Darth Maul: The Warrior
Canon Darth Maul:

[ The Movie ][ The Novelization ][ The Databank Entry ]

Darth Maul: Biography

A life history - of necessity, quite short, since little is known of Maul. He became the first Sith to be revealed to the Jedi for a thousand years.

The DMEB-2 considers information from the movie and novelization of Episode One as well as the “Databank” information of Darth Maul as given on the official Star Wars website to be “canon.”

Canon Maul is “limited” to say the least. He only appears for a few short minutes in The Phantom Menace, and speaks but a few lines of dialogue, though he was heavily promoted in the trailers, in the media and in the print campaign. One could not look at any kind of Star Wars merchandise or promotion without seeing his eyes glaring back.

Here is what we know of Darth Maul:


The Facts:

Name: Darth Maul (Birthname not given)
Gender: Male
Height: 1.75 meters
Homeworld: Iridonia
Species: Zabrak

Additional information that can be taken as canon are that Maul is Sith Lord, his body is covered in tattoos and that they have some sort of meaning in relation to his dedication to the Sith. Like all Zabrak, Maul has vestigial horns on his head, and though the number may vary by race, Maul has ten horns. He also has a stud earring in the cartilage of his left ear.

The Movie:

The Star Wars movies, strictly speaking, are the only “true” canon in the Star Wars universe. In this case, Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as originally distributed, is the only source of strictly canon information on Darth Maul. Following is a short synopsis of what is known of Darth Maul from the movie:

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom MenaceDarth Maul made his first appearance in TPM as a ghostly and menacing hologram standing behind Lord Sidious as the discussion turned to tracking down Queen Amidala. He said nothing. Simply glared in contempt at the Neimoidian officials.

Maul’s next appearance was on a balcony on Coruscant discussing details of his upcoming mission with his Master, Darth Sidious. It is here of course that he spoke all but one line of dialogue.

As the two walk along the balcony, Maul started, “Tatooine is sparsely populated. If the trace was correct, I will find them quickly Master”

“Move against the Jedi first. You will then have no difficulty in taking the Queen to Naboo to sign the treaty” Sidious replied.

“At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge”

Maul then sped off to Tatooine, making a remote night landing on a high ridge in the barren desert. Upon viewing the surroundings, he dispatched three Sith Probe droids to locate the Jedi and therefore the Queen. And he waited.

The probe droids do their job, locating the Jedi and alerting Maul to their location. Using his Sith Speeder, Darth Maul raced off to capture the Queen and hopefully destroy a Jedi or two. He surprised them, but was unable to kill the Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn or capture the Queen.

Darth Maul is then dispatched to Naboo by Sidious to ensure that Amidala is unable to reclaim the throne from the Neimoidian Viceroy. Conferring with Sidious, he is advised to be mindful and to let the Jedi make the first move. He replied with a slight bow of the head and “Yes, my Master” The Trade Federation, unable to stop Queen Amidala and the Jedi from infiltrating Theed once again, forced Darth Maul to confront the two Jedi once and for all.

In that final battle, the Duel of the Fates, Maul fights brilliantly against both Jedi, eventually separating the two and killing Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. Unfortunately, when facing the younger Jedi Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, he gloated over his presumed victory a bit too much, and was unable to deflect the killing blow Obi-Wan inflicted using Qui-Gon’s lightsabre. Cut in half, Maul’s body tumbled down the melting pit of the Theed generator.

(See our The Voice Page for more information
on the dialogue of Darth Maul in Episode I.)

The Novelization:

[ Complete Darth Maul Entries in Novel ]

The Phantom Menace - Paperback BookBeing the written word rather than being based on visuals, the novel by Terry Brooks, offers only slightly more information than the movie. Mostly in regards to the inner thoughts of Maul, as well as some additional scenes that were not in the final movie. Though not canon in the strictest sense, most fans regard the Star Wars movie novels to be close enough, as the writers work closely with George Lucas himself in drafting the novels - and they are based on the working screenplay.

The following includes summary information from the novel of the Phantom Menace, as well as some quotes from the book. These are used without permission of LucasBooks or of DelRay the publisher. They are simply presented as a way to compare the movie version of Darth Maul with that which was given in the novel.

Darth Maul is once again introduced as a holographic image to the Neimoidian delegation.

