|Chronological and political information|
- "There's nobody left who remembers who I was before. But they'll remember Malak. I'll make sure of that."
Darth Malak was a Human male who reigned as a Dark Lord of the Sith during the Jedi Civil War. Before becoming a Sith Lord, Alek was born on the planet Quelii in the Outer Rim Territories. When the Mandalorians attacked his homeworld, he escaped the battle and fled to the Galactic Republic, whose immigration records assigned the name of his home village as his surname. He was trained in the ways of the Force by the Jedi Order, and was nicknamed Squint by his fellow Jedi, before eventually becoming a Jedi Knight. During the Mandalorian Wars, Alek, Revan—his closest friend and fellow Jedi Knight—and their faction of Jedi disobeyed the Jedi Council and aided the Republic's war effort through scouting missions in the Outer Rim. He befriended the Jedi Padawan Zayne Carrick and, after taking the name "Malak" in order to avoid an arrest warrant issued by the Council, assisted Carrick in defeating the secretive Jedi Covenant. As the war progressed, Malak became a military general and gained a reputation as a headstrong warrior who recklessly charged into danger. Malak and Revan ultimately defeated the Mandalorians in the war's final battle at Malachor V, and pursued the surviving Mandalorians into the Unknown Regions. However, the two Jedi encountered the Sith Emperor of the reconstituted remnants of the ancient Sith Empire and fell to the dark side of the Force under his tutelage, becoming Sith Lords.
The newly christened Darth Malak and Darth Revan were given a mission by the Sith Emperor to find the Star Forge, an ancient Rakatan space station, which would help to destroy the Jedi Order and the Republic. Malak helped Revan track down the Star Maps that led to the Star Forge and, after finding the superweapon above Rakata Prime, Revan assumed the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith, with Malak becoming his Sith apprentice. A year after their disappearance from known Republic space, the two founded their own Sith Empire, returned to the Republic, and declared war, determined to end the Jedi Order's supposed tyranny. At one point during the conflict that became known as the Jedi Civil War, Malak's entire jaw was removed by a lightsaber strike from Darth Revan, forcing him to wear a large metal prosthesis. A short time later, after the Jedi dispatched a strike team to capture Revan and Malak, the latter betrayed his Sith Master, ordering the guns of his flagship to fire on Revan's vessel. Convinced that his Master had died, Malak usurped Revan's mantle of Dark Lord and ruled the Empire unchallenged, brutally conquering territory after territory and taking the fallen Jedi Darth Bandon as his Shadow Hand.
It was not long until Malak was proven wrong about his beliefs regarding Revan's death. The following year, after destroying the planet Taris and razing the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine, Malak intercepted Jedi Knight Bastila Shan and an amnesiac Revan, whose memories as the Dark Lord had been replaced with an identity loyal to the Republic by the Jedi Council. After Malak revealed to Revan his former identity as the Dark Lord, Shan allowed herself to be captured by Malak so that Revan could escape. Malak corrupted Shan, whom he had once considered a threat, and convinced her to become his apprentice, replacing Darth Bandon, whom Revan and his companions had previously killed. Now assisted by Shan's battle meditation, Malak considered his Sith Empire to be invincible. However, when the Republic fleet attacked the Star Forge, Revan—a redeemed and retrained Jedi—boarded the ancient superweapon and confronted Malak in a lightsaber duel that resulted in the Dark Lord's death. With that, Malak's reign as the Dark Lord ended, and the Republic eventually emerged victorious from the Jedi Civil War.
Early life and Jedi training
- "The Jedi Order moved too slowly for Revan and Malak; we were too cautious in their eyes. They always sought to learn far quicker than their Masters felt was prudent"
- ―Zhar Lestin
Alek, a Human male, was born on the planet Quelii in a village named Squinquargesimus. After Alek escaped the Mandalorians' devastation of his homeworld, he fled to the Galactic Republic; the name of his home village was assigned as his surname by the Republic's immigration records. Eventually, Alek was found to be sensitive to the Force and was trained as a Jedi Padawan at the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. During his time as a Padawan, Alek was nicknamed "Squint" by his peers, because they had difficulty pronouncing his surname. Alek befriended a fellow Padawan who would eventually be known as "Revan." Though Revan was recognized as the stronger of the two, Alek's desire to broaden his knowledge did not remain unnoticed, and he, like Revan, eventually sought additional training from the Twi'lek Jedi Master Zhar Lestin on the galactic capital of Coruscant. Sometime before the year 3,964 BBY, both young men completed their training and attained the rank of Jedi Knight.
The Mandalorian Wars
Recruiting for the Revanchists
- "It's ridiculous, don't you see? The Sith threat ended what, 30 years ago? The Mandalorians are the threat. The Mandalorians are here…almost. We need every able-bodied Jedi we can get."
- ―Alek, to Zayne Carrick
In 3,964 BBY, around the time both Alek and Revan were promoted to the rank of Jedi Knight, the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders launched an assault on the Republic and started the Mandalorian Wars. Both Alek and Revan were eager to defeat the invading forces. However, the Jedi Council urged the Jedi to be patient and strictly forbade action against the Mandalorians, feeling that the true threat had not yet emerged. Revan would not be dissuaded, and both he and Alek believed that the Order operated too slowly and exercised excessive caution in its decisions. Alek was the first to join Revan's movement, known as the Revanchists, and other Jedi soon followed. Alek and the Revanchists began participating in the war effort through a scouting mission along the Outer Rim. Led by Revan, whom Alek called "his honorary Master," Alek and his fellow Jedi investigated the Mandalorian threat along the Republic border against the wishes of the Jedi Council.
The Revanchists stopped briefly on the ecumenopolis of Taris with hopes of recruiting more Jedi from the local Jedi temple. While there, Jedi Master Lucien Draay sent Alek to look for Zayne Carrick, Draay's Padawan. Alek rescued Carrick—who was falling into the cityscape after attempting to capture the Snivvian black marketeer Marn Hierogryph—by jumping off his airspeeder and catching the Padawan. After the rescue, the two Jedi had a conversation regarding the ongoing war. Alek, who introduced himself to Carrick as "Squint," tried to recruit Carrick to the Revanchists. However, the Padawan refused, claiming that the Taris Jedi Masters believed that the Sith, not the Mandalorians, were the Jedi's business. Though Carrick was a less-than-promising student, Alek suspected that he would have a significant role during the war. Before he and the Revanchists left Taris, Alek shared this opinion with Carrick, and advised him that it was sometimes necessary to enter the darkness in order to save the light. After Alek and the Revanchists left Taris, however, Lucien Draay and his fellow Jedi Masters of the secret Jedi organization known as the Covenant acted on a vision, murdering their Padawans in an attempt to prevent the rise of a potential Sith Lord. The Covenanters framed Carrick, who fled from the Masters, for the crime, and Carrick was subsequently forced to hide from the Jedi Order and civil authorities.
- "What are you doing? You can barely stand!"
