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(Darth) Maul

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/darthmaul.png
"You cannot imagine the depths I would
go to to stay alive, fuelled by my singular hatred... for you."

Species: Zabrak (Dathomirian)

Homeworld: Dathomir

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

"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 return in the Clone Wars in order to seek vengeance against Kenobi. 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 Rebellion.

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    A-D 
  • Abusive Parents: Darth Sidious raised him as a Tyke-Bomb. When you consider Sidious' sadism, the effects of his "parenting" are obvious in Maul's sociopathic, murderous personality.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: Maul is much more defined by his inner turmoil and bitterness in The Clone Wars (and by extension the canon) than he was in Legends.
  • Adaptational Backstory Change:
    • Early Legends works established Iridonia as Maul's homeworld. The Clone Wars made Maul into a Dathomirian, which resulted in Legends presenting him as a long lost Nightbrother birthed by the traitor Kycina. The canon went further and declared him son of the top Nightsister, Mother Talzin herself, altering his background for the second time (instead of being given by Kycina as a baby, he's kidnapped by Sidious as a boy).
    • The origin of his tattoos was also changed. In Legends, they were painful Sith markings that Sidious gave him in his adolescence, with pictures of him as a child portraying him without them. The Clone Wars revamped his origin story and changed his tattoos into Nightbrother tattoos that he received shortly after birth, with Legends' Darth Plagueis novel showing him already having them as a baby.
    • Additionally, in Darth Plagueis, it was revealed that, despite being granted the title "Darth," Maul was never considered a proper Sith Lord by either Sidious or Plagueis, but merely an assassin à la Ventress. In canon, however, it appears that Maul was indeed considered a true Sith Lord, and Sidious' heir, prior to his defeat on Naboo.
  • Adaptational Badass: It was made clear in Legends that while Maul could never be called weak in the Force, he was nothing overly special and not trained to be a true Sith, something Plagueis was content with assuming he was merely Sidious' assassin. In canon, however, Maul was a genuine Sith Lord apprentice to Palpatine and has proven to be so powerful that he can single-handedly decimate armies of clone troopers and tear down spaceships with it alone. All in all, Maul only looks weak in the Force compared to Sidious.
  • Adaptational Dumbass: Played straight and later subverted. In Legends, as revealed in the Darth Plagueis novel, Maul was a gigantic bookworm who loved to read in Sidious' library about Sith culture, and was also perceptive enough to harbor suspicions that Hego Damask was another Sith lord behind Darth Sidious (which proved to be right, a realization that many Jedi masters at the time failed to do). In contrast, the amount of his training and personality shown in canon shows little intellectual interest, if any at all, before his "death" and descent to madness forced him to wise up in order to get revenge. After years spent as a hermit in Malachor, however, Maul finally becomes somewhat of an Old Master capable of seducing a fellow Force user through emotional manipulation, which is an aspect he never really showed in Legends.
  • Adaptational Wimp: A rather Downplayed example. In Legends, Maul was at one point brought back to life by a Dark Side splinter group called the "Prophets of the Dark Side", after which he dueled and actually defeated Darth Vader himself, only losing by surprise when the latter impaled himself and Maul in a last ditch effort. In canon, Maul in Rebels is consistently portrayed as being a thorough Big Bad Wannabe next to Vader. Justified as the Prophets' Maul was resurrected to be at his prime in The Phantom Menace while the real Maul lost a lot of his potential thanks to Obi-Wan severing his lower half. There's also the fact that Vader himself has received a rather huge Adaptational Badass boost in canon, so rather then it being Maul being weakened, it's Vader himself getting that much stronger in the canon.
  • Adaptation Expansion: Maul's revenge arc in The Clone Wars comes directly from the Legends comic Old Wounds, where he returned with bionic legs, a new bare-chested attire, and longer horns to get his revenge on Obi-Wan. The comic's story itself received a closer adaptation in Rebels, which featured Maul again coming for blood and dying in the process.
  • Adaptation Relationship Overhaul: With Mother Talzin. In Legends, Maul was the son of a Nightsister named Kycina, who gave him to Sidious in order for at least one of her sons to live away from Talzin's influence. In canon, Maul is Talzin's son, who was actively taken away from her by Sidious.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: In Rebels, his death is presented in such a light — even the man who killed him, who himself suffered at Maul's hands, 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:
    • In The Clone Wars (and by extension the canon), Maul considers Obi-Wan to be this — and granted, losing half of his body (and the... less than pleasant events that came after that) in The Phantom Menace gave him plenty of reasons to hate the guy. Short of Vader, Maul is Obi-Wan's most personal nemesis as well, considering he killed both Obi-Wan's master and the love of his life. 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 all but displaces Obi-Wan as Maul's mortal enemy, as demonstrated in The Clone Wars, Son of Dathomir and Rebels. Although Maul hasn't abandoned his feud with Obi-Wan and the Jedi by extension, Maul's agendas mostly shift to trying to screw over his former master.
