Jedi, Maul became part of his master's plan to take over the Galactic Republic and destroy the Jedi. Sidious, who was secretly Senator Palpatine of Naboo, conspired with the Trade Federation to invade his planet as retaliation for the taxation of trade routes in outlying Republic star systems. The Federation launched their vessels and blockaded Naboo, and prepared their battle droid army. Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, whom Palpatine aimed to replace through the invasion, dispatched Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi to resolve the situation, but the Federation attempted to kill the two Jedi, forcing Jinn and Kenobi to the surface. Once there, and as the invasion began, they rescued Queen Padmé Amidala and escaped from Naboo.
Because Amidala was necessary for their plans—the queen needed to sign a treaty that would legitimize the illegal occupation of Naboo—Sidious dispatched Maul to find the queen and the Jedi. Maul traced a distress call from Sio Bibble, the governor of Naboo, which Queen Amidala received on Tatooine. With his master's permission, Maul traveled to Tatooine to locate the queen. He landed in the desert with his personal starship, establishing it as a mobile base for his operation. From his starship he launched a trio of Sith probe droids to seek out the queen and her Jedi protectors, and thanks to one of them, he discovered her ship just as it was preparing to leave. Maul rode across the Tatooine sand dunes on his Bloodfin, his personal vehicle of choice, towards the queen's ship. However, he encountered Qui-Gon Jinn, one of the Jedi Knights who was trying to protect the queen, and a young boy named Anakin Skywalker.
Nevertheless, the Sith Lord attacked Qui-Gon Jinn, and the two engaged in lightsaber combat. The Jedi commanded that Anakin board the ship and tell the pilot to take off. It was a short but intense duel, Maul using his terrifying agility and ferocity to tire Jinn out with his vicious lightsaber technique. Just as Jinn had succumbed to Maul's power and fury, and Maul was looking to finish the Jedi off, the queen's ship came to the rescue and Jinn jumped aboard, leaving the Sith Lord fuming with rage on the sand.
Although Jinn and the queen escaped, the Sith had revealed themselves to the Jedi for the first time in a millennium, and the Jedi Order wondered how the Sith could have returned after so many centuries. Despite his targets' escape, Maul embraced what he had achieved and let himself become more consumed with darkness and hatred. What Maul did not know was that Skywalker, the young boy who was destined to be the Chosen One, would one day all but destroy the Jedi and become a Sith Lord himself.
Duel on Naboo
- "Lord Maul, be mindful. Let them make the first move."
"Yes, my Master."
- ―Darth Sidious and his apprentice before the Battle of Naboo
After the Jedi and the queen escaped, they made their way to Coruscant, where Sidious, as Palpatine, manipulated Amidala into calling for a Vote of No Confidence on Chancellor Valorum, prompting a new election where Palpatine was a favorite to win and take over the Republic. Maul, meanwhile, returned to Naboo by order of his master, where Amidala and the Jedi also returned to in order to fight the Federation occupation force. Eager with anticipation of the confrontation with the Jedi, Maul planned to choose the location of his inevitable duel with the Jedi. The Naboo, along with the Gungans who lived in Naboo's oceans, led the Federation army into battle away from the capital city. Using the battle as a diversion, the queen and the Jedi fought to regain control of the city. Upon arrival on Naboo, Maul was greeted by the Neimoidians, however he ignored their attempts to comfort him, instead opting to quickly complete his task of choosing the battleground. He decided to lure the Jedi into the series of corridors and catwalks leading to and within the power generation facilities not far from the hangar, and he practiced swinging his lightsaber and moving around to get used to his surroundings.
The battle for the capital reached the royal palace, where Maul was waiting for Jinn and Kenobi. The Sith Lord fought the Jedi in the palace hangar, before moving into a generator complex. The duel raged on throughout the generator rooms, with Maul dominating the duel; he did, however, give ground in order to lead the Jedi throughout the complex. Maul separated the Jedi by knocking Kenobi down several levels, and Kenobi was unable to catch up to Maul and Jinn due to laser walls standing in his way. Taking advantage of their separation, Maul fought Jinn alone and eventually stabbed the Jedi Master through the torso, mortally wounding him.
When Kenobi finally caught up, the two engaged in a ferocious fight, with Kenobi filled with anger and grief over the death of his master and friend. Although Kenobi chopped Maul's double-bladed lightsaber in half, leaving the Sith Lord with only one blade, Maul disarmed Kenobi and Force-pushed him over the edge of a vast reactor shaft. Caught off guard, Kenobi dropped his lightsaber and found himself dangling over the abyss from a small input nozzle. Maul kicked Kenobi's lightsaber into the shaft below him. As Maul taunted the young Jedi, trying to dislodge him from the wall, Kenobi calmed himself and used the Force to jump back up and summon Jinn's lightsaber into his hand. In an instant, Kenobi sliced the blade through Maul's waist, cutting him in half and sending him falling down the shaft, an act that would drive him to insanity and hatred towards Kenobi.
That same day, Sheev Palpatine became Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. Both he and the Jedi believed that Maul had perished on Naboo.
Exile in the Outer Rim
- "...he lives in the Outer Rim, in exile."
- ―Mother Talzin tells Opress that Maul survived
However, through his hate and will to survive, Maul used the Force to grab an air vent as he was tumbling down the reactor shaft and eventually made it to a trash container. A combination of his Nightsister magicks, Dathomirian physiology and Sith tenacity served to keep him tethered to life even as his sanity began to leave him. Maul's shattered body was dumped on the junkyard world of Lotho Minor, where he lived in the bowels of the planet. There he utilized discarded metal to fashion for himself a six-limbed apparatus that allowed him to walk again.
During Maul's exile, the droid Captain Spikewheel forced several people, including Gritz, Riki, Brennar, and Seles to spend a night on Lotho Minor in order to join her crew. When they first got on the planet, a confrontation broke out between Gritz and Brennar, and the ground gave way into a labyrinth.
While exploring, Seles got separated from the group, and Brennar went looking for him. Brennar then found out that Maul had captured Seles. Maul, while muttering to himself, threw Seles at Brennar, and proceeded to chase them through the labyrinth. They eventually ran into a dead end. Maul was about to kill them when Gritz captured Maul with an electronet.
They then traveled back to the surface, Maul in tow, to find Spikewheel waiting for him. Gritz and Spikewheel then revealed that they had been hired to find and capture Maul, and that it was simply a test for Gritz to become first mate. Gritz and Spikewheel, while listening to the message from the person that hired them, realized that the message was from Maul himself. Maul then escaped from his electronet and confirmed that it was him who sent the message because he needed a ship to escape. Spikewheel then attempted to shoot Maul, but the fallen Sith destroyed her. Seles panicked and attempted to grab the controls to the ship, which shot the ship straight into the sky. Riki opened the door to the ship and Maul and Gritz fell back to the surface of Lotho Minor. They left the planet and Maul killed Gritz.
During his exile, he made a bargain with a sentient sneaky Anacondan called Morley, who agreed to bring Maul food in return for his leftovers. Over the years, Maul was driven mad with rage and despair but remained driven by thoughts of revenge against Kenobi.
The Clone Wars
Rescued by his brother
- "The chains are the easy part...It's what goes on in here that's hard..."
- ―Maul, to his brother Savage
Mother Talzin knew that Maul had survived. During the Clone Wars, she told his brother, Savage Opress, that the former Sith Lord could be found in the Outer Rim. Talzin gave Opress a talisman that would help him find Maul, and Opress set out to locate his brother. Opress found Lotho Minor and discovered his crazed brother living there, but Maul did not know who Opress was, and barely had a hold on his own identity. All that remained of the one-time Sith Lord was his lust for revenge against the Jedi. Believing that Morley had severed his brother and driven him crazy, Opress killed the Anacondan and, to restore Maul's memories, took him to Dathomir, where Mother Talzin repaired Maul's mind and gave him a pair of cybernetic legs through an incantation, using parts of the Separatist droids destroyed during the Battle of Dathomir.
Resurfacing in the galaxy
- "To continue, we need one singular vision…my vision."
"Brother, let us share our strength. There is no need for dominance between us."
"Always two there are, my brother—a Master, and an apprentice. And you are the apprentice."
- ―Maul and Savage Opress
With his mind restored, Maul set out to seek revenge against Kenobi for defeating him on Naboo, and led the now-Jedi High Council member to Raydonia by slaughtering civilians to draw Kenobi out. Maul and Opress captured Kenobi, but the Jedi was rescued by Asajj Ventress, a former acolyte of Darth Tyranus and the Dathomir Witch who once commanded Opress. Kenobi and Maul engaged in a lightsaber duel for the first time in over a decade, and Maul goaded Kenobi into anger by talking about how he killed Qui-Gon Jinn. Kenobi was overwhelmed as a result, and decided it would be best for he and Ventress to escape the ship. Although Kenobi had escaped, Maul knew that the Jedi would begin pursuing him, which would play into Maul's hand in his quest for revenge.
The brothers began a rampage across the galaxy, which took them to the Cybloc Transfer Station in the Cybloc system. After defeating the station's guards, the brothers discovered a credit coffer filled to the brim. Maul demonstrated his martial superiority to his brother by disarming him, earning the latter's respect. From that point, Maul referred to himself as Opress's Master, in the same manner as the traditional Sith Rule of Two dynamic.
