Hey everyone and welcome back to the Sarlacc Pit! Last week, I discussed Darth Maul and how he survived his seemingly fatal duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi. I also discussed how he developed one of the largest crime organizations in Star Wars, and the role he played in some of the events of the Clone Wars. This week, I’m going to give you the rest of Maul’s story, as told by “Star Wars: Rebels.” This will contain spoilers, as usual, so read at your own risk!
“Formerly Darth, now just Maul.” – Maul, “Star Wars: Rebels”
As I mentioned last time, we have not yet seen how Maul built up Crimson Dawn to be the menacing organization seen in “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” nor have we seen how that organization was taken from him, however, based on his appearance in “Star Wars: Rebels,” we can infer that Darth Vader or the Inquisitorius may have had something to do with it. What we do know is that about 3 BBY (Before the Battle of Yavin, the common way to denote time in Star Wars), Ezra Bridger, Kanan Jarrus, and Ahsoka Tano were called to the dead planet of Malachor. The three of them were briefly separated, during which time Ezra came across an elderly Maul, who had crash landed on the planet and been marooned there for years. Maul sensed Ezra’s passionate tendencies, and identified him as someone who would make a strong dark side apprentice. Maul even told Bridger to call him “Master.”
Maul manipulated Ezra into helping him find a Sith holocron hidden on Malachor, and then into using it to enter the Sith temple on the planet. There, they found Kanan and Ahsoka, who immediately recognized the former Sith Lord. Although Ahsoka did not want to work with Maul, the appearance of three of Darth Vader’s Inquisitors as they were attempting to reach the top of the temple required them to all work together. Maul, Kanan, and Ahsoka engaged the Inquisitors as Ezra continued to scale the temple.
After the Inquisitors were defeated, Maul turned on the Jedi, declaring his intent to take Ezra as his apprentice, and use the temple, which was actually a Sith superweapon, to take vengeance on his enemies. Maul attacked Kanan and permanently blinded him. However, Kanan was still able to fight off the Nightbrother, forcing Maul to flee the planet in one of the Inquisitor’s ships.
The Quest to Destroy Kenobi
“He lives!” – Maul, “Star Wars: Rebels”
The encounter on Malachor was not the last time Ezra would meet Maul. Months after Malachor, Maul was able to locate the Ghost, and took the crew captive. He used the Force to probe Captain Hera Syndulla’s mind to find a Jedi holocron kept by Kanan Jarrus. During this time, Maul had instructed Kanan and Ezra to retrieve the Sith holocron originally discovered on Malachor from where Ezra was keeping it at their hideout on Atollon. When the Jedi rendezvoused with the Ghost and its captor, Maul took both holocrons and Ezra Bridger into the command center of the hangar that the Ghost had been parked in.
It was here that Maul and Ezra attempted to use the Force to fuse the Jedi and Sith holocrons. Maul had told Ezra that this would allow them insight into questions that they both had. Maul, still obsessed with getting revenge on Obi-Wan Kenobi, asked the holocrons to reveal Kenobi’s location, while Ezra asked how they can defeat the Sith. Maul saw nothing, Ezra, however, muttered that he saw “twin suns” before the ritual was interrupted by Kanan Jarrus. The disruption caused a small explosion, which allowed Maul to escape.
After this encounter, Maul and Ezra were mentally linked. Maul used this to torment Ezra by sending him troubling visions. Eventually, Maul used this link to find Ezra and Kanan at the rebel hideout on Atollon. Maul threatened Ezra and Kanan that he would alert the Empire to their base if Ezra did not leave with Maul to his homeworld of Dathomir and allow Maul to get the information that was granted to Ezra through the ritual with the holocrons.
Ezra went to Dathomir with Maul, where both Maul and Bridger drank magick water at an old Nightsister altar, which somehow allowed Maul to see Ezra’s vision from the holocrons. This is how he discovered Kenobi’s location on Tatooine. After the vision, Nightsister spirits arrived, insisting that Maul and Ezra make a sacrifice to pay for the use of their magick. With help from Kanan Jarrus and Sabine Wren they were able to escape. Maul made one final offer to teach Ezra the ways of the dark side of the Force (which Ezra refused), before he left Dathomir on his ship (the Nightbrother) to face Obi-Wan one final time.
The Final Battle
“He will avenge us.” – Maul, “Star Wars: Rebels”
Maul found Kenobi (with partial help from Ezra Bridger, who he had manipulated into also coming to Tatooine) in the Tatooine desert. Maul questioned the old Jedi on what could possibly bring him to such a desolate planet. He searched Kenobi’s mind and realized that the Jedi was there guarding a young boy (Luke Skywalker). The dark sider threatened the boy, stirring Obi-Wan to activate his lightsaber and assume a ready stance. Maul followed suit and the two charged each other.
The old adversaries only shared two quick blows, before Kenobi struck down the Dathomirian, killing him in their final, and quickest battle. As he gasped his final breaths, Maul asked Kenobi if the boy was the Chosen One who would defeat the Sith. Obi-Wan told his old nemesis that that was indeed the case. Maul then died, and Kenobi honored him by building a funeral pyre in the tradition of the old Jedi Order.
With the return of Maul to the big screen in “Solo,” we may be able to expect to learn more about the former Sith and how he lost his criminal organization to the Empire. However, the bulk of his story will forever belong in the animated series and comics. Maul is a character that quickly became a fan-favorite despite having such a small part in the movies, and I think that it’s not unlikely that we will see more of him in the future.
That’s all for this week. Next week, I am going to take a look at the First Galactic Empire and outline it’s inner workings, giving insight into the political and military landscape outlined by the first and only Galactic Emperor, Sheev Palpatine. As always, thanks for reading, and may the Force be with you!