I am Hell, Viceroy. Never forget that.
—Darth Maul taunts Nute Gunray while torturing him
Darth Maul was a Sith Lord in the Order of the Sith Lords during the Invasion of Utapau. Once an apprentice of the Jedi Order, Maul fell to the dark side and was discovered by the Dark Lord in 41 BBY; the Dark Lord took Maul as his apprentice after the Dark Lord murdered his own master, an act that started the Apocalypse. Maul's first mission was to seek out and kill Shmi Skywalker and her unborn son, Annikin Skywalker, as the Dark Lord believed that Annikin Skywalker was the Chosen One. Maul failed to kill them, and it was decided by the Dark Lord that they would one day turn Skywalker to the dark side and help him destroy the galaxy.
Years later, after the passage of the Republic Anti-Slavery Law in 23 BBY, Maul worked with Nute Gunray, the Viceroy of the Trade Federation, to plan and implement the Invasion of Utapau in 22 BBY as a response to the law's enactment. The planet's queen, Sabé Arcadia, negotiated with Maul and Gunray for one month to end the blockade, but she failed and the Federation invaded the planet. Utapau fell under Federation control within days. Arcadia, however, escaped the planet, prompting Maul and the Guardians of Lettow to track her to Tatooine. There, Maul made it his mission to find both Arcadia and Annikin Skywalker. Maul and the Lettow launched an attack on the Ophuchi sanctuary where they unsuccessfully attempted to capture Skywalker.
I thought we enjoyed ourselves last time. I know I did.
—Darth Maul taunts Sarus nineteen years after the duel in the Ophuchi sanctuary
Darth Maul was born on Iridonia in the years prior to the start of the Apocalypse in 41 BBY. After his birth, he was taken into the Jedi Order where he trained to become a Jedi Knight. He sought to provide aid to those in the galaxy who needed it, but he came to feel the call of the dark side of the Force. He fell to the dark side and left the Jedi Order, vowing to bring about destruction and torment for every good deed he had once done.
Maul was discovered by the apprentice of Darth Plagueis, the Dark Lord of the Sith, after leaving the Order. In 41 BBY, the apprentice told Maul to travel to meet him in the Sith academy on Dathomir. Maul arrived shortly after the apprentice murdered Plagueis and became the Dark Lord, an act that began the galaxy-ending Apocalypse. The Dark Lord ordered Maul to travel to Tatooine and kill Shmi Skywalker, who was pregnant with her son, Annikin Skywalker; the Dark Lord believed the boy was destined to become the Chosen One who would stop the Sith from destroying the galaxy. He was also told to kill Sarus, a member of the Ophuchi Clan of hermits on Tatooine. The successful completion of this mission would allow him to gain favor with the Dark Lord and become his apprentice.
Having been given his orders by the Dark Lord, Maul made his way to Tatooine in order to find Shmi Skywalker. Maul located and attacked Shmi when she was nine months pregnant, but she was rescued and brought to the Ophuchi sanctuary in the Dune Sea by Sarus. Maul managed to track them down and was attacked by Sarus and a group of other Ophuchi. The Sith apprentice killed the group of Ophuchi and nearly killed Sarus, but Sarus forced Maul to escape. Shmi gave birth to her son only minutes later.
Despite his failure, Darth Maul became the apprentice of the Dark Lord. To prove his loyalty to the Sith cause, Maul tattooed his face black and red. Sometime after the duel in the sanctuary, Maul learned that Skywalker was not destined to defeat the Sith, but rather to destroy the galaxy. It was decided to wait until Skywalker was old enough before seeking him out and aiding him, as Maul was determined to bring about galactic destruction.
In the years that followed, members of the Guardians of Lettow, a dark-sided order of Force users, swore their loyalty to Maul. Lilith, the leader of the Lettow, became Maul's most trusted lieutenant. Some of the Lettow were uneasy with the fact that Maul had once been a member of the Jedi Order, but they continued to serve him nonetheless.
Buildup to war
Your sole purpose here is to do what I tell you.
