Continuing on in my Darth Maul exploration project, brings us to season 4. In season 3, we discover that, to everyone’s shock, Darth Maul is still alive! Towards the end of Season 4, Savage Oppress finds him, albeit not totally well, and brings him to be rehabilitated by Mother Talzin, which gives rise to a new Darth Maul (Darth Maul 2.0?). What do we learn about Darth Maul in this discovery and rehab?
In the penultimate episode of season 4 (4.21 “Brothers”), Savage Oppress tracks his brother down to Lotho Minor, a junk planet, with very few living creatures. Eventually, he finds him beneath ground, albeit in a state not so healthy. He is rather spider-like, with his top half intact and spider-ish legs for his bottom half. His mental state is much worse than his physical state. We do not discover how or why he got the mechanical spider legs or who affixed them to him. We also do not know why he chose to go to the very tough planet of Lotho Minor.
Lotho Minor is a strange place, with seemingly very few living creatures, so there’s not a lot for Darth Maul to eat. However, one thing seems quite clear: he chose to go there to get away from it all. He could have gone to the underworld of Coruscant or reconnected with former associates. How come he did not return to Lord Sidious for help or even Mother Talzin? To these questions, the answers are not found in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
When Savage Oppress realizes this creature is Darth Maul, he calls him “brother” and Darth Maul runs away in utter denial:
Darth Maul: “No, no, no. You don’t know anything. Never.”
Savage Oppress: “I know I am your blood.”
Darth Maul: “Never, never, never.”
It seems as if Darth Maul does not want to be reminded of anything to which he is connected and is stable with his current situation.
When Savage Oppress asks him how long he’s been there, Darth Maul responds, “Years and years and years. Now that my chains have been broken, the chains are the easy part. It’s what goes on in here,” pointing to his head, “that’s hard.” Inasmuch as Darth Maul has been physically broken (split in half!), he is mentally and emotionally quite destroyed, which is painfully evident. As Eric Goldman put it, Darth Maul “truly came off as broken and demented. There was a moment where he collapses into a sound that is half laughter, half sobbing that really sold that this guy was truly messed up, Goldman continues: “Overall, this depiction of Darth Maul as someone truly damaged, both physically and mentally, by what he went through, was a smart way to bring him back.”
Savage Oppress then inquires: “You have been lost, my brother. Do you remember who you are? Where you came from?” This leads into the following dialogue:
Darth Maul: “Always remember I am fear, always remember I am hunter, always remember I am filth, always remember I am nothing.”
Savage Oppress: “Your legs?”
Darth Maul: “That scum – he took them from me! He took them!”
Savage Oppress: “Who? Who took them?”
Darth Maul: “Jedi. Jedi.”
Savage Oppress: “You remember?”
Darth Maul: “Mercy is a lie….[rambling]”
Savage Oppress: “Brother, what is it? Brother, what are you saying?”
Darth Maul: “Jedi! Revenge. I must have revenge.”
Firstly, it is quite clear that Darth Maul is emotionally/mentally broken. Second, it is interesting that Darth Maul does not answer Savage Oppress about how he got his mechanical spider legs, rather he answers to whom he lost them. Lastly, it is fascinating that Darth Maul focusses on getting revenge.
Immediately following this, we see a scene in the Jedi Temple in which Yoda senses the disturbance in the Force that Darth Maul is still alive and summons Obi-Wan Kenobi to tell him, who is horribly shocked at this revelation.
Yoda: “Feel the disturbance in the Force, do you?”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Yes, master.”
Yoda: “Fear you are in danger, I do, from the dead, an old enemy has awakened, seeking vengeance.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “An old enemy?”
Yoda: “Killed your master many moons ago, he did.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “How can this be? I killed him, myself.”
Yoda: “It is so, I fear.”
Obi-Wan Kenobi: “Darth Maul, alive?”
