"Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise?" - Palpatine
Before Darth Sidious, there was Darth Plagueis the Wise. Many Sith Lords reigned before him, but it’s the story of the Muun that stands out as one of the most tragic.
This ruthless Sith had one goal: To rule the galaxy, with the full power of the dark side, forever.
Ironically, Plagueis’s plans for this eternal dictatorship did not end when his apprentice abruptly ended his master’s life. Sidious attempted to continue Plaugueis's quest for immortality … despite the fact that the Jedi would eventually figure out how to do just that all on their own when the Sith never could.
While Darth Plagueis only physically appears in two books in the Expanded Universe -- Darth Plagueis and Darth Maul: Lockdown -- there have been plenty of other stories that take place during the events of Plagueis’s rise to power.
Therefore, if you’re curious about Plagueis’s larger role in the later Star Wars events you know, the following books can add to the overall lore and give you all the background material you’ve been looking for.
Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? It's a sprawling tale that establishes several important origin stories for characters fans know well. Readers learn how Plagueis seduced Palpatine to the dark side and how their alliance led to the Sith apprentice’s ultimate betrayal of his master. This is how darkness truly began to rise.
Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious discover a way to annihilate the Jedi before they can even comprehend that the Sith still exist. But this plan involves a certain nuclear device, so the Sith Lords send their deadly apprentice to a prison colony to find the merchant who owns it. While Maul dukes it out with the prisoners in a fight-to-the-death contest in search for the target, Plagueis and Sidious plot against each other in how they'll use the weapon for their own personal gains.
Darth Maul is a favorite among many when it comes to Sith characters, and the merciless brutality he displays like that in Maul: Lockdown is probably why. Author Joe Schrieber has effortlessly integrated the genre of horror into the Star Wars universe, and using the most menacing-looking character to do it calls for a bloody good time.
It may be lonely at the top…but it’s also dangerous. Chancellor Valorum learns that fact when a terrorist group makes an attempt against his life. However, there is no shortage of enemies for the leader of the Republic, and Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi are soon assigned to the case. As arguments spark in the Senate and the jockeying for power intensifies, it seems that someone must be benefitting…but who?
James Luceno delivers a story filled with conspiracy, duplicity, and political intrigue as he fleshes out the character of Chancellor Valorum and enlightens readers to just some of the turmoil that ultimately led to the vote of no confidence in his leadership.
Plans for the Trade Federation’s blockade of Naboo is at risk of being compromised, so Darth Sidious sends his skilled apprentice to Coruscant to take care of the problem. Completely loyal to his master, Darth Maul vows to crush any threat that is prone to delivering their secret agenda to the Jedi.
Shadow Hunter is a spectacular display of a Sith apprentice’s devotion to their master. Darth Maul had been trained by Darth Sidious since he was a child, and it shows in the way he hunts his prey and fuels on his anger to finish the job.
Compared with other villainous characters in the Star Wars universe, very little is known about Grand Moff Tarkin. Yet he remains one of the most hated Imperials of all time. He’s the one who gave the command that left Alderaan in ruins. He is unsympathetic and menacing. A man of true evil.
Leave it to James Luceno to craft a Wilhuff Tarkin origin story audiences never knew they needed. Five years after the birth of the Empire, we meet a man who has yet to rise through the ranks to become the tyrant we know he will become. Tarkin’s refusal to let anyone or anything stand in his path will get him exactly where he wants to go … but not without cost.
The Sith have been extinct for a millennium. At least…none have been seen. But the finest Sith are as patient as they are ruthless, and Darth Maul is no exception. Sent on a covert mission to fuel a vendetta between rival mining companies, Maul hopes to strengthen the Trade Federation, please his master, and get one step closer to revealing himself to the Jedi…and having revenge.
This short story by James Luceno gives a bit more backstory to the mysterious black-clad figure fans meet in The Phantom Menace and, in the process, proves that Maul’s mind was every bit as sharp as his saber.