Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis The Wise? Unless you’re a Star Wars fan that’s lived under a rock, the answer to that question should be an emphatic “yes”. Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious told the tragedy to an emotionally compromised Anakin Skywalker in Revenge of the Sith. Upon re-examination, however, that meeting between master and would-be apprentice has far greater implications than we first thought. That includes implications for Star Wars: Episode IX.
Let’s break down Palpatine’s telling of the Darth Plagueis tale. First, Palpatine describes Plagueis as “so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life.” While that line didn’t have an overt impact back in in 2005, it certainly does now. Darth Vader #25 confirmed that Darth Sidious learn the skill from his master. Not only did he learn it, he used it to create Anakin Skywalker:
Will Darth Plagueis Factor in Episode IX?
How could he create life, or prevent someone from dying, Anakin asked. As we know from Palpatine, “the dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.” Darth Plagueis ultimately “… taught his apprentice everything he knew, and then one night, his apprentice killed him in his sleep. It’s ironic that he could save others from death, but not himself.”
Deeper questions remain, however. Did Plagueis really die? And, for that matter, did Sidious? Rumors have swirled regarding Star Wars: Episode IX, specifically the characters of Palpatine and Snoke. Boil those rumors down and they all return to Darth Plagueis in one way or another.
With respect to Sidious – Matt Smith is rumored to portray a young Sheev Palpatine. Smith, at age 36, is far younger than Ian McDiarmid’s Palpatine was during the filming of Episode III (61). Could we thus see flashbacks to Palpatine’s time as apprentice to Darth Plagueis? Or is it possible Palpatine saved himself from demise on the Death Star? We never did actually see him die, now did we?
Is Snoke Darth Plagueis?
When it comes to Snoke, things are even more open-ended. Snoke’s backstory remained unexplored in The Last Jedi. Even Andy Serkis was upset the character died. Again… what if he didn’t? What if Snoke is, in fact, an incarnation of Darth Plagueis himself?
And then there’s Rey and the unanswered question of her parentage. Darth Plagueis could create life from midichlorian manipulation. So too could Darth Sidious. Was Rey, like Anakin Skywalker, a product of unnatural abilities of the Force?
Episode IX opens (this year!) on December 20th. We’ll have to wait until then to determine just how much influence Plagueis will wield.