Darth Maul is one of the secondary antagonists of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. He is one of the main antagonists of The Phantom Menace. He returns in the fourth and fifth seasons of Star Wars: The Clone Wars as a major antagonist and later in Star Wars Rebels.
In the film, Maul serves as the apprentice of Palpatine (secretly known as Darth Sidious), a mysterious Sith Master who is manipulating galactic events from behind the scenes. Wielding a double-bladed lightsaber and trained as a master of lightsaber combat, Maul serves as a personal assassin for Palpatine, having been sent to eliminate Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, two of the film's protagonists. He succeeds in slaying Qui-Gon, but he is then sliced in half by Obi-Wan. While they presumed him dead, he was shown to have survived in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. After his mind and legs were restored, he was reunited with his brother, Savage Opress, and he continued his goal to get revenge on Obi-Wan.
Several years later during the Empire era, Maul is still alive and seeks revenge on his former master.
Darth Maul lived during the last days of the Galactic Republic and the eve of the reign of the Galactic Empire. The son of Mother Talzin of the Nightsisters, Maul was taken by Darth Sidious as the latter's Sith apprentice, and given the name Darth Maul. Sidious' training methods were often unforgiving and harsh.
Maul's life and motivations were based around revenge. As a Sith Lord, 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 (declaring himself and his brother the true Sith) and especially towards Obi-Wan - after the Jedi defeated him and forced him into exile after the war on Naboo. He felt the vacuum of 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 Obi-Wan out into the open.
At times, Maul was animalistic, as evidenced by his ability to snarl and growl like a wild beast. This occasionally could allow him to psychologically unnerve his opponents.
During his exile, Maul's mind was shattered. He became obsessed with revenge, kept alive only by his hatred for Obi-Wan. His aggression and fear increased in his crazed condition, as Maul savagely attacked Savage when he first encountered his brother on Lotho Minor. It required the skills of 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 power made him crave dominance over the Sith and the galaxy, though he recognized the power that Palpatine possessed that Maul did not. Maul feared his former master when Palpatine arrived on Mandalore, and begged for mercy after Palpatine bested him in a lightsaber duel. After the electrocution that Palpatine subjected him to on Mandalore, he later told Death Watch that he had become indifferent to pain.
However, despite his ruthless and vindictive personality, Maul was not completely heartless; he expressed compassion for his brother, Savage Opress, and their mother, the Dathomir Witch Talzin. Although he didn't always get along with Savage, they did genuinely care for each other; when Savage was killed by Palpatine, Maul was grief-stricken and briefly mourned him before flying into a rage and attempting to avenge him. He was extremely loyal to his mother and reciprocated her loving and protective affection for him. Even when cornered by Palpatine and his minions, he refused to leave her behind and was greatly devastated by her death. Even after sixteen years, Maul still held an extremely bitter grudge against Palpatine and all those who served him for taking everything he cared about from him. He also developed a slight fondness for Ezra Bridger, seeing great potential in the boy's abilities, desiring him as an apprentice, and even saving his life twice. However, despite any meagre affection, he ultimately sought to manipulate Ezra and use him to further his own agenda.
Maul remains a bitter, vengeful individual who seeks revenge upon his former master and all those who served him for all the suffering they caused him throughout his life. Though he carries a red lightsaber and still practices their beliefs, Maul has disassociated himself from the Sith, evidenced by the fact that he has dropped the title of "Darth" from his name. Cunning and deceptive, Maul is willing to feign weakness to accomplish his purposes, or even side with the Jedi if necessary.
Powers and Abilities
- The Force: Maul is extremely powerful and has an extremely strong connection to the Force. Although he is not quite as powerful as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader or his former master, Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious at the two letters peak, Maul is still one of the most powerful Force users currently alive.
- Telekinesis: Maul utilizes Telekinesis either as offense or defense.
- Force push: Maul utilized Force push to send his opponents flying through the air, causing them serious injury or temporarily incapacitating them/knocked them unconscious.
- Force pull: Maul utilizes Force pull to pull his opponents or objects towards him.
- Force choke: Maul utilizes Force choke to either weaken, kill or intimidate his opponents.
- Saber throw: Maul utilizes Saber throw to telekinetically guide his lightsaber towards his opponent; similar to a boomerang or shuriken.
- Mind trick: Maul utilizes Mind trick to control the minds of other sentient beings. However, it does not work on individuals who have very strong wills.
- Mind probe: Maul was skilled in mind probing. As such, he was easily able to read Hera Syndulla's mind when he sought information on the whereabouts of Kanan Jarrus' Holocron.
