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(Darth) Maul

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/darth_maul_sw_1288.jpg
"You cannot imagine the depths I would
go to stay alive."

Species: Zabrak (Dathomirian)

Homeworld: Dathomir

Portrayed by: Ray Park
Voiced by: Peter Serafinowicz (The Phantom Menace), Sam Witwer (The Clone Wars, Rebels, Solo)
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Appearances: Darth Maul | Age of Republic | The Phantom Menace | The Clone Wars | Son of Dathomir | Ahsoka | Solo | Rebels

"I was apprentice to the most powerful being in the galaxy once. I was destined to become… so much more."

Darth Maul was a Force-sensitive Dathomirian Zabrak warrior who was skilled with a double-bladed lightsaber and served as the first Sith apprentice of Darth Sidious. Although seemingly killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi during the Battle of Naboo, his hatred for the young Jedi proved strong enough for him to survive his injuries and seek vengeance against Kenobi throughout the Clone Wars. Sidious would later confront Maul again on multiple occasions, ultimately ensuring that Maul's power grabs would never pose a threat to the nascent Empire he was building. However, Maul survived long enough to see the early days of the Imperial era.

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    A-D 
  • Abusive Parents: Darth Sidious raised him as a Tyke-Bomb. The effects of Sidious's "parenting" are obvious in Maul's sociopathic personality.
  • Affably Evil: While he's Faux Affably Evil at best towards everyone else, his affability towards Savage and Ezra appears to be genuine.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In Rebels, his death is presented in such a light — even the man who killed him feels a degree of sympathy for him.
  • All for Nothing: In the end, Maul's quest for power and revenge ends with him utterly diminished and dying in the arms of his mortal enemy. All Maul truly accomplished was spreading suffering, killing many innocent people, and losing his family, culminating in his own pitiful, tragic end.
    • Sam Witwer and Freddie Prinze Jr. compare him to Sisyphus, doomed forever to only almost get anything he wants.
  • Anti-Villain: Defied it in "The Lawless", when Obi-Wan, believing him to be a Type II, attempts to appeal to Maul's inner good by claiming that he understands him as having no choice in joining the Dark Side. Maul responds by demonstrating how wrong Obi-Wan is in that same scene when he kills Satine and watches gleefully as Obi-Wan sinks into a Heroic BSoD. That said, Rebels does explore just how much of a miserable, lonely wreck he is.
  • The Apprentice: Maul was Darth Sidious' Sith apprentice.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • He considers Obi-Wan to be this — and granted, losing half of his body (and the... less than pleasant events that came after that) gave him plenty of reasons to hate the guy. Maul being the one who killed both Qui-Gon and Satine makes him Obi-Wan's most personal enemy as well (with the obvious exception of Vader). In their final confrontation in Rebels, however, as Maul lies dying, he seems to make peace with Obi-Wan, content with the end of their feud and with Obi-Wan's assurances that the Chosen One will one day bring about the end of the Sith and avenge Maul's suffering.
    • Eventually, Sidious appears to displace Obi-Wan as Maul's primary target, as demonstrated in Son of Dathomir and Rebels. Although, Maul has far from abandoned his feud with Obi-Wan and the Jedi.
  • Artificial Limbs: He first gains a crude, spider-like apparatus to replace his lower body; then a pair of sleeker, four-toed legs; and finally a set of more human-like legs.
  • Ascended Extra: Maul was featured in The Phantom Menace as a character with a small amount of lines and characterization along with ten minutes of screen time. In The Clone Wars, Maul returns and receives a fleshed out expanded role in addition to becoming a major recurring antagonist for the rest of the installment and the Canon.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: After he defeats and kills Vizsla, the Death Watch (save for Bo-Katan and the Nite Owls) immediately accepts Maul as their new leader. It's also how he took control of the Black Sun (i.e. having his brother Savage kill their leaders) and, presumably, Crimson Dawn.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: All Sith Lords come with this, and "Darth Maul" is no exception. What's notable, though, is that unlike other Sith Lords, "Maul" isn't a part of the title Darth Sidious bestowed upon him — it's his birth name.
  • Ax-Crazy: Maul was always a Blood Knight, but since his return, he's seemingly become so bloodthirsty that he's willing to butcher dozens of innocent people just to get Obi-Wan's attention.
  • Backhanded Apology: He apologizes to Kanan about blinding the Jedi, but Kanan vocalizes that it's a hollow gesture considering that Maul was trying to kill him. Maul then drops any pretense of being apologetic by following up on his original intent.
  • Badass Baritone: In The Phantom Menace, but averted thereafter.
  • Badass Boast:
    • Darth Maul gives a terrifying one in his message to Obi-Wan in "Revenge".
      Maul: There will be more innocent blood on your hands, Kenobi, unless you come here. Face me. Come alone and if you do not, this world... (decapitates a group of hostages in one swing) will burn.
    • He delivers one in "Eminence".
      Maul: Our combined strength will be rewarded. Mandalore will be yours, and Kenobi, this Sith pretender Dooku, and all our enemies... will fall.
  • Bad Boss:
    • After recruiting several of Hondo's men, Maul kills one of them in front of Hondo just to make a point.
    • During his business partnership with the Crimson Dawn, Dryden Vos is terribly afraid of failing him. Following Dryden's death and Qi'ra replacing him, Maul threatens her to meet him at Dathomir by igniting his lightsaber.
  • Badass in Charge: Of the Shadow Collective (the criminal army he assembled in "Eminence"). In "Shades of Reason", he becomes one to the Death Watch, and essentially all of Mandalore as well, after he kills Pre Vizsla. As leader of the Crimson Dawn, Maul's reputation speaks for itself, as even the fearsome Dryden Vos fears incurring Maul's wrath.
  • Bald of Evil: With a crown of spikes atop his head to boot.
  • Bastard Understudy: All Sith apprentices are this by definition. Given his initial loyalty to Sidious, it's fair to say that Maul has more the "understudy" than the "bastard" in him.
  • Being Evil Sucks: Even before he went after Qui-Gon, he realized that killing Jedi only left him feeling empty and angrier than before. Throughout his entire life, the Dark Side drives him to ruin every good thing he had in a never ending quest for vengeance with no reward at the end and leaves him unable to form a meaningful connection to anyone or anything. He doesn't know how to do anything other than possess and hate and it eats away at him until the only peace he ever attains is when he dies and learns that someone will take revenge on Sidious for making him this way.
  • Berserk Button:
  • Best Served Cold: When Obi-Wan escapes from him, he realizes that after waiting a decade for vengeance, he really can afford to wait a bit longer. According to both Sam Witwer and Dave Filoni, he also realized that merely torturing Obi-Wan to death isn't nearly satisfying enough.
  • Big Bad Duumvirate: He and Pre Vizsla form one in "Eminence", although he intended to overthrow him from the start. In "Shades of Reason", Maul kills Vizsla and usurps his command of Death Watch.
  • Big-Bad Ensemble: He wasn't done with Ezra after the Season 2 finale, and Maul was the other major threat the heroes had to face in Season 3 besides the Empire.
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • In The Clone Wars. He tries really hard to build himself a substantial army and base and become a menace to the Galaxy, but doing so would have caused problems for Sidious, who obviously doesn't waste time putting Maul in his place.
    • Downplayed in Rebels. While he's at it again with his desire to fight Vader and the Inquisitors, his goal at that point is to simply undermine Palpatine in whatever way he can as opposed to trying to rule the Galaxy. That being said, he still vastly overestimates his own abilities and is killed rather easily by Obi-Wan after finally tracking him down on Tatooine.
  • Big Brother Mentor: He teaches his brother Savage Opress, and often refers to him as only "apprentice". In "The Lawless", however, he's shown to have cared about him when Sidious kills him.
  • Black Cloak: A staple for any Sith Lord, which he removes for his lightsaber duel with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan on Naboo.
  • Blatant Lies: When Sidious shows up at his doorstep he tries to pretend that he's still loyal to him, but Sidious sees right through it.
  • Blood Knight: Maul was extremely eager to reveal the survival of the Sith to the Jedi, and if his Combat Aestheticist body language is any indication, he really enjoyed his duel with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan. In The Clone Wars, he is much more pragmatic, although his bloodthirsty nature still lends itself to an enjoyment of battle. And it's more apparent than ever in Rebels, as he wears a look of pure happiness upon stumbling on a battlefield between 3 Inquisitors and 3 Jedi, before smiling and saying "What fun! What fun!" And then he engages all the Inquisitors by himself.
