Star Wars Darth Plagueis begins just after Darth Sidious killed his Master Darth Plagueis. Sidious experiences a moment where he feels a dramatic shift in the Force, which promises him that its dark side will use him as a tool just as he will use it as a tool for his own purposes.
This moment in the Force is what promises Sidious that he will bring a great impact on the galaxy in the future.
The book then cuts back 48 years before Palpatine’s reign as Emperor. Darth Plagueis and his Master Darth Tenebrous arrive on the world of Bal’demnic for cortosis, which is being mined unbeknownst to either the Republic or the Jedi Order. Tenebrous plans to use the cortosis as a weakness against the Jedi’s lightsabers. However, when the mining probe droid begins digging at a pocket of explosive lethane next to the cortosis deposit against orders, Tenebrous and Plagueis hurry to escape. The explosion occurs before they make it back to their ship, but Tenebrous is able to use the Force to contain the explosion from killing him and his apprentice while Plagueis makes sure that their ship isn’t destroyed by the impact of the blast. But in the end, Tenebrous is severely wounded, and Plagueis finds himself with the opportunity to end his Master’s life. He takes it by using the Force to have debris hit and mortally wound Tenebrous, making it look like an accident. Plagueis goes to his Master’s side, who discerns what Plagueis has done. The Muun tells his Master that he will put an end to the old order of the Rule of Two before breaking Tenebrous’s neck and observing his dying form in the Force in his attempt to manipulate midi-chlorians. However, Tenebrous dies before Plagueis is able to even at least prolong his Master’s life for the sake of experimentation.
Regardless, Plagueis makes it off of Bal’demnic by stowing away on the ship known as the Woebegone. He kills its crew and has the ship slagged, taking only the droid 11-4D as a familiar. Plagueis then returns to his homeworld of Muunilinst as Hego Damask, CEO of Damask Holdings, in time for a clandestine meeting with several leaders of various companies and cartels on Muunilinst’s moon of Sojourn. In particular, he confronts the representatives of the Subtext Mining Corporation, which was the company that supplied the faulty probe droid that was the indirect cause of Tenebrous’s death. He threatens their lives because of the droid back on Bal’demnic, and in response, they tell him of a lode of plasma located beneath the world of Naboo, which will prove profitable for Damask Holdings, the InterGalactic Banking Clan, and the galaxy at large. Plagueis spares their lives and has them located on the most remote world on the Tingel Arm so they would be in reserve in case he needs them again.
After the meetings on Sojourn, Plagueis is confronted by Darth Venamis, a Sith who Tenebrous had been training behind Plagueis’s back. Plagueis bests Venemis in combat, forcing him to swear allegiance to him before forcing the lesser Sith to poison himself. Plagueis then proceeds to use Venemis as part of his experiments of manipulating midi-chlorians, whose ultimate end is to defeat death and make himself immortal. In the meantime, Plagueis tracks down the other Force-users that Venemis had met to determine whether or not they pose a threat to his plans, and promptly eliminating them.
In exchange for the plasma located beneath the surface of Naboo, Damask Holdings and the Trade Federation begin a bid to support Bon Tapolo as king of the planet. Tapolo will open Naboo to trade, particularly for the plasma, which will then allow it to get involved with the rest of the galaxy. Among the political allies Plagueis sees in particular is a young man named Palpatine, whose motivations go against that of his father, Cosinga. Seeing potential in Palpatine in ambitions and even power in the Force, Plagueis begins using him as a source of information regarding the campaign of Tapalo and his opponents even as Palpatine sees in Hego Damask the father figure he never had. Naturally, this attracts Cosinga’s attention, who tries to separate his son from Plagueis. In retaliation, Palpatine kills his entire family and their honor guard aboard their personal starship using his full, unbridled power in the dark side of the Force. He later informs Plagueis of the deed, who then congratulates Palpatine on “emancipating” himself. Soon, Plagueis takes Palpatine under his wing as his Sith apprentice after revealing to the young man the nature of the Sith, promptly naming him Darth Sidious.