"These are trials that only a Jedi can survive, Jarael. And I think we both know I'm the only Jedi in this conversation."
"How did you know—?"
"Because we do have abilities they have yet to discover. Maybe that'll be their undoing."
- ―Jarael and Alek in the Flashpoint Station
Soon after leaving Taris, Alek and his companions were left behind on the planet Suurja while Revan investigated events on Onderon and its jungle moon, Dxun. Roughly a week after his meeting with Carrick on Taris, Alek and his fellow Revanchists were captured, in an ambush that preceded the fourth battle of Suurja, by the Mandalorians and were taken to Flashpoint Station, an old Republic research station that the Mandalorians had captured a few months prior. There, Alek became the favorite test subject of the Mandalorian scientist Demagol, who was attempting to divine the source and nature of the Jedi's Force abilities. Demagol performed various tests on Alek, including irradiation, electroshock and stress tests on a torture rack. Alek was able to use the Force to block the pain that Demagol inflicted on him, although he lost his hair as a result of the scientist's experiments.
Weeks later, a female Arkanian offshoot named Jarael, who had helped Carrick elude the Jedi Masters on Taris, arrived on the station as a prisoner, and Alek immediately knew the Mandalorians had mistaken her for a Jedi. When Demagol came to take Jarael, Alek volunteered to be studied in her place, insisting that he had some abilities that Demagol had yet to discover. After Alek was brought back to the holding area, Demagol intended to waste no time in testing Jarael, but Carrick and the rest of the crew of the starship The Last Resort arrived to rescue her. Carrick pretended to have been captured by the rogue Mandalorian Rohlan Dyre, and was taken in Jarael's stead by Demagol. When Dyre and Demagol emerged, they announced that Carrick was dead. However, after the Mandalorians were tricked into leaving the station during a false "Republic attack" masterminded by Marn Hierogryph, who had allied himself with Carrick, it was revealed that Carrick was posing as Demagol, whom Dyre had managed to incapacitate. Before he and the rest of the freed Jedi prisoners escaped, Alek asked Carrick to join them once again. Carrick declined, claiming that there was something he had to finish. Alek said his good-byes to Jarael and took the unconscious Demagol to Coruscant for trial. En route to the galactic capital, however, Demagol fell into a drug-induced coma and could not be awakened to stand trial.
As the Mandalorians launched a full-scale invasion of the Republic, Revan, who was known to the public as "The Revanchist," could no longer restrain himself and openly rebelled against the Jedi Council. Alek, now Revan's right hand man traveled to worlds such as Dantooine to recruit even more Jedi to his and Revan's growing rebellion. While on a mission to the planet Cathar to investigate the truth about a massacre that had taken place there, Alek, Revan, and the Jedi accompanying them felt death in the Force when the Mandalorians unleashed a devastating nuclear attack on Serroco.
The Adasca Affair
- "This is an advance that transcends simple monetary compensation, don't you agree?"
"A dangerous advance. The power to destroy matter on an astronomical scale—that's too much for any government to wield responsibly!"
- ―Arkoh Adasca and Alek
After the Mandalorian's destruction of Serroco, Arkoh Adasca, the eighth lord of the House of Adasca and the leader of the Adascorp Medical Corporation, invited Revan to attend a meeting to bid on exogorth creatures, after Adasca discovered that they could be constructed into biological superweapons. Alek was sent by Revan—who had remained on Cathar to search for evidence pertaining to the Mandalorian massacre—to the Omonoth system as a representative for the Revanchists. Prior to Alek's departure, several Jedi had experienced visions regarding the possible importance of Adasca's exogorths and the role they could play in the ongoing conflict. Alek was instructed by Revan to ensure that this new danger did not affect the war. Upon his arrival aboard the Arkanian Legacy, Adasca's flagship, Alek was reunited with both Jarael and Dyre. Alek confided to Jarael that he did not believe Zayne Carrick was guilty of the murder charges that had been levied against him for the Padawan Massacre of Taris. Jarael, who had spent the past few days in Adasca's company, attempted to inform Alek that Adasca was scheming, but she was quickly interrupted and restrained from doing so by Adasca.
Later, aboard the Legacy, Adasca revealed his plan to sell his exogorth superweapons to the highest bidder. Alek reacted with disgust, feeling that such a force was too powerful to be entrusted to any government. However, he felt that they could be entrusted to the Jedi, as the Revanchists saw heartache and chaos in the years to come. As Admiral Saul Karath, who was representing the Republic, attempted to further converse with Adasca, Alek and the Republic officers Carth Onasi and Dallan Morvis reacted in shock upon learning that Mandalore the Ultimate, the leader of the Mandalorians, had also been invited by Adasca to bid on the exogorths. As Mandalore entered the Arkanian Legacy, Alek ignited his lightsaber and leaped forward in an attempt to kill Mandalore and end the war. Predicting the attack, Mandalore quickly struck him down with his newly-made battle axe, knocking the young Jedi off his feet. While Mandalore and Adasca discussed the exogorth deal, Alek tried to convince Karath to arrest them, but the Admiral would not take the risk of doing so while they were outnumbered. As the invited representatives proposed their offers, Alek expressed disbelief that Mandalore would offer Adasca a powerful position in the Mandalorian war effort in exchange for the device controlling the exogorths. He was further surprised when Karath offered Republic territory for the device.
Eventually, Lucien Draay—who had arrived on the Legacy earlier in order to investigate Adasca—and Carrick met up with Carth Onasi and Dyre to work together to create a plan to compromise Adasca's scheme. When Carrick initiated a diversion—which involved leading the Mandalorians into believing that Adasca, the Republic officers, and Jedi at the meeting set a trap for them—Alek immediately realized what was going on and participated in the brawl that erupted. Not long afterward, Alek, Carrick, Draay, Onasi, Karath, Jarael, Dyre, and Morvis, were forced to escape the Legacy's observation dome as the exogorths, which had gone out of Adasca's control, devoured it and killed Adasca. While Karath, Morvis, and Onasi escaped on the latter's ship, the others searched for another vessel, since Alek's ship had been destroyed in one of the docking bays. Before Draay could arrest Carrick, the starship Moomo Williwaw crashed into the Arkanian Legacy, preventing Draay from apprehending his former Padawan. Alek traveled with Carrick and his crew in the Williwaw so that the fugitive could rendezvous with Marn Hierogryph on Taris.
After arriving on Taris, which had been captured by the Mandalorians, Carrick rocketed down to the city below using a jetpack to aid the local resistance against the Mandalorians and meet up with Hierogryph. After this, Alek and the crew flew off in the Williwaw. Alek later engaged in a sparring match with Jarael, in which she bested him. The match brought the two closer together, with Alek explaining to Jarael that the Jedi had refrained from emotional relationships since the Great Sith War; however, he stated that he did not agree with this sentiment. Although he was interested in her romantically, Jarael was reluctant to enter into a relationship with him.