  • Body Horror: When Savage finds him, he looks horrible: His lower body has been replaced with a crude, spider-like apparatus, his horns have tripled in length, veins are visible all over his body, and he's lost an unhealthy amount of weight. Having his new legs fashioned is no less horrific; the wires and cables fuse themselves to his spine, then the scrap metal is heated, with the legs themselves being forged from the molten metal. Judging from Maul's reactions, the procedure was very painful.
  • Bookends: The first and last encounters between Maul and Obi-Wan take place on Tatooine, even if Maul was actually fighting Qui-Gon during their first "meeting".
    • The move Maul used to kill Qui-Gon (a combo of blocking a light saber with the middle of his Duel saber, stunning his opponent with a chin strike from said cross guard, and finishing off his opponent) fails when he tries it again on Obi-Wan in their final Duel. While Qui-gon failed to cut through the saber, Obi-Wan pulls it off and fatally wounds Maul.
  • Brains and Brawn: The brains to Savage's brawn, though he's more than capable of handling himself in a fight.
  • Breakout Villain: Easily the most popular and recognizable character to debut in the Prequel Trilogy, and years later was brought back to become a major antagonist in The Clone Wars, Rebels and Solo.
  • Break the Badass: He's terrified when he realizes that Sidious has arrived in "The Lawless".
  • The Brute: Unlike Sidious's other apprentices, Maul was raised as little more than a blunt instrument for his master.
  • The Cameo: He appears in Solo, having a conversation with Qi'ra following the death of Dryden Vos.
  • Cane Fu: In his initial exchange with the Fifth Brother, Maul uses his walking stick alongside his lightsaber to thump the Inquisitor a good one.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: If his appearance isn't enough, in The Clone Wars, Maul openly presents himself as a vicious killer, describes himself as a "crime lord", and waxes poetic about the power of The Dark Side. This is not remotely Played for Laughs; quite a bit of this only enhances what a terrifying individual Maul is. In a more sardonic fashion, Maul acts almost flattered when Satine compares him to the "corrupt and vile" Almec.
  • Challenging the Chief: He challenges Vizsla to decide who shall lead Death Watch and Mandalore. Maul wins.
  • Character Development:
    • Maul has come a long way across his appearances in the Canon; he started out as little more than a blunt instrument and a Flat Character in The Phantom Menace, but after being maimed and spending years descending into insanity, he builds himself back up into a cunning planner and tactician in The Clone Wars. By the time he appears in Rebels, he's lost everything he's ever valued and become Older and Wiser, although he's still as vengeful and brutal as he ever was when push comes to shove.
    • At the end of "Twin Suns," his death scene demonstrates his development particularly well, as he accepts and asks for comfort from someone whom he once despised above everything and everyone else. This one moment shows that Maul understands that it was Sidious who truly deprived him of everything long before he ever battled with Obi-Wan, and that Obi-Wan has suffered at the hands of the Sith just as much as he has.
  • The Chessmaster: He begins showing skill in this department in "Eminence", and makes an even better showing in "Shades of Reason", cunningly manipulating the Death Watch, various criminal syndicates, and the population of Mandalore to serve his goals.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: A very dark version of this trope. When Savage finds him in "Brothers", Maul is ranting incoherently, randomly spouting bits of Sith philosophy and speaking as if Sidious were present.
  • Combat Aestheticist: In The Phantom Menace, Maul's fighting style features a lot of flashy acrobatics and spinning. Averted in The Clone Wars, where he's more straightforward and brutal. Fifteen years later during the time of Rebels, he's back to his flashy acrobatics and spinning on an axis.
  • Combat Pragmatist: He brings backup in the form of Savage in his confrontation with Obi-Wan on Raydonia, and is more than willing to fight dirty to defeat the equally pragmatic Vizsla. After Kanan beats him in a fight, Maul throws him out of an airlock in their next meeting rather than try it again.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • His design (elongated horns, shirtless, circlet around the neck, cybernetic lower body) seems to be a homage to his appearance in the non-canon comic "Old Wounds". Once he switches to a pair of cybernetic legs, he actually becomes nearly identical to that design: only his horns were returned to their normal length.
    • The shot of Maul drawing his lightsaber just before the Raydonia massacre is very reminiscent of Vader slaughtering younglings in Revenge of the Sith.
  • Cool Sword: There is no denying that the double-bladed lightsaber is very cool. During his takeover of Mandalore, Maul started using the Darksaber, which is a lightsaber with a black blade that resembles a katana.
  • The Corrupter: Towards Ezra in Rebels. Hey, he learned from the best!
  • Cyborg: He gains cybernetic replacements for his lost legs.
  • Dark Is Evil: He explicitly speaks of the power of the Dark Side during his confrontation with Obi-Wan in "The Lawless".
  • Darth Vader Clone: He was the first of the Prequel Trilogy's three "proto-Vaders"; an utterly remorseless Heavy who kills the film's mentor figure and enforces Darth Sidious' will. He breaks out of this mold in The Clone Wars, becoming a fully-developed character in his own right. That said, Maul still shares many of Vader's character traits, including his wrath and ability to love, and his interactions with Ezra are much like Vader's overtures towards Luke. Maul becomes a cyborg Sith who dies tragically just like Vader.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • He gets a good one in while interrogating Oruba the Hutt, which serves to make him more menacing. He also has this hilarious expression that just screams, "Really? That's the best you got?"
      Darth Maul: So the only thing you can tell me is that I will find Jabba... at Jabba's palace?
    • Also while talking with Satine:
      Maul: Where are the other leaders of your people?
      Satine: You should already know. They either sided with Vizsla or have been killed. There's no one left but Almec and I, but he's as corrupt and vile as you are.
      Maul: Really? Thank you for being so cooperative.
    • In Rebels, he refers to Kanan, Ezra and Ahsoka as "two Jedi and a part timer".
    • He later gets a good one in at Kanan's expense in "The Holocrons of Fate" before trying to kill him:
      Maul: Truthfully, I was never trying to blind you.
      Kanan: No, you were just trying to kill me.
      Maul: Well, if at first you don't succeed... try, try again! [ejects Kanan into space]
  • Death Glare: He's very good at this, with his glares at the Jedi in The Phantom Menace, at Savage in "Brothers", and at Darth Sidious in "The Lawless" being the highlights.
  • Death Seeker: In their final confrontation on Tatooine, Obi-Wan grants him his wish for a warrior's death.
  • Determinator: Maul refused to allow being cut in half to kill him, with his willpower, hatred for Obi-Wan and Sidious, and the power of the Dark Side keeping him alive for twelve long years before Savage rescued him. Maul's quest for revenge further demonstrates his determination; despite many setbacks and losses, he absolutely refuses to give up. Even when he's lost everything, Maul won't let up until he can face Obi-Wan again one last time.
    Obi-Wan: Maul is an old foe, and a persistent one.
    • After the utter destruction of the Shadow Collective, he somehow manages to become the head of another mighty criminal organization, the Crimson Dawn - though whether he assembled it himself from scratch or killed the previous leader like he did before remains to be seen.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: He attempts to become one in The Clone Wars, even referring to himself and Savage as "crime lords". Maul's first attempt to build a criminal enterprise blows up in his face (partly because Hondo is much nicer to his men than most criminals), but with the assistance of Pre Vizsla and Death Watch, Maul manages to co-opt the Black Suns and the Hutt Cartel, as well as recruit the Pyke family (a group of spice dealers), forming them into a criminal empire. Even after Sidious captures him and imprisons him on Stygeon, the Shadow Collective continues to remain loyal to Maul (with the exception of the Hutt Cartel, which deserted) and busts him out. However, it partially falls apart when General Grievous leads an army to Zanbar, annihilates the base there and forces Maul to retreat. The Mandalorian members are willing to fight to the end during the Battle of Ord Mantell while the Black Sun and Pykes are a little more reluctant. It comes crashing down when the Separatists launch a three-front attack against the Shadow Collective. Upon getting no help from Maul, the Black Sun and Pykes promptly desert, while the Nightbrothers and Mother Talzin are slain. Maul's appearance in Solo shows that he didn't give up on his criminal ambitions; after the rise of the Empire, he established the Crimson Dawn syndicate, acting as a puppetmaster to the likes of Dryden Vos and Qi'ra. However, given that Maul wound up stranded on Malachor some years later and is never seen to call upon the syndicate's resources in Rebels, it's likely that, in the interim, Crimson Dawn either fell apart, or Maul lost control of it.
