Description: Darth Maul
Detachment: Sith Lord Detachment
Context: Star Wars Ep 1
- "Fear. Fear attracts the fearful… the strong… the weak… the innocent… the corrupt. Fear. Fear is my ally."
- ―Darth Maul
Darth Maul was a male Dathomirian Zabrak Dark Lord of the Sith who lived during the waning years of the Galactic Republic. Originally a Dathomiri Nightbrother born on Iridonia and known only as Maul, the infant Maul was given by his Nightsister mother to the Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who trained him in the ways of the dark side of the Force as his secret apprentice on a secret Mustafar training facility, along with the help of a split personality droid. Maul became a master of Juyo, Ataru, Jar'Kai, and Teräs Käsi, with training in Niman, and chose to wield a red-bladed saberstaff in combat. Though well trained in the ways of the Sith and a Sith assassin rather than a full apprentice, Maul was technically a violation of the Rule of Two because his own Master was at the time apprenticed to another, the Muun Sith Lord Darth Plagueis. Plagueis however, was fully aware of Maul's existence, and supported Sidious's decision to train him. The primary reason for Plagueis's support, despite the violation of the Rule of Two, was that Maul was trained to be expendable. As an assassin, he could perform high priority, boots-on-the-ground missions for the Sith without running the risk of exposing either Plagueis or Sidious should he fail.
In 33 BBY, Sidious gave Maul his first mission: to put the criminal organization Black Sun in disarray. Maul carried out this task perfectly, dealing the group a grievous blow. Maul played an instrumental role in the invasion of the planet Naboo in 32 BBY. The crisis was engineered by Darth Sidious, who lived a double life as Senator Palpatine of Naboo, to have Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum removed from office, allowing Sidious to take his place and set the stages for a government ruled by the Sith. After Padmé Amidala, queen of the Naboo, escaped the blockade, Maul was dispatched to follow her. He found her on Tatooine, where he had a short but intense duel with Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, revealing the existence of the Order of the Sith Lords to the Jedi, who had thought the Sith extinct. Later, Maul was sent to Naboo, where he fought Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Though he killed the Jedi Master, Maul underestimated Kenobi’s skill and was severed in half at the waist by the Padawan. Sidious would quickly replace Maul with another powerful apprentice: the late Jinn's former Master, Dooku, who had fallen to the dark side, and whom Sidious dubbed Darth Tyranus.
Through his intense rage, Maul was able to survive and escape to the junk fields Lotho Minor, where he spent the next twelve years of his life with little to no memory of his former self. Maul kept himself mobile by manifesting a spider-like lower half, feeding off of rodents while his mental equilibrium slowly became undone. Although Darth Sidious and the Jedi Order were unaware of Maul's continued existence, the Nightsister Mother Talzin continued to keep an eye on Maul. In 20 BBY, three years into the Clone Wars, Talzin sent Maul's brother, Savage Opress, the ousted apprentice of Maul's Sith successor, on a quest to find the fractured man who dwelled in the depths of Lotho Minor. Savage successfully brought his brother back to Dathomir to undergo physical and mental reconstitution by Talzin's dark magic. Rehabilitated mentally and physically through prosthetic legs, Maul swore to reestablish his place in galactic history, starting with taking vengeance on Kenobi. Maul and Opress caught the attention of the Jedi Order by slaughtering innocents on the planet Raydonia in a successful attempt to lure Kenobi out. Maul tortured Kenobi, though the arrival of an unexpected ally, the Nightsister Asajj Ventress, gave Kenobi the time he needed to escape.
