Darth Maul is one of the most iconic villains to populate the Star Wars universe. Far more interesting than some give him credit for, he made his first appearance in 1999's Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
However, many fans don't know that the villain has made numerous appearances in more recent years, starting in 2008 with the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, followed by Rebels in 2014, and Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018. So if you're here to find out what you've missed since the first entry in the prequel trilogy, at least where movies and television are concerned, here's everything you need to know about Darth Maul.
Warning: there are many spoilers ahead for The Clone Wars, Rebels, and Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Darth Maul Homeplanet
There's no better place to start than with Darth Maul's home planet, Dathomir. Seemingly barren, the rocky planet is also known as the "rancor planet" - because it is also the birthplace of the species - Dathomir is home to the Nightsisters and the Nightbrothers.
Forever soaked in an ominous red light by its central star, it's a planet that's incredibly rich with the dark side of the Force and where its inhabitants harness the planet's power to perform dark magic, not unlike witches and wizards. It was on Dathomir where Maul became a member of the Zabrak warrior group, however, from The Clone Wars we learn that he was abducted by Darth Sidious as a child and converted to the Sith.
Darth Maul Lightsaber
Darth Maul is as synonymous with his dual red lightsaber as Wolverine is with adamantium claws. When Maul made his debut in The Phantom Menace as Sith Apprentice to The Emperor, he wowed fans with his double-edged laser blade. Maul uses his blade to kill many Jedi throughout Star Wars history, with Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) being the most memorable.
Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace
Maul first appeared in The Phantom Menace in 1999. Sith Apprentice to Emperor Palpatine, he was ordered to apprehend young Anakin Skywalker, who at the time was under the care of Jedi Knights Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi(Ewan McGregor).
A Sith Lord of few words (at least in the film), Maul is killed by Obi-Wan who is avenging the death of his master Qui-Gon. Maul is cut in half before falling down a shaft, however, he actually survives and returns in The Clone Wars with mechanical legs.
Darth Maul Vs Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi
In the third act of The Phantom Menace, Maul catches up to Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan on Florrum. The three enter into a brilliantly choreographed lightsaber duel, with the Sith Lord proving to be highly skilled and extremely formidable.
Eventually, Qui-Gon dies by Maul's blade, leaving an enraged Obi-Wan to avenge his death. After being disarmed by his opponent and nearly falling a shaft, Obi-Wan retrieves his lightsaber and cuts Maul in half, who then falls to his apparent death.
Darth Maul in The Clone Wars
After a nine-year-long absence for fans, Darth Maul made his return in the animated series The Clone Wars. During Season 4's four-part "Brothers" storyline, Maul's brother, Savage Oppress, is sent by Mother Talzin, leader of the Nightsisters, to look for Maul, who has been lost for 10 years since his ‘death' at the end of The Phantom Menace. When Maul is eventually found on junk planet Lotho Minor, he is unrecognizable; a shadow of his former self, long since driven insane, using mechanical spider legs to move about an underground lair.
Upon his return to Dathomir, Mother Talzin bestows him with new cybernetic legs and restores his mind. Maul's quest to seek vengeance on Obi-Wan Kenobi leads him to join many crime syndicates, and ultimately kill Obi-Wan's former love interest, Duchess Satine Kryze, of Mandalore.
His attempts against Obi-Wan himself, however, prove unsuccessful. In Season 6's "Lawless', after beheading their leader in battle, Maul takes over terrorist cell Death Watch and overthrows the leadership on Mandalore. While the events of the Revenge of the Sith unfold, Darth Maul enters into a lightsaber duel with Ahsoka Tano.
Darth Maul Vs The Emperor
Yes, Darth Maul actually faces off with the Emperor in The Clone Wars, alongside his brother Savage Oppress. Angered by Maul's rise to power as it conflicts with the Sith's ‘Rule of Two' and therefore his plans to lure Anakin Skywalker to the dark side, Palpatine arrives on Mandalore and sets eliminate to kill the Sons of Dathomir.
To no surprise, he kills Savage, leaving Maul only more enraged and disenfranchised with the Sith he once dedicated his entire life to. The Emperor then proceeds to torture his former apprentice with Force lightning, but ultimately decides not to kill him.
Darth Maul Vs Ahsoka Tano
While Maul's battle with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan is considered not only The Phantom Menace's redeeming quality, it's also thought of as one of the best lightsaber duels in Star Wars history. And if you haven't seen Maul throw down with Ahsoka Tano in Season 7 of The Clone Wars, you might be inclined to agree.
After being confronted by Ahsoka on Mandalore in "The Phantom Apprentice", and after failing to convince her to join him in overthrowing Darth Sidious and warning her of Anakin's destiny, Maul enters into an epic lightsaber duel with the young Padawan. This battle uses motion-capture performance, with actor Ray Park reprising his role as Maul (throughout the series he is voiced by Sam Witwer). After the battle, he is apprehended by Clone Troopers, and minutes before the end of the final episode, escapes in a shuttle, using Order 66 as a distraction.
Darth Maul in Solo
While Darth Maul has only a fleeting cameo at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story in which he speaks to Emilia's Clarke's Qi'ra via hologram, we learn that he is the brains behind Crimson Dawn, a powerful crime syndicate; that the former Sith Lord has risen to power within the criminal underworld during the height of the Galactic Empire. Unfortunately, due to Solo's lukewarm box office performance, we won't ever see a sequel, but if rumors are to be believed, a Darth Maul series in the work.
Darth Maul in Rebels
Set 14 years after the events of The Clone Wars and 9 years after Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rebels sees the return of disgraced Sith Lord Maul, who has long since denounced the ‘Darth' title. In Season 2's "Twilight of the Apprentice", he is discovered on the Sith world Malachor by a young and somewhat impressionable Jedi Ezra Bridger.
Through Ezra, Maul tries to locate Obi-Wan, still hellbent on revenge. Maul reappears later in the series in Season 3's "The Holocrons of Fate" when he returns to his home planet Dathomir with Ezra to carry out a ritual during which he learns that Obi-Wan is alive and in hiding.
In Season 4's "Twin Suns", Maul finally tracks down Obi-Wan on Tatooine, where the Jedi is, as we know, watching over a young Luke Skywalker from the sandy hills. It's here where Maul meets his end to the Jedi. In a rather poignant scene, he dies in Obi-Wan's arms, asking the Jedi Master if Luke is the "Chosen One". When Obi-Wan confirms this, Maul says, "He will avenge us," before finally dying.
Will there be a Darth Maul series?
A live-action Darth Maul series is currently rumored to be in the works, with the possibility of Ray Park reprising his role. Live-action shows that have been confirmed include The Book of Boba Fett, The Mandalorian (Season 3), Ahsoka, and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Darth Maul does have many other appearances within the Star Wars canon, from comic books to novels and video games. Those only familiar with his appearance in The Phantom Menace won't know how strangely charismatic, multi-layered, and even oftentimes downright evil Maul really is (the sequel trilogy would have benefited from having him appear in some shape or form). To scrub up on your Maul knowledge, be sure to check out The Clone Wars and Rebels on Disney+.
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