  • Diabolus ex Machina: Maul is a menace throughout The Clone Wars and Rebels, but he doesn't actually have that much impact on the main plot and never rises above the status of Big Bad Wannabe; however, he successfully makes bad situations much worse in most of his appearances and manages to inflict some nasty personal wounds on several prominent characters, whether it is killing innocents to torture Obi-Wan, making several nearly successful efforts to turn Ezra Bridger to the Dark Side or otherwise distract him from his duties to the Rebellion, or blinding Kanan Jarrus on Malachor.
  • Dies Wide Open: After being struck down by Obi-Wan in Rebels, Maul's eyes remain open. Obi-Wan has to close them.
  • Difficult, but Awesome: Anyone who wields a double-bladed lightsaber without cutting themselves in half, let alone at all, is either a Sith wannabe loonie with zero experience or a top-tier actual badass. Unfortunately for the heroes, Maul is a badass.
  • Disney Villain Death: He falls down a deep shaft after Obi-Wan cuts him in half. Surprisingly, he manages to live through that, allowing this to double as a regular Disney Death.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul": Following his defeat on Naboo and his subsequent falling-out with Palpatine, Maul drops the "Darth" title and prefers to be called only by his birth name. However, erroneously being called "Darth Maul" is not a Berserk Button for him.
    Maul: Formely Darth. Now just Maul.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!:
    • While he's always sadistic, and openly despises the man, Maul only really loses his temper around Obi-Wan once: when Kenobi dared to try and sympathise with him.
    • Ironically, he ends up averting this at the moment of his death, in which he asks Obi-Wan about Luke being the Chosen One who will one day avenge them both. This is the closest to asking for sympathy from Obi-Wan that Maul ever reaches.
  • Double Weapon: His Weapon of Choice in The Phantom Menace is a double-bladed lightsaber. After resurfacing in The Clone Wars, he uses only the remaining half of his weapon. By Rebels, he's reassembled a double-bladed lightsaber, which is implied to have been made from the spinning lightsaber of an Inquisitor he killed offscreen.
  • The Dragon: Darth Sidious' first in the Canon (chronologically).
  • The Dreaded: Subverted in The Clone Wars; Maul has been out of the game so long (and the Sith are so obscure besides) that most people don't know enough to fear him, although Maul is more than happy to give people reasons to fear him. By the time of Solo, Maul's proxies in Crimson Dawn know well to fear him, and the organisation itself has quite the grim reputation.
  • Driven to Madness: By degrees over time, but by far the biggest push came when Maul had to find a way to survive after being sliced in half at the waist. The trauma damaged his mind, utterly shattering his stoic persona, and his many frustrations and failures after that have clearly unhinged him further.
  • Dual Wielding: He briefly uses his lightsaber and Pre Vizsla's Darksaber in tandem during his fight with Sidious.
  • Dub Name Change: Known as "Dark Maul" in France due to The Artifact concerning Darth Vader's own Dub Name Change of "Dark Vador".
  • Due to the Dead: After Maul's death, Obi-Wan closes his eyes, and it's implied that afterward, he respectfully laid his old foe to rest. From a Certain Point of View confirms that he even gave him a traditional Jedi funeral.

    E-H 
  • Enemy Mine: Come Rebels. Even though Maul is in the presence of a team of Jedi, he allies with them as a way of undermining Sidious by means of taking on the Inquisitors. But he's ultimately playing everyone, and killing the Inquisitors was just a cherry on top.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: He did care for his own mother, Talzin, and the feeling was mutual. She healed him and went out of her way to restore his legs after Savage brought him to her. And Maul was crushed when she was murdered by Grievous.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones:
    • He is genuinely crushed by his brother's death in "The Lawless". When he reappears in Rebels, it's clear he still hasn't forgiven Palpatine for taking his brother from him. A Freudian Slip from Maul in Season 3 even emphasises how deeply he misses Savage; he says that part of the reason he wants Ezra for an apprentice is so that they can follow their own path as friends and "brothers".
    • He has also shown affection towards his mother, Talzin, and her death at the hands of Grievous shocked him even more than Savage's did.
    • Maul seems to genuinely care for Ezra in a fatherly/big brotherly way, consistently calling the boy "my apprentice" and claiming to still be "loyal to him", even when they're on opposite sides. This being a Sith to a Jedi, it's a very messed up relationship, up to and including trying to kill Ezra's actual parental figure.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good:
    • While he does manipulate Ezra pretty well when he needs to, he's baffled and frustrated by Ezra's refusal to abandon his friends and join Maul, and seems to be under the impression that if he just gets Ezra away from the crew for long enough he'll forget them and become his apprentice.
    • He also appears completely clueless as to how Obi-Wan has managed to stay so peaceful despite all he's suffered, which is partially why he constantly tries (and usually fails) to get a rise out of the Jedi Master. He's trying to understand how Obi-Wan has maintained hope through his pain, because Maul's own pain has never gone away, and he seems to think it never will.
  • Evil Counterpart:
    • To Anakin Skywalker (pre-Face–Heel Turn) — both were slaves as children and then passed down to be taught the ways of the Force; both are incredibly skilled and powerful at a young age; both form master-apprentice and brotherly relationships with another (Obi-Wan with Anakin and Savage with Maul); both were nearly killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi and restored to life using machinery; and finally, both are cast aside by Palpatine/Darth Sidious in favor of another potential apprentice (Maul for Anakin, and Anakin for Luke).
    • By Rebels, he also serves as one to Ahsoka — they're both former members of one of the great orders of Force-users who left after a betrayal and no longer consider themselves to be a member of the order, yet are still similar enough in outlook to their former order to be considered a member by other people. They also both express the philosophy that "to defeat your enemy, you must understand/know them", and both got at least part of the lightsabers they wield on Rebels from an Inquisitor they defeated.
  • Eviler Than Thou: Towards Vizsla, whom he outplayed, overpowered, and brutally killed. Later, Sidious turned it on him, effortlessly defeating Maul in combat. In Rebels, he easily dispatches the Inquisitors despite being outnumbered. Then in Solo, he intimidates Qi'ra into submission, just when she thought she took out Dryden Vos.
  • Evil Is Hammy: In The Clone Wars, particularly before he is healed, in contrast to his appearance in The Phantom Menace. He has a few moments of ham afterwards, but mostly remains coldly sinister.
  • Evil Mentor:
    • For Savage in The Clone Wars, whom he officially takes as his Sith apprentice in "Revival".
    • In Rebels, he takes an interest in Ezra. Uh-oh. When taunting Kanan, he even calls him "my apprentice". Fortunately, Ezra decides to remain with Kanan and his crew, but not before taking Maul's teachings to heart and becoming corrupted by them.
    • The ending of Solo implies he's going to become this for Qi'ra.
  • Evil Overlord: He becomes one after conquering Mandalore, but it doesn't last long.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: During the few instances where he actually speaks in The Phantom Menace. In this case, it was actually dubbed over the actor's normal "squeaky" voice to make him sound more threatening.
  • Evil vs. Evil:
    • In "Shades of Reason" he kills Pre Vizsla in a duel, and takes his place as leader of Death Watch.
    • In "The Lawless" Sidious confronts him and Savage in a duel.
    • In the first and second issues of Son of Dathomir, he briefly crosses swords with General Grievous. In the fourth, he and Mother Talzin face off again Sidious, Dooku, and Grievous at the same time.
    • In Rebels, he's out for revenge against Sidious and by extension Vader.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: In Son of Dathomir, Dooku confronted Maul in prison. Maul told him that he had heard much of the Jedi traitor, and he was expecting more from him.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Maul doesn't seem all that bothered when Obi-Wan kills him on Tatooine. In fact, he seems relieved.
  • Faux Affably Evil:
    • In contrast to Savage (who's more of a brutish thug), Maul has more sophistication and charisma. However, none of it is real and serves to make alliances. When he does drop the act, he's a snarling monster.
    • He often speaks to Obi-Wan in a fairly civil tone, despite exuding hatred for the Jedi Master with every breath. He's reasonably civil towards Satine as well, even though his plans inevitably call for her death, and, indeed, Maul quite happily murders her not long after.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: After being restored, Savage had to bring him up to speed on recent events since he spent the last 11+ years isolated on a junkyard world going insane.
  • Flat Character: Darth Maul, the heroes' greatest physical threat in The Phantom Menace, has five lines and no traits outside of evil, skill with a lightsaber, and possibly some amount of Pride. His appearances in The Clone Wars onwards averts this trope.
  • Foil:
    • A skilled warrior and tactician with a dry sense of humour and a brotherly relationship with his apprentice, who lost something important to him at the Battle of Theed, who aids a Mandalorian in trying to build Mandalore to their ideal, and is devoted to their own chosen ideology. Now, does that description fit Maul or Obi-Wan Kenobi?
