- "These Sand People are tiring me. I must save my strength for my mission!"
- ―Darth Maul
In 32 BBY, Darth Maul was ambushed by Tusken Raiders on the planet Tatooine. Maul, a Dathomirian Sith Lord, had been tasked by his Master, Darth Sidious, to eliminate Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, the two Jedi who protected Queen Padmé Amidala, ruler of Naboo. Sidious wanted to capture the Queen and have her sign a treaty allowing the Trade Federation to blockade her homeworld.
After following the Jedi's trace to Tatooine, Maul was ambushed by a group of thirty Tusken Raiders in a canyon. As he wished to save his strength for the upcoming lightsaber duel with the Jedi, the Sith apprentice decided to run away from the battle.
- "Tracking down the Jedi should be simple enough. And once I defeat them, the Queen will be back in my master's hands. I will not fail."
- ―Darth Maul
Thirty-two years before the Battle of Yavin, the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious planned on capturing Queen Amidala of the planet Naboo. He wished to force the Queen to sign a treaty that would legitimize the occupation of Theed by the droid armies of the Trade Federation. The invasion was part of a grand plot hatched by Sidious, a part of his scheme to establish himself as Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, beneath his public persona of Senator Palpatine.
In his secret lair on Coruscant, the capital world of the Galactic Republic, Sidious tasked his apprentice, a Dathomirian Zabrak known as Darth Maul, with eliminating Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi—the Jedi who were protecting Queen Amidala. According to the trace provided by his Master, Maul knew that the Queen's J-type royal starship was on the planet Tatooine. The Sith then set course to the remote and sparsely populated planet aboard his personal stealth ship, the Scimitar. After being attacked by Togorian pirates upon exiting hyperspace in the Tatoo system and escaping with a wound to the leg, Maul made a night landing on an isolated mesa close to the spaceport of Mos Espa.
- "The Sand People advance on me angrily. In their breath masks and goggles they are protected from the sand that now stings my eyes and clogs my mouth."
- ―Darth Maul
After sending his probe droids to track down Qui-Gon Jinn, Maul spent the night aboard the Scimitar. The next morning, he woke up early to practice his Sith art of battle. After beating two assassin droids he had brought with him that were similar to those he used to fight when he was younger, the Dathomirian noticed bantha tracks circling his ship. Fearing it may have been a spy sent by the Jedi, Maul decided to investigate and followed the prints in the sand.
The tracks led him over the dunes and into a canyon. While he was scanning the canyon in search for lifeforms, a riderless bantha lurched into sight around a rocky wall, temporarily breaking the Sith Lord's concentration. Suddenly, a lone Sand Person rose from the shadows under the cliff and tried to attack Maul with his gaderffii stick. The Dathomirian activated one end of his saberstaff and cut the Raider's weapon in two with one stroke of his bloodshine lightsaber blade.
After a brief sparring match, Maul prepared himself to strike his opponent down. However, the desert warrior wasn't alone, and Maul had just fallen into a trap. A flock of at least thirty other Sand People appeared, spilling out from behind the cliff where they were hidden. Soon, the Raiders began to surround the Sith. While he thought that he could have easily defeated five of them, Maul understood that it would only infuriate the rest of the group. The Tusken Raiders kept maneuvering Maul closer to the face of the canyon wall. As the only way out was to avoid the fight, Maul quickly enacted a fallback strategy. He ran straight for the canyon wall and managed to scale it. With a burst of dark side strength, Maul performed a Force-enhanced backward flip, flew in the air and landed behind his attackers.
The unexpected move left the Sand People temporarily stunned. Maul grasped the opportunity to run, and headed back to his ship through the canyon. The Raiders eventually engaged in chasing the Sith, but they couldn't match his speed. Once they were left one hundred meters behind, they finally gave up and walked away, in hopes of finding easier prey.
- "If he's heading out of town on foot, he must be going to his ship. No time to waste!"
- ―Darth Maul, about Qui-Gon Jinn
Maul had never run from battle before, but he knew that he would not have easily succeeded in defeating all of the Raiders. Nevertheless, the retreat filled him with rage, and he was willing to tap into his feelings of fury during the upcoming fight. Back at the Scimitar, he received a report from one of his Dark Eye probes. The collected coordinates indicated that Jinn was heading out of Mos Espa spaceport, most likely returning to the Queen's ship, in the company of a local boy. The tattooed warrior got on the Bloodfin, his personal speeder bike, and raced through the sands of the sun-scorched planet. When he finally reached his Jedi prey, Maul engaged in his first duel with Jinn. The outcome of that duel was indecisive, as the Jedi successfully disengaged from the battle and quickly leaped aboard his ship, the boarding ramp of which had been lowered to rescue him.
Behind the scenesEdit
The ambush on Tatooine first appeared in the eighth chapter of the March 2000 novel, Star Wars Episode I Journal: Darth Maul, written by Jude Watson. In November of the same year, a visual interpretation of this event was included in Darth Maul's Revenge, a young readers book written by Eric Arnold and illustrated by Tommy Lee Edwards.
- Star Wars Episode I Journal: Darth Maul (First appearance)
- Darth Maul's Revenge (First pictured)
- The Wrath of Darth Maul (Mentioned only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Star Wars Episode I Journal: Darth Maul
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- ↑ Darth Plagueis
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Wrath of Darth Maul
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Darth Maul's Revenge