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Darth Maul

Darth Maul is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe and the main villain in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. He was portrayed by Ray Park and voiced by Peter Serafinowicz. He was the first (known) apprentice of the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and was killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi.

In the Star Wars films Edit

During the events of Episode I: the Phantom Menace, Maul's Sith master, Darth Sidious, sends him to capture Queen Padmé Amidala and eliminate the two Jedi, Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maul fails in this task on Tatooine.

In a vicious duel during the film's climactic battle scene, Maul fends off both of his Jedi opponents using his double-bladed lightsaber. After separating the Jedi Master from his Padawan, Maul mortally wounds Qui-Gon. He then challenges Obi-Wan. The Padawan, enraged at his master's death, strikes out at Maul with a furious assault, during which he cuts the Sith's lightsaber in half. However, Maul holds his ground, and eventually Force-pushes Obi-Wan into a pit. He taunts the Padawan, who dangles helplessly by a ledge, and kicks his lightsaber down the shaft. However, Obi-Wan calms himself and connects with the Force. He makes a spectacular leap out of the shaft and Force-guides Qui-Gon's lightsaber into his own hands, and cuts the astounded Maul in two as he stands with his mouth open. Maul barely has time to grimace as his body tumbles down the shaft in two pieces. In the original theatrical release, there was a second film reel, released in a very small quantity, in which Darth Maul is not cut in half, and his body simply falls down the shaft.[1]

His death proves to be only a minor setback for Sidious, who soon replaces him with an even more powerful apprentice, Darth Tyranus.

Expanded Universe Edit

Aspects of Maul's character biography are revealed in the Star Wars Expanded Universe of novels, comic books, and video games.

It is often reported that Darth Maul's pre-Sith name is "Khameir Sarin", but this is largely dismissed as an unsubstantiated fabrication.[2]

As portrayed in the novel Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, Maul is kidnapped from his Jedi training by Sidious at an early age. Sidious orders Maul to forget what he had learned from the Jedi, and indoctrinates him in the ways of the dark side of the Force from youth. Maul has no memories of his homeworld of Iridonia, and is incapable of emotion aside from bloodlust and rage. Sidious molds him into an implacable killing machine, severely punishing any show of fear or mercy. Marked by Sith tattoos that cover his entire body, Maul is described as the ultimate tool of the dark side.

Sidious abandoned Maul on an isolated Outer Rim world, forcing him to survive alone while being hunted by hordes of assassin droids. After a month's time, his master returns and challenges him to a duel, which the weakened Maul quickly loses. Sidious then tells Maul that he has failed and is soon to be replaced. Overwhelmed by hatred, Maul nearly defeats his master. When Maul's emotions are finally spent, he prepares to die, only to be met with Sidious's satisfaction. By wanting to kill his own master, Maul has in fact passed the final test. His master proclaims him Darth Maul, Dark Lord of the Sith, and takes him to a new home on Coruscant.

According to Star Wars Insider #62, Darth Maul is trained by Darth Sidious to be a master of lightsaber combat. Maul combines his swordsmanship with abnormal acrobatic and hand to hand combat skills, making him a formidable opponent. When fighting multiple opponents, Maul extends the second blade of his double-bladed lightsaber. Maul constructed this weapon himself, using ancient plans stored within one of the Sith Holocrons.

His master gives Maul the funds and schematics he needs and provides him with a secret facility on Coruscant in which to work. There, Maul constructs his signature speeder bike, Bloodfin, and his Dark Eye probe droids. Sidious also gives Maul a powerful transport — a Sith Infiltrator called Scimitar, which features a cloaking shield generator.

Maul initially goes on countless missions of terror for his master, killing politicians, crime bosses, merchants, and warlords. His victims include Trade Federation lackey Hath Monchar, the Black Sun leader Alexi Garyn, the Nightsister Mighella, and all of the Black Sun vigos and their bodyguards.