After stealing the valuables on the space station, the brothers traveled to Florrum, where they bribed a squad of pirates into joining them. Although some joined, others questioned Maul and Opress's motives and were killed as a result, as Hondo Ohnaka, the pirate leader, was forced to watch. Eventually, the brothers faced off against Kenobi and Adi Gallia, a fellow member of the Jedi High Council, who tracked them there. After a duel that left Gallia dead, Kenobi lured the brothers into the pirate base, where they continued their duel in an isolated passage. When Opress had his arm cut off, Maul used the Force to push Kenobi down the tunnel, causing a cave-in before ordering a retreat. He also discovered that Ohnaka's forces reconciled with the renegade pirates, and likewise, Maul's hired group had turned on him. The brothers promptly escaped, although the effort cost Maul one of his artificial legs. They later barely escaped the doomed ship after one of Ohnaka's pirates shot out its engines with a rocket launcher. Because of this, Hondo believed that Maul and Opress were incinerated in the crash, though Kenobi suspected otherwise.
Building the Shadow Collective
- "Doubt will only lead to failure. Our combined strength will be rewarded. Mandalore will be yours. And Kenobi, this Sith pretender Dooku, and all our enemies…will fall."
- ―Maul to Pre Vizsla while Force choking Bo-Katan.
Maul and Opress managed to escape Florrum, although they eventually passed out from lack of oxygen in their escape pod. As they floated aimlessly in deep space, they were discovered unconscious and half-alive by Death Watch, a Mandalorian splinter group led by former Governor Pre Vizsla. Discovering Maul's lightsaber, Vizsla decided not to kill them as his lieutenant, Bo-Katan Kryze, wished to do; Vizsla believed that if they were enemies of the Jedi, then they were his friends. Vizsla and his men returned to their base on Zanbar, with Maul and Opress in tow.
On Zanbar, medical droids healed Maul from his wounds and replaced the legs he had received from Mother Talzin for a pair of new mechanical legs that returned him to his previous height. Waking after the surgery was completed, Maul was groggy and only tried to react when he saw the still-unconscious Opress next to him, as the droids fitted the wounded brother with a mechanical arm. Vizsla and Bo-Katan entered and began to interrogate Maul, threatening to kill Opress if Maul refused to answer. Maul revealed that they were Sith Lords, which immediately led Vizsla to question him as to his links to Count Dooku. Maul angrily stated that he and Opress served no one and that they were brothers, the true Lords of the Sith. Satisfied, Vizsla asked him his intentions, and Maul revealed his plans to seek power and influence to gain his revenge over the Jedi. He also informed the Mandalorians that the Jedi responsible for their troubles was Obi-Wan Kenobi. Having faced Kenobi before, and knowing that the Jedi Master was a close friend of Vizsla's enemy, the Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze, Vizsla ordered the droids to complete the repairs to the brothers.
Maul was later taken to Vizsla's shelter and revealed himself as a member of Death Watch, who purported to be the descendants of Mandalore's true warrior faith which had been rejected by the pacifists who ruled Mandalore. Vizsla also informed Maul of his and his warriors' exile from Mandalore after failing to overthrow the Mandalorian government and mused against the one responsible for their exile: Kenobi. Realizing that they possessed a common goal and a common enemy, Maul proposed an alliance between the brothers and Death Watch, claiming that it was the will of the Force. Bo-Katan rebuffed him, stating that the last time they had allied with a Sith, they had been betrayed. She also denigrated the Sith as being no better than the Jedi. Maul used the Force to choke her, and as the Mandalorians aimed their weapons at him, he claimed that thanks to their alliance, Mandalore would be theirs and they would dispose of all their enemies, as well as gaining their revenge against Kenobi and Dooku. He then released Bo-Katan, and Vizsla sent him to see to Opress while they put the alliance to a vote among the Mandalorians.
Opress emerged from his coma and proceeded to destroy the medical droids with his new mechanical arm while Maul watched. As Opress grew agitated, Maul appeared to calm him and informed him of who they had fallen upon. He insisted that the Mandalorians would be more useful to their plans than the pirates ever would have been because the Mandalorians had honor. While Opress rejected this as a weakness, Maul stated that his plans would be better served by them and, once they had reclaimed Mandalore, they would use its resources to further their own plans, with the Death Watch under their command. Vizsla then arrived and announced that the alliance had been accepted by the Death Watch.
Maul convinced Pre Vizsla they needed to recruit Black Sun so they could build an army, and with that, the alliance proceeded to go to Mustafar to recruit the Black Sun into their army. They were met by Ziton Moj, who brought the group to their council. Maul asked the council to join them, but they refused despite Maul giving them a second chance, and on Maul's orders, Savage activated his lightsaber and threw it across the table, decapitating the council and prompting Moj to form an alliance with Maul's forces. Upon returning to their camp on Zanbar, the Pykes also declared their allegiance to the Sith brothers.
Next, the alliance traveled to Nal Hutta to convince the Grand Hutt Council to join their group. The Hutts refused to join as they had no credits to buy their allegiance, so Maul and his forces battled the Hutts' enforcers and hired bounty hunters. After defeating the bounty hunters and the guards, they met Oruba the Hutt, who was captured by Bo-Katan and her forces. After the Hutt could only tell that they would find the other Hutts at Jabba's Palace on Tatooine, they killed Oruba and headed to Jabba's Palace and besieged it. Overwhelmed by the Death Watch, Jabba agreed to join the Shadow Collective.
Conquest of Mandalore
- "I will use my army of crime lords to attack different targets across Sundari and sow chaos to undermine the Duchess's rule. Our gangsters will make her look too weak to maintain control. Then you and your Death Watch will capture and arrest us, bringing order where Satine's weak government could not."
- ―Maul to Pre Vizsla
Now with an army under his command, Maul and the Shadow Collective planned to overthrow the government of Duchess Satine on Mandalore. Their goal was to make the Duchess look weak by sending the Collective's criminal elements to attack the capital city, Sundari, at which time Death Watch would arrive and drive them off. Maul also anticipated and counted on Pre Vizsla and Bo-Katan betraying him, an act that he counted on as part of his own plans.
After Death Watch drove the criminals away, Maul's suspicions were confirmed when he and Opress were arrested. With Maul imprisoned, Death Watch declared themselves the leaders of Mandalore. Maul suspected that there would be other political prisoners nearby, other than the deposed and imprisoned Satine, who Maul could use for his own ends. The two Sith brothers broke out of their cells and sought to find a new ally, choosing former Prime Minister Almec as a puppet; Almec had been imprisoned by the Duchess on corruption charges.
Having fought his way out of prison, Maul stormed into the Mandalorian throne room and challenged Pre Vizsla to an honorable death match, knowing that the winner would gain the allegiance of Death Watch and become their new leader. After a long and spectacular duel, Maul overpowered Pre Vizsla and beheaded him with his own weapon, the Darksaber that ancient Mandalorians had stolen from the Jedi, which Maul then claimed as his own. However, Maul's victory split the Death Watch in two, with Bo-Katan and her forces refusing to pledge loyalty to Maul. The other half submitted to Maul's rule, while Almec was reinstated as Prime Minister—albeit with Maul as the true power on Mandalore.
Ruler of Mandalore
Revenge against Kenobi
- "Silence! You think you know me? It was I who languished for years thinking of nothing but you! Nothing but this moment! And now, the perfect tool for my vengeance is in front of us. I never planned on killing you, but I will make you share my pain, Kenobi."
- ―Maul prepares to murder Duchess Satine Kryze in front of Kenobi
Shortly after the coup, Maul learned that the Duchess had tried to escape from prison and transmitted a distress call to the Jedi. Having learned of Kenobi's old friendship and relationship with Kryze, Maul realized she could serve as bait for his archenemy and the perfect tool for his revenge against the Jedi Master. As Mandalore was technically neutral in the Clone Wars, Maul knew that Kenobi could not receive an official sanction from the Jedi Council for a rescue mission. As such, he predicted that Kenobi would mount his rescue alone.
After Kenobi infiltrated the palace and liberated his friend, Maul and the Mandalorian forces chased the two of them all the way to Kenobi's ship, Twilight. The Mandalorians fired missiles at the ship and crippled it, forcing Kenobi and Kryze to abandon ship before it was destroyed. Although dazed from the crash, Kenobi recognized Maul and Opress and attacked them, but Maul disarmed him and ordered his forces to bring Kenobi and the Duchess to the palace.
In the throne room, Maul taunted Kenobi to give in to the dark side, all the while holding Kryze in a Force grip. Kenobi refused, and told Maul he had been to the Sith Lord's village on Dathomir; Kenobi expressed his belief that it had not been Maul's decision to join the dark side, but rather the Nightsisters forced it upon him. The comments struck a nerve, angering Maul and causing him to lash out. He reminded Kenobi that it was the Jedi Master who truly made Maul suffer for over ten years, and that it was time for Kenobi to share in his agony. At that moment, Maul activated the Darksaber and stabbed it through the Duchess's chest. Kryze died in Kenobi's arms, before Maul ordered that Kenobi be taken to the prison to contemplate his loss. Kenobi later escaped with the help of Bo-Katan, who revealed herself to be the Duchess's sister.
Duel with Darth Sidious
- "Remember the first and only reality of the Sith: there can only be two, and you are no longer my apprentice. You have been replaced!"
- ―Darth Sidious rejects Maul's claim of Sith lordship
Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls fought Maul's Mandalorian super commandos, bringing a civil war to Mandalore. As their forces collided, Darth Sidious arrived at the royal palace, having sensed that Maul was growing stronger and had become a rival after learning of Maul's activities from Masters Kenobi and Skywalker. When Sidious arrived, Maul sensed his old master's presence and prepared to face him. Maul claimed that he had taken Mandalore and built an army in the hopes of becoming Sidious's apprentice once more, but the Dark Lord saw through Maul's deception and attacked the brothers, demonstrating his superior power through Force attacks.
