There are a lot of different characters in the Star Wars storyline, and Darth Maul ranks as one of the most popular Sith Lords due to his power and badass appearance. Of course, we saw in the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace seemingly dying when Obi-Wan Kenobi defeated him by slicing him in half. Maul returned during the events of Star Wars: Clone Wars, as it was clear that he was alive. So, how did Darth Maul survive being cut in half?
Darth Maul survived getting cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi by using his rage as his fuel. Their emotions power the Sith, and one of the emotions that they rely so much on is their anger. As such, Maul was able to survive getting cut in half by using his quest for vengeance as a way of sustaining himself.
Of course, it may be impossible for anyone to survive getting cut in half from the waist down and falling down a shaft. Nevertheless, Maul isn’t like any other person, not only because the dark side of the Force fuels him but also because he is a Zabrak. His combination of power and unique physiology allowed him to survive. Now, let’s talk more about this topic in greater detail.
His Anger Kept Him Alive
The first Sith Lord that the Jedi officially encountered in a thousand years was Darth Maul, who Darth Sidious sent on a mission to Naboo to stop Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi from helping Queen Amidala and the people of Naboo from liberating the planet.
While Maul was strong enough to showcase his ability to kill a powerful and wise Jedi Master in Qui-Gon Jinn, he lost to Obi-Wan Kenobi when he allowed his pride and hubris to get the better of him. And we saw in the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace that Kenobi sliced him in half from the waist down as he fell down a shaft.
In that regard, the common belief was that Darth Maul had died right then and there because no one would have been able to survive getting cut in half and falling down a shaft. But it was shown during Star Wars: Clone Wars that Maul survived for over a decade after getting cut in half. His brother, Savage Opress, went on a mission to find him, as he discovered that Maul found him on the trash planet of Lotho Minor. Maul had mechanical spider legs and was a feral beast that survived by allowing an Anacondan to lure people to him for him to eat them.
Despite his state, Maul survived what happened to him back in Naboo as he fell down the shaft and was carried by a ship carrying trash to Lotho Minor. He used whatever parts he could find to fashion spider legs after losing the lower half of his body. And after Savage took him back to Mother Talzin, she fixed his mind and gave him new mechanical legs.
Of course, seeing that Maul could survive what happened to him as he returned stronger than ever was amazing. But the reason why he was able to survive getting cut in half by Kenobi was the fact that he was feeding off of his rage. And that’s because the Sith are known to use their emotions as fuel for their power, and one of the emotions they often rely on is anger.
One good example of a similar situation was when Anakin fell to the dark side and lost to Obi-Wan in a duel. Kenobi cut off all of his limbs as he was left to burn alive when his clothes got caught in the lava of Mustafar. Obi-Wan thought Anakin had died right then and there as he spent the next ten years thinking he killed his former Padawan.
But Anakin held on long enough for Palpatine to find him and put him in a life-support suit that became synonymous with Darth Vader’s appearance. And the reason why Anakin was able to hold on long enough despite not having limbs and getting badly burned was the fact that he was angry.
Maul’s rage kept him alive long enough to recover from his injuries and fashion new legs. His quest for vengeance kept him alive for more than ten years before Savage Opress found him as a shell of his former self. And the only thing he could ever remember before Talzin restored his mind was Kenobi, as it was clear that the thought of taking revenge on Obi-Wan for what he did to him was what he held on to for a very long time.
Of course, Maul went on a quest for vengeance against Obi-Wan and Palpatine, as he thought taking his vengeance on the people that wronged him was his only purpose. But when he failed to take vengeance on Vader and Palpatine, he tried to go for Kenobi again after learning that he was alive and hiding on Tatooine.
Maul dueled with Obi-Wan on Tatooine but was defeated rather quickly when he brought up the fact that Kenobi was watching over Luke and protecting the boy, which eventually became the galaxy’s new hope.
The strike that Kenobi used to kill Maul right then and there wasn’t the same as the one he used to slice the former Sith Lord in half. However, as Maul was dying in Kenobi’s arms, he no longer had anger in his heart because he understood that Obi-Wan was watching over the boy that could take revenge for him and the Jedi Order by defeating Vader and Emperor Palpatine. That was why Maul couldn’t survive his final encounter with Kenobi, as he no longer had the same rage that allowed him to survive his first encounter with the famed Jedi.
Zabraks May Be Hardier
There’s also the possibility that Darth Maul and the other Zabraks simply have different physiologies that make them hardier than humans and other Star Wars alien races. While the Zabraks may seem like they are similar to humans due to their near-human appearances, the thing is that they are known to be physically stronger than humans.
As such, there’s a good chance that getting cut in half would not have been enough to instantly kill a Zabrak. That is probably why Darth Maul didn’t die instantly after Kenobi cut him from the waist down. And while other Zabraks would have eventually died due to their wounds, Maul’s anger sustained him long enough to recover.
Of course, Obi-Wan realized in hindsight that he should have decapitated Darth Maul in their first encounter when he realized that the former Sith Lord was still alive. He discovered that cutting an anger-fueled Zabrak in half from the waist down was not enough to kill him. After Hondo Ohnaka’s pirates shot a rocket that blew up the ship that Maul and Savage were in, Kenobi told the pirate leader that he doubted that this was enough to kill them both as he knew that not even cutting Maul in half was enough to kill him.
All that said, the physiology of a Zabrak might be strong and hardy enough to allow someone like Maul to survive losing the lower half of his body. It is also possible that Kenobi’s strike just barely missed any of Maul’s vital organs. And considering that a lightsaber strike almost always instantly cauterizes a wound due to how hot a lightsaber’s blade is, Maul wouldn’t have bled out from his wound.
The combination of anger and unique Zabrak physiology would have allowed him to survive getting cut in half. And that is why it wasn’t too surprising for many fans to see that Maul survived his first encounter with Kenobi.