- "As I have always said, the stories told during the Clone Wars era will live on, and we are eager to share Darth Maul’s storyline with you."
- ―Dave Filoni
Star Wars: Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir is a four-issue canon comic book miniseries written by Jeremy Barlow, with artwork by penciller Juan Frigeri, inker Mauro Vargas, colorist Wes Dzioba, and cover artist Chris Scalf. The miniseries was published by Dark Horse Comics beginning on May 21, 2014, and concluded with the fourth and final issue on August 20, 2014. A trade paperback was released on October 1, 2014 and re-published by Marvel Comics on November 21, 2017.
Son of Dathomir is an adaptation of unproduced scripts from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was part of the television show's sixth production season. The episodes that Son of Dathomir were based on were not completed and therefore not released as actual episodes. The story is part of The Clone Wars Legacy line.
The series is set during the Clone Wars, and is a continuation of Darth Maul's story from the show. The rogue Sith Lord, who was revealed to have survived the events of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace in the episode "Witches of the Mist," has been captured by his former master, Darth Sidious, following the events of the episode "The Lawless." Sidious uses Maul in an attempt to draw Mother Talzin, Maul's mother and the leader of the Nightsisters, out of hiding so she can be destroyed, as Sidious considers her a potential threat to the eventual Sith domination of the galaxy. Maul confronts the Confederacy of Independent Systems and captures Count Dooku and General Grievous in pursuit of vengeance against his old master, while the Galactic Republic and Jedi Order become involved in the hopes that they can defeat Maul, Dooku, and Grievous—and, in doing so, end the Clone Wars.
Getting cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi and being rejected by his former Sith Master Darth Sidious isn't going to defeat Darth Maul. In fact, it only makes him mad enough to take on the galaxy—with an army of Mandalorians~
After forming the Shadow Collective—a criminal organization composed of the Hutts, Black Sun, the Mandalorians, and the fearsome Nightbrothers—Maul wages war against Darth Sidious and his generals, Count Dooku and General Grievous!
Adapted from unproduced screenplays for Season 6 of The Clone Wars television show, this is the final chapter planned for Darth Maul's saga!
In the aftermath of the events of "The Lawless," Darth Maul has been captured by Darth Sidious, his former master, and imprisoned in the Spire, a Separatist prison on Stygeon Prime. Sidious is followed by Gar Saxon and Rook Kast, two of Maul's Death Watch followers, on orders for Mandalorian Prime Minister Almec to free Maul from imprisonment. Once freed, Maul and the warriors are to rendezvous with Death Watch forces on Zanbar.
Sidious speaks to Maul in the Spire and reveals that he still has use for his former apprentice, before the two are interrupted by Count Dooku. The arrival of Sidious' new apprentice angers Maul, who views Dooku as a Sith pretender and unworthy of the title of Sith Lord. Sidious and Dooku leave to confer with one another, as Sidious explains that he imprisoned Maul to draw out Mother Talzin, leader of the Nightsisters, so she can be destroyed as a potential threat to the eventual Sith rule of the galaxy. Sidious also reveals that he has a history with Talzin, from whom he received Maul when Maul was a child. Sidious orders Dooku to find out more information about Maul's Shadow Collective, as Maul will end up believing that the Sith want to destroy his army, and seek out Mother Talzin for help.
After Dooku briefly interrogates Maul, Kast and Saxon mount their rescue. The two Mandalorians reach their captive leader and free him from his restraints, before blasting out a wall of the interrogation cell. Maul and the Mandalorians make their way down the mountain, via zipline, that the Spire sits upon and escape aboard a Gauntlet fighter. Separatist forces, led by General Grievous, pursue the ship, while Dooku makes it clear that Maul is not to be killed, only weakened. That way, he can seek out Mother Talzin for help. With Separatist forces in pursuit, Maul and the Mandalorians reach Zanbar. Once again in command of his army, Maul reclaims his Darksaber, the weapon that belonged to the previous Death Watch leader, Pre Vizsla, and tells the Mandalorians that war is at hand.
