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"Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying."
―Sheev Palpatine[src]

Darth Plagueis (pronounced /'pleɪɡ.əs/) was a Force-sensitive male Dark Lord of the Sith and the master of Darth Sidious. He acquired considerable knowledge of the Force, but was ultimately betrayed and murdered by his own apprentice, in accordance with the Rule of Two. Sidious later recounted the tale of his master's demise to lure the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker to the dark side of the Force.


Master of Darth Sidious

"My mentor taught me everything about the Force, even the nature of the dark side."
―Sheev Palpatine[src]
Sidious hologram

Darth Sidious was the apprentice and murderer of Plagueis.

Darth Plagueis was a male Dark Lord of the Sith[2] who, at some point prior to the Invasion of Naboo, chose Sheev Palpatine, a human from Naboo, as his apprentice. As master and disciple, Plagueis and Palpatine—who took the Sith moniker Darth Sidious—worked together for years, trying to unlock the secrets of immortality as Plagueis lusted for it[4] and to execute their order's long-percolating plan of supplanting the Galactic Republic with a new Sith Empire.[5] At some point, Plagueis acquired the protocol droid 11-4D.[4]

While training Sidious, Plagueis taught him that two Sith were required for their perilous machinations. So, if they worked together in accordance to the Rule of Two, with one of them serving as a bait for the dark side of the Force and the other as a vessel, they would succeed in acquiring the ability to harness the full power of the dark side and rule immortal for ten thousand years.[4] While apprenticed by Plagueis, Sidious also built his own lightsabers.[6]

Eventually, Plagueis ended up discovering a way to achieve his so desired immortality: transferring his consciousness to another body, essentially using bodies as vessels. Plagueis also attempted to create a dyad in the Force with Sidious, a unique Force-bond strong as life itself and which inspired the Rule of Two. However, Plagueis was unable to form the dyad.[7]

By the time that Sidious, under his public persona of Sheev Palpatine, was appointed as Naboo's representative in the Galactic Senate, Plagueis was still teaching him.[4]

The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise

"Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew. Then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself."
―Sheev Palpatine[src]

According to Sidious, Plagueis was powerful enough that he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life and keep the ones he cared about from dying, a precious knowledge that awarded him the epithet of "The Wise".[3] However, Plagueis also developed a belief that the Force could "strike back" at him for his power.[4] In truth, he became so powerful that the only thing he still dreaded was losing his power. Ultimately, Plagueis' only fear was bound to come true: at some point, Sidious had learned everything he needed from his master,[2] and had acquired his own pupil in the Nightsister Mother Talzin's son, Darth Maul,[3] a young Dathomirian Zabrak whom Sidious had kidnapped from Talzin when he was only a child.[8] As the Rule of Two mandated that only two Sith—a master and an apprentice—could exist at any given time, one of them had to die.[9] Now that he had no further use for a teacher, Sidious disposed of Plagueis, killing him in his sleep.[2] As noted by Sidious, Plagueis didn't act fast enough to prevent his own demise.[7]


"Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?"
―Sheev Palpatine, to Anakin Skywalker[src]
Palpatine and Anakin

Anakin Skywalker learned about the late Darth Plagueis as recounted by Sheev Palpatine

With the death of Plagueis, Sidious not only gained the status of Master, but also acquired 11-4D, the late Sith Lord's multi-limbed assistant.[4] In the waning days of the Republic, Sidious recounted the history of his late master to the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, whom he befriended years before the Clone Wars in an effort to gradually turn him to the dark side of the Force. Skywalker, who was unaware at the time that his friend was in fact a Sith Lord, and having developed premonitions of his secret wife's death in childbirth, was intrigued by the story of Plagueis, particularly his ability to prevent death. When the fear of loss drove Skywalker to betray the Jedi Order, turning him into the Sith Lord Darth Vader, Sidious reformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire and declared himself Emperor. At the same time, he had the Jedi wiped out by Order 66, completing the Sith plan that lasted for over a millennium.[2]

One of the few Jedi to survive was a Padawan named Ferren Barr. Barr began investigating as to why the Jedi fell so quickly and learned of Plagueis' existence, putting his file on him in his list of individuals involved in the crisis.[10] In the years that followed his rise to power, Sidious came to genuinely, if posthumously, appreciate Plagueis for the planner and prophet he had been. Sometimes, Sidious mused about how his late master would have reacted when confronted with the trivial, day-to-day matters of Imperial politics, remarking that Plagueis never foresaw that he would become Emperor.[4]


