[[quoteright:225:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/images_2_5976.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:225:Did you ever hear The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?]]

''Darth Plagueis'' is a StarWarsExpandedUniverse novel by James Luceno set during the final decades of the Old Republic (beginning approximately 67 years before the Battle of Yavin in ''A New Hope''). The plot concerns itself with the life and times of the titular character, [[EmperorScientist Darth Plagueis]], and his dual efforts to conquer the galaxy and achieve immortality through manipulation of the midi-chlorians that connect the Force to its users. After [[KlingonPromotion betraying and murdering his way to the head of the Sith Order]], Plagueis's journeys lead him to discover a young noble named [[TheAntichrist Palpatine]]. [[GalacticConqueror Sensing enormous potential]] in the youthful malcontent, Plagueis ensnares Palpatine in the Sith ways and grants him the Sith title of Darth Sidious. The remainder of the book concerns itself with the relationship between these two Sith Lords and how their pursuit of power disrupts [[TheForce The Force]] and inevitably leads their fruitful partnership to a lethal conclusion.

''Darth Plagueis'' is pivotal in that its content is heretofore unexplored. The history of the saga's BigBad is detailed, as are new insights (as experienced through the eyes and actions of the Sith) to galactic events that lead to the Empire's rise. The novel spans decades and even encroaches well into the events of ''The Phantom Menace'', featuring (to varying degrees) characters like [[HeadInTheSandManagement Chancellor Valorum]], [[FallenHero Count Dooku]], [[TheDragon Darth Maul]], [[VillainousGlutton Jabba the Hutt]], [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Nute Gunray]], [[TheObiWan Obi-Wan Kenobi]], and [[TheChosenOne Anakin Skywalker]].

Tone-wise, ''Darth Plagueis'' is more cerebral, with more emphasis on history, mysticism, and politics than outright action, affording it a similar nature to Luceno's other prequel-era Palpatine-centric novel, ''Cloak of Deception''. It was released January 10th, 2012.

----
!!The novel contains the following tropes:

* AGodAmI: Plagueis is hellbent on securing immortality, as he believes it will make him this.
** Sidious/Palpatine eventually declares himself to be the Sith'ari, which is basically the Sith version of [[GodIsEvil God]].
* AboveGoodAndEvil: One of the reasons Plagueis is intrigued by Palpatine is that he seems to have transcended notions of morality.
* TheAgeless: Plagueis would undoubtedly prefer CompleteImmortality, but is in fact desperately seeking this.
* AllThereInTheManual: Kinda. While ''Darth Plagueis'' can stand on its own, several short stories were published concurrently in novel reprints and the ''Star Wars Insider'' (Matthew Stover's ''The Tenebrous Way'' and Luceno's own ''Restraint'' and ''Endgame''). They expand on the roles and actions played by Darth Tenebrous and Darth Maul during the course of the book. It's justified given that the novel's focus is Plagueis and Sidious.
* AlwaysChaoticEvil: The Yinchorri, as explained in their wookiepedia article, believes that anything that they can take with force is theirs. Plagueis and Sidious manipulated this into a conflict which resulted in the deaths of a fair amount of Jedi and the degradation of Valorum's reputation, setting the stage for Palpatine's ascension to Supreme Chancellor.
* AManOfWealthAndTaste: Darth Plagueis is said to be well-dressed. It's nearly written word-for-word in the form of an uncharacteristic ShoutOut - "[[{{Pun}} A Muun]] [[Music/TheRollingStones of wealth and taste]]."
* AmbitionIsEvil: Palpatine, Gunray, Dooku, Veruna, Pestage, Doriana, Jabba, etc. Pretty much everyone with at least one line in the book.
* TheAntiChrist: Palpatine is introduced as a young son of a nobleman who exhibits prodigious intellect and a proportionately high disregard for common morality. He is also said to be a delinquent, having a history of petty crime and being directly responsible for the deaths of two individuals as well as someone who is willing to murder his entire family without ''too'' much prompting.
** In the prologue, Palpatine admires the constellations that dot Coruscant's eastern sky just before the sun rises, i.e. the [[{{Satan}} ''morning stars'']]. If that's not Revelation-y enough for you, he refers to the Dark Side in his thoughts as the "beast" that will bring about the "end times".
