- "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 lightsaber combat and Teräs Käsi, wielding a red-bladed saberstaff against any adversary. 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.
Early life and training
From Dathomir to Mustafar
- "Far above, far above.
We don't know where we'll fall.
Far above, far above.
What once was great is rendered small."
- ―An adage from Maul's childhood
Maul, the Dathomirian Zabrak male who would become the feared Darth Maul, was born on Dathomir to Kycina, a Human Nightsister of Mother Talzin's coven and a Zabrak father who, by tradition, was murdered after Maul's conception. By birth, Maul was a Nightbrother; a clan of male Zabraks from Dathomir who served as warriors and slaves of the dominant Nightsisters. Like the rest of his kin, Maul was subjected, shortly after birth, to an initiation ritual during which he was immersed in a "magic" oily bath, and covered head to toe in black and red tattoos. Later stripped of his black Nightbrother markings, Maul was left solely red-skinned. Agonizing Sith tattoos were applied personally by Darth Sidious in an attempt to cleanse Maul's mind as well as demonstrating Maul's complete dedication to the dark side.
Maul was a blood brother to Feral and Savage Opress, and Kycina wanted at least one of her sons to live free of Talzin's control. Less than a year after Maul's birth, his mother encountered Darth Sidious, the young Sith apprentice of Darth Plagueis, and implored him to save Maul from the life of a Nightbrother. Though somewhat reluctant, Sidious was persuaded to take Maul, especially given the infant's strong connection to the Force.
Maul spent the first few years of his life in the care of droids, TD-D9 in particular, in a secret location on Mustafar. A year after Maul was given over to the Sith, Sidious was granted permission from his own Master to train him as an apprentice. Plagueis, however, instructed Sidious not to give away their most treasured secrets to the Dathomirian; Maul was to be trained as a Sith assassin, not a Sith Lord like Plagueis and Sidious. During his training, Maul did not know the Human who served as his mentor; he only referred to him as "Master Sidious." He had no idea that he was being taught by a Dark Lord of the Sith.
Life was hard for young Maul. Any show of hesitation or a mistake was severely punished, and any hint of mercy rewarded with cruelty. One day, after some agility exercises and a torturous session with a computer console on a number of questions, Maul had gone over to the ring, where TD-D9 wielded a wooden staff and instructed him to dodge his blows in another exercise. Maul was hit in the first two strikes, but managed to evade the next two; then, Deenine spun and threw the staff at Maul, hitting him in the face. Before Deenine could retrieve the staff, an enraged Maul unconsciously Force Pulled the weapon into his hands. Surprised, Deenine reported this discovery to Sidious. When asked by how he felt during the exercise, Maul responded that he was angry. Sidious grinned with satisfaction and ordered Deenine to prepare his cruiser for liftoff.
Maul was taken to the wasteland planet of Tosste in the Atravis sector, where Sidious first taught him the ways of the Force; to test him, the Dark Lord telekinetically hurled many rocks at the boy, hurting him before he was goaded into throwing them back at the former with his anger. Impressed, Sidious explained the nature of the Force to Maul and advised to hide his talents from others who were "not... like... us."
Back on Mustafar, Sidious instructed TD-D9 to have Maul chained upside down to a winch, which he would attempt to escape from as he was being lowered into a vat of acid. The Sith Master explained to his Zabrak pupil everything there was on the history between the Jedi Order, guardians of the Galactic Republic, and the Sith, the latter of which involved mentions of Naga Sadow and the Great Hyperspace War; Freedon Nadd and his haunting of Onderon; Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma; Darths Revan and Malak; the theories on the title of Darth; Skere Kaan and the Brotherhood of Darkness, which was destroyed by their leader's own thought bomb on Ruusan; and Darth Bane, who reformed the Sith with the Rule of Two: one master, one apprentice. At the last moment, Maul had freed himself and leaped to his mentor's side. He asked if the Sith still existed. Sidious only said that it was possible. Moreover, he said that if it hadn't been for the Sith's efforts, Maul would have been found by the Jedi on Dathomir and turned into a "mindless, obedient servant for the Republic." Maul's hatred for the Jedi had begun, in which he denounced them as weak. Sidious advised the boy not to underestimate the Jedi: compassion may be their greatest weakness, but they were still strong. He instructed Maul to do the exercise again; this time, with the chain lowering at a quicker pace.
At one time in Maul's childhood, he and Sidious were disguised as tourists while standing before the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. Having cloaked himself and his pupil, Sidious pointed out the faces of individual Jedi as the day went on. Maul was filled with delight to be in the presence of his enemies, and listened to his mentor whispering of the Jedi being oblivious to their eventual destruction.
The Orsis Academy
- Trezza: "You said Maul has been in a few fights. Just how many is "a few?""
- Sidious: "I'm not sure, really. Obviously, I never actually saw any of his fights. Tell me, did he win this one?"
- Trezza: "He almost beat his opponent to death."
- Sidious: "Did he, now? I told you he was a bit wild."
- ―Trezza and a masked Sidious watch Maul's progress on the boy's first day at Orsis Academy.[src]
In 44 BBY, reaching age 10, Maul was sent to the Academy on Orsis, so that he could learn the skills of an assassin. However, Sidious ordered him to forgo any use of the Force, save for his heightened senses.
Upon arrival, Sidious disguised himself as a blind, anonymous businessman in need to have Maul trained as his future "bodyguard." Director Trezza, a Falleen who could "smell" a Force user and old associate of Darth Plagueis, agreed to show Maul around the Academy. The young Zabrak, upon being introduced to the students, challenged the tall Abyssin Dalok to prove himself, and defeated him with such ferocity that he bit him on the nose.
During a break from his early training at the Academy, Maul exercised on an ice-covered planet of Mygeeto, where Darth Plagueis had first taught Sidious the ways of the dark side in the human's early years as a Sith apprentice. He ran up a mountain and back down with "superior balance and control." As he expected praise from Sidious, the Sith Lord lifted him with the Force and tossed him into a vast, icy lake. Maul struggled to get out, while his Master watched on and refused to answer any call for help. The boy feared for his life, but he learned that he must turn his fear into anger, therefore using it to swim hard to shore. Still, Sidious did not congratulate him. They just continued to walk as they had before.
Nearly three years inside the Academy, Maul became friends with Trezza's Nautolan ward, Kilindi Matako, who showed him so much compassion and secretly gave him advice on how to survive an encounter with Trezza's chargrecks. Once accomplished, he lied to Trezza about how he killed those chargrecks with his own hands, when in fact he used an electroshock net at Kilindi's suggestion.
Another two years, Maul made rivals of the Rodians Fretch and Hubnutz in a sniping exercise. After that, he and Kilindi were instructed by Meltch Krakko, a brutish Mandalorian who worked in the Death Watch during the Mandalorian Civil War and hunted Jedi.
Maul had to endure every hit he had from a blaster during training. If he dodged every hit, Kracko would have suspected he was a Force-user. Then, one day, Maul was training with the Rodians and Kracko, the latter wearing mimetic suits, in a chasm so that he could be prepared for the Academy's rite of passage known as the Gora. He believed that he could win their respect. But that was when he believed that something was wrong: they were trying to kill him. In a rage, he forgot about Sidious's orders and launched himself via the Force, taking Kracko and the Rodians by surprise. He injured both Hubnutz and Fretch and was about to take Kracko apart, when Trezza demanded that he stop, a furious look on his face.
Sidious, though furious at Maul's disobedience, explained that Maul wasn't "entirely to blame." The dark side could make the Sith want to unleash its power in their time of secrecy. There could have been a Jedi spying on Trezza's activities and would no doubt have sensed Maul's dark presence. When Maul asked how long it would take for him to continue without using the Force and what plans were made for him, Sidious replied that he may take him as his apprentice one day. Then, he passed a lightsaber to Maul, activated his own, and sparred with the Zabrak, resulting in wounding the latter. Maul later wondered whether Sidious and Trezza—if they ever met before in the first place—used Kracko to see if Maul would expose his power under pressure.
After a week of recuperating, Maul was mostly back in health, ready for the Gora. At the academy's barracks, Kilindi and another cadet, Daleen, told him that Kracko was looking for him and was now on Orsis Orbital Station. Kilindi asked if Maul would like some tips for the Gora, but he felt he could manage without them, causing the Nautolan to show him recent scars on her arms and shoulders from the last Gora. Daleen wished him luck and admonished that she and Kilindi were "cooking up a surprise" for him when he got back. Once the girls had left, Maul silently looked forward to returning as much as he was enthusiastic about the Gora.
- "From this day forward, you are a Sith Lord. You have chosen the path of darkness, the path of power. You are Lord Maul. You are my instrument."
"Your rage. You enjoyed it? You enjoyed wanting to kill me?"
"You will do well, Lord Maul."
- ―Darth Maul is decreed a Sith Lord by his Master.
In 37 BBY, by the time Maul was seventeen, his Master had already forged him into a living weapon of pure hatred. He had a sense of honor, however, respecting those he deemed to be worthy opponents and granting them quick deaths. Despite a traumatic childhood, Maul had filial feelings toward his master, and never once contemplated killing him—until his final test.
The ultimate test came when Maul was abandoned by his master on an isolated Outer Rim Territories world, which was Hypori, and was forced to survive alone while being hunted by hordes of assassin droids. Prior to landing on Hypori, Maul hacked into the computer to discover where the ship was to land. The pilot droid remarked that Sidious would be most displeased, and said it would undertake a memory wipe of the past minute.
After a month's time on Hypori, Sidious returned and challenged his apprentice to a lightsaber duel, one which the weak and famished Maul quickly lost. Sidious then tossed Maul's lightsaber aside and told Maul that he had failed, and revealed that he had been secretly training another apprentice to replace Maul the entire time. Rage and hatred overwhelmed Maul and, in one final act of defiance, he lunged forward and sunk his teeth into his master's hand. As he spat the blood back into his master's face in contempt, Maul realized he was no match for the Dark Lord, and when Maul's emotions were finally spent, he prepared himself for death. Sidious struck his lightsaber down on Maul, but without killing him since it had only been a training lightsaber.
Sidious then laughed and revealed to him the truth: by wanting to kill his own master, Maul had in fact passed the final test. There had been no other apprentice. Sidious proclaimed him Darth Maul, a Dark Lord of the Sith, and took him to a new home in The Works on Coruscant, where a medical droid tended to him.
Sith Lord (37—32 BBY)
Maul originally went on countless missions of terror for his master, killing politicians, crime bosses, merchants, and warlords. Maul's very appearance had been carefully conceived to inject fear into the heart of the Sith's enemies and even their unwitting allies. Despite his untold successes, Maul longed for victory over Jedi.
One of Maul’s earliest missions was the assassination of Siolo'urmanka. One of the greatest living Jedi warriors, Manka had since gone into seclusion, renouncing the lightsaber to concentrate on what he felt was a "purer" technique. He now lived on a jungle world in the Jentares system. Maul arrived on the world and cautiously approached the Jedi Master, brandishing his lightsaber. Thinking that he could easily kill the meditating Manka, Maul was caught off guard by the Jedi Master’s sudden attack.
Wielding a wooden staff, Manka displayed incredible speed, batting Maul across the face with his simple weapon. Maul quickly countered with a quick overhand slash, but Manka managed to dodge. As the Jedi Master pivoted to face him, Maul extended his lightsaber out. However, Maul’s stance only opened himself up, and Manka batted his lightsaber out of his hand. Disarmed and injured, Maul was at Manka’s mercy. Manka allowed Maul to flee.
Rather than accept death, the punishment for failure, Maul resolved to best Manka. Knowing that Manka was much faster than himself, Maul determined to outsmart the Jedi Master, get in close and attack. He proceeded to create a new lightsaber, based upon Sith schematics which he had originally received from Darth Sidious and inspired by the Zhaboka, a traditional weapon of his species. Fabricating two lightsabers, Maul welded them together, pommel to pommel, creating a double-bladed lightsaber.
Confronting Manka again, Maul kept his second blade hidden. Evading the Jedi Master’s opening attack, Maul countered, with exactly the same attack he used before. Allowing himself to be disarmed, Maul caught his weapon with his other hand. However, before he could regain his composure, Manka rushed inside Maul’s guard, with his staff to the Sith Lord’s throat and the "pommel" of Maul’s lightsaber pinned against his own back. Maul triggered the second blade of his lightsaber and ignited it through Manka’s back, finishing the Jedi off.
A Sly encounter
Years before the Invasion of Naboo, Maul, possibly under Sidious' orders, imprisoned the Umbaran Sly Moore in a tomb somewhere in the Cron Drift after he kidnapped her. Later, Sidious played as Moore's "rescuer," thus luring the young Umbaran to his side.
Around 34 BBY, Maul was sent to Chryya to force the merchants of the planet's spice business into signing an agreement with the Trade Federation. In the beginning, he was successful; but then, one merchant organized a protest, which started into a rebellion. The entire population destroyed the spice on account of "principle."
Seeing himself unable to fight every single citizen on Chryya, Maul was forced to report his failure to Sidious. The Dark Lord, furious, held his apprentice by the throat via the Force until he nearly passed out. It was one punishment Maul would never forget.
The Yinchorri Uprising
- "Plagueis was right. I have made him prideful."
- ―Darth Sidious thinks back on his master's words while listening to his young apprentice wanting to prove himself.
Later on, Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious both instigated the Yinchorri Uprising, by provoking the Yinchorri to attack the Republic and the Jedi, as part of their plan to destabilize the Republic from within. Maul was sent to give Vilmarh "Villie" Grahrk, a petty Devaronian smuggler that the Sith could manipulate into instigating the crisis, a job offer. He waited in the slums of Coruscant for Grahrk atop a small building. Below, the smuggler arrived at the location and Maul jumped down to meet him from behind. The Zabrak's entrance startled Grahrk so much that he soiled his trousers. Grahrk asked if Maul was the one who wanted to hire him. Maul corrected him by stating that his Master was the man in question. Grarhk had no idea what Maul was talking about; trying to talk his way out, he stated that he was only for hire and would not call anyone "master."
Angered by Grahrk's unwillingness to cooperate, Maul lifted the Devaronian with the Force and slammed him across two walls wall before a DRK-1 Dark Eye probe droid—possibly a prototype— projected a hologram of Sidious. The Dark Lord ordered Grahrk to listen and not ask questions; he needed "dead Jedi" and he had a plan that would require Grarhk. The smuggler, a little skeptical, asked why the "nasty boy" (Maul) shouldn't be the one to do the job, prompting the Zabrak to hold him in a Force Choke and remind him what Sidious meant by "no questions." Grahrk was to be given "funds, complete instructions, and a timetable"; any failure would be met by pain of death. Then, Sidious told him what was to be done on Yinchorr.
Grarkh had been supplying the Yinchorri with weapons that included cortosis shields from a secret Bal'demnic company through Sidious' machinations. Six months later,Yinchorr broke off ties with the Republic and attacked neighboring worlds. In another half-year, the Yinchorri killed Jedi Knight Naeshahn and her Padawan Ebor Taulk; their corpses were silently dropped into Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum's office, with some assistance by Sidious' minions, Kinman Doriana and Sate Pestage.
Sidious wondered whether Maul should witness the attack on the Jedi Temple. Days after a special session in the Galactic Senate, once he had seen a recording of Maul's training sessions, Darth Plagueis agreed to Sidious' proposition. He added that Sidious should hold the assassin back, so that he may feed on his anger and hate.
As the Sith were observing the events from within the shadows, Maul asked Sidious how the Jedi would react to the crisis. Sidious replied that they could do nothing but his "bidding"; they would have to fight the Yinchorri. He speculated two outcomes: either the Yinchorri — known for their "inconvenient resistance to mind control" — would be defeated; or some Jedi would be killed. Maul could not help but intervene, as he watched the Yinchorri attack the Jedi Temple, something he has been waiting to do by himself for a long time. But Sidious instructed Maul to get him Vilmarh Grahrk via holo-transmitter, to which the Zabrak obeyed. Grahrk reported that the Yinchorri were ready for battle. Sidious, saying that he and Grarhk would talk again later, cut the transmission. Maul once again begged Sidious to reconsider sending him to Yinchorr. Sidious, who agreed with Maul that leaving such an important task to the likes of Grahrk was "distasteful," nevertheless told his apprentice to be patient; it was important to let underlings become the Sith's "hands."
Maul surveyed the Jedi Temple from The Works through his electrobinoculars and saw that the Yinchorri were beginning their assault. He reported his findings to Sidious, who already knew what was happening. Maul continued to watch the incident. He saw that the Jedi sentry, Jude Rozess, had feigned surprise and unconsciousness and was disgusted by the Yinchorri's gullibility; he took delight in knowing that the Yinchorri fell into the Jedi's trap. The Jedi might have gained his respect, if the Yinchorri had any skill.
Later, after sensing the death of Jedi Master Micah Giiett, Sidious ordered Maul to contact Grahrk. Maul responded that he had already done so and there was no response. Sidious concluded that the Devaronian and all of his relatives had fled; yet he felt secure about letting him go, stating "He cannot reveal what he does not know."
When the crisis was over, Maul mused that the Jedi had triumphed. Sidious, however, had reason to believe otherwise: the Yinchorri would no longer be a threat, thanks to the Jedi and the Senate. Maul reasoned that if Sidious had sent him there with the Yinchorri, more Jedi would be dead already. The Dark Lord assured him that their time would come and the Jedi High Council had given the Sith a "small victory."
Weeks later, Sidious listened to Maul's harsh criticisms of the Yinchorri's attack on the Jedi Temple. The Zabrak's belief in what he could have done to be there at the Temple went into more detail: with his skill in stealth, he'd have killed every single Jedi there, including younglings and members of the Council. Seeing that Maul was becoming a bit "prideful" — as Darth Plagueis had originally told him — Sidious reminded Maul that he had given him the title of Darth due to his loyalty and obedience, not his physical accomplishments. Bringing down the Jedi Order wasn't his immediate objective.
With that discussion over, Sidious bid Maul to hide in the shadows while he contacted Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray through the Neimoidian's private viewscreen; it was best to keep him "in reserve" for now. Maul began to question the order, but his master told him to wait; he would soon play a huge role in what would happen next.
Maul watched as Sidious began his official business with the the Trade Federation. Once that transmission was over, the Dark Lord instructed him to familiarize himself with Dorvalla in the Videnda sector. The planet would be the "key" to bringing Gunray and the Trade Federation into the Sith's hold.
Sabotage on Dorvalla
- Patch Bruit: "You recorded my conversations. Then you altered the recordings to trick the saboteurs you had identified in the cantina. You probably arranged us to find this place. Can I at least know why before you kill me?"
- Maul: "It is something that had to be done—for a larger purpose. [...] You needn't dwell on it."
