ByMatthew Winter, writer at
I am a Civil Engineer by day, and a Star Wars nerd by night. I seek to one day become a screen writer for Lucasfilm.
Matthew Winter

Those who have seen Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens may have noticed that Rey carries around a staff. This looks like the staff used by Darth Plagueis the Wise. One time Rey even tried to beat Finn with it, because she saw him as a threat. Darth Plagueis was one of the most powerful Sith lords ever, and he was obsessed with things other worldly and arcane. He was known for his abilities to create life and to cheat death. Darth Plagueis was the former master of Darth Sidious, whom the latter claimed to have killed him in his sleep.

Darth Sidious the Pawn
Darth Sidious the Pawn

Darth Sidious, also known as Palpatine, was known to stretch the truth a little bit and even outright lie. Darth Sidious got his master very drunk with wine, and he fell into a deep sleep. Then the apprentice went all out and electrocuted his master with a rush of lightning bolts from his fingertips. However Darth Plagueis fought back, and the two broke out in a lightsaber duel. It looked like Darth Plagueis might prevail. However Darth Sidious took his master’s staff and cracked him on the face and on top of the head. Then he slammed his master against the wall. To make sure he was dead, he pierced him many times with through the torso.

And this was the end of Darth Plagueis, OR WAS IT? As the story goes, Darth Plagueis did not die at the hand of his apprentice, but rather DECEIVED his apprentice into thinking he was dead. He may have stopped his pulse or breathing for a time, but used the Dark Side of the Force to keep himself alive. He then retreated into the Unknown Regions and spent the next few years trying to recover. During this time, Darth Plagueis manipulated time and events in his favor. He allowed Darth Sidious to rise to power as the emperor, enabled him to destroy his sworn enemy the Jedi, and then ensured that one day Darth Sidious would be destroyed. When he finally returned to power, he renamed himself Supreme Leader Snoke so his enemies would not take him seriously, and that’s exactly what he wanted.

Darth Plagueis the Wise
Darth Plagueis the Wise

The Star Wars trilogies are the story about the Skywalker family. Darth Plagueis fathered Anakin Skywalker and conceived him through manipulation of the Force. He impregnated Shmi Skywalker with child and through a virgin birth he sought to create the ultimate Sith weapon. After Anakin was born, he became the most powerful Jedi ever and surpassed all other living beings. At a young age, his abilities even impressed Qui-gon Jinn who believed he was the Chosen One mentioned in the ancient Jedi prophecy. Before he died he made his apprentice Obi-wan Kenobi promise to train Anakin as a Jedi. Later on Darth Sidious managed to seduce Anakin to the Dark Side, where he became Darth Vader. By extension Darth Plagueis is the grandfather of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia. Luke in turn had a daughter named Rey, and Leia bore a son named Kylo Ren.

How did Rey end up with the Plagueis staff?

Fifteen years after the Battle of Endor, when Rey was five years old, Luke taught at his new Jedi school to train the next generation of Jedi. One of his students was his nephew Kylo Ren. Snoke feared Luke Skywalker more than anything and dreaded the return of the Jedi. So he lurked in a cave near the Jedi school, where he began a relationship with Kylo Ren. Snoke sensed much anger in his great grandson, especially towards his parents. So he seduced Kylo Ren to the Dark Side by offering to teach him more about Darth Vader. Then Kylo Ren pulled a Vader and killed all the students at the school.

Luke was not present at the time, but when he learned the news he blocked out Rey’s memories using a Jedi mind trick. Then he hid his wife and daughter away on the desert planet of Jakku. He also sent his trusted friend Lor San Tekka to watch over them while Luke went into exile. Luke’s wife was a Kenobi, and she abandoned their daughter on Jakku so she could join the First Order. This forced Rey to fend for herself, and she began the life of a scavenger. Jakku was a huge junkyard, due to the huge imperial defeat of its fleet in its skies after the Battle of Endor. This climatic battle marked the end of the empire, and it gave Darth Plagueis the opportunity to return to power. When the most fanatical elements of the empire retreated into the Unknown Regions, he formed the First Order out of the ashes of the empire.

Living inside a toppled AT-AT
Living inside a toppled AT-AT

It appears that Rey found the Plagueis staff while scavenging. After Darth Sidious made the assassination attempt on his master, he took the staff and added it to his collection of lightsabers. Years later after the death of the emperor, an imperial officer stole it from the collection. This officer had the Plagueis staff on board a star destroyer when it went down over Jakku. When Rey went looking for things she could sell for scrap, she came across the staff.

It’s likely that Rey has no idea this staff belongs to her great grandfather. She is also unaware this staff carries a lightsaber. She uses the staff because it was an excellent means of self-defense while she lived on Jakku. Rey has a strong dislike for lightsabers. When Rey met Maz Kanata at Takodana, she offered to give Rey the lightsaber of her grandfather Anakin. Maz Kanata said she would explain how the lightsaber came into her possession at another time. She said the lightsaber called out to Rey since she was the proper heir. Rey chose to run away instead, and she was captured a few minutes later by her cousin Kylo Ren. During the heat of battle, Finn chose to pick up the lightsaber, and he fought against his former comrades from the First Order. TR-8R even fought against Finn with a lightsaber resistant weapon and called him a traitor. However Finn managed to stick it to him with the lightsaber.

TR-8R vs. FN-2187
TR-8R vs. FN-2187

Later Kylo Ren tried to use the Dark Side to read Rey’s mind, in order to find the location of Luke Skywalker. This plan backfired and she ended up reading his mind instead.

