|Star Wars character|
Ray Park as Darth Maul in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.
|First appearance||The Phantom Menace (1999)|
|Last appearance||Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)|
|Created by||George Lucas|
|Portrayed by||Ray Park|
|Occupation||Sith apprentice, Crime lord|
Mother Talzin (mother)
Darth Maul is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise. Trained as Darth Sidious's first apprentice, he serves as a Sith Lord and master of wielding a double-bladed lightsaber. He first appears in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (portrayed by Ray Park and voiced by Peter Serafinowicz). Despite his apparent demise in that film at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, he later returned in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated television series and made further appearances in the Star Wars Rebels series and the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story, all voiced by Sam Witwer.
After getting frustrated with a drawing of production designer Gavin Bocquet, Iain McCaig started covering it in tape. Both he and Lucas liked the result, described as "a kind of Rorschach pattern". The final drawing had McCaig's own face, with the skin removed, and some Rorschach experimentation (dropping ink onto paper, folding it in half then opening). Maul's facial tattoos were inspired by the indigenous peoples of Brazil.
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, modifying his features into those common in popular depictions of the devil.
His clothing was also modified, from a tight body suit with a muscle pattern to the Sith robe based on samurai pleats, because the lightsaber battles involved much jumping, spinning, running, and rolling. Another concept had Maul a masked figure, something that could rival Darth Vader, while the senatorial characters would sport painted and tattooed faces. It was later decided to apply the painted and tattooed faces to Maul rather than the senator.
Darth Maul was physically portrayed by actor and martial artist Ray Park in The Phantom Menace. The character was voiced by comedian/voice actor/director Peter Serafinowicz in The Phantom Menace and Lego videogame adaptation of the prequel trilogy, while Samuel Witwer performed the character's voice in the animated series The Clone Wars, Rebels, and in the live action movie Solo: A Star Wars Story. Actors Gregg Berger, Jess Harnell, Stephen Stanton, Clint Bajakian, and David W. Collins have all voiced him in Legends adaptations and minor appearances.
Introduced in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul is ordered by his master Darth Sidious to capture Queen Padmé Amidala. On Tatooine, Maul fights Qui-Gon Jinn while approaching the Queen's starship. While Anakin Skywalker gets on board, Qui-Gon engages Maul in a lightsaber duel, but the Jedi master escapes. Eventually, Maul fights Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Kenobi simultaneously. Maul duels Qui-Gon and eventually kills him. Although Obi-Wan is almost knocked down into a shaft, he uses the Force to propel himself out of the pit, and equips himself with Qui-Gon's lightsaber to bisect Maul, after which the two separated pieces of Maul's body fall into the shaft.
Ray Park reprises his role from The Phantom Menace as Darth Maul, with Sam Witwer providing the voice, reprising his role from the animated series, The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels. Maul is revealed to be the master of the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn, to which crime lord Dryden Vos answers. Qi'ra tells Maul that Vos and his men were killed by Tobias Beckett and his accomplices, but neglects to name Han Solo and Chewbacca. Maul commands her to meet with him on Dathomir and tells her that they will work more closely from now on, igniting his lightsaber.
Darth Maul's origins are elaborated upon in the third season of the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which takes place between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Maul is explained to have been a warrior of the Nightbrother clan on the planet Dathomir inhabited by the dominant Nightsister witchcraft society led by Mother Talzin. Maul's tattoos are described as the markings of a warrior.[a] Talzin instructs Savage Opress to find his long-lost brother.
In the fourth season, Maul is revealed to be alive, having survived his presumed death at Obi-Wan's hands. Having ended up on a junkyard planet via a dumpster craft, Maul has suffered from amnesia since Obi-Wan defeated him. Savage finds Maul and brings him to the devastated Dathomir, where Talzin restores Maul's mind and gives him robotic legs. Maul and Savage set about a plan to exact revenge on Obi-Wan. Maul proceeds to attack a colonial village to draw Obi-Wan there and make an attempt on his life, only to be thwarted due to Asajj Ventress's unexpected appearance to collect a bounty on Savage. Maul and Savage overpower Obi-Wan and Ventress, but Maul lets them go, deciding to await another opportunity.
