In the fourth and final issue of Darth Maul, Son of Dathomir, we see that Count Dooku is still in the capture of Darth Maul from the previous issue. However, there is also some trouble about to be brewing with The Shadow Collective.
The Shadow Collective Shows Signs of Friction
At the outset of this final issue, we see concern growing amongst Maul’s allies in the Shadow Collective, as Ziton Moj and Fife (whom we saw previously in the second issue) issue grave concerns:
Ziton Moj: “Black Sun and the Pykes joined your collective on the promise of greater profits, Maul, but this is becoming your own personal crusade – one that’s already cost us Zanbar, Ord Mantell, and the Mandalorian asteroid outpost.”
Fife: “Perhaps your plan isn’t as sure as you say.”
Maul: “You’ll be paid – if that’s all you want. In the meantime, return to your respective sectors and prepare for our next phase.”
While Maul doesn’t directly respond to their concerns, it seems that he has bigger concerns on his mind about what to do next. Yet, it is almost as if he does not really comprehend their concerns of what they have lost – in each of the three preceding encounters, they have lost not only many warriors, but also physical bases and nothing to show for it. In other words, the ROI on this alliance has been terrible for them. Nevertheless, Maul is so focussed on what should be next, it seems as if he cares little for their losses.
Maul Seeks to Corporealize Mother Talzin via Count Dooku
When Maul brings Count Dooku to Dathomir, he seeks to corporealize Mother Talzin, using Count Dooku’s body, as Maul says to him, “Mother draws your very life force from your withered bones. Draining you will give her all she needs to fully take form.” However, the action could leave her somewhat weak, as Brother Viscus says, “Mother will be whole soon, but the process could weaken her.”
While Count Dooku is undergoing his body being taken over by Mother Talzin, Maul informs us what is taking place, by speaking to Dooku: “Mother sacrificed much of her own form to resurrect me. This is why you’ve been unable to detect her. For her, a complete and permanent return to the physical realm requires great sacrifice. Through your blood a new power will rise from the roots of Dathomir!”
The Shadow Collective Begins to Come Apart
While Maul is busy corporealizing Mother Talzin, Separatist fleets begin to attack the various strongholds of the members of the Shadow Collective, causing Ziton Moj and Fife to contact Rook Kast of the Mandalorians:
Ziton Moj: “I’m telling you – a full armada of droid vessels just appeared out of nowhere and is laying siege to our defenses.”
Fife: “It’s happening here, too – they were lying in wait for us! How could they know?!”
Ziton Moj: “Where is Maul? We should be dealing directly with him!”
Rook Kast: “Follow your orders. Hunker down and fight. Lord Maul’s location isn’t your concern.”
Ziton Moj: “Not our concern? If his fleet isn’t deployed to defend us immediately, our partnership is finished.”
It would seem that, somehow, Darth Sidious was able to figure out where to direct Count Dooku to send Separatist forces to break up the Shadow Collective, and this seems to cause the Shadow Collective to come apart, especially with Ziton Moj’s ultimatum of “our partnership is finished” if Maul’s fleet doesn’t deploy to help the Black Sun at that moment.
Darth Sidious and General Grievous Attack
However, while this is going on, Darth Sidious and General Grievous intrude upon Maul’s turf on Dathomir, although Mother Talzin is far enough along that Darth Maul tells Darth Sidious: “Mother Talzin lives – and your apprentice is under her full control!” Moreover, Mother Talzin in Count Dooku’s body tells Darth Sidious: “Now, Sidious, you will pay for your betrayal.” We then see twin duels erupt: Darth Maul fighting General Grievous, while Darth Sidious battles Mother Talzin inhabiting Count Dooku’s body, which is an incredible battle scene.
The Corporealization of Mother Talzin
Amidst the battle, Darth Sidious tells his opponent: “You control Dooku’s body, but you possess none of his skill.” Having gained the upper hand, Darth Sidious then begins to send Force lightning into his opponent: “Release my apprentice, haggard witch!”
As Sidious continues sending Force lightning into Count Dooku’s body, it eventually yields Mother Talzin’s corporeal emergence onto the battle field.
The Shadow Collective Dissolves
At this same moment, Fife and Ziton Moj message Rook Kast, telling the Mandalorians that the Pykes and Black Sun are out of the alliance:
Fife: “Forget this – we’ve lost too many ships! Tell Maul he’s on his own!”
Ziton Moj: “This whole endeavor has become a massive liability. Black Sun is finished here, as well.”
Rook Kast: “This isn’t what we agreed.”
Fife: “You’re the warrior. We’re mercenaries – and there’s no more profit in this fight.”
Clearly, the ROI was working in neither the favor of Black Sun nor the Pykes. Perhaps if Darth Sidious hadn’t perceived the Shadow Collective as a threat and sought to destroy it, the Shadow Collective could have become powerful and successful in its aims. However, it ran afoul of Darth Sidious, which seems to have been its undoing.
Mother Talzin and Darth Sidious Face Off
Meanwhile back on Dathomir, Mother Talzin and Darth Sidious are involved in their own duel – Darth Sidious sending Force lightning in seeming equilibrium to Mother Talzin’s magicks. However, Count Dooku, who has regained consciousness, then adds in his Force lightning alongside Darth Sidious. Darth Maul, who has Force-pushed General Grievous far away from the battle, then aids Mother Talzin, with his energy to her.
While Maul is trying to help her, she realizes they are outmatched and she needs to save Maul. So, she pushes him away, and tells him to get away in order to save himself.
While he is distraught and very much wants to help her, he is being pulled away by Mandalorians, who are trying to save him and to escape back to Mandalore.
While Mother Talzin is fending off the Force lightning from Count Dooku and Darth Sidious, General Grievous comes striding up to her and runs her through with lightsabers, causing her to finally expire.
While Count Dooku apologizes to Darth Sidious about letting Maul slip through his grasp, Darth Sidious informs him that ”
No, Count, everything happened as foreseen. This was a difficult piece to maneuver, but now it is in place. Maul’s future has been erased, while ours is more certain than it has ever been.”
Key Takeaways About Maul
Here are some key takeaways we can observe about Maul:
- He is dismissive of the concerns of his Shadow Collective allies, losing sight of the concerns of his allies in favor of his Mother Talzin corporealization project
- He loses yet another army, although at least he was able to do more with it and become more successful with gaining allies, than in his earlier attempt with pirates; nevertheless, he still retains power on Mandalore
- Darth Sidious seems to believe that he has erased Maul’s future, certainly considering it a success sidelining Maul significantly
- Maul is able to hold his own against General Grievous again, just as he had on Zanbar, and even Force-pushing him out of battle(!)
- He cares very much for his mother and wants to see her come to life, and is deeply distraught upon her demise