On April 24th, 2014, it was announced that the Expanded Universe of Star Wars was to become Legends. In Legends, those stories would exist outside the canon timeline. Basically, they were frozen in carbonite. Preserved for those who sought them out. Below is one such story recommended to readers to check out.
Unfreezing Carbonite – Darth Maul: Death Sentence
Darth Maul: Death Sentence was originally released as a four-part comic mini-series, and eventually bundled together in trade paperback form on May 22, 2013. After Dark Horse comics lost the Star Wars license, Marvel has since released the digital versions on Comixology to purchase HERE. The story was written by Tom Taylor, drawn by Bruno Redondo, and colored by Michael Atiyeh. The events of this comic take place after the episode “Revenge” from season four of The Clone Wars, and the out of print Legends graphic novella “The Sith Hunters.”
What is Death Sentence About?
The uranium mines of Moorjhone have been taken over by the Rim Commercial Mining. The new overseer Ja’Boag brought with him a small army, but the Moorjhoni natives have been rather quiet about it. Too quiet. Around the same time, Ja’Boag placed a bounty on Darth Maul and Savage Oppress. Big mistake. The Force swirled over the planet of Moorjhone, with giant crimson flashing arrows that even the Jedi Council on Coruscant could see. Could notice. The council sent Jedi Master Judd (massive blue reptilian alien), Jedi Master Salmara (human), and her Padawan Learner Dray (human) to investigate Ja’Boag and his treatment of the Moorjhoni natives. Meanwhile, Maul and Savage Oppress head to the same planet to confront Ja’Boag about the bounty placed upon their head. Uh Oh.
“I am prepared for the Jedi to come after us, striking from the light. I do not want the annoyance of the greedy and opportunistic striking at us from the shadows.” – Maul
Higher Purpose For Maul
When we last saw Maul he was reborn on Dathomir by Mother Talzin. His purpose, training, and vision to follow Sidious, gone. The Force was out of balance. The Clone Wars raged as he whimpered in the shadows. His attempt at slaughtering Obi-Wan Kenobi, who had cut him in two was interrupted… No. Postponed. There had to be a higher purpose, for Maul than a Zabrak bent on revenge. This story took Maul in the next step on his new plan. His new vision.
“The day of three suns approaches. I foresaw one who would save us from this fate. One who walks in the light with the face of a demon.” – Grandfather Trisjon
Maul was still broken. Still haunted by Kenobi, but that did not stop him from transforming the Moorjhoni. Whispers of a prophecy. A world desperate, for a hero. Maul marched on. When the desperate are filled with despair, a demon becomes an angel. Maul was their leader. Their savior! Maul was shown here in a leadership role. Passing down his knowledge to mold an army. In a twisted way, it reflects the samurai from the movie Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa. In that movie, seven samurai train a village to ward off bandits and reclaim their home. What Maul does… Well, that would be revealing too much!
“Hatred is a hard thing to kill.” – Salmara
If there was one character from this story that would benefit from being included in future canon stories, Jedi Master Salmara would be one of them! I really dug the purple and gold color scheme. Her character had a lot of charisma and confidence. I was sad to find out that this was her only appearance in the Star Wars universe! Since she was a Jedi Master she could easily appear somewhere around The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and The Clone Wars.
Concluding Thoughts On Darth Maul: Death Sentence
Lastly, my thoughts on the comic. My first exposure to the comic was during a Humble Bundle sale from Dark Horse. My knowledge of The Clone Wars was very limited then, but I was sucked right into the story! The art was spectacular! There were very clever uses of space in the panels and the facial expressions felt so genuine. The combat felt fluid and was easy to follow. The color scheme worked really well. Not to mention the writing. I had a blast with the writing! My only criticism is there were a lot of Maul cut in half jokes, yet it didn’t subtract from my enjoyment at all, though! I hope fans of The Clone Wars check out this comic as it fits right into the show!