In the fifth season, Maul takes Savage as his apprentice, and begins building a criminal empire. Needing followers, they travel to Florrum and manage to convince Weequay pirate Jiro and his crew to join them and betray their leader Hondo Ohnaka. Maul's pirates attack Hondo's loyal forces, and Maul once again duels Obi-Wan while Savage fights and kills Jedi Master Adi Gallia. Obi-Wan draws the two brothers away from the pirates, engaging them in a duel. Obi-Wan, though outnumbered, cuts off Savage's arm. While Maul and Savage are in the process of retreating, Hondo's crew open fire at them and shoot off one of Maul's robotic legs. Maul's ship is blasted by a missile as it attempts to take flight, but Maul and Savage manage to escape using one of the emergency pods. After several days, they are found floating in dead space and close to death by the Mandalorian Death Watch warriors, led by Pre Vizsla. They are taken back to Vizla's settlement, and Maul's damaged cybernetic legs are replaced with a new prosthetic that resembles a more humanoid form, while Savage is fitted with a mechanical arm. Maul offers Vizsla the chance to reclaim Mandalore by recruiting Black Sun, the Pyke Syndicate, and Jabba the Hutt's minions to create the criminal syndicate named the Shadow Collective.
From there, Maul engineers Vizsla's rise to power: he orders his henchmen to attack Mandalore so the Death Watch can arrest them and appear as heroes to the denizens who have long lived under Duchess Satine Kryze's pacifist rule. Vizsla betrays Maul, imprisoning him and Savage. Easily breaking free, Maul challenges Vizsla to a duel to take over Death Watch and Mandalore; he succeeds in killing Vizsla and claims his former co-conspirator's darksaber. He wins the loyalty of most Death Watch members, but Bo Katan retreats along with those loyal to their previous leader. Maul then puts disgraced former prime minister Almec, whom Satine had imprisoned for corruption, in power as a puppet leader, solidifying his control over Mandalore. Maul anticipates Satine's contacting the Jedi Council as part of his plan to get Obi-Wan to Mandalore. Once Obi-Wan arrives, Maul captures him and murders Satine in front of him, hoping to make the Jedi suffer as much as he once did. Obi-Wan is later freed by Katan's Death Watch faction.
Maul senses Darth Sidious arriving on Mandalore. Although impressed with his former apprentice's survival, Sidious declares Maul a rival and uses the Force to push and choke him and Savage. He then engages them both in lightsaber combat, fatally injuring Savage. After Savage dies from his wounds, Sidious reminds Maul of the Rule of Two, and tells him that he has been replaced. Enraged, Maul pulls out both his lightsaber and darksaber and proceeds to fight Sidious on equal ground, but Sidious ultimately defeats him. Maul pleads for mercy, but Sidious ignores him and tortures him with blasts of Force lightning. Sidious reveals that he has no intention of killing Maul, remarking that he has other uses for his former apprentice.
An older Maul appears in the season 2 finale of Star Wars Rebels, which takes place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Tracked by an Imperial Inquisitor named the Eighth Brother, Maul is stranded on the ancient Sith world of Malachor, where he is discovered among the ruins by series protagonist Ezra Bridger. Introducing himself as "Old Master" and seeking revenge against Sidious, Maul leads Ezra into an ancient Sith temple, where they discover a holocron that Maul claims can give them the knowledge needed to defeat the Sith. After recovering it, the two find Ezra's master Kanan Jarrus and former Jedi Ahsoka Tano locked in battle with the Eighth Brother. They also find the Inquisitors known as the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister, who have been pursuing the rebels for some time. Maul--having cast aside the title of Darth--reveals a new lightsaber disguised as a walking stick and joins the Jedi in battling their enemies, including Darth Vader.