    • The similarities between them become even more evident as time goes on. They both lose their apprentices to Darth Sidious (Obi-Wan in a metaphorical fashion, Maul in a literal one), they're forced into exile after their mentor is defeated by Sidious, and they both lose a woman important to them because of a Sith Lord (Satine was killed by Maul, while Mother Talzin was defeated by Sidious before being killed by Grievous), while they are forced to helplessly watch.
    • In Rebels it keeps going! By now he's a washed up hermit in forced exile (as both are hiding from the Empire) who while competent is likely no match for Vader and Palpatine alone, and seeks to pass on his ways knowing that he's in his twilight years. In the end, however, for all their similarities, there is one vital difference between them: Obi-Wan, being a consummate Jedi, never hated Maul the way Maul hated him, even cradling and comforting his longtime foe as Maul dies.
  • Freudian Excuse: Maul spent his childhood being groomed as a living weapon in service of the Dark Side. Combine with being raised by Darth Sidious, and it's no surprise whatsoever that Maul turned out the way he did.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Technically. Once he loses his lower half, there isn't much point to wearing clothes, so he goes without a few times.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: In The Phantom Menace, all he really does is serving as a physical threat to the heroes without any deeper look into his character and motivations. The Clone Wars and to a slightly lesser extent Rebels flesh him out more.
  • Genius Bruiser: In The Clone Wars, Maul proves himself to be tactically brilliant and a skilled manipulator, while still displaying the overwhelmingly brutal combat skills he displayed in The Phantom Menace.
  • Glowing Eyes of Doom: His Supernatural Gold Eyes emit a slight glow, emphasised to highly unsettling effect by the frequency with which Maul has his back to a light source, leaving his face in shadow.
  • Gone Horribly Right: He spends most of "Twilight of the Apprentice" trying to corrupt Ezra to the Dark Side in the hopes of gaining a new apprentice. By the end, Ezra is showing some signs of corruption, but it's out of his utter hatred for Maul. With Maul having lost most of his power while Ezra's only growing stronger, there's a very good chance Ezra will surpass him, and he's become Ezra's primary target.
  • Gotta Get Your Head Together: No external attack involved, but when Savage found him, he was often clutching his temples. Since he was insane at the time, it's a visual for him trying to "hold on" to what little was left of his mind.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Of Solo, as the crime boss that Dryden Vos — and later, Qi'ra — answers to.
  • Handicapped Badass: Even with his mechanical legs, he's quite a capable fighter, even incorporating some of his classic acrobatic moves.
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Obi-Wan cuts him clean through his waist, complete with Disney Villain Death. After Savage found him, Mother Talzin fashioned him new cybernetic legs. Both Obi-Wan and Ventress cracked jokes about it.
  • He Knows Too Much: Maul successfully guessing why Obi-Wan is "hiding" on Tatooine is what ultimately causes his old enemy to draw his weapon and slay him as he could not trust Maul with the information of Luke's existence.
  • The Heavy: In The Phantom Menace, Darth Maul serves as the main physical threat to the heroes, since Darth Sidious still has to maintain his Villain with Good Publicity status, and Nute Gunray is a Dirty Coward trying to stay out of harm's way as much as possible. After the heroes escape Naboo, it is Maul who is sent to hunt them down, since they are beyond Gunray's ability to locate. When the heroes return to Naboo, Maul is sent to back up Gunray, and at the film's climax, Maul personally duels the two main Jedi protagonists, preventing them from assisting Queen Amidala in Gunray's capture.
  • Heroic Second Wind: "Heroic" definitely doesn't apply, but after Sidious killed Savage, and mocked him about being replaced as the Sith apprentice, Maul went toe-to-toe with his former Master in the remainder of their lightsaber duel, to the point that Sidious visibly gets a bit more serious, but was ultimately defeated.
  • He’s Back: In The Clone Wars. Takes a while for him to regain his composure, though.
  • Hero Killer: He kills Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace, who was the main protagonist up until then. Maul also fulfills the other side of this trope; he's an extremely dangerous Knight of Cerebus feared by those who know what he is truly capable of. It's inverted when in Rebels he makes short work of all three Inquisitors, but then downplayed (the straight trope, not the inversion) by blinding Kanan.
  • Hey, You!: He refers to nearly everyone, even his brother and allies, by their title rather than their name. The major aversions are Kenobi, whom he hates too much to be dismissive, and Ezra, whom he calls by first name due to his twisted affection for him.
  • Hidden Depths:
    • Who would have expected that Maul, the vicious blunt instrument from The Phantom Menace, would prove to be a cunning and intelligent manipulator and tactician in The Clone Wars?
    • Despite his previous treatment of Savage as a student and a minion, Maul is devastated and enraged over his brother's death in "The Lawless". In "Revival", he screams his brother's name after Obi-Wan cuts off Savage's arm. Almost two decades later, he's still devastated by the death of his brother and mother and is now bemoaning that life has really passed him by.
    • Despite the hatred he carries for Obi-Wan, he knows and understands that at the end of the day, Sidious was the one who truly deprived him of everything, and that Obi-Wan was just as much a victim of the Sith Lord as he was. Who would have expected Maul, of all people, to seek comfort from one of his greatest enemies at the moment of his death?
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His plot to exact revenge on Obi-Wan ends up being his undoing. Specifically, Maul attempted to defeat Obi-Wan on Tatooine the same way he defeated Qui-Gon. Obi-Wan counters that maneuver hard, very likely with a maneuver he specifically came up with for this moment.
  • Horned Humanoid: As a Zabrak, he has a "crown" of horns atop his head.
  • Horns of Villainy: While all Zabraks have horns on their heads, Maul's combine with his Sith tattoos to give him a very sinister image.
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Maul's first appearances in The Clone Wars and Rebels both find him at a very low point.
    • In The Clone Wars, the once formidable Sith Lord is a deranged, half-feral wreck of a man, surviving off of scraps of garbage and ranting insanely at thin air.
    • In Rebels, Maul has long since lost everything that ever mattered to him and lives alone in exile as a broken man, sustained only by dreams of revenge that he knows he can't achieve by himself. Obi-Wan even gets a dig in at Maul when he's taunting him: "Look what I have risen above."
  • Hypocrite: In Visions and Voices, he demands Ezra forget the past and his attachments, which is rich coming from someone as obsessed with the past and revenge as he is.

    I-P 
  • I Just Want to Be Loved: Downplayed, but present. While Maul does have genuinely maniacal desires, he seems to be even more deeply driven by a desire for meaning, purpose, and belonging - "hope." His motivations before and during The Phantom Menace were primarily to please Sidious, and his later Roaring Rampage of Revenge is also described as him trying to make sense of his life after he was replaced in his previous role. His voice actor has also described him as craving love and affection, but not knowing how to obtain it.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: It's unconfirmed, but implied that he may have resorted to sapient cannibalism during his state of insanity on Lotho Minor if his relationship with Morley is anything to go by, with Morley feeding on the leftovers.
  • Implacable Man: He doesn't stop hunting the Jedi until Obi-Wan cuts him in half. Even that isn't enough to put him down for good.
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: In addition to his double-bladed lightsaber, he helps himself to Pre Vizsla's Darksaber after killing him.
  • Insistent Terminology: By the time of Rebels, he requests to be only called "Maul", with no "Darth" honorific before his name.
  • Insult Backfire: Duchess Satine calls Maul as corrupt and vile as Almec. Maul being Maul, he sounds genuinely flattered.
  • In the Hood: Up until his final confrontation with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, when he removes the hood to reveal his spiked head.
  • Irony: In the end, Maul dies the same way two of his most prominent victims did; passing away in the arms of Obi-Wan Kenobi, being comforted by the Jedi Master in his final moments. He even gets killed by trying to pull the same move that he did on Qui-Gon.
  • I Shall Taunt You:
    • Maul takes a sadistic pleasure in rubbing his killing of Qui-Gon in Obi-Wan's face during their duel in "Revenge", and mocks him for the moment of rage that follows.
    Maul: Your master, Qui-Gon Jinn, I gutted him while you stood helpless and watched. How did that make you feel, Obi-Wan? [Obi-Wan attacks in a blind rage before being driven back] Your rage has unbalanced you! That is not the Jedi way, is it?
    • Maul also taunts Obi-Wan for the fear and hatred that the Jedi Master holds toward him in "The Lawless".