Against the Jedi Covenant
- Vandar Tokare: "Be honest! How hard would it be to create shadow agents with that wealth? You've complained yourself—Jedi are reported killed on remote missions all the time without investigations. And Krynda Draay has trained Jedi for thirty years without our supervision. You know how thin we were after the Sith War—we were happy for the help! How many remain loyal to her now?"
- Alek: "Is anything impossible when the forces opposing it are asleep?"
- Vrook Lamar: "You would know something about Jedi operating without leave, I'd bet—but never mind. Even with what Shel has told us of Raana Tey, we could never bring this to the Council. You don't know what Krynda means to the Jedi, son. She's one of the few Sith War heroes we have left. You accuse her, you won't rock the Order. You'll tear it apart!"
- ―Alek discusses Krynda Draay and her Jedi Covenant with Jedi Masters Vrook Lamar and Vandar Tokare[src]
Alek, along with Jarael, Dyre, and the Williwaw's crew, eventually landed on the planet Jebble to rescue Carrick and Marn Hierogryph, who had left Taris with Jedi Knight and Covenant agent Celeste Morne to pursue an ancient Sith amulet. While the group was departing from Jebble, a Mandalorian fleet commanded by Mandalore's primary strategist Cassus Fett arrived. In order to stop a transmuting disease that was affecting the Mandalorian soldiers from spreading off-world, Carrick sent a message to Fett, warning him not to land his troops on the surface. Fett responded to this by ordering a nuclear bombardment of the planet. Made more determined by the loss of Morne, who had seemingly died during the bombing, Carrick reminded Alek that he owed him a favor from Flashpoint Station and asked him, along with the rest of the Williwaw's crew, for assistance in stopping the Jedi Covenant.
Before they separated once more, Alek told Carrick, who engineered a plan to stop the Covenant, to bring evidence of the Covenant's Sith artifact warehouse to the Jedi High Council. Alek and Shel Jelavan, whose brother had been killed by the Covenant in the Padawan Massacre, went to Coruscant to perform their part of Carrick's plan. Due to the arrest warrant that had been issued for the Revanchists by the Jedi Council, Alek went under the guise of one "Captain Malak" and adorned his head with blue–gray tattoos. After sending a holographic transmission to Masters Vandar Tokare and Vrook Lamar on Coruscant to arrange a meeting, Alek and Jelavan rendezvoused with the two Masters inside a cantina in the underlevels of Coruscant to discuss evidence pertaining to the Padawan Massacre. Following their testimony, the foursome arrived at the rendezvous point where they were to meet with Carrick and Hierogryph. Despite Alek's assurances that Carrick's name would be cleared, Lamar stated that if they accused Krynda Draay, the founder of the Covenant, of playing a part in any of the Covenant's wrongdoing, it would tear the Order apart. Lamar and Tokare stressed that what they needed was one of the Covenanters to stand up and confess. As Alek and Jelavan were discussing the Covenant's actions with Lamar and Tokare, Covenant Jedi Master Xamar arrived with Carrick and Hierogryph, and agreed to testify against the Covenant's illegal activities before the Council. Later on, Alek testified to the Council on Carrick's behalf following the events of the Covenant Affair, the Covenant's failed insurrection against the Jedi Order. Alek was then sent to the Revanchists with a final warning to cease their participation in the Mandalorian Wars. He went under protest, determined to retain the name "Malak" until there was an end to the war's suffering.
Vision on Cathar
After Malak left Coruscant and returned to Cathar, where Revan had been attempting to find proof of the Mandalorians' devastation of the Cathar people, Vrook Lamar and a group of Jedi tracked Malak and Revan to the planet. Lamar and the Jedi met with Revan, Malak, and the Revanchists and told the group to abandon their efforts and disperse permanently, as the Jedi Masters believed that the Mandalorians were not a threat and that nothing warranted the Jedi's involvement in the Mandalorian Wars. During the discussion, Revan noticed a Mandalorian helmet underneath his feet and picked it up. When some light struck the helmet, all the Jedi present experienced a vision of the past of Mandalorians driving hordes of Cathar into the sea. A Mandalorian female, to whom the helmet in Revan's hands belonged, tried to convince Cassus Fett—who had led the attack on the planet—that the Cathar had been defeated and did not need to all be killed. Fett refused to stand down, saying that the Cathar left a stain of dishonor amongst the Mando'ade and that he intended to wash that stain clean by committing genocide. Fett then ordered the planet's devastation, killing the Cathar and the Mandalorian female. After the vision's end, Malak and the Revanchists witnessed as Revan pledged to defeat the Mandalorians. Although the truth of what happened on Cathar was known, the Jedi still did not give Revan and Malak their full support, but Revan managed to organize the Revanchists under the banner of a Republic Mercy Corps. The Jedi Council subsequently allowed Revan, Malak, and the Revanchists to participate in the Mandalorian Wars. Both Malak and Revan were promoted to the rank of general.
Malak eventually contacted Marn Hierogryph in search of Jarael, and the Snivvian informed Malak that the two of them, along with a few others, were on the planet Wor Tandell. Intending to surprise Jarael, Malak went to the planet and met her by her crew's ship. Later that night, Malak told Jarael and Hierogryph that the Jedi Council had officially sanctioned the Revanchist Jedi's involvement in the Mandalorian Wars. Malak told Jarael that the Revanchists had almost everything they needed to win the war, and asked that she bring her combat abilities and firsthand experience with the Mandalorians' atrocities to their cause. When Hierogryph mentioned Jarael's newly discovered Force talents, Malak became excited, telling Jarael that she belonged with him. Dyre then appeared, shouting that Malak could never take her. When Malak attempted to reason with the man, the Mandalorian punched him in the jaw. Malak ignited his lightsaber and began attacking Dyre, who evaded him with his jetpack and fired at the Jedi with his blasters. Jarael screamed at Malak to stop, but he refused, reasoning that the Mandalorians were incapable of friendship, only torture and genocide. Malak eventually cut Dyre's blasters in half and wrestled him to the ground, asking the Mandalorian if he had been there when the Mandalorians had killed the Cathar.
At that moment, Republic captain Telettoh and the Cathar Jedi Ferroh arrived at Carrick's camp along with the former Padawan. They pulled Malak off Dyre, calming the Jedi down. Telettoh berated Malak for attacking Dyre, stating that the Revanchists could not afford any scandals. Carrick apologized to Malak for not arriving at the camp sooner, expressing his astonishment at the fact that Malak had brought the Republic cruiser Testament just to see Carrick and his friends. Malak informed Carrick that he was there for Jarael, and Carrick pretended that he and Jarael were romantically involved, which surprised Malak. Having failed to enlist Jarael, Malak bid goodbye to Carrick, Jarael, and their crew. Eventually, Malak was contacted by Jarael, who asked for his assistance in tracking down Carrick, who had been kidnapped by the slavery organization know as The Crucible during a mission to rescue the Crucible's slaves. However, Malak could not offer his aid since he and the Revanchists were fighting the Mandalorians.