After the Inquisitors retreat, Maul wins the Jedi's trust by denouncing the Sith, and tells them that he cannot defeat Vader on his own. Working together, he and the Jedi ascend towards the top of the temple and successfully kill all three Inquisitors. Then, Maul reveals his intention to take Ezra as his apprentice, having already tricked him into activating the temple. After blinding Kanan, Maul briefly duels Ahsoka before facing Kanan again, only to be knocked off the temple's edge. However, he survives the fall and escapes Malachor in the Eighth Brother's TIE fighter.
Months later, Maul takes the Ghosts crew hostage and threatens to kill them unless Kanan and Ezra bring both the Sith and Jedi holocrons to him. Maul takes the crew to a remote base in the Outer Rim where he awaits Kanan and Ezra's arrival. Then, the holocrons are hazardously united allowing Ezra and Maul to see visions of their desires: Ezra sees images of a way to destroy the Sith, images including "twin suns", while Maul sees a vision of his own. Kanan begs Ezra to look away before he sees too much of the dark side, while Maul tells him to ignore Kanan and keep looking. Ezra heeds his master's words and breaks off the connection, which causes a great explosion. Maul escapes in the confusion, uttering, "He lives."
Maul reappears after finding the rebels' secret base. He tells Ezra that because the connection was severed, they got bits and pieces of each other's visions. After the holocrons were destroyed, Maul discovered another way to get the information he needed. He travels to Dathomir with Ezra, and recreates a Nightsister spell to temporarily meld his and Ezra's minds. After this is completed, Ezra and Maul realize that they are both looking for Obi-Wan Kenobi.
In the episode "Twin Suns", Maul is shown lost on Tatooine. He decides to use Ezra to lure Obi-Wan out of hiding. During their confrontation, Maul deduces that Obi-Wan is not only hiding, but is protecting someone. In a swift duel, Obi-Wan fatally wounds Maul. As he lies dying in Obi-Wan's arms, Maul asks if the person he is protecting is the Chosen One, and Obi-Wan replies that he is. Maul declares that this "Chosen One" will avenge them, and dies peacefully.
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Dark Horse Comics produced Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir based on the scripts and storyboards of an unproduced 4-episode story arc intended for The Clone Wars Season 6. After killing Savage Opress, Darth Sidious takes Maul to a Separatist prison, where Count Dooku tortures him for information about the Shadow Collective. Prime Minister Almec arranges Maul's escape and the latter then heads back to Zanbar to command the Death Watch army. However, he is followed by General Grievous and his droids, who battle with Maul and the Mandalorians. While they put up a fierce fight, Maul and his minions are ultimately overwhelmed by the droids. During the battle, Maul tears through the droid ranks and attacks Grievous, but is overpowered and forced to retreat. Afterwards, Maul confers with Mother Talzin (revealed to be his biological mother) and plots to draw out Sidious by capturing Dooku and Grievous. The scheme works, and Talzin is able to restore herself to her physical form, but she sacrifices herself to save Maul. Although Maul escapes with a company of loyal Mandalorians, the Shadow Collective has disintegrated due to the conflict with Sidious, as the Hutts, Pykes, and Black Sun have all abandoned Maul.
In flashbacks during the novel Star Wars: Ahsoka, it is revealed that during the final days of the Clone Wars, Maul and his forces were besieged on Mandalore by an army of clone troopers led by Ahsoka Tano and Captain Rex.[b] During the siege, Maul confronts and duels Ahsoka, and though he proves to be the stronger fighter, the former Jedi outwits him and traps him in a ray shield. However, before Maul can be taken into official custody, Order 66 is enacted and the clone troopers following Ahsoka turn on her, with the exception of Rex. With Rex's life in peril, Ahsoka abandons the chance of killing Maul, allowing the former Sith to escape once again. This battle was originally intended to be depicted in the series finale of The Clone Wars.
With the 2012 acquisition of Lucasfilm by The Walt Disney Company, most of the licensed Star Wars novels and comics produced since the originating 1977 film Star Wars were rebranded as Star Wars Legends and declared non-canon to the franchise in April 2014.