    • And again when he finds Obi-Wan on Tatooine in "Twin Suns", Maul wonders out loud if leaving Obi-Wan alive in his current circumstances wouldn't be crueler than killing him. This time, Obi-Wan shuts him down by pointing out that Maul's circumstances are no better, if not worse.
  • It's Personal: Previously, Maul's hatred for the Jedi was merely because of their ancient feud with the Sith. However, he specifically hates Obi-Wan with a burning passion, makes a point of targeting him, and chooses to murder Satine (the woman Obi-Wan has loved for years) just to torture him. His hatred for Sidious is also very personal because of Sidious abandoning him after his defeat on Naboo and later murdering his brother Savage on Mandalore and then his mother Talzin.
  • Jaded Washout: When Savage finds him, Maul laments having been cut off from the galaxy and lost the prospects he had as Sidious' apprentice. He still manages to rebuild enough power to become a threat Sidious has to personally deal with. By Rebels this trope has hit him full tilt, leaving him a lone straggler who has nothing left but to settle scores and throw curveballs into everyone's plans.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • To his brother, and only to his brother, Savage. Although he says that he sees Savage as an apprentice more than he sees him as a brother, he treats his fellow Nightbrother significantly better as an apprentice than any of the other Sith treat their apprentices and he is clearly upset when Savage is killed by Sidious. He also has a purely benevolent relationship with Talzin, who is his mother.
    • Maul is perhaps at his kindest when it comes to Ezra, but this is, ironically, mostly because Maul is using the boy as a substitute for his dead brother.
  • Join or Die: This was how he bought most of his criminal allies in the Shadow Collective, since some random upstart in the criminal underworld offering to pay the heads of major crime syndicates to serve him just sounded laughable on paper. After Maul (both literally and metaphorically) decapitated Black Sun's original leadership before assimilating it with little resistance, the Pyke Syndicate just came to him and the Hutts were a little better prepared to resist by hiring some of the better bounty hunters in the galaxy as bodyguards. However, even the Hutts were forced to concede eventually.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch:
    • Killing Pre Vizsla. The No-Holds-Barred Beatdown he dished out to the Mandalorian before killing him wasn't exactly undeserved, either.
    • He brutally kills the Fifth Brother and the Seventh Sister, both of whom were vicious, Jedi-hunting Inquisitors.
  • Killed Off for Real: At the end of "Twin Suns", he gets fatally slashed by Obi-Wan, and this time, it seems like it's going to stick. Further solidified in From a Certain Point of View, where Obi-Wan mentions giving him a traditional Jedi funeral (which normally involves a cremation).
  • Knight of Cerebus:
    • He is the third one for The Clone Wars after Cad Bane and Savage. When Maul shows up, things get dark. He callously slaughtered innocent children, murdered Duchess Satine, and sparked a civil war that ultimately ravaged Mandalore.
    • He also serves as one on Rebels. While Vader has him outclassed in power, Maul is far more vicious than he is, bisecting, impaling, and blinding people in a series where Family-Unfriendly Violence is rare. He's the one who finally manages to corrupt Ezra, even slightly.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: In "Revival", after Savage lost an arm and the pirates turned on them, Maul wisely decided to just take his brother and leave.
    • In Son of Dathomir, he and the Shadow Collective were forced to retreat from Zanbar after General Grievous led an army to destroy the Shadow Collective base there. It's all part of Dooku and Sidious's plan to lure out Mother Talzin. Ironically, he and Talzin are trying to do the exact same thing with Sidious.
    • In the Season 2 finale of Rebels, the last we see of Maul is him leaving Malachor in an Inquisitor's stolen TIE-Advanced since his plans for the Sith Holocron and the Temple/battle station it powers are beyond salvaging at that point.
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: He's one of the more physical lightsaber duelists of the saga, rarely using his Force powers at all in a fight.
  • Large Ham: As a sign of how far he's gone off the deep end, Maul's gone from The Stoic in his first appearance to usually the most talkative person in any scene he's in. He's also picked up a penchant for theatricality, particularly when he's playing for sympathy with Ezra.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Twice Obi-Wan is forced to watch helplessly as Maul murders a man (Qui-Gon) and a woman (Satine) who are important to him. And twice Maul is forced to watch helplessly as a man (Savage) and a woman (Mother Talzin) important to him are murdered in front of him.
  • Last of His Kind: As of Son of Dathomir, Maul seems to be the only remaining Nightbrother left in the galaxy. Then, as of the end of Dark Disciple and the death of Asajj Ventress, he may be one of the only members of the Dathomirian species left. He dies at the end of the third season of Rebels.
  • The Last Dance: By the time of Rebels, he knows that all of his potential has gone to waste and he doesn't register on the galaxy's radar anymore, so he engages in one last quest: to find and kill Obi-Wan. It goes without saying that he fails miserably.
  • Laughing Mad: When he's found on Lotho Minor, his creepy mood swings include insane laughter. He gets better, though.
  • Leitmotif:
    • "Duel of the Fates", at least in his live-action appearances in The Phantom Menace and Solo.
    • After he makes his return in The Clone Wars, he is frequently associated with a voice hissing "Savage!" in the background. This continues into his appearances in Solo and Star Wars Rebels.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: While he's definitely a bad guy in Son of Dathomir, he's presented sympathetically in spite of the atrocities he has done — similarly to Asajj Ventress before her Heel–Face Turn. This portrayal continues in Rebels when he does genuinely want to defeat Sidious — but for his own personal reasons. No doubt that if Sidious and Vader are done, the Jedi will be next.
  • Lightning Bruiser: In all of his duels, Maul hits fast, hits hard, and proves to be quite graceful besides, which allows him to triumph over Qui-Gon, nearly kill Obi-Wan in all three of their duels, hold his own against Darth Sidious, and toy with the severely outclassed Inquisitors.
  • Logical Weakness: Zigzagged, due to Maul being half-clanker, the Ghost crew uses a magnet to trap him, though he then uses the Force to get out of it pretty quickly.
  • The Lost Lenore: His minor Freudian Slip in insisting that he and Ezra could work together as brothers further confirms that he's using Ezra has a stand-in for Savage.
  • Machiavelli Was Wrong: While Maul offered them money as well, he mainly used intimidation to get Hondo's men to join him. All it took for the pirates to turn against him was Hondo's forgiveness and Obi-Wan forcing Maul and Savage to retreat.
  • Magitek: The cybernetic legs Mother Talzin created for him. Also according to both Word of God and The Sith Hunters tie-in comic book, Maul used the Force to create the crude spider-like apparatus he was first seen with in The Clone Wars.
  • The Man Behind the Man: During the time of the Empire, he's secretly the real power behind Dryden Vos and the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate.
  • Manipulative Bastard: He plays Pre Vizsla and later the population of Mandalore like well-tuned fiddles, to say nothing of how he manipulates Kanan, Ahsoka, and especially Ezra in Rebels. Even though Kanan and Ezra are fully aware of what kind of person he is, he still manages to extort them into doing what he wants anyway.
  • Master Swordsman: His fighting style focuses on swordsmanship over Force powers, making him one of the most skilled combatants in the franchise at a cost of raw power. He even manges to hold his own against Darth Sidious for a bit.
  • Meaningful Name: "Maul" means both "to maim or mutilate" and "an extremely heavy hammer used as a weapon".
  • Mind over Matter: Once, he was shown dragging a several ton Theta-class shuttle across a plateau using the Force alone.
  • Mind Probe: In "The Holocrons of Fate", he shows the ability to use this by taking information about Kanan from Hera's mind, similar to what Kylo Ren does to Rey in The Force Awakens.
  • Momma's Boy: Downplayed. While most of the Dathomirians are fanatically loyal to Mother Talzin, Maul fits the bill since he's actually her biological son. However, while she is guiding him to an extent, they both have their own reasons for wanting revenge against Sidious, and they are both willing risk their lives for each other. After Talzin dies, Sidious notes that without her, Maul has no purpose.
  • Moment of Lucidity: The only coherent thought he strings together after Savage starts reminding him of his past is that he must have revenge on Obi-Wan, and that one thought is delivered ice-cold and serious. It illustrated to Savage and the audience that despite his insanity, the former Sith Lord was still in there somewhere.
  • Mood-Swinger: When found by Savage Opress, he goes from being aggressive to sad, confused, amused, and agonized rather quickly. Justified in that he was obviously not right in the head at the time.
  • My Greatest Failure: Savage's last words were basically that he was never good enough, and Maul in Rebels seems crippled by guilt for letting his brother die believing that. After all, he never told Savage he valued or cared about him. He never belittles or talks down to Ezra - who is frequently noted as Maul's Replacement Goldfish - in fact, most of Maul's behavior towards Ezra seems to be him trying desperately to fix the mistakes he made with his last "apprentice."
