The world of Star Wars is full of powerful Force users that are proficient in the dark side of the Force. Chronologically, Darth Maul was the first user of the Dark Side that the Jedi had to face during the Skywalker Saga. Meanwhile, Kylo Ren was one of the more recent users of the dark side and was quite a problematic enemy for the Resistance in the sequel trilogy. So, who would win in a fight between Kylo Ren and Darth Maul?
Darth Maul is likely to win in a fight against Kylo Ren because he received training from arguably the strongest Sith Lord in a thousand years and could fight powerful Jedi when the Jedi Order was still active. However, because of his Skywalker genes, Kylo Ren had the stronger potential in the Force.
We are talking about two entirely different eras when discussing Kylo Ren and Darth Maul because several decades separate them. However, because Maul was a true Sith Lord that was powerful enough to hold his own against two Jedi in a fight, there’s a good chance that he would be able to defeat Kylo Ren, who was born in an era that didn’t have a lot of Force users. Now, let’s look at this battle in greater detail.
Kylo Ren was born a human male to Leia Organa and Han Solo, both capable Rebels during the Rebellion. Of course, Leia had training as a Jedi, while Han was also a physically capable man because of his training as a Stormtrooper and experience as a smuggler. As such, Ben Solo (Kylo Ren’s real name) inherited the physical abilities of both of his parents and has the Skywalker genetics running through his veins. This allows him to have physical abilities above the average person’s.
Born in a harsh environment as a Dathomirian Zabrak, Darth Maul was a born warrior with the physical abilities that allowed him to stand out among his people to become Palpatine’s first apprentice. Zabraks are known to be stronger than humans because of the environment they live in and due to their upbringing as warriors. That is why Maul was such a physically gifted fighter during his prime and could perform acrobatic stunts and moves with relative ease. This allowed him to fight two Jedi well enough.
As strong as the Skywalker bloodline may be, Zabraks have always been stronger than humans. Of course, Darth Maul was stronger than almost all of the Zabraks during his time because he was the son of the leader of the Nightsisters and was able to receive training from a Sith Lord.
Kylo Ren 0, Darth Maul 1
During his time in Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple, Ben Solo learned all of the basic lightsaber combat forms and further developed his skills by learning Form VII: Juyo when he turned to the dark side. That is why Ren’s lightsaber form combines different combat forms and is quite unique compared to other lightsaber combat styles. He was more of a powerhouse that used a larger saber that struck with Force but not with the same grace and precision as a regular lightsaber.
Darth Maul specialized in handling a dual-sided lightsaber that he could master to perfection. He mastered Form VII: Juyo, the preferred lightsaber combat form of the Sith, and that was why he was able to hold his own against Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi at the same time. Maul was also a master of the dual-lightsaber style of Jar’Kai, which he used to hold his own against Darth Sidious in their duel in Star Wars: Clone Wars. Combined with his acrobatic movements, Maul was a dangerous lightsaber duelist trained well enough to kill Jedi.
Kylo Ren was a strong lightsaber duelist, but let’s not forget that he struggled against Finn, who had never held a lightsaber in his entire life, and Rey, who had just started learning how to use a lightsaber. Of course, Ren was injured at that time, but the fact that he couldn’t defeat two untrained duelists means that he wouldn’t be able to last long against Maul’s lightsaber skills.
Kylo Ren 0, Darth Maul 2
Because he was a Skywalker, Kylo Ren’s Force powers were innately powerful, as his potential was just as high as his mother’s. His potential made him the prime target of Palpatine, who was acting through Snoke in his attempt to turn Kylo Ren over to the dark side. As such, there’s no doubt he was a powerful Force user who only became more powerful when he was with Rey. In fact, he was so powerful in the Force that he could stop a blaster bolt in mid-air using the Force and even probe easily inside Rey’s mind.
Darth Maul would have been so powerful in the Force for Palpatine to target him as his first apprentice. He was innately strong in the Force, which was why Sidious wanted him to grow up with so much pent-up rage and anger. As such, Maul became a skillful user of the Force and was innately powerful in the dark side due to his inner hatred and thirst for vengeance. In Clone Wars, he used the Force effortlessly when he telekinetically made Duchess Satine Kryze float without focusing his attention on her.
Even though Maul is a powerful user of the dark side of the Force, the fact that Kylo Ren was a Skywalker allowed him to become innately more powerful than any other Force user during his time.
Kylo Ren 1, Darth Maul 2
Kylo Ren spent most of his formative year’s training in Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple. That means he barely saw any action before he betrayed his master and joined up with the Knights of Ren. When he became a user of the dark side, he killed almost all of Luke’s students with the help of the Knights of Ren. After that, he became one of the top commanders of the First Order, which means that he had significant experience dealing with many different types of opponents throughout his lifetime.
While Darth Maul may have been trained in secret, it didn’t take long for him to eventually become a Sith Lord that fought two well-trained Jedi in Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. While Kenobi may have still been a Padawan at that time, Jinn was already a Jedi Master and a gifted Jedi that had incredible powers in the Force. Long after the duel with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, Maul faced the Jedi once more and even ruled Mandalore before dueling with Darth Sidious. He also appeared in a few episodes of Star Wars: Rebels, where he fought Kanan Jarrus and a few Inquisitors.
The fact that Ren fought and killed some of Luke Skywalker’s students is a good experience. But Maul spent years fighting well-trained Jedi, Clone Troopers, and even Inquisitors. That’s why the point goes to him once more.
Kylo Ren 1, Darth Maul 3
Throughout his history, Kylo Ren has had great feats as a user of the dark side of the Force, such as killing Luke’s students, killing Ren himself, and killing Snoke before defeating all of the members of the Praetorian Guard with the help of Rey. He also went on to kill all of the Knights of Ren together with Rey, who he assisted in the final battle with Palpatine. His feats were impressive, even though he wasn’t the one that killed Palpatine.
Darth Maul had one of the greatest feats in the early part of the Skywalker Saga when he fought two Jedi and managed to kill Qui-Gon Jinn, one of the most prominent Jedi Masters of his time. While he lost to Obi-Wan in all of their duels, Maul still had amazing feats when he took over Mandalore at one point in time and killed two well-trained Inquisitors that the Rebels couldn’t handle. As such, his feats were also impressive during his time, even though he just couldn’t find a way to defeat Kenobi.
Kylo Ren’s feats were great, although he never faced truly powerful Jedi. Still, the fact that he was able to assist Rey in defeating Palpatine for good makes his feats just as impressive as what Darth Maul was able to accomplish during his lifetime.
Kylo Ren 1, Darth Maul 3
Kylo Ren vs. Darth Maul: Who Wins?
When it comes right down to it, Darth Maul has the edge over Kylo Ren, who wasn’t able to showcase what made him exceptional when compared to the other users of the dark side of the Force. Still, Kylo Ren’s potential was off the charts because of his Skywalker genetics. So, if he had received the same kind of training and combat experience that Darth Maul did, there’s no doubt that he would have been one of the greatest users of the dark side of the Force. But because Maul received better training from a true Sith Lord and fought powerful Jedi, he has the edge over Ben Solo.