Saturday, August 5, 2017

Retro Dark Horse: Star Wars: Darth Maul - Son of Dathomir

Star Wars: The Clone Wars animated series ended early due to Disney's acquisition of Star Wars.  At the series' end, the character Ahsoka Tano, Anakin Skywalker's Jedi Padawan, received closure, but there was at least one story line that was not wrapped up when the show was cancelled.  Episode 16 of season 5, The Lawless, has several important revelations.  Darth Maul, now leading the Mandalorian group Death Watch as part of his Shadow Collective, kills the Mandalore's former ruler Duchess Satine.  Darth Sidious intervenes in Maul's plans by traveling to Mandalore, killing Maul's brother Savage, and taking Maul prisoner.  This is the last time we see Maul in a Star Wars cartoon until his return in the final episode of season 2 of the Rebels animated series.  In that episode, Ezra Bridger and Kanan Jarrus meet an older Maul on Malachor, a planet with a Sith Temple.

The story of what happens to Maul after his capture by Sidious is told in the Darth Maul - Son of Dathomir 4-issue mini-series published by Dark Horse.  This is the only story published by Darth Horse considered part of Disney's new canon.  The series adapts scripts that would have been produced as 4 episodes in The Clone Wars animated series, if that series had continued.  The story is dense with continuity from The Clone Wars animated series, but provides a satisfying link between Maul's last appearance in The Clone Wars and his first appearance in Rebels.

Star Wars: Darth Maul - Son of Dathomir #1a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (May 2014)
Star Wars: Darth Maul - Son of Dathomir #2a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (June 2014)
Star Wars: Darth Maul - Son of Dathomir #3a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (July 2014)
Star Wars: Darth Maul - Son of Dathomir #4a - Dark Horse Comics, U.S. (August 2014)
The mini-series has commanded a high price since Marvel's acquisition of the Star Wars license.  A set of the standard issues in NM condition will typically fetch $100 or more on eBay.  The Dark Horse trade paperback of the mini-series also commands a premium of $80 or more.  Marvel is due to reprint the series in a trade paperback for the first time in late 2017.

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