  • Arc Villain: Maul is the main antagonist of the Siege of Mandalore arc in The Clone Wars. He's the instigator of the story arc's conflict and the primary threat to Ahsoka and Bo-Katan. It turns out, the entire situation on Mandalore was a ploy by Maul to lure Anakin Skywalker to him, so he could kill him and deny Sidious a powerful apprentice.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Thoroughly explored in Legends and played more subtly in canon in favor of his inner turmoil. During his younger years as a Sith assassin, Maul was ridiculously proud of his successes and swordsmanship, to the point he believed he could defeat the entire Jedi Council on his own. In their own temple. After mortally wounding Qui-Gon, one can see Maul smirking before re-engaging Obi-Wan, obviously proud of his victory. Once his overwhelming arrogance against Obi-Wan costs him practically everything in life, he drops most of this trope but still retains reasonable pride in his skills.
  • Art-Shifted Sequel: Maul is among the better demonstrations of the differences between the art styles of The Clone Wars and Rebels, somehow appearing older yet much sleeker and more stylized than his usual rugged look in every other depiction. Also, his teeth are perfectly white instead of yellow.
  • 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 in the series and by extension 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 McCool" Name: 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 understandably goes completely batshit insane during his exile. After his return during the Clone Wars (even after Talzin does what she could to cure his mind), he is so consumed by vengeance the first thing he does afterward is committing mass murder just to get Obi-Wan's attention. After some setbacks, however, Maul regains all his lucidity, even if remaining very emotionally troubled deep down.
    • Maul swings back into insanity by the time the Rebel Alliance is blooming. Having evidently lost his underworld resources and being stranded on a Death World, Maul becomes a severely unhinged Mood-Swinger.
  • 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 in The Clone Wars and by extension the canon.
  • 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 to Death Watch 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. It's deconstructed in how Maul controlling the pirates mostly through intimidation means they have next to no real loyalty to Maul and easily turn against him when Hondo forgives them. As a result of this, Maul takes a more charismatic but very stern approach to leadership with organizations he leads since like the Shadow Collective.
    • Though he was largely benevolent to his Mandalorian Death Watch soldiers at first, the moment his own neck was on the line during the Siege of Mandalore, he leaves them to die so he can save his own skin.
    • During his business partnership with the Crimson Dawn, someone as Ax-Crazy as 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.
  • Bad Guys Do the Dirty Work: He was the one to finally dispose of the Inquisitors in Rebels.
  • 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, Maul 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:
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: Having foreseen Order 66 and about everything related to it before anyone else, Maul is content with falling to his death after losing to Ahsoka in a duel in "The Phantom Apprentice". When she immediately saves his life from this fate, he undergoes the most uncharacteristic Villainous Breakdown ever seen from him.
    Maul: Let me go! Let me die! YOU'RE ALL GOING TO BURN! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING!
  • 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:
    • Maul serves as a major antagonist in The Clone Wars once he returns in "Brothers", with his quest for revenge on Obi-Wan, evolution into a crime lord, and conquest of Mandalore providing major elements of the series' Myth Arc. It gets to the point where Maul is the defacto main antagonist of the seventh season, being the Greater-Scope Villain to the Pyke Syndicate and the target of the alliance between Ahsoka and Bo-Katan (of the show's other main villains, Dooku never appears, Grievous has a small cameo, and Palpatine only has one scene—an important scene that causes everything to go to hell, but a single scene nonetheless). That being said, he's still absolutely nothing compared to Palpatine.
    • With Thrawn in Rebels. His agenda to corrupt Ezra into his apprentice makes him a more personal enemy for the Ghost crew, independent of the Empire.
  • Big Bad Wannabe:
    • Maul is this in The Clone Wars. He's certainly a dangerous enemy to the Jedi and manages to build a substantial army and base that would have allowed him to menace to the Galaxy, but doing so would have caused problems for Sidious, who doesn't waste time putting Maul in his place. While he returns as the antagonist of the Siege of Mandalore arc, any threat he poses is overshadowed by the fast-approaching rise of the Galactic Empire.