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Darth Maul is a 4-issue comics series published by Dark Horse Comics featuring Darth Maul. The series is set in the shortly before the Battle of Naboo in Episode I - The Phantom Menace. The story follows Maul in his mission to destroy the leadership of the well-feared crime syndicate Black Sun. Maul spends his time serving under Darth Sidious, killing countlessly. His main target in the series is the leader of Black Sun, some time before Prince Xizor takes command of it.
Several sources depict Maul returning from the dead in several different forms. The story "Resurrection" from Star Wars Tales #9 depicts a cult creating a duplicate of Maul as a replacement for Darth Vader, only for Vader to kill him. The story Phantom Menaces in Star Wars Tales #17 (set after Return of the Jedi) depicts Luke Skywalker visiting Maul's home planet of Iridonia in an ambassadorial capacity, where he faces a "solid state hologram" of Maul projected from Maul's salvaged brain as part of a scientist's attempt to recreate Maul as Iridonia's "champion". Luke recognizes the disruption that Maul's existence is causing in the Force, and shuts down the life-support systems keeping the brain alive.
In 2005, Dark Horse Comics published Star Wars: Visionaries, a compilation of non-canonical short comics made by the creators of Revenge of the Sith. One story, "Old Wounds", depicts Maul with longer horns on his head, having survived his bisection at Obi-Wan's hands, with his missing bottom half replaced with cybernetic legs, similar to those of General Grievous (and his eventual revival in The Clone Wars). He follows Obi-Wan throughout the galaxy, finally tracking him down on Tatooine a few years after the events of Revenge of the Sith. Maul taunts Obi-Wan, saying that after he kills him, he will take a toddler-aged Luke Skywalker to his master, Emperor Palpatine. Maul plans to kill Vader and resume his rightful place at Palpatine's side. He ignites his new double-bladed lightsaber and engages Obi-Wan in a duel, but Obi-Wan again bests him in combat, cutting off his opponent's horns. Maul is killed by a blaster bolt to the head from Owen Lars. Obi-Wan thanks Owen, and says he will take Maul's body into the desert and burn it.
In early 2012, a young adult novel entitled Star Wars: The Wrath of Darth Maul was released by Scholastic. Maul is also featured prominently in comic series starting in this period, The Clone Wars: The Sith Hunters and Darth Maul: Death Sentence. Set around the various episodes of The Clone Wars that featured Maul, the two books detail his and Savage Opress' journey across the galaxy as they seek vengeance on the Jedi.
In the 2012 novel Darth Plagueis, the titular Sith lord sends his apprentice, Darth Sidious, to the Force-rich world of Dathomir. A Dathomiri witch, or Nightsister, senses Sidious' power in the Force and approaches him. Assuming he is a Jedi, she begs him to take her Zabrak infant son. She realizes that Sidious is not a Jedi, and explains how she is trying to save her son from a Nightsister named Talzin, who killed Maul's father. It is implied that Maul has a twin brother and that Talzin is only aware of one child. Sidious realizes the infant is strong in the Force, and would become a threat if found by the Jedi. Concealing the existence of his own master, Sidious raises Maul to believe that he is a Sith apprentice, but he actually intends him to be an expendable minion rather than an heir. Maul himself acknowledges his shortcomings, such as his limited understanding of politics, even as he tries to become a true Sith.
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter is a novel by Michael Reaves released on February 1, 2001. It is a prequel novel occurring about six months before the events of The Phantom Menace. The cover art was by David Stevenson. Del Rey aired a TV commercial for the novel in 1999. As portrayed in the novel, Maul was raised by Sidious for as long as he can remember. Sidious then trains Maul as a Sith, marking his body with Sith tattoos. Maul initially goes on several missions of terror for his master, killing politicians, crime bosses, merchants and warlords.
