In fact, the character probably won’t show up in the new trilogy at all.
Given the fact we don’t know a whole lot about much of The Force Awakens’ story, it’s easy to start filling in the blanks with material from the old Expanded Universe or wild theories. For example, the lack of information on Luke Skywalker led to theories that he was Kylo Ren or that he’d turned to the dark side, both of which are highly unlikely.
Another string of rumors worming their way through the internet has focused on the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis. Some think he’s the threat behind the First Order, others believe he’ll be the mastermind behind everything in the saga, and a few just really hope Rey is using his staff.
Well, we’re here to tell you… all those things probably won’t happen.
Back up. Who is Darth Plagueis?
A member of the Munn species, Darth Plagueis was a Sith Lord that took Palpatine as his apprentice and trained him into the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Together, they orchestrated Palpatine’s rise to political power. The night Palpatine became Supreme Chanellor, however, he got Plageuis drunk and killed him in his sleep with Force lightning. Presumably, Palpatine likes his dead Sith Lords Cajun style.
Are those events the same in both continuities?
For the most part, yes. The expanded universe version has more details, but in both continuities it’s confirmed that Darth Plagueis is Palpatine’s master, whom Palpatine killed in his sleep.
If he’s dead, why do people think he’s in the new trilogy?
Well, when you have no information to work off of it’s easy to fill in the blanks with whatever looks good. Often, these things can be over thought and this being the internet someone thought Supreme Leader Snoke could be Darth Plagueis, who somehow survived being killed by Palpatine. It’s actually not a terrible theory, but we’re very sure it’s false.
Why do you think it’s false?
Well, to be fair it’s not impossible, but there are a number of reasons why it’s highly unlikely.
First, in both continuities it’s been stated that Palpatine killed Plagueis. While he might not have been able to finish off Luke and Yoda, for the most part when he wanted someone dead it meant the person in question was a complete goner.
Second, we don’t think J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan know who Darth Plagueis is, let alone care. When someone asked Kasdan if Plagueis was in the movies, he mistook the name for “Darth Vegas.” While some claim that doesn’t matter because the Lucasfilm story group is running the show, we disagree. Abrams and Kasdan were given creative freedom to create the story they wanted with The Force Awakens, inspired by the work of Lucas and Michael Arndt of course. If they didn’t know or care about Plagueis… he probably isn’t going to be in the film or the new trilogy.
What about his staff?
There’s been a theory going around that Rey’s staff belonged to Darth Plagueis, since hers looks like the one the character has in his action figure:
But if the filmmakers don’t care about the character… it’s probably safe they don’t care about his staff either. In fact, it’s been confirmed by Daisy Ridley herself that sometimes a staff is just a staff:
“I mean everyone is praying that it’s Darth Plagueis’s staff. But… it’s just a staff. She’s a young woman in a galaxy by herself. It’s not primarily a weapon, it’s useful as well. It does all sorts of things roamin’ around Jakku. She uses it to defend herself. That’s really as far as it goes, unfortunately”.
Will we ever see Darth Plagueis again?
Well, it’s certainly possible we’ll see him in books or comics. Perhaps even a spin off film. But don’t expect to see him in the new trilogy.