So you got out of Solo, and you find that you have some questions. Great! You've come to the right place. Or you didn't go see Solo, but you don't care about "ruining" things. It's possible that you're even a fan of spoilers. All these are great options. But if you're the kind of person who complains when they find out how things end, and you haven't seen Solo yet, turn back now.
This is your only warning.
If you're still with us then, presumably, you're aware that a certain horn-headed Sith shows his tattooed mug in the final moments of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Maul's appearance left many fans confused. After all, the last time we saw him he was falling down a reactor shaft in two very different pieces.
Well, it turns out that Maul's been up to quite a bit since ending Liam Neeson's promising Jedi career. Here's everything you need to know about the head of Crimson Dawn.
Maul Before Menace
Maul was born on the planet Dathomir. His mother, Mother Talzin, was a shaman and clan mother to a group called the Nightsisters. The Nightsisters are a Force-sensitive group of witches who combine the Force and magic. As a boy, Maul joined the Nightbrothers and received his first distinctive tattoos, along with his brother Savage Opress.
When Maul was still very young, Mother Talzin's Force abilities earned her Darth Sidious' attention. He came to Dathomir to see the full extent of her abilities. Talzin's powers impressed Sidious, and he promised to train her as his apprentice. But Sidious sensed that Maul had great potential. He passed over the mother for the son, making Maul his Sith apprentice.
To begin his training, Sidious took Maul to an ancient battlefield on Malachor. The Great Scourge of Malachor was a battle between the Jedi Order and the Sith at a Sith temple. The dark powers of the temple activated and petrified the combatants on both sides.
Thousands of years later, Darth Sidious and his new apprentice arrived on Malachor. The combatants remained, still frozen in stone. Sidious forced Maul to inhale the ashes of dark-side warriors so that he might form a stronger connection to his Sith ancestors.
As he inhaled the Sith ashes, Maul had visions of the battle. He felt the blows endured by every one of the Sith on that battlefield. Each blow increased Maul's hatred for the Jedi. When he came out the other side, Maul was filled with hatred for the Jedi and committed to wiping out their order.
Unfortunately for the enthusiastic young warrior, Darth Sidious was intent on keeping the Sith's return a secret. The Jedi were confident in their position, and Sidious didn't want to expose Maul yet. But - in defiance of his master - Maul hunted down and killed the Jedi Padawan Eldra Kaitis. But despite this defiance, Sidious was pleased by his new apprentice. His commitment to the destruction of the Jedi was all-encompassing.
Moving Past Phantom
The story of when Maul revealed himself to the Jedi is well documented in The Phantom Menace. His hunt for Padmé Amidala took him to Tatooine where he ambushed Qui-Gon Jinn. Qui-Gon wins the first battle, but Maul returns to fight Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan Kenobi together. Maul kills Qui-Gon Jinn and is cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi. The last we see of him, he is plummeting down a reactor shaft.
In fact, Maul survived his encounter with Kenobi. He used the Force to stop his fall and crawl into a trash container. Maul was able to rely on his connection to the Force to sustain himself. He was deposited with the garbage on the trash planet of Lotho Minor. There, he built himself a six-legged torso to replace his lost legs and lived in exile for years.
During the Clone Wars, Mother Talzin sensed that Maul was still alive. Talzin sent Maul's brother, Savage Opress, to the Outer Rim to find him. When Opress finally located Maul on Lotho Minor, he was a shell of what he had once been. He'd gone mad in exile, having only held on to his hatred of Kenobi.
Opress took Maul back to Dathomir. There, Talzin used her Force powers to restore his mind. She also built him a new set of legs to replace his six-legged chassis. Maul takes his brother, Opress, as his apprentice. The duo dedicated themselves to the capture and destruction of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Building Shadow Collective
Maul eventually allied himself with Death Watch: a group of Mandalorians fighting the government of Duchess Satine Kryze. Maul united Death Watch along with other prominent criminal organizations like Black Sun, Pyke Syndicate, and the Hutt Clan. The result was a criminal organization known as Shadow Collective. Its central motivation was to destroy Darth Sidious and his Galactic Republic.
As one of the first steps towards that goal, Maul captured and Duchess Satine. Besides being the ruler of Mandalore, Satine was also the love interest of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Maul used Satine to lure Obi-Wan to Mandalor, then killed her in front of him.
Recognizing that Maul may pose a legitimate threat, Darth Sidious decides he needs to act. He kills Savage Opress and takes Maul as a prisoner. He holds Maul hostage on Stygeon Prime where Count Dooku tortures him. Eventually, the Mandalorians rescued Maul and brought him back to Mother Talzin.
Unfortunately for Maul, Darth Sidious predicted this and had let Maul escape. He sent General Grievous to pursue Maul across the galaxy. Maul led Grievous to his base where Talzin was hiding. Grievous killed Maul's mother, leaving him as the last living member of his family.
When we arrive in Solo, Maul is hiding out on Dathomir with the Shadow Collective at full power. How the story will continue to evolve, and how Q'ira fits into it remains a question. But what do you think? How do you expect the this to play into future Star Wars stories? Let us know in the comments.