After Sidious released the duo from his Force grip, all three drew their weapons and began to duel. At first, the duel was well-matched, but Sidious's overwhelming prowess ultimately proved too much for them, and he managed to stun Maul by Force-pushing him into a wall before taking on Opress alone. Maul regained consciousness just in time to see Opress be fatally impaled by Sidious's blades. Maul rushed to his brother's side, where, in his final moments, Opress expressed his regret that he had failed his brother as an apprentice. Maul watched as the Nightsister magicks that had transformed his brother leave his body, leaving Opress's original form to die by his brother's side. Sidious was amused by Maul's grief and reminded Maul that there could only be two Sith and that he had been replaced.
Enraged, Maul lit both his own lightsaber and the Darksaber, and attacked his former master. Maul held his own better than Opress, but was ultimately outclassed by the more experienced and skilled Dark Lord of the Sith and disarmed. Sidious telekinetically assaulted Maul multiple times, throwing him against walls and smashing him into the ground, severely weakening him. Maul pleaded for mercy, but Sidious riposted that in the Sith, there was no mercy and began to sadistically torture him with blasts of Force Lightning. The Sith Lord revealed he had no intention of killing his former apprentice and still had uses for Maul; he wanted to use Maul to draw Mother Talzin into the open so she could be defeated, though he did not reveal his plan to Maul.
Capture and escape
- "The war you have waited your entire lives to fight is upon us, my brothers. Victory or death!"
- ―Maul to his Death Watch forces
After the duel on Mandalore, Sidious took Maul as his prisoner and brought him to the remote world of Stygeon Prime, where the Confederacy of Independent Systems operated the Spire, a prison fortress in the mountains. On Almec's orders, Sidious's vessel was pursued by Maul's Death Watch forces, with the intention of rescuing their captive leader. Once he was imprisoned, Maul was subjected to torture at the hands of the Sith, as Sidious reminded Maul that he still had plans for his former apprentice. The two were interrupted by Count Dooku, whose arrival angered Maul.
Dooku returned to Maul after conferring with Sidious, with orders from the Dark Lord to learn more about the Shadow Collective and the names of Maul's associates. Dooku interrogated his predecessor, electrifying him in an attempt to find the information he was seeking. Maul resisted the torture and refused to give up any information. After Dooku left, Rook Kast and Gar Saxon of Death Watch attacked the prison and rescued their captive leader. The Mandalorians blew a hole in the walls of Maul's cell, and together they rappelled down the mountain and escaped aboard a Death Watch ship. Unknown to Maul and the Death Watch, the Sith intended for Maul to escape so he could lead them to Mother Talzin.
Maul and Death Watch regrouped with more of their forces on Zanbar. After his arrival, Maul spoke to Prime Minister Almec via hologram, and the Prime Minister told Maul that the prison break was repayment for when Maul released Almec from imprisonment. Once again in command of his forces, Maul reclaimed his Darksaber and promised the Mandalorians that the war they had longed for was at hand. Soon thereafter, Separatist forces under the command of General Grievous reached Zanbar. Grievous launched all of his forces against Death Watch, with both sides suffering heavy losses. During the battle, Maul destroyed four of Grievous's MagnaGuard droids and attacked Grievous himself. Despite Maul's obvious power, Grievous sent him back with a kick during their blade lock. With most of his forces in ruins, Maul ordered his warriors to retreat. Grievous allowed Maul to escape, per Dooku's orders, hoping that Maul would seek out Mother Talzin for help.
Alliance with Dooku
- "So it is true—you are working together!"
"Of course. Only our hatred of you could be strong enough to unite us!"
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi and Maul
As Dooku predicted, Maul contacted Mother Talzin after leaving Zanbar, calling out to her through the Force for guidance. She appeared to him from afar in a cloud of smoke and he informed her of his escape from prison and defeat on Zanbar. Talzin anticipated that Sidious hoped to lure her into a trap, so she ordered Maul to go to Ord Mantell, where the Black Sun had a base of operations. Once there, Talzin wanted him to gather his forces for another battle against the Separatists, this time to lure Dooku and Grievous into a trap and capture them—which Talzin believed that Sidious would not expect. Talzin herself would not go to Ord Mantell, as she knew she was a target of the Sith Lords.
Maul arrived on Ord Mantell and conferred with his Shadow Collective allies, including Ziton Moj of Black Sun and Fife of the Pyke Syndicate. He informed them that a battle would take place against the Separatists, who were being lured to Ord Mantell thinking they could capture Maul. Despite some reservations from his allies, Maul was confident that his plan would succeed and they could trap the two Separatist leaders. Maul and his allies quickly planned their attack against the Separatists, which included luring the droid army to a specific point in the Black Sun–controlled territory so the Shadow Collective forces could attack them.
As the Collective prepared for battle, a team of Nightbrother warriors, led by Brother Viscus, arrived after having been sent from Dathomir by Mother Talzin to reinforce Maul's army. While Maul greeted his fellow Nightbrothers, the Separatists arrived in orbit and attacked, using their fleet to bombard the surface of Ord Mantell. Maul immediately ordered his forces to carry out their assault, while the Nightbrothers were to wait in the command center for instructions. Maul, meanwhile, made his way to Mandalorian warships, which he and Death Watch forces would use to assault the Separatist fleet in orbit.
Maul arrived in orbit while the Separatists began landing their troops—as well as Count Dooku—on the planet, quickly overwhelming the Shadow Collective army. Maul's ships attacked General Grievous's command vessel, before attaching itself to the hull of the Separatist ship so Maul and his forces could board and make their way to the bridge. Once there, Maul and Death Watch eliminated the battle droids defending the cyborg general, and Maul then subdued Grievous and gave him a choice: disable the signal powering the droids on the surface, or die. Grievous begrudgingly disabled the signal and was taken into custody. Dooku, who engaged and killed the Nightbrothers in battle, was captured by Shadow Collective forces on the surface, while the disabled battle droids were eliminated.
After the battle, Maul contacted Mother Talzin once again to inform her of what had happened on Ord Mantell. Talzin promised Maul that, with Dooku and Grievous in custody, they would capture Sidious as well—and gain their revenge against him. Maul and his forces cleared off of Ord Mantell, leaving little trace they were there, and made their way to Vizsla Keep 09, a Mandalorian supply outpost.
From the outpost, Maul contacted Darth Sidious, informing him of the capture of Dooku and Grievous. Claiming that he had no further use for the two, Sidious told Maul to kill them, but the former Sith Lord had other plans. Grievous was locked in the brig, while Maul tempted Dooku to join him. They were both betrayed by Sidious, so Maul suggested that he and Dooku could be natural allies. Dooku did not believe that Sidious could be challenged, and claimed he did not think he should ally with Maul and Mother Talzin, the latter of whom once tried to kill Dooku. Talzin herself appeared using Nightsister magic and told the story of how she was once an ally of Sidious, how she too was betrayed when Sidious took Maul from her, and how Sidious was already seeking to replace the Count. Neither Talzin nor Maul believed Dooku would sincerely ally with them, and simply wanted to ensure he could be taken to Dathomir.
As they spoke, a Jedi-led Republic assault team attacked the supply outpost. The Jedi, including Kenobi, Aayla Secura, Mace Windu, and Tiplee, had tracked the Shadow Collective from Ord Mantell. With both of their lives at stake, Dooku feigned an alliance with Maul, while Grievous escaped in the chaos using an escape pod. Maul and Dooku engaged the Jedi in a lightsaber duel, which lasted until Kast shot a small explosive towards the Jedi, incapacitating the Jedi and allowing Maul and Dooku to escape.
Failure on Dathomir
- "At last, the great deceiver comes to rescue his pawn."
"I come to end this farce once and for all."
- ―Maul and Darth Sidious
Having fled the outpost, Maul and his followers made their way towards Dathomir. While en route, Maul was contacted by Moj and the Pykes, who grew concerned that Maul's vendetta was causing the Shadow Collective's plans to fail. Maul assured them that they would be paid and that Sidious would die, allowing the galaxy to be controlled by the Shadow Collective. To ensure loyalty, Maul ordered Saxon to keep the Pykes and Black Sun in line. He also revealed to Dooku that he knew the Sith Lord was not an ally, and that Sidious had ordered his apprentice to feign allegiance with Maul.
Once on Dathomir, Maul was greeted by Brother Viscus, who survived his fight with Dooku on Ord Mantell. The Nightbrother told Maul that they were ready for the next step of their plan, so Dooku was taken before Mother Talzin, who appeared before them in a cloud of smoke. She unleashed her magic upon the Sith Lord, using it to draw Dooku's life force so she could physically manifest herself again; Talzin's physical return required a sacrifice, and they had chosen Dooku for that purpose. They were interrupted, by an explosion ripping through the area, and the arrival of Grievous and Sidious. Sidious reminded his former apprentice that there was only one plan that mattered: Sidious'.
The arrival of the Dark Lord and Grievous led to a lightsaber duel, one which Talzin joined after she took control of Count Dooku's body. Talzin fought Sidious while Maul fought the cyborg general, and Sidious quickly gained the advantage over the Dathomir witch. Sidious bombarded Talzin with Force lightning, and the witch released Dooku and appeared in physical form once more. Maul, meanwhile, Force-pushed Grievous out of the opening that the explosion created. Once Sidious attacked her with a barrage of lightning, Maul pleaded with his mother to use his own life force to grow more powerful, but Talzin demanded that he retreat as she held off the Dark Lord's attacks. The witch used her powers to toss Maul from the fray and he was dragged away by Kast and another Death Watch warrior. As they fled, Maul watched as Grievous returned to fatally stab Talzin with his lightsabers.