- Force jump: Maul utilizes Force jump to jump or leap at great distances. He is seen using this to leap onto a bridge.
- Force Dash: Maul utilizes Force Dash to move at amazing speeds.
- Lightsaber Skills: Maul is extremely skilled in lightsaber combat and a highly gifted duellist. Although he is not quite as skilled as Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader or his former master, Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious, Maul is still one of the greatest lightsaber duellists currently alive. Despite his great skill, during the reign of the Empire, Maul kew his limitations, and that if he was to face Darth Vader or Sidious directly, he would not prevail. He was not afraid however of facing the members of the Inquisitorius, knowing full well that he was more than a match for any of them, as evidenced when he killed the Seventh Sister and Fifth Brother with ease.
- Form III: Maul has some skill in Soresu.
- Form IV: Maul is highly skilled in Ataru.
- Form VI: Maul is extremely skilled in Niman.
- Form VII: Maul is extremely skilled in Juyo.
- Jar'Kai: Maul is highly skilled in Jar'Kai.
- Skilled Pilot: Maul is highly skilled in piloting most speeders and most types of flying crafts.
- Indomitable Will/High Tolerance For Pain/Expert Survivalist: Maul has an indomitable will and a high tolerance for pain, as he was able to survive being cut in half. Many years later, he also survived a long drop off a Sith Temple without any apparent injuries.
Weapons and Equipment
Maul's valued weapon and possessions are his red and black-bladed lightsabers.
- First Double-bladed lightsaber: Maul had a double-bladed red lightsaber which he used during his early years as a Sith. It was sliced in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi and fell along with Maul down the pit on Naboo. During the Clone Wars, Maul used the still functional half of the lightsaber to fight Obi-Wan, Pre Vizla and Palpatine, respectively. He lost it in his duel with Palpatine.
- First Lightsaber: Shortly after his mind was restore by Talzin, Maul received a red-bladed lightsaber as his own from Savage Opress.
- Second Lightsaber: During the Clone Wars, Maul took Pre-Vizla's black-bladed lightsaber as his own after slaying him in a leadership duel. He fought Palpatine and later General Grievous with it.
- Second Double-bladed lightsaber: By the time of the events of Star Wars Rebels, Maul had obtained a new double-bladed red lightsaber. This lightsaber had a spike on one side of the hilt, allowing Maul to use the weapon as a part of his walking stick, which the lightsaber fit into when not in use. Based on its design, It is likely that Maul took it from an Inquisitor he killed and modified it for his own use.
The Phantom Menace
Darth Maul was an apprentice to the Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. He is first seen as a hologram before Nute Gunray and Rune Haako, and was then sent to kill Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi so the latters could not interfere in the Invasion of Naboo. He flew to Tatooine and used probes to locate the Jedi. When one of the probes return, Maul then boards a speeder and attacked Qui-Gon in the desert, intending to finish him and then kill Obi-Wan. However, Qui-Gon fought back and escaped with his allies aboard his fighter, foiling Maul's attempts.
Soon after, Sidious sent him to Naboo to assist the Trade Federation and destroy the Jedi, having been instructed to let the Naboo make the first move. After they entered the room he was in, he confronted them and the three Force-users began to duel. The ferocious clash led them into the Theed Generator Complex, where Maul separated Obi-Wan via energy walls and fought Qui-Gon near a melting pit. Maul defeated and killed the latter by stunning him with a jab to his chin. Obi-Wan pounced on the Sith Lord furiously, eventually destroying one half of Maul's double-bladed lightsaber. However, this left him vulnerable to a sudden counterattack that ended with Darth Maul Force-pushing him over the edge of a vast reactor shaft. However, Obi-Wan grabbed on to a power nozzle and calmed himself. As Maul began to taunt him, Obi-Wan used the Force to grab Qui-Gon's lightsaber and jumped up behind him, slicing him in half and sending him tumbling down the shaft to his presumed death.
After years of thinking Maul was dead, the Jedi, as well as viewers, were surprised to see him alive. He was found by his brother Savage Oppress on the junk planet of Lotho Minor, who saved him from his fate and helped him get cybernetic legs and have his sanity restored by the leader of the Nightsisters; Mother Talzin. Together, they sought revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maul began his revenge by revealing to Kenobi he was alive. An alliance he tried to make with pirates went wrong resulting in Savage being wounded and his legs being damaged. Maul eventually returned to health with aid from Pre-Vizla and the Mandalorian Death Watch before forming a crime syndicate called the Shadow Collective, helping Vizla to reclaim Mandalore using the collective, while secretly plotting to take over. The final part of his revenge was killing the only woman Obi-Wan ever loved, Duchess Satine, while he watched in horror. After killing Pre-Vizla in an honor duel and taking control of Mandalore as its leader, Maul's old master, Darth Sidious, arrived and fought both of them, seeing Maul as a rival despite the Zabrak's protests. He was able to kill Savage, and then engaged Maul briefly before disarming and electrocuting him. However, Sidious stated he wouldn't kill Maul as he had "other uses for him".
