The vast wasteland this is the planet Malachor holds a significant place in Star Wars lore. It was here, thousands of years before the events of the Original Trilogy, that the Jedi Order attacked a Sith Temple, leaving behind nothing but petrified remains in an event known as the Great Scourge of Malachor.
However, it was also here that Darth Sidious brought Darth Maul during his training so his apprentice could breathe in the ashes of his fallen brothers and witness a vision of the Jedi’s sins. Now, in Star Wars: Age of Republic – Darth Maul #1, the two Sith travel to Malachor once again, but this time, Maul’s vision is even more haunting… from a certain point of view, that is.
After Maul makes a risky move by killing a light side Force user, which had the potential to draw the Jedi’s attention, Sidious tells his overzealous apprentice that his training is far from complete. Upon arriving on Malachor, they land near the ancient Sith Temple, and Sidious explains to Maul that “the ashes of [their] fallen brethren hold more than one lesson.” Meanwhile, Maul recalls the vision he experienced when Sidious brought him there years before.
Much like he did in 2017’s Star Wars: Darth Maul #2, Maul scoops up a handful of ash and takes a deep breath. “Let us see what the dark side has to show you,” Sidious says as he looks on from behind.
However, not even Maul, who’s been trained since he was a child to take down the Jedi Order, is prepared for what he sees.
“You have to help us!” a young Dathomirian Zabrak says to Maul in his vision. “Master Jedi, we need your help!”
Rather than his black tunic, we see Maul wearing the muted earth tones synonymous with the Jedi Order, and when he ignites his double-bladed lightsaber, it shines cool blue instead of crimson red. Nevertheless, while Maul doubts this was what he was meant to see, his bloodlust compels him to slay the rancor-like beast attacking his homeworld.
Of course, Maul’s crisis of faith is short-lived.
While breaking bread with the Dathomirian Zabraks he just saved, Maul realizes his true path.
“I am no Jedi,” his inner monologue reads. “I am their destruction!”
He then proceeds to slaughter the entire clan, and donning his black tunic and red lightsaber once more, he strikes a final blow to kill the child who, just moments before, had pleaded for Maul’s help.
And Darth Maul is right; he’s no Jedi, and as we learn in The Clone Wars and Rebels, he’s no Sith either. If nothing else, though, this issue hammers home the point that Maul is a being forever fueled by rage.