The Separatists arrive on the moon and launch all of their forces against Maul. Death Watch is overwhelmed by the droid soldiers, while Maul faces Grievous in single-combat. Maul's army is left badly damaged, but Maul orders his fighters to bomb the area, taking out many Separatist forces as well. Maul escapes in the chaos and orders his surviving forces to retreat. After the battle ends, Grievous informs Dooku of what happened, leaving Dooku satisfied that Maul will seek to find Mother Talzin.
In retreat from Zanbar, Maul contacts Mother Talzin for guidance, just as Sidious and Dooku intended. Talzin uses Nightsister magick to speak to Maul from afar, and anticipates that the Sith want to lure her into a trap. Refusing to play along, Talzin sends Maul to Ord Mantell without her, where he is to regroup with his Black Sun allies and prepare for another battle with the Separatists—one where Maul can capture Count Dooku and General Grievous. Once on Ord Mantell, Maul confers with his allies and informs them of the impending battle. Meanwhile, Dooku and Grievous prepare their own strategy en route to the planet.
Maul and his allies plan to lure the Separatists into a specific point in Ord Mantell City, where the Mandalorians, Black Sun, and Pyke Syndicate will engage in an attack against the invading droid army. A team of Nightbrothers, led by Brother Viscus, arrives on orders from Mother Talzin to reinforce Maul's army. As Maul greets the Nightbrothers, the Separatists begin their attack, using their fleet to bombard Ord Mantell City. The Shadow Collective begins carrying out their defense, while the Separatists deploy their droid forces on the surface. Once there, they are met in battle by the limited but powerful number of Shadow Collective troops—Mandalorian, Pyke, and Black Sun alike. Meanwhile, Count Dooku arrives with a number of droid guards, while Maul leaves the surface and makes his way to the Separatist fleet. He and his ships attack the Separatist command vessel, while Grievous realizes the Separatists have been lured into a trap. On the surface, Dooku is confronted by the Nightbrothers, and a duel ensues between the Sith Lord and the Dathomirian warriors.
The droid army advances on the Shadow Collective and takes Maul's forces into custody, while the renegade Sith Lord himself continues his space assault. He and Mandalorian warriors board the Separatist command ship and take General Grievous into custody, and they force the Kaleesh cyborg to disable all battle droids on the surface. The disabling of the droids allows the Shadow Collective forces to regroup and capture Count Dooku. Maul contacts Mother Talzin to tell her what has happened, and she promises that, with Dooku and Grievous in custody, Sidious will soon be captured and they will fulfill their quest for vengeance against the Dark Lord.
A team of Jedi arrives on Ord Mantell to investigate the aftermath of the battle, and recognizes the connection between Darth Maul and the Mandalorians once they recover a Death Watch helmet. Jedi Master Mace Windu contacts Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, who is secretly Darth Sidious, to inform him that Maul was behind the battle. Windu hopes to use this information to capture Maul and Dooku, and to use their captures to end the Clone Wars. Windu then speaks to fellow Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, Tiplee, and Aayla Secura, and together they surmise that Maul may have headed to a Mandalorian asteroid outpost. Fearing that Mandalore could fall to the Separatists, Kenobi volunteers himself, along with Tiplee, to investigate the outpost.
Meanwhile, on the Mandalorian outpost, Maul contacts Darth Sidious and informs the Dark Lord that Dooku and Grievous have been captured. Sidious tells Maul to kill them, for he has no use for what he sees as failures. Maul instead orders Grievous to be taken into custody. As he does so, the Jedi begin their approach towards the outpost, and Tiplee fears that Kenobi will be unable to keep his emotions under control; Maul killed Satine Kryze, the Duchess of Mandalore and a close personal friend of Kenobi's. Kenobi assures his fellow Jedi that he will not fail. As the Republic approaches, Maul offers Dooku a choice: become an ally or die. Mother Talzin appears in a cloud of magic smoke and reveals that she too was once betrayed by Darth Sidious—and that Darth Maul is her son. As Talzin explains, Sidious is even now working to find a new apprentice.
