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Rauzgriz
12.06.2012 , 08:40 PM | #9
So far as I know, the appearance changes were due to how far into the dark side you were, but an equally significant thing was how you used the force. For example, lightning is inherently corruptive, as it causes intense pain and agony to its target and almost always requires calling directly upon the dark side (though there are exceptions). Something like force push however, is completely neutral, because its basic telekinesis that most force users can do. But force push can be corruptive, if you use your hate and passions to fuel it.

Maul didnt have all that corrupted of an appearance because he was mostly a lightsaber duelist and (in the movies anyway) almost never used the force, at least in a direct exertion of power. This essentially means that somebody that is a dark sider but doesnt actually use dark side powers all that often wont have as much of a sinister appearance.

With Palpatine and Zannah, Its quite possible that they simply used sorcery to conceal their true appearance, something that seems even more likely when you consider how in the inquisitor storyline, Zash suddenly goes from normal looking to absolutely hideous.