As revealed in the comics following the events of the Clone Wars, Maul eventually escaped Sidious' clutches with aid from his Mandalorian loyalists. Maul's forces on the Mandalorian Death Watch were eventually overrun by General Grievous, and Maul was forced to retreat. Maul then sought Mother Talzin's aid. Talzin told Maul to raise an army from the Shadow collective and his old clan; the Nightbrothers. Though his use of deceit and trickery, Maul successfully captured General Grievous and Count Dooku. Maul then tempted Dooku into joining him against Sidious, hoping to lure him to Mother Talzin on Dathomir. Upon reaching Dathomir, Maul and Talzin tried to sacrifice Dooku so that Talzin (who revealed herself to be Maul's biological mother) could return to physical form (as her previous form had been destroyed by Mace Windu). However, the arrival of Sidious and Grievous halted their plans and after a duel in which Talzin sacrificed herself to allow Maul to escape, Maul fled, his plans in ruins, his army destroyed and in Sidious' eyes, no longer a threat or a Sith Lord.
In "Twilight of the Apprentice", it is revealed that Maul later fled to Malachor to get the Sith Holocron from the Sith Temple there and that he dropped the "Darth" title from his name. It is also revealed that sometime after Vader created the Imperial Inquisition the Emperor had Vader dispatch the Eighth Brother to hunt him and the Holocron down. Maul first appeared when Ezra landed near him. He helped Ezra get into the Sith Temple by teaching him to act upon his passionate and aggressive tendencies. After they retrieved the Holocron, Maul helped the Jedi fight off the Eighth Brother, Fifth Brother, and Seventh Sister. After telling Ezra how to activate the Temple, Maul helps Kanan and Ahsoka kill the three Inquisitors. He then turns on and blinds Kanan with the intention of making Ezra his apprentice. Kanan recovers and drives Maul off, though Maul is able to escape the planet in one of the Inquisitor's TIE Fighters.
Darth Maul returns in the episode The Holocrons of Fate, in which he kidnaps the crew of the Ghost in order to bring Kanan and Ezra to him with the Holocron from Malachor so he can merge them, answer the question he seeks and glimpse the future. This prompted him to also try opening Kanan's Holocron to utilize its power, but as he could not call upon the Light side of the Force, he was unsuccessful. Upon luring the Jedi to his location at a Mandalorian asteroid outpost, Maul promptly tried to kill Kanan once Ezra was out of sight by shooting him out of an airlock, which Kanan barely survived. Maul then, with Ezra's help, merged both Holocrons and looked for the answers to his question (hope) while Ezra sought the key to destroying the Sith. When Kanan urged Ezra to look away from what he was seeing, the resulting explosion caused Maul to be blasted away and then escape. As he fled in his starfighter, Maul realized the answer to his question from what he had seen in the holocrons; that Obi-Wan Kenobi still lived.
Darth Maul appears in Disney INFINITY's third installment both as a playable character and as a boss in the "Twilight of the Republic" playset.
Star Wars Weekends
- According to his current voice-actor, Sam Witwer, in an interview with IGN, Maul is far more unpredictable, cautious and cunning than he was during the Clone Wars. Witwer describes him as "fighting from the shadows", and that they like to keep people guessing as to where he stands on the scale between evil and good.
- Witwer also describes Maul as having several new facets to his personality, and that Maul "changes the rules left and right" as he goes along in order to survive.
- As of the conclusion of Twilight of the Apprentice, Maul currently stands as the only classically trained Force-wielder in the galaxy, as Ahsoka Tano's fate is unknown.
- As part of The Force Unleashed series Easter Eggs on the Rebels animated series, Maul has some connections from that series:
- His current voice actor, Sam Witwer not only currently also the voice of Emperor Palpatine in all recent Star Wars non-movie medias, but also previously portrayed The Force Unleashed protagonist Starkiller/Galen Marek and his clones.
- Maul did a similar thing as Starkiller such as blinding their opponents, Kanan Jarrus and Rahm Kota respectively.
- Maul's role being a Sith Master to Ezra is similar to Vader to Starkiller, except their respective apprentices' role on finding the master from the other side of force is opposite.