One of the most contentious aspects of the new Star Wars trilogy was how Emperor Palpatine was shoehorned into The Rise of Skywalker. It felt forced, especially as Snoke and Kylo Ren were already positioned as the villains, making the twist incredibly divisive among the fanbase. However, Star Wars: The Old Republic‘s latest expansion, Legacy of the Sith, identifies a villain that could have been a more appropriate choice for the film’s big bad than any of these choices.
Many felt Palpatine’s inclusion was a nostalgic cash grab that wasn’t organically seeded in before and was made even wore by the reveal that Rey was Palpatine’s descendant. Snoke was killed in the previous film and Kylo Ren had a different path to take, other than remaining a principal antagonist. No, a brand-new enemy was clearly needed, and Legacy of the Sith includes a perfect candidate for the villain that should have been used instead of the Emperor.
The villain in question is Darth Malgus, who existed before the third Galactic War. Born as Veradun, Malgus showed great prowess with the Dark Side, resulting in his own family sending him to the Sith Academy due to his bloodthirsty ways. He’d go on to wage war on the Republic, working under Darth Vindican until he betrayed him, proving Malgus was a strong believer in the Rule of Two.
Quite a bit of his past has remained hidden, including his ultimate fate, although Palpatine got his diary and passed it down to Darth Vader. The ex-Jedi learned a lot, inspired by Malgus’ tactics, but more so, how Malgus became disillusioned with the Light and the Dark. This may have informed Vader wanting to be something in between the Jedi and the Sith, and why he secretly wanted to kill the Emperor. It painted Malgus as a Sith legend and an immortal symbol.
The trailer for Legacy of the Sith entitled “Disorder” displays Malgus at his finest in combat, attacking Sa’har Kateen, a Jedi Padawan who accompanies her mentor, Jedi Master Denolm Orr, on a mission to an ancient Sith temple. They’re meant to shut down a machine with a unique holocron in it, leading to Malgus slaughtering Orr, but leaving Sa’har alive. The reason he spared her is that this holocron can find the Force-wielders that both the Jedi and Sith ignored, which led to Sa’har’s sibling getting enslaved when Orr took her away from her family.
Malgus taught Sa’har an important lesson: not to trust either side. Instead, he asked that she explore her path, unshackled, in order to learn the truth and be truly free. Only then would she discover her destiny and reshape the galaxy into what it should be. This would have been the perfect philosophy for Malgus to corrupt the new breed in the sequel trilogy.
Darth Malgus would have had the means of finding Rey and Ben Solo, wanting them as generals for a new vision. Thus, Malgus could have tempted them into the First Order, meshing both sides and undoing the mistakes the Jedi and Sith leaders made. It would have pushed both Rey and Ben to finesse the Light and Dark within, becoming Grey Jedi in a sense.
It’d also have tested Luke Skywalker, who would have seen his philosophy of the Force used to breed extremists from his own camp, crafting a personal connection to the villain. Malgus’ interest in science and mysticism would have made for a more compelling antagonist, rather than the film rejigging Palpatine into a mad scientist who loved clones and dark labs. Ultimately, Malgus had laid the historical foundation to be the righteous, fork-tongued villain who could give the most powerful Force-users a valid reason to join him.
KEEP READING: Why Darth Malgus Is So Desperate in The Old Republic ‘Disorder’ Trailer