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"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[src]

The Shadow Collective, also known as the syndicate, was a criminal alliance and rival Sith order founded during the Clone Wars by the rogue Sith Lord Maul. Partly founded at the behest of Mother Talzin, Maul aimed to threaten the plans of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious as well as to compete with him for galactic power. Among its goals, it sought to defeat both the Confederacy of Independent Systems and the Galactic Republic. During the war, Maul rallied the forces of Death Watch, Black Sun, the Pyke Syndicate, the Hutt Clan, and the Nightbrothers to form a considerable base of power. The Shadow Collective worked under Maul's vision as he led them to a takeover of Mandalore. Although Maul's ally Pre Vizsla planned only to win back his homeworld, Maul had ambitions to influence the thousands of neutral systems impacted by Mandalore as well as enact a plan of revenge against his former master Darth Sidious. Their alliance ended when Vizsla betrayed Maul, but the renegade Sith later defeated him in single combat, executing him and taking control of Mandalore. However, his empire began to fragment after the Hutts abandoned him, with the Pykes and Black Sun severing ties following their defeat at the hands of the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Maul eventually lost control of Mandalore when the Republic laid siege to the planet. However, the Pykes and Black Sun came back and were later joined by Crimson Dawn, a group that succeeded Shadow Collective and Maul's ambitions after the conclusion of the Clone Wars and the rise of the Galactic Empire.

History[edit | edit source]

Origins[edit | edit source]

"And what do you seek now, Sith?"
"Fortune and power."
―Pre Vizsla and Maul[src]

Following the Skirmish on Florrum, which saw the pirate Hondo Ohnaka and Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi defeat Maul and Opress after the pair hoped to take over Ohnaka's gang and base of operations,[13] the two brothers became stranded in space. However, they eventually passed out from lack of oxygen in their escape pod.[1]

The Mandalorian Death Watch formed an alliance with the renegade Sith brothers Maul and Savage Opress in a bid to take over Mandalore.

They were then discovered by Pre Vizsla, leader of a Mandalorian splinter group known as Death Watch. The two brothers, who were dangerously injured following the events which took place on Florrum, were taken onto Vizsla's ship, upon which they were taken to the Death Watch's base on the moon Zanbar. Maul and Opress awoke inside a tent, with Vizsla and Bo-Katan Kryze, Vizsla's second-in-command, greeted the brothers, inquiring as to who they were. Upon Maul's response as the brothers being Sith, Vizsla acted with hostility due to his dislike of his former ally Count Dooku. Maul told Vizsla that he worked for no man and admitted his hatred for Kenobi, to which Vizsla appeared impressed with. When Maul revealed that he was only a Sith that sought fortune and power, Vizsla told his droids to fix his legs and left.[1]

The two men later had Cassius Tea together in one of the Mandalorian tents. Vizsla explained his struggle against Duchess Satine Kryze of Mandalore, and his people's past as warriors. He also explained how Satine and Kenobi were linked personally and told Maul he believed that fortune brought them together. Maul rose from his seat and said that it was the will of the Force that brought them together, saying that he and Savage could help them reclaim Mandalore, with Vizsla adding that they would punish Kenobi for his trespass into their affairs.[1]

Bo-Katan stepped in, and offered a counter argument—remembering the time that Death Watch allied itself with Dooku—and how it affected them badly. Maul proceeded to Force choke Bo-Katan and expressed his hopes for an alliance between the Death Watch and the two brothers. He let Bo-Katan go, and Vizsla told Maul that he would put the proposed alliance to a vote amongst his men. Maul smiled and stalked out, returning to his brother. Following Opress' awakening, Maul calmed his brother and informed them of their new alliance, and how they could take advantage of Vizsla. Vizsla then entered and informed the two brothers of his men's favor of an alliance, officially creating the Shadow Collective.[1]

Recruiting allies[edit | edit source]

"Your people are strong and powerful, but you'll need an army to free Mandalore."
―Maul begins to tell Pre Vizsla of his vision[src]

Maul explained his vision to Vizsla, telling him of his plan to gather allies to help them reclaim Mandalore. Vizsla explained that he had supporters already on the planet, but Maul told him that they would start by recruiting the Black Sun. Vizsla said that they were hardly a force to rally with, but Maul told him that they were perfect allies because they could provide them with the resources they needed without the scrutiny of the Republic.[1]

The newly formed alliance traveled to Mustafar, on which the Black Sun fortress was located. The force was met by a battalion of Black Sun warriors, led by Vigo Ziton Moj, whom Maul noted would serve them well. Maul requested an audience with their leader, to which Moj laughed and said that it was his funeral before leading them into the fortress.[1]

Maul, Opress, and the Death Watch coerced the galaxy's premiere crime syndicates into an alliance, forming the Shadow Collective.