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant:
    • Enforced. He was originally requested by George Lucas to be designed as something out of someone's nightmares. Iain McCaig complied by drawing something from his own actual nightmare, cutting it down to a more Star Wars aesthetic, giving us Darth Maul.
    • It's taken even further in The Clone Wars. His psychotic breakdown when he's discovered on Lotho Minor is utterly terrifying to watch. And once he's sane again, the things he does are even more horrific.
  • Neck Lift: He's proficient in the Force choke, using it several times in "Eminence" alone.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • He and Savage inflict a brutal one to Obi-Wan in "Revenge".
    • Maul himself later delivers one to Vizsla at the end of their duel in "Shades of Reason", which included the Sith Lord breaking Viszla's arm.
    • He finds himself on the receiving end of one at the hands of Darth Sidious after losing their duel on Mandalore.
  • No One Could Survive That!: What was initially believed about his "death" on Naboo. Subverted later, when he and Savage seemingly go down with their ship, Obi-Wan is convinced he lived, citing the fact that he cut Maul in half before, and that failed to kill him.
  • Not Quite Dead: Obi-Wan bisected him at the waist, but it didn't keep Maul down.
  • Not So Above It All: After Sidious curb-stomps him, he begs for his life.
  • Not So Different: He loses his brother Savage in a similar manner to how his rival Obi-Wan lost Qui-Gon. And when his mother, Talzin, is killed in front him, he makes the exact same gesture Obi-Wan did when he murdered Satine.
  • Obviously Evil: If the black robes and red lightsaber didn't give him away to Qui-Gon as a Sith...
  • Off with His Head!:
    • He does this to several people on Raydonia at once in one swing in "Revenge". Obi-Wan remarks in the same episode that he should have tried this on Maul instead of cutting him in half.
    • He later does this to Seventh Sister in "Twilight of the Apprentice".
    • In "Shades of Reason", he uses this as the method of executing Pre Vizsla.
  • Oh, Crap!: His reaction when he recognized Sidious's presence on Mandalore.
    Maul: Hmm, I sense a presence. A presence... I haven't... felt since... [gasps] Master!
  • Older and Wiser:
    • In The Clone Wars, Maul is more than ten years older and (once he's sane again) he's much more pragmatic and a lot smarter than he was back in The Phantom Menace.
    • In Rebels, he has nearly eighteen more years of experience than he did at the end of the Clone Wars.
  • Older Than They Look: Maul is in his mid-fifties by the time of his appearance in Rebels, but he looks barely any different than he did in The Clone Wars, over fifteen years prior, even after he drops his initial "old man" act.
  • Old Master: In Rebels, Maul is too old and injured to directly seek revenge on the Empire, so he instead uses his knowledge of the Dark Side to corrupt Ezra into just the apprentice he needs to avenge everyone he's lost.
  • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: In "Brothers" (his first speaking appearance in The Clone Wars), when Maul is yelling and muttering insanely, he speaks with Sam Witwer's American accent rather than the British accent of Peter Serafinowicz. This is justified considering that he's completely insane at that point and, since he isn't fully aware of who he once was (and because We All Live in America, of course), it makes sense he'd default to an American accent.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Hit with this hard in The Clone Wars. When left to his own devices, Maul is a dangerous opponent and a scarily competent planner, but nowhere near the level of Darth Sidious, who puts him in his place the second he starts to become a problem.
  • Parental Abandonment: Son of Dathomir states that Maul was a gift to Sidious from Mother Talzin as a prepubescent child. The fact that Talzin could just hand him over to Sidious implies that his parents didn't care for him. But if Talzin is to be believed, she is Maul's mother, Sidious is a liar, and he stole Maul from her.
  • Passing the Torch: He knows that he can never reach his full potential and after dodging death so many times life no longer holds much meaning for him, so he seeks to train Ezra to achieve everything he never could.
  • Peaceful in Death: After everything that has happened to him over the past few years, Maul, in his final moments, is somewhat relieved that the Chosen One will one day avenge him for all that's been done to him — and perhaps to Obi-Wan as well.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: The ultimate tragedy behind Maul's villainy. For all his machinations and menace in The Clone Wars and Rebels, he doesn't impact the main plot of either series in any tangible way, as he's effortlessly put in his place in the former and way past his prime in the latter, culminating in his anti-climactic end on Tatooine with nothing meaningful accomplished.
  • The Power of Hate: He survived his bifurcation due to his raw hatred for Obi-Wan, and this is the only thing keeping him alive. This is also deconstructed in that said hatred also drove him insane over the course of 11 years and it wasn't until he was brought to Mother Talzin that his sanity was restored.
    Darth Maul: My hatred kept my spirit intact, even though my body was not.
  • Pragmatic Villainy:
    • During the Shadow Collective arc in The Clone Wars, he realizes that he and Savage can't just run around killing and looting to survive because it would draw the Jedi to them. In "Eminence", he decides against killing the fleeing Sugi, Embo, Latts, and Dengar as they are merely bounty hunters who have no loyalty to the Hutts (whom Maul and his allies were attacking at the time). Sam Witwer also speculated that Maul might have foreseen some possible use for them in the future, adding to Maul's pragmatism.
    • In the Season 2 finale of Rebels, he realizes he cannot claim the Sith holocron on his own, let alone face Vader, so he spends most of the episode manipulating Ezra and the others into getting it for him. He also has a prime opportunity to take the holocron and let Ezra fall to his death, but instead saves him because he knows he'll need an apprentice to finish his plan.
  • Pride:
    • Subtly so, but this is his Fatal Flaw in The Phantom Menace. Once Obi-Wan is left dangling over the pit, Maul arrogantly looms over him, and takes his time waiting for Obi-Wan to fall. Obi-Wan himself uses this time to compose himself, and subsequently leaps right over Maul, who is so shocked by this sudden turn of events that he doesn't rally in time to prevent Obi-Wan from cutting him in half.
    • He's humbler in The Clone Wars, sticking mostly to justified confidence. This is still a weakness though, as in the Rebels Season 2 finale he underestimates Kanan, allowing the recently-blinded Jedi to easily slip into the former Sith's defenses and dispatch him.
    • Despite manipulating Ezra to an almost successful extent, it appears he's delusional enough to think that Ezra would actually get behind unlocking the destructive weapon of Malachor. Ezra does cash in on Maul's delusional affection for him a bit later on.
  • Progressively Prettier: Averted. Compared to how he looked in The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars, Maul looked very unattractive in Rebels.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Quite often in The Clone Wars, specially in "The Lawless", when he revels in Obi-Wan's misery after Satine's death.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He shows some signs of this before being healed, hiding behind boxes, and being lured out when he follows a light conjured by Mother Talzin in an almost childlike state of fascination. With the revelation that Talzin is Maul's mother, this could also be interpreted as Mom calling him out.

    Q-Y 
  • The Quiet One: In The Phantom Menace, he only has two lines in the theatrical film. However, he gets to speak a lot more in The Clone Wars and onwards.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Maul is the poster boy: he dresses in black Sith robes, has black and red tattoos all over his body, his eyes are gold and red, and he wields a red double-bladed lightsaber. The Death Watch soldiers loyal to him follow suit, painting their armor to match Maul's coloring.
  • Redemption Rejection: Obi-Wan tried to appeal to his inner good, claiming to understand that he didn't choose the Dark Side out of his own will. He gleefully refused the offered chance, murdering Satine in cold blood just to make it completely clear (and to torment Obi-Wan).
  • Refuge in Audacity: In a universe where almost every character from Luke Skywalker to Chancellor Palpatine himself usually go out of their way to refer to Jabba the Hutt in respectable honorifics such as "Mighty Jabba" or "Your Excellency" when dealing with the Hutt Lord, Darth Maul broke rank and shattered Hutt protocol to pieces by storming Jabba's palace and telling Jabba in no uncertain terms that he would either submit or die.
  • Retired Monster: By the time of Rebels, he's been quiet for at least 15 years, opting to stay out of Sidious' way and wander the galaxy. The events on Malachor provide too great an opportunity to miss, so he comes out of retirement.
    • As it turns out, he didn't quite retire, since he's running the Crimson Dawn syndicate behind the scenes.
  • Revenge: His primary motivation in every installment he appears in.
    • He expresses his desire for it against the Jedi in one of the only lines he has in The Phantom Menace.
    • After his defeat and restoration, he seeks revenge on Obi-Wan in The Clone Wars for defeating him during the lightsaber duel they had on Naboo back in The Phantom Menace.