As depicted in the story "Resurrection" from 2001's Star Wars Tales #9, a dark side splinter group called the Prophets of the Dark Side resurrects Maul at about the same time that Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope takes place. Darth Vader is chosen as the resurrected Maul's first target; the cultists believe that Vader retains too much of his former self, Anakin Skywalker, to effectively serve the Empire. Vader ultimately wins the resulting duel, however, by stabbing his lightsaber through himself into Maul, who is standing behind him.

The story "Phantom Menaces" in Star Wars Tales #17 depicts a post-Return of the Jedi Luke Skywalker visiting Maul's home planet of Iridonia in an ambassadorial capacity. In his guest quarters, Luke is attacked by a ghostly but evidently solid apparition of Darth Maul, which fades away after a short fight. He is informed by his hosts that it is supposedly the ghost of their infamous countryman. Doubting this explanation, Luke hunts for the source of the phenomenon. He is confronted by the spirit once more before finding a hidden laboratory where the mad Iridonian scientist Drell Kahmf is tending to a cyber-wired brain suspended in a vat of liquid. Kahmf reveals that he regards Maul as "Iridonia's greatest champion" and had salvaged the Sith's brain, resuscitated it, and installed it in his lab with a device granting it the ability to generate a "solid-state hologram" projection of its former body. Luke declares that "artificially keeping him alive is causing an unnatural disturbance in the Force" and scares Kahmf away before switching off the life support system sustaining Maul's disembodied brain.

In 2005, Dark Horse Comics published Star Wars: Visionaries, a compilation of comic art short stories written and illustrated by members of the Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith art department and ILM artists.

CyborgDarthMaul

In another version, Darth Maul survives to replace his severed lower body with droid legs.

The opening story, "Old Wounds" by Aaron McBride, is set three years after the events of Revenge of the Sith, and begins with Owen Lars trying to teach new words to a toddler-age Luke Skywalker. They see a strange figure, who is actually (then unknown to the reader and Lars family) Darth Maul, on the horizon running towards the Lars homestead. Lars instructs his wife Beru to bring him his rifle and take the boy inside. Maul dodges warning shots with ease and uses the Force to disarm Lars before smashing the weapon over his head. Standing on triple-jointed droid legs and concealed by a dark hood, Maul calls out through the Force to an unseen enemy. He claims to have been tracking this adversary for years, just missing him by two days on Kamino, Geonosis, and Mustafar. He had then killed witnesses on Polis Massa before finally gaining crucial information on Mos Espa from an aged Watto, whom he beheads for his greed. The creature declares that he knows threatening Luke would bring his adversary out into the open, to which the hidden voice finally asks through the Force, "Does Palpatine know?" Maul replies, "No. There is no Palpatine. No Empire. No Jedi. There is no Light. No Dark... Just you and I here now." At this point, Obi-Wan Kenobi bursts out from the sand. The dark figure casts off his hood and reveals himself to the reader and Lars family to be Darth Maul, his severed lower body replaced by a pair of large cybernetic legs and abdomen, and his cranial horns having grown, crown-like, to over three times their original length. The two engage in furious combat, in which Maul loses an arm and four horns before being held at Kenobi's mercy. With his lightsaber hilt to Maul's forehead and his finger on the blade-ignition button, Kenobi hesitates to execute his helpless opponent, but has the decision taken out of his hands when the revived Lars blows the Sith's head apart with his damaged rifle.

In popular cultureEdit

Darth Maul is one half of the inspiration behind Maul Stanley, a parody hybrid combining elements of Kiss vocalist Paul Stanley with elements of Darth Maul. Maul Stanley wears a hooded black cloak reminiscent of Darth Maul, spandex pants and platform boots reminiscent of Paul Stanley and black and red face make-up evocative of them both. He is mostly known for conducting irreverent interviews with rock stars and sci-fi personalities and was also featured on the Triumph the Insult Comic Dog DVD.[3]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) - Alternate versions
  2. Darth Maul - Wookieepedia, the Star Wars Wiki
  3. "KISS Thanks Star Wars Rocks". StarWars.com official blog. http://starwarsblog.starwars.com/index.php/2008/08/06/kiss-thinks-star-wars-rocks/. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 

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