The Rise and Fall of Maul in The Clone Wars
First, hearing Maul survived his duel with Obi-Wan on Naboo in The Phantom Menace was SOOO shocking. As a kid, I never appreciated his character as much in The Clone Wars since I was, well, a kid. I never had a huge grasp on Maul and who he was as a character.
Having rewatched The Clone Wars after the announcement of Season 7, I can now see Maul’s entire arc, both his rise and fall, in a few episodes.
Maul returns in Season 4 of The Clone Wars, when his brother, Savage Opress, finds him on Lotho Minor. At this point, he has a robotic waist and legs and has gone crazy, rambling on about Kenobi and vengeance. After being brought back to Dathomir and healed by the Nightsisters, Maul is rejuvenated on a quest of revenge to kill Obi-Wan Kenobi. He nearly succeeds in his attempt when he duels him on Raydonia but an unexpected ally helps Kenobi escape Maul’s clutches. They duel yet again on Florrum, but, like before, Kenobi escapes Maul through the help of friends on Florrum, this time in the form of Hondo Ohnaka.
After his failure on Florrum he is discovered by Death Watch. Alongside them, he forms an ambitious plan, to take over Mandalore and kill Kenobi. The plan set in motion, Maul brings together Black Sun, the Pyke Syndicate, and the Hutt Cartels to form a criminal empire under his rule. In short, his plan was to use the armies of the criminal syndicates to threaten Mandalore while Death Watch came to save the day, being hailed as the “saviors of Mandalore.” Vizsla then betrays and imprisons Maul, anointing himself as Prime Minister of Mandalore. However, Maul counted on Vizsla betraying him and, while in prison, suspected there would be political prisoners nearby who he could use for his own ends. Maul and Savage break out to seek this new ally, choosing former Prime Minister Almec as their puppet leader. Afterwards, Maul goes to the Mandalorian throne room and challenges Vizsla to single combat to determine the true ruler of Mandalore.
Even after defeating and killing Vizsla in single combat to claim the title as ruler of Mandalore, Maul was too ambitious and became powerful. He killed Satine Kryze, the former ruler, in front of Kenobi and imprisoned Kenobi, wanting him to suffer for as long as he had. However, even as ruler of Mandalore, Darth Sidious sensed Maul was growing powerful and becoming a threat to his plans. Sidious travels to Mandalore to face Maul and Savage. The three of them duel but even Savage and Maul combined prove no match for the Dark Lord of the Sith. After killing his brother, to which they share a semi-tender moment before he dies, Maul pleads for mercy. Palpatine has none of it and tortures Maul with Force lightning, while Maul’s screams echo down the hall, thus ending his short rule of Mandalore.
In summation, it was really nice to see Maul come to power as well as to see his own lust for power was his downfall. His whole rise and fall made me vastly appreciate his character more than if he was just in The Phantom Menace, wielding a double-bladed lightsaber, looking cool as a one off villain.