"Look upon his face, then bring me the mask."
―Meetra Surik to Visas Marr, referring to Darth Nihilus after his death[2]

The mask of Darth Nihilus, or Mask of Nihilus,[8] was one of the pieces of armor that Sith Lord Darth Nihilus had bound to himself using the Force in an effort to retain a semblance of a physical form. Darth Nihilus had been one of the few who had survived the activation of the Mass Shadow Generator while on the surface of Malachor V during the last battle of the Mandalorian Wars, the Battle of Malachor V. This experience left him with an insatiable need to feed on the Force. Eventually this hunger began to erode his physical body and in an effort to keep himself alive, he bound his spirit to his armor, robes, and mask using the dark side of the Force. At the end of the First Jedi Purge Nihilus was killed aboard his flagship, the Ravager, by Meetra Surik, his former apprentice, Visas Marr, and the current Mandalore, Canderous Ordo, leaving his mask as a gruesome reminder of his reign as the Lord of Hunger.

This mask was considered to be a Sith artifact that encouraged the wearers to slowly destroy themselves for greater power. The lost mask of Darth Nihilus was imbued with the dark energy of the Sith Lord, allowing any who wore the ghost-white mask the power to wield the Force as if they were a Sith apprentice.

Later, the mask was recovered from the crashed smuggling ship, Nashuaga, on the planet Volik.[3]


Sometime between 3960 BBY[1] and 3952 BBY[5] the ravages of an insatiable dark hunger for the Force destroyed Darth Nihilus's physical body to the point where he was compelled to bind his life-force into his robes and armor—including a facial mask—in order to avoid death and give himself a palpable form which allowed him to wield a lightsaber and continue his mastery of the Force.[1] Darth Nihilus's mask continued to serve its purpose until his death at the hands of the Jedi Exile and her companions[2] in 3951 BBY.[9]

For the next four thousand years,[10] rumors spread across the galaxy concerning the mask's power. It was said that the mask was invested with the dark side of the Force and if an individual who was not Force-sensitive was to don the mask, that being would be able to wield the Force as a Sith apprentice. If, however, a Jedi or Sith was to wear the mask, proficiency in additional Force powers—always including, but not limited to, dark side powers—were acquired. However, it was cautioned that the dark influence of the mask propelled the wearer towards acts of self-destruction in the pursuit of greater power.[3]

Behind the scenes[]

In the game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, the player character has an option to receive the Nihilus mask after his death through character dialog with Visas Marr. The player will then gain a bonus to their maximum Force points. The player cannot wear the mask, although it does show up in their inventory under "miscellaneous".

The mask of Nihilus (complete with accompanying hood) also appears in the MMO Star Wars: The Old Republic as a headpiece that can be worn by any class. It can be found randomly in Crime Lord's Cartel Packs, purchased for Cartel Coins from the in-game market, or bought by player-created auction on the Galactic Trade Network.

When working on the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, Star Wars author Abel G. Peña wrote a whole passage devoted to Nihilus' mask that was ultimately cut. It would have made up the last paragraph of Nihilus' section and mentioned that the mask may have been a death mask of Hendanyn make.[11] Those masks first appeared in The New Rebellion, a 1996 novel written by Kristine Kathryn Rusch.[12]



Notes and references[]

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
  3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 The Unknown Regions
  4. "Unseen, Unheard" — Star Wars Tales 24
  5. 5.0 5.1 Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
  6. In the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords video game, the Jedi Exile is the only character who is able to take the mask. Since, according to The Unknown Regions, a group of smugglers was able to obtain the mask in some way, it is assumed that the Jedi Exile took Darth Nihilus's mask with her before the destruction of the Ravager, and was the owner of the mask for some time.
  7. The statistics for Darth Nihilus in the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide list him as being an average-sized Human male. It is therefore assumed that the mask that covered his face before his body disintegrated was of that size.
  8. SWTOR mini.png Cartel Market Specials: Week of August 1, 2017 on The Old Republic's official website (backup link)
  9. The New Essential Chronology
  10. The Unknown Regions doesn't give a specific time as to when Darth Nihilus's mask is found on the planet Volik. However, the scenario does state that the mask was found in a cove beneath Mount Vorena. This mountain was named for the wife of former Jedi Master Dorin Se'ol, who left the Jedi Order around the time of the Clone Wars. Therefore, it is assumed that the mask was not found at an earlier date.
  11. Obscure Droids and Ewoks comics -- translated by Abel Peña on the Jedi Council Forums (Literature board; posted by Halagad_Ventor on 4/27/13 01:11am) (backup link)
  12. The New Rebellion
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