The trial of Demagol
- "In the name of the millions the Mandalorians have killed, tortured, and enslaved—we'll save the Republic! And defeat the Mandalorians forever!"
"This—this is your secret, isn't it? You can't beat us in a fair fight! That's the way you like it, Jedi—isn't it? So save your Republic—but who'll save the Republic from you?"
- ―Malak and Rohlan Dyre
Eventually, Malak and the Republic forces under his command recaptured the Omonoth system and recovered the Arkanian Legacy's remains. Sometime after this, Demagol came out of his drug-induced coma; however, the man whom both Malak and the Republic believed to be Demagol was in actuality Rohlan Dyre. The Mandalorian deserter had been drugged on Flashpoint Station by Demagol, who had switched armors with Dyre so that he could travel with Jarael, Carrick, and their companions. Malak participated in a show trial for Demagol, which was set at Coruscant's Senate chamber. Before Malak testified against Demagol, he met with Zayne Carrick and Marn Hierogryph, who had also been called to testify against the scientist. When Malak inquired as to where Jarael was, Carrick told him that she had left his group. Malak informed Carrick and Hierogryph that after he testified he would be going back to the front lines of the war, and that the ship under his command was already with Admiral Karath's patrol. He also informed them about the recovery of the Arkanian Legacy.
During the trial, Malak testified to the audience about Demagol's experiments on both him and the Jedi who had not survived the scientist's studies. As Malak continued, Dyre, who insisted that the Jedi stop calling him by the name Demagol, broke free of his binders. Malak used the Force to throw Dyre across the chamber, and publicly vowed to save the Republic by defeating the Mandalorians permanently, in the name of the millions whom the Mandalorians had slain, tormented, or subjugated. Dyre openly questioned Malak's tactics, asking who would save the Republic from Malak after the Jedi succeeded in his quest. The Senate guards escorted Dyre out of the Senate chamber and put the Mandalorian in a speeder which would take him back to his holding cell. However, the two guards in the speeder were actually Zayne Carrick and Marn Hierogryph, who had figured out that Demagol switched places with Rohlan Dyre. After learning that "Demagol" had not made it to his holding cell, Malak headed the search for the scientist on Coruscant, and ordered his forces to detain and search every speeder they found. Not long after, the true Demagol was killed, but Malak, unaware of this, continued his search for Demagol.
The final battles
- "Revan and Malak were heroes, the great saviors of the Republic."
The entrance of Revan and his Jedi into the war marked the conflict's turning point. Revan's military strategies and tactics, coupled with Malak's courage and determination, saw the pair become the foremost heroes of the war. Although the Battle of Duro was a disaster, a recent breakthrough in gravity well projectors had resulted in the construction of the Interdictor-class cruiser, and Revan and Malak were able to effectively use the abilities of a fleet of these new ships to prevent the Mandalorians from escaping with stocks of material from the Duro shipyards. Public opinion of the pair, combined with his desire to register his displeasure with the Jedi Council, motivated Supreme Chancellor Tol Cressa to give Revan direct control over the entire Republic fleet. With his newfound authority, Revan spearheaded the Republic war effort and began to steadily push the Mandalorians back, and though Malak lacked Revan's military genius, he exemplified himself as a capable war leader. Malak eventually earned a reputation for being a headstrong warrior that charged into danger recklessly. Together, Revan and Malak liberated Taris, fought Cassus Fett at Jaga's Cluster, and defeated much of the Mandalorian army at Althir. Yet, despite such victories, the Jedi Masters whom they had left behind believed that Revan, Malak, and the Jedi that had joined them were only offering easy solutions to the galaxy's problems, fearing that much woe would result from their recklessness. As the war progressed, concerns were raised over Revan and Malak's behavior. They gradually changed from the idealistic men that had first rebelled against the Jedi Council and began to adopt characteristics similar to their Mandalorian adversaries. To Revan and Malak, ultimate victory became all that mattered, and in order to ensure it, the two Jedi met their enemies' brutal, merciless tactics with a ruthlessness of their own. Over the course of the war, Malak and Revan developed a cold, calculating disposition that was uncharacteristic of Jedi and grew to despise weakness and indecisiveness. "Moral shortcuts" became common practice under their leadership, along with a number of other unsavory acts. Though there were some who frowned upon such actions, the vast majority of the galaxy cared only that Revan and Malak were winning the war and hailed them as heroes.
At some point during the Mandalorian Wars, Revan found a Rakatan Star Map in the old ruins near the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine. The Star Map was an integral part to uncovering the long-lost location of the Star Forge, a space-based war relic of the Rakatan Infinite Empire that had ruled the galaxy approximately 20,000 standard years before which was fueled by the dark side and capable of quickly constructing starships. Revan and Malak delved into the ancient ruins, and after successfully passing a set of trials barring their way, they were given access to the Star Map. Moments before they crossed the threshold that would lead them to their prize, Malak warned Revan of the consequences, feeling that if they examined the Star Map, the Jedi Order would banish both him and Revan. However, such words did not dissuade Revan from continuing to the Star Map. Although a part of Malak yearned to turn back and return to the Order, he remained at his friend's side, knowing that once he crossed the threshold, there would be no chance of ever returning to the life he once had.
In the final year of the Mandalorian Wars, Revan found another Star Map on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk. Shortly thereafter, Revan traveled to the Sith planet of Malachor V, where he discovered the Trayus Academy and delved deeply into the Sith secrets contained within. Revan introduced Malak to the Sith teachings, causing him to fall to the dark side. The heroic reputation that Revan and Malak had gained during the Mandalorian Wars was finally cemented during the final battle of the war, in which Revan forced a final confrontation with the Mandalorians over Malachor V. During the battle, Revan slew Mandalore the Ultimate, taking his mask and learning of a Sith threat behind the Mandalorian Wars. Mandalore's fall forced the Mandalorians into unconditional surrender. After the cataclysmic final battle, a single Jedi General left Revan and Malak's fleet to answer for her actions before the Jedi Council. Malak wanted Revan to order the assassin droid HK-47, whom Revan had recently constructed, to kill her. However, Revan would not allow her assassination. Having defeated the Mandalorians, the two now-legendary Jedi Knights did not return to the Republic. Instead, they led the remainder of their forces into the Unknown Regions, hunting down surviving Mandalorians. For a year afterward, nothing was heard from them, and the Republic feared its heroes were lost.
In the three days after the battle at Malachor V, Malak and Revan traveled to the frigid planet of Rekkiad to search for Dramath the Second's tomb. They discovered the Sith Lord's tomb hidden in a giant pillar of ice, and found a datacron that would lead them to the planet Nathema. So as to condemn the Mandalorians to wander without a leader, Revan left Mandalore's mask in the tomb before he and Malak left for Nathema. When the two Jedi arrived there, they found the planet devoid of the Force. They searched through the empty buildings looking for information that would guide them closer to finding the origin of the Sith threat.
- "When they left after the Mandalorian Wars ended, they were Jedi. When they returned… they were something else."