* AristocratsAreEvil: Palpatine, definitely. Dooku, kinda.
* ArcWelding: In addition to numerous references to other SWEU works that don't go beyond a ShoutOut, the novel ties previously standalone Episode I tie-ins into a coherent scheme of Sith machinations.
** In particular, the events in novels ''Cloak of Deception, Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter'' and ''Darth Maul: Saboteur'' and comics ''Jedi Council: Acts of War'', ''Darth Maul'' and ''Bloodlines'' from ''ComicBook/{{Republic}}'' were all previously known to fit into the Sith Grand Plan ''somehow'', until this novel tied them all together and explained the exact role each of those events had.
** Also, the scene when his mother gave Maul to Sidious ties in to the Nightsisters-arc of ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', explaining how and why [[spoiler: was Maul SeparatedAtBirth from his fraternal twin brother Savage.]]
* TheBadGuyWins: As with most stories during this era, Darth Sidious achieves all that he desires.
* BadassBoast: Plagueis and Sidious have these in abundance, [[spoiler: particularly for the latter when he is killing the former]].
-->'''Sidious''': [I am] king of the beasts, Father.
-->'''Sidious''': No true Sith can ever really care about another. This has always been known. There is no way but ''my'' way.
-->'''Sidious''': You were doomed the moment you took me as an apprentice!
* BadassBookworm: Darths Plagueis, Sidious, ''and'' Maul.
* BastardUnderstudy: Darth Plagueis at the beginning and Darth Sidious seemingly for most of the book.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor: Darth Plagueis, as per the Bane tradition, often bragged that he'd create the Jedi's Chosen One. Sure enough, as indicated by NiceJobFixingItVillain below, he ends up doing exactly that, to even his own horror.
* BeneathTheMask: Standard trope for Sith of Bane's order.
* BigBad: Plagueis, as the titular character and Master of Palpatine, appears to be this at first. [[spoiler: At the end of the novel, however, it becomes all too clear that Darth Sidious [[DragonInChief had usurped the mantle]] long before his own [[KlingonPromotion ascent]].]]
** ''Book of Sith'', a [[AllThereInTheManual supplementary text]] on all things Sith released not long after ''Darth Plagueis'', goes one step further by implying that [[spoiler:Plagueis was ''never'' the BigBad at all, being played like a violin by Sidious even prior to his apprenticeship]]. Of course, it's [[UnreliableNarrator Sidious]] telling us all of this.
* BiggerBad: Subverted. You'd think Plagueis, the master of Emperor Palpatine, would prove to be this for the film series even if he was dead beforehand. You'd be wrong.
* BloodbathVillainOrigin: Palpatine.
* TheChessmaster:
** Luceno seems intent on removing any potential doubt that Darth Sidious/Palpatine is the pinnacle of this trope for the Star Wars mythos. [[spoiler: As an example, it turns out ''Palpatine'' was the one who engineered Padme's campaign for the throne of Naboo.]] While this may not seem to be a big deal in and of itself, when you consider it along with the events of the films, the impact speaks for itself.
** Plagueis himself is a skilled one, to a lesser extent. [[spoiler: He was involved in the incident at Galidraan that began Dooku's dissent with the Jedi and, more importantly, was the one who gave Sifo-Dyas the suggestion to clone an army for the Republic....]]
*** Bear in mind that [[spoiler:the climax reveals that these things as well as a lot more had in fact been manipulated by Sidious himself.]]
* TheChosenOne: Both Palpatine and Plagueis are anxious and obsessed with meeting Anakin Skywalker.
** Namely, the reason they want to meet him is because he's not only the result of a botched experiment, but also the one destined to destroy them due to the midichlorians retaliating for the unethical experiment.
* ConsummateLiar: Palpatine, anyone?
* ContinuityCameo: A ''lot''. Sifo-Dyas, Qui-Gon Jinn, Wilhuff Tarkin, Finis Valorum, etc.
* ContinuityNod: Tons and tons, on the verge of ContinuityPorn. Luceno gets an A+ for effort: the plot intricately weaves itself in with ''Cloak of Deception'' and ''The Phantom Menace''. To get a general idea, about 99.8% of all names in the book are from previously established sources, sometimes so obscure the larger ExpandedUniverse ignored them all until now.
* CurbstompBattle: Plagueis vs. Captain Lah and the crew of the ''Woebegone''. A 17-year-old, untrained Palpatine vs. [[spoiler: his family and their bodyguards]].
* TheDragon: Maul to Sidious. Sate Pestage and Kinman Doriana each serve as this in the political arena.
** DragonInChief: Palpatine.
* DeadpanSnarker: By the end of the novel, the reader understands that Palpatine's "Legend of Darth Plagueis the ''Wise''" was, more than anything else, a very twisted sort of ''joke''.
* DownerEnding: Sidious has secured the chancellorship and is now in contact with the Chosen One.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: A young Palpatine killed two people by recklessly flying his speeder and crashing it.
* EmperorScientist: Plagueis is a [[BadassBookworm lethal combatant]] and seeks to [[GalacticConqueror conquer the galaxy]] like all other Sith, but he puts particular emphasis on the esoteric nature of the Force[[spoiler:, conducting extensive experiments in attempt to directly control midi-chlorians.]]
* EnfantTerrible: Both Damask and Palpatine were this.
* EtTuBrute: Palpatine's betrayal of Plagueis.
* EvenEvilHasStandards: When Tenebrous accessed Force Foresight upon possessing Plagueis, he ended up foreseeing Plagueis's murder at the hands of Darth Sidious/Palpatine, and it was strongly implied that Tenebrous was horrified not just at the apprentice's murder of Plagueis, but also at how ''evil'' said apprentice was.
** Veruna flat out admits that if he had known Plagueis was a Sith from the get-go, he would never have thrown his lot in with Plagueis, no matter how desperate. In his own words, "Political power is one thing but this....."
* EvilIsHammy: Daniel Davis' portrayal of Sidious in the audiobook mostly downplays his immense hamminess but retains the fey, faux-charming vocalisation Ian [=McDiarmid=] brought to the role.
* EvilMentor: Tenebrous to Plagueis, Plagueis to Palpatine, Palpatine to Maul.
* EvilPlan: The Sith Grand Plan to conquer the galaxy begins in earnest here, and in surprising detail.
* EvilRedhead: Palpatine.
* FallenHero: Dooku. Still a Jedi Master during the events of the novel, Dooku is portrayed as an ethical but disenfranchised man whose disgust for corruption leads him to confide in [[TheCorrupter Palpatine]].
* FauxAffablyEvil: Palpatine and Plagueis.
* FatalFlaw: Most of the villainous characters in the novel pay dearly for their hubris.
** And it is a ForegoneConclusion that Sidious himself [[ReturnOfTheJedi will pay]] [[DarkEmpire for his]].
* FiveBadBand
** BigBad: Plagueis
** TheDragon: Sidious
** TheEvilGenius: 11-4D
** TheBrute: Pestage
** DarkChick: Doriana
* DramaticIrony: At one point, Senator Pax Teem states that Tatooine is far too remote and lawless to have any impact on galactic affairs. Oh, how wrong he is...
* TheForce: The prequel films mention repeatedly that the Force is imbalanced and that the dark side is ascending. The origin of the imbalance begins in this book.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: An Itkotchi prophetess foresees the ensuing Clone Wars, Order 66, Galactic Empire, Death Star, and Galactic Civil War. Needless to say Plagueis moves quickly to [[HaveYouToldAnyoneElse silence her]]; Palpatine reminds Anakin that he will monitor his career with great interest; Master Sifo-Dyas is persuaded that the Republic needs an army; Plagueis spies on Qui-Gon Jinn speaking to Anakin before they leave Coruscant, and he sees a Force vision of a "black-helmeted cyborg rising from a table".....
* ForegoneConclusion: Any fan who has seen Star Wars Episode III knows what happens to Darth Plagueis at the end.
** Luceno even opens with the immediate aftermath of Plagueis' murder, refusing to play it as a twist or give it a sense of false suspense.[[spoiler: What the reader doesn't realize until the climax is that how Palpatine killed Plagueis isn't important. It's where and more importantly,''when''.]]
