How Darth Maul Taught Us To Let Go
(Spoilers towards the end) Star Wars has been around for just over 4 decades and continues creating new stories and lore to explore. Since its creation, new and exciting characters have been introduced that bring a whole new perspective to explore. No character in the franchise exemplifies this more than Darth Maul.
His story is told through three mediums, comic books, animation, and live-action. His first being the titular character in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (yes, he was the phantom menace). Initially, he served as nothing more than a literal devil to stand between Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi and the safety of a young Anakin Skywalker. At the end of the movie, he was later killed and had not been seen or heard from for years after.
That changed when Dave Filoni launched Star Wars: The Clone Wars. This series became the glue that stuck Star Wars Episodes 2 and 3 together and bridged many lore gaps. The series also brought back Darth Maul and began the true purpose of his existence. For the rest of his life, Maul would serve as nothing more than a desperate man who lives to lose.
Maul has always been compared to the tale of Sisyphus. The man who endless tried to roll a boulder up a mountain. It has been shown that Maul exemplifies hatred of the dark side, and that is shown through his initial desire to kill every Jedi in his comic series. By the time he returns in the animated series, he wants nothing more than to make Obi-Wan suffer for his defeat.
This desire for revenge forces Maul to walk a new path as a Master. Taking his brother, Savage Opress, as his apprentice, Maul begins to control Mandalore by defeating Pre Viszla in combat and earning the Dark Saber. However, his victory is short lived once the Emperor learns of this and promptly kills Opress and reminds Maul who is really in charge (it looks like it’s time to roll the boulder up the hill again).
Maul’s dreams of conquest are relegated to ruling Mandalore, and even that doesn’t last once Ahsoka Tano and her clone battalion defeat him in the Siege of Mandalore. Following Order 66, Maul flies off to supposedly rule a crime syndicate known as Crimson Dawn. This doesn’t last long either as Maul isn’t heard from again some years following Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Star Wars Rebels marks the last time we see Maul. Old and bitter, he only has one thing in his mind, killing Obi-Wan Kenobi. He manipulates Ezra Bridger and threatens his team to get what he wants. Before, he was methodic, now there is only chaos and drive to reach the only thing he has left. Ultimately, his rage gets the better of him, and his conclusion is similar to his introduction in the first film; brief.
Darth Maul is as compelling as he is entertaining. However, the lessons he teaches serve more as precautions rather than ways of life. Maul was driven by revenge and, in his wake, lost everything he remotely cared about. He dealt with his losses by never learning from them, and ultimately it led to his downfall. Maul teaches us that sometimes we need to know when to stop rolling that boulder up the hill. Even if it hurts, it’s better to move on and grow than stay wallowing in a pit of our failures. Darth Maul is a prime example of the pitfalls that come with the Dark Side. By learning from a character who was unable to learn from himself, we will be able to face our past mistakes and, just like Obi-Wan, and remind ourselves what we have risen above.
Thank you guys for giving my post a read and thank you for being so understanding of my wonky scheduling this week! As a thank you I have a brand new episode of my podcast, The Next Panel with Nick and Jake! Also, make sure to give my Star Wars Rebels write-up a read! Spread the word and follow me on my social media! Stay Safe, Stay Happy, and Stay Fresh!