Maul fled from Dathomir, which was being attacked by the Separatists. The Shadow Collective, meanwhile, had also been defeated by Separatist forces. In Sidious's eyes, despite Maul's escape, the former Sith Lord had been eliminated as a rival to the future Sith rule of the galaxy.
A new plan
- "You are but one small piece moving in this mechanism which I have designed, and yet, when you falter, it jeopardizes everything."
- ―Maul to Marg Krim
Maul and other parts of his loyal forces would eventually return to Mandalore, where they remained in hiding for a short time. The Pyke Syndicate and Black Sun also eventually rejoined the Shadow Collective. At some point, Maul also forged ties with the criminal organization Crimson Dawn, led by Dryden Vos. He continued to rule his operation, one part of which involved the transportation of a large shipment of spice by the Pykes.
The Pykes hired Rafa Martez to deliver the spice, but after a heavy ethics debate between Martez and the former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano, Martez's sister, Trace, dumped the spice into hyperspace. With no shipment to deliver, the three were taken into custody by the Pykes on Oba Diah. Shortly afterward, Maul contacted the new leader of the Pykes, Marg Krim, via hologram about the lost shipment of spice. Krim attempted to assure Maul that the delay of the spice would not jeopardize his plans. Maul warned Krim of further delays, informing him that every piece of his plan was important and if one part of it faltered, the entire plan could be jeopardized. Krim attempted to defend himself by informing him of the ever-growing interference of the Galactic Republic in his shipments and of a shipment that had arrived on Coruscant, but was raided by the Republic. Maul asked if any Jedi were involved, but Krim did not know since none of his men survived, which allowed Maul to come to the conclusion that there were. Just then, Maul noticed something hiding in the pipework surrounding where the meeting was taking place and turned to try to see what it was. After searching for a few seconds, he discovered nothing and, not realizing it was Tano, turned back towards Krim, informing him that he had other things to attend to. Maul warned him that if he caused any more delays, he would allow Crimson Dawn to take over the Pyke Syndicate. With that warning, Maul ended the transmission.
Siege of Mandalore
- "With your help, the Jedi can stop Sidious before it's too late."
"Too late for what? The Republic to fall? It already has, and you just can't see it! There is no justice, no law, no order, except for the one that will replace it!"
- ―Ahsoka Tano and Maul
During the final days of the Clone Wars, and two days after returning to Mandalore, Maul and his forces found themselves under siege by Bo-Katan Kryze's legion of Mandalorians and a battalion of clone troopers led by the recently promoted Commander Rex and former Jedi Padawan Ahsoka Tano. Maul heard from Almec and the Shadow Collective that a Jedi was on Mandalore. Assuming that the Jedi was Kenobi, Maul instructed the Shadow Collective to lay out a trap for "Kenobi." The Shadow Collective led Ahsoka Tano and the clones through the undercity, where they killed all of the clones, including Captain Vaughn. Upon seeing that it was Tano that came to confront him, Maul told her that he was expecting Kenobi and asked why she was on Mandalore.
Maul continued, telling Tano that he had hoped Kenobi would have come alongside his "loyal foal," Anakin Skywalker, to which Tano revealed that Kenobi had a more important engagement. When Tano asked Maul to surrender, he claimed that it would be pointless, as the Jedi Order and the Republic would soon be reduced to nothing and the galaxy would come under the control of Darth Sidious. Just then, clone forces led by Rex arrived and opened fire, forcing Maul and his Mandalorian forces to flee.
During the ensuing combat, Maul captured and interrogated ARC trooper Jesse about Ahsoka's plans on Mandalore, but Jesse refused to tell him anything. Maul ordered Gar Saxon to assassinate the captured Almec before he could reveal any vital information to the enemy. Afterward, he focused again on Jesse and eventually managed to make him reveal everything he wanted to know using a mind probe.
Later, Maul was speaking with Shadow Collective leaders Marg Krim of the Pyke Syndicate, Ziton Moj of the Black Sun, and Dryden Vos of the Crimson Dawn, ordering them to go into hiding, when Saxon returned to report the success of his mission. Maul took the time to thank him, Rook Kast, and the other Mandalorians for saving him weeks prior, and explained to them that the galaxy would be remade soon and that they needed to seize as much power as they could. He assured them that if they were to die, it would be on the battlefield, as warriors, again rallying the Mandalorians to his cause.
Sometime later, Maul returned to the throne room when Ahsoka Tano, Bo-Katan, and Rex entered. Bo-Katan attempted to attack him, but Maul effortlessly waved away her blaster bolts and subdued her before handing Jesse back to them as a show of "good faith." After Tano told Bo-Katan and Rex to leave, Maul was left alone with her. As the battle outside was raging on, Maul began talking in a calm manner to Ahsoka, reminding her of the hypocrisy of the Jedi Order, which caused her to leave, and that they were both tools used by a greater power.
Maul then told her again that what she called justice would soon be changed along with the entire galaxy, revealing that he was talking about Sidious. Ahsoka suggested that Maul help the Jedi stop Sidious before this would happen, only for Maul to insist that it was already too late, as the Republic was too corrupted to be saved and the Jedi couldn't possibly stop Sidious. Maul then asked Ahsoka to join him, suggesting that together they could defeat Sidious. After a long moment of consideration, Ahsoka agreed on the condition that Maul answer one question: what did he want with Skywalker. He stated that he was the key to everything, to destruction, and that he had a vision which revealed that Sidious sought to make Skywalker his new apprentice.
When Ahsoka accused him of lying, Maul explained that he had engineered the conflict on Mandalore to lure out Kenobi and Skywalker, so that he could kill the latter before he would turn to the Dark Side. Hearing this, Ahsoka changed her mind and ignited her lightsabers, stating that she knew Skywalker and he could never turn. Angered by the rejection, Maul stated that Ahsoka needed one more lesson and activated his own lightsaber. The two Force-Sensitive Outcasts then engaged in a fierce duel, during which Ahsoka proved to be a very tough opponent for Maul, despite the latter being stronger and far more experienced than her. Maul managed to disarm Ahsoka of her main saber, though she quickly retrieved it with the Force. Ahsoka then taunted Maul, stating he was lucky Anakin had not shown up. Maul compared this to Kenobi's arrogance. The two continued fighting and briefly engaged in a saber lock, with Maul gaining the upper hand, though he was caught by surprise by Ahsoka, who managed to kick him outside through a glass window.
Caught and released
- "Now, if you will follow my lead—"
"You don't understand. I'm not here to team up with you. I need a diversion, and you're it. Now go cause some chaos. It's what you're good at."
"Uh, care to give me a fighting chance?"
"I'm not rooting for you. Now get going."
- ―Maul and Ahsoka Tano, after she freed him
Outside, Ahsoka chased Maul to the top of a building. As his Mandalorian forces were being overrun, Saxon contacted Maul asking for reinforcements, but he abandoned him, saying that a ship would soon be arriving to pick him up. Saxon and his forces were outnumbered by clone troopers and forced to surrender shortly afterward. As Maul reached the top of the building, Ahsoka caught up with him and the two resumed their duel, before Maul's ship arrived to pick him up. Ahsoka stopped him from escaping, only for Maul to disarm her of both her lightsabers and slash the beam she was standing on. With Tano cornered, Maul gave her one last chance to join him, but she refused, causing him to slash at her angrily. Dodging his strikes, Tano grabbed Maul's saber and tripped him over the edge of the beam, though she saved him from falling to his death with the Force. Preferring to die rather than be captured, Maul told Ahsoka to let him fall, but she refused, just as three LAAT gunships arrived. Maul furiously told Ahsoka she had no idea what she had just done and that they were all going to die soon, before being stunned and taken into custody.
Maul was subsequently imprisoned within a Mandalorian vault designed to restrain Force-users and placed aboard the Venator-class Star Destroyer Tribunal commanded by Ahsoka, who was told by the Jedi High Council to bring him to Coruscant so that he could stand trial for his crimes. En route to Coruscant however, Palpatine (who had revealed himself as Darth Sidious) initiated Order 66, causing Rex and the rest of Ahsoka's clone troopers to turn on her. Maul sensed these events while in his captivity, before a pair of clones arrived to execute him, having received a different order from Sidious, who wanted to be rid of his former apprentice once and for all. Before the clones could shoot the renegade Sith Lord, Ahsoka knocked them out and subsequently freed Maul from his restraints. He expressed his surprise that Tano had survived, but she threatened him with her lightsabers and demanded to know if he was behind the events, which the former Sith denied. She then revealed that the clones had turned against her and Maul laughed at the "brilliance" of Sidious' plan to use the Jedi's army to destroy them, much to her disgust. Maul went on to explain that despite being Sidious's apprentice, he was unaware of the plan's finer details. He then proposed a team-up with the former Jedi Padawan, but she harshly rejected his offer and told him he was merely a distraction to cause some chaos, refusing to lend him one of her weapons to aid in his escape. Despite being unarmed, Maul, using the Force to rip panels from the walls, tore a path of destruction through the ship, slaughtering every clone trooper in his way. When a group of clones attempted to seal themselves off from him, he used the Force to pull one of the troopers' arms through the closing blast door, severing it and providing Maul with an active wrist comm connection to the clones' radio chatter.
