With an iconic crackle in his voice, Palpatine uttered a phrase that lives hearts, minds, and memes in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith: “Have you ever heard the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?” it was a capture of Anakin’s vulnerability and insight into Palpatine’s history with an irresistible touch of mystery. How was Palpatine formed? And exactly when did he decide to kill his own master?
James Luceno’s Star Wars novel Darth Plague from 2012 originally described the life and ultimate fate of the eponymous Sith Lord but was released before Disney’s takeover and was quickly referred to as Legends. But a recently published book, Star Wars: Secrets of the Sith, revisits Plagueis and records Palpatine’s confirmation of how and when he killed his master.
Star Wars: Secrets of the Sith was written from the perspective of none other than Sheev Palpatine himself (as Darth Sidious’s identity) and ultimately described when he set fire to and killed Darth Plagueis as they all did against their masters at a point in time. :
“As a dark apprentice, I felt that the Galactic Republic was in disarray. Its delegates had no interest in the common good. They would be easy targets for my influence. As a senator, I manipulated their greed to my advantage.
With each new one. I’ve risen in the ranks. Packed complete of the galaxy’s governing body was approaching. But progress in the Senate would not have been enough. My teacher, Darth Plagueis, had reached his goal. I defeated him and claimed him …. his place as the only true Sith master. ”
There is much more information in this section than what appears in a few lines. Here, Palpatine confirms that he was still in training as an apprentice and under the leadership of Darth Plagueis when he began his career in the Senate, which most likely coincided with the start of events in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Threat. . when Palpatine was Naboo’s aspiring senator and eventually became chancellor at the end of the film.
Of course, Palpatine only rose to rank as chancellor due to the invasion of his homeworld Naboo and a conflict he created as Darth Sidious. Always cunning and ambitious, Palpatine orchestrated his rise in the Sith to coincide with his political ranks.
It also means that when he made his film debut, Palpatine had already conceded the rank of Sith Master and provided for his apprentice. However, it is easier to work with than himself. It also makes the plot much more explicit and gives a specific reason.
Darth Plagueis was not found in any of the prequels. Although it has long been speculated that Palpatine’s happy nostalgic story from the legend of Darth Plagueis to Anakin was, in fact, his memories of the event, this confirms this canonically.
Of course, Palpatine’s original intention was to mention the murder of his master to lure the more malleable and worried Anakin, saddened by his dreams of Padme’s death, to the dark side. It does so by suggesting that the Plagueis successfully used the midi-chlorins of power to create life, indicating that they could lean on those who teach together to save Padmé. However, this is an event Palpatine likes to warm up to and does not care that Anakin takes it up. It is a memory and not just an adventure.
Lucasfilm also recently announced that its upcoming reprint of Legends would include significant reprints of James Luceno’s Darth Plagueis books, so more canon research is likely to be done as well. Although this novel is no longer considered Canon, it offers readers a story about Darth Plagueis, including his adherence to the Sith rule of the two by killing his own master, Darth Tenebrous, reflecting his death as an apprentice. And while there are few exact details about the upcoming Disney + Star Wars The Sidekick series, it is speculated that it may bring Darth Plagueis into live-action for the first time.