Darth Maul’s Victory Over Dooku & Grievous Should Have Ended the Clone Wars

The fact that Darth Maul’s Star Wars story nearly ended in Episode I is almost unbelievable, as he’s added so much to the wider lore since his ‘resurrection’ in Clone Wars. While his impact has been great, it’s never been greater than when Darth Maul nearly ended the Clone Wars itself after he claimed victory over both Count Dooku and General Grievous at the tail-end of the war.

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Darth Maul was introduced in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace as a Sith assassin and apprentice of Darth Sidious. Darth Maul’s appearance is one of immense significance, as that was the first time a Sith had revealed themselves in a thousand years. Aside from that tid-bit of deeper Star Wars lore, Darth Maul’s on-screen significance didn’t extend far beyond killing Qui-Gon Jinn and then seemingly being killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi. However, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series, it’s revealed that Darth Maul survived being cut in half by Obi-Wan. Not only that, but after he was revived, Maul made himself the leader of the Mandalorians and a criminal overlord the likes of which even the Hutts trembled before. Before long, Darth Maul became a legitimate rival to Darth Sidious. So, Sidious tracked him to Mandalore, killed Maul’s apprentice, and imprisoned Maul after incapacitating him with Force lightning. While the show skips over how Darth Maul got himself out of that situation, the story that the show skipped nearly detailed the end of the Clone Wars by his hand.



Darth Maul Could Have Ended the Clone Wars by Killing Dooku & Grievous

Darth Maul claims victory over Count Dooku and Grievous.

In Star Wars: Darth Maul – Son of Dathomir by Jeremy Barlow and Juan Frigeri, Darth Sidious has Maul in his clutches, as he wants to use him to get to his true target, Mother Talzin. However, Darth Maul is freed by his Mandalorian Death Watch allies, which gives him a chance to launch a counterattack against Sidious’ minions, Dooku and Grievous. In the second issue, Maul is successful in capturing both Dooku and Grievous, but rather than killing them, Maul attempts to use them to get to Sidious the same way Sidious tried to use him to get to Mother Talzin. And that is the mistake that kept Darth Maul from ending the Clone Wars himself.

The Son of Dathomir arc takes place near the end of the Clone Wars, meaning most of the Separatist leaders have been beaten by the Jedi and the clones of the Republic. As confirmed in Episode III, the only way to win the war outright by its end was to take out Count Dooku and General Grievous, which the Jedi are able to do in Revenge of the Sith, leading to the war ending exactly the way Palpatine wanted it to. However, if Darth Maul had simply killed Dooku and Grievous in Son of Dathomir, then Palpatine’s plans would have been ruined, as Maul would have ended the war a bit too early. Sure, Sidious could have still gone through with Order 66, but he hadn’t completed his corruption of Anakin Skywalker, meaning his perfect apprentice would have either become an even closer ally with the Jedi in light of Order 66, or he would have been killed by the clone assault. Palpatine needed the war to end the way it did in Episode III, and this storyline made Darth Maul a very real threat to the Emperor’s grand plan.

Darth Maul’s history in Star Wars has been one of immense significance for a number of reasons. From the fact that he was the first Sith seen in a thousand years, to the idea that he could have ended the Clone Wars and prevented the creation of Darth Vader single-handedly. But, unfortunately, even though Darth Maul’s victory over Dooku and Grievous should have ended the Clone Wars, it didn’t, leading to the tragedy that was Emperor Palpatine’s ultimate Star Wars victory.

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