    • 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 Instinct: Subtle, and not as overt as Savage's for him, but still definitely present. Maul saves his brother from a potentially fatal blow from Obi-Wan in "Revival", freaks out, and blasts Obi-Wan backwards after he lops off Savage's arm (complete with a panicked Say My Name), and immediately backs down in "Eminence" when Bo-Katan threatens him. Put most clearly on display when Sidious kills Savage; Maul is visibly shaking with rage, and fights back so fiercely he briefly wipes the amused smile off Palpatine's face; for those few seconds he matches the Sith master in swordsmanship and only loses due to Sidious' vastly superior power in the Force.
  • Big Brother Mentor: Inverted as he becomes a younger brother mentor. Maul 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 in "The Lawless", Maul 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. Maul is much more pragmatic in The Clone Wars, 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 in The Clone Wars, 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 lightsaber with the middle of his lightsaber, 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 lightsaber, Obi-Wan pulls it off and fatally wounds Maul.
  • Brains and Brawn: Maul is the brains to Savage's brawn, though he's more than capable of handling himself in a fight.
  • Breakout Villain: Maul is 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' 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 in "Shades of Reason".
  • Challenging the Chief: He challenges Vizsla to decide who shall lead Death Watch and Mandalore. Maul wins.
  • Character Death: After cheating death several times throughout his life, Maul finally perishes for real after rediscovering the exiled Obi-Wan on Tatooine and losing a final duel with his old foe.
  • 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. In The Clone Wars, Maul builds himself back up into a cunning planner and tactician after being maimed in The Phantom Menace and spending twelve years descending into insanity. 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: Maul 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.
  • Climax Boss: Maul is the final named antagonist faced by the protagonists in The Clone Wars, but he's decisively defeated in the second-to-last episode ("The Phantom Apprentice") and the Brainwashed and Crazy 332nd Company serve as the series' Final Boss in "Victory and Death".
  • 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. In The Clone Wars, however, he's more straightforward and brutal. Fifteen years later by the time of Rebels, he's back to his flashy acrobatics and spinning on an axis. It's actually somewhat justified, though; his style of fighting and his Duel saber are actually inferior to most styles using a single saber; the Duel saber is dangerous and offers good range and a cross-guard to block blows but is just as likely to maim the wielder as it is to kill the opponent. Masters of the style mainly use all the flashy moves for intimidation or to confuse and throw off their foe, which is what allows them to keep pace with single-saber warriors.
  • Combat Pragmatist: In The Clone Wars, Maul brings backup in the form of Savage in his confrontation with Obi-Wan on Raydonia. In Rebels, after Kanan beats him in a fight, he throws him out of an airlock in their next meeting rather than try it again.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • His first design in The Clone Wars (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!
  • Crown-Shaped Head: He has a row of short, upturned horns around the top of his head, giving him a crown-like head.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: When Savage objects to Maul declaring himself his new master, they decide to spar to resolve the issue. Within seconds, Maul gently disarms Savage in a graceful display of superior swordsmanship.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: During his battle with Sidious on Mandalore in "The Lawless", Maul actually manages to hold his own against his old master for a minute or so, but Sidious is simply too powerful and eventually overwhelms him with the Force.
  • Cyborg: In The Clone Wars, Maul 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 as a result of the series presenting him 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 in Rebels are much like Vader's overtures towards Luke. Maul becomes a cyborg Sith who dies tragically just like Vader.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • In The Clone Wars, Maul is occasionally shown to have a dry and sadistic sense of humor.
    • He gets a good line while interrogating Oruba the Hutt in "Eminence", 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?
    • He also has a few witty lines while talking with Satine in "Shades of Reason":
      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.
    • He later makes a nice remark to Bo-Katan and Ahsoka as a series of explosions rock Sundari City in "The Phantom Apprentice":
      Maul: One of you might want to deal with that.
    • 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.
  • Despair Event Horizon: He's hit this by the Siege of Mandalore, having become convinced in Sidious' inevitable victory with him unable to do anything to stop it besides spitefully deny him his final prize, Anakin Skywalker.
  • 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 in 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 (like Satine and the villagers on Raydonia) to torture Obi-Wan, helping the Death Watch take over Mandalore (succeeding where Dooku had failed and, ironically, giving Sidious the opportunity to subjugate the planet as he originally intended), 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.
  • Dies Differently in Adaptation: In Legends, Maul met his final end after a brutal duel with Darth Vader. In canon, he meets his end after a one second duel with Obi-Wan.
  • 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.
  • The Don: He becomes this after he organizes the Shadow Collective during the Clone Wars. At the very least, he retained control of Crimson Dawn for a decade into the Empire's reign.