* FreudianExcuse: Unambiguously averted. Unlike his predecessor Bane, young Palpatine's feelings towards his family are a little...''extreme''. To elaborate, Palpatine's father does hate him, but for the simple reason that Palpatine has transparently hated ''him'' from the moment he was born (though his dad covering up his crimes did help Palpatine develop an "I can do no wrong" mentality).
* HeelFaceTurn: Darth Gravid.
* ICanRuleAlone: Plagueis wanted to form a BigBadDuumvirate with Sidious. Sidious replied with this trope.
* ImmortalityImmorality: Darth Plagueis all the way.
* InsultBackfire: During the final argument between Palpatine and his father:
-->'''Cosinga''': Murder has always been in your thoughts, hasn't it? You've merely been waiting for someone to grant you permission to act.
-->'''Palpatine''': I don't need anyone's permission.
-->'''Cosinga''': Precisely. You're an animal at heart.
-->'''Palpatine''': King of the beasts, Father.
* IronicFear: Plagueis.
-->'''Palpatine''': It's ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself.
* {{Irony}}: Cosinga Palpatine mentioned at one point that House Palpatine was one of the six gates that prevented Chaos from being unleashed in mythology. Now, take note that Chaos is presumably the Nabooian and Force-user equivalent of Hell. Palpatine (the eldest son)/Darth Sidious basically ends up unleashing Hell, thus undoing the Palpatine legacy.
* KickTheDog: Somehow, it's not really surprising that [[spoiler: Palpatine comes up with the idea of not just killing the Jedi, but completely destroying their reputation and legacy -- thereby turning them into enemies of the Republic.]]
* KillEmAll: Discussed and deconstructed. While the Sith have always counted the annihilation of the Jedi as one of their main goals since Darth Bane's era, ''Darth Plagueis'' focuses on the logistical problems of this goal. With only two Sith at a time, each generation has batted numerous ideas back and forth, such as a plague to target Force users. How the plan evolved into what will be seen in the Prequel Trilogy forms a core part of the book.
* LightIsNotGood: Darth Gravid was one of the few Sith who converted to the Light side of the Force. Unfortunately, he went cuckoo.
* MonsterSobStory: It's hard not to feel sorry for Darth Venamis.
* MakeItLookLikeAnAccident: Possibly with [[spoiler: Senator Vidar Kim's family. Kim comes to believe that the speeder accident which killed his family was engineered by the Naboo ruling elite. He believes their motive was to force him into retirement given he's against their policies (and they can't just relive him of the post as his senatorial appointment was a concession to the opposition). It's left ambiguous as to whether Kim was merely paranoid or if the Naboo nobles really did engineer the accident.]]
** Played straight with Plagueis' murder of Kerred Santhe at a banquet years earlier. He kills the target with a Force Choke, but is able to make it look like the accidental ingestion of the central dish (poisonous Bloat Eel).
* ManipulativeBastard: Palpatine.
-->'''Plagueis''' (''thinking''): Sidious had a gift for subterfuge that surpassed the talents of any of the Sith Lords who had preceded him, including Bane.
* MySpeciesDothProtestTooMuch: Darth Tenebrous is a villainous example--the Bith have a peaceful reputation.
* MythologyGag: Plagueis is very specific in the type of immortality he's pursuing. He wants his body to live forever in good health and refuses to pursue shortcuts like transferring his essence into another being or a series of cloned bodies. His apprentice [[DarkEmpire on the other hand...]]
* NiceJobBreakingItHero: By confiding in Senator Palpatine, Dooku unknowingly passes on key intelligence to Plagueis and Sidious regarding Jedi politics, the Prophecy of the Chosen One, and the discovery of Anakin.
* NiceJobFixingItVillain: Sidious and Plagueis just ''had'' to upset the order of the midichlorians in a botched experiment of crafting a Sith Weapon. Well, it certainly bit them in the butt afterwards when the midichlorians [[spoiler:retaliated by creating [[TheChosenOne Anakin Skywalker]] to destroy them once and for all.]]