The Republic assault on the outpost begins, and the Republic ships make their way through Gauntlet fighter fire towards the base. Grievous uses the chaos to make it to an escape pod, while Dooku agrees to join Maul and fight against Kenobi's boarding party. The Jedi arrive on the outpost, where Kenobi and Tiplee are confronted by Maul and Dooku. They engage in a lightsaber duel, which is joined by Windu and Secura. Dooku kills Tiplee, while the Mandalorians shoot a small missile towards the Jedi, incapacitating them. This gives Maul and Dooku time to escape. In the aftermath of the battle, Windu contacts Palpatine and informs him of what happened. The Jedi Master also speculates that the battle proves Dooku is the Sith Master, an incorrect assessment that Palpatine, the true Dark Lord, allows the Jedi to believe.
While en route to Dathomir, Maul is contacted by Ziton Moj of Black Sun and a member of the Pyke Syndicate. Having lost the moon of Zanbar and the planet Ord Mantell—as well as the supply outpost—in their fights against the Sith, the two allies have become worried that Maul's plan is failing and that the fight has become the former Sith Lord's personal vendetta against his old master. Maul assures them that they will be paid, and that, once Darth Sidious is dead, the galaxy will belong to the Shadow Collective. Maul then orders Gar Saxon, a Mandalorian, to keep the Pykes and Black Sun in line. Meanwhile, Maul tells Dooku that he knows the Sith Lord is not truly an ally, and that Dooku has been told by Sidious to play Maul's game. Maul then has Dooku taken into custody by Rook Kast.
Once on Dathomir, Maul speaks to Brother Viscus, who survived his encounter with Count Dooku during the battle on Ord Mantell, and Viscus tells Maul that the preparations had been made for the next phase of their plan. The Nightbrothers take Dooku before Mother Talzin, who appears in a cloud of smoke and begins to unleash a magick attack against the Sith Lord.
Meanwhile, a Sith Infiltrator arrives in orbit, carrying both General Grievous and Darth Sidious, after tracking Dooku's location to Dathomir. Sidious orders Grievous to jam the Dathomirian communications and cloak the ship, allowing them to arrive on Dathomir undetected. Maul and the Nightbrothers do not see the ship coming and continue with their plan, as Talzin uses her magic to draw the life force from Dooku so she can use it to physically manifest herself again. As Maul explains, Talzin's physical return requires a great sacrifice, and they had chosen Dooku to make that sacrifice.
As the process continues, an explosion rips through the area, and Grievous and Sidious appear before Maul to confront him. Sidious reminds his former apprentice that there is only one plan that matters: the plan of Darth Sidious to rule the galaxy. As they speak, Moj and Pykes contacts Kast, informing her that the Separatist armies have begun attacking them. The Shadow Collective allies demand to know where Maul is, but Kast says that his not their concern and that they are to fight the Separatists.
On Dathomir, Mother Talzin takes control of Dooku's body, and she and Maul engage in combat against Sidious and Grievous. Talzin fights the Dark Lord of the Sith while Maul attacks Grievous. Sidious quickly gains the upper-hand against Talzin, demanding that she release his apprentice. Sidious bombards Dooku's body with Force lightning before Talzin releases Dooku and appears in physical form once again. Kast, meanwhile, continues speaking with Black Sun and the Pykes, who inform her that they are pulling out of the Shadow Collective, leaving Maul on his own as a Separatist fleet emerges from hyperspace over Dathomir.
Maul continues his fight against Grievous, pushing him out of and away from the battle. Sidious once again unleashes lightning against Talzin, while Talzin herself sends a torrent of magical energy towards the Dark Lord. Maul pleads with Talzin to take his strength, but, as Dooku enters the fight with his own lightning attacks, Talzin tells her son to retreat without her, even if it means her own doom. Talzin uses her magic to telekinetically throw Maul from the fray, and he is pulled away by Kast and another Mandalorian warrior—but watches as Grievous returns and uses two lightsabers to fatally stab Talzin through the chest.
With his Shadow Collective in tatters, Maul and Death Watch flee from Dathomir. Sidious, Dooku, and Grievous overlook Talzin's body, while Dooku regretfully says that Maul has once again escaped. Sidious is not concerned, however, as everything transpired as he had intended. Maul's future as a Sith rival has been destroyed, while the Sith have taken another step in securing their own future.