  • 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 sympathize 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 returning in The Clone Wars, he uses only the remaining half of his weapon and later reforged the end of his original lightsaber into another double-bladed weapon. By Rebels, he's reassembled a double-bladed lightsaber, which is implied to have been made from the spinning lightsaber of an Inquisitor that 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, however, Maul's proxies in Crimson Dawn know well to fear him, and the organization 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. Even after Mother Talzin pulls his madness out of his head, Maul remains deeply changed: at the time of The Phantom Menace, he was a professional iceman whose few lines were all soft-spoken, whereas after his return he becomes an expressive, unhinged Card-Carrying Villain who won't simply shut up during his battles, even whenever his Arch-Enemy Obi-Wan is not present. It's even implied that Talzin's magicks might have given him psycho points just like they did to Savage.
  • Dramatically Missing the Point: During their confrontation on Mandalore, he suggest that he and Ahsoka can work together to defeat Darth Sidious. He fails to grasp that he could easily ruin Darth Sidious right now by telling Ahsoka that Darth Sidious is Palpatine.
  • Dual Wielding: He is evidently an expert practitioner of Jar'Kai despite only seen using the style once against Sidious with his lightsaber and Pre Viszla's Darksaber.
  • 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 
  • Early Installment Weirdness: In The Phantom Menace, Maul is presented as The Stoic and barely talks. In The Clone Wars and by extension the canon, he talks every time he's on-screen and is very emotionally outgoing. In terms of meta, this could be attributed to him breaking away from simply the role of Sidious' assassin to a fully-fleshed character in his own right, with his own agenda.
  • 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.
  • Establishing Character Moment: After Maul returns in The Clone Wars following the climax of The Phantom Menace (which involved him getting cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi), the first thing that he does in "Revenge" after Mother Talzin restores his mind is take his brother Savage to a remote Outer Rim village and murder every innocent there in the name of vengeance against Obi-Wan, even though he has nothing to do with them. The sheer intensity of the episode for a relatively family-friendly cartoon sets the tone for Maul's reintroduction to the franchise.
    Maul: In a galaxy at war, Savage, there is only one way to get the attention of the Jedi. Slaughter of the innocent, mercilessly, and without compromise.
  • 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:
    • Maul 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 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.
    • He appears 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. This extends to his final moments, as he dies declaring that Luke will one day "avenge" him and Obi-Wan. Maul cannot grasp that Obi-Wan's plan isn't for Luke to take revenge for the Jedi, but only to bring about their return. Thus while Obi-Wan peacefully passes and becomes one with the Force, Maul dies still tortured by sorrow and rage.
  • 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. Maul himself calls attention to this when he's trying to recruit her.
  • Evil Makes You Ugly: Mostly averted. By Zabrak standards, and with the exception of bad teeth, Maul is quite handsome despite being so immersed in the Dark Side. He does become somewhat uglier by the Empire era, even though his teeth have gotten better, but this is owed more to poor aging and stressful life than anything else.
  • Eviler Than Thou: In The Clone Wars, Maul is this towards Vizsla, whom he outplayed, overpowered, and brutally killed. However, Sidious later arrived to Mandalore and turned this trope on Maul, effortlessly defeating him 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:
    • In The Clone Wars, Maul serves this role for his brother Savage, 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 Maul is restored by Mother Talzin in "Revenge", Savage had to bring him up to speed on recent events since he spent the last twelve 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. While his appearances in various Legends works steadily gave him more character, The Clone Wars is where Maul fully averted this trope, which continues in some of the other canon works that he appears in.
  • 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 social taboo against not wearing clothes, so he goes without a few times.
  • 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, emphasized 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: In the climax of their confrontation on Naboo, Obi-Wan cut him clean through his waist, complete with Disney Villain Death. The fact he is half a man is sometimes subject to jokes and mockery by his adversaries after his return.
  • 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: Maul makes his return in The Clone Wars. Although, it takes a while for him to regain his composure since he spent twelve years in exile on Lotho Minor where he went insane.
  • Hero Killer: Maul kills Qui-Gon in The Phantom Menace, who was the main protagonist up until then. He 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. Maul also kills a Jedi named Finn Ertay in The Clone Wars. It's inverted in Rebels when 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, Savage, who he occasionally addresses by name whenever he is in danger, 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 in 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, Maul, 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 before he is rescued by his brother Savage and brought to Mother Talzin in order to get healed. It doesn't get much better after that as he's reduced to being a mass-murdering raider thieving to get by. Obi-Wan even says the trope verbatim upon seeing Maul throwing in his lot with pirates.
