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Comic Book / Darth Maul

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In the shadows, an ancient enemy stirs. The Sith
-practitioners of the dark side of the Force long
thought destroyed - secretly work to undermine
and eventually overthrow the Jedi Order, the
guardians of peace and justice in the galaxy.

Two members of the Sith order - Darth Sidious
and his apprentice Darth Maul - secretly await
their moment to strike. But while Sidious plans
an intricate series of deceptions and
machinations, Maul grows restless.

The moment of revenge is close at hand, and he is
unwilling to wait much longer...

Darth Maul is a 2017 Star Wars Expanded Universe limited comic series written by Cullen Bunn and illustrated by Luke Ross. It serves as a prequel to The Phantom Menace.

Shortly before the invasion of Naboo, a young Darth Maul grows frustrated and impatient with maintaining concealment from the Jedi, per orders of his master, Darth Sidious. To vent his anger, he tests his anger against creatures and cutthroats throughout the Galaxy. However, during one mission, he is one of the few to learn that a powerful crime lord has captured a young Jedi Padawan. Seeing this as an opportunity to test his mettle, he sets out to seek this Jedi, secretly defying his master's wishes.

Not to be confused with the non-canonical Legends comic series released in 2000 by Dark Horse Comics. Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir was also published under Dark Horse, but as an adaptation of an unreleased arc of Star Wars: The Clone Wars. It is canonical to the Expanded Universe under Disney and Marvel's publishing.


Tropes in this series include:

  • Action Girl: Eldra Kaitis is a Jedi Padawan who can hold her own against Darth Maul.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Though only when they first team up; they break apart partly so they can keep an eye on each other and also to check out the other's fighting skills and technique for their upcoming battle with each other.
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Xev Xrexus works out what Maul is planning and has her men plant a bomb that will bring his ship down on a nearby moon, so she can make more money on the subsequent hunt.
    • Maul finding out about the captured Padwan Eldra, turns out to have been one by Darth Sidious, to sate Maul's lust for vengeance temporarily so he doesn't do anything to expose them, while still leaving him hungry for more.
  • Call-Forward:
    • Khaat Qiyn and Bairdon Jace appeared as participants of the Battle of Geonosis in Attack of the Clones, but they were unnamed.
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    • Cad Bane and Aurra Sing appear as allies to Maul and affirm that they're enemies of the Jedi Order and the Republic, just like they will continue to be in The Clone Wars.
    • The Zabrak kid from Issue #2 would later go on to inherit his father's bar and, upon a visit from Luke, he told the patrons to kill him and take his lightsaber in Star Wars (Marvel 2015). He also mentioned that like Luke, his father is dead; we get to see how this happened in Darth Maul.
    • In Issue #2, Maul remembers visiting Malachor with Sidious and learning about the Scourge. Apparently, before the visit, he had dreams of the place, either out of Dreaming of Things to Come or just because it's related to the history of the Sith.
      • Maul's Madness Mantraread here  that he will say in The Clone Wars by the time Savage finds him is revealed to be an altered version of the mantra he learned during his lesson on Malachor by Sidious.
    • Maul considers corrupting Eldra, something he will later try with Ezra in Rebels.
  • The Cameo:
    • Maul stalks Khaat Qiyn and her Padawan, Bairdon Jace, on Coruscant. Their appearance is to show how the Jedi seem uneasy about an unknown presence yet ignore signs of it, as well as how Maul is eager to see his abilities unleashed against the Jedi.
    • Hondo Ohnaka and his gang, as well as Grakkus the Hutt make cameos as bidders at the auction held by the Xrexus Cartel.
  • Clothing Damage: Maul loses his tunic after getting slashed across the chest with a lightsaber.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Maul finally kills Eldra in a surprise attack. Eldra herself dropped a rockfall on his head.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The criminal gang that wins the auction for Eldra are Moogans. Moogan smugglers were involved in Almec's corruption conspiracy in The Clone Wars.
    • In Issue #2, Maul is temporarily blinded and later ruins Feebee's optic sensors, likely referencing how in Rebels, he permanently blinds Kanan.
  • Cover-Blowing Superpower: Defied. If Maul wants to successfully hunt down Eldra, he has to try not to use the Force too obviously and refrain from using his lightsaber in front of others, because Sidious would not be pleased that the revelation of the Sith still being alive is spreading around in the Galaxy like wildfire and thus ruining his plans. This leads to some complications during a Bar Brawl, where Maul has fend off multiple opponents, using only his skills in hand-to-hand combat.
  • The Dog Bites Back: Feebee leaves Tek-Tek to die when given the chance in revenge for his poor treatment at the latter's hands.
  • Doomed by Canon: Eldra learns that Maul is a Sith, but that means she likely never lives to return to the Jedi Order, as they can't learn about the survival of the Sith until The Phantom Menace, which happens some time later.
  • Dramatic Irony: In Issue #2, Maul believes that he will live a long life. Well, he does survive being Half the Man He Used to Be soon and is believed to be dead for about the next decade. And then almost two decades later after that, he gets Killed Off for Real, about halfway through the average lifespan of a Zabrak, assuming it is the same as a Human's.
  • Enemy Mine: Maul and Eldra Kaitis, the padwan he came to kill, are forced to fight alongside each other when thrown into a most dangerous game scenario.
  • Euphemism Buster: At the auction Maul claims to represent the Haddrex Consortium.
    Xev Xrexus: "Consortium"? Dear boy, let's call your employers what they are. A gang, yes?
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Maul feels a sort of kinship with Eldra after fighting alongside her and noting their similarities, but is so confused that he figures it must just be wanting to corrupt her into his student.
  • Exactly What I Aimed At: Eldra throws her sword, missing Maul and only hitting the rock behind him. He snarks about how impractical sword throwing is, only to turn around and see the avalanche she triggered.
  • Face Death with Dignity: When Maul comes to kill her Xev Xrexus doesn't flee or beg for her life; she offers to buy him off and when he refuses, her only regret is that she didn't get a better vintage for her last drink.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Xev Xrexus, the leader of the cartel selling Eldra, plants a bomb in the winner of auctions's ship, to maroon Eldra and the others on-board on a nearby planet, so she can make even more money off the losers of the auction for a chance to hunt her. Unfortunately for Xev, this puts her on Maul's kill list when he gets caught in the middle of her plan.
  • Irony: Maul notes that Sidious would find it amusing that he's having to practice the same patience and scheming that his master is always urging.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: The Jedi Order is often criticized for recruiting its members at a very young age and impressing Emotion Suppression and The Stoic lifestyles upon them. However, considering how many people are willing to use and exploit individuals with Force sensitivity — Eldra is captured and put up for auction, with numerous bidders — it's more understandable that the Order wants to protect as many young people as possible.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen
    • Subverted when Cad Bane challenges a hunter to a Quick Draw contest. His opponent is entirely willing to go along with this, even ordering his men to let Bane go if he wins, only for them to be ambushed by the rest of Bane's crew.
      Cad Bane: Sorry fellas. You'd best believe I was faster on the draw than your boss. But that don't mean I'm gonna play fair.
    • Played straight between Eldra Kaitis and Darth Maul, since that's the entire point of him kidnapping her.
  • Let's Split Up, Gang!: Knowing the hunters will mainly be after the Padawan, Maul takes off with his prisoner to draw them away from their spacecraft so Cad Bane's crew can hijack one of them.
  • Mythology Gag: This isn't the first time Maul goes after a Padawan to kill them. He does this in Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter in Legends as well.
  • Outside-Context Problem: The Sith are this to everyone involved; even the Jedi only have a vague sense of unease about what's coming.
  • Only in It for the Money: Cad Bane and his crews motive for helping Maul. Something the latter is very much aware of.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Maul is obsessed with avenging acts against the Sith committed thousands of years ago, taking Revenge by Proxy against a girl he'd rather have as an ally in different circumstances.
  • Running Gag: In Issue #2, after being recruited by Maul, Aurra confides in Bane that she has a bad feeling about this.
  • Slasher Smile: Maul grins like a maniac whenever Eldra fights, seeing her prowess and looking forward to fighting her himself. Say nothing of the actual duel, where he's positively delighted.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: From what is seen so far, Aurra isn't as sadistic as she is in The Clone Wars and has shades of a downplayed Naïve Newcomer. Makes sense, since there's a near-decade gap between that and this comic, so she's had plenty of time to change.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: After killing Eldra, Maul expects to feel something, but only feels empty and angrier than before. He concludes that he will have to spend the rest of his life killing Jedi in order to fill the hole.
  • Villain Has a Point: While Sidious might've been twisting some facts around to Maul about the Scourge of Malachor, the Sith are right about the Jedi Order's encouragement of being The Stoic and Emotion Suppression being bad for your mental health. Though this doesn't erase that the Sith are still pretty bad in thinking that the opposite extreme of that (which is being completely driven by emotion with a lack of any logic and composure) is better.
  • What the Hell Are You?: Eldra's reaction when Darth Maul turns up outside her cell, glares at her in silent rage and then starts slashing at the Forcefield Door with a lightsaber.
  • Worthy Opponent: Eldra comments that she's not who Maul really wants to fight, being only a padawan instead of a full-blown Jedi Knight. When Maul kills her, he says in an almost comforting manner that she truly is a Jedi, showing that he considers her worthy of his respect and the fight she gave him.
  • You Know Too Much
    • As he fights her Maul realises Eldra is Not So Different, with plenty of anger that could be turned to the ways of the Dark Side. But there's no way of that happening because he can't afford to let his master know about all this and so has to kill her. Turns out his master knew all along, so it was All for Nothing.
    • Xev Xrexus wants to know if he's come to avenge Eldra's death. Maul is angrily denying to himself that he would ever avenge a Jedi, but then Xev Xrexus says that she knows he's a Sith so he gladly kills her on that pretext.

Alternative Title(s): Star Wars Darth Maul


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