The Villains List: Darth Maul
Heroes are great and all, but what would they be without their greatest adversaries?? “Without conflict there is no plot, without hope there is no story (Cassandra Clare).” The tension between good and evil is a formula that just never gets old. In The Villains List I will be breaking down some of my all time favorite baddest of the bad. I will include origins, defining moments, and much more! Today we travel to a galaxy far, far away to talk about one of the greatest Sith’s….
Maul was a Dathomirian-Zobrak born on the planet Iridonia. His mother Kycena was a member of the witch-clan called the Nightsisters, while his father was a Zobrak who was traditionally executed upon his conception. His striking appearance was also given to him at birth. Before the age of 1 his entire body and face were tattooed, leaving him with his demonic look. As a Nightbrother, Maul would have lived a life as a slave / warrior in service of Mother Talzin and her Nightsister clan. Seeking to give her child a better life, Kycena gave Maul away to Darth Sideous. Sideous took Maul on as his apprentice and sculpted him into a Sith Lord.
Defining Moments & Traits:
Ending the Jedi Order
Darth Maul first enters the lives of Star Wars fans in 1999 in the release of The Phantom Menace. Despite this being one of the weakest films in the series (only slightly better Episode II: Confessions of a Teenage Drama Anaqueen) Darth Maul is able to deliver a critical blow to the Jedi. While only clocking in at mere 6 minutes of actually screen time, Maul has a pretty impressive saber duel against Qui-Gon Jinn and Ben Kenobi (the Jedi Formerly Known as Obi-Wan).
Even with his particular set of skills, Master Qui-Gon is defeated and killed. The victory is short lived, as Darth Maul is then sliced in half by Obi-Wan. The key take away from this exchange is obviously the death of Qui-Gon. This battle marks the beginning of the end of the Jedi Order.
The Shadow Collective
You just can’t keep a good Sith down. As we fast forward to the animated series, Clone Wars, we learn that Maul actually survived his bout with Obi-Wan. He is found maimed, manic, and mentally insane by his brother Savage Opress in the junk fields of planet Lotho Minor. After restoring his sanity and body, with the help of Mother Talzin, Maul and Opress set to carve out their own ruling power amidst the rise of the Empire. The brothers team up with a rogue group of Mandalorians, led by Pre Vizla, by the name of Death Watch. As allies they gain influence over other criminal affiliates such as Black Sun, the Nightbrothers, the Hutt Clan, and the Pyke Syndicate. Acting as one entity called the Shadow Collective, Maul uses his forces to overthrow pacifist leader Duchess Satine Kryze and take control over the planet Mandalore.
Almost immediately after taking control of Mandalore, Pre Vizla and Death Watch carry out their plan to overthrow Maul to claim rule for themselves. Maul easily escapes his restraints and then challenges Pre Vizla to one-one combat to decide who will ultimately rule Mandalore. Pre Vizla comes well equipped with the legendary darksaber, but is no match for his Sith opponent. Maul beheads Vizla, wins Mandalore, and obtains the darksaber.
“I claim this sword, and my rightful place as leader of Death Watch.”
Now if you’ve never heard of the darksaber or just want to get the full scope of it’s history, you should definitely check out it’s Wookiepedia page here. I’ll give a brief summary and say it is one of the absolute coolest and most rare sabers in the Star Wars universe. It is an ancient weapon originally crafted by the first Mandalorian Jedi, Tarre Vizsla. Maul uses the darksaber to kill the former ruler of Mandalore, Duchess Satine Kryze, right in front of the eyes of her love interest / prime enemy of Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Lust for Revenge
Throughout his storyline Maul has one of the strongest urges for revenge. In fact, when he is found by Savage looking like a crazy robotic spider, he claims it was his ever-growing hate for Kenobi that kept him alive. Even as he ascends to power through the Shadow Collective he always has Obi-Wan as his lingering priority. Though he never succeeds in Clone Wars, Maul does get one final chance at revenge as he finds Old Ben on Tatooine in the show Rebels. The fight scene is very short, and Maul dies once again at the hands of Obi-Wan.
Although it seems like Maul is gone for good this time, there is hope that he will be making a return in the Stars Wars universe. He makes an appearances at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
With the launch of Disney+ it appears that there is a lot of Star Wars content coming way for fans. Check out the rumors in this article by posted on Nerdbot. I, for one, would love to Maul return to the screen in all his vengeful glory!
What to Watch or Read:
Out of all the Darth Maul content that exists, the demonic samurai is by far at his best and baddest in the takeover of Mandalore. This happens in the show Clone Wars during Season 5: Episodes 14, 15, and 16. The final episode does end on a massive cliffhanger after a battle with Darth Sideous. If you’re a comic book fan you can find the resolution in Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir.
written by Evan Woicik @ EVRD