Maul and Opress soon cut a bloody swath across the Outer Rim, catching the attention of the Republic and the Jedi. On one occasion, Maul rallied the Moorjhoni clans against the Rim Mining Company. Maul and his brother then unsuccessfully tried to recruit a group of Weequay pirates from the Ohnaka Gang to their cause, a plan which was thwarted and nearly ended in the Nightbrothers' deaths following the arrival of Kenobi. Maul and his brother were found by the Mandalorian Death Watch leader Pre Vizsla and his lieutenant Bo-Katan. The two conspired to conquer Mandalore and establish a criminal empire, enlisting the aid of the Hutt Cartel, Black Sun and the Pyke Syndicate. When the New Mandalorian state on Mandalore was conquered by the new Shadow Collective, Vizsla imprisoned Maul and Opress, no longer having any use for them. Maul retaliated by dueling and finally decapitated Vizsla, declaring himself ruler of the Death Watch. Maul finished his revenge on Kenobi by killing his former lover, ousted Mandalorian Duchess Satine Kryze. However, his actions drew the attention of his former master, Darth Sidious, who killed Opress and kidnapped Maul for his own purposes.
Revealing two Sith
- "Yes, you fools. There are two of us."
- ―Maul's thoughts as he reveals himself to the Neimoidians.
Shortly after, Maul was working out in the Works' training room when Sidious ordered him via comlink to attend the strategy-and-communications room. As he arrived, the Zabrak noticed that Sidious looked irritated. The Dark Lord instructed his apprentice to stand in the shadows and listen while he spoke with the Neimoidians of the Trade Federation about why they contacted him. Maul was excited when he learned of two Jedi sent by Chancellor Valorum to settle the conflict. Angry of this turn of events, Sidious ordered the Neimodians to kill the Jedi and deploy their forces on Naboo's surface ahead of time. Maul asked whether these "fools" could actually kill the Jedi, for he knew they would fail; Sidious said that the Nemoidians weren't good enough, but they "sometimes get lucky."
Shortly after, Maul began another practice round with three assassin droids. This was more intense than previous exercises, as the droids were programmed to be extremely lethal. Nonetheless, Maul took them all down, saving a lightsaber throw for the last one. In his sense of triumph, he was caught off guard by Sidious' unexpected arrival. As a result, Sidious harshly told Maul to never subject himself to surprise, even when he was busy. When the Dark Lord levitated Maul's still activated lightsaber with the Force and threw it at him, Maul did not flinch. Satisfied, Sidious shut the weapon off, handed it back to Maul, and then left.
In another transmission with the Neimodians, the Sith learned that the Jedi and Queen Amidala of Naboo had escaped the blockade. Sidious motioned Maul to stand forward, mentioning that his apprentice would find the Neimodians' "lost ship." Maul took delight at the sight of the Viceroy Nute Gunray and Settlement Officer Rune Haako's fearful expressions.
Duel on Tatooine
- "You have been well trained, my young apprentice. They will be no match for you."
- ―Darth Sidious
After tracking them to the planet Tatooine with an edited transmission made by Naboo governor Sio Bibble, Maul reasoned that he would find the runaways in no time. Sidious ordered him to first confront the Jedi and then make the Queen return to her homeworld and sign the treaty with the Trade Federation.
As Maul approached Tatooine, he was ambushed by Togorian pirates upon exiting hyperspace. Before the Scimitar could be captured, he slipped into the box-shaped freighter via the Sith Infiltrator's escape pod. With all his skill on mechanics and the Sith arts, killed five of the pirates and the captain, set the freighter to detonate by mixing the proton torpedoes in the propulsion units, and left the remaining pirates to die in the explosion, surviving the ordeal with only a wounded leg from Hela-Tan, who died from lack of oxygen in the open hatch and drifted into space. He proceeded to Tatooine, landing outside the most densely populated towns of the planet. He immediately deployed his three Dark Eye probe droids to find the Jedi and the Queen's ship.
As the next day rose, while tending to his leg, Maul encountered a band of around thirty Tusken Raiders who managed to to lure him out with the tracks their banthas left behind near the Scimitar. He refrained himself from killing them, though; any dead bodies of Sand People near his location would raise suspicion. He escaped, postponing any healing for his leg.