- ―Patch Bruit marvels at how Maul managed to manipulate the events on Dorvalla before the Sith Lord kills him[src]
Overtime, Sidious told Maul about Lommite Limited and InterGalactic Ore, two companies operating on Dorvalla. Lommite ore was an important component of transparisteel, a durable metal alloy used in many construction projects. Lieutenant-Governor Wilhuff Tarkin of Eriadu and the Seswenna sector, a secret ally to Plagueis and Sidious, issued a challenge to the two rival companies for a major contract. In order for the Trade Federation to control all shipping of the ore, the trade routes, and motion Dorvalla into the Senate, the companies would have to be pushed into destroying each other. With Dorvalla secured, Viceroy Gunray would get a position in the Trade Federation Directorate.
Sidious could feel Maul's puzzlement on why the Dark Lord would be interested in the Neimoidians. Knowing that he could not hide his feelings from his master, Maul confessed that he viewed the Neimodians as "greedy, weak-willed, and unworthy"; worst of all, to which Sidious pointed out, they were "duplicitous and sniveling." Nonetheless, the Sith had no choice but to bring these contemptible businessmen into their plan for control of the galaxy. Maul asked how Sidious would help deliver Dorvalla to the Trade Federation. The elder Sith answered that his apprentice would be the one to accomplish that task.
Then, after praising Maul's skill with a lightsaber and lecturing how the the "limitless" power of dark side could be obtained, Sidious snatched the Zabrak's lightsaber with the Force, held in midair, and activated each blade for inspection. In spite of his suggestion for Maul to make a double-bladed weapon four years ago, the Dark Lord asked his pupil why he preferred this over the standard single-bladed lightsaber the Jedi fashioned. Maul answered that this lightsaber would give him more options in offense and defense. Sidious approved, but warned Maul on not to expose the Sith's existence prematurely: "A sword master knows that when he furnishes his blade, he reveals his intent." He gave Maul back the lightsaber and provided him with a datacard regarding his targets and other information.
Before he sent Maul to Dorvalla, Sidious told him that the very planet was a "much different landscape than Coruscant" and would expect the Zabrak would take delight in experiencing it. The Dark Lord would be waiting for him here to return, expecting a report on the success.
Agent of deception
As Maul arrived on Dorvalla, he found that Sidious had been right to warn him about this planet: there were far worse living conditions than those on Coruscant; there was less gravity, causing Maul to be more graceful; there were more forests, mountains, and deserts than the frontier-like towns; the air was extremely humid; the common folk lacked ambition; and disputes were settled without intervention by the law or the Jedi. Both intrigued and disappointed by what he found, Maul studied a fist-sized, six-legged fire flitter he caught before setting it free.
Stopping at a cantina, Maul used a mind trick on the bartender to bring him pure water and give him some privacy. He checked his surroundings through a mirror and the dark side, finding himself as the only Zabrak in the cantina. The gambling here, plus the absence of disciplined, sickened him to the core. Extending his awareness, he heard the word "sabotage" coming from his right and then eavesdropped on a conversation between three of Lommite Limited's security personnel about a sabotaged ore shuttle: Patch Bruit, LL's chief of field operations, had a list of suspects and executive officer Jurnel Arrant was looking for retribution for the sabotage. While listening in, Maul then noticed a listening device disguised as a flitter on the wall over the men's booth. He followed the device's muted beeping to a Rodian he recognized from the data card provided by Sidious and two Twi'leks, all three likely to be spies from InterGalactic Ore. There was a strong possibility that they were the saboteurs responsible for that shuttle crash.
Maul followed the LL employees, under cover of darkness, to Patch Bruit's elevated cube. Hiding himself in the front room's floor joists, the Sith Lord placed a recorder on a floorboard's underside and heard what Bruit had to say: since Jurnel Arrant didn't want to hear more than Bruit had in mind, he would be in the clear; petitioning the Senate for help would take months to settle the issue, so LL was going to take matters into their own hands; Bruit was going to hire a band of mercenaries and pirates called the Toom clan to sabotage InterGal transport set for Eriadu on Rimma 13 (scheduled at 1400, Eriadu standard time), leaving the former company to win the race for who would sell the ore; and after that, LL would prepare for a counterattack from InterGal. Of course, Bruit sometimes wished that LL and InterGal could be eliminated and "someone with real foresight could build a better organization from the dregs." Hearing enough, Maul removed the recorder and contemplated on what he and Sidious had discussed about using both ends of his lightsaber to finish the job.
As the moon went low in the night sky, Maul traveled to LL's headquarters and spent an hour to study its defenses, intent on slicing into the company's central computer. He telekinetically threw rocks over the five-meter-high stun field to see whether the sentries and their leashed beasts would hear them strike specific spots on the lawn; they didn't, so they just continued on their usual patrol. Maul jumped over the fence and landed right where the some of the stones rested to avoid detection. He sped toward one of the primary building's outer walls, making him a blur to whatever hovercams were in the area. After discovering that every single door and window were locked, the Zabrak checked the roof for motion and pressure sensors before going up. He prepared to slice a skylight with his lightsaber, when he discovered monofilament chains in the transparisteel; one cut and the alarm would be raised. Maul contemplated that Patch Bruit would have remote access to the central computer.
Maul returned to Bruit's dwelling, which had no security whatsoever. He checked every windowsill and found Bruit sleeping in his bed, completely drunk. Further sickened by this sort of incompetence, he easily slipped inside the front room, which was just as messy as Bruit himself, and located the small computer in the man's bedroom. But as he activated the machine, Maul discovered it genetically locked to Bruit. He had to put Bruit's fingertips on the display screen to unlock the computer. Successful, he left the house and ran through the files on the Eriadu delivery.
Maul spent the morning altering the recorded conversation in Bruit's dwelling to make it as if a member of the Toom Clan was speaking. The message said that Jurnel Arrant planned to move against InterGal without Senate approval, making him more guilty than he already was. Furthermore, the Tooms had learned that LL freighters were set to arrive on Rimma 18 at 1300 hours, Eriadu local time; they were willing to sabotage it for InterGal, provided the company had some payment.
At lunchtime, Maul had returned to the cantina he entered yesterday. Two of the LL personal were at their usual booth. After seeing the same three InterGal agents and a Human female in the same employment, the Sith Lord sent the flitter-disguised recording device via the Force to their table. The agents didn't recognize their own device until after one of the Twi'leks almost squash it. Then, Maul played the altered message into the agents' earpieces. He was pleased to hear that they were going to take this news to their employer.
Later, Maul learned that both companies looked to the Toom clan to sabotage the other, just as he had planned. This led to the loss of the majority of each company's ore transportation ships. Instead of going to Eriadu and watch the collision, Maul tracked down the Tooms from their hideout in Dorvalla's northern wastes to a secret base on Riome, a planet in the same system. He then went to Patch Bruit's dwelling, where he heard the man viewing the recording with Caba'Zan, the Falleen in charge of InterGal security. Upon realizing that they had been double-crossed, Bruit and Cabazan teamed up to put an end to the Tooms. Maul had the entire conversation recorded. Now was the time to give Bruit the information regarding the Tooms' whereabouts anonymously, by planting evidence in the pirates' previous base.
Maul waited for a whole day in the cold atmosphere of Dorvalla's unpopulated northern wastes before Bruit and Caba'Zan's combined forces of twenty people arrived, along with the InterGal agents he had tricked. They searched for clues in the Toom clan's deserted base and Maul was tempted to show them the evidence himself, how incompetent they were. But there was no need for that: the evidence was found. The small army boarded to their shuttle and set off for Riome. Maul, excited for the upcoming battle, beat his quarry aboard the smaller and quicker starship he piloted to the ice planet ahead.
The final phase
So far, the Toom clan had most likely hidden their Interdictor ship in Riome's asteroid belt coreward. Maul parked his ship a kilometer from the Tooms' base without being picked up by a radar detector. He watched as the small, outnumbered mining force took the Tooms by surprise.
Knowing that the Tooms' base modified with blast doors and the grassy apron was full of mines and other traps, which Bruit and Caba'Zan were unaware of, Maul had to reveal himself out in the middle of the snowy fray. The miners figured him to be one of the Toom clan and fired on him. Bruit had his team split up, half of which were ordered to pursue Maul for another route into the base. The Zabrak dodged every blaster shot without drawing his lightsaber, guiding them toward the base's undefended entrance before hiding himself via the Force in a snowdrift. Once they were all inside, he followed them to watch the battle. Even if Sidious would have preferred letting the Tooms and miners slaughter each other, Maul may have to finish off the victors.
Maul had a feeling that Bruit's forces would win the day. He observed both sides of the ongoing struggle on the central bunker's wall, predicting with accuracy on who would fall next. As the blast doors blew open, he began to respect Bruit for his courage, wishing to see him survive the battle. Before long, the miners had destroyed the Tooms. All that remained of them were Bruit, Caba'Zan, and five others.
For a while, Maul had wondered whether he should let the miners live and go back to Dorvalla. But there was a problem: Bruit would want to find out who had manipulated the tampered recording, which could lead him right to a description of Maul's features. Knowing that Sidious would not like to see his apprentices' face on the most-wanted list, the Zabrak had saw that he had no other choice.
The snap-hiss of Maul's lightsaber brought the miners' attention to him. The Rodian from the cantina fired on the Sith Lord, only to have his shot deflected right back to him. Caba'Zan mistook Maul for a Jedi and attempted to reason with him on how this matter didn't "concern Coruscant." Insulted, Maul advanced, killing Caba'Zan and the four remaining security personnel with a combination of blaster deflection, telekinesis, and physical force. Bruit was left for last. He correctly deduced that Maul was responsible for what had happened and wanted to know why. All the Sith Lord could answer was that it had been all for a "larger purpose." He prepared to kill Bruit with his lightsaber, but then thought better about, instead Force choking the man to death. Personally, he felt that the miners deserved slow, painful deaths for their sloppiness.
With the slaughter complete, Maul further altered the recording between Bruit and Caba'Zan to frame them for the sabotage and left it in the base. It would soon make its way to Jurnel Arrant's office.
Maul, having enjoyed working alone in the Dorvalla system, returned to Coruscant and listened as Sidious contacted Viceroy Gunray. The deception worked, since LL was persuaded to merge with InterGal to form Dorvalla Mining and the Trade Federation received its prize. Furtherfore, Dorvalla had been Senate representation via the Federation and Gunray was now permanently in the directorate. After he had ended the transmission, Sidious asked Maul if he trusted the Neimodians now. Maul answered that they were actually more scared than ever, which would make them more obedient to the Sith. Sidious conferred, seeing that Maul was just understanding the importance of involving the Neimodians. He advised that the young Zabrak study a syndicate known as Black Sun while training.
Weeks later, Maul hoped that he would take on the Jedi during the business on Eriadu, but Sidious denied his wish, stating "You have no role in this." Instead, he was tasked with looking over the DRK-1 Dark Eye probe droid schematics he was given before the Dark Lord left for Eriadu. Aside from the probes, there was also the matter of completing the assassin droid C-3PX and the Razalon FC-20 speeder bike he named Bloodfin, as well as perfecting his skill with the Sith lanvarok. Maul was surprised to learn that Sidious had revealed himself to the leader of the Nebula Front, Eru Matalis, who went by the codename "Havac"; even more troubling was that Havac attempted to assassinate Chancellor Valorum behind Sidious' back.
Occasionally, Maul would get a hint of an important mission in the process and he sensed through the Force that this mission was connected to Sidious' homeworld of Naboo.
Cog Hive Seven
Sidious met Maul in the LiMerge building with a new assignment: infiltrate the infamous Cog Hive Seven prison under the alias Jagannath, locate fabled weapons manufacturer and dealer Iram Radique, and procure a special nuclear device from him, so that he may secretly deliver to Radique's enemy, the Bando Gora. He could not afford to reveal his Force powers, lest he compromised the mission. It was a hard lesson for the Zabrak.
While undercover, Maul had killed some ferocious prisoners and monsters with his own bare hands: a mysterious Yuuzhan Vong warrior wielding an amphistaff; a feral, near-unstoppable wampa; a Deathspine varactyl; Rook, an Aqualish who told Maul vital information about Radique's operations moments before he died; and a Weequay serving as Radique's decoy. While sleeping to recuperate from his fight with the decoy, he had experienced a Force vision in which fought a doppelgänger of himself. But as Maul was struck down, the apparition turned into a Muun that he must have seen from his past. The name "Plagueis" entered his mind before he woke up in the medbay.
When Cog Hive Seven was under attack by Jabba Desilijic Tiure, Maul knew he had to act fast. He slaughtered the real Radique's clawbirds with a prototype lightsaber that he had been forced to improve for Radique, in order to obtain the nuclear device. Radique shot Maul in the right shoulder and was ready to finish him, but a boy named Eogan Truax intervened, killing Radique in the process.
Immediately afterwords, Maul fought Komari Vosa, a former Jedi Padawan who became High Priestess of the Bando Gora. Their duel was interrupted by a large Syrox worm that haunted Cog Hive Seven. Seeing that Vosa was willing to fight the Syrox, even if it was eating her alive, Maul came to her rescue and sliced the beast's head to pieces. Together, he, Vosa, and Eogan escaped the self-destructing Cog Hive Seven with the device aboard Jabba's starship, the Star Jewel. When they reached Hutt Space, Maul would return to Coruscant, his mission completed.
Takedown of Black Sun
- "Stealth is the greatest tool of the Sith assassin."
- ―Darth Sidious
After his latest trial with assassin droids, Maul had received a mission to put Black Sun into complete chaos, for one day, Sidious would find use for it. For that to happen, he would have to eliminate all the nine Vigos and their leader. He was provided with a Sith Infiltrator, Scimitar: a heavily modified Star Courier equipped with a cloaking shield generator. Maul confessed that he did not feel "deserving" of the Scimitar. Sidious suggested that his apprentice could prove his worth to himself and the Dark Lord with success.
Before Maul left, Sidious warned him that the Vigos had connections to the Trade Federation. They suspected "foul play" at the Eriadu trade summit. What Sidious didn't say was that Black Sun had been involved in an assassination attempt on Darth Plagueis. Maul had been instructed on whom to strike in order: first Vigo Darnada, then Morn, and finally the rest on Ralltiir. He warned him of a few skilled foes: Darnada had a Twi'lek bodyguard named Sinya; Black Sun leader Alexi Garyn had "some strength of the Force"; and Garyn would have a Nightsister bodyguard named Mighella. She would recognize Maul as a Nightbrother from his markings. Maul pointed out that a Nightsister was not the same as a Sith, but knew he had to "leave no witnesses." Vowing that he would not fail, he set off, setting the ship to stealth mode as he flew to Coruscant's atmosphere.
As Maul arrived on Darnada's hideout, Deep Space Demolition and Removal, he posed as a hired killer looking for Black Sun membership after killing a runaway Sullustan debtor named Feen Fenoob. Once he was inside he killed just about everyone in Darnada's private chamber, including the guard shoto-wielding Sinya, whom he beheaded, saving Darnada for last; everyone except Asa Naga, whom the Sith Lord needed to contact the other Vigos into Ralltiir for this emergency. Before leaving, he spread the rumor that the Vigos were "at war"; that Black Sun "battled itself"; that at least one of the Vigos might try to overthrow Alexi Garyn. Maul had the whole space station blown up before he set out to kill Vigo Morn. What he didn't know was that minutes earlier, Hath Monchar, the Neimoidian Deputy Viceroy of the Trade Federation, had come to warn Darnada of the Sith's renewed presence by enticing him with the purchase of a holocron containing secret information about the Siths' intentions to blockade Naboo and severely disrupt the galaxy's political balance; but viewed rather as a quack or a doomsayer, Monchar was thrown out by the ignorant Dug.
Maul then proceeded to Vigo Morn's homeworld of Dac, where he killed the Mon Calamari's men. Morn was saved for last. In a futile attempt to save his life, he revealed that all the Vigos would be rendezvousing on Ralltiir, just as Sidious had predicted. When he asked that Maul spare him, the Sith Lord angrily said "No" and cut him down.
Once he had landed on Ralltiir, Maul deployed his Dark Eye probe droids around the Black Sun Fortress. He watched through his electrobinoculars and awaited as the droids returned. He had learned that Alexi Garyn and every single remaining Vigo were inside, along with their separate bodyguards and a large legion of Black Sun's "finest" enforcers. He contacted Sidious and made his report. The Dark Lord instructed his apprentice to begin his attack and "leave no survivors." Maul obeyed, sent the Dark Eyes away, and started the Bloodfin. He plunged from the cliff had positioned himself on and revved Bloodfin through Ralltiir's waters.
As Maul reached the fortress, two sentries spotted him and fired at him. Still on his speeder, he activated his lightsaber and deflected the blaster bolts before decapitating the sentries with one strike. The Sith Lord launched from his speeder and stood between every single enforcer within the fortress, atop a four-way platform. Believing that they could defeat Maul because he was just one man, the legion rushed at him. But Maul proved more than a match for them and headed for the main entrance, leaving behind a trail of mangled, maimed, and smoking corpses: some lying on the floor, others falling over the edge. Then, a lone gun man tried to ambush him, but was met with a Force-choke that ended his life.
Maul opened cut his way through the door with his lightsaber and was met by eight of the Vigos' bodyguards: an Iktotchi, a Kiffar, a Nikto, two female Barabels, Phuii, a Gamorrean, and an assassin droid. The Iktotchi launched his compatriots after the Sith Lord. Maul killed the Kiffar first, sliced the Phuii's left hand off to use his blaster pistol on him and the Nikto, and then slashed the Gamorrean. He was injured in the back by the Barabels' claws, but one of them was shot accidentally from behind by the assassin droid. Maul threw his lightsaber at the droid, stabbing it in the chassis. Next, he grabbed the remaining Barabel, flipped her over to the ground, and snapped her neck. Just then, he was stopped by the Iktotchi, who aimed the muzzle of his blaster at the Zabrak's face. The remaining bodyguard was amazed by what he had seen: Maul had annihilated "seven of deadliest beings in the galaxy" in less than a minute. He demanded the assassin to say who sent him here, but not a word was spoken. As the Iktotchi tried to use his telepathy on Maul, all he received was a horrifying mind of darkness and died for it, his cold eyes widened with fear. With that, Maul stripped his ravaged top clothing, regained his lightsaber, and walked to the door of the Black Sun leadership's grand chamber. He opened his way via the Force and reactivated his weapon for the kill.
The astounded and terrified Vigos fled for their lives, but Alexi Garyn had closed the gates behind them while making his escape. Maul slaughtered all the Vigos in order: Whee Tillatch, Mother Dean, a Narees, Dardo, a Devaronian, Nep Chung, and a Twi'lek. Asa Naga was saved for last. Once that was done, the Sith Lord sliced his way through the gates and went after Garyn.
At the catwalk of the fortress' hanger, Maul met face-to-face with Mighella, Garyn's Nightsister bodyguard. As they prepared to face off, he told her that she understood "so little" of the dark side. Despite what Mighella said about Maul not facing her kind before, Maul had indeed experienced the Nightsisters via Mother Talzin on Orsis in his teen years; it was his kind that Mighella had never fought in her life. The witch responded "We'll see" before Maul leaped in his attack.