- ―Carth Onasi, regarding Revan and Malak
During their mission in the Unknown Regions, Revan and Malak encountered, by chance, the Dark Lord of the Sith known only as the Sith Emperor leading a resurgent Sith Empire on the Imperial capital of Dromund Kaas. While there, the two Jedi posed as mercenaries for months, attempting to learn anything and everything about the Emperor. They found out that the Emperor was raising an army to again invade the Republic, and eventually located a member of the Imperial Guard who agreed to sneak them into the Imperial Citadel; however they were unaware of the Imperial Guard's bond to the Emperor's will and were instead led into a trap. Revan and Malak attempted to fight the Emperor but were overwhelmed by his power. He broke their will, twisted their minds and granted them the "Darth" title and sent them back to act as the vanguard of his invasion and report back when all resistance was crushed. Their mission was to recover the Rakatan Star Maps and locate the Star Forge. He intended to use the Star Forge to accelerate the construction of his Sith armada, which would enable the Sith to defeat the Jedi and the Republic. However, the Emperor underestimated the power and strength of their will and minds. Revan and Malak believed that they were acting of their own accord and, in doing so, were able to block their memories of the Sith and the Emperor. Revan and Malak located three additional Star Maps on the desert world Tatooine, the Selkath's oceanic homeworld Manaan, and the ancient Sith tombworld Korriban.
Examining all five Star Maps, Revan and Malak eventually discovered and traveled to the previously unexplored Rakata system, where the Star Forge was located. Upon their arrival, the pair crashed on Rakata Prime as the result of a disruptor field which was protecting the Star Forge. Shortly thereafter, they were attacked by the primitive Black Rakata, who attempted to take them prisoner, but after the two Sith Lords displayed their Force powers, the natives were quickly cowed into submission. Though Revan initially negotiated with The One, the leader of the Black Rakata, it soon became apparent that none among the Black Rakata had relevant information pertaining to the Star Forge. Revan then decided to win the favor of the Elders, a Rakatan tribe that the Black Rakata was at war with. Unlike their violent introduction to the Black Rakata, Revan and Malak approached the Elders in peace, learning much from them about the Rakata, their old empire, and of the disruptor field that had caused the two Sith to crash. Becoming increasingly aware of the abhorrence that the Elders held for their species' violent past, Revan and Malak styled themselves as servants of the light side of the Force that were searching for a way to destroy the Star Forge. After Revan and Malak gained the Elders' trust, the Elders gave the Sith access to the Temple of the Ancients, which enabled Revan and Malak to disable the disruptor field and reach the Star Forge. Thanking the Elders, the two Sith Lords promised to destroy the Star Forge and return.
After finding the Star Forge, Revan and Malak began to have visions of their own Sith Empire. Revan took control of the Star Forge and declared himself the new Dark Lord of the Sith, with Malak grudgingly taking the role of his Sith apprentice. In 3,959 BBY, the pair founded a new Sith Empire and returned to Korriban, seizing control of the planet and re-establishing the Sith Academy there. Revan and Malak then returned to known Republic space at the head of a massive invasion fleet, comprised of Jedi Knights and Republic soldiers that were veterans of the Mandalorian Wars. Openly revealing themselves as Sith Lords, the pair and their followers declared war on the Republic and the Jedi Order. This marked the beginning of a planned twenty-year campaign to end the "tyranny" of the Jedi Council once and for all, initiating the Jedi Civil War. At one point under Darth Revan's tutelage, Malak openly viewed his Master as being soft, causing tension between the two that culminated in a lightsaber duel. Malak's jaw was removed by a lightsaber strike from Revan, and Malak was forced to wear a large metal prosthesis cover over where his jaw had once been. A vocabulator allowed Malak to talk, but his voice now reverberated with a gruff electronic tone.
In the year 3,958 BBY, Revan and his Sith carried out a successful attack on the shipyard world of Foerost, capturing the majority of the Republic's fleet. Admiral Saul Karath, who had served under Revan and Malak in the Mandalorian Wars, declared the Republic unworthy of his loyalty and transferred his services and his flagship, the Leviathan, to Revan's service. During this time, Malak gained ownership of the Leviathan, taking it as his own flagship. Karath also provided security codes that enabled the Sith to bypass a Republic Navy docking bay's scanners. This allowed the Sith forces to sweep in and destroy over half of the docked ships before they had time to react. Later, Revan promoted Karath as the commander of the entire Sith fleet. Darth Malak ordered Karath to destroy Telos IV, a planet that Revan had originally intended to conquer, in order to test the Admiral's loyalty to the Sith. Karath complied with Malak's command, killing millions of innocent people and earning the wrath of the surviving Telosians, including the Republic commander Carth Onasi, who had once considered Karath his mentor and Malak a hero. Later that year, Darth Malak bombed the Zabrak homeworld of Iridonia and carried out a successful attack on the planet of Rodia. Though a powerful Sith Lord, the ambitious Darth Malak began to chafe under the dominion of Revan as the war progressed. The man who had once been Revan's staunchest ally and most loyal friend began to eagerly await an opportunity to replace his Sith Master.
Malak's chance to usurp Revan's position came in 3,957 BBY when the Jedi Council sent a strike team to capture the two Sith Lords. The team managed to corner Revan on the bridge of his flagship. Malak, who had been separated from his Master, ordered the guns of his own flagship, the Leviathan, to fire on Revan's vessel in an attempt to slay both his Master and the Jedi—specifically the strike team's leader, Bastila Shan, because of her skills with battle meditation, a Force power that enabled her to strengthen the Republic forces' resolve and coordinate their fighting effort while sapping the will of their enemies. Unbeknownst to Malak, Shan saved Revan's life and brought him to the Jedi Council, who, under the direction of Masters Dorak and Zhar Lestin, reprogrammed his mind with the identity of a Republic soldier. Though Malak failed in his attempt on Revan's life, his Master had been incapacitated during the attack. Believing himself to have been successful, Darth Malak assumed command of the Sith Empire, at last taking the mantle of Dark Lord for himself. A small part of Malak always regretted betraying his Master from afar, however. Malak knew there would be some who thought and claimed that he had been a coward, that he had acted out of fear so as not to face Revan in personal combat.
Dark Lord of the Sith
The search for Bastila Shan
- "I am more interested in the young Jedi Bastila and her Battle Meditation. Have you learned how she escaped the destruction of Taris?"
- ―Darth Malak, to Saul Karath
Although his stratagems and tactics centered around brute force, Malak was able to win many victories over the battered and outnumbered Republic forces through the sheer size of his armadas. Unlike his former Sith Master, the Sith Magnus would destroy worlds rather than capture them, ensuring that neither the Sith nor the Republic had the resources they needed. He fueled the Star Forge, which was modified to produce the ships and assault droids of the Sith fleet, by using the Force powers of captured Jedi Knights. After Revan's apparent death, Malak took a former Jedi whose quest for power had set him apart from his fellow students and named him Darth Bandon, taking him as his Shadow Hand and elevating the young Sith to the second-in-command in the Sith Empire. Jedi that were not killed by Malak's Sith forces fell from the light, becoming Dark Jedi and swearing their allegiance to the Dark Lord.
