Star Wars Shows How Darth Plagueis Inspired Vader to Betray Palpatine

The latest Darth Vader comic helps explain how Darth Plagueis helped inspire one of the franchise's biggest twists.

If there is anything we're learning about Star Wars this week (with the premiere of Ahsoka Episode 5), it's that Star Wars is truly built on the theme of circular re-occurrence. As George Lucas famously said about different eras of Star Wars storytelling: "It's like poetry, sort of. They rhyme." Well, this week's release of Darth Vader #38 certainly drives that point home, by showing how Darth Vader took inspiration from the story of Darth Plagueis to ultimately betray his master, Emperor Palpatine (aka Darth Sidious). 

(SPOILERS) Darth Vader #38 by Grek Pak and artist Raffaele Ienco continues the "Dark Droids" crossover event that's unfolding in Star Wars comics. The ancient rogue AI "The Scourge" launched its genocidal attack against the galaxy by taking over the droids on Vader's flagship Star Destroyer The Executor. Vader and his personal team of droids stormed the ship to reclaim it, but Palpatine's right hand, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, betrayed Vader, ordering his ship destroyed with the Sith Lord still on it, to end the droid threat where it started. 

(Photo: Marvel Comics)

As always, Anakin/Vader's ruthless, uncompromising willpower proved victorious, as Vader re-activated the fail-safe switch to shut down all droids on the ship. However, like Luke Skywalker, Vader has seen his connection to the Force disrupted by recent events (namely the cold war between the Emperor and Qi'ra's Crimson Dawn, which unleashed an ancient Force-based weapon as well as freeing The Scourge and giving it a new home inside of droids. In order to restore his powers, Vader revisits the Eye of Webbish Bog, a Force-sensitive symbiotic being that lives in the lava pits of Mustafa. Hoping to restore his control over the Force, Vader is instead greeted with the challenge to be a true Sith and take his power back. When Vader can't steal what he needs from the Eye of Webbish Bog, the creature pours poison in his ear by recalling the same story Palpatine told Anakin to turn him to the dark side: "Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?" 

When asked to reflect on who is master and apprentice at this point, Vader realizes what he must do: confront his master and take his power back. 

Who Is Darth Plagueis? 


Darth Plagueis "The Wise" was a Dark Lord of the Sith from the Munn race, who was most notable for being the Sith Master of Sheev Palpatine/Dark Sidious. Plagueis sought to unlock the secret of immortality and used scientific research as the means of achieving it. 

Through such studies, Plagueis made breakthroughs in bioengineering by influencing midi-chlorians to create life – as well as significant new knowledge about the workings of the Force and how to manipulate it. Seeing what his master was achieving inspired Darth Sidious to murder Plagueis in his sleep – something Plagueis was too distracted (by his quest for power and immortality) to see coming. Palpatine would continue Plagueis's mission throughout his rule as Sith Lord/Emperor of the Empire. However, by the era of the First Order and its secret Sith Cult masters, it was clear that Sidious never achieved eternal life, as his avatar bodies (Snoke) and imperfect clones were only strides he could make toward continuing his existence. 

Darth Vader is on sale from Marvel Comics