    • In Rebels, he 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 The Clone Wars, Maul hates Kenobi for cutting him in half in The Phantom Menace, but is perfectly happy to rub Qui-Gon's death at his hands in Kenobi's face in "Revenge".
    • In Son of Dathomir, Maul shows disdain for General Grievous' cyborg nature, referring to him as "mechanical trash," despite the fact that Maul himself is a cyborg.
    • In "The Phantom Apprenctice", he expresses his disdain for his former master Sidious, for casting him aside as a disposable tool, but does the same thing to his loyal Mandalorian supercommandos, including Rook Kast and Gar Saxon who rescued him from Sidious' prison.
    • In Rebels, 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 Just Want to Have Friends: Another aspect of his motivation. Maul's interactions with Savage, Ezra, and to a lesser extent Ahsoka demonstrate a deep desire for kinship. Unfortunately, his training as a Sith has left him only capable of cruelty and manipulation, and he has no idea how to form a meaningful relationship, leaving him lonely and miserable.
  • 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 claims 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: In "Shades of Reason", 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:
    • Once Maul all but defeats Obi-Wan in their first duel in The Phantom Menace, he mockingly slashes at the shaft Obi-Wan is clinging to than force push him down or properly hold the high ground. This didn't work out for him well.
    • 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 rescues him in The Clone Wars, 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:
    • Maul is this 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. Maul also has a purely benevolent relationship with Talzin, who is his mother.
    • He is also kind to Ezra, but this is, ironically, mostly because he 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 Hutt Clan 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:
    • Maul lays out the mother of all beatdowns on Pre Viszla, humiliates him, and brutally executes him in challenging him for the title of Death Watch's leader. This is Pre Viszla we're talking about here.
    • He orders Saxon to assassinate Almec, who poisoned several Mandalorian children.
    • 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:
    • Maul is the third one in The Clone Wars after Cad Bane and Savage Opress. When Maul shows up, things get dark. He callously slaughters innocent children, murders Duchess Satine, and sparks a civil war that ultimately ravaged Mandalore.
    • He also served 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 extremely 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' plan to lure out Mother Talzin. Ironically, he and Talzin are trying to do the exact same thing with Sidious.
    • In Rebels, his last action in the second season is 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 franchise, 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 The Phantom Menace to usually the most talkative person in any scene he has in The Clone Wars. He's also picked up a penchant for theatricality, particularly when he's giving a sp 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 appears 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 ends up dying in 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 appearances in The Phantom Menace and Solo.
    • After Maul 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 Rebels.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: A few examples in the Clone Wars era.
    • When he and Pre Vizsla come to blows, Maul is much more sympathetic compared to Vizsla due to his love for his brother and his Freudian Excuse in The Clone Wars.
    • 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 of their duels, hold his own against Darth Sidious, nearly defeat Ahsoka, 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: In Rebels, a 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: In The Clone Wars, while he offered them money as well, Maul 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, Maul used the Force to create the crude spider-like apparatus he is 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: Having once been apprentice to the Manipulative Bastard, it's no surprise that Maul is one himself. He plays Pre Vizsla and later the population of Mandalore like well-tuned fiddles in The Clone Wars. He eventually 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: One of the most skilled lightsaber duelists in the franchise, his fighting style emphasizes crisp swordsmanship over Force powers. In The Clone Wars, Maul fought Sidious in a duel better than anyone sans Mace Windu. Sadly, by the time of Rebels, Maul's skills diminished to where he doubted he could match the crippled Darth Vader. Although his skills were still far too much for the Inquisitorius.
  • 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 Clone Wars, Maul chronologically displays the ability earlier when he pulls information about Ahsoka from Jesse's mind, though the process looked significantly more painful; either Maul learned finesse down the line or Jesse resisted more.
    • In Rebels, 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 he is discovered by Savage Opress, Maul 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: In The Clone Wars, Savage's last words to Maul are basically that he was never good enough. In Rebels, he 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.
  • Noble Demon: Through everything, Maul has always retained a sense of, albeit twisted, honor, and can be considered a somewhat honorable warrior. This is made especially apparent before and after The Clone Wars.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Maul 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 in "The Lawless".
  • Noodle Incident: It's implied that he may have encountered Darth Vader sometime between the Siege of Mandalore and Malachor, but the exact details have yet to be divulged.
  • 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 in "Revival", 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: Ironically, Maul has more in common with his archenemy Kenobi than he would like to admit.
    • In The Clone Wars, Maul is a skilled warrior and tactician with a dry sense of humor and a brotherly relationship with his apprentice, who lost something important to him during the Battle of Theed in The Phantom Menace, 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. And when Talzin is killed in front him, he even makes the exact same gesture Obi-Wan did when he murdered Satine.
