When it comes to the Star Wars universe, there are few threats more terrifying than the villainous Sith. Given the prominence of the films and television shows versus the novels and comic books, it is no surprise that the two most recognizable members of the Sith Order are Darth Vader and Darth Maul.
Both of these Sith Lords served as apprentices to the Dark Lord of the Sith, the evil Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious. While their lightsaber combat forms differed, Vader and Maul were lethal opponents in close combat and they immersed themselves in the dark side of the Force. But it remains up for debate which one was truly the most powerful.
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10 Darth Vader Was "The Chosen One"
A Jedi prophecy stated: "A Chosen One shall come, born of no father, and through him will the ultimate balance in the Force be restored." This was interpreted to mean that there would one day come an individual who would destroy the Sith permanently. Decades later, a Jedi Master named Qui-Gon Jinn would come across a slave boy named Anakin Skywalker that he believed was the Chosen One foretold of in this prophecy.
It appeared Qui-Gon was wrong, as Anakin Skywalker ended up succumbing to the dark side of the Force and becoming Darth Vader, himself a member of the Sith. However, it was at the end of his life that the former Jedi was able to turn away from the dark side and bring balance to the force, thus making him the chosen one to restore balance after all.
9 Darth Maul's Mother Was The Leader Of The Nightsisters
Darth Maul was born to the Clan Mother of the Nightsisters, a group of female witches on the planet Dathomir. These women were able to use the dark side of the force to tap into magical energies on their home planet, including the ability to reanimate the dead. Maul was born into the Nightbrothers, the males of his species that lived to serve the Nightsisters.
This pedigree resulted in his being noticed by Darth Sidious, who took him on as his apprentice. With the brutal and acrobatic fighting style he learned as a youth and his immersion in the dark side since birth, he was an eager and successful apprentice for the future Emperor.
8 Darth Vader Came Closer To Destroying The Jedi Than Any Other Sith Lord
Following his turn to the dark side of the Force, the newly named Darth Vader managed to accomplish what no other Sith had been able to even come close to— bringing the Jedi Order to the point of extinction. While it was his master Darth Sidious that engineered the plan, Vader was the the spark that ignited the Jedi purge.
Darker still, one of his first acts of betrayal was the slaughter of the younglings at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant. He then turned on his former friends and began to hunt down those not killed in the initial execution of the Emperor's Order 66.
7 Darth Maul Survived Being Cut In Half
Darth Vader had plenty of experience with surviving horrific wounds and injuries. Yet, even with all of his severed limbs and severe burns, he never suffered the indignity of being cut in half and falling down a reactor shaft as did Darth Maul at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Seemingly dead, the world forgot about him. However, the Sith drew upon the hatred that made him strong, and he managed to survive. Eventually rescued from near insanity by his brother, Maul rose even stronger than before.
6 Darth Vader Killed Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi
Darth Maul fell to pieces the first time he fought a young Obi-Wan Kenobi. It was later revealed that he survived the dismemberment and plunge. Years later, he would track down Obi-Wan Kenobi on the planet Tatooine. The old Jedi Master had gone into hiding after the Empire's Jedi purge.
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This time ended much the same way as their first. However, Obi-Wan made sure the former Sith was truly dead. Yet, Darth Vader would manage to accomplish what his Sith predecessor had failed at so many times, managing to strike down his old master and ignoring the warnings of how powerful this would make Kenobi.
5 Darth Maul Took Over Mandalore
After Darth Maul and his brother Savage Opress formed a criminal organization known as the Shadow Collective with Pre Vizsla— the leader of the Mandalorian terrorist organization Death Watch— he helped overthrow the government of Mandalore.
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As he had anticipated that the Mandalorian would ultimately betray him after getting what he wanted, Maul managed to escape and realign himself with new allies. Besting Vizsla in a duel, Maul beheaded him with his own Darksaber and became the true power on Mandalore until being overthrown by the Grand Army of the Republic.
4 Darth Vader Killed Emperor Palpatine
One of the most powerful Dark Lords of the Sith to ever exist, the man born Sheev Palpatine would rise to become the first Emperor of the Galactic Republic, keeping his role of Darth Sidious hidden from public knowledge. Emperor Palpatine wasn't just a brilliant and devious strategist— his combat skills and control of the dark side of the Force were lethal too. The Sith Lord once fought Jedi Master Yoda with both lightsaber and the force, with the Jedi barely escaping with his life.
At the culmination of all of this machinations, Palpatine had his greatest victory snatched from his grasp. Finally filling his role as the chosen one of prophecy, Darth Vader saved the life of his Jedi son and ended the life of Emperor Palpatine— at least for awhile.
3 Maul Built The Crimson Dawn
After having been soundly beaten and rejected by the Sith, Maul went on to lead the infamous criminal organization known as the Crimson Dawn, itself a member of the larger Shadow Collective (also co-founded by Maul). Much like his rule on the planet Mandalore, Maul preferred to command from the shadows, with public figureheads acting as his emissaries.
Under his leadership, he ultimately developed an organization so powerful that even decades after his own death, the Crimson Dawn held an impressive amount of power and influence over the entire New Republic.
2 Darth Vader Killed Darth Maul's Clone
Although no longer considered part of official Star Wars canon, the two Sith lords did meet in battle for the ninth issue of the Star Wars Tales comic book. Pitted against each other by their mutual Master, the two Sith fought a vicious battle.
It appeared that Darth Maul had the upper hand, but before he could strike a fatal blow, Vader tapped into a hatred that even Maul could not imagine. Turning his lightsaber upon himself, hit ignited the blade and fatally struck the resurrected apprentice through his own body.
1 Maul Managed To Leave The Sith While Alive
Having survived the Clone Wars, the Jedi Purge, and his former Master's ascent to the role as Galactic Emperor, Darth Maul still considered himself a member of the Sith. However, when Maul and his brother met Darth Sidious on Mandalore, Maul was rebuked and told that he was no longer a Sith and had been replaced.
In the ensuing battle, Opress was killed and Maul was bested in combat and tortured by the Sith Lord. Maul escaped with his life, as the Emperor still had plans for him, and he renounced his title as a member of the Sith.
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