* NobleDemon: Plagueis.
* OhCrap: Plagueis has this when he learns that Anakin's been taken to the Jedi.
* PetTheDog: Plagueis is pretty nice and polite to any droids in his service in direct contrast to pretty much 75% of the galactic community.
* PlayingWithFire: Sidious uses this [[spoiler:to kill Pax Teem.]]
* ThePowerOfHate: This is the reservoir of power that Sith are trained to tap into, [[ThePowerOfLove unlike the Jedi]].
-->'''Plagueis''': If you don't already want to murder me, you will before I'm through with you. The urge to kill one's superior is intrinsic to the nature of our enterprise.
** Unfortunately for Plagueis, Palpatine was ''always'' ready to murder him, as soon as he had [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness outlived his usefulness.]]
** Ironically, he did to some extent also value Palpatine in a way similar to that of a son, even stating that they break the Rule of Two set up by Bane. [[UnderestimatingBadassery Because he clearly has no clue who he's dealing with]].
* ProperlyParanoid: As noted in the VillainousBreakdown entry below, Plagueis is shown to be mortified at the idea of Palpatine suggesting that Anakin Skywalker being made a Sith Candidate. [[TheChosenOne And for a very good reason.]]
** Likewise, after the attempt on his life, Plagueis actually forsook sleep since he feared that he'd be killed in his sleep. He ultimately proved to be right. Unfortunately, Palpatine ensured he fell asleep by having him get drunk by Sullustian Wine before he made his move to kill him.
* PsychopathicManchild: Palpatine becomes a very high-functioning version of this.
* OutGambitted: Plagueis plays a mean game throughout the novel, but he's not quite good enough to beat his apprentice.
* OneManArmy: Both Plagueis and Sidious show their worth against hundreds of adversaries at least twice.
** [[ArrogantKungFuGuy Darth Maul]] thinks he's this, much to both Plagueis and Sideious' displeasure over his pride.
* RobotBuddy: Droid 11-4D to Plagueis [[spoiler:and later to Palpatine]]. He's pretty much an "evil" R2-D2.
* RuleOfTwo: Being a book about Sith Lords, ''of course'' this trope is in full effect.
* [[SelfMadeOrphan Self-Made Orphan]]: Sidious, under Plagueis's instruction.
* SmugSnake: Plagueis, Maul, and Naboo's King Veruna all [[HoistByHisOwnPetard suffer because of this]] to varying degrees.
* TheSociopath: The ''nicest'' thing you can say about Palpatine. He really was just born a bastard.
* SpannerInTheWorks: Pax Teem's plan to [[spoiler: assassinate Plaugeis is brilliantly planned and executed. However, Teem doesn't know his assassins -- the Maladians -- were utilized by Palpatine's aide Sate Pstage to assassinate Senator Kim. Embarrassed at how it was nearly botched, Pestage's Maladian contact tips him off about the Plagueis operation. This allows Palpatine to foil the assassination and leads to Teem's murder.]]
** Later, Palpatine [[spoiler: deliberately goads Veruna and his cabal in order to get them to try to kill Plagueis. However, Palpatine didn't anticipate that his Master had had dealings with Jabba the Hutt. Jabba gets wind of the attack plan through his underworld contacts and tips off the Muun. Plagueis survives and Palpatine has to wait until the night before the Election before trying again.]]
** At the end (which takes place during Episode I), Anakin very nearly becomes this. When it's revealed that the prophecy of the one that would bring balance to the Force might be true, Palpatine and Plagueis ''panic.''
* SpotlightStealingSquad: By making it apparent that [[spoiler: Plagueis was the one who planted the seeds for the events of the Prequels, as opposed to Sidious, some feel that it ruins Sidious's character, preventing him from actually being the grand chessmaster that the movies made him. Then again, in his final speech to his master, Sidious claims that ''he'' was the one who planted the seeds with Plagueis acting as an UnwittingPawn who, in Sidious' words, "thought [they] were your ideas when in fact they were mine, cleverly suggested to you so that you could feed them back to me". Ultimately, the question boils down to whether the reader is able to buy Sidious' claim.]]
