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With the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens just weeks away, I’ve been preparing by rewatching all of the movies, viewing the TV shows, and reading some of the comic books. Since most of the Expanded Universe is no longer canon, most of the books that I have are made up of stories that no longer take place in the same universe as the films. So instead of reading the non-canon books or the very few Marvel Star Wars comics that I own, I decided to take a look at the only other piece of canon material that was in my comic library, Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir.
Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir by writer Jeremy Barlow and artist Juan Frigeri, is a four-part mini series that continues Darth Maul’s story after the events of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
The Clone Wars was a popular animated television series that ran from 2008-2014 and took place between the events of Episode’s II (Attack of the Clones) and III (Revenge of the Sith). The show was canceled in its sixth season when Disney bought Lucasfilm, but several of its characters and plot lines were followed up on in its sequel series, Star Wars: Rebels. While the fate of some of the characters from Clone Wars has been answered in Rebels and other canon stories, the one thing that was still on my mind was what had happened to Darth Maul after the last time we saw him during that huge cliffhanger ending. Originally, I hated the idea of bringing a supposedly dead character who was chopped in half with a lightsaber back to life, but I liked what Clone Wars was doing with Maul’s character and was really invested with where his tale of family and revenge was going. Thankfully his story didn’t end with the show since this comic was actually adapted from several unproduced screenplays for episodes of season six that never got made.
Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir starts where we left off after the events of “The Lawless,”episode sixteen of season five, with a defeated Maul being held prisoner by Darth Sidious. Maul is then quickly freed by two members of his Mandalorian army and goes on the run with them to take the fight to his former master once again. The rest of the story from here on out is about Sidious, Count Dooku, General Grievous, and their forces chasing and engaging with Maul and his criminal empire in order to weaken him and force him to fall back so that their real target, Mother Talzin will come out of hiding to help save Maul from the Sith.
I really enjoyed this story on a number of levels. Everything that occurred here felt like something that I could actually see happening in three to four episodes of the show which in a way, is also a bit of a double-edged sword. While it was great to see these unaired episodes brought to life, the story as a whole feels kind of rushed since I’m sure that a lot of material was cut out and condensed to fit into a four issue series. While I would have liked to have seen more storyline, I’m still happy with what we got in the end. The art here is also great to look at–very detailed and colorful especially during the big battle scenes and when it came to the designs of the characters like the Mandalorians.
Star Wars: Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir is a short fast paced story that answers some unresolved questions from Star Wars: The Clone Wars. While this did not give us full closure on Darth Maul’s story, it did end his tale at a good place for now and it helps to set up for his return in the next Star Wars–story whether it be a novel, another comic, in Star Wars: Rebel’s, or maybe even in another movie one day.
FINAL SCORE: 8 out of 10