One of the Queen's protectors, a bearded Jedi Master, encountered one of the probes, and destroyed it with his lightsaber. Maul followed the trail to the smuggling vessel Dusty Duck, where he found Pa'lowick smuggler Aneesa Dym instead of the Queen—the Sith Lord promptly cut the innocent woman down. Afterwards, a single droid reported that it had located the Naboo royal starship in the Xelric Draw. The Sith Lord immediately took the Bloodfin and headed toward the location the probe had revealed; upon reaching the ship, he sensed that the boy who was traveling with the Jedi was unusually strong with the Force. But he had no time to figure this out; he leaped from his speeder and—wielding his lightsaber in its single-bladed configuration—engaged. The Jedi told the young boy to tell the crew of the ship to take off and the young Human did so. This was the first time in a while that Maul had faced a Jedi Master in combat, and had prepared for it for years; indeed, he considered it to be the next step in his training as a Sith. In the brief, but intense duel, he sensed that the Jedi was getting tired. He was sure he could kill him right then and there, so he used his leg injury to further fuel his anger. But thanks to the boy, the Jedi jumped to land on the ship's lowered boarding ramp, but with the fear of what would become the eventual revenge of the Sith.
Maul watched the ship disappear into space and deactivated his lightsaber. Tasting sand and blood in his mouth, he felt shame for failing in his task to prevent the Queen. However, he welcomed it, letting him sink closer into darkness. He returned to the Scimitar and transmitted his report on the mission to Coruscant, omitting details of the pirates and Tusken Raiders before heading back to the Republic capital.
Back on Coruscant
- "I will destroy you, Qui-Gon Jinn. I will see the shock in your eyes as I run you through, Qui-Gon Jinn. I will stand over your dead body in triumph, Qui-Gon Jinn. Because of you, I have failed my Master. You will pay."
- ―Maul's thoughts on his escaped prey
As he returned to the Works, Maul feared that Sidious would punish him severely for his failure. After hearing Maul's report, however, Sidious was not angry. He asked if Maul felt he would've defeated the Jedi he fought, to which the Zabrak answered that he could because of his adversary's tiredness. After hearing that the Jedi was bearded, the Dark Lord revealed him as Qui-Gon Jinn, who was "stronger" than his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
While contemplating why Sidious was acting rather calmly, Maul figured out that the Jedi would guide Queen Amidala here on Coruscant; she would try to persuade the Senate to help liberate her planet. Sidious mirrored his thoughts. He revealed that the Queen and the Jedi were on Coruscant right now. Maul asked if he should kill the Jedi now, but Sidious thought it wise not to have them die on this planet; he had other plans. Maul went to his quarters and repeated the name of Qui-Gon Jinn in his thoughts to further his hatred. Names of his targets meant nothing to him in the past, but now, this Jedi's name was worth earning the Zabrak's ire.
Taking control of Naboo
- "I am sending my apprentice, Darth Maul, to join you."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Viceroy Gunray
Hours after his arrival on Coruscant, Maul was summoned back to the strategy room, where he found Sidious just returning from the Senate Rotunda, shrugging his guise as Palpatine to resume his Sith identity. The elder Sith explained with glee that Queen Amidala would try to ask the Senate to proclaim the Trade Federation blockade illegal. While surprised that Sidious would look this happy, Maul inwardly felt that as long as the former was distracted, the latter's mistakes on Tatooine no longer mattered. Sidious predicted that the Queen would return to Naboo, with the Jedi in tow. He had Maul hide in the shadows and listen as he contacted Viceroy Gunray to provide him with this "good news." The Viceroy was instructed that because the Queen was no longer any "use to us," he would destroy her when she set down on Naboo. Upon hearing of the planet being completely secured by the Federation, Sidious was pleased and said he would see that things in the Senate "stay as they are." When he told Gunray that he was sending Maul over to Naboo, the Zabrak could tell that the Neimoidian was not so sure about this. As Sidious broke off transmission, he laughed in triumph, certain that the Sith would soon have no further need of the Neimoidians. He ordered Maul to take command of the Federation forces on Naboo, so that the Neimoidians would deal with the Queen; furthermore, Maul must have the two Jedi annihilated. The Dathomirian Sith Lord silently obeyed and left for the Scimitar.
On the way to Naboo, Maul looked back on his mistakes on Tatooine, wondering if he could do it all over again to make it right. As the Scimitar entered Naboo's orbit with stealth generators online, Maul had discovered that the hundreds of Trade Federation battleships had been reduced to just the one droid control ship, Vuutun Palaa. Angered by the way the Neimoidians had to regain their profits, he noted that the ship could be easily infiltrated and destroyed from within; he even felt the temptation to sneak into that vessel with the Scimitar to make Viceroy Gunray look bad and rethink his strategy for the situation. However, Maul didn't even bother. He just came within firing range of the Vuutun Paala and a few Vulture droids under the Neimoidians' notice before descending towards Naboo.
Maul surveyed the scenery of Naboo, where detention centers in the planet's cities held prisoners guarded by B1 battle droids. He set the Scimitar down into a private hanger secured by Sidious outside Theed. Having his probe droids survey the hanger, he left on the Bloodfin for the capital. While there, he eluded the droid patrols, studied them and used the Force to make sounds across different parts of the city, tricking the droids into run all over the place. He could clearly see the weaknesses in the droids' design, yet trusted his Master's judgement for their part in the Grand Plan.
Maul took the position as chief commander over the Trade Federation's occupying droid army and he was disgusted over the idiocy and incompetence from the likes of the Federation's leaders in the Neimoidians, especially while speaking with them face-to-face. He had good reason to do so after Viceroy Gunray gave him the reports on the Federation's setbacks: Naboo Resistance members had successfully escorted their new supposed ally, Borvo the Hutt, to safety; Comm 4 was disabled; slave camps had been freed; Borvo, in fact a Federation spy, had Captain Kael killed and Bravo Squadron of the Resistance ambushed; and then, a former Federation plasma mining camp was destroyed. Nevertheless, Maul carried on with the mission assigned to him by Sidious as he commanded the droid army to begin looking for the Gungans and eliminate them as a threat.
Advised by OOM-9, Gunray's command battle droid, Maul searched the swamps of Naboo for any Gungans in sight. Upon introductions from the Viceroy, OOM-9 had a lead on the Gungans' location when a captured mariner from Harte Secur informed his captors of a Gungan city called Rellias, which was connected to the Gungan capital Otoh Gunga via the Rellias Straits. Unaware of the city's exact location, the droid commander's forces established a forward observation base on the shore of a nearby marsh and had begun to scout the area when they were joined Maul. He showed him to a group of four Gungan prisoners captured while meeting with Naboo traders outside the city of Moenia. Seeking to end the search for the Gungans quickly, Maul ordered OOM-9 to begin poisoning the marsh to force the Gungans to the surface, and to drain the water if that proved unsuccessful.
On Sidious' instructions, Maul traveled to the Summit Farm Blossom Winery and met former Royal Naboo Security Forces captain Maris Magneta, who had served under Naboo's previous monarch, King Ars Veruna, who had died under mysterious circumstances. He demanded that Magneta give him the location of the Gungan cities. Magneta didn't really know where to find the cities, but knew a Bothan surveyor named Leika who studied the area. Before Maul could leave, Magneta sarcastically asked that the Zabrak "give [her] regards to the Muun." Maul asked what Muun she was talking about. Magneta, incredulous that Maul didn't even know of the being in question, told him that a Muun banker named Hego Damask had been working with Senator Palpatine, Sidious' alter ego, for two decades and was likely helping him elected to Supreme Chancellor. Furthermore, both men were somehow involved in killing Veruna and helping Queen Amidala to the throne before the Federation's blockade of this planet. This amount of information was getting Maul all confused. For a moment, he wondered if this Demask was a Sith Lord controlling Sidious behind the Zabrak's back. However, there was little time to ponder that over. When Magneta ambushed him with her gang of thugs, Maul killed every one of them with his own bare hands, leaving any suspicion on the popular Senator Palpatine being behind the blockade eliminated.