While the war against the Republic continued with success, Darth Malak feared that the Jedi Bastila Shan's rare gift with battle meditation—which surpassed even the most powerful Jedi Masters—would make her a grave threat to the Sith war effort. Malak expended tremendous resources in an attempt to locate and capture Shan. He nearly succeeded when his apprentice, Darth Bandon, led an attack on her ship, the Endar Spire, above the planet Taris. Shan, among other Republic soldiers, was forced to evacuate her craft via an escape pod and crashed into the lower levels of Taris. To prevent Shan from escaping, Malak captured Taris and blockaded the planet. However, Malak, who was on board the Leviathan, soon grew impatient with the search for Shan and ordered Karath to use the Leviathan to destroy the planet. Nonetheless, Shan was able to return unharmed to Dantooine on the light freighter Ebon Hawk, thanks to the efforts of Carth Onasi, the amnesiac Revan—who was unaware of his former identity as the Dark Lord—and their companions. Soon after their arrival, Revan was retrained in the Jedi ways in the Enclave on Dantooine, since he began having visions of his past and the Star Maps that led to the Star Forge. The local Jedi Council ordered Revan, Shan, and their allies to search for the Star Forge.
Shortly thereafter, a bounty hunter named Calo Nord—who had been defeated on Taris by Revan, and had managed to escape Taris' destruction—was hired by Malak to track down Shan and her allies, capture her, and kill her companions. Nord and Karath revealed to Malak that one of Shan's companions was Revan, whom the Sith Lord had long believed to be dead. Despite Nord's galaxy-wide reputation as a bounty hunter, he did not survive his next encounter with Revan. After Nord's death, Karath informed Malak of the bounty hunter's failure. Malak believed that no bounty hunter could stand against a Jedi, and to avoid making the same mistake twice, the Sith Lord sent his apprentice, Darth Bandon, after Shan. Malak ordered Bandon to find Shan and to bring her to him alive, if at all possible. There were rumors that Bandon would challenge Malak for the right to rule the Sith, but Bandon never had a chance to develop his plans, as he failed to capture Shan and was killed by Revan during the quest to locate the Star Forge. During Revan's search for the Rakatan space station, Malak and his Sith forces attacked Dantooine. Although the Jedi Council had sensed this would happen and attempted to evacuate everyone, they were unsuccessful in preventing the Enclave's destruction and Malak's attack killed many, Jedi and civilians alike. Malak also captured eight Jedi for later use on the Star Forge. The Sith Lord plundered the ruins of the Enclave, looking for Jedi artifacts but many of the Jedi holocrons and relics had been moved to another location.
Revelation on the Leviathan
- "You cannot hide from what you once were, Revan! Recognize that you were once the Dark Lord—and know that I have taken your place!"
- ―Malak, to Revan
While on their search for the fifth and final Star Map needed to locate the Star Forge, the Ebon Hawk and its crew were captured by the Sith and brought on board the Leviathan. While Malak, who was in another sector at the time, made his way to the Leviathan, Karath began to torture and interrogate Revan, Shan, and Onasi in an attempt to find out their mission's objective. Sometime after Karath ended the interrogation, an Ebon Hawk crew member who had evaded capture managed to liberate Revan and the others from the detention area. The crew then split into two groups. Shan, Onasi, and Revan headed to the bridge of the Leviathan to lower the ship's shields, disable the tractor beam, and unlock the door to the docking bay, while the rest of the crew went directly to the docking bay to prepare the Ebon Hawk for escape.
By the time Malak arrived on the ship, Shan, Onasi and Revan had already disabled the tractor beam, killing Karath in the process. Malak encountered the trio on their way to the docking bay, hindering their escape. Conferring with his three adversaries, Malak discovered that Revan still had no knowledge of his time as a Dark Lord. Amused, Malak revealed to Revan the truth of his former identity, which Shan confirmed to the shocked Revan. Malak then used the Force to create a stasis field around Shan and Onasi and prepared to kill his former Master. Revan proved himself to be a capable swordsman, however, holding his own against the Dark Lord before being caught in stasis, rendering him defenseless. Meanwhile, Shan and Onasi were freed from stasis, and Shan intervened so that Revan and Onasi could escape, though her actions came at the cost of being defeated and captured by Malak.
After successfully capturing Shan aboard the Leviathan, Malak took the Jedi to the Temple of the Ancients on Rakata Prime. Seeking to make Shan his apprentice in order to fortify the Sith Empire's efforts with her battle meditation, Malak attempted to turn her to the dark side and tortured her with Force lightning. Shan was at first firm and resisted his efforts, but Malak insisted that it was not merely torture—it was a taste of the dark side power that she could possess. Following a week of torture, Malak succeeded in breaking Shan's will, finally turning her to the dark side, and took her as his apprentice to replace the fallen Darth Bandon.
Battle of Rakata Prime
- "You made a mistake coming here, Revan. The Star Forge fuels my command of the dark side. You are no match for me here. And this time you will not escape!"
- ―Darth Malak, to Revan
Eventually, the Star Forge was operating at three hundred percent beyond the Sith's expectations, and the space station added new ships to the Sith fleet every day. Malak was informed by Sith Admiral Varko that the fleet was merely awaiting the Dark Lord's instructions; the Sith Lord was confident that they would be invincible once Shan provided assistance with her battle meditation. Assuming they would be victorious, Malak told Varko of his plans to begin the final conquest of the Core Worlds, which would crush the Republic permanently. However, Revan and his crew located the Star Forge and sent the space station's coordinates to Republic Admiral Forn Dodonna so that she could bring the Republic fleet and Jedi reinforcements led by Jedi Master Vandar Tokare to attack the Sith and their Star Forge. After Revan and the Jedi penetrated the Star Forge's defenses, Malak was not surprised, ordering one of his Dark Jedi to dispatch the Star Forge battle droids to deal with them. However, Malak underestimated the Jedi, and the Dark Jedi Master brought news of the droids' failure. Malak was at first surprised that any Jedi could stand against an army of Star Forge droids, but then he was told that Revan was with the Jedi. Acknowledging Revan's power, Malak dispatched his forces and Dark Jedi to hinder Revan's progress and allocate enough time for the Sith Lord himself to fully prepare the Star Forge's defenses, knowing that his Sith troops would only slow Revan down, not defeat him.