The duel was short. After a few passes, Maul sliced Mighella's darksword in two. As he lunged toward her, the seemingly unarmed Nightsister shocked him with Force lightning. She taunted him for not being able to withstand the dark side, but Maul gathered up all his power to resist the electricity, retorting that Mighella knew nothing of the dark side. It was at that moment that an astonished Mighella began to realize Maul's Sith nature, before the Zabrak sliced her in half.
As Alexi Garyn reached for his private yacht, Maul jumped via the Force and blocked his way. Calmly, the Black Sun leader expressed his previous disbelief that one man could kill an entire organization of criminals; that he never thought there would be anyone like Maul. The Zabrak warrior replied that there was only one like him; his master. Garyn revealed that he had a feeling that the Sith really existed. After explaining his previous desire to become a Jedi, he asked why the Sith would reveal themselves now. Maul replied that it was their "time"; after hundreds of years, the galaxy would be under Sith control.
Then, reasoning that Black Sun would have to be "out of [the Sith's] way" first, Garyn drew up his concealed vibroknife and slashed Maul on the chest and left hand. It was all in vain, however, as Maul lunged at Garyn, grabbed him by the neck with his right hand and the knife with his left. Both men fell into the reservoir. Maul managed to drown Gayrn before emerging victorious; his injured hand bled a ripple onto the water, creating the symbol of the defeated Black Sun.
Maul returned to Coruscant immediately afterwards. His wounds were treated. He was in the middle of meditating when Sidious asked him of his progress: there were no survivors, Maul reported (although Oolth, Garyn's retainer, escaped off Ralltiir unnoticed,, yet did not live long enough to tell the tale). When pressed by Sidious to admit that Garyn had dealt his wounds — even if the Black Sun leader's Force sensitivity was pale, in comparison to his — the Zabrak further confessed that he told Garyn about the existence of two Sith. Sidious reprimanded his apprentice for almost putting the Sith's plan in jeopardy. Even as Maul begged for his master's forgiveness, he was ordered to return to Mustafar and train there until further notice.
Later, when Sidious reported Maul's success as well as his near-blunder to Darth Plagueis, the elder Sith Lord expressed what the Zabrak assassin said did not matter; Alexi Garyn and his Vigos were dead, leaving Black Sun in chaos. The Sith could now continue their plot unhindered.
- "Wipe them out. All of them."
- ―Darth Sidious
At some point in 33 BBY, Maul practiced his lightsabers skills with a trio of droidekas at the LiMerge Building. He sliced them all to pieces in a matter of seconds. Upon watching from an observation room, Sidious expressed his approval to Maul. Asked if he wished to do his master's bidding, Maul responded that he did. Then, Sidious revealed having felt a disturbance in the Force coming from an unknown planet in the Outer Rim. This "aberration" could be a threat to the Grand Plan, due to the surge in the dark side created by it. Should the Jedi feel it through the Force too, the Sith's presence could be threatened. It would be up to Maul to find what- or whoever was making this disturbance and destroy it.
Maul arrived at the planet marked by the disturbance via the Scimitar and made his way to the cantina. Knowing that his senses weren't as attuned as Sidious', he nevertheless found what he was looking for: a Force-sensitive Drovian named Silus. Silus was a hulking, savage brute using the Force for financial gain and praise by pitting himself against other Force-users in a dueling ring. It disgusted Maul to see such "animals" waste their talents on these games.
As Silus began gathering his winnings and wondered aloud on how could one day leave this planet, Maul approached him, countering that this may be the end of the Drovian's journey. The Zabrak projected a holo-message of Sidious, who explained that he had been watching Silus' progress for some time. He could find use for the Drovian, but since he already had an Maul, he made a proposition: kill Maul and Silus would be the Dark Lord's new apprentice. Hearing those words both alarmed and unnerved Maul. Silus knew this as the fight began.
A nullifier field surrounding the dueling ring prevented use of energy weapons, rendering Maul's lightsaber useless and forcing the pair into fighting using only the Force and unarmed combat tactics. Maul's near-fatal lack of focus allowed Silus to gain the upper hand. However, Maul soon remembered how his fear could be used to tap the dark side. Calling upon his rage, he prevailed in the end, using the Force to overload the field. Silus lay on the ground, begging Maul not to take this chance away from him. The Zabrak, unfeeling, declared himself as his "master's servant" and activated his lightsaber. He bisected Silus in one swipe.
Maul realized that the ordeal had only been a test, as confirmed by his Master upon the return to Coruscant. Sidious never doubted his apprentice's chances of success, which would raise him to new heights.
- "Before I terminate you, do you wish to make a statement?"
"Yes. This entire fortress is going to burn."
- ―Maul hints the fate of his captors to an interrogation droid.
A little while later, Maul was summoned back to Coruscant. Though he silently walked up to the balcony, where Sidious usually stood while at the Works, the Dark Lord could sense him coming from behind. He informed Maul of what he had heard from Viceroy Nute Gunray's spies on Esseles in the Darpa sector; Bartokk assassins had stolen fifty illegal prototype hyperdrive-equipped Trade Federation Vulture droids and a prototype hyperdrive engine, probably wanting to use those fighters to shoot down their target and frame the Trade Federation for it. Sidious needed those Vultures to conquer Brentaal and control both the Hydian Way and the Perlemian Trade Route. Unfortunately, the Jedi found about about the Vultures; for the Sith to avoid suspicion, the conquest would have to wait. The Jedi must not be allowed to suspect what the Federation was preparing for Brentaal. Sidious gave Maul a datacard, which would enable him to take control of the Vultures via the Scimitar's computer. Maul's task was to track down the Bartokk freighter in the Esseles system and either retrieve the starfighters or destroy them. Then, he was to find out who might have the Bartokks and teach them not to steal any more Federation property. Maul asked if he should kill the clients, but Sidious advised leaving them alive to spread their fear, which would be advantageous for the Sith; for the Bartokks, on the other hand, Maul would decide their fate.
Having amassed his full arsenal — the Bloodfin, C-3PX, the Scimitar and the three Dark Eye probe droids — Maul set off for the Esseles system. Leaving the Scimitar on autopilot, he checked his lightsaber's power cell and found it to be charged up; this would be the first time he had faced Bartokks. Then, he installed the data card into the Scimitar's main computer. As soon as he reached Esseles's orbit, Maul scanned for ships that had recently passed by. He discovered that out of fifty-eight ships, only one went by without giving its identification: it was bound for Corulag in the Corulus system. After guessing correctly that it was the Bartokk freighter, Maul set the navigation computer for his next destination. He checked the navcomputer one last time and found that the ship had deviated from its course to Corulag, heading straight for Ralltiir instead; the Scimitar's scanning must have tipped the Bartokks off on their being followed. Despite having recently gone to Ralltiir to bring Black Sun into chaos, Maul asked C-3PX about the planet, then learned what he could on the Bartokks' telepathic abilities. He planned to fake his own capture to ease the Bartokks and get the jump on them; C-3PX would be captured as well and go along with the farce.
As he arrived on Ralltiir, Maul turned on the Scimitar's clocking device. The Bartokk freighter led him to a large, seven-level high fortress set up on a canyon northwest of Grallia. He then set the Sith Infiltrator down in a deep ravine that hid them from the Bartokks. Deactivating the ship's cloaking device, he ordered C-3PX to stay and guard to ship. The Sith Lord then searched through his electrobinoculars, finding three turrets on the fortress' roof and an open window perfect for entry.
Maul drove the Bloodfin towards the fortress and parked it on the first level. He entered through the exposed window, willingly bringing himself into the hands of a Bartokk wearing a vocabulator. Deprived of his lightsaber and handcuffed, the Zabrak was marched through a courtyard, where he found the spike-covered Bartokk freighter, twenty-five of the missing Vulture droids, a six-winged Bartokk starfighter that contained three crew members, and eleven more Bartokks. While refusing to answers his captors' questions, Maul was inwardly furious to learn that the Bartokks had highly-advanced sensors picking up the cloaked Scimitar. Then, a skiff arrived, carrying two Bartokk and a "captured" C-3PX, the latter having secured to the Scimitar; he was then given a restraining bolt. Maul, knowing that there were fifteen Bartokks in a hive, figured that the missing assassin was likely directing the Vulture in the freighter. Both the Sith Lord and his assassin droid were led into separate cells to await interrogation, while the Bartokks prepared to board the Scimitar to scour for any information. Maul's plan was working perfectly.
In Maul's cell, an IT-O Interrogator droid with a cocky personality of its own descended from the ceiling. It asked Maul if he wanted to make a statement. The Sith Lord complied, hinting that the whole fortress would burn. The droid, looking forward to terminating Maul, wasn't convinced. Just then, Maul broke his stun cuffs with his own hands, kicked the droid, and ducked out of the way as the droid missed him and smashed itself against the cell wall, causing it to self-deactivate. Maul got a hold on the droid's Bavo Six truth serum so that he might interrogate a Bartokk. With the Force, he was able to unlock the cell door and escape.
On the way out of the prison, Maul encountered two Bartokk guards, snatched the nearest one's poison-tipped arrows, and killed both of the insectoids with their own weapons. Before he could move to C-3PX's cell, two more guards hit a wall panel that caused Maul to fall through a trap door. Maul recovered and the Bartokks fired four poisoned arrows from their crossbows at him, but the Zabrak grabbed the arrows and threw them back at his assailants, neutralizing them. Then, he managed to trick a dragon slug into being knotting around a stalagmite and let it live out of respect for its desire to defend its territory. Maul followed the underground cave he was in and came across a nine-meter chasm. After some debate, he avoided a risky jump to the other side for a much preferred climbing through the stalactites above. He was pursued by a huge spydr, but managed to yank it off the ceiling with its own sprayed web strand and dropped the creature into the abyss.
After reaching the other side of the chasm, Maul found the vocabulator-wearing Bartokk wielding the Sith Lord's lit lightsaber and what looked like a female Falleen hanging from a chain pulley above a toxic pool. Thinking that this Falleen might hold answers to the assassins' operations, Maul telekinetically snatched his lightsaber from the Bartokk's grasp before the insectoid could cut the chain. Another two Bartokks wielding spears appeared from their hiding spots and joined their vocabulator-equipped comrade, who revealed that his dead comrades had telepathically warned him of Maul's escape. He had arranged this Falleen hologram to draw his quarry out.
Angered that he had been deceived, Maul cut down two of the Bartokks—all the while disposing of their living severed limbs—and trapped the one with the vocabulator in the pulley's chain, hanging him over the toxic pool. He administrated the Bavo Six serum into the Bartokk's system and learned the name of the assassins' employer: Groodo the Hutt, who ran a hyperdrive factory on Esseles. Groodo was hired by the Trade Federation to create that prototype hyperdrive engine Sidious had mentioned, yet was never paid for his services. The Hutt planted a sensor tag on the prototype, which led him straight to Trinkatta Starships. Discovering the construction of fifty Vulture droids, he hired the Bartokks to steal them and the hyperdrive, then use the Vultures to destroy the Corulag Academy, who refused admission to Groodo's son Boonda. But one freighter carrying half of the Vultures and the prototype was destroyed by the Jedi, which didn't surprise Maul one bit. Groodo was with Boonda in his private cruiser in Corulag's orbit right now, waiting to watch the Academy's doom from above. After finishing his story, the Bartokk kicked Maul off the pulley to the edge of the toxic pool and threw a razor-tipped boomerang at the Zabrak. Maul deflected the boomerang with his lightsaber and sent it right into the pulley's chain, cutting it and sending the Bartokk into the toxic pool.
Maul walked back up to the first level and entered a munitions room, where he found a box of thermal detonators. Before setting one of the detonators to a ten-minute countdown, he contemplated over the fate of C-3PX; since the assassin droid was still in the dungeon, the chances of him escaping the fortress' destruction were slim. Realizing that he had no choice, Maul then took a second detonator with him and left for the courtyard. He discovered that two Bartokks were inspecting the Bloodfin on their skiff and the Vulture droids were gone, along with the Bartokk starfighter. It could only mean that the Bartokks were preparing for their attack on Corulag.
Infiltrating the Bartokk freighter, Maul sliced into the main computer and downloaded data on the the crystal gravfield trap that unmasked the Scimitar; he needed to find ways to elude this special type of sensor in the future. A Bartokk suddenly surprised Maul from behind, wielding four vibro-axes, but he was dismembered by the Sith assassin's blade and fell victim to his own weapons. After checking the remaining seconds on his chronometer, Maul exited the freighter, jumped passed the two remaining Bartokks, and escaped the doomed fortress on the Bloodfin. As the fortress exploded, one of its three towers fell onto the freighter, bringing satisfaction to its destroyer.
Maul's sense of victory was short-lived when the two Bartokks, who had evaded the fortress' destruction, began firing at him from their skiff. A bowcaster bolt hit the Bloodfin's side, but it did not deter Maul. He threw the thermal detonator he carried at the skiff, destroying it and the Bartokks. Maul then drove toward the Scimitar's hiding place and attacked the Bartokk guarding it, but the assassin dodged Maul's lightsaber and grabbed the Bloodfin's tail, bringing the speeder nose-up with his surplus weight. Then, Maul drove the Bloodfin into a vertical climb, deactivated his lightsaber, grabbed one of the Bartokk's claws, braked, and threw the insectoid assassin to his death.
Relieved that the Bartokks had not passed the Scimitar's security measures, despite scratches in the aft hatchway, Maul left Ralltiir and made a hyperspace jump for Corulag, determined to beat his adversaries there. The hyperdrive motivated was a bit damaged, but the Sith Infiltrator's auto-repair systems took care of it. Despite Maul's earlier presumptions, his found through a refection of the ship's computer monitor that a Bartokk did manage to sneak aboard the Scimitar. Before the Bartokk could attack, Maul opened the aft hatch, hoping that it would suck the intruder into space. But the Bartokk grabbed the open hatchway and closed the hatch with an emergency at the cost of a toe. He then fired at Maul, only to have his blast shots deflected. Maul then struck down his opponent before the Scimitar dropped out of hyperspace in Corulag's orbit.
The Scimitar had made it to Corulag just in time. There was no sign of either the Vultures or Bartokk starfighters yet. Maul made a quick scan and found what looked to be Groodo's cruiser also floating in orbit. Then, the Scimitar's sensors picked up the Bartokk starfighter, followed by the Vultures, coming out of hyperspace, causing Maul to cloak his ship once more. But he had forgotten about the crystal gravfield traps. Within moments, the Bartokks could pinpoint his location and prepare for their attack. Quickly, Maul installed the data card to jam the CGTs and remotely control the Vulture, pitting them against the Bartokk starfighter. The Bartokk tailgunner fired randomly, hoping to hit the invisible Scimitar, but it was no good. Maul destroyed the remaining Bartokks with all six low-profile solar ionization cannons, then turned his ship towards the Hutt cruiser.
The Sith Lord contacted Groodo via emergency hail and caught the holographic image of the very Hutt himself, thus rudely interrupting the latter's meal. He warned Groodo that the attack on the Corulag Academy would never happen; there would be no more pirating Trade Federation property; and Groodo had thirty seconds to escape before his ship was destroyed. Groodo was far from frightened; in fact, he was outraged at the thought of being threatened. After ten seconds, he demanded to know who his attacker was. Wasting no time, Maul switched off the comm unit and commanded the Vulture droids to combine their firepower on the cruiser. Groodo and his son Boonda evacuated in an escape pod to Corulag's surface. Allowing his prey escape in fear via his Master's orders, Maul programmed the Vultures to travel to a Trade Federation base, then set himself a course for Ralltiir; it was time to retrieve C-3PX before the Sith's enemies could discover him, if the assassin droid had survived.
Upon returning to Ralltiir, the Scimitar scanned the reduced Bartokk fortress for any trace of C-3PX before Maul stepped out to continue the search outside. He telekinetically lifted a boulder from what had once been a chamber near the dungeon. Underneath, he found a restraining bolt, confirming that C-3PX had indeed escaped before Maul blew up the fortress. The Zabrak stretched out to the Force, intent on hearing C-3PX's motor movements atop the rubble. However, he could find nothing; the droid had disappeared. Maul left no trail as he returned aboard the Scimitar for Coruscant to make his report to Sidious.
Sniffing out a Neimodian
In 32 BBY, on Mustafar, Maul was sparring with four lethal training droids designed by Trang Robotics: Cudgel, Rapier, Chain, and Hachete. After he destroyed all of them, he was contacted by Sidious via hologram. The Dark Lord explained that the Trade Federation's Deputy Viceroy Hath Monchar (one of Gunray's cronies) had suddenly disappeared with a Sith holocron containing extremely sensitive recorded information about the Federation's plans for its imminent blockade of Naboo. Maul's task was to find the Neimoidian and ensure that he didn't talk to anyone about Naboo's trade embargo; if he already had, Monchar and everyone he may have spoken to must die. Before Maul left, Sidious revealed that Monchar had an apartment miles south of Coruscant's Manarai Mountains; Darth Plagueis knew the address, but for some reason, Sidious didn't bother giving it to Maul. He also provided his apprentice with a picture of Monchar and a password to access the HoloNet.
Maul arrived undetected in an abandoned part of Galactic City that was in desperate need of remodeling, having activated the cloaking device on his Sith Infiltrator, Scimitar. He then rode his personal speeder bike to the nearest Coruscant Customs Bureau outpost. On the way, he was pursued by a police droid that intended to pull him over for speeding. Just as the droid was calling for backup in between two skycar traffic levels, Maul managed to lose it in the fog-covered lower level; he sought thereafter not to raise his public profile any more than was necessary, by avoiding needless living or mechanical casualties.
As he reached the Customs Bureau outpost, Maul left his speeder in one of the local parking lots and ignored anyone of insignificance who so much as eyed him. He went inside the outpost and, accessing a HoloNet terminal, searched for any recently arrived Neimoidians, paying no heed to the long line of galactic creatures waiting impatiently behind him. He found Monchar under an alias, but found no debit transactions, which wasn't surprising to Maul. Hacking into the security grid that monitored Coruscant's spaceports and their environs, the Zabrak found an image of a Neimoidian entering a tavern in the Crimson Corridor, which was located in the Third Quadrant of the Zi-Kree Sector. He called for an air taxi to take him there, as he didn't want to be caught on his speeder while on the prowl for Monchar.
At the tavern, Maul learned from its Baragwin bartender that Monchar possibly was intent on selling sensitive and detailed information to Lorn Pavan, a Corellian information broker on Coruscant. Pavan often came to the tavern, accompanied by his protocol droid, I-5YQ. Since personal droids weren't common in the Zi-Gree Corridor, Maul's search for Pavan should not be very difficult. Of course, if Monchar had shared anything about the Sith's existence and the blockade with Pavan, they would both have to die. Maul, clearly sensing that the bartender knew nothing of the nature of the information itself, knew nothing of the imminent Trade Federation blockade, then left the tavern to continue the tracking of his prey.
