Before Darth Maul made his appearance to the Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn, the legend of the Sith had only been a rumor. With his agile combat style and fearless aggression, Maul is feared by those who stand in his way, especially the Jedi he seeks to defeat.
Here are 25 fearsome facts about one of the most formidable Sith to ever exist, Darth Maul.
1. Born a Warrior
Maul was born on the planet Dathomir, a remote planet that is bathed in blood-red light. Dathomir is home to two groups: the Nightsisters, a group of witches, and the Zabrak, a clan of warriors called the Nightbrothers, who are subservient to the witches.
2. Earning Your Horns
The horns that protrude from Maul’s head and the tattoos that cover his body are markings of the Zabrak; the horns develop as the Zabrak grow. The Zabrak train their whole lives to be warriors, and possess a resistance to physical pain and even a second heart.
3. Son of a Witch
Maul was born (in some Expanded Universe stories) to Mother Talzin, a powerful witch of the Nightsisters clan. Mother Talzin was Darth Sidious’ first pick for Sith apprentice. However, the Sith Lord found her son to be more impressive, and took him from Dathomir.
4. Bad Role Models
Darth Maul was the Sith apprentice to Darth Sidious. Sidious would later go on to become the Galactic Emperor Palpatine, the master of Darth Vader.
5. Death, But Not Dead
Darth Maul was believed to be dead after being cut in two by Obi-Wan Kenobi during the Battle of Naboo. But in The Clone Wars, Mother Talzin believed her son was alive, and sent Maul’s brother, Savage Opress, to find him.
6. More Machine than Maul
Mother Talzin rebuilt her son with mechanical limbs. She also used magic to restore Maul’s memory, which he had lost. Maul then remembered being bisected by Kenobi and vowed revenge on the Jedi Knight.
7. Keeping it in the Family
Maul chooses his brother, Savage Opress, to be his Sith Apprentice. Opress had some prior training in the ways of the Dark Side under Count Dooku–the former Jedi who would go on to be Darth Sidious’ new apprentice.
8. Mob Mentality
During the Clone Wars, Maul become the Earth equivalent of a mob boss. He recruited underworld factions, crime syndicates, and Jabba the Hutt, forming a group known as the Shadow Collective.
9. Only a Sith Deals in Absolutes
Maul is responsible for murdering the only woman Obi-Wan Kenobi ever loved–Duchess Satine. As you can imagine, Maul took pleasure in the sorrow of his nemesis.
10. Two is Better Than One
One of Maul’s unique characteristics is his choice to wield a double-bladed lightsaber. Maul can use one blade at a time or both, depending on the circumstance.
11. Rule Breaker
Maul was almost killed by his former Master, Darth Sidious, for violating the Rule of Two. The Rule of Two states that, at any given time, there can be only one Sith Master and one Apprentice. To prove his point, Sidious easily kills Maul’s brother (who had been acting as Maul’s Apprentice).
12. The Rule of…8?
Darth Maul has been portrayed and voiced by many actors. In The Phantom Menace, actor and martial artist Ray Park physically portrays Maul, while Peter Serafinowicz does the voice. In The Clone Wars and Rebels, Samuel Wiltwer voices Maul. Actors Gregg Berger, Jess Harnell, Stephen Stanton, Clint Bajakian, and David Collins have also all voiced Maul in other related Star Wars media.
13. Speak Softly and Carry a Big Lightsaber
Darth Maul only has two lines in The Phantom Menace: “Tatooine is sparsely populated. If the trace is correct, I will find them quickly, Master,” and “At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have our revenge.”
14. A Graceful Sith
Ray Park took the job of playing Maul so seriously that he took gymnastics and ballet lessons to get prepared for the role.
15. Not the First Choice
Ray Park was not George Lucas’ first choice to play Darth Maul. Benicio del Toro was originally set to play the character, but dropped out when he found out that Maul’s part had been cut down.
16. A Peaceful Death for a Dark Lord
Kenobi and Maul have a final battle on the planet of Tatooine in Rebels. Kenobi makes quick work of Maul, who (finally) dies.
17. Even in Death
In the comic Star Wars: Shattered Empire, after the fall of the Empire in Return of the Jedi, Leia goes on a mission to Naboo. Upon entering the hangar bay where Maul fought Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, Leia says that she feels cold, and sees a vision of the former Sith.
18. Tattoos and Piercings
In The Phantom Menace, Maul wears a silver earring. Ray Park forgot to take the earring out before being transformed into Darth Maul by the makeup team, but, in the end, George Lucas approved of the earring, so it stayed.
19. Flying in Style
Maul uses many vehicles to accomplish his purpose of wiping out the Jedi. In particular, he uses a Sith Infiltrator to go anywhere in the galaxy undetected.
20. Fear a Strong Woman
The concept of Darth Maul initially started off as a girl–an evil witch with long hair that covered her face. However, Lucas thought the character looked too intense, and the idea was scrapped.
21. A True Fighter
Maul’s fighting style is impressive. Lucas wanted to show the audience that Maul spent all of his time studying different fighting styles. As a martial artist, Ray Park specialized in Wushu, Shaolin techniques, and kickboxing, all of which helped shape Maul’s technique.
Before revealing himself as a Sith, Sidious had Maul perform a variety of hit jobs on politicians, merchants, and other opponents who stood in his path to becoming Emperor.
23. Art is Based on Reality
Designer of Darth Maul, Iain McCaig, developed what would become Maul’s tattoos by following the muscle patterns underneath the face.
24. Comfortable in Your Skin
Being Darth Maul means you jump, roll, twirl, spin, flip, duck, and jump some more. Because of his physical and almost acrobatic fighting style, Maul wears only a simple, samurai style cloak that allows for complete freedom of movement.
25. Nature Versus Nurture
Most fans know that when Darth Sidious kidnapped Darth Maul, he trained him to despise the Jedi, but many don’t know that the real reason why Darth Maul hated the Jedi with such intensity is actually because Darth Sidious forced him to inhale the ashes of dead Sith killed by the Jedi during his training. This made Maul feel the pain of the Sith that came before him, embedding a deep hate for the Jedi within him.