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. The group’s Mustafar operations weren’t impregnable, however – Asajj Ventress and Quinlan Vos penetrated them to retrieve a family of captives taken in an underworld dispute between Black Sun and the Pyke Syndicate.
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. The warriors wandered the galaxy for a time, then helped conquer Mandalore as part of Darth Maul’s Shadow Collective. Maul then became Death Watch’s leader when he killed Pre Vizsla
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.
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. Savage located Maul and became his brother’s enforcer in the Shadow Collective, but died when Darth Sidious confronted the two Sith warriors on Mandalore.
A tiny, fiery planet in the Outer Rim, Mustafar maintains an erratic orbit between two gas giants. Mustafar is rich in unique and valuable minerals which have long been mined by the Tech Union. Its lava pits and rivers make this planet a dangerous habitat; its natives have burly, tough bodies that can withstand extreme heat. The planet became the backdrop for the fateful duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker. After the rise of the Empire, captured Jedi were brought to the volcanic world for interrogation and execution.
The Shadow Collective was an alliance of underworld organizations assembled by Darth Maul using a mix of persuasion and brute force. Maul struck a deal with Death Watch leader Pre Vizsla and won the support of the Pyke Syndicate, then subjugated Black Sun and the Hutt Clan by force of arms. The Collective took over Mandalore, but its heyday was short-lived, and it fragmented after Maul’s defeat by Darth Sidious.