A deadly, agile Sith Lord trained by the evil Darth Sidious, Darth Maul was a formidable warrior and scheming mastermind. He wielded an intimidating double-bladed lightsaber and fought with a menacing ferocity. Though he fell in battle against Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Zabrak from Dathomir would prove to be much harder to destroy than originally believed.
The warrior clans of Mandalore were believed to have been wiped out ages ago, their tattered remnants exiled to the Concordia moon. But as the Clone Wars swept the galaxy, the treacherous governor Pre Vizsla resurrected the Mandalorians, and with them, their legendary combat armor that was feared across the galaxy. Backed by Count Dooku and the Separatists, Vizsla began building an army to retake Mandalore from the control of pacifists who were trying to bury violent Mandalore's past. As the coup became inopportune, Dooku abandoned the Death Watch, leading once again to their exile. The Death Watch became a murderous band of nomadic outlaws, battle-worn rogues that wandered the Clone Wars.
Profiting from the poor decisions made during the Clone Wars, the Pykes positioned themselves into power as the preeminent spice dealers in the galaxy. They kept a steady supply of the illicit substances funneling into the stores of some of the most influential crime families operating in the lower levels of Coruscant. From their well-guarded stronghold on Oba Diah, the Pykes oversaw the distribution of fresh narcotic spice harvested by slaves on Kessel. The Pykes relied on smugglers and unscrupulous freighter captains to pull off foolhardy Kessel Runs to deliver their prize to customers.
During the Clone Wars, the focus of the Jedi Knights on defeating the Separatists meant a decline of law enforcement, particularly in the sparsely patrolled Outer Rim Territories. This allowed criminal elements, like the notorious Black Sun syndicate, to flourish. The Black Sun's tentacles reach across many worlds. Many of the organization's operatives had no idea that they were benefiting Black Sun, so layered and intricate were the fronts that the syndicate hid behind. During the time of the Clone Wars, Black Sun was led by a cabal of Falleen nobles, who operated out of a well-defended fortress on Mustafar.
Savage Opress was once a common Nightbrother whose fighting prowess impressed Asajj Ventress. Transformed into a monstrous warrior by Mother Talzin, Opress became Count Dooku's new assassin and secret Sith apprentice. His loyalty, however, remained to Talzin. The Nightsisters leader gave Savage a new quest: to find his brother, Darth Maul, who had somehow survived his apparent death and was living in exile in the Outer Rim.
Pre Vizsla publicly served Duchess Satine as the governor of Mandalore's moon Concordia, but was really the leader of the Death Watch, a secret society of Mandalorian commandos who sought to overthrow Satine's government and reclaim the Mandalorians' honor as warriors. Vizsla and Count Dooku plotted to assassinate Satine, which would lead to a Republic occupation of Mandalore. Vizsla's Death Watch would then liberate the planet, joining the Separatist cause. Things did not go according to plan, and Vizsla and Dooku bitterly parted ways. Death Watch became a group of nomadic warriors, with the formerly manicured and orderly Vizsla becoming unkempt and battle-worn as their leader.