Malak summoned his new apprentice, Bastila Shan, and informed her that Revan was on the Star Forge. Shan was conflicted due to her love for Revan, but Malak stated that she would prove herself worthy of being his apprentice if she defeated the former Sith Lord, a mandate that Shan promised she would not fail to complete. The Dark Lord later mused that perhaps Shan would be able to defeat Revan, but even if she failed, it would provide the necessary time to prepare the Star Forge's defenses. However, Revan also convinced Shan to return to the light side and aid the Republic through her battle meditation. Malak—who was in the midst of using the Force to choke two Jedi prisoners—was confronted by Revan outside the turbolift leading to the Star Forge's observation tower. Upon his former Master's arrival, the Dark Lord threw his lightsaber into one of the Jedi and blasted the other with Force lightning, killing both. Revan offered Malak a chance to surrender, reminding the Dark Lord that the Jedi might show him mercy. However, Malak replied that the wiping of an individual's identity was no act of mercy and stated that he would rather die. The Sith Lord then unleashed his unlimited army of Star Forge battle droids against Revan, using the opportunity to escape to the Star Forge's observation deck.
Final confrontation and death
- "Im… [cough] impossible. I… I cannot be beaten. I am the Dark Lord of the Sith."
"The power of the light will always be stronger than the dark side."
"Still… [cough] still spouting the wisdom [of] the Jedi, I see. Maybe there is more truth in their code than I ever believed. I… I cannot help but wonder, Revan. What would have happened had our positions been reversed? What if fate had decreed I would be captured by the Jedi? Could I have returned to the light, as you did? [cough] If you had not led me down the dark path in the first place, what destiny would I have found?"
"I am sorry I started you on this path. But you chose to continue down it."
"I suppose… I suppose you speak the truth. I alone must accept responsibility for my fate. I wanted to be Master of the Sith and ruler of the galaxy. But that destiny was not mine, Revan. [cough] It might have been yours, perhaps… but never mine. And in the end, as the darkness takes me, I am nothing."
- ―Darth Malak and Revan
Revan managed to stop the droids from attacking him and followed Malak to the observation tower. Malak realized that his former Master's powers had surpassed those that he had held during his reign as the Dark Lord. Malak proclaimed his intention to break Revan's will and make his former Master his apprentice, as Revan would be a far greater asset than Shan and her battle meditation. However, Malak feared that Revan was too powerful to be his apprentice, believing that Revan would betray him should the former Sith Lord become the stronger of the two. After Revan retorted that he would not turn to the dark side again, the two began a lightsaber duel, in which the victor, unlike in their previous duels, would decide the fate of the galaxy.
Malak and Revan fought a fierce duel in the observation tower. However, Malak withdrew from battle, explaining to his former Master that he could not be defeated. Malak then told Revan that he had brought the bodies of eight Jedi from the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine to the Star Forge and explained that rather than letting the deceased Jedi become one with the Force, he had used the Star Forge to corrupt what remained of the dead Jedi's Force energy. Malak used the Force to drain the life force from one of the Jedi, transferring it to himself. After replenishing his vitality, Malak resumed his duel with Revan. However, the former Sith Lord freed as many of the captive Jedi as he could, allowing them to become one with the Force and shortening Malak's supply of energy. Malak was eventually brought to his knees, mortally wounded. He began to regret turning to the dark side, and Revan apologized to his old friend for starting him down the dark path. Malak was reminded by his former Master that he had chosen to continue to practice the dark side, and Malak told Revan that perhaps there was more truth in the Jedi Code than he had ever believed. The dying Dark Lord realized that he alone had to accept responsibility for his fate. With his dying words, Malak recognized that as the darkness took him, he was nothing in the end. Malak died with sorrow and regret over his deeds, but without hatred or malice toward Revan, his one-time closest friend. Malak's corpse was consumed by the flames of the failing Star Forge as the Republic fleet destroyed the ancient space station.
- "Revan and Malak did not fall to the dark side in a single moment. They turned after years spent in war and in defiance of the Jedi Council. Revan and Malak's descent into darkness actually began with compassion—the compassion that compelled them to enter the Mandalorian Wars."
- ―Jedi Master Gnost-Dural
One year after Darth Malak's death and the defeat of his Sith Empire, Revan, now in possession of his full memories from his time as the Dark Lord, vanished from known Republic space to search for and defeat the Sith Emperor and his Sith Empire. Although Malak had died in his duel with Revan, the Dark Lord's final confrontation did not mark the last anyone saw of him. Four years after Revan's disappearance, Meetra Surik, who served as a Jedi General under Malak and Revan during the Mandalorian Wars, discovered the lost tomb of the ancient Sith Lord Ludo Kressh while exploring a shyrack cave on Korriban. Surik encountered visions from her past, the first of which was an apparition of the young Malak before his fall to the dark side. As Surik looked on, Malak slowly lured several Jedi to his side. When Surik refused to join him, Malak and the other apparitions attacked; however, Surik prevailed over the visions. Shortly after this, Surik defeated the Sith Triumvirate and their Sith forces, which were comprised of forces that served under Malak's Sith Empire.
Approximately three centuries after Darth Malak's death, it was presumed that Revan had never returned from the Unknown Regions. However, the True Sith Empire that Revan went to battle launched an attack on the Republic. This ignited a war that lasted for decades until the Sith Emperor signed a treaty with the Republic. Images of Malak were featured in four holographic records produced by the Kel Dor Jedi archivist Gnost-Dural—who investigated Malak and Revan's significance to the Sith Emperor whose forces had besieged the galaxy in Gnost-Dural's time—for the Jedi Archives.
The atrocities that Darth Malak committed overshadowed his good deeds as a Jedi Knight in galactic history. Although Revan was remembered and admired for his tactical genius and subtleties, the Dark Lord was remembered by others, such as Exchange crime boss G0-T0, as something of a brute who had left the galaxy in a mess. Many sentients thought the situation would have been different if Revan had remained as the Dark Lord. They believed that Revan's strategies would have led to a stronger and more unified galaxy, while Malak's genocidal reign had only caused a greater destabilization of the galaxy and nearly destroyed all of his former Master's original goals. In contrast to Revan, Malak used brute force rather than strategy to defeat his enemies, as demonstrated when he ordered both the bombing of Telos IV and the destruction of Taris. The destruction that Malak caused portrayed him as a monster who, despite all his attempts to gain absolute power, was still inferior compared to Revan.
Personality and traits
- "We'll go to the front—and beyond it, if it'll save the galaxy. Sometimes you have to enter the darkness to save the light."
Darth Malak was a light-skinned Human male who stood two meters in height. His head was adorned with blue tattoos, which he received while helping Zayne Carrick clear his name. Malak later adopted a large metal shield that covered his face from his upper lip down, to protect a lightsaber injury that completely severed his lower jaw—a wound that had been inflicted by his Sith Master, Darth Revan. A vocabulator allowed Malak to talk, but his voice reverberated with a gruff electronic tone, creating a disconcerting effect since his cybernetic jaw did not move. He spoke and understood Basic, the Republic's trade language, as well as the Sith language. As a Jedi Knight, Malak wore a set of red Jedi robes and used a lightsaber containing a blue crystal. During his time as the Dark Lord of the Sith, Malak wore a set of skin-tight, red-orange body armor that showed off his physique, draped in a half-cape of black cloth, and employed a self-built lightsaber that produced a red blade longer than those of standard lightsabers. Malak also possessed a powerful Sith sword recovered from Korriban, although he rarely used it in combat.
