• Mattie Stu

Star Wars Lore - The Rise of Darth Malak

Before becoming the Dark Lord of the Sith, Alek rose through the Jedi ranks alongside his closest friend, Revan. During the Mandalorian Wars, both men disobeyed the Jedi Council and aided the Republic’s war effort. He later befriended Jedi Padawan Zayne Carrick to destroy the Jedi Covenant. After renaming himself as “Malak” to avoid an arrest warrant issued by the Council, he became a renown military general. Revan and Malak single-handedly won the conflict for the Republic due to their combined leadership skills. However, in the aftermath of the Mandalorian Wars, both men fell to the dark side. As Revan attacked the Republic as the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Malak grudgingly became his Sith apprentice. But in his quest for power, Malak betrayed his Master and took his place atop the Sith hierarchy. However, his reign was cut short by a familiar face; the returning and reformed Revan…

Alek was born in the village of Squinquargesimus on the planet Quelii. However, after Mandalorians attacks devastated his homeworld, Alek fled to the Galactic Republic. When found to be Force-sensitive, he was raised at the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, where his peers nicknamed him “Squint” after his home village. During Alek’s time on the Outer Rim planet, he befriended a fellow Padawan who would eventually become known as “Revan.” Although Revan was clearly the stronger of the two, many in the Jedi Order admired Alek’s desire to broaden his knowledge. Sometime before 3964 BBY, both Padawans completed their training to become Jedi Knights. Around the same time as their promotion, the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders launched an assault on the Republic. Although the Jedi Council forbade action against the invading forces, Revan and Malak were too eager to defeat the Mandalorians. Believing that the Jedi Order were overly cautious and slow in making decisions, Revan began a movement known as the “Revanchists.” When the Mandalorians launched a full-scale invasion of the Republic, Revan could restrain himself no longer and openly rebelled against the Council. As Revan’s right hand man, Alek recruited Jedi from worlds such as Dantooine to join the Revanchists.

Not long after adopting the name “Malak,” he and Revan organised the Revanchists under the banner of a Republic Mercy Corps. As a result, the Jedi Council allowed them to participate in the Mandalorian Wars, and Malak and Revan were promoted to the rank of general. The introduction of the Revanchists into the war marked the conflict’s turning point. Revan’s military strategies and tactics combined with Malak’s courage and determination quickly drove back the Mandalorian forces. When awarded control over the entire Republic fleet by Supreme Chancellor Tol Cressa, Revan spearheaded the Republic war effort. During this time, Malak proved himself to be a capable and headstrong war leader, though one that charged into battle recklessly. However, as the war progressed, concerns grew over the change in the pairs’ personalities. Both Revan and Malak slowly changed from the idealistic men that first rebelled against the Jedi Council and began adopting characteristics associated with their Mandalorian rivals. The two firmly believed that ultimate victory was all that mattered, and in order to achieve such, both two Jedi met their enemies with brutal and merciless tactics. Before long, “moral shortcuts” factored into everyday life for Revan and Malak. Despite all of their ruthless and vicious acts, the public only saw them as heroes who were winning the war.

During the Mandalorian Wars, Revan and Malak entered ancient ruins near the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. After successfully completing a series of trials, both men uncovered a Rakatan Star Map – an integral part in locating the long lost Star Forge (a space-based war relic that was capable of quickly constructing starships). Malak warned Revan that if they examined the Star Map they would both be banished from the Jedi Order. However, Revan would not be swayed. Malak considered turning back, returning to the Order, but he loyally stood by his friend’s side. Shortly after discovering another Star Map on the planet of Kashyyyk, Revan travelled to Malachor V, where he delved into the Sith secrets contained within the Trayus Academy. Revan then introduced Malak to the Sith teachings, causing him to fall to the dark side. In the final battle of the Mandalorian Wars, Revan came face to face with Mandalore the Ultimate. After defeating his opponent, the Mandalorians had no choice but to surrender. However, following the victory, Revan and Malak never returned to the Republic. Instead, alongside the remainder of their forces, the two legendary Jedi Knights travelled to the Unknown Regions to slay any surviving Mandalorians. A whole year went by without any contact from the two men. The Republic feared the loss of their war heroes.

Whilst in the Unknown Regions, Revan and Malak stumbled upon the Dark Lord of the Sith, who was leading a resurgent Sith Empire on the Imperial capital of Dromund Kaas. Whilst the two Jedi posed as mercenaries for months, they discovered that the Sith Emperor was raising an army to invade the Republic. However, both men were lured into a trap. After losing a duel to the Sith Emperor, he broke their will and twisted their minds. After awarding Malak and Revan the title of Darth, the Dark Lord of the Sith tasked them with finding the final Rakatan Star Maps. Upon locating Star Maps on Tatooine, Korriban and Manaan, Revan and Malak ventured to the previously unexplored Rakata, where they uncovered the Star Forge. Revan took control of it and declared himself as the new Dark Lord of the Sith, while Malak grudgingly became his Sith apprentice. After seizing control of Korriban and re-establishing the Sith Academy there in 3959 BBY, both former Jedi returned to Republic space with a huge invasion fleet, officially declaring war. However, during the Jedi Civil War, Malak regarded his Master as being too soft, resulting in a lightsaber duel between the two. Revan sliced off Malak’s jaw during the battle, forcing his apprentice to wear a large metal prosthesis cover over the gaping wound. Although a vocabulator allowed Malak to talk, his voice became reverberated and had an electronic tone.