Darth Maul is a renegade Sith Lord who was once the apprentice of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith. He was believed to have been killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi during the Battle of Naboo, but survived his encounter and returned to galactic prominence during the Clone Wars over ten years later. After being captured by his former master on Mandalore, Maul is imprisoned in the Spire on Stygeon Prime. Sidious and Count Dooku allow Maul to escape, hoping that he will lead them to Mother Talzin, leader of the Nightsisters, so she can be destroyed. This leads to the Battle of Zanbar, where General Grievous leads the Separatist Droid Army to the Mandalorian-occupied moon and forces the Shadow Collective into a retreat. Maul contacts Mother Talzin for guidance, but Talzin—Maul's mother—refused to be drawn out into a trap. The two put a plan in place to capture the two Separatist leaders, which sparks a battle on Ord Mantell and the capture of Count Dooku and General Grievous. Maul offers Dooku a chance to ally with him, and Dooku feigns loyalty to his predecessor. The two fight off a Republic and Jedi assault on a Mandalorian asteroid outpost, where Maul again comes face-to-face with Kenobi, before leaving and making their way to Dathomir. Maul escorts his Sith Lord prisoner to Dathomir, where Talzin takes over Dooku's body and absorbs enough life energy to resurrect herself. However, Sidious and Grievous arrive and overwhelm Maul and Talzin, and she sacrifices herself to allow her son to escape.
Mother Talzin is a Dathomir witch, the leader of the Nightsisters, and the mother of Darth Maul. She was once an ally of Darth Sidious before he turned against her, and the Dark Lord now deems Talzin to be a threat to the eventual Sith rule of the galaxy. Talzin was able to revive her son, but this caused her to sacrifice much of her own form, leaving her unable to physically manifest her body. Talzin correctly assumes that the Sith are attempting to use Darth Maul to lure her out of hiding so she can be destroyed, and refuses to fall prey to the trap. Talzin sends her son to Ord Mantell to capture Count Dooku and General Grievous, a plot he successfully executes. Talzin appears in a cloud of magical smoke before Maul and Dooku and attempts to sway the Sith Lord to their side, telling him that Sidious, Dooku's master, is already searching for a new apprentice. Dooku feigns an allegiance with Maul, but Maul sees through the facade and brings Dooku to Talzin's crypt on Dathomir, where she draws from Dooku's life energy to regain her physical form. Sidious and Grievous arrive to carry out Talzin's execution and a battle ensues, with Talzin giving her life to save Maul.
Sheev Palpatine/Darth SidiousEdit
Darth Sidious is the Dark Lord of the Sith, more widely known by his public persona of Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and the former master of Darth Maul. Having captured Maul on Mandalore, Sidious takes his former apprentice to the Spire on Stygeon Prime, where Sidious and his new apprentice, Count Dooku, put a plan in motion to use Maul in the hopes of luring Mother Talzin out of hiding; Sidious and Talzin were once allies, but Sidious now deems her to be a threat to the eventual Sith rule of the galaxy. The Separatists are able to weaken Darth Maul's Shadow Collective army and send him towards Talzin, but the Dathomir witch refuses to be baited and instead has Maul capture Count Dooku and General Grievous on Ord Mantell. Sidious tells Maul via hologram that the renegade Sith Lord can kill the two Separatist leaders, as the Dark Lord claims he has no interest in failures, but Maul offers Dooku a chance to join him. Dooku feigns allegiance with Maul in order to further Sidious' plans to destroy Maul and Talzin, but Maul ultimately sees through the facade. Sidious personally enters the fray and fights Darth Maul and the newly-revived Mother Talzin on Dathomir, and with Dooku and Grievous' aid is able to destroy her, though Maul is able to flee.
