Crash and the Hunt Begins
Following the capture of the Jedi padawan, Eldra Kaitis, and the bombing of their ship, Darth Maul and his bounty hunter colleagues are found crashing into the Moon of Drazkel. We see that Xev Xrexus is now accepting pay-ins from the various groups wanting to have the Jedi padawan, or to kill it. Of course, the opportunity to kill the bounty hunters is a bonus, as Cad Bane says, “She is making a bit of sport out of us. She is taking the Padawan the way we did made her look bad. She’s going to save face and make a bit of profit.”
Whereupon Kaitis says “They’re hunting me.” Darth Maul says to her, “You were going to die one way or another. You are destined to die from the moment you first stepped into a Jedi Temple.”
Darth Maul says to his comrades, “They are hunting all of us.” However, Kaitis retorts, “Well you kind of brought it on yourselves.”
The two groups split up, with Darth Maul heading off with Kaitis and the bounty hunters going in a different direction.
Maul Reconsiders What Is Driving Him
While walking along, Darth Maul has thoughts such as “I have been wrong. All this time I thought it was anger a hunger for vengeance against the curse of Jedi they compelled me onward. Those desires are part of me, yes. I will see the Jedi pay for what they did to the Sith. But I am not driven by those feelings. It is anticipation that moves me toward my inevitable. It is excitement.” This is really fascinating, as we see that what drives him is not a personal vengeance against the Jedi, but a collective Sith vengeance.
Darth Maul and the Padawan Have a conversation
Kaitis tells Maul, “I could help you, you know. Set me free. Give me my lightsaber. Let me defend myself. Unless you want to risk one of these hunters murdering me before you get the chance.” And so Darth Maul cuts off her binders, giving her a lightsaber, resulting in the two of them defending against various enemies that come against them.
Darth Maul thinks to himself, “And so she knows. She must have suspected my nature. She must have seen my power, my hatred. And in her, I felt no fear. This pleases me…she has been well trained by her masters…she would have surely been accepted as a Jedi knight soon. When I kill her, I will know the satisfaction of taking a Jedi’s life. The first of many.”
As they are fighting off Pykes who are shooting at them, Darth Maul continues thinking, “She is watching me I know. Taking my measure. As I’m taking her. She’s accepted her fate or resigned me to mine.” And then, after defeating the Pykes, they continue on
Darth Maul and Eldra Kaitis Converse About His Being a Sith
While the comic shows the bounty hunters defending themselves against various groups coming after them, we return to Kaitis asking Maul, “I thought you were all gone. All…” Maul interjects, “Dead. Almost all of us. Thanks to the Jedi.” She then asks him, “After all this time, why now? Why show yourself here? I would have thought the Sith like their secrecy. Why would it be worth spoiling that to come after me?”
“My existence will remain a secret,” Maul says to her. “I could have run, you know. I could have slipped away during the fight,” she says to him.
“You could have given in to your fear,” Maul tells her. “No. That is not your way even if you are not a Jedi. What are you waiting for then?”
She tells him, “Let’s just get on with it.”
He replies to her, “No. This is a sacred rite. I will not let it be sullied by these base thugs and criminals.”
“You mean you don’t want witnesses,” she says. “That’s why you sent those bounty hunters away. You’re hiding something or from someone I can feel it.”
Pondering as he seems to get angry, she asks him, “Who are you afraid of?”
As they continue to fight off attackers, we read of Maul thinking, “There’s anger within this young padawan. I can sense it. I can see it in her actions. Another time, another place, she might have been tempted to the dark side. She might have been an ally. By coming here, though, by seeking her out, I have taken away such a choice. My master must never know I was here. I have condemned her.”
Eldra Kaitis and Darth Maul Ramp Up to a Fight
After they dispatch various groups of those attempting to take their lives, she tells him, “We needn’t be enemies. We don’t have to fight. Don’t have to give yourself over so completely to this darkness.”
He says, “If you believe that, you are not the Jedi I thought you were.”
She says, “Yeah. I thought maybe I would give you a chance to back down before you get yourself first humiliated and then killed. That’s all.”
He says, “The same chance your Jedi predecessors give the Sith?”
“All right then,” she tells him and then they face off with their lightsabers both ignited and with him concluding, “At last.”
While Eldra Kaitis and Darth Maul are ready to face off at the end of this issue, it is fascinating to have begun to understand Maul’s recalibrated understanding of his own motivations and hatred. While he is driven by a collective history of the Sith having been mostly killed off by the Jedi and seeking vengeance (as opposed to a personal trauma in his life), he is also personally hungering for excitement.