Maul then made his way to the hyperdrive room, still using his stolen wrist comm to listen in on the clones. Two troopers then showed up and aimed their guns at him, but he effortlessly lifted them into the air and choked them. Entering the hyperdrive room, Maul quickly dispatched of all the clones using the Force, and tore the control console away before pulling the hyperdrive generators down, causing the vessel to drop out of lightspeed over a moon, where it became caught in its gravity well. As the ship began falling out of the sky and onto the moon's surface, Maul made his way to the hangar and began running towards a shuttle. Ahsoka saw him and gave chase, but Maul attacked her with the Force and said that he was only causing chaos as she wanted. Enraged, Ahsoka nearly killed him with a swipe from her lightsabers, but he retaliated by pushing her into a pit, though she was saved by the astromech droid RG-G1. Maul then tried to take off in the shuttle and, though Ahsoka attempted to stop him again and grabbed the shuttle using the Force, she was ultimately forced to let him go when both R7-A7 and Rex (who had had his behavioral modification biochip removed by Ahsoka) were shot by clone troopers, allowing Maul to escape into hyperspace.
Age of the Empire
A hunted shadow
- "Maul, what game are you playing?"
"The end game, Lady Tano. The end game. I am the enemy of your enemy now, and I have my own reasons for wanting the Empire to fall. But we have little time. The one they call Vader will be here soon."
- ―Ahsoka Tano and Maul
As Maul had foreseen, Anakin Skywalker did indeed fall to the dark side, becoming Sidious' next apprentice and taking on the name Darth Vader. With his new student at his side, Sidious established the Galactic Empire and enacted the Great Jedi Purge, the next step in his grand plan. Vader and the Jedi-hunting Inquisitorius were set loose to eradicate the Order that Maul had once wished to topple. Maul himself became a target of these Inquisitors, though for all their skills they were unsuccessful in discovering his whereabouts. Over the years, Maul remained elusive enough to the Imperial hunters that they began to refer to him as "The Shadow."
Following the outbreak of the Jedi Purge, Maul became a subject of interest to the renegade Padawan Ferren Barr, who kept a file on the former Sith Lord within the archives of Endee, an R1-series astromech droid under his possession. Barr had gathered information on both Maul as well as several other subjects, hoping to better understand how the Jedi met their downfall so quickly at the hands of the Sith. During the Occupation of Mon Cala in 18 BBY, Barr and his disciples were discovered by Vader. The Padawan had Endee upload a backup of the archive to a datacard before instructing the droid to self-destruct. Barr himself died in combat with Vader soon after.
Leading Crimson Dawn
- "For now, you will assume control over all Dryden's territories and interests. Bring the ship and come to me on Dathomir, and you and I will then decide what to do with the traitor Beckett. And his accomplices."
"I appreciate your faith in me. I'm on my way."
"And Qi'ra? You and I will be working much more closely from now on."
- ―Maul and Qi'ra
Sometime after his escape during the Purge, Maul had once again returned to Dathomir where he took up residence, and became the shadowy leader of Crimson Dawn, with Dryden Vos as his figurehead. In 10 BBY, following Vos's death, Maul was contacted by his underling Qi'ra, who informed him that Vos had been betrayed and murdered by Tobias Beckett and his associates that he employed, before having his shipment of coaxium stolen while it was being refined on the desert planet Savareen.
Irritated, Maul recalled Qi'ra to Dathomir, where he said that the two would decide how best to deal with Beckett and the other traitors. He then activated his new lightsaber and told Qi'ra that they would be working more closely from then on, elevating her to the late Vos' position.
Escape from Malachor
- "My apprentice is activating the temple, or more precisely, this battle station, which I shall use to exact my revenge on ALL my enemies!"
- ―Maul talking to Ahsoka Tano about Ezra activating the temple after blinding Kanan Jarrus.
Around the year 3 BBY, an Inquisitor named the Eighth Brother tracked Maul to Malachor. It was also at this time that Maul came in contact with Jedi apprentice Ezra Bridger, to whom he claimed to have crashed his ship years prior, leaving him trapped without contact from the wider galaxy. Introducing himself as the "Old Master," Maul alleged he had been seeking the same Sith holocron that Ezra was currently looking for, also seeking to destroy the Sith. Maul offered to help Ezra claim the holocron, revealing it was located inside the temple. As Ezra agreed to work together to claim it, Maul began manipulating the young would-be Jedi. During their very brief time together, Maul told Ezra about his past, saying that the Sith had taken everything from him. As Ezra began to trust and relate to Maul even more, Maul also explained to Ezra the ways of the dark side, preying upon the boy's passionate and aggressive tendencies.
The pair were able to retrieve the Sith holocron after passing a series of phyiscal challenges, with Maul guiding Ezra using the dark side. Advising him to use his feelings of loss and anger, Maul and Ezra discovered a key to reach the front of the temple, where they came across Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus and Ahsoka Tano, who were members of Phoenix Cell from the nascent rebellion against the Empire. Seeing them in combat with Eighth Brother, Fifth Brother, and Seventh Sister, Maul led Ezra down to their position. While Tano and Jarrus were reluctant to trust Maul, with his help, the three of them forced the Inquisitors to retreat. Maul had somehow learned of the Inquisitors' master, Darth Vader, and knew that they would inform him of the confrontation. This meant that Vader would soon be there, and Maul told the others that they would have to work together in order to defeat him.
Still unwilling to trust Maul, they only cooperated with him at the behest of Ezra, who remained adamant that Maul was on their side. With Maul's guidance, the rebels scaled the temple in an attempt to reach the top, where Maul claimed they could find the knowledge they sought to defeat the Sith. Along the way, Maul and Ezra engaged the Seventh Sister, with Maul easily subduing her in a Force choke. It was then that Maul implored Ezra to strike her down. Ezra hesitated, so Maul threw his lightsaber at her, killing her instantly. Maul scolded Ezra for his hesitation, warning him that it could cost him his life or the life of his friends in the future. Maul and Ezra continued on and met up with their other two companions, who were engaging the Fifth Brother and Eighth Brother in a lightsaber duel.
It was then that Maul sensed the presence of Darth Vader, who was approaching Malachor. He, however, dismissed his feeling to Ezra when the young Jedi asked him what was wrong. Maul then engaged the Inquisitors while Ezra continued on alone. Maul, with Ahsoka's assistance, slew the Fifth Brother, with Jarrus also managing to damage the Eighth Brother's lightsaber. As the Eighth Brother attempted to escape using his weapon, it malfunctioned, and the Inquisitor fell to his death below.
With all the Inquisitors dead and Ezra nearing the top, Maul then betrayed the Jedi, striking at Kanan and blinding him. With Kanan subdued, Maul engaged Tano and the two dueled briefly. It was then he revealed that the holocron was intended to power an ancient superweapon and that Maul intended to make the young boy his apprentice. Tano left to get Ezra and confronted Darth Vader as Kanan regained himself, with Tano claiming to the former Sith Lord he would have to face Kanan to get to her. Underestimating Kanan, Maul declared that he would finish off the Jedi quickly. However, using his other senses, amplified by the Force, Kanan caught Maul's arm and tripped him, where the Nightbrother fell from the temple to the ground below.
Maul survived the fall and eventually fled the planet using one of the fallen Inquisitors' TIE Advanced v1s, following the destruction of the Sith temple on Malachor, smiling as he plotted his next move. His influence had a profound effect on Ezra, who drifted closer to the dark side.
- "He lives! He lives!"
- ―Maul on finding out that Obi-Wan Kenobi is still alive
Months later in 2 BBY, Maul resurfaced and continued to pursue the rebels. Managing to board a Sphyrna-class Hammerhead corvette, Maul interrogated one of the rebels on board, forcing him to reveal the location of the rebel freighter, and Ezra Bridger's home, the Ghost. Shortly after, Bridger and Kanan Jarrus arrived at the transport and learned of the attack. Believing it to be the work of an Inquisitor, the pair contacted Hera Syndulla, the Ghost's pilot, and found out that Maul had taken her and the rest of the crew hostage. In exchange for their friends' lives, Maul demanded the Jedi give him both the Sith holocron and the Jedi holocron, to which they agreed.
While Jarrus and Bridger returned to the planet Atollon to retrieve the Sith holocron, Maul softly demanded Syndulla give him a "tour" around the Ghost, prompting Sabine Wren to implore her not to, to which Maul replied she should trust him, for he did once rule her people. Surveying each living quarter, Maul identified Jarrus's as the dull and dour one, befitting of a Jedi. Instructing Syndulla to reveal the location of the Jedi holocron, the Twi'lek told Maul that she didn't know anything about Jarrus. Knowing this to be a lie, Maul probed her mind with the Force, and learned that it was Syndulla's idea to recruit Bridger, and that the boy once stole the holocron, which was being held in a compartment below Jarrus's bed.
While Maul struggled to open the holocron, the Ghost's crew took the opportunity to escape. Using their restraints to destroy the reprogrammed tour guide droids guarding them, the rebels quietly moved down to the cargo hold, planning to magnetize it in order to immobilize Maul's robotic legs. Discovering their absence, Maul went searching for the rebels and eventually made his way to the cargo hold. Seconds later, the rebel crew's astromech droid, C1-10P, activated the magnets, causing Maul's legs to adhere to the vessel's ceiling. The rest of the rebels promptly rushed into the cargo hold and started firing at him; however, Maul deflected one of the bolts into the control interface, deactivating the magnets. Knocking the crew down with the Force, Maul threatened the rebels with their deaths once their usefulness was over.