In 3958 BBY, Revan continued to expand his fleet, and managed to capture the services of Admiral Saul Karath, who served under him and Malak during the Mandalorian Wars. When given command over the entire Sith fleet, Karath was ordered by Darth Malak to bombard Telos IV to test his newfound loyalty. Complying with his orders, Karath killed millions of innocent citizens. Both men were no longer considered heroes after the terrible action, and were hated by most in the galaxy. As the war progressed, the ambitious Malak longed for the day where he could replace his Sith Master - his longest and most loyal friend. That very chance came in 3957 BBY when the Council dispatched a Jedi strike team to apprehend the two Sith Lords. When the Jedi cornered Revan on the bridge of his flagship, a barrage of missiles engulfed the vessel. Malak, who had been separated from his Master, was the one to order such an attack from his own flagship, the Leviathan. Unbeknownst to Malak, Bastila Shan used battle meditation to save Revan’s life. Despite failing to kill his Master, Malak took command over the Sith Empire and crowned himself as the Dark Lord of the Sith. However, Malak regretted betraying Revan from afar, knowing some would call him a coward for not facing his Master in personal combat.

The Dark Lord of the Sith managed to win many victories over the Republic purely down to the massive size of his fleet. Unlike Revan, Malak simply destroyed planets rather than conquering them, meaning neither the Sith nor the Republic could garner much needed resources. Any Jedi who were not killed by his forces were converted to the dark side, becoming Dark Jedi. One such fallen Jedi, Darth Bandon, became Malak’s shadow hand and was elevated to the second-in-command of the Sith Empire. In the meantime, Revan - who had suffered from amnesia - was retrained in the Jedi ways in Dantooine’s Enclave, and was soon ordered alongside Shan to search for the Star Forge. Fearing Bastila’s rare gift with battle meditation threatened the Sith war effort, Malak ordered Bandon to kill the Jedi. Unfortunately, Revan destroyed the Sith during his search for the Star Forge. When the Leviathan captured the Ebon Hawk and its crew, Revan, Shan, and Carth Onasi were tortured by Karath. However, an Ebon Hawk crew member, who managed to evade capture, freed the prisoners. Before encountering Malak, the trio destroyed Karath.

Malak was shocked to realise Revan had no memory of his former life. To his amusement, he revealed to the reformed Jedi his true identity. Malak then used the Force to create a stasis field around Shan and Onasi, forcing a one-on-one duel with Revan. The former Dark Lord of the Sith proved to be a skilled swordsman still, though their duel never lasted long. After freeing themselves from the stasis, Shan distracted Malak to buy Onasi and Revan’s escape. Following a week of torture, Malak broke Bastila’s will and turned her to the dark side, replacing the fallen Bandon and his apprentice. The Star Forge began operating at three hundred percent beyond the Sith’s expectations. He knew that combining the power of the space station with Shan’s battle meditation would be enough to conquer the Core Worlds, permanently crushing the Republic. However, Revan and his crew located the Star Forge, and relayed the coordinates to the Republic. During the ensuing battle, Malak ordered Bastila to defeat Revan, therefore proving herself worthy of being his apprentice. Unfortunately, the Jedi managed to return Shan to the light side. He then tracked down Malak.

The Dark Lord of the Sith realised that Revan’s powers had exceeded those that he held as Malak’s Master. But both men ignited their lightsaber for one final duel, where the fate of the galaxy rested with the victor. The duel was fierce and fast. And with each passing second, Malak was growing weaker. Unable to keep up with Revan’s power, he fell to his knees, mortally wounded. The Jedi revealed how he regretted turning Malak down his dark path, though the dying Dark Lord of the Sith knew he had chosen to continue practicing the dark side. In addition, he wondered if there was more truth in the Jedi Code than he had ever believed. With his dying words, Malak realised that the darkness had engulfed him, and that he was nothing in the end. He passed away with sorrow and regret over his horrific deeds. However, he felt no hatred towards Revan, his one-time closest friend. The body of Malak was destroyed alongside the Star Forge as the Republic fleet overwhelmed the ancient space station…

To learn more about Malak’s legacy, powers, and his romantic relationship, click the link on-screen or the one on the description. Now it’s time for this week’s question: who do you prefer; Revan or Malak? Let me know in the comments below.

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