—Darth Maul asserts his command over the blockade to Nute Gunray
After learning about the Neimoidian Nute Gunray's promotion to Viceroy of the Trade Federation, Maul contacted Gunray under the guise of a Dark Jedi Master and promised to make the Neimoidian the sole leader of the Federation. He also promised an unlimited expansion for the Federation's droid army, which they had been unable to obtain permission for by the Galactic Republic. Gunray, who wanted full control of the mostly non-Neimoidian Trade Federation governing body, agreed to the proposal, and the two formed an alliance with one another.
One year later, during a summit on Eriadu, Federation battle droids guarding the directorate opened fire on all of the non-Neimoidian directorate members. After only two Neimoidians, including Gunray, remained alive, Maul aided Gunray in selecting Neimoidian pawns to fill the empty seats, thus giving Gunray full control over the Federation.
Over the next year, Senator Malus Palpatine of Utapau and the planet's queen, Sabé Arcadia, sponsored a bill in the Galactic Senate that proposed the outlawing of the use of slave workers by Republic corporations in non-Republic territories. Gunray and the Federation were outraged by the bill's proposal, as the Federation used slave labor in the Outer Rim Territories. They were further angered after the bill passed the Senate and was signed into law by Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum.
Knowing that Gunray wanted to find a way to overturn the law, Maul again offered his assistance. The two began planning an invasion of a planet in the hopes of forcing the Republic to rescind the law. They chose Utapau, as it had been the primary player in the law's creation and it was relatively unprotected from outside threats. In 22 BBY, the Federation moved blockade forces to Utapau, where Maul oversaw the overall command of the blockade.
Invasion of Utapau
Maul: “The Jedi have arrived earlier than I expected. We must accelerate our plans. Begin landing your troops.”
Gunray: “Is that legal?”
Maul: “I will make it legal.”
— Darth Maul orders Nute Gunray to begin the invasion[src]
Queen Arcadia attempted to negotiate a peaceful resolution to the blockade for the next month, but her efforts proved fruitless as she was unable to convince Maul and Gunray to remove the blockade vessels from orbit. Hoping to force an end to the situation, Chancellor Valorum sent two Jedi ambassadors, Jedi Master Jard Dooku and Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, to the lead blockade vessel to negotiate an end to the conflict.
Gunray contacted Maul, who spent most of the month-long blockade in his private chambers, when the ambassadors arrived and the Federation realized they were Jedi. Maul, having known that the ambassadors were Jedi before they arrived, ordered Maul to allow the Jedi to continue on their way as they were crucial to his plans, despite the protests of Gunray’s adviser, Rune Haako. Because the Jedi arrived earlier than Maul expected, however, he also ordered Gunray to accelerate the Federation plans for a planetary invasion. The preparation for the invasion began, but Gunray defied the Sith Lord’s orders to let the Jedi go and commanded that the Jedi be killed. Dooku and Kenobi were able to evade the Federation droid forces and escape the command ship.
Maul confronted Gunray on the vessel’s bridge upon realizing that the Jedi were attacked and had escaped. The Sith Lord’s guards removed Gunray from the bridge, and Maul temporarily put himself into full command of the operation. As Gunray was removed, a transmission from Queen Arcadia was detected from the planet. The queen informed Maul that she knew the Chancellor’s ambassadors had arrived, asserting her false belief that the blockade would be over because of it. Maul, however, feigned ignorance, telling her he did not know anything about any Jedi ambassadors—a purposeful slip of the tongue; despite Arcadia not mentioning anything about Jedi, Maul chose to reveal that regardless. Haako voiced his concern that it was a mistake, but Maul assured him that everything was proceeding as planned.
The invasion of Utapau began shortly thereafter when Federation drop ships began to descend upon the planet, carrying the droid forces tasked with subjugating the planet. The army’s first target was the city of New Centrif; as the forces prepared to take the city, Maul contacted the droid commander OOM-9, ordering him to let Dooku and Kenobi go if the army encountered them. When the forces finally arrived in the city, Maul once again contacted OOM-9 and ordered the droid to destroy New Centrif’s transmission generator, the last working means of communication on the planet after the Federation had disabled most other transmitters. The Federation went on to level the city and disable the communications tower.