Maul found Pavan's apartment and hid in the shadows until the Corellian and I-5YQ stepped out. He followed them at a safe distance to see whether they would lead him to Monchar. He strove to curtail his thoughts of how tracking lesser beings unworthy of being his opponents was a waste of his talents; but his mission would soon be over. Maul watched Pavan and I-5 enter the Dewback Inn and stealthily followed them inside. Using the Force to keep the proprietor and patrons from focusing on him, the Zabrak at last spotted Pavan speaking with Monchar, who was flanked by his Trandoshan bodyguard Gorth. As tempting as it would be to kill them immediately, such a move would be too risky in a public place; Maul needed to discover if there were others Monchar might have involved in his traitorous actions. He would have to interrogate the Neimoidian later about what had passed between him and Pavan.
When Monchar left the Dewback Inn, Maul tracked him to his penthouse in the Kaldani Spires Residential Apartments, while keeping an eye on Gorth's movements; but the Trandoshan proved nothing more than an unskilled grunt with little training. Suddenly, Maul felt a disquieting presence; he suspected that it was just one of the planet's many urban predators that posed no real threat. He was soon able to carve his way into the Neimoidian's temporary room and there kill not only Gorth but also Monchar's two Quarren bodyguards before setting his sights on the Neimoidian, who soiled himself at the sight of the Sith Lord. Maul Force-choked Monchar, then released him so that the quivering creature could speak. Monchar was quick to explain that he spoke only to Lorn Pavan about the Naboo blockade and that the Human was presently on his way to pick up the holocron crystal containing that information. Sensing truth in Monchar's words, Maul prepared to kill him. As Monchar begged for mercy, the Zabrak told him to at least stand up and recover a semblance of dignity before he died, but the Neimodian was too terrified. Disgusted, Maul held Monchar in a Force grip before beheading him.
Just as Maul was about to lay hold of the holocron crystal, bounty hunter Mahwi Lihnn, who was secretly hired by the Trade Federation to bring Monchar in alive, entered the apartment. Maul recognized her as being the vague presence he had felt earlier while on Monchar's trail. Lihnn trained her BlasTech pistols on him and warned Maul not to move, but the Sith Lord was able to telekinetically throw Gorth's blaster at her before evading and deflecting her blaster bolts. Lihnn, in a desperate attempt to finish the job, prepared to launch a wrist rocket at Maul. But realizing that an explosion from the rocket could very well kill both him and Lihnn, Maul sliced through the nearest plastic wall and disappeared down through the floor, leaving the bounty hunter to die by her own weapon.
Cursing himself for underestimating Lihnn, Maul fled to an abandoned alley where he reported the death of Monchar to Sidious via wrist comm. He was stating his intent to dispatch Lorn Pavan, when he realized that he had forgotten about the holocron. He forced himself to admit his failure to obtain the device, while realizing it would be pointless to attempt to explain Lihnn's interference. Furious, but before he abruptly ended the transmission, Sidious ordered Maul to kill Pavan, retrieve the holocron, and bring it back immediately.
Chasing Pavan and the Jedi
After further self-chastisement, Maul ran back to Monchar's apartment, where he slipped behind a Coruscant Security Force officer to infiltrate the cubed space. He spotted two criminologists—Mrlssi and Sullustan—and forensics droids investigating the scene of the crime. Hearing no mention of the holocron crystal, the Zabrak used the Force to probe the minds of the criminologists but uncovered nothing of the crystal having been found, which could only mean that Lorn Pavan had been there and collected the crystal after the carnage. Leaving the apartment, Maul traveled to Pavan's cubicle in the hope of finding and killing the Corellian. The trip would take only a few minutes.
The Sith Lord cut the lock on Pavan's door with his lightsaber. Once inside, he viewed a holomessage from Yanth the Hutt, a Vigo of Black Sun who was not present at Maul's massacre on Ralltiir. The young Vigo was interested in buying the holocron Pavan had in his possession. Maul knew that Yanth owned a nightclub in the Crimson Corridor called the Tusken Oasis, along with an underground headquarters. Arriving just as the transaction was completed, Maul eliminated Yanth and his Trandoshan bodyguards before renewing his pursuit of the elusive Pavan and I-5YQ, who had quickly fled. 
Maul reappeared just as his targeted fugitives were rescued by the Jedi Padawan Darsha Assant and her Master Anoon Bondara. Maul pursued them on his speeder bike and briefly engaged Master Bondara before taking the duel to a nearby landing platform. He continued to duel Bondara until the Jedi Master attempted to sacrifice himself, to allow his compatriots time to escape, by piercing the power cell of Maul's speeder. The resultant explosion vaporized the Jedi Master, but Maul had sufficient time to escape the harrowing blast.
Darsha and Pavan escaped into the city-planet's sewer system, where they encountered and killed subterranean lifeforms known as Cthons; Maul took out nine of the mythic creatures as he continued to track his targets, eager to confirm to Sidious their actual existence when he finished the mission. Reaching a great underground cavern, Darsha and Pavan confronted and battled a taozin, a giant annelid-beast that was invisible to the Force because it was so very sensitive to it. When Maul arrived, he had to use a Slashing Wampa move to escape the monster.
Later, Darsha Assant blew up the warehouse that she and Maul were fighting in, in an attempt to prevail where her Master had failed, knowing that it would claim her life in the process. Maul escaped the inferno and, believing Pavan and his droid companion to have been killed in the blast, contacted Sidious to brief him on his success. The Dark Lord, pleased now, gave Maul coordinates to the Perlemian Orbital Facility, a space station above Coruscant, with instructions on how to get past the facility's security droids; there, Maul would rendezvous with Sidious and relinquish to him the holocron crystal. It was imperative that Maul remain discreet, as the entire Jedi order, with two of their own murdered, would be hot on Maul's trail. It was time he left Coruscant, and with all speed.
Maul hailed a taxi speeder to take him close to where he had parked the Scimitar. Once inside the ship, he scanned the immediate area before cloaking the vessel and launching. He was eager to finally put this mission—which had proven far more taxing than originally perceived—to an end. Landing the Scimitar at a seldom-used docking bay within the space station, Maul deactivated his ship's life support and artificial gravity systems, then floated away towards the facility's airlock. He made his way along a route that had been secured by the Sith Lord's assistant Sate Pestage, then proceeded to open the bay's hatch door.
Unknown to Maul, Lorn Pavan had maintained his vital signs after being frozen in carbonite by the quick-computing actions of his protocol droid; later freed by I-Five, Pavan followed Maul into orbit wearing a taozin nodule (secured in the cavern-encounter with the beast) to hide his presence in the Force. Arriving almost concurrently with Maul at Coruscant's orbital facility, Pavan seized the chance to kill Maul when the Zabrak was occupied. Pavan's blaster, however, only had enough power to fire either a single, full-powered "kill" shot or, alternatively, three "stun" shots, and he was worried about missing his target. He planned to hit Maul in the back with a stun bolt, steal his lightsaber, kill him, and take the Sith crystal for delivery to the Jedi. And so it was that, in the self-same moment that the Sith Lord opened the hatch into the facility from the docking bay, the Corellian fired.
Warily approaching his target's still body, Pavan reached out to take the crystal, but the shot's effect on Maul proved short-lived. The Sith's eyes opened wide as he activated his lightsaber and sliced the Corellian's right hand off. The blade cauterized Pavan's wound in the very act of inflicting it. Maul could not believe that his assailant had been able to conceal himself from him. Furious, the Sith Lord then pursued his prey, quickly closing the distance, which allowed him then to seize the ideal moment in which to throw his lightsaber at Pavan, but his ever-elusive target ducked just in time. Pavan was able to slip through the hatch, closing it quickly and buying himself enough time to make a getaway. Renewing the pursuit, Maul used his lightsaber to slice through the hatch.
Unfortunately for the Corellian, and by an odd twist of fate, Pavan, breathless, rushed into the domed reception areas of the political rally, only to place the holocron directly into the outstretched palm of Darth Sidious, who had by that time taken on the guise of his public persona, Senator Palpatine.
The mission came to an abrupt conclusion when Maul returned to Coruscant and ambushed Pavan at the threshold of his hotel room. Maul granted a quick death to the resigned information dealer, in deference to his warrior's respect for Pavan's survival skills.
The Invasion of Naboo (32 BBY)
- "Supreme Chancellor Valorum: We bring news of a grave development on our homeworld. Without warning, the Neimoidian faction of the Trade Federation has initiated a blockade. Their massive freighters encircle our world . . ."
- ―Queen Amidala to Chancellor Valorum
- "Is it not a measure of our success that we can award worlds as if they were mere business contracts?"
- ―Darth Plagueis to Darth Sidious
Livid about the Galactic Senate's recent shipping-taxation legislation that promised to impact not only the galaxy's free-trade zones but also the Trade Federation, Viceroy Nute Gunray—somewhat reassured by Darth Sidious' confidence that Naboo was significant enough to ensure galactic interest in their planned blockade of the planet—was now sufficiently prepared to execute the Sith Lord's directive to seal off all trade with Naboo. But because of recent threats and information breaches that included the Monchar-Pavan holocron incident (which, even then, was showing its widespread 'collateral damage'), but also the Neimoidians' bungled compromising of their secret droid-army foundries on Eos and Alaris Prime, Darth Plagueis ordered Sidious to postpone the blockade until after Coruscant's political rally for Supreme Chancellor candidates at the Perlemian Orbital Facility. In preparation for the coming conflict that would be called the 'Clone Wars', Darth Plagueis (who was the planned conflict's guiding engineer) ordered that these recent breaches be partially dealt with by relocating Baktoid Armor to the planet Geonosis.
Once Darth Maul was finished dealing with the loose cannon that was the Monchar-Pavan incident, the Zabrak assassin was recalled by his master to the offworld Perlemian facility, where he was to deliver the recovered Sith holocron to Sidious himself (as the Jedi were even then on his trail for the deaths of two of their own) but where, quite by accident, the Sith crystal was instead delivered by Pavan himself to Sidious' public persona, Palpatine. Maul—from whom the holocron had been re-acquired by a pursuing Pavan in the the orbital facility's docking bay concurrent with the political rally's proceedings—had nearly failed Sidious in catastrophic fashion. But Pavan, in flight from the enraged Zabrak, had delivered the dangerous article containing incriminating information about the Trade Federation's imminent blockade into the trusted hand of the Senator from Naboo himself (what Plagueis later saw, in private converse with Palpatine, as a delivery by 'the dark side'). With this potentially devastating political mine now safely defused, Sidious issued the blockade order to Nute Gunray, who, in prompt fashion after setting his freighters in place, warned the Republic that any attempt to break the embargo would be met with 'deadly force' and that if the new regulations were not rescinded the Naboo populace would starve.
Sensing the extremely delicate and volatile nature of the situation, Supreme Chancellor Valorum consulted with the Jedi High Council that continued to faithfully support him, and clandestinely arranged (unbeknownst to the Galactic Senate) for two Jedi 'ambassadors' to enter into negotiations with the Trade Federation that had, in utter defiance of Republic law, launched the blockade. Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi were the Jedi selected to attempt to 'appease' the Neimoidian anarchists. Valorum knew that any other kind of Republic response to the matter would be bogged down or stalled in legislative procedure and 'red tape' by the Senate. This secretive collusion of the Chancellor with the High Council blindsided Plagueis and Palpatine, who had been confident, because of the unsavory events of Galidraan, Yinchorr, and Baltizaar—but more especially on Asmeru and Eriadu—and the resultant restrictions placed by the Senate on the Chancellor's use of the Jedi Order, that neither the High Council nor Valorum would ever be so foolish to again risk a measure so bold. Both Sith Lords were also very much aware of the 'pesky' Jinn-Kenobi duo that had become "the nemesis of the Nebula Front at Dorvalla, Asmeru, and on Eriadu."
Thus—in retaliation for the Jedi Order's most recent intrusive gesture that sought to circumvent, but which, in any case, dramatically diluted the hoped-for impact of the Sith-forced embargo, and which also now threatened to uncover (via loose-tongued Neimoidians) the existence and political ambitions of both these powerful figures—the Dark Lords accelerated their plans, ordering the Trade Federation to immediately kill the Jedi envoys and to invade Naboo ahead of schedule. They tempered their new mandate by reassuring Viceroy Gunray that henceforth the Republic would not intervene; indeed, the Sith would take measures now to 'make' their actions legal (Queen Amidala, who, it was certain, would not permit her people to suffer, would in short order sign a treaty that would at once legitimize the Neimoidian occupation and make Naboo and its plasma reserves property of the Federation). The Grand Plan now required that Naboo be secured in preparation for the planet being annexed by the shipping cartel. All of these converging power-plays and reversals combined to prompt Plagueis' solemn resolve that "It is the will of the dark side that we finally reveal ourselves," to which Sidious concurred: "I will see to it that Maul is ready."
Darth Maul had been conditioning his mind and body, habitually working out in the Works' training room, when Sidious one day ordered him via comlink to retire to the strategy-and-communications room. As he entered, 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 Trade Federation Neimoidians about why they were contacting him. Maul became excited when he learned of two Jedi being sent by Chancellor Valorum to settle the Republic-Federation conflict. But feigning anger by this new turn of events (of which he'd already been apprised, he and Plagueis having already discussed the matter), Sidious issued orders to the Neimodians that they were to kill the Jedi and deploy the Trade Federation forces to Naboo's surface ahead of time. Maul asked his master whether these "fools" could actually kill the Jedi, for Maul knew of a surety that they would fail; Sidious confirmed that, indeed, the Nemoidians were not proficient, but that they "sometimes get lucky."
The stepped-up invasion and occupation of Naboo, initially placed under the direction of Baktoid B1 battle droid commander OOM-9, saw the planet's cities and towns quickly overrun with very little resistance from the peaceful Naboo, the planet's citizenry being herded into prisoner-of-war Detention Camps. The only thing that kept the invasion from turning into an all-out slaughter was, once again, the Neimoidians' notorious fear-factor: they simply didn't want their galactic reputation to suffer beyond their ability to salvage it (which of course equated to profits, maintaining status and wealth). Achieving great success during the early stages of the campaign, Gunray was able to report to Lord Sidious that the Federation was now in control of all of Naboo's northern cities (including Kaadara, Keren, Dee'ja Peak, and Moenia) and were overtaking, as they continued to search for, the planet's remaining key settlements (Selton, Parrlay, New Centrif, Vis, Ferentina). Trade Federation troops swiftly defeated the forces of the Naboo at the First Battle of Harte Secur and the First Battle of Spinnaker, before going on to capture Naboo's capital city of Theed.
With news reaching the Federation of a primitive species—the Gungans—residing in the planet's swamps, OOM-9 was initially charged with hunting them down (searching to locate and isolate the principal underwater habitats of the planet's indigenes before they could pose a threat), but the commander had limited success. The operation would later be assigned to Darth Maul, who, taking over command of the Federation's forces and the entire occupation of the planet, would not fail his master in the task. Under Maul's leadership, the key Gungan cities of Rellias and Otoh Gunga, the Gungan capital (as well as other Gungan settlements such as Umberbool City, Oxon City, Jan-gwa and Otoh Mandassa, Langua, and Jahai), would also be discovered and the processes begun for their complete subjugation.
Incident on Coruscant
- "The Senate will hear about this!"
- ―Naboo diplomat, after Darth Maul attacks
As soon as the invasion had begun, Maul was tasked by Sidious to see how the Royal Naboo Security Forces pilots could handle their N-1 starfighters. Two such fighters were escorting a few delegates from Naboo to Coruscant. After they rested on the landing platform, Maul used this opportunity to attack them with the Scimitar's cannons, pinning them down.
Lieutenant Gavyn Sykes rushed to the delegates' rescue. Maul, aware of his master's wish to test the RNSF's fighting capabilities, only launched airborne mines at Sykes, who destroyed or evaded them with ease. Sykes fired torpedoes at the Scimitar, forcing Maul to maneuver his way out of the firefight. Nevertheless, the Sith Lord's mission was complete.
Later on, a Senate investigation looked into this attack, but they could find nothing.
Revealing two Sith
- "Yes, you fools. There are two of us."
- ―Maul's thoughts as he reveals himself to the Neimoidians.
Shortly thereafter, Maul intensified his training, beginning another series of practice rounds with the assassin droids. One particular session with three of the droids proved more intense than previous sessions, 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 his master's unexpected arrival. As a result, Sidious harshly told Maul to never subject himself to surprise, even when he was occupied. When the Dark Lord levitated Maul's still-activated lightsaber with the Force and threw it at him, Maul did not flinch. Satisfied that Maul would not allow himself to repeat the mistake again, Sidious shut the weapon off, handed it back to Maul, and left.
Another transmission from the Neimodians revealed to the Sith that, unfortunately, the Jedi 'ambassadors' and Queen Amidala of Naboo had escaped the planet's blockade in a starship bound for some unknown destination. Sidious, incensed, motioned Maul to stand forward, declaring to the cowardly figures before him that his apprentice, in spite of their failures, would surely find the Neimodians' "lost ship." Maul took great delight at the sight of Viceroy Nute Gunray and Settlement Officer Rune Haako's fearful, even horrified expressions as they noted that now there were two Sith Lords with whom they must deal.
Sidious and Maul were very soon able, through various living and technological means, to hone-in on the escaped starship's location—Tatooine—in preparation for Maul's new critical mission. "Everything is going as planned. The Republic will soon be under my control," Darth Sidious confided to Maul.
Togorian Pirate attack
- "There is no pain where strength lies."
- ―Darth Sidious to Darth Maul
Darth Maul left Coruscant aboard the Scimitar, having been given of his master this most important of missions: to first track down, then eliminate, the two elusive Jedi ambassadors, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, before capturing Queen Amidala and returning her to Naboo, where she would be constrained to sign a treaty with the Trade Federation, making its invasion and occupation of the planet "legal".
As Maul came out of hyperspace above Tatooine, he picked up a distress signal from a nearby space cruiser stalled in a shipping lane. Choosing of course to ignore it, his mind and dark energies being focused entirely on his critical aims, a box-shaped bulk freighter suddenly emerged from hyperspace—a Togorian pirate ship with proton torpedoes that had been lying in wait to ambush. The large pirate vessel immediately joined the stalled cruiser in a pincer movement to surround the Scimitar. These fiercest and most ruthless of galactic pirates approached with the intent to board, scavenge, and seize Maul's sleek, elegant ship, the like of which they had never before seen.
Berating himself for being so careless as to allow detection and to lose focus and valuable time, Maul knew he must now kill the pirates for having seen him. His mission was utterly secret (and so it must remain) per the instruction of Sidious: the task at hand was too important, there were to be no witnesses. As such, immediately upon being fired at by the enemy, Maul cut the Scimitar's power and deflection shields, causing the pirates to think they'd crippled their prey. Escaping in his small pod with power set to low, Maul drifted into space, hugging his ship's hull to avoid detection, then headed straight toward the large freighter: he would not abandon his ship to pirates, nor allow them to foil his mission. The cruiser pirates, in turn, boarded the Scimitar, reporting back to their captain that it was devoid of passengers and obeying his command to return their impressive find to the freighter.