    Maul: I was apprenticed to the most powerful being in the galaxy once. I was destined to be... so much more. But I was robbed of that destiny by the Jedi. By Obi-Wan Kenobi...
    • By the time of Son of Dathomir, he's also out for payback against Darth Sidious. This carries over to Rebels.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Surprisingly, averted. Despite spending twelve years in a state of insanity on a trash-filled, flaming hellhole of a world, Maul is very smart in how he pursues his vengeance on Obi-Wan, and makes a point of working on some of his other goals, rather than pursuing revenge at the exclusion of all else.
  • Revenge by Proxy: He murdered Satine for the sake of making Obi-Wan suffer.
    Maul: I never planned on killing you, but I will make you share my pain, Kenobi.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge:
    • In The Clone Wars (during his first attempt to take vengeance on Obi-Wan), Maul slaughtered a village just to draw the Jedi out. This gets deconstructed during his quest to build his own army. First, when's he recruiting criminal factions, he does so either by promising them wealth or threatening to kill them (whereas the Mandalorians follow him due to how classic Mandalorian succession works and their shared hatred for Jedi and the Nightbrothers due to Mother Talzin's connections). Hondo Ohnaka, who Maul temporarily bought some of his men's loyalty from, knew from the get-go that working with him was an ultimately unprofitable venture because not only is Maul clearly insane, he's really only interested in revenge on Obi-Wan, and buys his own men back from Maul by telling them this.
    • In Son of Dathomir, the Hutt Clans immediately desert from the Shadow Collective after Maul gets captured by Darth Sidious. When Maul gets into a revenge game with Sidious, he ends up going to war with the Separatist Alliance. The Black Sun and Pyke leaders, who are really just mercenaries as opposed to the Mandalorians and Nightbrothers, become wary of Maul's grudge after they almost face death at the hands of a droid firing squad during the Battle of Ord Mantell. After Maul captures Dooku, the Separatists attack the Shadow Collective on three different fronts, and Black Sun and the Pykes decide to bail out after getting no help from Maul. After that and the death of Mother Talzin, Maul has very few allies left.
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Played straight and inverted. He was downright animalistic when Savage finally found him. He only managed to hold on to a semblance of clarity once he focused on getting revenge. Being cut in half will do that to you. After Mother Talzin's healed his psychosis, he regains more and more of his sanity and cunning with each subsequent appearance to the point of becoming a chessmaster in his own right.
    • By the time of Rebels, he's once again been alone for a long time and later gazes too long into the holocron fusion. While he's much more well put together than when Savage found him, it's clearly taken a toll on him.
  • Satanic Archetype: In appearance only, with the red skin and horns. Played a little straighter when he becomes The Corrupter in the season 2 finale of Rebels, which was explicitly inspired by Dante's Inferno.
  • Say My Name: "KENOBIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!"
  • Shadow Dictator: After conquering Mandalore, he made Almec the public face of his rule, so he can remain in the shadows.
    • He does the same thing with the Crimson Dawn syndicate. He lets Dryden Vos run the daily operations and present himself as the leader, while he secretly gives Vos (and later Qi'ra) orders from his hideout on Dathomir.
  • Sibling Team: With Savage Opress.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: With Savage. Unlike the blunt-force juggernaut that is Savage, Maul is subtler, more manipulative, and cunning. Maul is also far more ambitious than his brother; he asserted mastery when Savage claimed that they could share their power. In addition, unlike Savage, who is rarely cruel for no reason, Maul's Kick the Dog moments are threaded throughout his appearances in the series.
  • Silent Antagonist: During The Phantom Menace. He rarely speaks, and when he does, it's only ever to his master. Averted as his appearances in The Clone Wars onwards feature him being a lot more talkative.
  • Slouch of Villainy: He slouches while sitting on his new throne at the end of "Shades of Reason".
  • Small Role, Big Impact: He does precisely one act in The Phantom Menace: kill Qui-Gon Jinn. In doing so, he ensures Anakin is taught by a newly-knighted Jedi instead of a wise master with decades of teaching experience, which plays a huge role in his frustration with the Jedi Order and inability to deal with his phenomenal powers, which in turn plays a huge role in his eventual fall and transformation into Darth Vader.
  • The Sociopath: Lack of Empathy? He's either killed, tried to kill, or would be willing to kill almost everyone he's come across in the Canon and Savage at several points seemed no different up until Maul showed genuine sadness over his death, and still grieves years later. Consummate deception skills? He managed to con Pre Vizsla into an alliance, and it was Maul's plan that convinced Mandalore that the Death Watch were heroes and liberators. Superficial charm and persuasion? He manipulated Vizsla, Almec, and legions of criminals into serving him. Troubling childhood? He was "raised" by Darth Sidious. Maul is a high-functioning example, but he fits all the criteria of a sociopath. Ultimately subverted, however; while Maul is very callous, cruel, and manipulative, he's capable of genuine love and affection, which he demonstrates towards his brother, his mother, and, in a rather twisted way, to Ezra.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: Occasionally slips into this, with the emphasis on "sadist". Rarely does Maul's voice rise above a soft tone, except when he's really angry or intentionally Chewing the Scenery, but one can expect him to go about murdering, torturing, or fighting with that very same cadence.
  • Spider Tank: He became a living one after Obi-Wan cut him in half. Word of God is that he assembled scraps of metallic trash to replace his missing legs using the Force.
  • Spikes of Villainy: A similar style is adopted by higher-ranking members of Maul's Death Watch.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: He received a significant amount of Villain Protagonist episodes in The Clone Wars. Not necessarily a bad thing, as Maul's appearances are regarded as among the installment's very best episodes.
  • Stalker Without a Crush:
    • Ever since he was defeated on Naboo, Maul has been obsessed with Obi-Wan Kenobi to the point that through his years of madness, Obi-Wan was the one thing he held on to. He ends up spending all of Season 3 of Rebels searching for Obi-Wan, ultimately finding him on Tatooine, and dying by his hand.
    • He is very determined to have Ezra as his apprentice. So determined that he will hold Ezra's crew/essentially adopted family hostage to make him comply, and repeatedly try to dispose of his prospective student's inconvenient master, Kanan.
  • Supernatural Gold Eyes: They signify his allegiance to the Dark Side. His are notable in that he's the only Sith Lord to have permanent gold eyes rather than switching back and forth, possibly because he's so entrenched in it. He's only seen with his natural eye color (brown) twice, once in a vision and once as a child.
  • The Starscream: To Pre Vizsla. He succeeds quite spectacularly. A rare case where both halves of a Big Bad Duumvirate qualify as The Starscream.
  • The Stoic: In The Phantom Menace, we see maybe two or three hints of emotion from Maul. This is no longer the case by the time of The Clone Wars, which features him becoming far more openly emotional.
  • Sword Cane: His new double-bladed lightsaber in Rebels has a wooden sheath, which allows him to disguise it as a cane and further foster his image of a helpless old man.
  • Talkative Loon: Until he was healed. Even afterwards, he's a lot more talkative than he was in The Phantom Menace and still pretty crazy.
  • Tattooed Crook: The black markings on his face are tattoos, with the red being his natural skin color.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In The Phantom Menace, Maul was a purely physical opponent. By the time of The Clone Wars, however, he's become a Manipulative Bastard and a skilled chessmaster in his own right, while remaining a deadly physical combatant.
  • Took a Level in Kindness: Very, very downplayed. Sam Witwer says that by the time of Rebels, Maul has gained a touch of sincerity — and it's not altogether hard to see why; after everything he's been through (being cut in half, discarded by his master, going insane and back, losing his brother, his mother, most of his power, and spending an undisclosed amount of time on Malachor being hunted by an Inquisitor) he does seem to genuinely enjoy Ezra's company. Now, all that being said, Maul is still perfectly willing and able to manipulate Ezra to further his own ends, and is ultimately out for himself alone.
  • To the Pain: He goes into some pretty terrifying detail when he has Obi-Wan at his mercy in "Revenge".
    Maul: I will make sure you stay awake long enough to feel every single cut. Your death will be beyond excruciating. You will suffer as I have suffered!