* TheStarscream: Plagueis to Tenebrous, Sidious to Plagueis; averted with Maul and Sidious.
** Ironically, it becomes apparent that Sidious had in fact been manipulating Plagueis ever since the latter first initiated him into the Sith.
** Plagueis to Tenebrous is somewhat of a deconstruction of the trope, as not only was Tenebrous anticipating that Plagueis would betray him, he actually was glad that Plagueis finally acted on his desire to murder him, and his only regret was that Plagueis didn't act on the Starscream tendencies years earlier.
* StartOfDarkness: Dooku and Gunray all the way. To a lesser extent, Palpatine, who was sociopathic from the very beginning.
** Arguably, one for Sate Pestage as well. Plagueis had given Palpatine Pestage in the belief that he'd be useful to the Sith Lord, and while he wouldn't be called 'innocent' he probably wouldn't have become so twisted if he hadn't been under the influence of the Sith Lords. Since he was, fast forward a few decades later and he becomes Grand Vizier of the Galactic Empire.
* SympathyForTheDevil: Averted, with the possible exception for Darth Maul and Nute Gunray. Maul was ''raised'' a Sith from birth and Gunray's ambition was relentlessly exploited.
** Possibly played straight with Darth Plagueis, however: Plagueis literally was destined to become a Sith before he was even born, meaning he literally had no other choice to be anything except to be a Sith, if supplementary items for the novel (such as the Tenebrous Way) are of any indication.
* ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill: [[spoiler: Veruna's attack on Sojourn starts off with orbital bombardment to soften up Plagueis. He then follows this up by dropping a nuke as the ''coup de grace''.]]
** [[spoiler: The cabal's strategy is justified considering the last assassination attempt against Damask didn't exactly go well.]]
* TyrantTakesTheHelm: ''Supreme Chancellor'' Palpatine, anyone?
* UndyingLoyalty: Atypical of Sith Lords, Maul is deeply devoted to his Master. As is noted, this just makes it easier for the ''truly'' evil Palpatine to manipulate him to get what he wanted.
* UnwittingPawn: Pretty much everyone in the book is a pawn of the Sith in one form or another. [[spoiler: The book's climax reveals that Palpatine regards Plagueis himself as this, too.]]
* VillainProtagonist: Carrying on the tradition established by the ''DarthBane'' series.
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler: At the book's climax, Sidious unleashes a ''spectacular'' one against Plagueis.]]
** Plagueis also has one after learning of Anakin's existence. He becomes coarse and blunt when demanding a meeting and actually shows genuine fear when it's revealed that Anakin is being considered as a candidate.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Count Dooku, freshly resigned from the Jedi Order [[spoiler: and Sith aspirant]].
* WickedCultured: Evil has never been so prominent in the EU as it is with ''Darth Plagueis'', and little to none of it is thuggish.
* WhamEpisode: The entire book, but especially the last third where we learn [[spoiler: Sidious didn't kill Plagueis years earlier as fans had always believed. The Muun is alive well into the climax of Episode I before the apprentice makes his move.]]
* WhamLine: "I'm looking for a student named Palpatine." This simple query to a Naboo collegial receptionist sets off the chain of events that will lead to the downfall of the Republic and Jedi and the revenge of the Sith.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: The fate of [[spoiler: 11-4D after Sidious murders Plagueis. Sidious says he will give 11-4D a new body, but there's no sign or mention of him in the post-''Episode I'' literature. According to [[WordOfGod Luceno]], he likes to think that 11-4D is one of the droids that gets the drop on Aurek Team in ''Labyrinth of Evil'' and is present when Anakin is put into his armor.]]
* WorthyOpponent: Darth Venamis [[spoiler: to Darth Plagueis. Briefly.]]
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Given that the central characters are Sith, this is standard operating procedure. Plagueis does this to [[spoiler: Darths Tenebrous and Venamis, as well as all of Venamis's potential apprentices]]. Karma's a cold bitch, however, as [[spoiler: King Veruna of Naboo and his cabal of toadies attempt to do this to Plagueis's alter-ego, though it fails horribly]]. And just when things seem to be absolutely peachy for the reigning Sith Master, Sidious makes his own move....