As the droid forces continued onward to the capital city of Ogana, Maul tortured Gunray aboard the Federation command ship as punishment for the Viceroy’s earlier defiance of his orders. The Sith Lord was surprised that Gunray did not break his resolve, as the Neimoidian refused to admit he made a mistake by ordering the Jedi killed. Nevertheless, Maul could sense that Gunray feared him, satisfying the Sith Lord.
Ogana fell under Federation control the next day, and Maul ordered the Federation forces not to let anyone enter or leave the city. The Federation forces captured Queen Arcadia as an injured Gunray arrived on the planet. The Viceroy demanded that she sign a treaty to legitimize the Federation’s occupation of the planet. When the queen refused, she was sentenced to imprisonment in an internment camp. While en route to the camp under droid escort, Arcadia and her party were rescued by Kenobi and Dooku. With the help of the Jedi, the queen was able to escape the planet on her royal starship. Gunray informed Maul of the queen’s escape and admitted that they were unable to locate the vessel, prompting Maul to leave the command ship and seek out the vessel himself.
Search on Tatooine
Kill the Ophuchi. Bring me the queen and the boy unharmed.
—Maul gives the Lettow their orders on Tatooine
With Lilith and a group of Lettow accompanying him, Maul was able to track the queen’s vessel to Tatooine, arriving nearly four days after Arcadia. Maul ordered the Lettow to kill the Ophuchi and bring Queen Arcadia and Annikin Skywalker to him unharmed. He vowed not to let Skywalker escape his grasp after failing to complete his mission two decades earlier.
Only a day later, the Lettow attacked the Ophuchi sanctuary in the Dune Sea, killing seventeen Ophuchi without taking any losses themselves. Lilith was tasked with finding and capturing Skywalker while Maul once again confronted Sarus, who had become the leader of the Ophuchi Clan.
Sarus was ultimately captured by the other Lettow and dragged into a chamber deep in the sanctuary. Sarus and Maul traded insults when Maul confronted him, focused on their encounter twenty years earlier. Maul also tauntingly denied being the Dark Lord of the Sith after Sarus professed his belief that he was, though Sarus believed he was lying. In an attempt to find Skywalker's location, Maul began torturing Sarus in the hopes of forcing the information out of him.
Despite the torture, Sarus refused to give up any information about Skywalker. As Maul continued to assault him, the Sith Lord—as well as Lilith and the Lettow—was engulfed into a bright white light, having been forcibly expelled from the sanctuary through an ancient Bendu ritual by Ussej Padric Bac, the Shaman of the Order of the Whills.
Personality and traits
Fear is my strongest ally. It tells me everything I need to know about a victim.
—Maul taunts Nute Gunray while torturing him
As a Jedi, Darth Maul served the light side of the Force. After falling to the dark side, however, he shed the ways of the Jedi, traveling to Dathomir to become the Dark Lord’s apprentice. It was in the Sith academy on Dathomir that he rid himself of his brown Jedi robes, symbolically throwing away the years of what he came to see as his blind servitude to a dying order of simple and naïve Jedi.
His first mission from the Dark Lord, to kill Skywalker, ended in disappointment, but when the plan to kill Skywalker changed to one of helping him destroy the galaxy, Maul eagerly awaited the day when he would be able to capture Skywalker and aid him in that destiny. It was his goal to do what he could to bring about galactic destruction, vowing to bring destruction for every deed he had performed as a Jedi.
As a Sith Lord, Maul’s central philosophy was that fear was the strongest ally he could have. He believed that all eyes told a story of an individual’s fears. Fear attracted the fearful and, in Maul’s view, those foolish enough to believe that they lived without fear. He saw it as an emotion that brought out the strong, weak, innocent, and corrupt individuals in society. Because of that, fear was his strongest ally, as it told him everything he needed to know about his victims.
Maul willingly allowed himself to be fueled by rage, using his anger and hatred as a tool to enhance his strength. The Dark Lord used these emotions in training Maul. When the Dark Lord first found Darth Maul, he sensed a great deal of rage and hatred within him, something the Dark Lord believed would allow Maul to destroy his adversaries and strike fear into the heart’s of all the enemies of the Order of the Sith Lords.