Having already informed the Jedi of their rendezvous point, the Mandalorian asteroid outpost, Maul landed the Ghost in one of its hangars and kept the rebel prisoners under the watch of his reprogrammed droids. When the Jedi arrived, they met with Maul in the hangar, where the Dathomirian instructed Bridger to follow his droids to the command center, while Jarrus came with Maul. Looking to succeed where he failed on Malachor, Maul led the Jedi to an airlock and pushed him in, proceeding to eject him into space. Believing Jarrus to be dead, Maul went to meet Bridger, quietly instructing one of his droids to execute the rebel crew.
Swapping holocrons, Maul and Bridger sat down on the floor and opened the devices, seeking to combine them and have their questions answered. After combining the holocrons, Bridger, who wanted to know the key to destroying the Sith, saw locations both familiar and unfamiliar, while Maul saw nothing. Shortly after, the Ghost crew, who had been freed by Jarrus after he made his way back into the hangar, arrived at the command center but were dazzled by the light coming from the holocrons. Bridger exclaimed that he saw "twin suns," and Jarrus implored his apprentice to look away, while Maul incited the Jedi to focus. Heeding his master's warning, Bridger closed his eyes, causing the energy from the holocrons to explode and giving Maul a chance to escape. As Maul proceeded back to his ship, he realized what he had seen in the holocrons, repeating the phrase, "He lives."
Return to Dathomir
- "Our futures converge on a planet with two suns. We can walk that path together as friends, as brothers."
- ―Maul to Ezra Bridger on their shared vision
Due to the ritual involving the two holocrons, Maul and Ezra became mentally linked, both gaining information of what they both desired. As a result, Maul found Chopper Base on the planet Atollon. Using his mastery of the dark side, Maul tormented Ezra by causing the young Jedi to see and hear visions of him. On one occasion, Ezra even attacked and almost killed a rebel trooper whom he mistook for Maul. Later, he approached Ezra and Kanan in the wilderness while they were talking to a mysterious Force wielder called Bendu, who served as a bridge between the light and dark sides of the Force. Despite Bendu's warnings not to turn around, Kanan and Ezra did so and found Maul watching them from the top of a dune.
After complimenting the two Jedi for their safe hiding place, Maul assured them that he had come in peace to talk with his "apprentice" Ezra. When Ezra demanded to know how Maul tracked him down, the dark sider replied that Ezra's abrupt severance of their connection to the holocrons caused them to see fragments of each other's visions and knowledge. Maul added that he needed Ezra to come with him in order to retrieve the remaining fragments of the vision from his mind. When Kanan refused to negotiate with Maul, the dark sider threatened to activate a homing beacon that would alert the Empire to their presence in the event of his death.
Maul then offered to show Ezra how to destroy the Sith. With Kanan's reluctant approval, Ezra complied with Maul's ultimatum and departed with Maul on the Nightbrother. Maul took his unwilling apprentice to his homeworld of Dathomir. Unknown to them, Kanan and Sabine had placed a tracker on Ezra's wrist comm and followed them there. Maul took Ezra to the ruins of the Nightsister lair and explained that he was the last survivor of the Nightsisters. As Maul led Ezra into his cave-dwelling, he explained that the only way to retrieve the information was to merge their minds again in a ritual.
Maul had the cave filled with relics from his past including the Darksaber, a Mandalorian symbol of power. For the ritual, Maul and Ezra drank glasses of magick water which caused their eyes to turn green and shoot bright rays. As a result, Maul and Ezra discovered that his nemesis Obi-Wan Kenobi was hiding on a planet with twin suns and that Kenobi held the key to destroying the Sith. After completing the ritual, the two were confronted by Nightsister spirits that demanded that Maul and Ezra sacrifice their flesh and blood in return for the answers.
At that point, Kanan and Sabine entered the cave and opened fire on the spirits. However, the spirits overwhelmed and possessed them. The possessed Kanan and Sabine attacked Maul and Ezra. Maul was forced to parry with the possessed Kanan while Ezra was forced to dodge the possessed Sabine's blasts. Following a struggle, Maul and Ezra reached the entrance of the cave. The Nightsister spirits were unable to leave, because the altar was the source of their power. Having accomplished his objective, Maul offered Ezra a place as his apprentice and claimed that their destiny was linked with the planet with the twin suns. However, Ezra refused to abandon his friends. Exasperated by the sympathy and compassion of the young man towards his friends, Maul told Ezra that he had disappointed him before leaving to find his old enemy, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Duel on Tatooine
- "Tell me... Is it the Chosen One?"
"He... will... avenge us."
- ―Maul's final words with Kenobi, referencing Luke Skywalker
Maul eventually made his way to Tatooine, using knowledge from the two holocrons months earlier in search of his old nemesis Obi-Wan Kenobi. Whilst searching for him in the desert wastes, Maul realized that he was lost. Exhausted from his search and contemplating the thought of dying in the desert, he collapsed into the sand and started screaming Kenobi's name in desperation. However, he found a renewed sense of determination and resumed his search for Kenobi. Knowing that he was unable to find his old enemy on his own, he planned to draw him out, using the matrix he had taken from the Sith holocron to reach out to his "apprentice," Ezra Bridger.
Bridger, inspired by the vision sent by Maul, traveled to Tatooine to prevent the former Sith Lord from killing Kenobi. The Jedi apprentice also hoped to recruit the old Jedi Master to join the growing rebellion. Landing in a canyon at night, he discovered the fragment of the Sith holocron that Maul had planted as bait to lure him in. Deducing that it was a trap, he and his droid were suddenly ambushed by a band of Tusken Raiders, who attempted to kill Bridger. While the Tuskens failed to kill him, they did succeed in destroying the ship he arrived in. Shortly after Bridger was knocked unconscious by the explosion, Maul arrived and cut down all of the Tuskens before seemingly leaving Bridger alone.
Seeking a way off-world, Bridger and Chopper, who had stowed away on Bridger's ship, debated whether to follow the natural ridgelines of the canyons in the hope of finding a nearby settlement or crossing the vast desert in front of them. Maul appeared in an apparition and convinced Ezra to travel into the desert. Ezra and Chopper traveled into the desert but the two collapsed due to a sandstorm. A short while later, Bridger and Chopper were discovered by Kenobi, who was riding a dewback. Constructing a small campfire, Kenobi recharged Chopper with power from a portable light and tended to Bridger's wounds.
After Ezra awoke, Kenobi told the boy that Maul had manipulated Ezra into leading the former Sith Lord to Kenobi. At that moment, Maul arrived to settle the score with his old archenemy. Having led Maul to Kenobi, Bridger insisted on fighting the former Sith himself, but Kenobi commanded Ezra to return to his friends. Ezra and Chopper left, with Maul bidding farewell to his "apprentice." Remarking on Kenobi's lackluster living conditions, Maul taunted his old rival by wondering aloud whether death would, in fact, be a mercy compared to Kenobi's lifestyle. Kenobi was unperturbed and responded by stating that because Maul defined himself by his empty desires to dominate, kill, and possess, he had nothing at all. Maul, stung by the verbal barb, ignited his lightsaber and struck the ground in front of Kenobi's small campfire, showering it with sand and snuffing it out. The former Sith Lord speculated on what could have brought Kenobi to Tatooine, knowing it was not simply hiding but deduced that he was there to protect something—or someone. He could see what was in Kenobi's thoughts: a boy.
Stirred to action by Maul's threatening implications towards his charge, Kenobi activated his lightsaber and assumed the Soresu ready stance. Maul, in turn, activated the second blade of his weapon and the two enemies locked gazes. Kenobi switched his stance from Soresu to Ataru, and Maul recognized Kenobi's new stance as having belonged to Kenobi's old master Qui-Gon Jinn. He charged Kenobi, and the adversaries exchanged two rapid strikes before Maul brought the hilt of his blade up to strike Kenobi's face—the same attack which had allowed him to kill Jinn decades earlier. However, Kenobi had been prepared for Maul's strategy, and he brought his lightsaber down in an overhand strike as Maul initiated his attack. Kenobi's attack passed straight through the hilt of Maul's weapon, cleaving it in two and carving a lethal laceration into Maul's chest.
A shocked Maul looked down at his wound. Unlike last time, both ends of the lightsaber remained functional. He turned them off before dropping to one knee, but Kenobi caught him before he could fall to the ground and held him. Maul begged Kenobi to answer whether or not the boy that he was guarding was the Chosen One, with Kenobi confirming that this was the case. Maul seemed to come to terms with his death, stating with his final breath that the boy would avenge what the Emperor had done to them both. With that, after so many years of rage and anguish, Maul finally passes away peacefully. As a final gesture of mercy, Kenobi closed his eyes and laid him to rest.
Kenobi honored his old adversary by building him a funeral pyre, something he recalled shortly after becoming one with the Force.
- "Do you feel that...? ...I feel... cold..."
- ―Leia Organa senses remnants of Maul's dark power
Maul's ship, the Nightbrother, was taken by Ezra and Chopper back to Chopper Base as a new vehicle for the Alliance. It was key in the Battle of Atollon, in which Ezra and Sabine used it to transport members of Clan Wren to take down an Imperial Interdictor and allow the Rebels to escape Grand Admiral Thrawn's blockade.
Sidious considered Darth Maul to be a loss, whereas Count Dooku was labeled as both a proton torpedo and a mere placeholder. While having a Force vision surrounding Luke Skywalker, Sidious appreciated that he was a simple boy not covered in demonic tattoos like those of Maul.