Maul set off to Detention Camp Six, which was outside Moenia. Leika was a prisoner there for trying to get off Naboo and Maul had promised to get him safe passage, if the Bothan would first give the Zabrak the location of the Gungan cities. Leika agreed and showed Maul everything he had recorded in a data crystal. He pointed to Rellias's location on the map and revealed the name of its governor, an Ankura Gungan named Boss Ganne. How to find Rellias was a bit of a problem. There were so many Gungan cities on Naboo and they were all in Lake Paonga, which was merged with Lianorm Swamp. Also, there was a second entrance to Otuh Gunga: the Sacred Place. Leika asked whether the Trade Federation army was going to assault the cities, because if it was, the Gungans had an army of their own. King Veruna had planned to fight them with the Naboo Royal Space Fighter Corps, which would also be used to fight off the Trade Federation and—Maul felt compelled to ask—Hego Demask. After Leika confirmed that Demask was most definitely securing Palpatine's way for the chancellorship, Maul had heard enough. He left with the data crystal and reader in hand, assuring Leika that he would honor their agreement.
When Maul returned to OOM-9, the droid commander gave him the results of the Sith Lord's previous orders: just as soon as the marsh was drained, the droids discovered that it was linked to vast reserves of underground water and had made little progress. Maul gave OOM-9 the data crystal containing the coordinates for Rellias and ordered to have them transmitted into the Single Trooper Aerial Platform patrols, so they could to saturate the city with depth charges. He boarded a S-DST with OOM-9 and the army embarked for Rallias On the way, Maul hypothesized that Hego Damask may very well be a Sith Lord controlling Sidious, and that Sidious himself was disobeying the Rule of Two by making Maul into a Sith Lord, even though Maul figured that he wasn't really much of a Sith Lord so much as he was a weapon. Despite this troubling news, he was even more determined to prove himself as a true Sith, no matter who his real master was.
During the ensuing battle, Maul personally captured Boss Ganne and used the Force to manipulate Ganne into opening the Gates of Rellias, the only obstacle preventing Federation forces from accessing the Rellias channel. After eliminating all resistance from the Gungan defenders, the troops proceeded to the channel.
The Rellias channel led to Lake Paonga. On the shore of the lake, the Trade Federation forces established an outpost, and OOM-9 sent patrols to locate any Gungan settlements on the mainland and the islands located in the lake. Resources collected on the land were being used to supply Otoh Gunga, so OOM-9's forces destroyed the settlements and secured the resources, cutting the supply lines to the underwater city. The Gungans retaliated by sending their naval forces to attack the Trade Federation outpost, but OOM-9 repelled the counterattack and his forces soon located Otoh Gunga itself. OOM-9 ordered his forces to deploy depth charges; when no Gungan bodies were brought to the surface after the resulting explosions, the droid commander dispatched drone submersibles to scout the lake, confirming that the city had been virtually abandoned. On Maul's orders, OOM-9 proceeded to eliminate the remaining resistance and laid waste to much of the city. With the apparent defeat of the Gungans, Naboo was firmly under Trade Federation control, but OOM-9 was contacted by Gunray and relayed news to Maul that Amidala and the Jedi were returning to the planet.
After being given a review by the Neimoidians of the situation in Theed, Maul surprised them with a suggestion that Queen Amidala was on Naboo and then ordered them to increase security measures. Later, as Maul, Nute Gunray, and Rune Haako reported their findings to Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord saw that Amidala was becoming "too aggressive." He advised Maul to wait for the resistance to strike first.
Duel on Naboo
- "Lord Maul, be mindful. Let them make the first move."
"Yes, my Master."
- ―Darth Sidious instructs his apprentice before the Battle of Naboo
In a second, vicious duel on Naboo—this time against both Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi—Maul showed his true mastery of the lightsaber arts.
A long and intense battle ensued, with Maul seemingly on the defensive, but in actuality, steering the battle to a location of his choice. Drawing the Jedi out of the hangar and into the Palace reactor room, he engaged them on the high catwalks. Kicking Kenobi off the platform onto one of the lower catwalks, he turned to Jinn, only to be knocked down himself. As Jinn leaped down to deliver the killing blow, Maul kicked him in the face and quickly righted himself.
However, the Jedi Master delivered a flurry of attacks and drove Maul along the catwalk into the laser-walled security hallway protecting one of the exhaust shafts. Suddenly, the walls activated, separating Jinn and Maul, but also Kenobi from his master. With the battle momentarily halted, the three took a moment to recover, with Maul pacing like a caged animal, Jinn meditating and Kenobi waiting anxiously behind.