Maul meanwhile had evasively infiltrated the freighter's filthy docking bay and quickly dispatched two unsuspecting, though fierce vibroblade and vibro-ax-wielding Togorian warriors, slicing off limbs and heads in the process, quickly silencing their ear-splitting howls. Leaving the large, foul-smelling creatures where they lay, Maul ventured into the ship and stealthily approached its bridge. There, hidden by shadows, he noticed several cages suspended in the air with chains, filled with stuffed, once-living creatures—the expressions of pain, fear, surprise, and rage still on their faces (Maul wished there had been Jedi among them).
After silently observing the interaction between three bridge crew members and their captain, who was just ending a main-console conversation with the pirate Hela-Tan about the Scimitar being vacant, Maul took his cue. The wrathful Sith Lord attacked the bridge with silent, lightning-fast fury, his double-bladed lightsaber an undetectable whir and blur of unmerciful vengeance amidst bared fangs and roars of rage. Glittering ornament-decorated and skull-necklaced bodies—sliced in two, windpipe-crushed, impaled—were left bleeding on the bridge. Maul held the captain in reserve, left him to witness what horror and carnage could be exacted upon his pirate crew by a dark-side wielding Lord of the Sith. The captain, a severed arm dangling to his side, soon met his own violent end with a vertical lightsaber slash through the chest—his last expression that of the stuffed animals overhead: dead eyes glazed with surprise.
Returning to the docking bay, Maul expertly interfaced the freighter's propulsion units with its proton torpedoes (the ship's ignition would do the rest), then swiftly boarded the (sans-pod) Scimitar, only just-arrived from the pirates' scavenging run. Having skirted by the remaining pirates (now on their way back to the bridge) to avoid detection and an unnecessary further loss of time, Maul encountered the lingering Hela-Tan (the largest Togorian he'd yet encountered) who fought Maul even as the Sith Lord executed his escape from the pirate ship to continue his mission to Tatooine.
Maul knew he had to dispatch this last assailant before the bridge crew started up the engines (for despite discovering dead comrades, Maul knew the Togorians would seize upon their well-seasoned pirate habit of fleeing a crime scene immediately, to avoid capture). The enraged pirate, who'd stayed behind to glean for himself the best of the spoils (a bag full of credits and crystals), lunged at Maul with a vibro-ax, his matted, razor-embedded fur threatening to slash his prey to bits simply by falling on him. In the ensuing battle, Maul managed to maneuver his Sith Infiltrator out of the bay and into space before the freighter blew. A bloody Hela-Tan, armless, hanging from the ramp, his body shredded from Maul's lightsaber cuts and wedged in the ship-hatch door, succeeded in wounding Maul's leg before he expired from lack of oxygen. The hapless pirate was finally sucked into space from the freighter's explosive blast when its engines ignited, killing also its remaining pirate crew.
Duel on Tatooine
- "At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge."
- ―Darth Maul to Darth Sidious
A Darth Maul-edited transmission—made originally by Naboo governor Sio Bibble, but then counterfeited to broadcast what amounted to a distress signal (pleading with its receptive hearers to respond to Naboo's plight of starvation and catastrophic Trade Federation-exacted death-tolls)—had assisted the Sith in tracking the escaped Nubian starship to Tatooine. Maul reasoned that he would find the Nabooian refugees in no time. Sidious had ordered him to first confront the Jedi and then return the Queen to her homeworld to sign the treaty with the Trade Federation. After his run-in with the Togorian space pirates, Maul proceeded directly to Tatooine. Landing in the night outside the most densely populated towns of the planet, he immediately deployed his three "Dark Eye" probe droids, loaded with all pertinent information, to find the Jedi and the Queen's ship. This would preserve his master-mandated anonymity and allow him to stay with his ship, while also permitting his body to heal.
At dawn the following day, after tending to his pirate-injured leg, Maul encountered a band of at least thirty gaderffi stick-bearing Tusken Raiders who managed to to lure him from the Scimitar with the tracks that their banthas left behind, disguising their numbers by single-file impressions. He restrained himself from killing them, however, as any dead bodies of Sand People near his location would raise suspicions. He therefore made a strategic escape—in order to preserve his strength for his all-important encounter with the Jedi; any aggressive response would only further postpone the rapid healing his body needed. Maul's retreat from the Tuskens was facilitated by the beeping alarm of his comlink, which startled the nomadic 'Sand People' as it notified him of the probe droids' success.
Maul soon learned that one of the Queen's protectors, a bearded Jedi Master, had encountered one of the probes, and destroyed it with his lightsaber near the Mos Espa Grand Arena. Maul followed in the direction from the city that the Jedi seemed intent upon taking, which led him 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 finally located the Naboo royal starship in the Xelric Draw, beyond the outskirts of Mos Espa. When the third droid returned to report that the same bearded Jedi seen earlier was spotted leaving Mos Espa towards the Xelric Draw, the Sith Lord immediately took the Bloodfin and headed toward the location coordinates the probes had marked for the Queen's transport; upon reaching the ship, Maul sensed that the boy who was traveling with the Jedi toward the starship was unusually strong in the Force. But he had no time to figure this out or comprehend what significance it might have; he leapt from his speeder and—wielding his lightsaber in its single-bladed configuration—engaged. The Jedi shouted for the young boy to run tell the ship's crew to take off, and the young Human did so. This was the first time in several years that Maul had faced a Jedi Master in combat, and he had prepared well for it; 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 that he could kill him, and to do so, he used the pain of his leg injury to further fuel his anger. But thanks to the boy who notified the crew of the duel taking place below on the desert floor, the Jedi Master—Qui-Gon Jinn—was able to jump and land upon the ship's lowered boarding ramp as it took off. Jinn, breathing heavily as he regained his strength aboard the Queen's vessel, began harboring a threatening, ominous feeling of what he'd just encountered—that the dark shadow and disturbance in the Force he'd felt so powerfully might eventually reveal itself to be the first overt manifestation in a thousand years of that ancient oath of the 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 of capturing the Queen. However, he welcomed the shame, for it fed his anger and let him sink further into the darkness, fueling his strength and power. He returned to the Scimitar and transmitted his report on the mission to Coruscant, omitting details of the Togorian 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 (which, of course, surprised his apprentice). He asked if Maul felt he would have defeated the Jedi he fought had the Jedi not fled, to which the Zabrak answered that he surely would have, because of the toll being exacted on the aging Jedi's body: his adversary was tiring. After hearing that the Jedi was bearded, the Dark Lord revealed his name as "Qui-Gon Jinn," whom he considered to be "stronger" than his Padawan companion, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
While contemplating why Sidious had acted rather calmly to the report of his failed mission, Maul suddenly understood that, despite his failure, the Jedi were to bring Queen Amidala here, back to Coruscant; she would try to persuade the Senate to help liberate her planet. Sidious' words, in fact, mirrored Maul's thoughts. His master told him that, indeed, the Queen and the Jedi had already arrived on Coruscant; they were here now. Maul asked, then, if he should take this opportunity to kill the Jedi, but Sidious thought it wise not to have the Jedi renegades eliminated on this planet; he had other plans for them.
But Maul, still feeling the bite of shame and anger for having allowed the Jedi to escape his grasp (but also anger for the Jedi Master's seeming lack of honor for having fled) went to his quarters and repeated the name of Qui-Gon Jinn in his thoughts, to further fuel his hatred, strength, and power in the dark side. Names of his targets typically meant nothing to Maul, but somehow this Jedi's name seemed worthy of helping to incite the Zabrak's ire.
Taking control of Naboo
- "I am sending my apprentice, Darth Maul, to join you."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Viceroy Gunray
It was only hours after his arrival on Coruscant that Maul was summoned back to the Work's 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 had failed to convince Chancellor Valorum and the Senate to proclaim the Trade Federation blockade illegal or to act in Naboo's defense. While surprised at Sidious' aspect, for he had never seen his dark master appear so happy, Maul inwardly felt that as long as the former was distracted, the latter's mistakes on Tatooine no longer mattered.
Sidious rightly 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 to Naboo, the Zabrak noted that the Neimoidian was not particularly keen on the idea. As Sidious broke off the transmission, he laughed in triumph, taking immense pleasure in knowing that the Sith would soon have no further need of the Neimoidians. He ordered Maul to take command of the Federation forces on Naboo, to ensure that the Neimoidians would deal decisively with the Queen; furthermore, Maul was to see personally to the annihilation of the two Jedi. The Dathomirian Sith Lord silently obeyed and took his leave to board the Scimitar.
Enroute to Naboo, a rarely reflective Maul looked back on his mistakes on Tatooine, wondering, if he could do it all over again, what he might have done differently to right those errors and succeed in the task. As the Scimitar entered Naboo's orbit with stealth generators online, Maul discovered that the hundreds of Trade Federation battleships had been reduced to just the one Lucrehulk-class droid control ship, Vuutun Palaa. Angered by the way the Neimoidians, once the blockade had served its purpose, were preoccupied only with regaining their profits by shepherding the bulk of their ships back to the business of intergalactic transport, Maul noted how easily the control ship might be infiltrated and destroyed from within; he even felt the temptation to sneak into the large vessel with the Scimitar, simply to make Viceroy Gunray look bad and rethink his strategy for the situation. However, in the end, Maul didn't bother. He contented himself with bringing his cloaked Infiltrator within firing range of the Vuutun Paala and a few of the Vulture droids under the Neimoidians' command, 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 in a private hanger that Sidious had secured just outside Theed. Having his probe droids survey the hanger, he left on the Bloodfin for the capital. While there, he eluded the droid patrols while simultaneously studying them, and used the Force to fabricate sounds across different parts of the city, tricking the droids into running all over the place, to test their mindless limits. He could clearly see the weaknesses in the droids' design, yet trusted his Master's judgement for their part in the Grand Plan.
- "Terror rises off Nute Gunray and Rune Haako like steam. I intimidate them without saying a word. It is clear the minute I arrive on Naboo. Is it my ritual tattoos, my silence, my eyes? All I have to do is look in their direction and they scurry away ... So I look in their direction often."
- ―Darth Maul
Maul took the position as chief commander over the Trade Federation's occupying droid army, but he was disgusted with the idiocy and incompetence of the Federation's Neimoidian leaders, especially while speaking with them face-to-face—not to mention their intense albeit rather humorous fear, which in short order became repulsive to him (to be fair, however, as Maul himself conceded, it was after all he who had so efficiently and viciously dispensed with their treacherous confederate, Hath Monchar; the Neimoidians thus had rather good reason to fear). Even so, Maul had good reason, too, for the disdain he held for these would-be invaders and army leaders (who had more in common with the droids that served them than with sentient beings), especially after Viceroy Gunray reported on the Federation's setbacks and only very modest success: 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; finally, a former Federation plasma mining camp was destroyed. Nevertheless, Maul carried on with the mission assigned to him by Sidious, commanding the droid army to begin looking for the indigenous Gungans and eliminate them as a threat.
Advised by OOM-9, Gunray's command battle droid, Maul searched the swamps of Naboo for the Gungans. After being briefed by the Viceroy, OOM-9 secured 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 by Maul. OOM-9, upon Maul's request, showed him to a grouping of four prone 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 chief Maris Magneta, who had served under Naboo's previous monarch, King Ars Veruna. The king, after contracting with an offworld mining company to survey the Gungan areas to tap into their plasma reserves, and after abdicating the throne to Amidala, had died under very mysterious circumstances. Maul demanded that Magneta give him the location of the Gungan cities affiliated with Veruna's plasma survey preparations. Magneta didn't really know where to find the cities, but knew of a Bothan surveyor named Leika who had studied the Gungan areas. Before Maul took his leave of Magneta, she sarcastically asked that the Zabrak "give [her] regards to the Muun." Maul asked what Muun she was talking about. Incredulous that Maul appeared to be fully ignorant of the being in question, Magneta told him that a Muun banker named Hego Damask had originally brokered the Naboo plasma-mining deal with the Trade Federation (which eventually transformed him into Veruna's sworn enemy); had been in collusion for two decades with Senator Palpatine, Sidious' alter ego; and was likely helping "his puppet" (as Magneta called Palpatine) in his campaign to get elected as Supreme Chancellor. Furthermore, both men were somehow involved in the murder of Naboo's former king while they helped Queen Amidala ascend to the throne in his stead, just prior to the Federation's blockade of the planet. The extent and weight of this new information confused and troubled Maul. For a moment, he wondered if this Damask was, in fact, a Sith Lord, controlling Sidious behind the Zabrak's back. However, there was little time to ponder what it all meant. When Magneta proceeded to ambush Maul with her gang of thugs, he killed every one of them with his bare hands, eliminating any trace of suspicion that the popular Senator Palpatine of Naboo was behind the blockade or associated in any way with Veruna's murder.
Maul set off to Detention Camp Six, which was outside Moenia. Leika had been made a prisoner there for attempting to escape Naboo. Maul promised to secure him safe passage offworld 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 'Boss', or 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 located in Lake Paonga, which merged with Lianorm Swamp. Also, there was a second entrance to Otoh Gunga from the north: "the Sacred Place," located at the northern end of Paonga Strait, in the swampy basins of the Gallo Mountains.
Leika asked whether the Trade Federation army was going to assault the Gungan cities, because, if indeed it was, it needed to know that the Gungans had a powerful standing army of their own. King Veruna had planned to use the Naboo Royal Space Fighter Corps (with its sleek, cutting-edge N-1 Starfighter) to not only fight the Gungans, but also to later attack the Trade Federation, as he'd done earlier, perhaps also—Maul was compelled to wonder—against Damask himself (i.e., was this, in fact, the aim of the Veruna/Black Sun/Bando Gora N-1 nuclear run on the Sojourn-moon; was Damask himself there when the bomb hit, was he somehow affiliated with the satellite; but if so, why would my Master, who ordered me to acquire the nuclear weapon, be involved, if Damask is indeed his ally or Master)? After Leika confirmed that Damask most definitely was paving Palpatine's way to the Chancellorship, Maul had had his fill. He left with the data crystal and reader in hand, assuring Leika that he would honor their agreement (while also wondering if Sidious himself would, in the end, honor the terms of their own contract, bound by Sith oaths). Indeed, where did Sidious' true loyalties lie?
When Maul returned to OOM-9, the droid commander reported on all action taken since the Sith Lord's last order: the droids did attempt to drain the marsh, but they soon discovered (because the marsh seemed to be replenishing itself, with its water levels rising again) that it was linked to vast reserves of underground water. As such, they 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 that they could then saturate the city with depth charges. He boarded a S-DST with OOM-9, and the army embarked for Rellias. On the way, Maul hypothesized that Hego Damask could very well be a Sith Lord controlling Sidious; but even more shocking, that Sidious himself was entirely willing, apparently, to break the millennium-old Sith Rule of Two by taking on his own apprentice while two Sith Lords yet lived and were seemingly bound to one another by that ancient dark covenant. Sidious would, notwithstanding, yet attempt to fashion Maul into a Sith Lord: but Maul was troubled even more with the realization that he wasn't being viewed by his superior(s) as a Sith Lord so much as a lethal weapon. Was he a true Sith, or something less, such as an agent or assassin fully expendable to the Grand Plan? If he was a true Sith, did his Master think that one of the three Sith Lords then living could, should, or would soon be eliminated? Despite these disturbing revelations which, upon reflection, left Maul not only with more questions than answers, but also feeling somewhat disillusioned regarding points of "contract" and "honor," the young Dark Lord was that much more determined to prove himself a true Sith, no matter who he temporarily served or who his real master was.
During the ensuing battle, Maul personally captured Boss Ganne and used the Force to manipulate Ganne (by thought suggestion) 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 treacherous Rellias Straits led to the much larger 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 or on 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—a permeable, hydrostatic bubble city, like Rellias, that was maintained by joint plasma and electromagnetic technologies. OOM-9 ordered his forces to deploy depth charges. When no Gungan bodies rose to the surface after the resulting explosions, the droid commander dispatched drone submersibles to scout the lake, which confirmed that the Gungan capital city (with its high Rep Council led by the high ruler Boss Rugor Nass) had been virtually abandoned; clearly, word of the invasion and fall of Rellias had quickly spread to the underwater capital, and it was evacuated. 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. OOM-9 was soon contacted by Gunray, however, and the droid commander relayed to Maul the Viceroy's news that Amidala and the Jedi were returning to the planet; the Zabrak commander knew there was only one place where the Queen and her accomplices would plot their counteroffensive—the Gungan "Sacred Place"—and upon Bloodfin he sped there with his probe droids to eavesdrop on his enemy...
- "'Proceed ... Wipe them out. All of them ...'"
Sidious had granted Gunray permission to kill the Queen and as many Gungans as he deemed necessary to secure victory. The pretense of a peace treaty was no longer necessary."
- ―Darth Sidious sheds all pretense of "peace."
After being briefed by the Neimoidians of the situation in Theed, Maul surprised them with the revelation that Queen Amidala was already on Naboo, a fact confirmed by a Federation officer's report of finding the Queen's starship abandoned in the vast Lianorm Swamp. The Sith immediately ordered the Neimoidians to increase security measures. Later, as Maul, Nute Gunray, and Rune Haako reported their findings to Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord suggested that Amidala was becoming "too aggressive," but he also feigned surprise at her "foolishness" in allying with the primitives of the swamps. In truth, Sidious was fully aware Amidala would return to attempt an alliance with the Gungan Grand Army, to win back her planet, and he therefore privately advised Maul to wait for the resistance to strike first: "this will work to our advantage." A grand battle, after all, would justify the Trade Federation in fighting back. When Maul voiced his concerns about the two Jedi possibly having a plan of attack, Sidious calmed him by saying that the act of engaging in planetary conflicts was forbidden the Jedi, that they were to serve only as advisors and protectors, nothing more, and that even Qui-Gon Jinn would never violate that covenant. But Maul knew better (for he had eavesdropped at the indigenes' so-called Sacred Place in the shadows of the Gallo Mountains, when Amidala and the Gunguns cemented their alliance and made their plans). What Darth Sidious had not envisioned was that Amidala herself would boldly engage in the conflict directly, personally, and the Jedi would be at her side... to protect her.
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
Trade Federation sensors and troops soon located the Jedi, together with their Naboo infiltrators, in the Theed spaceport central hangar. Darth Maul was ready: he raced from the Palace to break through the "puny" assault force, to at last confront and terminate the Jedi in a battle he'd already choreographed in his mind. He was under new, urgent orders from his Master that they be eliminated without fail; it now was imperative—there was no margin for error this time (Sidious' directive came from a desperate Plagueis, whose recent Force vision of Anakin Skywalker prompted the urgency). The deaths of the Jedi would send a clear message to the Jedi High Council that the Sith had at last returned to mete out their long-sworn vengeance, that the days of their pathetic Order were numbered.
