The Son of Dathomir headlined the second issue of Ages of Star Wars. Let’s break it down.
My boy is back.
The story starts in the depths of Coruscant with Darth Maul posing as a Padawan who he slew shortly before. Playing himself off as a member of the Kaitis Cartel, Maul hooks up with a guy named Zek Peiro in the lower levels of the capital to carry out their mission of “intercepting the scarn”.
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It becomes clear early on that Maul is there for a different reason – he’s analyzing Zek’s connection with the Force. In his narration, Maul explains that he’s “heard the stories of this thief,” but that he doubts the rumors, saying that his skills might be “perhaps overblown.”
Maul then reveals he was the one who hired Zek, attempting to see if his skills translated to any connection with the Force. Maul stays undercover by allowing Zek to take the lead on the mission, even though he’s analyzing his every move in the process. However, after spying on a deal from the Coruscant rooftops, Maul can’t contain himself and attacks without warning.
Zek follows suit, and Maul finally sees Zek’s Force potential in action during the fight. Maul can sense the Force “moving around him” but also that “his grasp of it is clumsy.” Even though Zek lacks training, Maul can sense his potential. His senses are confirmed when, after dispatching the dealers, Maul watches the Force guide Zek to the scarn, which was hidden in the dealers’ ship.
After the successful mission, Maul and Zek chat while the Dathomirian wonders if Zek was once a Jedi. While Zek is lauding the Cartel, Maul grows angrier and angrier when he views Zek as a failure of the Jedi Order. Eventually, Maul shows his true colors and kills Zek in cold blood.
Maul then meets up with Darth Sidious, who slams him for his “foolish antics” that “risk drawing the attention of the Jedi.” Maul tries to explain himself, but Sidious cuts him off and says that their plan is already in motion and that it’s things like this that can ruin it. Maul isn’t having it and then pretty much tells Sidious that his training is complete. Sidious, naturally, disagrees.
The two Sith Lords travel to Malachor, where Sidious looks for Maul to take the next step in his training. Maul breathes in some kind of ash, which gives him a vision of being a Jedi. In the vision, a boy approaches Maul and asks for the Jedi’s help. Maul says that he is no Jedi, but that he is still a hunter – so, he kills the massive creature that was bearing down on the boy’s family. The vision concludes with Maul sitting down to dinner with the boy and his family, which ends with Maul killing them all (who would have thought?). When Maul turns his blade on the boy, he explains that the Jedi are just “a lie told to a desperate galaxy.” When the vision ends, Maul agrees with Sidious that his training is far from over.
Compared to the Qui-Gon issue, Darth Maul’s was more exciting and moved a lot faster, so I think it’s an improvement over its predecessor. However, the similarities are there. Remember how Qui-Gon’s started with negotiations gone wrong? Well, it’s kind of the same here with Maul ruining a deal. You could definitely point to the vision sequences in both issues, which gave off similar vibes.
Maul’s vision was almost like he was sprayed by Scarecrow’s fear gas. He saw himself as a Jedi–he doesn’t fear the Jedi, but he fears being one of them. As a result, he reaffirmed to us that he’s still a savage.
I’ll give this issue a solid B+. Really entertaining, good action, and a Sidious appearance. So far, though, I wish these issues were a bit longer, but I’ll live with it.