Imperial historians were aware of Maul's affiliation with Sheev Palpatine. Historical records noted that Maul was the owner of the heavily modified Star Courier the Scimitar. It was hypothesized that the Scimitar was customized by Raith Sienar for Palpatine, who then bestowed the ship to Maul.
Twenty-three years after the end of the Clone Wars, Palpatine's Galactic Empire was overthrown by the Alliance to Restore the Republic and the last Jedi Knight in the galaxy: Luke Skywalker, the son of Anakin Skywalker and Padmé Amidala. Luke's twin sister, Princess Leia Organa, traveled to Naboo shortly before Operation: Cinder, which forced her, the queen, and her escort Shara Bey to reopen the Theed Royal Palace hangar—where Maul dueled Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi over three decades earlier—in order to access starfighters. When she entered, Organa felt, through the Force, remnants of Maul's dark power, feeling physically cold because of it.
Personality and traits
- "If you define yourself by your power to take life, a desire to dominate, to possess, then you have nothing."
- ―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Maul
A former Sith Lord and a skilled warrior in his own right, Maul for most of his life came to embody the obsessive and frenzied aspects of Sith revenge. As a Sith apprentice, Maul sought revenge against the Jedi for their triumph over the Sith and wanted to return the Sith to power over the galaxy. After his exile and the restoration of his mind, Maul turned his thoughts of revenge towards the galaxy itself, declaring himself and his brother the true Sith Lords; and especially towards Obi-Wan Kenobi, after the Jedi defeated him and forced him into exile after their duel on Naboo. He felt the vacuum from losing power, having known about the Clone Wars and intending to be part of it, only to learn that the Sith plans moved on without him. Maul was, therefore, willing to go to great lengths to achieve his vengeance, including slaughtering civilians and thrusting Mandalore into civil war to gain power and draw Kenobi out into the open. He knew the Jedi would not ignore a call for help.
During his exile, Maul's mind was shattered. He became obsessed with revenge, fueled and kept alive only by his hatred for Kenobi, despite losing his mind and many memories. His aggression and fear increased in his crazed condition, as Maul attacked Savage Opress when he first encountered his brother on Lotho Minor. When he was discovered by his brother, he could not speak coherently enough for Opress to understand him and would repeatedly recited lines from the Code of the Sith. It required magic from Mother Talzin to restore his mind, bringing him clarity again while still preserving his desire to seek revenge against those who had wronged him. Maul's personality was still deeply affected by his isolation and defeat by Kenobi. After his restoration, he lost much of his taciturn bearing and was prone to outbursts of anger and frustration whenever Kenobi came to mind. However, he regained enough of his discipline to keep his brother Savage in line. He also retained his bloodthirsty nature.
Maul's power made him crave dominance over the Sith and the galaxy, though he did not believe himself strong enough to take on his old mentor, Darth Sidious. It appeared that Sidious was the only being in the galaxy Maul ever feared, not only for his power but also his sadistic nature. Still, Maul had enough courage to take on his former master in open combat alone, as though he had nothing left to lose. And he would not break to either of Sidious and Darth Tyranus's torture sessions while incarcerated on Stygeon Prime.
Despite his ruthless and vindictive nature, Maul was not completely heartless, as he displayed a genuine attachment for his brother, Savage Opress, and their mother, the Dathomir Witch Mother Talzin. Although Maul often ordered Savage around and defined their relationship in the Sith tradition of master and apprentice, much to Savage's chagrin, they did genuinely care about each other. This was shown when Maul jumped to Savage's defense when he was wounded by Kenobi, and backed down when he was threatened by Death Watch. Furthermore, after witnessing Savage being killed by Sidious, Maul was grief-stricken and briefly mourned him before flying into a rage and attempting to avenge him. Maul was extremely loyal to his mother and reciprocated her loving and protective affection for him. Even when cornered by Sidious and his minions, he refused to leave her behind and was devastated by her death.
Even after many years, Maul still held an extremely bitter grudge against Sidious and all those who served him for taking everything he cared about from him. He also saw great potential in Ezra's abilities, desiring him as an apprentice, and even saving his life twice. However, he sought entirely to manipulate Bridger and use him to further his own obsessive agenda for power and revenge and attempted to kill Kanan Jarrus on two occasions in order to free Bridger of the Jedi's influence.
While still practicing their beliefs, Maul disassociated himself from the Sith, mainly due to the Order's association with Sidious. Cunning and deceptive, Maul was perfectly willing to feign weakness to accomplish his purposes, or even side with the Jedi if necessary. He was not above taunting such "allies," as evidenced by his calling Ahsoka "Lady Tano" and "a part-timer" in mockery of her departure from the Jedi Order as well as referring to Jarrus as "Master Jedi."
Desiring hope, Maul kidnapped Bridger and Jarrus's rebel companions in a successful effort to force them to surrender the Sith holocron from Malachor and Kanan's Jedi holocron. He wanted to merge the holocrons in order to create the clarity of vision needed to see his ultimate desire: Kenobi's death by his hand. Maul also hoped to take Ezra as his apprentice. Despite his promise to Bridger that he would not harm his friends, Maul secretly made an attempt on Jarrus's life and ordered his droids to execute the other Spectres in an attempt to claim Bridger as his apprentice. Despite Jarrus convincing Bridger to close his eyes and stop the vision, Maul nonetheless learned that his old enemy Obi-Wan Kenobi was still alive.
Maul's still-burning desire for vengeance against Kenobi led him to use his mastery of the dark side to torment Bridger in an effort to gain his attention. While Maul was aware of the high price of Nightsister magic, his desire to learn Kenobi's location led him to risk the wrath of these spirits. Due to their revelations, Maul came to believe that his destiny was linked to finding and killing Kenobi on Tatooine. Maul regarded Bridger as an excellent candidate to be his apprentice. However, Bridger's attachment and loyalty to his friends angered Maul, who chastised his desired apprentice as a "disappointment" for refusing to break the chains of the past.
Later, Maul's vendetta towards Kenobi led him to once again use his mastery of the Force to lure Bridger to Tatooine. Despite his hatred for Kenobi, before their battle he pondered if he should spare him after seeing he was reduced to hiding on the desert planet. Maul reconciled with his adversary in his last moments. Maul passed away with the belief that Kenobi was protecting the Chosen One who would restore balance to the Force and avenge them by destroying the Sith.
Powers and abilities
- "You have been well trained, my young apprentice. They will be no match for you."
- ―Darth Sidious orders Darth Maul to move against the Jedi during the war on Naboo
As the apprentice of Darth Sidious, Maul was trained to be a living weapon of the Sith, one intended to help Sidious bring about the destruction of the Jedi and take over the galaxy. One of the deadliest, most efficiently trained Sith in the Order's history. He became an acrobatic and highly trained Sith warrior, one who could relentlessly pursue his enemies while utilizing his double-bladed lightsaber. Indeed, Maul had been trained in several forms of lightsaber combat. He put these skills to the test for the first time in his duel against the Jedi apprentice Eldra Kaitis; although the young Twi'lek managed to hold her own against the Sith for a time, Maul came out of the encounter victorious. Later, during his duel on Naboo against Jinn and Kenobi, he demonstrated the ability to fight both the Jedi Master and his apprentice simultaneously on equal grounds as well as overpower Kenobi after he killed Jinn. Though Kenobi defeated Maul, this was due to Maul's own hubris and neglect for the fallen Jinn's lightsaber. He later outmatched Kenobi in a number of encounters after emerging from exile, including the fight over Raydonia, though their duel on Florrum ended in stalemate.
Maul was extremely skilled in unarmed combat, which he often integrated into his fighting style. This was most notable when he defeated an armed Pre Vizla with little to no assistance from the Force.
Maul also displayed considerable skill in Jar'Kai, holding his own against Jinn and Kenobi simultaneously on Naboo before splitting them up. He even put up a reasonable fight against Darth Sidious on Mandalore when they dueled with dual blades, going as far as landing a kick on the Dark Lord. After the Clone Wars, Maul demonstrated the ability to wield an additional weapon alongside his double-bladed lightsaber, on one occasion using a walking stick as a club in conjunction with his connected blades.
Maul could destroy numerous enemies, including Banking Clan droid guards, pirates, Hutt Clan forces, hordes of Separatist battle droids, clone troopers, and four of General Grievous's MagnaGuards. He also held his own against Mace Windu and Aayla Secura on a Mandalorian supply outpost, the elder Jedi being a longtime member of the High Council; this was a fight that Maul deemed "fair." He successfully overpowered the infamous Jedi hunter General Grievous; though he fought to a stalemate with the cyborg in their first duel, he overwhelmed him in their second and third encounters.
Over a decade later, Maul's fighting prowess was still as sharp as ever. While on Malachor, he aided Ahsoka Tano and Kanan Jarrus against three members of the Inquisitorius, defeating them easily. He also battled Tano and Jarrus, in turn, but lost the high ground to Jarrus whom he blinded with his lightsaber.
Despite Maul's dueling skills, Darth Sidious defeated both him and his brother Savage Opress, and though he pressed Sidious on his back foot, he was disarmed before being manhandled by the elder Sith Lord's Force powers. He openly stated his belief that he could not defeat Darth Vader without the help of the Jedi. In his final duel, Maul was fatally wounded within seconds of challenging his old rival, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Unlike the Inquisitorius, whose lightsabers could rotate, and General Grievous, whose split arms were able to spin with a weapon in each hand, Maul had the ability to twirl a double-bladed lightsaber with the use of only one hand.
