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Star Wars: Who Is Darth Nihilus & What Happened To Him?

The "Star Wars" universe is packed to the brim with powerful Sith: From Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars" trilogy, Darth Plagueis, who is more prominent in the series novels, to Freedon Nadd, a mighty Sith who originally appeared in the now-non-canon comics. However, few villains are as terrifying as Darth Nihilus, otherwise referred to as the Lord of Hunger, who was among the deadliest Sith in either the pre or post-"Legends" era. 

Darth Nihilus first appeared in the "Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords" video game from LucasArts and Obsidian Entertainment. While there are few details about his past, Nihilus is said to be a former Jedi who watched his life get destroyed at the end of the Mandalorian Wars. While those around him died en masse due to the activation of the Mass Shadow Generator weapon, Nihilus survives. Still, his connection to the Force and the widespread death surrounding him changes him forever. The character transforms into a being who feeds off the energy of the Force. Losing his physical form, he becomes a shadowy creature and a force of death in the galaxy. In his body's absence, he wears a white mask, with robes giving him a human-like silhouette.

Like Marvel's world devouring Galactus, Nihilus encounters Darth Traya, a Sith who helps him learn how to use his draining abilities. Together, they form a Sith Triumvirate alongside Darth Sion, who would become the Lord of Pain. Taking over for Darth Revan, the duo betrays Traya, with Nihilus siphoning her Force energy before going on one of the deadliest killing sprees in "Star Wars" history.

Darth Nihilus' deadliest moment

Darth Nihilus is responsible for setting off the First Jedi Purge. In "Star Wars Tales" #24 by (Chris Avellone, Dustin Weaver, and Michael Heisler), the comic shows the Sith villain's attack on the Mid-Rim Miraluka colony of Katarr, 4,000 years before the rise of the Galactic Empire. Sensing the Force energy of the last known members of the Jedi secretly meeting on the planet, he feasts on the world, eliminating every single living creature except for one Miralukan survivor: Visas Marr. Like her fellow Miraluka, Marr was capable of seeing Force energy despite having no eyes. Nihilus ultimately carved out where her eyes would be if she had them and let the darkness flow through her, taking her on as his apprentice.

Marr worked for Darth Nihilus, tracking down Meetra Surik, the Jedi Exile (and player character from "Knights of the Old Republic II") who tried to find the surviving Jedi Order. Unbeknownst to Nihilus, Surik teamed up alongside the former Darth Traya (now Kreia), no longer a Sith, and saw his apprentice leave the dark side of the Force. Nihilus is eventually tricked into attacking Telos IV, believing he is about to wipe out more Force users. However, a group led by Surik and Kreia snuck onto his ship and planted explosives on board, killing Nihilus and ending his hunger once and for all.

Is Darth Nihilus Star Wars canon now?

Darth Nihilus might rank among the most powerful Sith, but after Disney acquired "Star Wars" in 2012, the character officially fell into the "Legends" side of the galaxy. All of the stories featuring Darth Nihilus are no longer canon to the current "Star Wars" timeline, meaning the villain doesn't exist yet — as far as audiences know. However, considering Darth Revan, whom he's loosely connected to, became canon following "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," there's hope he can eventually come to the main universe.

Nihilus returning would be fun for "Star Wars" fans who want the now non-canon "Legends" stories to regain greater significance in the mainline series. But, bringing back a character such as Nihilus, who can destroy entire worlds, would be somewhat of a challenge, as he would be a threat of unprecedented powers in the current canon. Still, even if writers have to nerf his powers a bit, Darth Nihilus being pulled back into canon would still introduce a game-changing villain from a "Star Wars" era that Disney still has yet to tap into.