As much as I’m not a fan of Darth Maul returning to The Clone Wars, this past episode was pretty interesting. It was also a breath of fresh air after the last four episode arc that had R2-D2, an annoying pit droid, and an even more annoying frog-like miniature commander.
Maul and Savage Opress get rescued on their ship (see, I can’t even remember what happened beforehand or why they needed to be rescued…it looks like their ship had had an accident and there was no food or water so they were lying their unconscious) by a group of Mandalorians known as the Death Watch.
Once recovered, Darth Maul finds out more about the Death Watch: they want to return the Mandalorians to their “ancient roots” of warriors and you get the feeling that they are pretty violent crew. To do this, they want to kill Duchess Satine Kryze who is now leading the planet of Mandalore with the intent of creating a pacifist nation. Satine is also hanging out with Obi-Wan so naturally, this enrages the Death Watch and they want to kill him too. Lots of happiness and butterflies, n’est-ce pas? Darth Maul agrees to help them out in this quest because he has a personal vengeance against Obi-Wan, but would also love to just pop off all the Jedi. There is a lot more history behind the Death Watch and Satine, but I will not go into it here.
Now, up to this point, I thought, Ok, this makes sense. Terrorist group + two insane Sith = good match.
But when Darth Maul tells Savage Oppress about his plan to join the Death Watch he says, “They possess honor.”
With which Savage replies, “Another weakness.”
And here we find a distinction between the Sith and the Death Watch. Though so similar in their intentions, the Sith are constantly over arrogant and confident in their abilities. Maul thinks that these petty Mandalorians have honor and therefore would not stab him and Opress in the back. How nearsighted of him. Does he forget he’s essentially dealing with a terrorist group? I agree the Death Watch could have honor, but perhaps that honor is just amongst them and this so-called honor may not extend to outside forces.
Pre Vizsla is definitely planning something on the side, though we don’t know specifics of what Pre Vizsla and his team is planning. But along with significant glances between him and Bo-Katan, and his comment that both Sith will be dead after they get Mandalore, you know he’s up to no good. Is Maul and Savage’s presumption going to be their downfall? Maul believes he can dispose of them easily enough once he gets what he wants…
But what does Darth Maul want? As the episode progressed, we see Pre Vizsla get increasingly frustrated with Maul and how he took over the organization of the mission. Darth Maul tells Pre Vizsla that he will still get Mandalore but Maul would command an entire underworld. They went from getting revenge on one planet and one leader, to a takeover of numerous systems.
The Death Watch is satisfied with their original plan of revenge. The Sith want more and more, never ceasing in their quest for revenge. Would Darth Maul actually be happy with the death of Obi-Wan? Of course not. He’s a Sith and the Sith want unlimited power.
I just thought this was an interesting, subtle comparison that played out well throughout the episode. You would think that taking two supremely evil groups and pairing them up would be a recipe for success. And yet we see that the more evil you stir into the pot, the more chaotic and unruly it becomes. An explosion will happen, but who will end up on top? The Death Watch or the Sith?