“Something shimmered in the background of the hologram, and a figure emerged from the darkness behind Darth Sidious. Nute Gunray froze. It was a second Sith Lord. But whereas Darth Sidious was a vague and shadowy presence, this new Sith was truly terrifying to look upon. His face was a mask of jagged red and black patterns, the design etched into his skin, and his skull was hairless and studded with a crown of short, hooked horns. Gleaming yellow eyes fixed on the Neimoidians, breaking past their defenses stripping them bare and dismissing them as insignificant and foolish”

“Viceroy” Darth Sidious spoke softly in the sudden silence, “this is my apprentice, Lord Maul. He will find your lost ship”

Maul next appears as a hologram on the balcony with Lord Sidious, overlooking the cityscape of Coruscant. Here, Darth Maul shifted his weight from foot to foot with impatience, waiting to speak with his Master.

These two short scenes sum up how Darth Maul was portrayed in the novelization of The Phantom Menace: Arrogant, strong, impatient and with the look of a beast. Any positive attributes such as strength or agility are dismissed as being secondary to his evil nature, and in fact are a by product of the evil that he was. We here at the DMEB-2 of course believe Darth Maul to be more than what was presented to us in the movie or the novel - though we don’t agree on the specifics.

There is little variation from the novel to the movie regarding Darth Maul’s character or abilities until near the end. The following includes lines that ended up on the cutting room floor!

In the Theed palace throne room, Darth Sidious loomed in hologram form before Darth Maul, Battle Droid Commander OOM-9, and the Neimoidians. Smooth and silky, his voice oozed through the shadowy ether.

“Our young Queen surprises me” he whispered thoughtfully, hidden within his dark robes. “She is more foolish than I thought”

“We are sending all available troops to meet this army of hers” Nute “Lord Maul, be mindful”Gunray offered quickly. “It appears to be assembling at the edge of the swamp. Primitives, my lord - nothing better. We do not expect much resistance”

“I am increasing security at all Naboo detention camps” OOM-9 intoned.

Darth Maul glared at nothing, then shook his horned head. “I feel there is more to this than what we know, my Master. The two Jedi may be using the Queen for their own purposes”

“The Jedi cannot become involved” Darth Sidious soothed, hands spreading in a placating motion. “They can only protect the Queen. Even Qui-Gon Jinn cannot break that covenant. This will work to our advantage”

Darth Maul snorted, anxious to get on with it.

“I have your approval to proceed, then my lord?“ Nute Gunray asked hesitantly, avoiding the younger Sith’s mad eyes.

“Proceed” Darth Sidious ordered softly. “Wipe them out, Viceroy. All of them”

Interestingly - the scene was shot more or less as presented here as can be seen on the DVD - disc 2. Ray Park speaks the lines above, while walking with the Neimoidians.

Once the Battle for Naboo was underway, it was Maul alone who realized the seriousness of the situation. The following scene lasts but seconds in the movie version, yet the novelization is much more telling of the characters.

In the relative seclusion of the Theed palace throne room, in a place they had believed safely removed from any real danger, Nute Gunray and Rune Haako stared at a giant viewscreen and its rapidly changing images of the battle taking place in the main hangar. The Jedi Knights were inside the complex, accompanied by Naboo soldiers and pilots, their lightsabers wreaking havoc on the battle droids who tried to stop them.

“How did they get into the city?“ Rune Haako whispered in dismay.

Nute Gunray shook his head. “I don’t know. I thought the battle was going to take place far from here” His eyes were wide and staring. “This is too close”

They turned as one when Darth Maul stalked into the room, bearing a long-handled lightsaber. Yellow eyes gleamed out of the Sith’s red and black tattooed face, and his dark cloak billowed out behind him.

Nute Gunray and Rune Haako backed away instinctively, neither of them wanting to get in the way. “Lord Maul” Gunray greeted, inclining his head briefly.

Darth Maul glanced at him disdainfully. “I told you there was more to this than was apparent” His eyes had a wild, manic look to them. “The Jedi have come to Theed for a reason, Viceroy. They have a plan of their own for defeating us”

“A plan?“ the Neimoidian asked worriedly.

“One that will fail, I assure you” The striped face glinted wickedly in the light. “I have waited a long time for this. I have trained for it endlessly. The Jedi will regret their decision to return here”

There was an edge to his rough voice that was frightening. The Sith was anxious for this confrontation, his body coiled and ready, his hands flexing about his weapon. The Neimoidians did not envy those he sought.

“Wait here until I return” he ordered abruptly, and swept past them.

“Where are you going?“ Nute Gunray demanded frantically as the Sith Lord crossed toward the speeder docks.

