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The year 241 before the Battle of Yavin (BBY) was a period of time during the declining days of the Galactic Republic. The period was one of transition for the Order of the Sith Lords. Having lived for thousands of years after discovering the secrets of immortality, during which time he fell to the dark side of the Force, former Jedi Grandmaster Damien Nightblade joined the Sith as the apprentice of the Dark Lady Darth Erilis, taking on the name Darth Plagueis. Shortly thereafter, Plagueis became the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Plagueis' reign as Dark Lord lasted for two hundred years—until 41 BBY—when his apprentice murdered him and took the mantle of Dark Lord. This act triggered the Apocalypse, a galaxy-ending event that could only be stopped by the Chosen One, who ultimately did end the Apocalypse decades later.
In the years following the Great Territorial War, Jedi Grandmaster Damien Nightblade discovered the secrets of immortality in an effort to save his lover from dying. She died, but Nightblade continued living for thousands of years, eventually falling to the dark side of the Force. Nightblade fell not only because of the loss of his lover, but also because of events that transpired on his homeworld of Shaderon.
The galaxy in 241 BBY
After living for thousands of years and continuing his descent to the dark side, Nightblade discovered the hidden Order of the Sith Lords, an offshoot of the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness that had been believed to be destroyed circa 1,000 BBY. Nightblade sought out Darth Erilis, the Dark Lady of the Sith, and temporarily became her apprentice, taking on the name Darth Plagueis. His tutelage with her was short lived and he became the Dark Lord of the Sith shortly thereafter.
Plagueis' ascension to the Sith throne would have galaxy-altering consequences in the centuries that followed. He came to take on an apprentice, who was destined to kill his master and take the mantle of Dark Lord for himself. The apprentice stabbed and killed Plagueis in 41 BBY, allowing him to become the Dark Lord. As Plagueis, as well as then-Jedi Knight and later Shaman of the Order of the Whills Ussej Padric Bac, had been warned by an Alsakan priest millennia earlier, Plagueis' death and the new Dark Lord's rise to power set the galaxy-ending Apocalypse into motion.
Knowing that the Apocalypse could only be stopped by a savior called the Chosen One, the Dark Lord dispatched his apprentice, Darth Maul, to murder the pregnant Shmi Skywalker, whose unborn son was believed by the Dark Lord to be the Chosen One. The savior later went on to fulfill his destiny and stop the Apocalypse decades later.
- Damien Nightblade joins the Order of the Sith Lords as the apprentice of Darth Erilis, the Dark Lady of the Sith.
- After a brief tutelage under the Dark Lady, Nightblade—having taken the name Darth Plagueis—becomes the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Behind the scenes
The events of 241 BBY were developed by author Brandon Rhea for his short story Star Wars: The Tragedy, part of the Alternative Star Wars Saga fan fiction series. The period was developed in order to shed light on Darth Plagueis' backstory, explaining his brief Sith training and his eventual rise as Dark Lord of the Sith.
- Star Wars: The Tragedy (First mentioned)