Count Dooku/Darth TyranusEdit
Count Dooku is a Sith Lord, secretly known as Darth Tyranus; the apprentice of Darth Sidious; and the political face of the Separatist Alliance. Dooku is present on Stygeon Prime when Sidious brings Darth Maul to the Spire as a prisoner, and, on Sidious' orders, Dooku interrogates his predecessor for information about the Shadow Collective. Dooku allows Maul to escape from Stygeon Prime, to be followed by General Grievous and the Separatist Droid Army, all in the hopes that weakening Maul's forces in a battle on Zanbar would lead the renegade Sith Lord to Mother Talzin so she could be lured out of hiding. Talzin did not take the bait, however, and Dooku and Grievous attacked Maul on Ord Mantell. It was there that Maul captured the two Separatists leaders. Dooku feigned an allegiance with Maul while escaping a Republic and Jedi assault on a Mandalorian asteroid base, but Maul saw through the lie. Dooku was taken to Dathomir, where Mother Talzin's spirit possessed him and began draining his life energy. Dooku was freed when Talzin's body reformed, and he joined his master's assault against her, allowing Grievous to finally kill the witch. Dooku then apologized for Maul's escape, but his Master dismissed the former Sith Lord as a threat.
General Grievous is a Kaleesh cyborg and the commander of the Separatist Droid Army. He and the Separatist Droid Army are sent by Count Dooku to pursue Darth Maul and weaken his Shadow Collective forces on Zanbar. When Darth Maul fled Zanbar to seek out Mother Talzin, Grievous was joined by Dooku, and the two led their armies after the Shadow Collective to Ord Mantell. During the battle on the planet, Grievous and Dooku were captured and brought to the Mandalorian asteroid outpost. Grievous was taken into custody, while Dooku feigned an alliance with Maul. After the Republic and Jedi assaulted the outpost, Grievous fought his way out of custody and escaped from the asteroid base. Grievous then accompanied Sidious to Dathomir, where he battled Maul once again. As Sidious and Dooku assaulted Talzin with a barrage of Force lightning, Grievous used the opportunity to impale and kill her.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a Jedi Master, member of the Jedi Council, and a Jedi General in the Grand Army of the Republic. He is one of the targets of Darth Maul's lust for revenge, as the renegade Sith Lord was beaten by then-Padawan Kenobi on Naboo over ten years earlier. In the aftermath of the battle on Ord Mantell, Kenobi is part of a team investigating what happened on the planet, and volunteers himself and Master Tiplee to investigate and, ultimately, lead an assault against Darth Maul on the Mandalorian asteroid base. Tiplee is concerned about Kenobi's mental state—Maul murdered Mandalore's Duchess Satine Kryze, a close personal friend of Kenobi's—but he is determined to carry the mission out. He comes face to face with Maul again on the asteroid base, but Maul and his forces are able to escape, leaving Kenobi and his team behind.
Son of Dathomir was initially conceived as four episodes of the television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. There were four finished scripts, written by Matt Michnovetz and Aïda Mashaka Croal, that ultimately became Son of Dathomir, and those scripts were written for what was intended to be a full seventh season of the show, had it been ordered by the network. The scripts were written in conjunction with George Lucas, making them and, by extension, Son of Dathomir part of the official Star Wars canon. Once the episodes were written, they continued through the production process. The team on The Clone Wars did some design work for the episodes, and those designs, as well as the stories and characters from the scripts, were incorporated into the comic miniseries itself.
After the cancellation of The Clone Wars in 2013, Lucasfilm Ltd. decided to adapt the four Darth Maul episodes into the Son of Dathomir comic miniseries. Dave Filoni, the show's supervising director, stated that he thought an adaptation would be a great idea. Not only would it allow Lucasfilm to continue telling unfinished stories from The Clone Wars, but Filoni also knew that Dark Horse Comics had done great work on Star Wars in the past and would be well-suited to adapting the episodes. Filoni turned over the design and story work for the episodes to Dark Horse, which would allow them to create, in Filoni's words, "an accurate representation of what [the production team] were planning for the show."
Writer Jeremy Barlow was brought on to adapt the episodes into comic book form, with art provided by penciller Juan Frigeri, inker Mauro Vargas, colorist Wes Dzioba, and cover artist Chris Scalf. Barlow, who was hired for the miniseries by Star Wars editor Randy Stradley, set out to make the comic reader-friendly, knowing that not all readers would be aware of Maul's story from The Clone Wars. Because it was an adaptation of pre-written scripts, Barlow's work required, in his words, "sharp editing skills" and "judicious choices" in order to "keep as much of the screenplays intact as possible while still giving the comics their own exciting and natural flow." Filoni has also hinted that Son of Dathomir may not be the final Darth Maul story.
