The History Of One Of 'Star Wars’ Most Mysterious Characters
The Dark Side Was Strong With Him
Darth Plagueis is considered one of the most mysterious characters of the Star Wars saga, for, overall, he has very little exposure and is mainly known through the lore of his apprentice Sheev Palpatine. According to legend, Plagueis was, in his early life, a great and wise Dark Lord of the Sith who had been trained by Sith Master Darth Tenebrous, a legendary artisanal starship designer and a great scientist.
As it is implied by the philosophy of the Rule of Two established by Sith Lord Darth Bane, there must only be two Sith Lords at any given time: a master to represent the power of the dark side and an apprentice who will train to acquire the role of the master once the established one dies.
For an apprentice, Darth Plagueis chose Palpatine, a human from Naboo who also cultivated a second identity once he started to be a Sith apprentice, the one of Darth Sidious.
“My mentor taught me everything about the Force, even the nature of the dark side” - Sheev Palpatine.
Together, they worked for years and endeavored to gain power by trying to place a hand on the secrets of immortality. The Sith master was obsessed with extending one’s own life and believed that the secret of immortality lay in science and, more precisely, in bioengineering. At some point, he obtained the ability to manipulate mid-chlorians, these microscopic life forms that resided within the cells of all living organisms in the galaxy, thereby forming a symbiotic relationship with their hosts, which allowed them to use the power of the Force.
Before those unnatural experiments, Plagueis and Tenebrous tried to forge a Force dyad together, with Plagueis' Force bond as strong as life and more mystical than its predecessor. The Force dyad would allow them to teleport matter, communicate at great distances from each other, and, more importantly, it would enable them to become immortal if the full power of the dark side was used. Fortunately, however, they never succeeded in creating such a bond.
Ultimately, Plagueis wanted to fulfill the Sith Order’s great plan of supplanting the Galactic Republic with a new Sith Empire.
“It’s ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.” - Sheev Palpatine to Anakin Skywalker, Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith.
After having learned everything he could from his teacher, Darth Sidious decided to murder his paranoid master in his sleep, thus acquiring the title of Sith Master, as expected, accordingly to the Rule of Two. The new Sith master, therefore, kept on unfolding his plan and managed to fulfill the latter by becoming Galactic Emperor.
Darth Plagueis’ Appearances
As mentioned before, Darth Plagueis’ lore in Star Wars movies and literature isn’t present compared to other prominent characters, and he often lives through the stories of others rather than having his own voice.
He is first mentioned by Palpatine in Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith, where he tells the story of Darth Plagueis, The Wise, to Anakin Skywalker whilst keeping his second identity secret. In the movie, we learn that Plagueis had mastered the dark side of the Force to the extent that he could create life and keep the ones he cared about from dying. Later in the movie, Palpatine unveils his second identity and attempts to convince Anakin Skywalker to go to the dark side by promising to teach him how to use his power to prevent his pregnant wife from dying.
In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) novelization, by Rae Carson, we learn that Darth Sidious had discovered Plagueis’ secret to immortality and thus used this knowledge to resurrect himself after his death in Star Wars IV: Return of the Jedi. In this novel, we also get to read about the creation of the connection called the Force dyad (and its failure) and the fact that Plagueis was not fast and wise enough to prevent his own apprentice from killing him during his sleep.
Finally, Plagueis occupies an important place in Star Wars Legends: Darth Plagueis, a novel written by James Luceno and published in 2012. However, this story has since been relegated to Legends in 2014. Regardless it's an essential read for most Star Wars fans as it covers the life of Star Wars' most mysterious figures.
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Written by Gonçalo Rocha Santos
Syndicated from Culture Slate