Darth Maul is one of the most popular Star Wars villains ever because of his cool design and incredibly entertaining lightsaber combat style. Of course, he was the first Sith Lord that the Jedi Order encountered in a thousand years, and that means that there was no doubt that he was allied with the dark side. Nevertheless, people who have come to understand Maul’s story can’t help but feel sorry for him. So, was Darth Maul ever good?
The only time that Darth Maul was ever good was when he was still just a child. However, after that, he was manipulated by Palpatine by bringing out his inner darkness and hatred early in his life. Even after he was no longer allied with the Sith, he still did evil things and was still out for revenge.
There was never a point in time after his childhood when Darth Maul was ever a good guy because his upbringing totally changed him and his perception. But the fault lies in Darth Sidious, whose machinations and manipulative ways brought the darkness out of an innocent Dathomirian child. So, with that said, let’s look at why Darth Maul was never good.
Why Did Darth Maul Turn to the Dark Side?
If there was a Star Wars character that many people don’t know about regarding his backstory, Darth Maul would be that character. When someone sees Maul, all they see is a cool-looking Dathomirian that looks like a demon and wields a dual-bladed lightsaber. However, the truth about his character and history can be somewhat sad, especially if you look at the fact that he had no control over what happened to him when he was still a child.
Born the son of Mother Talzin, the leader of the Nightsisters, Darth Maul was unusually strong in the Force because the Nightsisters were known to be powerful Force users that used magicks instead of the usual Force powers that we see the Jedi and Sith use. At that time, Talzin was exchanging information with Darth Sidious and was looking to become his Sith apprentice.
When Sidious sensed the inner strength within a young Maul, he ordered Talzin to isolate him from the rest of the tribe and to give him to a handler that would treat him horribly. The handler threw Maul into a pit and didn’t feed him anything but the scraps that the other Nightbrothers didn’t want to eat. And the handler and his sons constantly beat him.
Sidious wanted Mother Talzin to do this to Maul to bring his inner darkness and anger out. Meanwhile, Talzin complied because she thought Sidious would make her his apprentice. But Sidious already had his eyes set on the younger Maul.
Palpatine arrived in Dathomir one day because he was set to choose his apprentice. When Maul heard that a man was arriving to choose a warrior among the Dathomirians, he used the dark side of the Force to escape. In front of Sidious, he used the Force to kill his keeper and the sons beating him. This impressed the Sith Lord so much that he decided to take Maul in as his apprentice, to the dismay of Mother Talzin, who wanted to be the one to learn the dark side of the Force under Darth Sidious.
Training with Sidious only allowed Maul to grow stronger and more spiteful. He became an angry man that only wanted to kill and destroy. When he was fed lies about the Jedi by his master, he started hating the Jedi for killing countless Sith in the past. As such, he had every reason to direct his hatred toward the Jedi.
Maul Was Never Good After Leaving Sidious
Of course, we know that Darth Maul lost in a duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi and was left for dead after the Padawan sliced him in half through the torso. But Maul survived that ordeal, as revealed in Star Wars: Clone Wars. His brother, Savage Opress, found and rescued him while he was in a physical and mental state of ruin. Only when Mother Talzin used her magicks did Maul become whole again.
Maul revealed that his hatred for Obi-Wan Kenobi kept him alive for around a decade after he was presumably killed in Naboo. If it weren’t for his hatred, he would have died right then and there. And it was his hatred for Kenobi that allowed him to keep on going throughout the Clone Wars as he sought revenge even though he was no longer with the Sith.
He went as far as allying himself with the Death Watch on Mandalore to take revenge on Kenobi. Maul killed Duchess Satine right before Obi-Wan because he knew how important she was to him. He wanted Kenobi to suffer just as he did.
But, at the same time, Maul also hated Darth Sidious for what he did to him when he was a child and for discarding him as easily as he did after he lost to Kenobi. He realized that Palpatine simply saw him as a dispensable tool he could throw away at any moment. And he ended up hating the Sith Lord for what he did to him when he was just a child and for abandoning him.
That is why Darth Maul was never good, even after leaving the Sith. He went as far as conquering Mandalore and killing innocent people in his quest for revenge. Maul was an angry beast that only wanted to satiate his desire for vengeance. And that held true until the end.
Was Maul Good in the End?
Years after the events of Order 66, Darth Maul survived the Clone Wars and even spent time as the leader of the Shadow Collective, an alliance of criminals. But during the earlier part of the Rebellion and a few years before the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Ezra Bridger and the crew of the Ghost found him.
Maul acted as a mentor to Bridger and even tried to pull him over to the dark side. He also acted as someone who wanted to help the Spectres against Darth Vader when they went to Malachor. And the reason why he wanted to help them out was so that he could take his revenge on Palpatine.
But while Maul did indeed help Ezra and the Spectres, he was still an evil man that only wanted nothing more than to replace Palpatine after killing him. He even proved evil when he betrayed the Spectres and caused Kanan Jarrus to go blind. And while he failed in his plan to take down Darth Vader, he eventually found the whereabouts of Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was hiding on Tatooine.
Maul suffered days without food and water on Tatooine but was fueled by his desire to find Kenobi and kill him. His hatred for Obi-Wan, who he thought was his consolation prize after failing to kill Vader, allowed him to keep on going while he was on Tatooine.
Eventually, Maul found the old Jedi Master and engaged in a duel with him to end their long-standing rivalry once and for all. Maul understood that Kenobi was on Tatooine for a good reason, and that was when he figured out that the Jedi Master was probably there to protect something or someone. That was when Obi-Wan went into serious mode and was now looking to defeat Maul to protect Luke.
In a matter of a few moves, Kenobi struck down Maul. The former Sith Lord was dying in the arms of his rival, as he understood that the person that Obi-Wan was protecting was the one that could defeat Vader and Sidious. While he was still an evil person at the very end, Maul accepted his death because he knew that the person Obi-Wan was protecting was the one that could avenge all of them.
Maul died a sad man in the arms of the person he hated the most as he realized that even Kenobi, who he tried to kill a lot of times, felt pity for him. And Maul died knowing that the person that Obi-Wan was protecting was going to defeat Emperor Palpatine, who was the person who manipulated him into becoming the evil and angry man that he was up to his death.
As such, while Maul was still evil when he died, he was a tragic figure that simply became who he was because of the machinations of the vilest person in the entire galaxy. And right at the end of his life, he realized that he and Obi-Wan had something in common: that their lives were changed for the worse by none other than Palpatine himself.