Rey said, “You are afraid you will never be as strong as Darth Vader.”

Kylo Ren undid the mind trick that Luke performed on her, and she remembered her early training with the Force. Snoke seemed to have no knowledge about the existence of Rey or even that Luke had a child. Snoke also had no clue she was carrying his staff. He seemed rather surprised that someone could resist Kylo Ren and his techniques. When he heard the news about this, he demanded that the girl be brought before him immediately. However Rey used an old Jedi mind trick to convince the guards to release her before this happened. Obi-wan Kenobi was a master of this trick. One must give Rey credit, even though it took her two tries.

Kylo Ren has a fascination with lightsabers. He joined the Knights of Ren, a Dark Side cult which worships Darth Vader. Kylo Ren misses Darth Vader every day, even though he never met the man. He wants to become more evil and darker than dark to avoid being abandoned by the Dark Side. He collects Sith relics to empower himself. He wears a mask that resembles Darth Revan. He drapes himself in a cloak once donned by the emperor. He constructed a lightsaber with a cross guard, based on an ancient design. In his lightsaber he used Darth Vader’s kyber crystal. These were used by the Jedi and the Sith in the construction of their lightsabers. Darth Vader’s lightsaber fell down the shaft on the second Death Star. It vaporized inside the main reactor, but the kyber crystal went through the atmosphere of the Endor moon after the Death Star exploded.

Kylo Ren's Lightsaber
Kylo Ren's Lightsaber

Kylo Ren went to Endor to retrieve Darth Vader’s mask from the pyre. He prayed to it every day to give him inspiration. Snoke spoke through the helmet to manipulate him even further. However Kylo Ren felt a call back to the light, because the redeemed spirit of Anakin was calling out to him. At Endor, Kylo Ren also found his grandfather’s kyber crystal. It called out to him because of his attachment to Darth Vader and his obsession with the Dark Side. Although the crystal is cracked, he uses it anyway because he believes it will give him Darth Vader’s power. In his crude light saber design, he diffused the unstable energy through the cross guards to keep it from exploding in his hand.

When Rey finally located her father Luke at Ahch-To, she found him at the first Jedi temple where the prophecy of the Chosen One originated. She presented to him Anakin’s light saber. Obi-wan Kenobi gave this to Luke during his youth, and later Darth Vader severed it from his hand. Luke never expected to see it again, yet when he saw the lightsaber it reminded him who he was. It let him know that he could not hide and disappear from the galaxy anymore. She also had in her possession the Plagueis staff. Rey will now receive formal training as a Jedi. Luke might also reveal to her that the staff doubles as a lightsaber.

Rey Encounters her Father at the First Jedi Temple
Rey Encounters her Father at the First Jedi Temple

Snoke wants to destroy the entire Skywalker bloodline. He never intended Anakin to have children, and now he sees the Skywalkers as a threat to his existence. He manipulated Kylo Ren into killing his father Han Solo. Kylo Ren will face his Uncle Luke in a duel as well. Luke will go too, but not because he lost. He will allow Kylo Ren to strike him down, just as Obi-wan allowed to happen when he fought against Darth Vader on the first Death Star. Then Luke will become one with the Force. Afterwards Snoke will believe Kylo Ren served his purpose, since he accomplished his mission in striking down Luke Skywalker. Snoke will convince the Knights of Ren to kill Kylo Ren too. However Kylo Ren will fight his way out, but then he will break down and cry after he realizes he was betrayed by the Dark Side. He will join his mother Leia in the Resistance, but no one will trust him and for good reason.

During the final climatic battle, Snoke will confront his descendants. He will see his staff in Rey’s hands, and he will want it back. He will use the Force to pull the staff from her grip. He will activate it, and they will engage in all out lightsaber duel. Snoke convinced Kylo Ren he was an old feeble man that needed his help. Over the years he has grown powerful in the Dark Side of the Force. He will prove a formidable foe, and he has many tricks up his sleeve. Kylo Ren’s lightsaber will fail him, and he will just throw it away.

During the battle Snoke will reveal to them he is Darth Plagueis and that he is their ancestor. He will also tell them he conceived Anakin Skywalker through the manipulation of the Force. This shock will hit them like a ton of bricks.

“That’s not true. That’s impossible.”
“Search your feelings. You know this to be true.”

However Snoke will grow angry that his descendants are still alive. Since they are all together, he will resolve to deal with them once and for all. So he will conjure up a Force Storm. These intense storms can wipe out entire fleets of ships and rip off the surfaces of planets. Sith masters were always hesitant to use them, since they were unstable and hard to control. Kylo Ren will initiate a Force Harmony. The Skywalkers become united by the Force in all its intensity. When they put their hearts and minds together, they cause Snoke to lose control of the Dark Side.

While Snoke intends to destroy his descendants with the storm, it turns around and ends up destroying him. The storm utterly consumes him, and his soul goes to the place where it belongs. Because Kylo Ren initiated the harmony, it put an immense strain on him. However he will sacrifice himself to save the others. He dies in the event, but he was redeemed and will become one with the Force. The seed of Anakin will defeat the Dark Side and destroy the Sith. Thus the Skywalkers fulfill the prophecy of the Chosen One, who brings balance to the Force.

Thank you for reading this article. For your reward, check out this stop motion video about Darth Plagueis. It tells a lot about his story, which should become movie canon. Enjoy!


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