  • Tragic Villain: Considering the horrible abuse he was put through in all of his life, it is no wonder he turned out the way he was. And it only got worse once he tried to fight for himself instead of in service to his masters.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Since his defeat in The Phantom Menace, Maul's life has essentially been one agonising experience after another. He was cut in half, left for dead, spent over ten years living in a flaming junkyard surviving only off of garbage and whatever poor souls who had the misfortune of crossing his path, and went insane, with his only stability coming from his obsession with revenge. While his fortunes briefly picked up in The Clone Wars, with his rescue by Savage and conquest of Mandalore, that fell apart when Sidious decided to deal with his former apprentice. Maul then lost his brother and was brutally tortured into submission by his former master, who went on to use him in a successful plot to kill Maul's mother. This was followed by Maul losing Mandalore to the Republic, being hunted by the Empire, and left stranded on Malachor as a broken man who had lost everything he ever worked towards. At this point, all Maul has to keep him going is his fading hope of taking revenge on those who have wronged him and of recruiting Ezra as a new apprentice and "brother". As vicious as Maul is, there's little doubt that the man has genuinely suffered. In the end, he seems to consider his death a relief, which isn't hard to imagine, given the life he's led.
  • Treacherous Advisor: What Kanan and Ahsoka think he is to Ezra, who places some trust in him. Unsurprisingly, they're right in that Maul betrays Ezra's trust, but Maul does not betray the boy himself. He does not abandon Ezra to die and actually saves his life, even when Ezra was no further use to Maul.
  • Tyke-Bomb: Sidious raised him from infancy to be a remorseless assassin.
  • The Unfettered: A given for a Sith Lord, but he takes it to whole new levels. Maul refused to allow a fatal injury to get in the way of his survival and obsession with Obi-Wan.
    Darth Maul: You cannot imagine the depths I would go to to stay alive, fueled by my singular hatred for you.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Maul does precisely one important thing in The Phantom Menace: kill Qui-Gon Jinn. By doing so, he ensures Anakin is taught by a newly-knighted Jedi instead of a wise Master with decades of teaching experience, which plays a huge role in his frustration with the Jedi Order and inability to deal with his phenomenal powers, which in turn plays a huge role in his Face–Heel Turn... which ended up giving Maul's master the perfect opportunity to gain a powerful new follower.
  • Villain Decay:
    • After his first defeat by Kenobi, Maul became a psychotic wreck who scavenges to survive as opposed to the proud warrior he once was by the time of The Clone Wars However, Maul quickly rebounds once Savage Opress and Mother Talzin restore his sanity.
    • In Rebels, while still a viable threat to three Inquisitors, Maul can never realize his full potential and relies more on manipulating the heroes to do his bidding. This is justified as Maul's crushing defeat and subsequent torture by Sidious has robbed him of his strength and support.
  • Villain Protagonist: Many of the episodes of The Clone Wars that he is featured in revolve around him. He's also the lead character of Son of Dathomir.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: He wants Ezra as an apprentice, and is willing to go out of his way to track down the Ghost crew to get what he wants.
  • Villain Team-Up:
    • With the Mandalorian Death Watch, Black Sun, and the Hutts during the Shadow Collective arc in The Clone Wars, telling the former that he and his brother can help them reclaim Mandalore.
    • In Son of Dathomir, he seems to have formed another one with Count Dooku. However, he's well aware that Darth Sidious has ordered Dooku to play along with his game, and had him apprehended and possessed by Mother Talzin to regenerate her body.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • His defeat at the hands of Obi-Wan cost him his legs and also left him as a shriveled shell of a man. He recovers only with the help of Savage Opress and Mother Talzin. Quite an extensive example; in Maul's case, the breakdown lasts twelve years.
    • He's reduced to begging for his life after being curb-stomped by Darth Sidious.
    • By the end of Son of Dathomir, he's reduced to screaming in ineffectual denial as Grievous executes his mother and his flunkies drag him away in a desperate retreat.
  • Villains Want Mercy: He pleads for mercy after Sidious kills Savage and defeats him, and gets the following response:
    Maul: Have mercy! Please! Please!
    Darth Sidious: There is no mercy. [blasts Maul with lightning]
  • Visionary Villain: Using a criminal empire to expand his influence over the galaxy, as well as getting revenge against Obi-Wan and Darth Sidious. He even makes repeated mentions of his "vision" in his interactions with Savage and Pre Vizsla.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene:
    • A few times in The Clone Wars, notably during his Season 4 appearances as well as the Season 5 premiere.
    • When he gets a shirt, it still leaves about a six inch strip bare from neck to belt.
    • This continues into his debut on Rebels, though it's understandable, since he's been marooned on Malachor for many years by this point, so no wonder his clothing is a bit on the tattered side.
  • Walking Spoiler:
    • The reveal that Maul was still alive in the third season of The Clone Wars was completely surprising to say the least — and that's not even getting into everything he does on his Roaring Rampage of Revenge. He also became one of the most advertised characters in The Clone Wars once he officially appeared in the installment’s fourth season, dulling the impact of his return to newer audiences.
    • Managed to become this again regarding his appearance in Solo; even mentioning him in relation to the film spoils his appearance, which was a major shock both to Clone Wars and Rebels fans not expecting him to return to the film franchise and to many film-only fans unfamiliar with his resurrection in the former series.
  • Weak, but Skilled: He is a supremely skilled swordsman but his Force potential was never fully realized. Other than slightly above average applications of the Force, he mostly fights with his lightsaber and fists when necessary.
  • Weapon of Choice: A red double-bladed lightsaber.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: He somehow was able to build himself functioning spider legs after Obi-Wan cut him in half and left him for dead. Mother Talzin crafted him new legs with her magic.
  • Wolverine Publicity: He's all over the advertising for The Phantom Menace and the fourth and fifth seasons of The Clone Wars. Despite this, his screen-time in the film is fairly brief and he only appears in six episodes of the installment. The same holds true of his appearances in Rebels; heavily advertised, but he only appears in five episodes over the course of two seasons, ultimately dying near the end of Season 3.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Maul was prominently featured in promotional material for The Clone Wars and Rebels in spite of only appearing in a few episodes of both shows. Nonetheless, every episode he did appear in was plot-important, so he made his limited number of appearances count.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
    • Emphasis on "destroyer of worlds". While Maul was always a villain, it was his defeat at Obi-Wan's hand and the subsequent twelve years of near-total insanity that turned him into a vengeance-obsessed, Ax-Crazy psychopath, willing to brutally murder dozens, maybe hundreds of innocent people to get a chance at killing Obi-Wan. Sidious also forcefully took him away from his mother, Talzin, and later had her killed.
    • By the time of Rebels, he actually errs toward the "woobie" side; he's a pitiful shadow of his former self, full of anger toward the Sith for taking everything away from him. He no longer has any real aspirations for power so much as he wants the opportunity to get revenge in any small capacity. But Maul being Maul, he's still out for blood against those he felt have wronged him.
  • Worf Had the Flu: While it probably wouldn't have changed that much, being extremely exhausted before the fight probably made his defeat and death at the hands of Obi-Wan an even quicker issue.
  • Worthy Opponent: It seems he considers Obi-Wan to be this to him, if Maul's death at the latter's hands means anything.
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • It’s proven when he almost kills Sugi in "Eminence". Also, in the same episode, he Force-chokes and nearly kills Bo-Katan to make a point to Pre Vizsla about doubt leading to failure when she expresses doubts about allying with Sith Lords.
    • In "The Lawless", he murders Satine just to torment Obi-Wan.
    • He does it again in "Twilight of the Apprentice", killing the Seventh Sister when Ezra hesitates.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Maul butchered numerous young children to attract the attention of the Jedi.
  • Wrecked Weapon:
    • Maul's original double-bladed lightsaber was bisected in his duel with Obi-Wan on Naboo, shortly before its owner would suffer the same fate. Half of the weapon remained functional and he used it during the Clone Wars before losing it during his duel with Sidious on Mandalore.
    • Maul's second double-bladed lightsaber is cut in half in his final duel with Obi-Wan on Tatooine with the same blow that mortally wounded Maul himself.
  • Yandere: A non-romantic variant for Ezra. Aside from the fact that his obsession stems from wanting an apprentice, all of the signs are there. He goes as far as kidnapping the Ghost crew and once again attempting to off Kanan in order to get to "[his] apprentice". Despite the fact Maul using Ezra and continuously hurting his friends is causing the boy to hate him, Maul still considers Ezra his apprentice. It's even possible that Maul is okay with Ezra hating him as long as he falls to the Dark Side; which fits with the way of the Sith.
  • You Don't Look Like You: Rebels subjected Maul to a redesign that made him look very different from how he looked back in The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars.
  • Younger Than He Looks: Subverted. During the time of Rebels he is only around 50 years old, but initially appears as if he's become so old he needs a cane to walk around. However, this turns out to all be an act, and the opposite trope is in effect.
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"At last, we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last, we will have revenge."


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