When the wall deactivated, Jinn immediately attacked, driving Maul to the edge of the shaft. However, Maul managed to regain the offensive. In the confined space around the shaft, Jinn was unable to adequately counter-attack, and Maul eventually hit the Jedi Master in the face with his weapon's long hilt, stunning Jinn; Maul then quickly impaled Jinn through the abdomen.
Turning to Kenobi, Maul once again awaited the laser-wall's deactivation. As soon as it did, the Jedi Padawan viciously attacked, momentarily catching Maul off guard, even managing to sever the Sith Lord's weapon in two. Discarding the nonfunctional lesser half of his weapon, Maul unleashed a flurry of his own attacks, driving Kenobi back. Eventually, Maul Force Pushed Obi-Wan into the reactor shaft. As Kenobi grasped hold of an input nozzle, Maul kicked the Jedi Padawan's lightsaber into the reactor pit.
- "I hope you are more challenging than your master. I'm somewhat disappointed in him."
- ―Darth Maul, to Obi-Wan Kenobi, after he fatally injured Qui-Gon Jinn.
Maul struck the edge of the pit's upper rim repeatedly with his lightsaber, impatient to see Kenobi fall to his doom. Kenobi managed to calm himself. Although Maul had disposed of his lightsaber, the Padawan remembered that Jinn's weapon still lay by his fallen master's side, something the Zabrak had almost completely forgotten. Using the Force, Kenobi leaped out of the shaft and summoned the lightsaber to his hand. The Jedi Padawan landed after a mid-air turn, executing a blindingly fast horizontal slash that bisected Maul. Flinching in shock and pain, Maul fell backwards into the shaft in silence, his two halves separating.
However, Maul managed to survive his defeat at the hands of Kenobi. Through his hate and will to live, as well as his hatred against Kenobi, he reached out with the Force and grabbed an air vent. He went down the reactor shaft and landed in water. The Sith Lord was then dumped into a container, which was taken to Lotho Minor. As he lay submerged, he fell into unconsciousness, cursing Kenobi.
Arriving at his destination, Maul woke up. He activated his lightsaber and carved his way out of the container, screaming with rage. He struggled to move on through the junkyard world. Soon, he encountered insects the size of his arm and managed to crush one with his own left hand before using his teeth to rip a leg off. But as he started eating, the Sith Lord heard a scream coming from his right.
A sly and mysterious Anacondan named Morley was slithering away in fright from one of Lotho Minor's gigantic machines, the Fire-breather. Maul threw his lightsaber with the Force directly at the Fire-breather's head, piercing it through. The machine instantly fell to the ground, the fire from its mouth extinguished. His weapon returned to him, Maul once again blacked out. Morley wrapped the Zabrak in his coils and brought him into the caves of the planet, which would eventually become his sanctuary.
Maul reawakened and, with all of his anger, was able to use the Force to acquire a six-legged arachnid-like cybernetic apparatus to replace his lost lower body. For twelve years, Maul's memories were lost and he was in a state of near-madness, eating only the small animals that came to the cave, aided in obtaining shelter and sustenance only by Morley, but the only thing he remembered was Obi-Wan Kenobi and how he took his legs.
Maul's defeat was a setback for Darth Sidious — souring his triumph over his own master — but not a disaster. Within a year, Maul would be replaced with the former Master of the late Jinn, Count Dooku. Given the Sith name Darth Tyranus, Dooku was not only a trained warrior and duelist, but also a political idealist, exactly the traits Sidious needed to instigate the Clone Wars.
An apparition of Maul later appeared to Kenobi's Padawan Anakin Skywalker in a crystal cave on Ilum, only a few years after the duel on Naboo. When Anakin went into a trance-like state, Darth Maul appeared and Anakin immediately attacked him. After a furious lightsaber duel in which Maul taunted Anakin about Qui-Gon's death and about the boy's training lightsaber, Anakin won, but as real as he might have looked, this time Maul was merely a creation of the dark side.
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