This year marks the 40th anniversary since the release of the original STAR WARS film on May 25th, 1977. This month, writers at ComicsVerse will be bringing you our insights on all things STAR WARS as we look at where the series has been and where it will take us next in the galaxy far, far away…

Star Wars is undoubtedly one of the greatest film phenomena to have ever existed. After eight films and 3 confirmed on the way, the franchise shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the entire franchise received a shot in the arm when George Lucas sold LucasFilm Ltd., who owns the Star Wars franchise, to Disney in 2012.

Since then, the Star Wars anthology now includes most of the comic book series as official canon. This means everything in the comics about the iconic Darth Maul character from STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE is now included. Fans shall rejoice because we finally get the full Darth Maul story.

Darth Maul Short Stint in the Films

The apprentice to The Sith before Darth Vader received 15 minutes worth of screen time, three lines, and a quick death. However, Darth Maul’s presences as an antagonist were the best part of the film. So much, in fact, Darth Maul survives his fatal encounter with Obi-Wan Kenobi to have his own stories in the comics.

However, before Marvel and Disney decided to accept all of the Star Wars canon surrounding Darth Maul, he officially existed in 15 minutes worth of film. Which if you think about it, it sucks considering how important his epic battle with Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon was.

Darth Maul fighting Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE
Darth Maul fighting Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi in STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE

In just 15 minutes of screen time, Darth Maul became an iconic villain in Star Wars. Visually, his red skin, black facial tattoos, devilish horns, and his double-edged red light-saber created an iconic look. Darth Maul’s ominous presence captivates what the dark side of The Force means in Star Wars. Fear, anger, and rage were personified into a murderous being. As a living embodiment of the dark side, Darth Maul ruthlessly killed Qui-Gon Jinn and was a threat to the Jedi.

READ: Want to know about the most recent STAR WARS Comic? Click Here!

In the prequels, Darth Maul’s presence cleverly contrasts his darkness with Obi-Wan Kenobi’s light in their climatic battle. Just by watching THE PHANTOM MENACE, you couldn’t tell that Darth Maul is more than a mere antagonist. Aside from his battles with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, Darth Maul is a complex character in his own right. As one of the best characters to come out the prequels, it is imperative for Darth Maul’s canon to be included in the Star Wars anthology.

Animated Darth Maul Survives, In Television

Everyone that loves Star Wars knows the fate of Darth Maul. However, all fans aren’t keen on his survival in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS and in STAR WARS REBELS. Darth Maul survives using the dark side of The Force after being cut down and falling off an air shaft. Afterward, he survives on Lotho Minor where he deteriorates into madness being left to die.

He was rescued by his brother Savage Opress and returned home where he is healed and given cybernetics legs by his mother, Talzin. Afterward, Darth Maul goes on an arc to hunt down Darth Sidious, also known as Emperor Palpatine, and Obi-Wan Kenobi because they were the ones who left him in despair.

Darth Maul's new body in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS TV series.
Darth Maul’s new body in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS TV series.

Unlike the calculating dark Force users in the films, such as Darth Vader and Darth Sidious, Maul is different. He is filled with consistent rage. This is a response to the direct teachings of his former master Darth Sidious. Darth Maul’s sole purpose is to seek revenge on all of those who wronged him and kill the Jedi. He uses the dark side of The Force to seek revenge against Obi-Wan for cutting him in half in their battle. Throughout STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS and STAR WARS REBELS, Maul battles Kenobi only to fail to kill him. Darth Maul even goes to extraordinaire lengths destroy Obi-Wan’s life killing his lover, the Duchess Satine of Kalevala.

READ: Want to read the review of THE STARS AWAKENS by ComicsVerse? Click Here!

In his own right, Darth Maul becomes an antagonist like Darth Vader. He is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s counterpart where Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s. At the end of THE PHANTOM MENACE, their battle leaves them forever linked with one another. Obi-Wan Kenobi representing a clear view of the Jedi and the light side, and Darth Maul representing the Sith Lords and the dark side.

The Making of a Comics Villain: The Darth Maul Story

In the films and the animated series’, Darth Maul is not always a raging villain. STAR WARS LEGENDS: DARTH MAUL gave him the back story he was missing. Like Anakin Skywalker, he was once an innocent boy plucked from obscurity for another purpose. Before he became Darth Maul, he was born on Dathomir to Mother Talzin, the leader of the Nightsisters.

On Dathomir, his mother was the leader of sorceresses that used the dark side of The Force like magic. Maul was supposed to become a Nightbrother, a slave to be used and discarded by the Nightsisters, but Mother Talzin has other plans. She planned to become an apprentice to Darth Sidious in hoping she will take him with her. Instead, Darth Sidious kidnapped Maul because of his potential with The Force and made him his apprentice.

Darth Maul Story

Maul suffered a fate worse than being a slave of the Nightsisters on Dathomir. As an apprentice to Darth Sidious, he is tortured to the dark side as a child. Dark Sidious tortured Maul into feeling fear, anger, hatred, and rage to harness his power. Battle droids would beat him, and Darth Sidious use to leave him for dead training. His brutal upbringing shaped him as a dark Force user filling him with endless rage and hatred.

READ: What to know what Luke meant in the STAR WARS: LAST JEDI trailer? Click here!

The non-canon version of Darth Maul in the STAR WARS LEGENDS series is darker than anything in canon. We have a better understanding of Maul as a character that was one dimensional in the film. The films often portrays the training of dark Force user as benign. We now know that their train is more severe.

Darth Maul: The Hero of the Dark Side  

Darth Maul is one of the darkest characters in the entire Star Wars Canon.  He survives his film death and rages through the Star Wars animated series, and comics. With one goal in mind, Darth Maul wants to hunt down and kill the Jedi, and especially Obi-Wan Kenobi. At the core of Darth Maul’s survival through three platforms there is always one thing in mind. Being the hero for the Sith Lords and killing the Jedi.

Darth Maul's final battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi in STAR WARS REBELS.
Darth Maul’s final battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi in STAR WARS REBELS.

With that said, we should take into context that Darth Maul is not merely deranged, but he believes that he is justified in his actions. Given his tumultuous background, it is fair to say he will act in reason — his reason. This is because Darth Maul believes he is the hero in his story.

Similar to Anakin Skywalker at the end of STAR WARS: REVENGE OF THE SITH, Darth Maul believes that the Jedi are evil. So no matter how wrong his actions may seem to us, in his mind he thinks he is the hero. Hopefully with his new arc in the comics, STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL written by Cullen Bunn, he will find his own redemption similar to Darth Vader’s.

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