Maul and Ezra have a very complex relationship in Star Wars Rebels. While Maul sees Ezra as a boy with a strong affinity with the Force and as his potential apprentice and replacement for the brother he lost, Ezra saw Maul as the man who caused pain and suffering to his friends and family such as Maul blinding Kanan or holding his friends hostage.
Ezra and Maul first met each other in the abandoned Sith Temple on Malachor during "Twilight of the Apprentice." It was when Ezra was separated from his companions Kanan Jarrus and Ahsoka Tano due to a cave-in that Ezra met the former Sith Lord, Darth Maul. Ezra remained wary of the stranger and threatened him with his lightsaber. Maul insists he is no threat to the teenager and reveals that he is at Malachor for knowledge, just like Ezra and his friends have come here for. He agrees to help Ezra get out of the lower levels of Malachor if he shows the location of the prize that will know how to defeat the Sith: the Holocron. Neither one trusting the other, Maul told Ezra to call him "Old Master" while Ezra told him to call him "Jabba."
During their conversation and way to the Sith Holocron, Ezra learned that Maul was once a force-wielder and accuses him of being a Sith. However, Maul reveals it was the Sith who took his mother and brother. Ezra empathized with the old man and revealed that he lost his parents from the Empire, as they both suffered from a loss. Maul taught Ezra the Sith Code and encouraged him to embrace the dark side.
His encounter with Maul left an effect on Ezra, as he was able to open the Sith Holocron, something only a one who could think like a Sith could open.
In "The Holocrons of Fate," Ezra and Maul formed a Force bond with each other after they combined the Sith and the Jedi Holocrons they had. He saw Kanan as a threat to his plans on making Ezra his next apprentice, even trying to kill Kanan twice, once he had both the boy and the holocron.
Maul mostly used their bond to his advantage by creating hallucinations and tormenting Ezra, especially in "Visions and Voices." Maul attempted to make Ezra forget his past ties with his family but the boy refused, as his loyalty to his friends came first.
In "Twin Suns," Maul continued to use his bond with Ezra to his advantage and lured the boy to Tatooine to bring Obi-Wan out of hiding. However, he never harmed him and instead, allowed him to leave, before his duel with Obi-Wan. Ezra appeared to have sensed Darth Maul's death through their Force bond, which finally ended.
Episodes with an Ezra/Maul plot/subplot
- Twilight of the Apprentice: Highlights their first meeting and how they had a brief alliance before Maul betrayed the rebels by blinding Ezra's master, Kanan.
- The Holocrons of Fate
- Visions and Voices
- Twin Sun
- Kylo Ren and Rey Skywalker
- Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker
- Following their encounter, Maul continues to address Ezra as "Apprentice" rather than his real name, calling him "Ezra" a couple of times. This shows Maul's "affection" for Ezra is more of an unhealthy obsession and desire to have Ezra become his apprentice and flourish under his teachings instead of Kanan's
- Maul appears to be at least fifty years older than Ezra, having been around since before the Battle of Naboo,which was thirteen years before Ezra was born.
- Unlike other alliances, Maul never kills Ezra for refusing him, uunlike the past in The Clone Wars where he killed the Black Sun's leaders for refusing to join the Shadow Collective and thratened to kill Ahsoka if she did not join his cause to take down Sidious together.
- The former Sith tried to kill Kanan multiple times in a poor attempt to make Ezra join him.
- Ezra is not the first young light side Maul tried to recruit, as he tried corrupting Ahsoka in season 7 of The Clone Wars.
- They both lost their families because of Palpatine, ended up alone for years, and have strong affinity with the Force and fell into tragedy. The two reminscent on that and how they bonded.
- However, while Ezra did continue to hate the Empire for taking his parents and Kanan Jarrus, Ezra learned to he had let them go because he was surrounded by the love of his surrogate family, the Ghost crew while Maul led the anger consume him because he had no one to help him overcome loss and seek vengeance on Obi-Wan and Sidious, which led to his death.
- Maul may have developed a slight fondness for Ezra and Maul genuinely wanted him as his apprentice.However, he still used Ezra to achieve his own goals and it is made clear by Sam Witwer that Maul does want Ezra to serve as a replacement for his dead brother. As mentioned before, this desire to recruit Ezra is no more than an unhealthy obssession