At last. This was the moment the passionate Zabrak had waited and prepared a lifetime for: Maul felt that all of his experiences, knowledge, and instincts had converged on this day and this world for his "ultimate test"—to prove himself worthy as a true Sith... Focusing fully now on his Jedi prey, Maul vowed to "stand over their dead bodies," having spilled their blood and sealed their fates. He relished the thought of laying their lightsabers at the feet of his Master, whoever that may prove in the end to be (Damask or Sidious), but at whose side he hoped thereafter to rule the galaxy, having truly earned the title of Dark Lord of the Sith.
It was in this supreme "test" on the planet Naboo, this second, vicious duel with his arch-enemy—but one now set against both Jinn and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi—that 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 choosing (for he had earlier scouted the area and chosen the site where the Jedi would die). Drawing the Jedi out of the hangar and into Theed's main power generator, he engaged them on the reactor's 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 series of 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. Obi-Wan noted the ominous sensation of having his abilities in the Force somehow "blunted", his use of the Force in some way "clouded" by their Sith enemy.
When the wall before him deactivated, Jinn immediately attacked, driving Maul to the edge of the shaft. However, Maul managed to regain the offensive, while a frustrated Kenobi remained helpless behind the fifth and final laser wall. In the confined space around the shaft, Jinn was unable to adequately counter-attack, and it wasn't long before Maul found an opening to hit the Jedi Master in the face, hooking him under the chin, with his weapon's long hilt, stunning Jinn; Maul then quickly impaled Jinn through the abdomen. Kenobi, still caged behind a wall of energy, let loose an anguished cry: his beloved Master (the only father he had ever known, and for twenty memorable years) had been felled—unimaginably—by the crimson-bladed lightsaber of a vengeful, emergent Sith Lord.
Turning to Kenobi, Maul once again awaited the laser-wall's deactivation to release his prey. As soon as it did, the Jedi Padawan, in his grief, attacked viciously, momentarily catching Maul off guard, even managing to sever the Sith Lord's weapon in two. Discarding its nonfunctional lesser half, an enraged Maul unleashed a blinding flurry of counterattacks, driving Kenobi back. Suddenly, Maul Force-pushed Obi-Wan into the reactor shaft. Breaking his fall, Kenobi grasped hold of an input nozzle, but 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.
- "In the depths of the power generator, Maul had savored the pained surprise in Qui-Gon's blue-gray eyes as the crimson blade ran him through. Now he paced the rim of the slough core, dragging the blade of his sundered lightsaber along the impervious metal. A dark side anointment, sparks showered down on Obi-Wan Kenobi ... He snarled at the young Jedi with the long Padawan braid..."
- ―Darth Maul gloats in his supposed triumph over the Jedi.
Maul struck the edge of the pit's upper rim repeatedly with his lightsaber, relishing his triumphant moment, holding back the impatience that surged within him to see the Jedi apprentice fall to his doom. Kenobi used the same moments of respite to calm himself in the Force. 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, perhaps in his arrogance, had put out of mind. Using the Force, Kenobi leaped out of the shaft and summoned the lightsaber to his hand. The Jedi Padawan landed behind the Sith after a mid-air turn, executing a blindingly fast horizontal slash that bisected Maul after he'd whirled in surprise to face Kenobi. Flinching in shock and pain, Maul fell silently backwards into the shaft, his two halves separating. "Against all my teaching," Darth Sidious would later note, "he hesitated in order to revel in his triumph ... Maul did not have enough time to parry the blow that must have been the last, great surprise of his life. My worthy apprentice failed me in the end," as in his vanity and impatient hunger for victory, he had underestimated the resilient Jedi.
Incredibly, Maul managed to survive his defeat at the hands of Kenobi. Through seething hate, augmented by his indomitable will to live, Maul reached out with the Force and grabbed hold of an air vent to break his plunge into the shaft's darkness. He continued his fall down the reactor shaft, landing in water. Eventually his still-conscious, though cauterized upper body was dumped into a container and taken to Lotho Minor. As he lay submerged, Maul fell at last into unconsciousness, cursing Kenobi.
According to Darth Sidious—who learned of the Sith-Jedi battle from Kenobi himself (while cloaked in his public persona of a newly elected Chancellor Palpatine)—his prideful apprentice was defeated by his belief in his own invincibility. With Maul's knowledge of his enemy's plan, the Zabrak's failure was that he should have prevented the starships from taking off to destroy the orbital Droid Control Ship before facing the Jedi. But his vanity and arrogance won him over, only to defeat him: his only focus was the Jedi. As far as Kenobi was concerned, Maul could have ended it quickly if he hadn't paused to gloat, kicking the Jedi's lightsaber contemptuously into the pit, pacing and snarling before him in arrogant, premature triumph. Hesitating to savor revenge, whether of a personal or collective nature, was his failing. If Maul found he was not able to dispatch the Jedi quickly, he should have turned his focus to dealing with the Queen, who, having survived the conflict, is another failure. Even so, Maul's failures were mental miscalculations, not physical ones. Sidious' apprentice, however, in laying bare his matchless prowess and skill, did instill fear into the Jedi that the Sith had returned. Maul did succeed in defeating Qui-Gon Jinn: a victory, however, that Sidious felt he really must claim for himself; that triumph was, after all, the direct result of his own teaching and the caliber of training Sidious afforded Maul that made that defeat possible.
Arriving finally at his destination on Lotho Minor, Maul awoke. 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 its leg off. But as he began 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.
Return (20 BBY)
Reunited with Opress
- "I was apprentice to the most powerful being in the galaxy once. I was destined to become… so much more. But I was robbed of that destiny by the Jedi, by Obi-Wan Kenobi."
"Then you must have your revenge, my brother."
"Yes, we shall start with revenge…"
- ―Darth Maul and Savage Opress
Mother Talzin, the leader of the Nightsisters, was the only one who knew that Darth Maul was alive and in exile somewhere in the Outer Rim. Around 21 BBY, over ten years after Maul's defeat, she gave a special necklace to his brother, Savage Opress, to find him again. Opress left, promising Talzin that he would return.
In 20 BBY, Opress found Maul on Lotho Minor with the help of the Nightsister talisman that contained Maul's blood, and by Morley, who considered Maul to be his master. Opress was betrayed by the creature and dumped into the recesses of Maul's cave. There, Maul attacked him until the shocked Opress introduced himself as the Sith's brother. Maul had not been aware of his kinship to Opress prior to losing his memories. He thus did not recognize his long-lost brother. When Opress asked what had happened to Maul's legs, the amnesic Zabrak remembered that a Jedi was responsible. Cursing the very title and recanting bits of the Sith code, it became clear to him: he needed vengeance. Opress presented Maul with the talisman from Talzin. Through this, Maul reclaimed fragments of his lost memories. He was then brought back to Dathomir to be treated by Mother Talzin, both physically and psychologically.
After Savage brought Darth Maul to be treated, Mother Talzin used her magic to remove his psychosis and reconstitute his spider-like cybernetic legs into a more humanoid form from the destroyed bodies of super battle droids. After finishing her work, she disappeared before Maul regained full consciousness. Maul felt that the Force was out of balance and Opress told him that the Clone Wars had started. Maul showed disappointment that it had begun without him. Darth Maul also told Opress his story, and his hatred for Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was now a member of the Jedi High Council. Opress gave his brother a severed half of Maul's old Sith lightsaber and suggested getting revenge. Maul agreed, saying they would "start" with revenge, hinting of greater schemes afterwards. The two vicious warriors set out to find the Jedi Master.
- "Jedi! I have been waiting for you!"
"I'm not sure I've made your acquaintance."
"I am surprised you could have forgotten me so easily, after I killed your master and you left me for dead on Naboo."
"It is you."
"You may have forgotten me, but I will never forget you. You cannot imagine the depths I would go to to stay alive, fueled by my singular hatred, for you."
"That may be so, but I defeated you before and I can defeat you again."
"Don't be so certain."
- ―Darth Maul taunts Obi-Wan Kenobi before their rematch
Opress and Maul went to Raydonia to slaughter innocent villagers in order to get Obi-Wan's attention. Maul sent a transmission to the Jedi Council of himself executing hostages and demanding that Kenobi come to him. Kenobi went alone, with the ambivalent blessing of Yoda and Mace Windu to face the mysterious murderer.
Maul waited in the burning village and appeared before Kenobi after the Jedi arrived. Kenobi was a bit skeptical as to whether or not this was the real Maul, which slightly surprised the Sith Lord, who confirmed his existence with reminders of what had happened on Naboo. Then, Opress attacked Kenobi from behind. Maul then snatched Kenobi's lightsaber with the Force and Opress knocked the Jedi unconscious.
Maul and Opress did not kill Kenobi immediately, as Maul desired to exact revenge by torturing him. He even felt dismayed that his old enemy had been given the rank of Jedi Master, even while he was still "weak as ever." Kenobi's circumstances improved considerably with the unexpected arrival of former Separatist lieutenant Asajj Ventress, who had come to collect the bounty on Opress' head. She distracted the pair long enough to rouse Kenobi so that the unlikely pair could stand together against the dark brothers.
It wasn't long before the two were confronted by the brothers, and a fierce lightsaber battle quickly ensued in the cramped interior of the tanker's hold. Kenobi and Ventress found themselves outmatched despite their best efforts, and were forced to make a hasty retreat to the ship's cockpit, where they ejected themselves to safety in an escape pod. Even though his prey had escaped, Maul remained calm and composed, stating that he waited many years for his revenge and could wait a little longer. Opress warned him that the Jedi would be coming after them; Maul replied that he was in fact counting on it. Kenobi and Ventress flew the tanker's cockpit to Otor's Hub, where they parted ways. Kenobi contacted the Jedi Council and relayed the events. The Jedi Masters reached the decision that a task force should be created immediately to capture the brothers.
Hunted by the Jedi
- "Your evil is at an end, Sith."
- ―Bruu Jun-Fan to Darth Maul before the former's death.
After their encounter with Kenobi and Ventress above Raydonia, Maul and Opress traveled to Yellowblade's Landing, where they visited a local cantina. There, the brothers were attacked by the Scourge gang after both sides attempted to recruit the other, but the two Sith easily eliminated the thugs. Opress allowed a Rodian with a severed right hand to escape, as a warning to others, but Maul reminded him that, since they had to hide in order to survive, they should leave "no witnesses." So together, the brothers killed the remaining patrons in the cantina and departed. Sometime after that the two were chased by a team of Jedi led by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Plo Koon. Among those Jedi was Bruu Jun-Fan, Grohto and Ko Solok. After an encounter with those Jedi at Pleem's Nexus and Paklan, Maul and Savage murdered all the Jedi save for Koon and Kenobi. When it came to Jun-Fan, he began to choke Maul declaring that his evil was at an end, but Maul used his cybernetic legs to fatally wound Jun-Fan.
In one of their expeditions, Maul and Savage murdered an individual who worked for the powerful Rim Commercial Mining company as an exporter, causing CEO Ja'Boag to place a bounty on Maul's head. After exterminating a team sent to retrieve him on Paklan, Maul and Savage traveled to Moorjhone to kill Ja'Boag. Jedi Masters Judd and Salmara tracked them there and managed to take Opress prisoner, and Maul was forced to flee with his cybernetic legs damaged. He was rescued from a death in the desert by the Moorjhoni.
Shortly after that, Maul went to rescue his captive brother before Obi-Wan Kenobi and his forces could arrive on Moorjhone. After helping Opress escape from his carbonite prison, he slew Salmara, sparking revenge and hate in her apprentice, Dray. With Salmara dead and Dray no longer a threat but still alive, the two Sith fled with the captive Ja'Boag. After the Gossam removed the bounty, they ejected him out of an airlock, killing him.
Resurfacing in the galaxy
- "To continue, we need one singular vision…my vision."
"Brother, let us share our strength. There is no need for dominance between us."
"Always two there are, my brother—a Master, and an apprentice. And you are the apprentice."
- ―Darth Maul and Savage Opress
Eventually, the Sith brothers' galactic pillaging rampage took them to a space station the Cybloc system controlled by the InterGalactic Banking Clan. After defeating the station's droid guards, the brothers discovered a credit coffer filled to the brim. Maul demonstrated his martial superiority to his brother by disarming him, earning the latter's respect. From that point, Maul referred to himself as Opress's Master, taking upon himself control of the traditional Banite dynamic.
After stealing the valuables on the space station, the brothers traveled to Florrum, where they bribed a squad of Weequay pirates into joining them. Although some joined, others questioned Maul and Opress's motives, earning them death by their hand as their leader, Hondo Ohnaka, watched. Eventually, they ended up forced to face off against Obi-Wan and Adi Gallia, a fellow member of the Jedi High Council, having been tracked there. After a fierce duel that left Gallia killed, the Sith brothers were lured into the base by Kenobi, where they continued their duel in an isolated passage. However, after Opress had his arm cut off, Maul realized they should call a retreat. He also discovered that Ohnaka's forces reconciled with the renegade pirates, and likewise, his hired group had turned on him. They promptly escaped, also telekinetically throwing the Jedi shuttle at them to distract them, although the escape cost Maul one of his artificial legs. They later barely escaped the doomed ship after one of Ohnaka's pirates shot out its engines with a rocket launcher. Because of this, the rest of the Jedi believed that Maul and Opress were incinerated in the crash, although Obi-Wan suspected otherwise.
Palpatine, and reluctantly, Yoda, suggested to Obi-Wan that they not pursue the Sith brothers. As the Jedi left, however, Palpatine smirked, hinting that he had plans for Maul and Opress in the future.
Forming the Shadow Collective
Joining Death Watch
Maul and Savage managed to escape Florrum although they eventually passed out from lack of oxygen in the escape pod. As they floated aimlessly in deep space, they were discovered unconscious and half-alive by an advance force of Mandalorians led by former Governor Pre Vizsla. Discovering Maul's lightsaber, Vizsla decided not to kill them as his lieutenant, Bo-Katan Kryze, wished to do, declaring that, if they were enemies of the Jedi, then they were his friends. Vizsla and his men returned to their base on the planet Zanbar, with Maul and Savage in tow.
On Zanbar, medical droids healed Maul from his wounds and replaced the legs he had received from Mother Talzin for a pair of humanoid mechanical legs that returned him to his previous size. Waking after the surgery was completed, Maul was groggy and only tried to react when he saw the still unconscious Savage next to him, as the droids fitted him with a mechanical arm. Vizsla and Bo-Katan entered and began to interrogate Maul, threatening to kill Savage if he refused to answer. Maul revealed that they were Sith Lords which immediately led Vizsla to question him as to his links to Count Dooku, also known as the Sith Lord Darth Tyranus. Maul angrily stated that he and Savage served no one and that they were brothers, the true Lords of the Sith. Satisfied, Vizsla asked him as to his intentions. Maul revealed his plans to seek power and influence to gain his revenge over the Jedi. He also informed the Mandalorians that the Jedi responsible for their troubles was Obi-Wan Kenobi. Vizsla then ordered the droids to complete the repairs to the brothers.
Later on, Maul was taken to Vizsla's shelter where he was offered Cassius tea. As Maul sipped his tea, he noticed the sign on Vizsla's helmet and inquired after it. Vizsla revealed it to be the sign of Clan Vizsla and introduced himself and his warriors as the Death Watch, the descendants of Mandalore's true warrior faith which had been rejected by the pacifistic New Mandalorians who now reigned ascendant on Mandalore. Vizsla also informed Maul of his and his warriors' exile from Mandalore after failing to overthrow the government of Duchess Satine Kryze and mused against the one responsible for their exile: Obi-Wan Kenobi. Realizing that they possessed a common goal and a common enemy, Maul proposed an alliance between him and his brother, and the Death Watch, claiming that it was the will of the Force. Bo-Katan rebuffed him, stating that the last time they had allied with a Sith, they had been betrayed. She also denigrated the Sith as being weaker than they claimed as opposed to the Jedi. Maul used the Force to choke her and, as the Mandalorians aimed their weapons at him, he claimed that, thanks to their alliance, Mandalore would be theirs and they would dispose of all their enemies, as well as gaining their revenge against Kenobi and Dooku. He then released Bo-Katan and Vizsla sent him to see to Savage while they put the alliance to a vote among the Mandalorians.
Savage emerged from his coma and proceeded to destroy the medical droids with his new mechanical arm while Maul watched. As Savage grew agitated, Maul appeared to calm him and informed him of who they had fallen upon. He insisted that they would be more useful to their plans than the pirates ever would have been because they had honor. While Savage rejected this as a weakness, Maul stated that his plans would be better served by them and, once they had reclaimed Mandalore, they would use its resources to further their own plans, with the Death Watch under their command. Vizsla then arrived and announced that the alliance had been accepted by the Death Watch.
Rallying the galactic underworld
Maul convinced Pre Vizsla they needed to recruit Black Sun, so they could build an army. They then proceeded to go to Mustafar to recruit the Black Sun ruling council, led at that time by Xomit Grunseit, into their ranks. Maul recalled his days on Mustafar and how he brought Black Sun into utter chaos thirteen years ago. Upon arrival, their request for them to join were shot down and mocked by the Falleen, although their captain of the guard, Ziton Moj, ended up joining after witnessing Opress single-handedly wiping out all the Falleen present. Upon returning to their camp at Zanbar, the Pykes also declared their allegiance to the Sith brothers.
They also traveled to Nal Hutta to get the Hutt Ruling Council to join their group. They were initially met with refusal, and bounty hunters began to attack them so they retreated outside and began an attack, killing almost everyone. After defeating the bounty hunters and the guards, they met Oruba the Hutt, who was captured by the Nite Owls, led by Bo-Katan. After the Hutt could only tell that they would find the other Hutts at Jabba's Palace on Tatooine, they killed Oruba, resulting in Jabba declaring the Hutts' allegiance to the Sith brothers, eventually culminating in Lom Pyke joining the group. Afterwards, Maul named the group the Shadow Collective.
Taking down the New Mandalorians
- "I will use my army of crime lords to attack different targets across Sundari and sow chaos to undermine the Duchess' rule. Our gangsters will make her look too weak to maintain control. Then you and your Death Watch will capture and arrest us, bringing order where Satine's weak government could not."
- ―Darth Maul to Pre Vizsla
The Shadow Collective then plotted on making the Duchess Satine look weak by orchestrating having the criminal elements of their alliance attack the New Mandalorian capital city of Sundari, at which time Death Watch would swoop in and drive them off. Maul also anticipated and counted on Death Watch leaders Pre Vizsla and Bo-Katan to be genuinely treacherous and knowing this factored into his plans.
Afterwards, Maul and Opress were arrested by Death Watch after they had managed to "defeat" the crime syndicates attacking Sundari and become the new leaders of the New Mandalorians. While imprisoned in the Sundari prison, Maul guessed that there might be other political prisoners besides Satine imprisoned with himself and Opress, and, after they broke out of their cell, they they sought to find their puppet, killing any guard who attempted to stop them. With an indirect comment from Satine, Maul chose former Prime Minister Almec.