This dialogue is how the episode ends. One element (of many) which is fascinating here is that, despite the Dark Side (okay, Lord Sidious) clouding much of the Jedi’s (and, specifically, Yoda’s) ability to sense what is going on with the Senate (and Cooruscant, writ large), Yoda is able to sense this faraway occurrence with Darth Maul’s return and desire for vengeance.
When Savage Oppress takes Darth Maul to Mother Talzin, she inquires: “You found him? I knew you would.”
Savage Oppress: “Yes, he is damaged; he doesn’t remember much of his old life.”
Mother Talzin: “Yes, but he does remember something.”
Savage Oppress: “Something or someone named Kenobi. It is an obsession.”
Again, we see he is quite broken, on many levels, not remembering much of what was earlier in his life, but still being obsessed with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Mother Talzin then says, “Come, let us fix what has been broken”, sending some sort of magic to Darth Maul. She then is able to remove his metal spider legs (basically, his bottom half) and then uses her magic to reassemble his legs, gathering various parts from around and gives him new legs, then touches him on the forehead and says, “Arise, Maul, reborn son of Dathomir.”
I found Eric Goldman wrote about this scene well: “The scene where Talzin “fixed” Maul was great, involving more stirring imagery – most notably the way Talzin literally yanked some of the madness and fear from Maul’s head, in the form of black tendrils. And watching her make him his new legs, as the metal mass at his bottom burnt away and reformed, was suitably powerful.”
She then disappears, giving rise to the following dialogue:
Darth Maul: “My, my legs.”
Savage Oppress: “They have been restored by Mother Talzin.”
Darth Maul: “It has been so long and my path has been so dark, darker than I ever dreamed it could be.”
Savage Oppress: “And yet, you survived.”
Darth Maul: “Of course, I survived.”
From here, we see how gets new legs, then trying them out to walk, falling at first, then running around. Then:
Darth Maul: “My hatred kept my spirit intact, even though my body was not. As I was lost and became a rabid animal and such is how you found me, brother, discarded, forgotten. I have missed so much. The Force feels out of balance.”
Savage Oppress: “Yes, there is conflict: The Clone Wars.”
Darth Maul: “Ah, yes. So it began, without me.”
Savage Oppress: “You can begin again, brother,” handing him a light saber.
Darth Maul: “I was apprentice to the most powerful being in the Galaxy once. I was destined to become so much more. But I was robbed of that destiny by the Jedi – by Obi-Wan Kenobi.”
Savage Oppress: “Then you must have your revenge, my brother.
Darth Maul: “Yes, we shall start with revenge.”
Wow – so much to unpack here!!! First, we understand how Darth Maul was able to survive (“my hatred kept my spirit intact, even though my body was not”); second, he notices that the Force feels out of balance; third, he realizes that The Clone Wars have begun without him (so, he must have known that it was supposed to have begun); fourth, he was supposed to be a huge figure in the galaxy, since he was “apprentice to the most powerful being in the Galaxy”; fifth, he sorely desires revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- He has been alive all this time, perhaps most of it languishing on Lotho Minor, where he has very little contact with sentient beings, aside from eating them, seemingly having run away from civilization.
- He was able to stay alive despite being sliced in half by his hatred, which is pretty incredible and, somehow, found someone to create mechanical legs for him.
- He was deeply psychologically damaged by what had transpired, although Mother Talzin was able to [mostly(?)] remove the psychological damage, enabling him to recover.
- Mother Talzin also gives him new mechanical legs in order to walk bipedally.
- He is consumed by the desire for revenge against Obi-Wan Kenobi. Just the very stating of which, is enough for Yoda to take notice and to warn Obi-Wan Kenobi.
- Lastly, we see that he seemed to have known – through his training with Lord Sidious – about a Clone War. Not only this, but it was his apprenticeship to Lord Sidious that he believed to be that enabled him to be destined to become one of the most powerful beings in the Galaxy. And now he wants to reclaim it.