- "It looks like at one time, thousands of years ago, Jedi Knights attacked the temple."
"And the Jedi won, right?"
"From what I can tell, nobody won."
- ―Ahsoka Tano and Ezra Bridger
The Great Scourge of Malachor, also known as the Battle of Malachor, was a battle between the Jedi Order and the Sith Empire on the planet Malachor. During the battle, the Jedi attacked the Sith temple, a battle station and superweapon capable of destroying life. The remains of the battle, in which combatants were left petrified, remained preserved for thousands of years after the Great Scourge.
- "It was here on…on this dead world…that the Jedi struck a terrible blow against the Sith. Many of our order were struck down. All because they wanted to be free."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Darth Maul
By 3966 BBY, Darth Tanis created the superweapon on top of the Sith temple. Millennia before the Cold War, the Jedi Knights attacked the forces of a Sith witch and the Sith temple on the planet Malachor. In the ensuing battle, the temple was activated, resulting in the death of everyone on the planet. The petrified bodies of the combatants were all that remained, left littered across the battlefield. The battle also involved other archaic superweapons that were fueled by dark side energies. The horrors of Malachor would go on to inform Jedi legends for millennia to come, and stories of the battle were interpreted as tales or forewarnings for Jedi younglings.
While training Darth Maul, Darth Sidious brought Maul to the site of the battle to teach him about the fall of the Sith. Sidious forced Maul to breathe in the ashes of his Sith predecessors. While breathing the ashes, Maul proceeded to have visions of the deaths of thousands of Sith warriors at the hands of the Jedi.
In 3 BBY, the petrified remains of the battlefield were discovered by Padawan Ezra Bridger, Jedi Knight Kanan Jarrus, and the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano. Tano, remembering her Jedi teachings, recalled that a battle had been fought on Malachor. Bridger wondered if the Jedi had won, but Tano deduced from the remains of the battlefield, that nobody won. Bridger found a green-bladed crossguard lightsaber, which he briefly activated before it shorted out. After Jarrus was blinded by Maul, he found a Jedi Temple Guard mask and wore it while briefly dueling with Maul on the side of the Sith temple.
Behind the scenes
The Great Scourge of Malachor was first referenced in the 2015 reference book Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, which stated that the crossguard design of Kylo Ren's lightsaber was an ancient one that dated back thousands of years to the Great Scourge of Malachor. The book's author, Lucasfilm Story Group creative executive Pablo Hidalgo, added the reference to the book to connect it with the battle that was ultimately referenced in "Twilight of the Apprentice," the second season finale of the animated television series Star Wars Rebels.
Although the exact events of the Great Scourge have yet to be revealed, Star Wars Rebels executive producer Dave Filoni shared his thinking for what the battle was. In his mind, the battle was fought when Jedi Knights attacked the Sith temple that was being constructed by a Sith Lord, the voice of whom became the Presence in the obelisk that is activated by the Sith holocron that Ezra finds in "Twilight of the Apprentice." In this idea, the temple either fired or misfired and led to the petrified destruction that remained on the battlefield for thousands of years.
- Darth Maul (2017) 2 (First appearance) (Vision to Darth Maul) (In flashback(s))
- Age of Republic - Darth Maul 1 (Vision to to Darth Maul) (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars Rebels – "Twilight of the Apprentice" (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary (First mentioned)
- Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 96 (Guide to the Galaxy: Malachor – Sith Temple World)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 28 (Databank A-Z: Queen Jamillia–Jedi Temples) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 37 (Databank A-Z: Luggabeast–Malakili)
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Unlimited Power
- Gadgets and Gear
- Ultimate Star Wars, New Edition
- Star Wars: The Secrets of the Jedi
- Star Wars Day-at-a-Time Calendar 2021
- The Star Wars Book (First identified as Battle of Malachor)
- Star Wars Day-at-a-Time Calendar 2022
- Star Wars Bust Collection 4 (Star Wars Universe: Kylo Ren) (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Secrets of the Sith
- (Indirect mention only)
Notes and references
- The Hundred-Year Darkness saw the formation of the Sith, meaning the Great Scourge of Malachor must have taken place after it.
- Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
- Star Wars Rebels – "Twilight of the Apprentice"
- Darth Maul (2017) 2
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary states that Sith accounts describing the Malachor superweapon were made four-thousand years before the Starkiller Incident, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 34 ABY. Therefore, the accounts were made in 3966 BBY.
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
- According to Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know, Updated and Expanded, Ahsoka Tano was 14 years old when she became Anakin Skywalker's Padawan and 32 years old when she fought him as Darth Vader in "Twilight of the Apprentice." Star Wars: Galactic Atlas established that Tano was apprenticed to Skywalker in 22 BBY, meaning "Twilight of the Apprentice" cannot be set any later than 3 BBY. Dawn of Rebellion states that Phoenix Cell established Chopper Base on Atollon three years before the Battle of Yavin or 3 BBY. Since "Twilight of the Apprentice" takes place after that event, it must be set in 3 BBY.