    • 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.
    • He also sees himself and Ahsoka as this, with both of them having been abandoned by their respective orders. This is why he offers her the chance to join him and kill Sidious together.
  • Not-So-Well-Intentioned Extremist: Ahsoka expresses that should Maul kill Sidious with her, he would merely be taking his place as Emperor or possible Sith Master afterward. Considering what kind of person Maul is, that is not good for the Galaxy.
  • Obviously Evil: If the black robes and red lightsaber didn't give him away to Qui-Gon as a Sith...
  • Off with His Head!:
    • Maul 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 uses this as the method of executing Pre Vizsla in "Shades of Reason".
    • He later does this to Seventh Sister in "Twilight of the Apprentice".
  • Oh, Crap!: This is Maul's reaction when he recognizes Sidious' presence on Mandalore in "The Lawless".
    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 fifties by the time of his appearance in Rebels, but he looks barely any different than he did in The Clone Wars (aside from his redesign for the series), over fifteen years prior, even after he drops his initial "old man" act. Although, this may have to do with Rebels art style being more simplistic than The Clone Wars art style.
  • 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), Maul is yelling and muttering insanely, but 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 that he would default to an American accent. After he regains his sanity, however, Maul does return back to speaking with a British accent.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: 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. This continues in Rebels, where he's long past his prime and though capable of obliterating Inquisitors, he's still small potatoes to the likes of Darth Vader.
  • 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.
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Maul might prefer sword fighting, but he has proven to a terrible engine of mass destruction with the Force alone if he's deprived of his lightsaber.
  • Pet the Dog: Maul's relationship with Savage, willingness to give Jesse back to the heroes rather than killing him like Sidious would have, and slight concern towards Ezra.
  • 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 twelve 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:
    • In The Clone Wars, Maul 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 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 Maul's 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.
    • Maul is humbler in The Clone Wars, sticking mostly to justified confidence. This is still a weakness though, as in Rebels, 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 Maul looks in The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars, he is very hideous in Rebels.
  • Psychotic Smirk: Quite often in The Clone Wars, especially in "The Lawless", when he revels in Obi-Wan's misery after Satine's death.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: He shows some signs of this in The Clone Wars before being healed by Mother Talzin, 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 film. However, he gets to speak a lot more in The Clone Wars and by extension the canon.
  • 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.
  • Related in the Adaptation: In Legends, Maul was the son of one of Talzin's Nightsisters. In canon, he is Mother Talzin's son.
  • Restoration of Sanity: Being bisected and abandoned at the end of The Phantom Menace most certainly did not do good things for Maul's sanity. Luckily for Maul, Savage Opress discovers Maul on Lotho Minor and takes him to Mother Talzin in The Clone Wars, which results in Talzin using her magic to quickly restore his sanity.
  • 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 The Clone Wars Season 7 and 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 in The Clone Wars, 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: In The Clone Wars, Maul 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, Maul sets out to seek revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi for defeating him on Naboo and leads him to Raydonia by slaughtering innocent citizens to draw Obi-Wan 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 Clan 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.
  • Sadist:
    • He fits this trope pretty well in relation to his hatred of Obi-Wan Kenobi. He absolutely revels in inflicting as much pain as possible on Obi-Wan any way he can — killing his master (Qui-Gon) and gloating about it several years later, executing his love interest (Satine) as he's helpless to do anything but watch and mourn, and all while never really planning on killing the Jedi personally.
    • His response when he comes across three Inquisitors, Kanan, and Ahsoka, all wielding lightsabers?
      "What fun. WHAT FUN."
  • Sanity Slippage:
    • Played straight and inverted. In The Clone Wars, Maul is downright animalistic when Savage finally discovers him. He only manages 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 heals 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 in The Clone Wars, it's clearly taken a toll on him.
  • Satanic Archetype: In appearance only, with the red skin and horns. Played a little straighter when Maul slaughters an entire village filled with people and Satine just to torment Obi-Wan in The Clone Wars. In addition, he also becomes The Corrupter in Rebels, which was explicitly inspired by Dante's Inferno.
  • Say My Name: "KENOBIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!"
  • Shadow Dictator:
    • After conquering Mandalore, Maul 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.
  • Shock and Awe: Averted. Despite being a very powerful dark side user and former apprentice to a Sith whose signature move is Force Lightning, Maul has never displayed any hint of being able to channel lightning in both Legends and canon. As a result of this, he is unable to provide any support to Talzin when she is locked in a Force Lightning clash with Sidious unlike Dooku, who steps in to channel lightning to support his master. This leads to Talzin's death.