Maul, Vizsla, and Opress entered the meeting room of the fortress, where Xomit Grunseit and the leaders of Black Sun were assembled. Grunseit and his fellow leaders refused to cooperate with Maul, and so Opress, in a single motion, threw his double-bladed lightsaber down the table, decapitating and killing each and every leader of the Black Sun immediately. Moj, the new de-facto leader, hastily agreed to join the new group. As they began to load supplies onto their ships, Vizsla smiled and said that they had their army now, but Maul brushed him off and said that there was a singular vision behind their scheme. Vizsla countered that it belonged to Death Watch, but Maul said that he lacked clarity and did not understand the depth of their opportunity.[1]

Back on Zanbar, members of the Pyke Syndicate—a crime organization dealing mostly with illegally exporting spices and drugs—landed, led by Lom Pyke, who informed Vizsla that he did not wish to oppose the new organization, and conveyed his wishes to join them.[1]

The leaders of Shadow Collective approach the Hutt Council

A task force, led by Maul, Vizsla, and Opress, traveled to Nal Hutta, a central planet of Hutt Space to meet with the Grand Hutt Council. There, Maul asked the council for control of everything inside Hutt-controlled borders, or their lives would be taken. Upon hearing this, a team of hired bounty hunters, including Embo, Sugi, Dengar, and Latts Razzi began to attack Maul's forces. A large confrontation broke out, forcing Maul, Vizsla, and Opress to retreat. After being pushed back to the landing platform, the trio were reinforced by the Nite Owls and several Death Watch Warriors and began pushing their way back into the Council Chamber. Having forced the bounty hunters into a retreat, Maul interrogated Oruba for the location of the other members. Being dissatisfied that the only location he was given was Jabba's Palace, Maul had Opress kill Oruba.[1]

Soon afterwards, the Shadow Collective traveled to Tatooine and attacked Jabba's Palace. The Death Watch soldiers were quickly able to cause chaos as they landed and dropped over a dozen armed guards. They soon surrounded the Hutt Council and forced them to join the Shadow Collective. Now with an army, Maul revealed to Vizsla that he was intending to control the criminal underworld after taking Mandalore. Maul then ordered him to send scouts to the capital in advance in order to devise targets in Sundari, the capital of Mandalore, for Vizsla's plan.[1]

Taking Mandalore[edit | edit source]

"Death Watch is here to save you from these intergalactic gangsters that threaten our great city. This is a war, and we will win"
―Vizsla gains public support[src]

Vizsla's scouts supplied Maul with targets for the Shadow Collective in Sundari and Maul met with the leaders of Shadow Collective. He told the Death Watch to act as the heroes for the Mandalorians as the other groups were meant to cause chaos and undermine their safety under the Kryze. The Shadow Collective traveled swiftly to Mandalore where Maul and Savage led the attacks on the Mandalorian police, causing mayhem throughout Sundari. After sufficiently sowing the seeds of chaos, Vizsla and two other Death Watch warriors flew in to interrupt Satine's speech to the people. Vizsla promised that Death Watch would save them from the threat. As instructed, Vizsla, Bo-Katan, and another soldier led rescue parties for the Mandalorian people. Kryze lost control over her people as they all turned to Vizsla. Satine was then captured and, with the full backing of the populace, Vizsla declared himself Mand'alor.[11]

Maul defeats Vizsla in single combat and executes him

Vizsla then double-crossed Maul and Opress, saying that he had no desire to continue forward with Maul's vision because he had what he wanted. They were publicly shown in shackles before being thrown in prison, although they quickly freed themselves. Mandalore's politicians were quickly brought into line, either joining Vizsla's new rule or being executed. Maul approached Satine to learn where the other political leaders were, and after she told him that she and the former Prime Minister Almec were the only ones left, Maul approached Almec. After he revealed his plan to challenge Vizsla to single combat for the mantle of leadership, Almec agreed to become their new puppet leader. Maul then challenged Vizsla for his title and Vizsla fought with him until Maul defeated him, beheading Vizsla in front of the other Death Watch members and declaring himself as their new leader. Most of them accepted the duel's outcome. However, Bo-Katan and her Nite Owls refused to accept Maul and led a resistance against him, quickly fleeing the palace. Death Watch was then led by Maul, Opress, and the freed Prime Minister Almec. Almec made a speech to the populace, declaring that Satine had assassinated Vizsla and that Vizsla's final command was for him to become the new leader of Mandalore. Some Death Watch warriors painted their armor red to resemble Maul's appearance and they became known as Mandalorian super commandos.[11]

Defeated by Sidious[edit | edit source]

