- "Exegol does not appear on any star chart. But legend describes it as the hidden world of the Sith."
Exegol (also spelled Ixigul in ancient texts) was a dark desert planet located within the Unknown Regions that, according to legend, was the hidden redoubt world of the Sith. It was occupied by the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and the Sith Eternal by 35 ABY. It was also the birthplace of Supreme Leader Snoke, whom Sidious created to rule the First Order while concealing himself in the shadows. Exegol was used to hide the Final Order, which was a fleet amassed by Sidious and the Sith Eternal, from where they planned to deploy their Star Destroyers and establish a new Sith Empire. Exegol was the site of a battle during the war between the First Order and the Resistance, which saw the defeat of the Sith loyalists.
Exegol was a dark, barren, and rocky planet with desert flats. Its dry conditions, combined with the rubbing of dust particles in its atmosphere, created enormous static discharges that appeared as lightning strikes from the planet surface. The desolate world was covered with enormous fissures that reached deep into its crust. These were excavated by Sith loyalists who were attempting to reach a transportative vergence they believed to lie beneath the surface.
As mentioned by the Jedi writer Kli the Elder in the Rammahgon, Exegol (or Ixigul, as Kli wrote it) once had a fertile environment, until the Sith established their presence there and laid waste to the planet just as they did with Korriban, Ziost, and Asog. Among the changes the Sith made was the creation of massive underground shipyard forges. Exegol was one of the oldest Sith bastions. Under the Sith, the Sith Citadel was built on Exegol for meetings and rituals to be conducted within, and Sith loyalists excavated the world's large and deep planetary fissures in hopes of reaching a transportive vergence believed to lie beneath the planet surface.
According to legend, two Sith Lords, Darth Noctyss and Darth Sanguis, reached Exegol in their quest for immortality, which the former hoped to learn from the latter. Unknown to Noctyss, Sanguis had achieved immortality by transforming himself into a horrendous creature. Tricking Noctyss by not revealing himself as Darth Sanguis, Sanguis managed to be killed by Noctyss in a ritual to acquire immortality, leading Noctyss to conclude too late that Sanguis had tricked her into becoming a creature like him and freeing him from his miserable existence.
- "You can't beat him! He has more power than you can imagine! [...] Power beyond your understanding and mine. Power that only the Emperor could build."
"Build? And where is he building this power?"
- ―Ochi and Darth Vader
Due to its remote location and inherent veil of secrecy, the Sith Eternal cult chose Exegol as its base; a planet unknown to even the most studious of galactic historians, some of whom knew about Korriban/Moraband and the other Sith worlds.
By the era of the Galactic Empire, Sidious had intended for Exegol to become his permanent seat of power. He would ready the ancient throne of the Sith. Seeking ways of unlocking the secrets of immortality, his underlings began to experiment with cloning technology in a bid to extend his lifespan. Sidious also proceeded to modernize the ancient shipyards, including making them highly automated, so the construction of a fleet of Xyston-class Star Destroyers was underway by the time of the Galactic Civil War. Sidious' and his Sith cultists' genetic machinations led to the creation of several artificial constructs, including potential replacements for his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader. He also stored several other frail specimens within vats and kept them existing in a state of pain.
These schemes were kept hidden from Vader until shortly after his duel on Cloud City, when he encountered the Eye of Webbish Bog on Mustafar, who gifted him with a Sith wayfinder that led to Exegol. Seeking answers, Vader forced the Sith assassin Ochi of Bestoon to accompany him on his journey, and together they passed through the Red Honeycomb Zone, eventually crash-landing on the planet's surface. Vader fought through Sidious's defenses and spotted the severed hand of his son, Luke Skywalker, in the cloning center. Eventually, Vader and Ochi found themselves faced with a massive kyber crystal being tormented to corrupt it to the dark side. The power of the crystal was too much for Ochi, whose eyes were burnt by its power, but Vader pressed on, intent to finally have revenge on Sidious. Nevertheless, the Sith Master taunted Vader, telling him of his power and how he could only share it if he again accepted his position as apprentice. Although Vader received a vision of his son telling him he was destined to kill Sidious, Vader agreed to rejoin his master.
Return of Sidious
- "The might of the Final Order will soon be ready. It will be yours if you do as I ask."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Kylo Ren
After Sidious' death at the Battle of Endor, the Sith loyalists continued to construct the Final Order, a massive fleet of warships. This was comprised of hundreds of Xyston-class Star Destroyers, which were intended for the Sith's reconquest of the galaxy.
As threats of their return to the wider galaxy loomed, the Resistance mustered its forces and fought a desperate battle against the Sith. Ultimately, with the help of the citizens' fleet, the Resistance was able to destroy the Sith Star Destroyers and kill Emperor Darth Sidious.
Built on Exegol in ancient times, the Sith Citadel was one of the earliest bastions of the Sith. Constructed on the surface of the planet, the citadel was both above ground and subterranean in design, with the former section being a large upside-down truncated pyramid-like structure built out of black stone. Below the surface there was a large hall with massive ancient statues carved in the likenesses of ancient Sith Lords. There was also an ampitheater that housed the Throne of the Sith. The citadel was destroyed during the Battle of Exegol in 35 ABY.
Behind the scenes
Exegol first appeared in the 2019 film Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy. In the feature-length documentary The Skywalker Legacy, art director Rick Carter mused that Exegol may have been the place where the Sith Order was born. Canonically, the Sith originated from Moraband, per the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Destiny."
- Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
- William Shakespeare's The Merry Rise of Skywalker: Star Wars Part the Ninth
- LEGO Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: A Junior Novel
- Star Wars: Fascinating Facts
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars Complete Vehicles, New Edition
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- "A Life Immortal"—Dark Legends
- Darth Vader 11
- The Star Wars Book
- Darth Vader 11
- Darth Vader 8
- Darth Vader 10
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary dates the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker to one year after the Starkiller Incident, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 34 ABY. Therefore, the events of The Rise of Skywalker must take place in 35 ABY.
- The Skywalker Legacy
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Destiny"