“Where do you think I’m going, Viceroy?“ the other sneered. “I’m going to the main hangar to rid you of the Jedi once and for all”

Darth Maul

Darth Maul’s abilities are discussed in the novel, compared to the Jedi, especially to Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who he battled in the final duel. Given from Qui-Gon’s point of view, it is an interesting look at what the Jedi Master saw in front of him as he battled for his life.

Darth Maul was a warrior in his prime, never to be any better, his powers at their apex. In addition, he was driven by his messianic hatred for and disdain of the Jedi Knights, the enemies of the Sith for millennia. He had worked and trained all his life for this moment, for a chance to meet a Jedi Knight in combat. It was an added bonus that he was able to engage two. He had no fear for himself, no doubt that he would win. He was focused in a way that Qui-Gon recognized at once - a Jedi’s focus, mindful of the present, locked in on what was needed in the here and now. Qui-Gon saw it in his mad eyes and in the set of his red and black tattooed features. The Sith Lord was a living example of what the Jedi Master was always telling Obi-Wan about how best to hear the will of the Force.

This is probably the most generous description of Darth Maul to be found anywhere in the canon or expanded universe literature.

We are given little insight into why Darth Maul lost the duel to Obi-Wan, except that George Lucas wanted Maul to lose. In the final pages of the novel, Darth Sidious stood out on his balcony, running over the loss of his apprentice in his mind.

That night Darth Sidious stood alone on a balcony overlooking the city, a shadowy figure amid the multitude of twinkling lights, his visage dark and angry as he contemplated the loss of his apprentice. Years of training had gone into the preparation of Darth Maul as a Sith Lord. He had been more than the equal of the Jedi Knights he had faced and should have been able to defeat them easily. It was bad luck and chance that had led to his death, a combination that even the power of the dark side could not always overcome.

Not in the short run, at least.

His brow furrowed. It would be necessary to replace Darth Maul. He would need to train another apprentice. Such a one would not be easy to find.

Of course there are many more entries in the novel by Terry Brooks that include information on Darth Maul. Few of them give much more insight than what is stated above, into Maul’s character though. He was meant to be mysterious or enigmatic, that much is sure.

(For complete transcripts of every scene with
Darth Maul taken from the novelization of
The Phantom Menace, see our TPM Novel Page.)

The Databank Entry:

Darth MaulThe Official Site of gives little more in background on Darth Maul than the other sources. It was on the website that Lucas officially announced that Maul was a Zabrak and that he was born on Iridonia, prior to that, it had been fan speculation. The official view of Maul's character is questionable in our view.

“Darth Maul was a weapon forged by the hateful energies of the dark side to ensure the victory of the Sith over the Jedi order. A creature of pure evil, Maul had no personality beyond his ultimate devotion to his master, Darth Sidious. His goal was singular - to exact vengeance upon the Jedi for the decimation of the Sith ranks”

While the DMEB-2 does not argue with Darth Maul being a weapon, his devotion to his Master, or with his singular goal of the destruction of the Jedi. We strongly disagree with the statement that Darth Maul had no personality. (See our FAQ Page for more views on this.)

The official entry for Darth Maul on the Star Wars website around the time of the release of Episode I was, a bit more charitable toward our favourite Sith Lord.

“Completely embracing the dark side of the Force, Darth Maul is a fearsome Sith apprentice. His constant training, both in combat techniques and in the dark powers of the Force, makes him a formidable figure and a power to be reckoned with. His horned head, face tattoos and gleaming yellow eyes strike terror in the heart of all but the most focused opponents.

Since his master has great confidence in the pupil's abilities, Darth Maul is often entrusted with delicate missions. In return, Maul is absolutely loyal to his master, and devotes his utmost efforts to achieving the objectives laid out by his mentor. Although he closely follows traditions and protocols, Darth Maul is never one to blend in: he has built a double-bladed lightsaber, and trained himself to wield the unusual weapon with deadly accuracy. Only through his complete dedication to the way of the Sith was Maul able to bring the dark side of the Force to his aid in mastering such a dangerous combat skill”


All in all, the Canon Universe Darth Maul is a rather boring if not just plain 2-dimensional fellow ... dark and strong, he was portrayed almost as an animal (his descriptions in the Novelization of TPM especially) with no personality except his desire to serve his Master and to avenge the Jedi.

Luckily, the Expanded Universe Darth Maul has a bit more depth to him and the Other Darth Maul of the fan-world truly bring this fascinating character to life and in many different forms and ways.


The Warrior ] [ Canon Darth Maul ]
[ Expanded Universe Maul ] [ Other Darth Maul ]


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