Maul duels his former master

Although Almec's rule did not garner the attention of the Republic, as was Maul's plan, Darth Sidious, seeing his old apprentice as a threat, traveled to Mandalore to confront Maul as the battle for Sundari raged on between Shadow Collective and the Mandalore resistance, led by Bo-Katan. Sidious dueled Maul and Opress, killing Opress and defeating Maul.[3] Despite Maul's capture and the Hutts abandoning the Shadow Collective, the Pykes and Black Sun remained loyal to Maul.[8] Maul was held at the prison known as the Spire on the planet Stygeon Prime, where he was tortured by Darth Sidious and Sidious' current apprentice Darth Tyranus, more widely known as Count Dooku. The pair tortured Maul in order to find the location of Mother Talzin, who was secretly behind Maul's return and was seen as a threat by Sidious.[8]

The prison was run by Dooku's government, the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Despite the high security, two of Maul's Mandalorian commandos, Rook Kast and Gar Saxon, were, ordered by Almec, were able to break in and rescue Maul. This was done, and Maul was returned to Mandalorians on Zanbar, however they were quickly found by the CIS. General Grievous attacked the location, and many of Maul's Mandalorian troops were killed in the battle.[8] However, Maul and his remaining Mandalorians retreated to Ord Mantell on Warships, which was where Black Sun had a presence in Ord Mantell City. After defeating Separatist forces there,[4] the Separatists attacked Shadow Collective forces at their secret asteroid base Vizsla Keep 09.[9] Maul intended to use Dooku to bring about Talzin's complete return to the physical realm, but was thwarted by Grievous and Sidious. Talzin took control of Dooku's body initially, but, after being attacked by Sidious' Force lightning, she elected to exit the Count, now fully whole and returned. Eventually, however, Dooku and Sidious both fired Force lightning at her, and she elected to keep her defense up to protect Maul. As Maul was pulled to safety by his Mandalorians, Grievous fatally stabbed the Nightsister Mother.[10]

Though Maul escaped Dathomir, Sidious felt that, with Talzin's death, he was no longer a threat to his plans. The Shadow Collective itself had also been disrupted. Both the Black Sun and Pykes had been attacked by the Separatists, leading to both to retract their support. In addition, a Separatist invasion fleet had been deployed to and attacked Dathomir.[10]

Regrouped[edit | edit source]

"What's going on?"
"Maul just told the syndicate leaders to go into hiding.
"
―Gar Saxon and Rook Kast[src]

Maul having a meeting between the various syndicate leaders of the Shadow Collective and telling them to go into hiding.

Despite the Pykes and Black Sun leaving the Collective,[10] they eventually rejoined.[14] Crimson Dawn had also become a member of the Collective by the time of the escape from Oba Diah.[6] When the Siege of Mandalore began after the Battle of Coruscant, Almec had the rest of the syndicate informed of the attack while the Mandalorian super commandos fought off the invading Republic and Mandalorian resistance forces.[15] Shortly afterward, when Almec had been captured and was later assassinated by Saxon. Meanwhile, Maul made preparations for the end of the Clone Wars, the former Sith contacted the Shadow Collective leaders via hologram and ordered them to go into hiding. He revealed to his warriors that the dark side had never been stronger and that the galaxy was soon to be remade. Maul's forces would soon lose control of Mandalore and Maul was imprisoned after being defeated by Ahsoka Tano.[14] However, with the execution of Order 66, which Maul had foreseen, he was able to escape from Tano.[16]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

The emblem of the Crimson Dawn, Maul's successor to the Shadow Collective.

Maul survived and led the criminal enterprise Crimson Dawn after the end of the war. Unlike the Shadow Collective, Maul relied on a figurehead, Dryden Vos, and later, Qi'ra, to publicly lead the group. He resided on Dathomir in a stronghold he constructed out of the ruins of the old Nightsister lair, collecting various objects from his former conquests, including a portrait of the former Duchess Satine. After Qi'ra's ascension following Vos's death, Maul told her to come to Dathomir and told her that they would be working much more closely.[17]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Non-canon appearances[edit | edit source]

Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

History of the Sith
Hundred-Year Darkness · Sith Wars · Sith war · Great Sith War · Sith Empire · Great Scourge of Malachor
Darth Momin's destruction of a city · Great Hyperspace War · Battle of Wasted Years · Era of the Sith
Battle of Takodana · Jedi-Sith War · Rule of Two
Great Plan (Oba Diah · Naboo Crisis · Separatist Crisis · Clone Wars)
Darth Maul (Drazkel · Mandalorian civil war · Campaign against the Shadow Collective)
Galactic Empire (Great Jedi Purge · Early rebellion · Galactic Civil War) · Mission to Malachor · World Between Worlds
Sith Eternal (First Order/Resistance War)
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External links[edit | edit source]

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