MOVIE NEWS – The Sith may be a powerful force for evil in the galaxy, but they are also a fundamental defence against something much, much worse. WARNING: spoilers for Star Wars: Dark Droids #2!
In fact, the Sith may be the ultimate villain of the Star Wars movies. But it turns out that the galaxy owes its survival to the infamous cult of the Dark Side. An ancient religious order dedicated to unbridled emotion and the pursuit of power at all costs, the Sith’s influence has waxed and waned over the millennia, from a significant force of galactic might to an almost mythical relic of the past and back again.
In Star Wars: Dark Droids #2 by Charles Soule, Luke Ross, Alex Sinclair and Travis Lanham, the new villain Scourge shares his past.
The Scourge is a new composite creature created by merging two ancient technologies. One is Spark Eternal, an ancient artificial intelligence designed to replace the Force. The other is an unnamed viral consciousness driven to continually spread and “consume” new droids, adding them to its hive mind as a primary command. The two have recently merged in an attempt to overthrow Lady Qi’ra Sith. Creating the newborn Scourge – a creature with the same voracious appetite, but now extended to biological life. However, as the Scourge thinks back to the origins of its viral half, it turns out that the last time it was unleashed, it was the Sith who defeated it.
The Sith stopped the original Scourge
In order to trap and kill Palpatine, Qi’ra used a device called the Fermata Cage. The Dark Side’s technology is essentially a time prison that holds its victim captive in a single suspended moment, stretched out for eternity. But when the Fermata Cage opened, the only thing that fell out was a small, disc-shaped droid. A device that fans now know contained the last piece of viral intelligence the Sith had defeated. The Scourge revealed that the Sith initially defeated it using the Force. Saving the entire galaxy from starvation.
By joining more and more droids, the Scourge is rapidly increasing its intelligence, but now it has access to so much information that it fears its sense will eventually be dispersed among the many bodies and minds, making it vulnerable to attack.
The Scourge cannot stop “eating”, so its only possible end game is to absorb or exterminate all life forms other than itself. Once this is done, it can explore its own infinite intellect without harm.
The other half of the Scourge – Spark Eternal – was also defeated by the Sith. The AI designed by the Ascendant cult – a group of non-Force-sensitive people who wanted to replicate the Force through technology – was incomplete when the wiped out its creators and locked it away. However, it was revived and given a biological body when it met the thief Chelli Lona Aphra. Although the Sith are self-serving, their religious beliefs honour the Force. At the height of their power, they sent out armies of Darkseekers to wipe out the threats to their faith and steal any valuable discoveries.
In the case of the Scourge, however, it seems that both the original virus and the Eternal Spark were deemed too dangerous and were locked away rather than attempted.
It’s time for the Sith to save the galaxy… again
The number of Sith stopping the Eternal Spark and the original Scourge virus suggests that these events occurred before Darth Bane introduced the “Rule of Two” around 1000 BBY – a millennium before the prequel trilogy. Though the Sith have done terrible things, the Scourge clarifies that his hunger will drive him to subjugate all other life forms. All of this suggests that they did indeed save the galaxy when they were first defeated. Now, the Scourge hopes that the cyborg can spread to organic life with the help of Darth Vader and dominate the Force.
If Vader is the one to defeat the Scourge’s new form, it will mean that the Sith have once again saved the galaxy from an even greater threat – one that, unlike their own cult, cannot be overthrown later.
It may even be that this is why the Force allows the Sith to exist, aggressively protecting them from existential threats. Whatever the truth, Star Wars has confirmed that it was the ancient villains who saved the galaxy from the Scourge virus before. And that the fight against this formidable threat is likely to fall to them once again for a second time.