  • Sibling Team: After making his return in The Clone Wars, Maul forms this with his brother Savage Opress, which lasts until his brother gets killed by Darth Sidious.
  • 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: In The Phantom Menace, he rarely speaks and, when he does, it's only ever to his master. Averted since his appearances in The Clone Wars and by extension the canon feature him being a lot more talkative.
  • A Sinister Clue: In a wonderful bit of coincidence, Maul's actor is left-handed, which emphasized in later works in the way he tends to hold his lightsaber against his opponents, who are almost always right-handed. Almost borders on Southpaw Advantage given that means he's always making his opponents fight a reverse-mirrored image.
  • Slouch of Villainy: He slouches while sitting on his new throne at the end of "Shades of Reason".
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Maul does precisely one action 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 Godinvoked is that he assembled scraps of metallic trash to replace his missing legs using the Force.
  • Spikes of Villainy: He has spikes at the top of his head. A similar style is adopted by higher-ranking members of Maul's Mandalorian super commandos.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Maul 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 Clone Wars' 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. Maul is obsessed with getting his revenge on Obi-Wan in The Clone Wars to the point of massacring a village just to draw him out. He ends up spending majority of Rebels searching for Obi-Wan, ultimately finding him on Tatooine, and dying by his hand.
    • In Rebels, he is also 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 in The Clone Wars and by extension the canon, which features him becoming far more openly emotional.
  • Sword Cane: His new double-bladed lightsaber in Rebels had a wooden sheath, which allowed him to disguise it as a cane and further foster his image of a helpless old man.
  • Talkative Loon: Maul was this until he was healed in The Clone Wars. 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.
  • Thrown Out the Airlock: In the Return to Vader's Castle issue The Horned Devil!, Maul is taken prisoner on Lotho Minor by the crew of the Salvage-1. After he escapes and goes berserk, crew member Seles opens the cargo door of the Salvage-1 while the ship is still in the upper atmosphere. The resulting depressurization sucks Maul out along with hapless crew member Gritz. He manages to somehow survive the fall of several thousand feet. So does Gritz, who Maul either kills or drives insane.
  • Token Evil Teammate: In Rebels, while he was actually on Ezra's side, he retained most of his dark side ideals. He tried to manipulate Ezra into joining the dark side fairly often and was still quick to murder his opponents.
  • Took a Level in Badass: In The Phantom Menace, Maul was a purely physical opponent. In The Clone Wars, 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 saysinvoked that by the time of Rebels, Maul gained a touch of sincerity — and it's not altogether hard to see why; after everything he's been through in The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars (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 did seem to genuinely enjoy Ezra's company. Now, all that being said, Maul was still perfectly willing and able to manipulate Ezra to further his own ends, and was 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 agonizing experience after another. He was cut in half, left for dead, spent twelve 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 of 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. As presented in "Revenge", 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.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: In "The Phantom Apprentice", Maul leaves his Death Watch lieutenants Gar Saxon and Rook Kast to die, despite the pair having rescued him from Sidious' clutches.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Maul does precisely one important thing in The Phantom Menace: kill Qui-Gon Jinn. By doing so, he ensures that 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: In Rebels, Maul had been reduced to a shell of his former self in The Clone Wars. In The Clone Wars, Maul is a ruthless rogue Sith Lord who takes control of the Black Sun and Hutt Clan crime syndicates, destabilizes Mandalore and rules it with a puppet minister, and leads his own army of Mandalorians and Nightbrothers to become a dangerous threat to both the Separatists and Galactic Republic. By the time of Rebels, Maul is on the run, lost all of his followers and his crime network, and relied more on manipulating the heroes to achieve his goals. Although, he handily defeated the Imperial Inquisitiors and was a legitimate threat to the Ghost crew, he recognized that he was no match for the Empire and would never defeat Palpatine and Darth Vader. Maul's decay was justified as his numerous losses from the Jedi, Republic, and Separatists, including a brutal defeat at the hands of Darth Sidious, have robbed him of his former strength and destroyed his crime network. His final duel with Obi-Wan concluded with him dying.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Downplayed. Maul keeps his skill up in The Clone Wars, but it all goes downhill by Rebels. In his final duel with Obi-Wan, he tries the same move that killed Qui-Gon Jinn, presumably for thematic appropriateness, but Obi-Wan has a few decades of practice on him, and easily sees through it.