Storming his way into the Sundari Royal Palace, Maul challenged Vizsla to an honorable death match, knowing that the winner would gain the allegiance of Death Watch. After a long and spectacular duel in the throne room, Maul won by beheading Vizsla with Vizsla's own weapon, which he then claimed for his own. However, Maul's victory had the effect of splitting the Death Watch group in two, with Bo-Katan leading the remaining forces that were loyal to Vizsla, the Nite Owls, to defy Maul, while the other half submitted to Maul's rule. Almec was reinstated as Prime Minister, but the true executive power of the New Mandalorians resided with Maul alone.
- "You think you know me? It was I who languished for years thinking of nothing but you! Nothing but this moment! And now, the perfect tool for my vengeance is in front of us. I never planned on killing you, but I will make you share my pain, Kenobi."
- ―Maul prepares to murder Duchess Satine Kryze in front of his archenemy.
Shortly after his coup, Maul learned from Almec that Satine had tried to escape and was transmitting a call for help to the Jedi. Having learned of Obi-Wan Kenobi's relationship with the Dutchess, Maul realized that she could serve as both the perfect bait for Kenobi, and the perfect tool for his revenge against the Jedi Master. As Mandalore was technically neutral with regard to the Clone Wars, Maul knew that Kenobi could not receive an official sanction from the Jedi Council for a rescue mission. As such, he predicted that Kenobi would mount his rescue alone.
After Kenobi managed to infiltrate the palace and liberate Satine, the newly augmented Mandalorian super commandos under Maul chased the two of them all the way to their ailing ship Twilight, which Kenobi had borrowed from Anakin Skywalker. Maul and Opress arrived at the scene via speeder and watched as the Twilight lifted off its landing platform. Missiles shot from commandos' jetpacks crippled the Twilight, causing Kenobi and Satine to abandon ship before it was destroyed. Dazed from the crash, Kenobi recognized Maul and Opress through the smoke in despair and prepared to fight them with his lightsaber activated. But Maul disarmed him and suspended him in midair before "welcoming" him. He then ordered the commandos to have the prisoners returned to the palace.
In the throne room of the palace, Maul taunted Kenobi to give in to the dark side, all the while holding Satine in a Force grip. Kenobi, however, would have none of it, proclaiming that only the weak would ever embrace the dark side. Maul responded by telling Kenobi that the dark side was more powerful than Kenobi understood, but Kenobi remained staunchly opposed to Maul's viewpoint. Then, on a sympathetic note, the Jedi Master revealed that he had been to Maul's village on Dathomir. He told Maul that he believed that Maul's decision to join the dark side had not been his own, that it had been the Nightsisters who forced it on him. Kenobi's comments struck a nerve in Maul, and he furiously rounded on the Jedi Master, proclaiming that Kenobi knew nothing of him. He reminded Kenobi that he had suffered over a decade of physical and mental anguish at Kenobi's own hands, and that he intended to make Kenobi "share" his agony. Kenobi, suspecting that Maul meant to harm Satine, attempted to intervene, but he was subdued by his Mandalorian guards before he could take any action. Maul then activated the Darksaber and drove it into the Duchess' chest, grinning in satisfaction as Kenobi was forced to watch.
As Maul pulled his weapon away, Kenobi ran to Satine's side. His revenge complete, the Sith Lord sat down on his throne and watched Satine die in Kenobi's arms. Hoping to cause Kenobi even more pain, he ordered the Jedi's escort to take him to a cell so that he could contemplate his loss. However, rather than stewing in his misery, Kenobi managed to escape from Maul with the help of the Nite Owls.
Duel with Sidious
- "Remember the first and only reality of the Sith. There can only be two. And you are no longer my apprentice. You have been replaced."
- ―Darth Sidious taunting Darth Maul
As the Nite Owl assault began, Maul's old Sith Master, Darth Sidious, arrived at the Sundari Royal Palace. He had learned about Maul's survival and his taking Opress as a Sith apprentice from the brothers' previous actions on Florrum - both instances which he learned about from Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. While he had initially been content to allow Maul to inconvenience the Jedi, Maul's seizure of Mandalore had evidently invoked enough of Sidious's ire for him to deal with his erstwhile apprentice personally, as Sidious viewed his former apprentice to be too dangerous to be allowed to continue his reign of terror. As Sidious approached the throne room, Maul sensed a dark presence and realized in horror that it belonged to his former master. Striding through the door, Sidious telekinetically strangled the two guards by the entrance and approached his former student. Maul knelt before Sidious, proclaiming that all he had accomplished had been with the hope of returning to the Dark Lord's side. However, Sidious immediately saw through Maul's attempted deception. He roared that Maul had become a rival, and pinned both brothers to a set of windows in the throne room to demonstrate his superior power. After Sidious released the duo, all three Sith then drew their weapons—Sidious with dual blades to even the odds—and began to duel.
In the ensuing vicious duel, Maul and Opress at first were able to rival Sidious's overwhelming dueling skill but the more experienced Dark Lord of the Sith soon proved himself to be more than a match for them, as he started to gain the upper hand and ultimately knocked down Opress with a kick before stunning Maul with a powerful Force push. With Maul temporarily out of the fight, Sidious played with Opress for short time, initially dodging Opress's clumsy strikes without even bothering to activate his weapons. Maul regained consciousness just in time to see Opress be fatally impaled on both of Sidious's blades. Maul rushed to Opress' side, completely ignoring Sidious as the Nightsister magic started to bleed from his dying brother. With his last breath, Opress expressed his regret that he had failed. Sidious laughed and quoted to Maul the basic tenant of the the Rule of Two, reminding his former apprentice that he had been replaced. Enraged, Maul lashed out at his former Master, wielding the Darksaber as well as his own. Maul at first proved to be a match for Sidious until he became caught in an intense bladelock with his former master. For a moment, he was winning. But then, the straining Sidious gradually overpowered him and gave off a triumphant smile before forcing the hilts of his lighstabers apart, disarming him. He then proceeded to telekinetically thrash Maul, slamming him into several stone surfaces before dropping the Zabrak at his feet.
Badly wounded and disarmed, Maul weakly pleaded for mercy. Sidious deviously stated that he did not plan to kill him, remarking that he had other plans for his former apprentice. Laughing sadistically, he then subjected Maul to torturous, but not lethal, amounts of Force lightning.
Influence of Maul
The program remains
- "Shut down, PROXY. There's nobody inside you that I haven't already defeated."
"Give me some credit, Master. I have one module you have never seen. An enemy I've stored for years…"
- ―Starkiller and PROXY
Though no longer the apprentice of Darth Sidious, Darth Maul was still a symbol of fear and Sith power. During the era of the Galactic Empire, Maul's legacy was preserved by the holodroid PROXY, who incorporated the Dathomirian Sith's appearance and fighting style into himself as a training module. The droid was programmed to kill its own master, Darth Vader's secret apprentice, codenamed Starkiller, and thus PROXY utilized a variety of Jedi modules in an attempt to fulfill his primary directive. Over the course of many failed attempts, PROXY never revealed its "Maul" program to the apprentice, intending to reserve his Sith module for the perfect opportunity to kill Starkiller.
During a mission on Raxus Prime, PROXY interfaced with the planet's Core system, and inadvertently allowed the A.I. to seize control of him. His programming overwritten, the Core-controlled PROXY attacked his master, using various training modules—such as the late Qui-Gon Jinn and Anakin Skywalker—before unveiling the holodroid's secret weapon: the "Darth Maul" program.
Unaware of Maul's identity or the fact that PROXY had been storing it for years, Starkiller was momentarily taken aback by the Zabrak Sith. The module reflected the fallen Sith Lord's appearance—from hate-filled eyes to the horns, red-and-black skin, and black robes—prior to his defeat on Naboo in 32 BBY. The droid also possessed a replica of Maul's double-bladed lightsaber.
PROXY's mimicry of Darth Maul's combat skills was ineffective against Starkiller, however. A survivor of numerous attempts on his life by his own droid, the apprentice found another advantage in his ability to wield the Force. After unleashing a series of fast strikes and acrobatic maneuvers, Starkiller ended the duel with a single strike through the droid's chest. Defeated, the visage of Darth Maul faded and PROXY was not only freed from the Core's influence, but also—much to his horror—the programming that compelled him to kill his master.
Doppelgänger or Clone on Kalakar VI
- "What could you hate enough to destroy me?"
- ―Darth Maul and Darth Vader
Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, a dark side splinter group called the Prophets of the Dark Side managed to create a copy of Darth Maul. The Prophets themselves stated that "there are techniques to mold a being in every way." As an example to the lesser vassals of Sidious's Galactic Empire and to put an end to the tainted Sith apprentice, Darth Vader, was chosen as the first target for the dark warrior. These dark side worshipers believed Vader to be too much of a Jedi to be a worthy Sith Lord. So they agreed that with Vader out of the way, Maul would once again become Sidious's apprentice and, with the Empire intact, together rule the galaxy.
On the shadowy volcanic moon Kalakar Six, Vader thought he would intercept a Rebel courier with the stolen plans to the first Death Star. Instead, he was met by a false Darth Maul and the observing dark acolytes. After dealing with Vader's stormtrooper guards, Maul then dueled the armored Sith Lord. The two appeared to be evenly matched until Vader cut Maul's saber in two. Unlike on Naboo, this time both ends of the weapon continued to function, allowing Maul to switch to the Jar'Kai style. Vader had a difficult time countering this high degree of the style, and Maul brought him to heel. Yet, as Maul went for the kill, Vader surprised him by stabbing his lightsaber through his own body (and, through proximity, Maul's as well), damaging his own life-support circuits and almost losing his own life in the process. With Maul dead and left to be consumed by the lava, the observing acolytes were executed by the newly-arrived Darth Sidious himself for their "treacherous" act towards his rule.
- "I will have my revenge…"
- ―Darth Maul
Later, during the reign of the New Republic, a mad Iridonian scientist named Drell Kahmf managed to retrieve Darth Maul's brain and spinal cord, and placed them in a specialized bacta tank in his laboratory, wired up to a device which utilized solid-state holographic projection to manifest a hologram of Maul. As a hologram, this wraith-like version of Maul had the ability to strike, but could not be struck back.
When Jedi Master Luke Skywalker arrived on Iridonia in an ambassadorial capacity, he was attacked by the Jedi-hating holographic Maul. Not easily fooled by the dark warrior's ghostly appearance, Skywalker searched for the anomalous presence of Maul through the Force and stumbled upon Kahmf's hideout. Skywalker declared that "artificially keeping him alive was causing an unnatural disturbance in the Force" and scared Kahmf away before switching off the life-support system sustaining Maul's disembodied brain. Finally, Maul was brought to an end.
Personality and traits
- "Maul had been an animal. A skilled animal, but a beast nonetheless."
- ―Darth Tyranus's thoughts on Darth Maul
Darth Maul was little more than a being of pure hatred and evil, thanks to his harsh, severe training under Darth Sidious. However, he was not completely heartless, granting those he felt worthy of his respect quick and painless deaths. He was even capable of some level of emotional connection with others, feeling respect, admiration, perhaps even a level of attachment towards his master, despite his torturous years under Sidious, likely because he knew nothing else. Although he often ordered Savage Opress around and defined their relationship in the Sith tradition of master and apprentice, Maul genuinely cared for his brother as shown when he cried out his name when Obi-Wan Kenobi sliced off his arm and the obvious grief he displayed when he was killed by Sidious. After Opress' death, the enraged Maul tried his best to kill Sidious in order to avenge him.
As Darth Sidious observed, Darth Maul was obsessed with achieving absolute victory in anything and at any cost. Sidious regarded Maul as a terrifying being capable of withstanding pain in order to succeed against all odds. He was brave, yet prideful as well. Though still an apprentice, Maul was convinced that he could defeat the entire Jedi Order—including the Jedi High Council—in their own Temple. Maul's hatred of the Jedi notwithstanding, his master cautioned him to guard against his pride. According to Sidious, Maul was a formidable warrior, but not a "one-being army." Maul was heavily prone to acts of gloating, despite his master's disapproval. His overconfidence was such that he revealed his true identity, his master, and the survival of the Sith to his target Alexi Garyn before killing him.
Despite his loyalty and obedience, Maul could not help but wonder about the extent of his role in the Sith Grand Plan. Having no knowledge of Darth Plagueis, Maul never knew that his master answered to another master, and thus believed himself to be the second half of the Rule of Two. As apprentice to the Dark Lord of the Sith, Maul viewed himself as the eventual successor of Darth Sidious. However, he was also aware of his own inability to carry the Sith legacy forward, mostly because he had been trained only as a Sith assassin. Unlike Sidious, who hid behind the facade of Senator Palpatine, Maul did not have the advantage of a secret identity. Despite this, he realized how his own physical appearance made it virtually impossible for him to be seen in public without drawing unwanted attention. In spite of all his efforts to understand the galaxy around him—mainly by learning about politics and criminal businesses—Maul held little knowledge of how the real world worked. He understood that the Jedi Order, rather than the Galactic Republic, was the true enemy of the Sith. Beyond that, he had no idea as to how his Order would exact vengeance against the Jedi.
While he relished combat, Maul longed to evolve as a Sith Lord. Upon moving to Coruscant, he initially hoped that his role would advance beyond that of an assassin. Yet his training remained the same in many ways. As a result, Maul feared for the future of the Order of the Sith Lords. In the event that some unexpected misfortune befell his master, Maul did not know how to execute the Grand Plan in Sidious' place, or if there even existed a contingency plan at all. It was only shortly before his defeat by Kenobi that he guessed that his Master answered to another Master.
Like his Master, Maul had a distaste for incompetent underlings and certain aliens with characteristic handicaps. As he fought the Togorian pirates above Tatooine, he believed them to be completely stupid, sloppy, and lazy, due to their greed. However, he noted that the captain was smarter than his crew and that Hela-Tan was the strongest and biggest of the pirates. At times, he wondered why Sidious would work with sniveling cowards like Viceroy Nute Gunray and the other Neimoidians. Sidious understood his concern, yet reminded him that the Neimoidians were essential to the Sith Grand Plan. Maul enjoyed scaring the Neimoidians with his very presence; that way, he could keep them in line when he arrived to take command on Naboo.
However, Maul appeared to respect other species, such as the Hutts. He was impressed by Boonda's plan to get revenge on both the Trade Federation and Corulag Academy. After foiling that very scheme, Maul asked himself: Are Hutts really afraid of anything? His question was answered thirteen years later, when Oruba quivered before Savage Opress' blade.
In battle, Maul was a ruthless and implacable enemy, possessed of an arrogant urge for self-improvement, to be the best. Ultimately, he failed to heed his master's warnings against the distraction of overconfidence. However, his arrogance was justified when he sensed he could destroy Qui-Gon Jinn after seeing the elderly Jedi using Ataru, a fighting form that would tire him completely. But he underestimated Obi-Wan Kenobi's resolve, which led to his downfall when he opened himself up to an attack from the young Padawan, an opponent he tried to have eliminated. It may have been the recent revelation of Sidious' secret Master that clouded his judgment.
After his near-death experience on Naboo, Maul struggled to remain alive through his all-consuming hatred for the Jedi who defeated him, and therefore lost his sanity in the process. By the time Savage Opress found him on Lotho Minor, Maul had been trapped in a state of madness for roughly a decade. After being repaired by Mother Talzin in both mind and body, a bitter and enraged Maul targeted Kenobi for revenge. A scheming mastermind and uncompromising killer, not unlike his former master, much of Maul's personality—as shaped by his Sith training—remained intact. He spared no feelings of hesitation or remorse for killing civilians, believing that the murder of innocent lives was the quickest method for gaining the Jedi's notice; nor was he a silent opponent who focused primarily on achieving victory through martial prowess any longer. During his duel with Kenobi, Maul utilized Dun Möch by taunting the Jedi Master for his inability to prevent his mentor Qui-Gon Jinn's death. Years of living in agony and exile also caused Maul to develop a new-found sense of patience, something that he never truly learned under Sidious's tutelage.
While not a politician like his former master, Maul had been trained to determine the motives any individual may have. Thus, he used his political skills to manipulate the Mandalorian people and Death Watch into submitting to his rule.
In addition, after he regained his strength, Maul discarded his loyalty to Sidious, and declared an intention to exact revenge on both him and Count Dooku, the latter of whom he disdainfully referred to as a "Sith pretender." The sole reasons had been that Sidious had left him to die on Naboo, as pointed out by Bruu Jun-Fan. Despite this, Maul displayed shock and fear upon sensing his former master on Mandalore. He was also not above begging for mercy in front of Sidious as shown when he pleaded with him, although Maul had spent his entire childhood being abused and tortured by Sidious, so he knew how sadistic his former Master was; this may have been the reason why he preferred to kill worthy opponents quickly—although it should be noted that Qui-Gon Jinn, one of the most powerful opponents Maul had ever faced, died slowly and painfully, possibly because Maul was so eager to engage Obi-Wan Kenobi and thus dismissed Jinn as he was given a mortal wound.
Powers and abilities
- "A saber-staff! The weapon of Exar Kun! Did he construct that?"
"The prototype was two lightsabers he had wielded pommel-to-pommel in imitation of the Iridonian zhaboka. I furnished the knowledge that allowed him to improve on the original design and construct the one he is using."
"It strikes me as unnecessary, but I won't deny his mastery of the Jar'Kai technique. Niman and teräs käsi will never substitute for dun möch, but I appreciate that you have trained him to be a fighting machine rather than a true apprentice."
- ―Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious, discussing Maul's lightsaber training
Darth Maul was an incredibly skilled Sith Lord, among the greatest duelists preceding and during the Clone Wars, having proven himself to be capable of outfighting the likes of Pre Vizsla, Obi Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn in single combat, the former two who he even managed to easily take on and ultimately seperate, as well as having slaughtered many enemies with ease. He was trained by Darth Sidious in Juyo, which drew heavily on volatile emotions and the dark side. He grew to become a lightsaber specialist, utilizing his force powers together with his acrobatic fighting style to allow for a more free flowing fight. However, he mainly devoted himself to Form VII's physical focus, desiring a purely physical victory over his opponents, rather than using the "higher" Sith tradition of the Dun Möch tactic. Even so, Maul had achieved Dun Möch as he separated Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn on Naboo, silently taunting the Jedi Master, preying on the Padawan's sense of helplessness and feeding off his anger. After being rehabilitated on Dathomir, he employed Dun Möch during his rematch with Kenobi above Raydonia; he later taunted Master Judd on Moorjhone, making him choose between facing Maul and saving the Moorjhoni from imminent destruction.
In addition to Juyo, Maul had training in Niman lightsaber combat, allowing him to skillfully incorperate his force powers into his dueling style, and was considerably proficient in the Jar'Kai dual-saber technique even though he rarely used it, as well as mastery of the fighting style of Teräs Käsi. He had also shown some skill in Ataru, as shown when dispatching a Trandoshan under Jabba's employ in his escape from Cog Hive Seven. By the time of Maul's supposed death on Naboo, Sidious had noted his apprentice as being elegant and precise, suggesting that Maul had some training in Makashi; even Darsha Assant could not help but notice the precision of his movements.
