- "Some kind of darkness…settling over the city!"
- ―Gobee, to Oron Kira
When performed by an individual adept in Sith sorcery, waves of darkness was a dark-side Force power conjured through Sith magic that created palpable waves of darkness—often visibly literal in their obscurity and accompanied by roaring, thunderous sounds. When exposed to waves of darkness, beings suffered from feelings of intense despair and confusion, before feeling compelled, if detained under the spell's power long enough, to flee the scene of the disturbance. The technique was popular among Great Sith War–era proponents of Sith magic, namely members of the planet Onderon's Naddist cult. But later practitioners, such as Darth Tyranus, were also skilled in its use.
Using ancient Sith magic to summon waves of darkness required a sorcerer to call upon the full scope of negative emotions that lingered in the center of their being. Fueled by the power of the Force, conjurers spewed forth their emotions in tides of dark-side energy that rapidly expanded in a spherical aura around them. Waves of darkness manifested in the physical realm as well; affected beings noticed that the atmosphere around them—whether within the confines of a building or outside in the skies above—became thick with negative energy or visibly immersed in darkness. Thunder often boomed and was accompanied by a roaring sound as the darkness spread. Anyone caught in the vicinity might immediately begin to suffer also from feelings of intense horror, pain, and bewilderment. Victims were tormented by whispers of the dark side that left them in a state of utter hopelessness, and prolonged exposure robbed them of the will to fight. Dark-side waves caused Jedi and other users of the light to feel stifled, as though their connection to the Force were being smothered.
- "The battle is lost. Lost. Your strength is gone. Your will is gone. Your life is pain. Surrender."
- ―The demoralizing whispers of Amanoa's summoned darkness
Waves of darkness were employed in battle by Sith sorcerers as a means of incapacitating the opposition. However, the debilitating effects of a darkness spell could be nullified by a Force user skilled in the art of Jedi battle meditation.
- "You want darkness, Oron Kira? I'll show you darkness!"
- ―Queen Amanoa, to Beast Lord Oron Kira
Freedon Nadd, an ancient Dark Lord of the Sith who once ruled the planet Onderon, was able to summon waves of darkness. Nearly 400 years after Nadd's death, the sorceress-Queen Amanoa summoned darkness against the armies of Beast-Lord Oron Kira and their Jedi allies during the final battle of Onderon's Beast Wars. Her foes were immediately beset with sensations of agony and dismay as the oppressive darkness rapidly expanded within the royal palace of Iziz. Outside, Kira's forces were overcome with feelings of severe pain and rendered incapable of fighting as the increasing darkness overtook them. Kira, who had been previously unaffected, was suddenly stricken by the dark side's crushing power, which prompted the royal scribe Novar to join Amanoa's dark-side assault, effectively reinforcing its hold over Kira. It was only after the arrival of Jedi Master Arca Jeth and his implementation of battle meditation that the summoned darkness was lifted from the skies of Onderon.
In 23 BBY, Darth Tyranus, in alliance with Korriban's dead Dark Lords, employed waves of dark energy against the Jedi Order coalition team sent to Korriban to track down galactic criminals Granta Omega and Jenna Zan Arbor. In the spaceport of Dreshdae, Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, felt waves of darkness wash over and oppress them, followed by fleeting dark-side apparitions. Deep within the Great Temple's long-abandoned Sith Academy, Kenobi experienced a darkness so thick and foreboding in its power that it seemed to invade his lungs, making it difficult to breathe. As the eight-member Jedi team entered the Valley of the Dark Lords, assaulting them on all sides were dark waves, the oppressive effects of which required great effort to wade through and overcome. The Jedi were afterwards assaulted by dark-wave whispers, corpse visions, and dark energy traps amidst the tombs of the Sith Lords when they entered the Valley's ancient mausoleums.
Behind the scenes
- "Trespass don't we power Sith darkness command merciless ... Join us darkness conquer dominance glory ... You are blind and you are fools and understand nothing."
- ―The dead Sith Lords casting their random-worded hisses of hate upon a dark-wave-assaulted Jedi coalition team in the Valley of the Dark Lords on Korriban
Waves of darkness first appeared in the second issue of the first of the Tales of the Jedi story arcs to be released, 1993's Ulic Qel-Droma and the Beast Wars of Onderon. The Force power was detailed in full with the 1996 release of West End Games' Tales of the Jedi Companion.
In roleplaying game terms, using dark-side waves against another sentient player-character automatically gives player-characters a Dark Side point. Depending on the level of difficulty, the area of effect ranges from 1 to 2 meters for moderate, 3 to 10 meters for difficult, 11 to 20 meters for very difficult, and 21 to 30 meters for heroic.
- Tales of the Jedi 2 (First appearance)
- Tales of the Jedi audio drama
- Darth Plagueis (Mentioned only)
- Darth Plagueis audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Jedi Quest: The Final Showdown
- Tales of the Jedi Companion
- The Essential Chronology
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- Power of the Jedi Sourcebook