With the recent announcement at Star Wars Celebration Chicago that the upcoming season of Star Wars The Clone Wars will include the return of Darth Maul, you may be wondering: What has happened to Darth Maul?
The last time we saw Darth Maul on-screen was when Darth Sidious came to Mandalore to deal with the growing power of Darth Maul on Mandalore in “The Lawless” episode of Star Wars The Clone Wars, killing Savage Oppress and capturing Maul. How does Darth Maul get from being captured to engaging in the Siege of Mandalore?
The answer can be found in Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, a comic book that was published in four separate issues in the summer of 2014 and released all together in October 2014, as part of the Clone Wars Legacy. At the time, since Star Wars The Clone Wars (SWTCW) was no longer being produced, four separate episodes were turned into comic book issues.
Boosted from Prison & Reunited with the Darksaber
Following his imprisonment by Darth Sidious, Mandalorian commandos boost Maul from prison and reunite him with the darksaber, as they still support him and regard him as their leader. However, this prison break was not totally done without the permission of Darth Sidious, as this fell right into his plans for Darth Maul.
Throughout Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, Darth Maul seems to be caught between two larger powers. On one side is Darth Sidious, with Mother Talzin on the other side, with Darth Sidious hoping to lure Mother Talzin out into the open, where he hopes to vanquish her.
There is a lot of action in Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, with an exciting battle taking place in each issue. We get to see Separatist droids versus Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective forces of Mandalorians, Black Sun, and the Pikes, as well as Dathomirian Zabraks getting in on the battles, and even Jedi and clone troopers.
At one point, Darth Maul succeeds in capturing Count Dooku and uses him to corporealize Mother Talzin, yielding an awesome battle of Mother Talzin and Darth Maul versus Count Dooku, Darth Sidious, and General Grievous.
Backstory of Mother Talzin, Darth Maul, & Darth Sidious
Embedded within Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir is the backstory between Mother Talzin and Darth Sidious. While Darth Maul has Count Dooku as a prisoner, Mother Talzin tells Dooku about her having been deceived by Sidious: “Long ago, Sidious came to me on Dathomir. We exchanged secret wisdom – mingled Dark Side abilities with Nightsister Magicks. He promised to make me his right hand, but instead, he stole what was most dear to me…my own flesh and blood. My son!” She continued: “When Sidious realized Maul’s potential, he took him from me and trained him as a Sith. When he was no longer useful, Maul was left to die.”
Clearly, Mother Talzin and Darth Sidious are both aware of each other’s powers and seek to get rid of the other: Mother Talzin for having been betrayed and for Darth Maul, her son(!), having been taken from her, while Darth Sidious wants to eliminate those whose power threatens his from taking over the galaxy. In the end, Darth Sidious succeeds in eliminating Mother Talzin, even if Darth Maul gets away.
Darth Maul Loses the Shadow Collective
Due to Darth Sidious’s attacks on the Shadow Collective, both collectively and, towards the end, individually, Darth Maul is not able to hold onto it. While he presumably still has some sort of power with the Mandalorians, the Pikes and Black Sun depart from the Shadow Collective.
Looking Forward to the Siege of Mandalore
Since we’re not shown the full extent of the assault on Mandalore, nor do we know how many Mandalorian soldiers are remaining, let alone the morale of the Mandalorians with regard to Darth Maul, I sure hope we have some follow-up in this upcoming season of Star Wars The Clone Wars. While we see Darth Maul still alive and brandishing the darksaber, we don’t know the shape of the Mandalorian soldiers, nor their relationship with Darth Maul. Another thing I’m curious to see is if Chancellor Palpatine orders the attack on Mandalore to seize further power in the galaxy.
I highly recommend reading Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir, not only because I greatly enjoy Star Wars The Clone Wars, but also because of its easy readability, doesn’t take a long time to go through, and is quite interesting to see new dimensions of Maul’s strengths and weaknesses in moving Maul’s story along.