When fighting multiple opponents, Maul extended the second blade of his lightsaber to form a saberstaff. As most of the era's Jedi had never faced such a weapon, or a practitioner skilled in its use, Maul often used the relative novelty of his weapon's second blade to catch his opponents by surprise. Maul constructed the weapon himself, using ancient plans stored within one of the holocrons that the Sith still possessed. He had based his lightsaber design upon that of Darth Zannah's weapon, which in turn had been a development on Exar Kun's original design. It is likely that this choice also came from his species' penchant for the zhaboka, a similar weapon.
Maul demonstrated a great deal of skill in combining his swordsmanship with hand-to-hand combat attacks. Whenever he encountered a foe he could not best through his martial prowess alone, he would adapt on his tactical know-how, outmaneuvering such enemies. Maul showed some skill at applying mounted lightsaber combat, though he very rarely employed it. All of the known examples involved him riding a speeder against one or more opponents: two Black Sun sentries, a lone Bartokk assassin, Anoon Bondara, CSF officers, and portions of Boss Ganne's Gungan army.
Darth Maul was one of the very few lightsaber duelists in history who had enough skill to keep up a one-on-one duel with Darth Sidious for more than a few seconds. He had come close to defeating Sidious on Hypori when he was just seventeen. In their final ferocious duel on Mandalore, after Opress was killed by Sidious upon their separation—the brothers were able to rival Sidious using dual blades for a time before being overwhelmed)—Maul took up both his lightsaber and the Darksaber of Pre Vizsla and displayed such mastery over Jar'Kai that he was able to compete with Sidious, matching him blow-to-blow and even managing to kick the elder Sith backwards, pressuring him into a bladelock that even if only for a very brief moment, Maul forced Sidious onto his back foot. However, Maul was ultimately bested by his former master, who was eventually able to overpower Maul in the bladelock and force the hilts of Maul's lightsabers apart once he had his blades at close range to Maul's weapons hilts. Regardless, it must still be noted that Maul put up a far more ferocious fight than Opress against the Dark Lord, and he did manage to avoid being killed by his own blades when Sidious pushed him back on the bladelock. It can be assumed from this that Maul's dueling prowess was second only to Sidious among the Sith, especially since Darth Plagueis had previously considered him a master of Jar'Kai when Maul was still not fully trained.
When the Prophets of the Dark Side pitted a copy of Maul against Darth Vader as a test on Kalakar Six, both Sith Lords managed to fight on par against each other, until Vader managed to cut Maul's double-bladed lightsaber. However, both ends of the weapon continued to function, allowing Maul to use his mastery of Jar'Kai against Vader. While Vader had faced highly skilled dual-bladed fighters in the past, he had never faced one like Maul. In the end, despite the fact that Vader mortally wounded him, Maul proved the superior martial artist.
From the day Maul was born, his mother Kycina felt that the Force was strong in him. Even Darth Sidious could sense it upon studying the infant. Neither of them knew, however, just how strong; it was only after twelve years after Naboo that Sidious received news of Maul's remarkable survival. While impressed, he strongly believed that his former apprentice's power could rival his own if left unchecked.
Maul displayed an astonishing amount of competence in telekinesis, utilizing Force Grip and Force Choke while interrogating Hath Monchar and torturing Duchess Satine Kryze, and was able to activate a set of door controls behind him with a flung piece of a wrecked droideka during his duel on Naboo. He became so proficient at Force Choke during the Clone Wars that he used it in conjunction with telekinesis against his enemies, including Obi-Wan Kenobi. He later perfected this usage towards Force Crush. When he felt it necessary, he could telekinetically pull weapons away from multiple opponents before finishing them off with his lightsaber. He also had a considerable amount of skill with the saber throw technique, which he used to kill a Jedi Master on one occasion.
Occasionally, given his Niman training, Maul would add Force-based attacks into his lightsaber sequences; he wouldn't hesitate to use a Force Push or a Force Grip on foes such as Kenobi, if given the chance. Another example was his duel with Darsha Assant.
Maul was proficient with the use of Force speed, allowing him to move with blinding momentum. His speed was such that even Darth Plagueis himself was astounded by it when he observed Maul during one of the latter's training sessions. Despite Plagueis' assumptions to the contrary, Maul could hide his Force signature, even while in close proximity to the Jedi Temple. He was able to use the mind trick, especially when working undercover. He was capable of using Force sight to enhance his senses. He could utilize Battlemind and Force rage to increase his fighting form.
Maul also demonstrated a resistance to Force lightning, shrugging off a barrage unleashed by the Nightsister Mighella while hunting for Alexi Garyn. This ability was only effective to a point, however, as Darth Sidious was perfectly capable of torturing Maul with Force lightning.
Maul was skilled in combining Force talents with mechanics. In a secret facility on Coruscant, Maul constructed much of the gear and gadgets that he used on his missions, including his signature speeder bike Bloodfin and the Dark Eye seeker droids. Using the Force skill mechu-deru, the Zabrak modified the protocol droid C-3PX into an assassin droid to guard his ship.
When crippling the Black Sun syndicate, Maul came across the bodyguard of Vigo Narees who in turn attempted to read his mind in order to find who sent him and who he was hunting. Maul let him, but the Iktotchi was soon incapacitated because of the darkness of the Zabark's mind. Maul then neutralized the guard. In fact, he may have learned a technique similar to one spell used by Darth Zannah, a powerful Sith sorceress within the Rule of Two.
After his return and cybernetic reconstruction, Maul's abilities were still as sharp as ever. He was barely able to restrain a powerful Force scream after accidentally cutting himself in the barracks at the Orsis Academy; almost two decades later, he let out a roar across the canyons moments after his reconstruction. He was also able to Force choke a Falleen without even facing him, and then brutally twist his head 180 degrees. Later on, he compelled a guard into committing suicide by having him blow up a bomb, killing himself and a large group of his fellow soldiers stationed at the mines on Moorjhone. Shortly after, he stunned Trisjon's heart, slowly killing him. As Maul came to rescue Opress, he subtly used the Force to activate the control panel on his brother's carbonite block, which simultaneously freed and allowed the latter brother to impale Jedi Master Salmara in the back.
On Moorjhone, he used the Force to pull a section of the wall on his pursuers; though Salmara was able to protect Jaboag's soldiers from being crushed. During the skirmish on Florrum, he pulled a several-ton Eta-class shuttle off of a hill, where it slid to a stop in front of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Hondo Ohnaka's pirates. On Mandalore, he used the "Draw Closer" maneuver to kill Satine Kryze, a Niman technique enabling one to use the Force to bring an opponent within saber range.
As to how Maul survived, Salmara believed that it was Maul's hatred of Obi-Wan Kenobi that kept him alive, making him a far more powerful and dangerous adversary than he was before. In Kenobi's point of view, Maul's rage and knowledge of the dark side were so immense, he refused to die; although the contribution of "other forces" playing into Maul's survival was possible. To Maul, it was simply Sidious' training that had enabled him to stay alive.
While usually preferring to wield a lightsaber, Maul had sufficient skill with a blaster. At age fifteen, he managed to hit his fellow students, Fretch and Hubnutz, in both their right arms with a stun blaster during a training exercise. When Maul grew older, he shot a Nikto in the forehead and squarely hit a Phuii in the neck in his raid against Black Sun.
Sidious also gave Maul the powerful Sith Infiltrator Scimitar which contained a cloaking shield generator. This vehicle was developed by Raith Sienar, the man whose company would later develop the TIE/LN starfighter for the Empire, and Darth Tenebrous, who had trained Darth Plagueis.
Maul had learned to use Galactic Basic Standard, but like his master before him, he was also taught on how to read, write, and utter out the words of the ancient Sith tongue. He could even speak Huttese and Twi'leki.
Behind the scenes
In Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul was played by martial arts specialist Ray Park and voiced by British actor Peter Serafinowicz. Darth Maul's striking visual design, in addition to his limited role in the film, have left many fans wanting to know more about him. Maul eventually appeared in Star Wars books by Michael Reaves and other authors.
In Shadow Hunter, Maul is described as "almost 2 meters tall." However, in the rest of his appearances, his height is supposed to be 1.75 meters.
George Lucas had described Darth Maul as "a figure from your worst nightmare." Designer Iain McCaig thus offered Lucas a design based on a nightmare of his, which was rejected, but later inspired the Nightsister Sith witch. One day McCaig was trying to make "Sith Lord versions" of the art department crew, and drew David Dozoretz, head of the animations group, with a circuit board on his face. Lucas got intrigued by the circuit board idea, and McCaig started producing similar caricatures. After getting frustrated with a drawing of production designer Gavin Bocquet, McCaig started covering it in tape. He liked the result, described as "a kind of Rorschach pattern," and so did Lucas. The final drawing had McCaig's own face, with a pattern based on three things: a concept of a "flayed flesh face," face-painting of African tribes, and further Rorschach experimentation (dropping ink onto paper, folding it in half, and opening it).
Darth Maul's head originally had feathers, based on prayer totems, but the Creature Effects crew led by Nick Dudman interpreted those feathers as horns. Another change to the design was his clothing, from a tight body suit with a muscle pattern to the Sith robe based on Samurai pleats, because the lightsaber battles involved much jumping and spinning.
The novelization of The Phantom Menace suggests that Darth Maul never dueled a Jedi before Qui-Gon Jinn. This contradicts Darth Maul's Expanded Universe duels with Anoon Bondara and Darsha Assant.
In The Phantom Menace, Maul only has three lines. During the first scene in which he physically appears (not counting the scene where he is a hologram), when he is talking to Darth Sidious (who we are also seeing for the first and only time (in this film) in the flesh) on Coruscant, he says, "Tatooine is sparsely populated. If the trace was correct, I will find them quickly, master" and "At last, we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge." He says his third and last line, "Yes, my master," to the hologram of Darth Sidious in the Theed throne room. Maul makes a few grunts during the lightsaber duel at the end of the film, and makes a noticeable yell and several gasps when he is struck at the waist.
In other additional appearances, the character has been voiced by Gregg Berger for Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace and Star Wars: Episode I Jedi Power Battles, Jess Harnell in Star Wars: Racer Revenge, Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds and Star Wars: Demolition, Stephen Stanton in Star Wars: Battlefront II, Clint Bajakian in Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing, and David W. Collins in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and Star Wars Battlefront: Elite Squadron.
In the various Expanded Universe sources, it was suggested that the Jedi never knew Darth Maul's name and identity. In the novelization of Revenge of the Sith, Anakin refers to Maul only as "the one Obi-Wan left in pieces on Naboo". Dooku then muses that "Maul had been an animal," but does not say his name. However, several other sources claimed the opposite. For example, in the Star Wars: Purge, Shadday Potkin described Darth Vader as "Palpatine's mailed fist, Dooku's successor, Maul's inheritor." However, this was not the first time this "mistake" has been made; in Rogue Planet, Obi-Wan Kenobi mentions Maul by name, and in The Last of the Jedi: Death on Naboo Ferus Olin claims that every Padawan of his and Anakin's generation knew the story of Qui-Gon Jinn's death, and of how Obi-Wan had dueled Maul to the death. In the third season of the The Clone Wars, Obi-Wan mentions Maul by name when he mistakes Dooku's new assassin, Savage Opress, for him. Mace Windu also speaks the name while discussing Maul's possible origins. As a solution to this problem, the episode guide confirmed that the Jedi actually knew Maul's identity and suggested that the name of the Sith Lord was leaked by the captured Neimoidians after the Battle of Naboo.
Despite his popularity and striking appearance, Maul made only a few appearances in official materials after the release of The Phantom Menace. However, after he was revealed to have survived on George Lucas's order in the fourth season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series, various new materials were released such as Darth Plagueis. These fleshed out Maul's backstory more than ever before. However, these changed his species from Zabrak, which was created for the character, to Dathomirian, a Human-Zabrak hybrid. In addition, Maul's bipedal cyborg body was also partially derived from his appearance from the non-canon comic serial Old Wounds. In his Clone Wars appearances, beginning in Spring 2012, Maul was voiced by Sam Witwer.
A video game, tentatively called Battle of the Sith Lords, was developed by Red Fly Studio before being cancelled. It would have revived Maul for the Legacy era. After the Expanded Universe was reclassified as Legends in 2014, Maul's fate in the Legends continuity has been left uncertain, though his canon counterpart's story arc, and enmity with Obi-Wan Kenobi, were concluded in the Star Wars Rebels episode "Twin Suns".
- "You worms are no match for the dark side!"
- ―Darth Maul
The duel between Darth Maul and Qui-Gon Jinn on Tatooine and the duel with the two Jedi in Theed are featured in the video games Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars: Episode I Jedi Power Battles (1999), and Star Wars: Obi-Wan (2002).
The duel in Star Wars: Obi-Wan contradicts that of the movie. Kenobi fights Darth Maul until he reduces the latter's health, then cuts his lightsaber in half. Then the duel resumes until Kenobi emerges victorious, slicing into Maul then Force-pushing him into the pit. The sequence omits Kenobi being knocked into the pit.
In the LEGO video game, Darth Maul takes the form of a LEGO minifigure to fight the heroes of the saga. After his final duel, his torso falls into the pit, but his lower legs remain where he stood and even move around as if still attached to his body.
During the planning stages of Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which was released in 2008, Darth Maul was one of the characters being considered to have his own game centered around him. Instead, he was given a cameo as one of PROXY's training holograms. He also makes a non-canon appearance in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3 as a secret unlockable character. Maul is a playable character in Star Wars Battlefront 2.
Darth Maul was featured in two "Evolution" three-packs from Hasbro. One was entitled The Sith Legacy, where Maul was alongside Darth Nihilus and Darth Bane. In the other, entitled The Sith, Maul was alongside Count Dooku and Palpatine.
Darth Maul is a favorite subject for non-canon, what-if stories. He was first "resurrected" in Star Wars Tales 9, where he fought Darth Vader in the short Infinities story "Resurrection", though it was never made clear in the story how this Maul was resurrected. Leland Chee later declared that the incident was canon, without clarifying the origins of this doppelgänger. A common gag in LEGO Star Wars material was for Maul to appear in sequences in which he would not normally belong, such as appearing when the theme "Duel of the Fates" was used in association with Jek-14 to complain that he "stole his theme song."
Contract of Evil
Darth Maul was featured as a protagonist in Contract of Evil, a 2004 fan film awarded by The Official Star Wars Fan Film Awards, where Maul is tested in battle against several Sith Lords, and in which, he succeeds.
During Maul's early years, he was sent to the Happy Nerf Herder, a maximum security home for wayward boys on Coruscant. While there, he was involved in a breakout and, upon escaping, went on a hunt for a lollipop. After using a cable to get to the nearby Mon Calamari Fish Market, Maul stole a hoverboard from a bystander, accidentally causing an explosion by doing so. He used this hoverboard to get to the RIB hutt, restaurant where he stole a lightsaber from a Jedi who was at the establishment.
Maul used this lightsaber to descend the building. Though the Jedi chased him, Maul eventually landed upon a granite slug and onto an air taxi, catapulting both Maul and the slug onto a nearby building which contained a lollipop shop. Before Maul was able to obtain his sought-after lollipop, however, he was taken captive by a Senate Guard who brought him before Senator Palpatine. Though the Guardsman wanted to take him back to the home, Palpatine stated that Maul simply needed better guidance, and that he would re-educate the boy personally.
- "There is no Palpatine. No Empire. No Jedi. There is no light, no dark… just you and I here now."
- ―Darth Maul, to Obi-Wan Kenobi
He attacked them while still staying in his hooded cloak, his digitigrade droid legs the only part of him visible to others. He proceeded to call out through the Force to an unseen enemy he could nevertheless sense. The evil, psychic voice claimed to have been tracking this ancient adversary for years, just missing him on his missions to Kamino, Geonosis, and Mustafar and to have killed many witnesses on Polis Massa before finally gaining crucial information in Mos Espa from an aged Toydarian junk dealer, whom he then murdered. The dark creature declared that he knew threatening Luke Skywalker would bring his adversary out into the open.
At this point, a gray-haired Ben Kenobi resolved from the sand and confronted Maul, provoking the former Sith to cast aside his cloak and reveal his identity. With his severed lower body replaced by a pair of large cybernetic legs and abdomen, and his cranial horns having grown to over three times their original length, Maul was consumed with greater hatred than ever before and clearly never resumed contact with his former master, having dedicated his new life to avenging himself on the man who had bested him.
Kenobi and Maul engaged in a furious rematch. Kenobi managed to gain the upper hand when he severed Maul's right arm, cutting the darksider's weapon in two in the process, as well as breaking several of Maul's horns with his bare hand. Maul summoned the remaining half of his weapon and turned to face Kenobi, only to find himself facing the Jedi's lightsaber emitter.
Kenobi hesitated to execute his helpless opponent, but had the decision taken out of his hands when the revived Owen killed Maul with his damaged rifle. Obi-Wan said he would take the body and burn it in the Dune Sea; Owen told Kenobi that Luke would be safer if Kenobi never returned. Obi-Wan departed with Maul's corpse, speaking to Luke through the Force, assuring him that he would always be present; if not in person, then in spirit.
- "None shall survive."
- ―Darth Maul
Maul was somehow once more alive on Tatooine, sometime shortly after the Battle of Hoth. Before anyone had even seen him, the young Wade Vox felt his presence in the Force as a strange, prickling sense of fear as he was getting ready for combat in Jabba's demolition games; this feeling stayed with him throughout the combat, though Vox tried to shake off the feeling of impending dread after his narrow victory. It was soon after this that Jabba, floating over the Dune Sea and awaiting the next round of combat, spotted Maul's speeder bike on the horizon. Jabba lifted his arm to point at the object in the distance and his suspicions were soon confirmed by Bib Fortuna who informed his master that what he saw seemed to be a contraption favored by the Sith. Jabba let out a long, rumbling laugh and soon managed to convince Maul to take part in his demolition games so that Jabba could exploit his new "wild card" to gather even more ill-gotten gains. Maul fought against the other competitors on his Bloodfin, striking them down with its cannons as well as his double-bladed lightsaber.
- Clash of the Lightsabers
- Contract of Evil
- "Hate Leads to Lollipops"—Star Wars Tales 9
- LEGO Star Wars: The Phantom Menace
- LEGO Star Wars: Darth Maul's Mission
- Star Wars: Racer Revenge
- Star Wars Mythos
- Tag & Bink: Revenge of the Clone Menace (Appears in hologram)
- "Old Wounds"—Star Wars: Visionaries
- Star Wars: Battlefront II
- Star Wars Infinities: A New Hope (Vision to Luke Skywalker)
- Star Wars: Demolition
- Star Wars: Super Bombad Racing
- LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
- LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga
- LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars
- Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron
- Star Wars: Epic Duels
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Republic Heroes (Head only)
- LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles – "Attack of the Jedi"
Notes and references
- Darth Maul on Wikipedia