Maul was also very skilled at deflecting blaster bolts with his lightsaber. He deflected the combined shots of Hera Syndulla, Sabine Wren and Zeb Orrelios, even when he was in a disadvantageous position.
- "My hatred kept my spirit intact even though my body was not. Yet, I was lost and became a rabid animal, and such is how you found me, brother: discarded, forgotten. I have missed so much..."
- ―Maul, to Savage Opress
In addition to his expertise with a lightsaber, Maul proved to be very strong with the Force, strong enough to survive being cut in half. This, in Maul's belief, had been due to his hatred of Kenobi and Sidious's training. Before his defeat on Naboo, Maul preferred to use the Force for tactical assistance, such as breaking tree branches to crush a rathtar, killing Zek Peiro by piercing him with debris, or using the Force to suffocate an enemy with his cloak, though when pressed he relied on the Force to pressure opponents, like pushing Kenobi over the edge of a reactor. Following his restoration by Talzin, Maul used the Force in active combat much more liberally and frequently.
During a skirmish on Florrum, Maul used a Force push powerful enough to blast Obi-Wan Kenobi over a long distance and cause the tunnel they were in to collapse. He was later able to telekinetically drag an Eta-class shuttle from a plateau immediately after sustaining heavy injuries resulting in the loss of one of his cybernetic legs. During his time on Mandalore, he was able to Force choke Satine Kryze to the point where he could hold her in midair without a hand gesture, a testament to his continued development. During the Battle of Zanbar, he unleashed a massive Force Wave that swept away many battle droids.
As the dark side of the Force became stronger within the galaxy during the time of Order 66, Maul's level of sheer strength grew as well for a brief time. He demonstrated the ability to telekinetically affect pure energy in the form of blaster bolts, effortlessly causing the rounds fired at him by Bo-Katan to bend and veer out of his path and into the nearby walls just by waving his hand. Shortly after his capture during the Siege of Mandalore, Maul was released by Ahsoka Tano when Order 66 was issued and the clones turned against her. After being released, Maul murdered several clones using only his telekinetic abilities, tearing panels off the walls to defend himself from the shots and crush and decapitate the clones. The rampage ultimately culminated in Maul disabling the Venator-class Star Destroyer, which had been ferrying the renegade Sith, solely through his mastery of the Force. Over a decade later, Maul told Ezra Bridger that his advanced age had diminished his abilities. However, this was later revealed to have been a deception meant to gain the boy's trust. Indeed, Maul had been able to Force Grip the Seventh Sister against her active resistance while simultaneously killing her with a Saber Throw.
Maul was also skilled in telepathy, specifically the mind probe technique, as shown when he used the power on Hera to find the location of Kanan Jarrus's Jedi holocron and his true identity; he had even succeeded in using the technique on Obi-Wan Kenobi prior to their final duel, discovering the existence of Luke Skywalker. It is not improbable that he employed it on Ahsoka Tano, learning much about her past, and it was likely that he probed the minds of the Inquisitors to decipher their intentions and the name of their master. Maul was also familiar with the magick practices of the Nightsisters, including a scrying spell which involved two people sharing a potion of magical ichor. He was able to manipulate the Force-bond he gained with Ezra Bridger as a result of holocron fusion to cause the young Jedi to hallucinate. He also used the fragment of a Sith holocron to activate Kanan's Jedi holocron and the Malachor Sith holocron as part of a plot to trick Ezra into luring Kenobi out of hiding.
Even so, by the time of the Clone Wars, Maul's Force powers were still outclassed by those of Sidious, as the Dark Lord telekinetically pinned both him and Opress to a wall with no visible effort. But, as Maul had grown more powerful, Sidious nonetheless considered him to be a rival. Darth Tyranus evidently thought rather highly of Maul, as he at one time referred to his predecessor as a great Sith Lord. Obi-Wan Kenobi, prior to his and Maul's final duel, said that his old enemy had the power to "alter the course of many things," which would indicate Maul's vast knowledge of the dark side.
- "Far above, far below, we don't know where we'll fall. Far above, far below, what once was great is rendered small."
- ―Mantra taught to Maul to help him focus his rage
Maul was a capable manipulator and a skilled military and political strategist as demonstrated by, amongst other achievements, forming the Shadow Collective in a very short amount of time and use it to conquer Mandalore. He had enough cunning to trick and capture both General Grievous and Darth Tyranus in a single stroke. Earlier, Maul must have surveyed the Theed power generator on Naboo before his Jedi adversaries arrived, thus setting a trap for them.
After being rescued by Death Watch, Maul said that he had become "indifferent to pain," suggesting a high pain threshold. Maul was experienced in surveillance, tracking, and espionage, acting primarily as a covert operative during his apprenticeship.[source?]
During the Naboo Crisis Maul wore Sith clothing that allowed freedom of movement, including loose-fitting pants for high-kicks. Under a black cloak he wore an undertunic, heavy-action boots, and protective gloves.
Behind the scenes
- "George Lucas had described Darth Maul as a figure from your worst nightmare. So... I drew George my worst nightmare."
- ―Iain McCaig, describing how he designed Darth Maul
Darth Maul first appeared in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, where he was played by actor and martial artist Ray Park. The character was a presence throughout the film, but only spoke three lines in total—all of which were voiced by actor Peter Serafinowicz. For the character's appearances in the animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, he was voiced by actor Sam Witwer. (Park provided motion capture reference for the seventh season of the former.) For Maul's cameo in the 2018 Star Wars Anthology film Solo: A Star Wars Story, Park reprised the role and Witwer provided the character's voice. The Solo script only specified a "Boss" character; director Ron Howard chose Maul from a list of possible candidates.
For The Phantom Menace, the character was designed by concept designer Iain McCaig, who felt that designing a new Star Wars villain was daunting. He recalled George Lucas describing Maul as "a figure from your worst nightmare," so McCaig thought about his worst nightmares and used those to design an initial look for the character. McCaig described his worst nightmare as a lifeless face pressed against a window in a thunderstorm, a dead yet alive figure who stares at him through the rain. McCaig used that as the first design, adding metal teeth and blood-red ribbons falling on it rather than rain. Lucas apparently felt it was too intense, saying "Okay. Now draw me your second worst nightmare..."
McCaig spent much of the three-year pre-production time drawing masks, attempting to design something similar to Ralph McQuarrie's original design for Darth Vader from Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Eventually, however, he felt he was on the wrong track. He ended up finding his stride when he drew members of the Episode I Art Department as Sith Lords, using their personalities and faces to design characters. At one point, McCaig used a circuit board as a face, a design that intrigued Lucas. Lucas also liked a concept based on production photographer Greg Gawlowski.
Darth Maul's design went through a number of other variations until McCaig created a series of Rorschach designs by creating splattered ink patterns, which led to the tattooed look of Darth Maul. McCaig wanted to soften the look of the character, at one point adding feathers the top of Darth Maul's head. McCaig saw these feathers are being part of the Sith Lord's personality; "every morning I imagined Darth Maul would get up and bind his head with this piano wire, and that the feathers had to end up at the right points—it was just a part of the focusing of the Sith." These feathers were interpreted as horns, however, which became part of the final design.
With the face of the character completed, McCaig also designed Maul's costume. Originally, Maul wore a large muscle suit, "making him larger than life," with Batman-like spikes on his neck. That costume made it through most of the storyboarding process until McCaig changed the costume and made it smaller after Lucas talked about an acrobatic lightsaber duel. The costume was therefore made smaller, resulting in the Sith robes Maul wore in The Phantom Menace.
For his return in The Clone Wars, Witwer knew that Maul was a popular character and felt a responsibility to get it right and respect the character's iconic status. He described Maul as broken and attempted to convey a shattered mind through his acting. One way of doing so was to quote the Code of the Sith from the Expanded Universe, part of which made it into the episode. The character's design on the show was very similar to his look in The Phantom Menace, and the animators used the designing of the character as an opportunity to improve animation on the series. Because the character's appearances required him to show emotion such as anger and hatred using only facial expressions, the animators spent time improving the modelling process to achieve better expressions. Because Maul had been cut in half in The Phantom Menace, he required a new set of cybernetic legs for The Clone Wars. The cyborg form of Darth Maul had previously been created by Industrial Light & Magic concept artist Aaron McBride for the Infinities graphic novel Star Wars: Visionaries.
At one point in his developments of the sequel trilogy, Lucas had considered using Maul as a villain in the films, taking on the Legends character Darth Talon as an apprentice and becoming "the godfather of crime in the universe." Although the Zabrak never appeared in the sequel films, the idea of a crime lord Maul was later brought to live action in 2018's Solo: A Star Wars Story.
While developing the second season of Rebels, it was initially intended for Maul to die at the hands of Darth Vader in the season finale "Twilight of the Apprentice," but it became unwieldy as there were too many storylines and not enough emotional material between Maul and Vader.
To prevent leaks about Maul's appearance as the true leader of Crimson Dawn in Solo: A Star Wars Story, he went unnamed in the script, even causing some of the filmmakers to think the decision of who was Crimson Dawn's leader was still undecided. Prior to Maul's selection, the first draft of the film's script had Dryden Vos as Crimson Dawn's second-in-command with a Hume Cronyn–esque genial but ruthless character known as The Kazier. While Sam Witwer voiced Maul in the finished film, Maul's original voice actor Peter Serafinowicz initially recorded Maul's lines for the film, but his performance was ultimately cut in favor of Witwer's.
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