According to Star Wars Insider 149, a creature called the shatterax was set to appear in Son of Dathomir. However, the scene did not appear in the final comic. The Insider article, written by Daniel Wallace, was based on rough story notes that he had received for the comic.
The first issue of the comic was released on May 21, 2014, with the second and third issues being released on June 18, 2014 and July 16, 2014, respectively. The fourth and final issue was released on August 20, 2014. A trade paperback was released on October 1, 2014.
The publisher's summary incorrectly stated that the script was based on episodes from the "sixth" broadcast season of The Clone Wars series, when this was in fact referring to the sixth "production season." Had the episodes been produced they would have become part of the seventh season.
Star Wars LegendsEdit
Several foreign-language editions of Son of Dathomir have been published with the Star Wars Legends banner, indicating that the comic series applies to the Legends continuity in addition to the official Star Wars canon. Spanish-language publisher Editora Vuk released the four individual Son of Dathomir comic issues with the Legends banner for Peru, while Panini Comics published Spanish and Portuguese editions of the Son of Dathomir trade paperback with the Legends banner for Mexico and Brazil, respectively. Lucasfilm Story Group member Matt Martin has endorsed Son of Dathomir's Legends application.
Son of Dathomir makes extensive references to numerous different episodes of The Clone Wars, most of which involved Darth Maul. The events of the final three on-screen appearances of Darth Maul—"Eminence," "Shades of Reason," and "The Lawless"—served as the backstory for the comic, and the consequences of those episodes, including Maul's capture on Mandalore, played out in the comic miniseries. The series also references the Battle of Dathomir, as portrayed in the episode "Massacre," and used numerous characters who first appeared in the show.
Events from the Star Wars films are also referenced. At one point, Mother Talzin tells Dooku that Sidious is already planning to replace him with a new Sith apprentice, a reference to the impending events of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith—in which Anakin Skywalker kills Dooku and, soon thereafter, becomes the Sith Lord Darth Vader. As a story from the official Star Wars canon, Son of Dathomir has the distinction of being the first appearance of the planet Ord Mantell, which was first referenced in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. Although the planet had appeared in Star Wars Legends stories, it had not yet appeared in an official canon story. Additionally, the Black Sun has a base on Ord Mantell in Son of Dathomir. In the Legends video game Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, in which Black Sun made its first ever appearance and figures prominently in the story, Ord Mantell is the location of a fight between Dash Rendar and IG-88D. Ord Mantell also serves as the starting point to the Smuggler and Trooper class story-lines in Star Wars: The Old Republic.
The Stygeon prison depicted in Son of Dathomir #1 would later be adopted for the television series Star Wars Rebels. The prison, which appeared in the third episode, "Rise of the Old Masters," was officially named the Spire in Star Wars Rebels: The Visual Guide. The reference book also officially names Stygeon as Stygeon Prime.
- "When it came to coming back to do The Clone Wars version of Maul, I had to rewatch a lot of the Clone Wars stuff and see where he was at. But then we’re propelling him out of Son of Dathomir, which we wish we were able to do, but we didn’t get to do. It’s too bad, but those events, according to me and Dave and George Lucas, did occur."
- ―Sam Witwer
Son of Dathomir was just the first unfinished story from The Clone Wars to be adapted into another medium. At San Diego Comic-Con 2014, Lucasfilm announced a new novel, Dark Disciple, featuring Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos, based on unproduced scripts from what would have been the show's seventh season. Filoni has said that there are numerous unfinished stories, and has even released concept art—some of which included Darth Maul—for those unproduced stories. The possibility exists for further unused stories to be used in some form in the future.
When The Clone Wars was revived in 2020 for a twelve-episode seventh season on Disney+, Maul's voice actor Sam Witwer rewatched many of the shows episodes to recall Maul's portrayal in The Clone Wars, having last voiced a much older Maul in Star Wars Rebels. Despite that the Son of Dathomir story arc was adapted into a comic book, Witwer stated that he wished they could have produced the arc into television episodes, though Dave Filoni and George Lucas assured him that the events of Son of Dathomir did happen.
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