Star Wars' Darth Maul Doesn't Actually Enjoy Killing Jedi

The dark and chilling Jedi hunter known as Darth Maul surprisingly takes no joy in killing his sworn enemies, despite slaying several in Star Wars canon. The famed killer of Qui-Gon Jinn, Maul had prior experience slaying Jedi, and yet despite his immense skill and the strength of his feelings towards his enemies, it wasn't a task which gave him any satisfaction. What, then, motivates Maul to continue in his mission of death?

The 2017 series, Star Wars: Darth Maul, chronicles the Sith's time as the Emperor's apprentice, set before the events of The Phantom Menace. Impatient and filled with hate, Maul grows desperate for an opportunity to test his mettle against a real Jedi. Against the wishes of the secretive Sidious, he tracks down an opportunity: Eldra Kaitis, a Jedi padawan kidnapped and being sold to the highest bidder. Maul arrives to intervene and steals the girl, taking her to a remote planet where they can battle to the death in secrecy. Throughout his hunt, the Sith has flashbacks to his training where, filled by the hatred of all of his Sith predecessors, he was taught to believe that only one thing could fill his emptiness: "Slaying the Jedi." This he does, as he brutally takes the life of the young padawan.

Related: Phantom Menace Anakin Skywalker Haunts Darth Vader's Castle

While Darth Maul gets his revenge on the Jedi by killing Kaitis, it leaves him feeling emptier than ever. He ponders to himself in the final panel, saying, "I expected to be fulfilled -- at least momentarily -- by the act. But my rage... my hatred... has only intensified." This highlights a moral principle that the Jedi have been teaching from the beginning, that "hate leads to suffering." After killing Eldra Kaitis, and giving in to his hate, Maul states, "I only feel more empty." However, he also admits he knows no other path than to try and fill that void with more hatred, more violence, and more dead Jedi.

Fans might consider Maul foolish, to try and fill his emptiness with more of the very thing that caused it in the first place. However, this is part of the natural cycle of the Dark Side, and it stems from the most primal of all human instincts: fear. This is the fundamental difference between the Light and Dark sides of the Force. While fighting Kaitis, Maul notices that in her there is "no fear." Maul, on the other hand, is haunted throughout the story by his fear of Darth Sidious. In a desperate effort to defeat his fear, the Sith digs himself deeper and deeper into it.

While Maul's only thought is to end the Jedi, it only brings him sorrow. Just as Master Yoda warns, fear leads Maul to anger, hate, and suffering. Under the grip of his fear of the Emperor, Maul has no escape from the emptiness within him. At one point, before killing Kaitis, Maul reflects that it was "excitement" driving him to kill the Jedi - excitement to finally find some freedom from his dread. However, this excitement has clearly left him by the end of the tale, as he grimly takes up the cause of killing as many Jedi as possible. While Star Wars shows the Dark Side was often with him in battle, it never gave Darth Maul any happiness, even in victory.

Next: Star Wars Reveals How Dangerous Dark Side Luke Skywalker Would Be

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