In the eleven years that follow of Plagueis teaching Sidious the nature of the dark side and the ways of the Sith, Palpatine, as the last of House Palpatine, climbs his way up the political ladder of Naboo to become its ambassador throughout the galaxy. And with the help of new friends like Kinman Doriana and Sate Pestage, Palpatine arranges for the successful assassination of his former mentor and Naboo’s representative Senator to the Old Republic, Vidar Kim. As a result, Palpatine becomes the new Senator of Naboo, taking a seat in the Republic Senate as Plagueis continues his plans of manipulating midi-chlorians to prolong his life indefinitely. One such plan involves the cloning industry on the backwater world of Kamino, setting the stage for the eventual Clone Wars. Meanwhile, amidst his own political machinations, Palpatine manages to make a visit to the world of Dathomir, where he encounters a Dathomirian woman who gives him a Zabrak infant simply known as Maul. Palpatine wonders what to do with Maul.
As Sidious and Plagueis promptly proceed to eliminate their political opponents, Plagueis is attacked during a ceremony for his assistant Larsh Hill by Maladian assassins. Hill and the other members of the Order of the Canted Circle are killed, but Plagueis, albeit severely wounded, is able to fight off and kill several of the assassins before help from Palpatine and Sate Pestage arrive to assist the superior Sith Lord. Palpatine had previously discerned that a powerful political opponent of his, Pax Teem, had outwitted Plagueis and sent the assassins to kill him and his partners during the ceremony. In retaliation, Palpatine himself personally attacks Teem during a celebratory feast, killing him and all of his guests, leaving no survivors or evidence. In the aftermath of the attack at the botched ceremony, Plagueis is forced to wear a transpirator to survive, becomes more alert than ever about his surroundings, and is even more obsessed with finding a way to live forever.
More than two decades pass as Palpatine gains more power in the Senate as the reign of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum comes to an end. The rest of the novel tells the events depicted in other, pre-existing Star Wars stories, such as Cloak of Deception and Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter, until the novel takes place during the entirety of Episode I: The Phantom Menace. Throughout these events, it is learned that Plagueis had killed King Ars Veruna of Naboo and also suggested to Sifo-Dyas to sanction for a human clone army on Kamino. Palpatine, who had also named Darth Maul behind Plagueis’s back, also sees a potential ally in the former Jedi Count Dooku. As the novel comes to a close during the events of The Phantom Menace, Sidious and Plagueis learn that a young boy named Anakin Skywalker, a former slave found by Qui-Gon Jinn on Tatooine, had been born of the Force, most likely due to Plagueis’s experiment of creating life with the Force that he had commenced about a decade earlier.
The novel climaxes where it began— as the Battle of Naboo occurs, Palpatine coerces Plagueis into sleep with the promise of making him co-chancellor of the Republic, just as Plagueis demanded decades earlier, now that Palpatine appears to be winning in the election to replace Finis Valorum as Chancellor. With that, Sidious attacks Plagueis and, as he kills him, he explains that he was the one who had really been manipulating Plagueis the whole time, including such deals as the clone army. In the end, Sidious ends Plagueis’s life with the dark side of the Force, although his feeling of triumph is ruined as he feels the death of Darth Maul on Naboo (although he doesn’t know that this was Maul’s death at first).
As Palpatine is officially made Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, he begins to commence his solo plans of taking over the galaxy with the upcoming Clone Wars, such as seeking Dooku as a Sith apprentice and ally in the war. But the biggest part in Darth Sidious’s plan is young Anakin Skywalker, now a Padawan to Obi-Wan Kenobi, who the Sith sees will be easily manipulated into his true apprentice, and a harbinger of Palpatine’s own power.
Darth Plagueis is a novel by James Luceno that tells the backstory of Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Plagueis.
Categories: Star Wars