Along with his darker emotions, Maul enjoyed taunting his victims. He used his beliefs about fear against Gunray while torturing the Federation Viceroy, telling Gunray that he knew the Neimoidian was more cowardly than he would let on. He also spent the first few minutes of his second confrontation with Sarus taunting the Ophuchi leader, goading him with the memories of the duel in the Ophuchi sanctuary two decades earlier.
Powers and abilities
You seem more worried about the Jedi than you are of me, puppet. I am amused.
—Maul mocks Rune Haako
Darth Maul was trained in the ways of the dark side as a member of the Order of the Sith Lords, which followed his apprenticeship in the Jedi Order. The combat skills he gained in both Force-using orders gave him the skills necessary to utilize a lightsaber, a weapon he used during the duel in the Ophuchi sanctuary in 41 BBY; despite his failure in the Ophuchi sanctuary, he killed all Ophuchi he fought against, save for Sarus. His combat abilities were complimented by his anger and hatred, which he used in directing his rage onto his enemies. The Dark Lord’s training helped to further craft his dark emotions as a tool of combat and of torture.
In addition to his combat ability was his skill for commanding his Lettow forces and the Neimoidians who served under him during the blockade and subsequent invasion of Utapau. Some Lettow were wary of the fact that Maul had once been a Jedi, but they followed him anyway, fearing his power over them. The Neimoidians felt the same way; Maul was able to use Nute Gunray’s hidden fear of the Sith Lord to assert himself as the overseer and ultimate commander of the blockade, despite Gunray being the Viceroy of the Trade Federation.
Behind the scenes
Darth Maul is a character in the Alternative Star Wars Saga fan fiction series developed by author Brandon Rhea. The character is based on the canon character of the same name, who first appeared in the 1999 prequel trilogy film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Rhea enjoyed the way George Lucas depicted Maul in the film, believing that the character’s "limited screen time and dialogue really helped with the mystery and evil surrounding him...and he really portrayed a strong image of Lucifer" that Rhea felt worked well in the film.
Despite Rhea’s enjoyment of the canon character, he has made several modifications in his own version of Darth Maul. Rhea chose to give the character more of a backstory, which will continue to be revealed as Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One is released, and he believes that some of the character’s story will surprise people. One noticeable change is that Maul has become more of an antagonist rather than a supporting villain as he was in the canon film.
The character was also briefly included in Star Wars: The Tragedy, a short story written by Rhea that takes place nearly twenty years before The Chosen One. Prior to the short story’s release, Rhea attempted to craft a mystery surrounding in The Chosen One surrounding the existence of the Sith, wanting readers to wonder whether the Sith were extinct or not. Maul had been referred to as a Dark Jedi Master in The Chosen One, but The Tragedy solidified his Sith ties by presenting him as the new apprentice of the Dark Lord of the Sith after the murder of Darth Plagueis. After the short story’s release, Rhea also confirmed that Darth Maul is not the Dark Lord of the Sith, another mystery he had presented to readers for months before the story’s release.
Critical reaction to the character has been overwhelmingly positive. Readers on TheStarWarsRP.Com role-playing website enjoyed the expanded presence of Darth Maul in The Chosen One, suggesting that the intensity that the character brings to the novel and his expanded role as an antagonist created a better iteration of the character than was portrayed in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Maul’s inclusion in The Tragedy was also well received.
Readers on Star Wars Fanon, the Star Wars wiki of fan invention, also praised Rhea’s version of the character. Dalton Wylind, a fan fiction author who reviewed The Tragedy for the official Star Wars Fanon blog, said that the appearance of Maul in the story was "very memorable." Upon the release of chapter fourteen of The Chosen One, fan fiction author I'm the Chosen One praised both Lilith and Maul’s "twisted and demented emotions of pleasure and anger," which rounded out his experience reading the chapter as they "brought release and enjoyment to an otherwise dark part of the book."
On April 21, 2010, Rhea announced that Darth Maul would appear in an upcoming Alternative Saga story called Beauty That Belies a Dark Nature. Written by Rhea, the story will put a focus on the Guardians of Lettow, with Maul and Lilith making appearances. Like The Tragedy, the story will be written as a character exploration. No release date has been set.
- Star Wars: The Tragedy
- Beauty That Belies a Dark Nature
- Star Wars: Episode I - The Chosen One (First appearance)