Owing to Darth Plagueis' teachings, Darth Sidious returned after his first death

Twenty-three years later, during the Battle of Endor, Sidious came to be killed by a redeemed Anakin Skywalker, who turned back to the light side of the Force and threw Sidious down a reactor shaft to save his son Luke.[11] While falling, however, Sidious reflected that he had prepared himself for that scenario unlike Plagueis and called on all the power of the dark side to leave his body and thrust his consciousness far, far away to a cloned body created by the Sith Eternal on the secret Sith world of Exegol.[7]

In the years following the Empire's end, during the final stages of the war between the First Order and the Resistance, Sidious' granddaughter Rey tracked him down to Exegol as the Resistance and the First Order prepared for a final showdown.[12] Before a redeemed Ben Solo came to her rescue, Sidious insisted his granddaughter to strike him down as he did with Plagueis, allowing Rey to read his mind and realize how he came back thanks to Plagueis' teachings.[7]

Personality and traits

"Darth Plagueis had once remarked that the Force can strike back."
―Darth Sidious, musing on the nature of the Force.[src]

Darth Plagueis was a wise Dark Lord of the Sith who had such a knowledge over the dark side of the Force.[3] He was a meticulous planner, who tried to accomplish the Sith's goal to replace the Galactic Republic with a Sith Empire. Due to his powers, he also became paranoid, believing that the Force could "strike him back".[4]

Obsessed with living forever, Plagueis tried to find the way to become immortal alongside his apprentice Darth Sidious and rule together for ten thousand years.[4] Though Plagueis didn't live to achieve his goals, Sidious succeeded to survive his death, but given that his transfer was imperfect, he asked himself if maybe Plagueis got the last laugh after all at his failure.[7]

Powers and abilities

"It's ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself."
"Is it possible to learn this power?"
"Not from a Jedi."
―Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker[src]

According to Darth Sidious, Darth Plagueis was a powerful Sith Lord who was able to use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. His great knowledge of the dark side of the Force could even aid him in keeping the ones he cared about from dying.[2]

Focused on achieving immortality, Darth Plagueis managed to discover a way to become immortal, which consisted on transferring his consciousness to another body and use it like a vessel. His apprentice Darth Sidious was later able to survive his first death through this method, yet the transfer was imperfect.[7]

Darth Plagueis may have had the ability to see into the future as his apprentice later mused in appreciation of him for the prophet he had been. However, what Plagueis never saw coming was his apprentice's rise to power.[4]

Behind the scenes


Darth Plagueis as depicted in Star Wars Legends

Darth Plagueis was first mentioned on-screen in the 2005 film Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, the third and final installment of the Star Wars prequel trilogy.[2] Although Palpatine was never confirmed to be Plagueis' apprentice in the movie itself, a link to the official encyclopedia on did refer to Sidious as having been "trained by Darth Plagueis."[3]

The character was created by George Lucas as early as the first draft of Revenge of the Sith—dated April 2003—and possibly earlier.[13] His story was massively expanded upon in the 2012 Star Wars Legends novel Darth Plagueis, written by James Luceno.[14] It notably established Plagueis to be a Muun just as Lucas proposed.[15]



Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 In Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, Jedi Master Yoda states that there could only be two Sith Lords at a time; a Rule of Two was in place of Sith succession, as explained in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Sacrifice". Since Darth Sidious and Darth Maul were the two Dark Lords during The Phantom Menace, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 32 BBY, and that Darth Plagueis was Sidious' Sith Master according to's Databank, Plagueis would have have to been the Sith alongside his apprentice before the title of Darth, and hence the mantle of succeeding the remaining place of the Rule of Two, was conferred to Maul, which had been so by the events of The Phantom Menace, in 32 BBY.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 StarWars-DatabankII Darth Sidious Biography Gallery in the Databank (backup link) (Image 1 of 24)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 Tarkin
  5. Encyclopedia-Logo Darth Sidious in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  6. Ultimate Star Wars
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
  8. Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 3
  9. 9.0 9.1 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
  10. Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 14
  11. Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  12. Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  13. The Making of Star Wars Revenge of the Sith
  14. Darth Plagueis
  15. Eric Geller (January 10, 2012). Interview: Plagueis Author James Luceno. Archived from the original on May 6, 2016. Retrieved on February 27, 2017.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace

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