Palp Fiction

This legendary Sith warlock could be the villain of the next Star Wars show

Star Wars is due for a throwback.

The Star Wars universe is growing every day. While Disney made the Extended Universe non-canon after it acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, the new content is catching up quickly. Between The Mandalorian, The Bad Batch, and the still-untitled Obi-Wan show, there's a whole lot of Star Wars TV to look forward to on Disney+. There's still a need for expansion, however. Could the next Star Wars series be from an even longer time ago in a galaxy far away?

It's practically ingrained in every Star Wars fan's brain by now: "Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?" This story, told to Anakin by Senator Palpatine at the Mon Calamari Ballet, provides not only a backstory for Palpatine, but also plants the seeds of his return, decades in the future.

The iconc moment from 'Revenge of the Sith'Lucasfilm

It's now becoming abundantly clear there's a third use for this lore dump: by establishing a Sith Master for Darth Sidious, the Star Wars canon now has a built-in villain ready to go should there ever be a pre-prequel. That could come sooner than we think, Disney announced Leslye Headland, creator of Netflix series Russian Doll, will lead a Star Wars series for its streaming platform. We only got two clues about that show: first, it will be female-led, and second, it will take place during a time untouched by other Star Wars films and series.

That eliminates a significant stretch of time, but if it takes place in the years building up to The Phantom Menace, there could be an opportunity to flesh out the Republic-Era world of the Sith using Darth Plagueis as its main villain, a pure-bred aristocratic Sith Lord trying to conquer death itself.

Darth Plagueis looms over a young Darth Sidious on the cover of 'Darth Plagueis' by James LucenoDel Rey Books

In the non-canon works, Darth Plagueis, a Muun, worked in commerce. Like Sheev, he had a public-facing alter-ego, Hego Damask III of Damask Holdings. This makes him a natural fit for a TV series villain — "rich businessman who wants to foil some plucky young kid's dream" is a tried and true structure. At the same time, this could sow seeds and build rich depth behind the eventual rise of Palpatine as Plagueis's apprentice, retroactively making the prequels a more interesting watch, which many fans will appreciate.

The joy of the prequels is in the dramatic irony: we know Anakin will become Darth Vader, so spotting the signs leading to that is interesting to watch. A new prequel detailing Darth Plagueis and his search for immortality would strike that same chord, as Palpatine says to Anakin: "His apprentice killed him in his sleep. Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself."