To a mainstream audience, Darth Maul had little impact on the Star Wars saga. He killed Qui-Gon Jin, then immediately fell to Obi-Wan Kenobi. The truth, however, is far more complicated. Maul survived the events of The Phantom Menace and started a trend of influence that would alter events all the way up to The Force Awakens.
His rivalry with Kenobi forced the Jedi into being so completely focused on the Jedi Order that he was able to survive Order 66, his exile on Tatooine, and guide Luke Skywalker into bringing about the end of the Sith Order.
Maul had a massive impact on the Clone Wars as well. His involvement directly led to Mandalore ousting its pacifist ways, plunging it into two civil wars. He brought about the defeat of Darth Sidious’ only Dark Side rival, Mother Talzin. And finally, by amassing much of the Republic Era’s criminal element into a singular force, he set the stage for new enterprises to develop in the Post-Imperial era after their defeat. These new “enterprises” became fronts for the First Order, funneling money into a fanatical regime that would one day destroy the New Republic and bring about the conflict of the third Skywalker Trilogy.
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Maul may not have become the Sith Lord he was promised to be, but his influence was just as far-reaching.