Sidious meets secretly with his Neimoidian contacts in the Trade Federation to finalize details in the plan to blockade Naboo. One member of the delegation is missing; suspecting betrayal, Sidious orders Maul to hunt down the traitor. Maul completes this task, but learns that the traitor had recorded proof of the Sith's manipulation of the Naboo blockade on a holocron to sell for profit. A suicidal attack by a Trade Federation-hired bounty hunter interferes with Maul's plan and the holocron is purchased by a Corellian con man named Lorn Pavan. Pavan realizes the nature of the information and seeks to take it to the Jedi Temple. Maul, for his part, is ordered by Sidious to retrieve the holocron and kill Pavan and anyone else who might have the information. Meanwhile, a Jedi Padawan named Darsha Assant is faced with the Jedi trials to become a full-fledged Jedi Knight, and tries to save a member of Black Sun (which Maul had crippled in Saboteur).
Pavan attempts to do business with a Hutt crime lord in one of the lower levels in Coruscant, but Maul arrives and kills the Hutt. Pavan escapes into the caverns where they meet Darsha and her master. The Jedi begin escorting Pavan and his droid to the temple but Maul soon attacks them. Darsha's master is slain while attempting to buy time for the others. Pavan and Darsha escape various dangers of Coruscant's subterranean levels before finding themselves in another battle. Darsha, realizing that she cannot defeat Maul, draws out their duel long enough for Pavan's droid to repair a carbonite-freezing unit and seal Pavan and the droid inside it. Darsha plunges her lightsaber into a pile of volatile gas canisters, killing her and causing an explosion that Maul barely escapes. Upon surveying the scene, Maul feels no trace of Pavan in the Force, not realizing that the carbonite hibernation has made his lifeforce undetectable.
An automatic timer frees Pavan from hibernation and he goes after Maul on his own. Pavan follows Maul to a Republic space station and sneaks up on Maul, stunning him momentarily before he awakens, severes Pavan's right hand, and pursues him through the station's service tubes. Pavan barely makes it into a public area where Maul cannot follow, and unwittingly gives the holocron to Senator Palpatine of Naboo, not realizing that Palpatine is Maul's Sith Master. After recovering, Pavan starts to leave his quarters, only to be confronted by Maul, who kills him as a worthy opponent.
Darth Maul: Saboteur is a short story by James Luceno. It was released in ebook form, with a length equivalent to about 55 printed pages, on February 1, 2001. It was also published in the back of the paperback edition of Michael Reaves' Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter.
The story is about Darth Maul and takes place roughly a year before The Phantom Menace. It recounts Maul's first solo mission and attempt to destroy two mining companies so the Trade Federation can take them over.
Maul: Lockdown is a Star Wars novel written by Joe Schreiber, released by Del Rey Books on January 28, 2014. It was the last novel to be released in the Star Wars Legends line of the franchise. Before the events of The Phantom Menace, Sith lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious send their disciple Darth Maul to a galactic prison to recover a powerful weapon. There, an insidious gambling empire pits the galaxy's most terrible criminals against each other in gladiatorial combat, and Maul must face Jabba the Hutt and various other horrifying obstacles to complete his mission.
Since the release of The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul has proven to be a popular character. IGN named Darth Maul the 16th greatest Star Wars character, noting, "Of the countless characters to walk in and out of the Star Wars saga, none looks or acts more badass than Darth Maul."
Darth Maul-related merchandise was popular among Hasbro Star Wars toy lines, with plastic recreations of his double bladed lightsaber and various action figures in his likeness developed. Darth Maul was the focal point of the toy marketing campaign surrounding the 2012 re-release of The Phantom Menace, being featured on the packaging for the toy line.
A Darth Maul fan film titled Darth Maul: Apprentice was released.
At least two videos of kids trying to imitate Darth Maul have gone viral, the 2003 Star Wars Kid which spawned an internet meme. Another in December 2017, an 8-year-old Ontario boy went viral on the Internet with a video of him pretending to be Darth Maul and displaying his martial arts skills.