  • Villain Has a Point
    • In The Clone Wars, Maul tells Ahsoka important information during the Siege of Mandalore regarding the hypocrisy of the Jedi and corrupted Republic soon to fall that is true.
    • In Rebels, he bails a struggling Ezra out of a fight with the Seventh Sister by incapacitating her with the Force. He implores Ezra to finish her off, but the boy can't bring himself to do it. After Maul kills her for him, he warns Ezra such weakness could cost him dearly. Considering the Seventh Sister was visibly plotting to kill Ezra during his moment of mercy, he is absolutely right.
  • Villain Protagonist: Many of the episodes of The Clone Wars that he appears in revolve around him. He's also the lead character of Son of Dathomir.
  • Villain Takes an Interest: In Rebels, 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:
    • In The Clone Wars, Maul (and his brother Savage) forms this with the Mandalorian Death Watch, Black Sun, and the Hutt Clan, 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 has him apprehended and possessed by Mother Talzin to regenerate her body.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Maul's 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 in "Brothers" and "Revenge". 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 in "The Lawless".
    • 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.
    • He has a particularly epic - and terrifying - one at the end of "The Phantom Apprentice": he knows the Empire is coming and that everyone in its way will be slaughtered. When he's captured, he knows he's getting delivered to his own likely extremely painful demise.
      Maul: Let me go! Let me die! You're all going to burn! We're all going to die! You don't know what you're doing!
  • Villains Want Mercy: In "The Lawless", Maul 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:
    • Maul has this few times in The Clone Wars, notably in "Brothers", "Revenge", and "Revival".
    • When he gets a shirt in "Eminence", it still leaves about a six inch strip bare from neck to belt.
    • This continued into his appearances in 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 series' 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 The Clone Wars and Rebels fans not expecting him to return to the film franchise and to many film-only fans unfamiliar with his return 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.
    • Horrifyingly averted when he pulls a Terminator-like massacre on the clone troopers brainwashed by Order 66 that are trying to kill him in "Shattered". Without a lightsaber, he uses the Force to pull sheets of metal off the walls around him and uses them as shields and weapons, decapitating or bisecting his assailants with deadly precision.
  • Weapon of Choice: He wields 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.
  • We Can Rule Together: He accurately points out to Ahsoka the Jedi are finished and the Republic is beyond saving, but expresses she and him together can defeat Sidious and establish a new order. She almost accepts his offer until he reveals he intends to explicitly slay Anakin, refusing to believe any of his claims of her former master becoming a monster.
  • With My Hands Tied: During his duel with Pre Vizsla, Maul never once uses the Force even when in clearly disadvantageous situations.
  • 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 eleven episodes of The Clone Warsnote . 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. Nonetheless, every episode he did appear in was plot-important, so he made his limited number of appearances count.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Despite being a Sith Lord, Maul has some qualities that make him very sympathetic.
    • In The Clone Wars, Maul is always a villain, but it was his defeat at Obi-Wan's hand back in The Phantom Menace and the subsequent twelve years of near-total insanity that turned him into a vengeance-obsessed, Ax-Crazy psychopath who is willing to brutally murder dozens or 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:
    • Averted with Maul's first duel with Obi-Wan upon his return. Despite going insane and back as well as having halfassed prosthetic legs made from droid scraps, Maul completely outclasses Kenobi in a duel, prompting the exhausted Jedi Master to admit as much and flee from the skirmish.
    • Maul loses to Ahsoka due to being under a great deal of stress from his growing panic at his visions, and likely being fresh from his mother's death and his planet being razed.
    • 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.
    • In contrast to his burning hatred of Obi-Wan, he seems to hold a great deal of respect for Ahsoka Tano, acknowledging that she bested him with no bitterness, and somewhat respectfully addressing her as "Lady Tano."
  • Would Hit a Girl:
    • In "Eminence", Maul almost kills Sugi. 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 impales Satine with the Darksaber just to torment Obi-Wan.
    • In "The Phantom Apprentice", he duels Ahsoka during the Siege of Mandalore, elbowing her in the face at one point.
    • In "Twilight of the Apprentice", he bisects the Seventh Sister with his lightsaber when Ezra hesitates.
  • Would Hurt a Child: One of the most deplorable aspects of Maul is he makes no distinctions with his with victims. In The Clone Wars, Maul and Savage massacre an entire village and all their children upon his return, and he later runs a massive criminal enterprise that slaughters children should their other victims not comply with their demands.
  • 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. However, Maul reforges the end of his original lightsaber into another double-bladed weapon, which he uses for his duel with Ahsoka Tano during the Siege of 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 in ''Rebels'. 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.
  • 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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