Before taking the name "Malak," Alek was an optimistic young Jedi with a distinctive sense of justice, which he shared with his friend and "Master," Revan. Because of Alek's belief of the Jedi Order's passiveness, he joined Revan's campaign against the Mandalorians, feeling that the Jedi Council would not be able to end the conflict. If necessary to save the light, he did not rule out the option of entering the darkness to do so. Believing that the Council had failed to uphold the Jedi Order's vow as the guardians of peace and justice, Alek not only joined Revan but aided him in the recruitment of other Jedi, utilizing his influence and charisma to attract many Jedi to the Revanchists. Not only was Alek proud to stand at Revan's side to defend the Republic, but he also sought to defend its ideals, including freedom and justice. Alek believed that in doing so, he was fulfilling what the Jedi Council failed to do: defend the Republic citizens that the Jedi had sworn to protect.
When Alek assisted the fugitive Padawan Zayne Carrick in exposing the Jedi Covenant, he changed his name to Malak. He later explained to the Arkanian female Jarael and the Snivvian Marn Hierogryph that "Malak" was more than just a name to him—it was what he felt he had been born to be. After the Mandalorians had destroyed his life on Quelii, Malak had answered to names that others gave him and were not his own because he had not cared; Malak thought that because his home was gone, it did not matter who he was. After becoming Malak, however, he began to believe that his identity did indeed matter because there was nobody left who knew him as Alek. He vowed that people would remember his "Malak" identity. After experiencing a vision of the Mandalorians' genocide of the Cathar people, Malak came to believe that all Mandalorians were incapable of friendship, including Jarael and Carrick's companion Rohlan Dyre, who was in actuality Demagol. When the man whom Malak believed to be Demagol escaped after the show trial on Coruscant, the Jedi headed the search for the scientist. He ordered the forces under his command to detain and search every speeder for Demagol, regardless of citizen's rights and the various Coruscanti jurisdictions.
While many in the Republic credited Revan's military strategies for the Republic's success during the Mandalorian Wars, other individuals were quick to point out Malak's fierce courage and relentless fury at the forefront of every battle as the key to the victory. Because the victories during the Mandalorian Wars corresponded frequently with crushing moral compromises, Malak sensed that he was falling to the dark side but saw no alternative path. With the horrors of war clear to him, he understood that he would face this dilemma. After Malak and Revan defeated the Mandalorians at Malachor V, the former realized that all his efforts would be for nothing if a strong hand was not in control of the galaxy. He knew that the only people he could put his trust in were the forces he had fought with, feeling that they were capable defenders. That was when Malak finally understood the dark side, believing that it was named from the ignorance of never having killed and of never having to order friends to their deaths. Malak also believed the dark side was named from the ignorance of not experiencing the perpetual belief that every day would be one's last day—all for cowards unwilling to fight for their own survival. He shared these thoughts with his closest friend, Revan, who found that he agreed and understood his friend's mindset completely.
When Revan first introduced Malak to his assassin droid, HK-47, the droid liked Malak. At some point during Malak's tutelage under Revan, the droid informed him of his "meatbag status." While Malak was not impressed with the droid's term, Revan found it amusing and altered HK-47's programming so that the droid would continue to use the "meatbag" term. This drove Malak to extreme lengths of frustration. After the Jedi Civil War, HK-47 thought of Malak as an angry club that was given to grandiose displays of brutality and murder that seemed inefficient and, in many cases, unnecessary. However, the Echani Handmaiden Brianna opined that Malak's destruction of Taris exemplified his heart through the operation's execution and intent. Brianna, who, like most Echani, understood people through the way they fought, felt that Taris's destruction showed Malak's commitment to defeating the Jedi, despite the fact that the act of razing Taris was brutal and lacked finesse.
Even after Malak's initial fall to the dark side, a part of him still held true to the Jedi way. At the beginning of Revan's quest to find the Star Forge, Malak was apprehensive, knowing that if he followed Revan any further, he would forever forsake his commitment to the Jedi and the Republic. Yet despite further corruption by the dark side, Malak was never fully able to rid himself of the good in him. Moments before he died from wounds inflicted by a redeemed Revan, the Dark Lord allowed himself to let go of his hate and anger, reflecting on what his life could have been if he had not been corrupted by Revan as a Sith Lord—or if he had possessed the strength to forsake the dark side and return to the light, as Revan had done. Malak died with regret over his actions and without contempt toward his former friend.
Relationship with Jarael
- "Don't—Jedi refrain from…"
"Emotional connections? Physical contact? No. Oh, there's a school in the Order that's always been pushing for that—wherever there's three people, there's one who thinks the other two shouldn't have any fun. Their voices have become louder since the Sith War. Turns out the children of Jedi are often strong with the Force. So you could say that the proponents of love have a certain…practicality…on their side of the argument. Besides…in times like these, it helps to have something to hold on to."
- ―Jarael and Alek
When Alek met Jarael at Flashpoint Station, he recognized that she was not a Jedi, and pleaded with Demagol to be examined in her place; he had hoped to spare Jarael the pain of being tortured. Shortly after Carrick and Dyre successfully rescued the Jedi on the station, Alek asked Jarael to call him by his real name rather than his nickname, Squint, the next time they met. Alek further demonstrated his desire to protect Jarael during Arkoh Adasca's auction for the exogorth superweapons. When Adasca struck Jarael for talking through her wrist comlink and demeaned her, Alek ignited his lightsaber in response and threatened Adasca with it, stating that Jarael was special and warning Adasca not to hurt her again.
After they ended Adasca's scheme and returned to Taris, Alek attempted to enter into a romantic relationship with Jarael. However, she was not ready, due to recent experiences that had left her vulnerable. He asked her to question whether it was the timing that was the problem or if it was just him that she did not want to become involved with. After he changed his name to "Malak" and helped to clear Carrick's name, he was reunited with Jarael on Wor Tandell and tried to convince her to not only join the Revanchists, but to also become romantically involved with him. Following Malak's brawl with Rohlan Dyre, who was in actuality Demagol, Carrick deceived Malak into believing that he and Jarael were romantically involved. When Malak met with Carrick before the trial of Demagol, the former Padawan told Malak that he and Jarael had ended their relationship. Malak had figured the supposed relationship would end, believing that Jarael would end up being involved with someone older and more established.
Powers and abilities
- "This is but a taste of the dark side to whet your appetite."
- ―Darth Malak, to Bastila Shan
During his time as a Jedi, Malak was trained as a Jedi Guardian, focusing on lightsaber combat and physical aspects of the Force. Eventually, Darth Malak came to be counted among the skilled swordsmen of his time. In combat, he fought in a one-handed, aggressive style. During his torture sessions at the hands of Demagol on Flashpoint Station, Alek used the Force to block the pain that Demagol caused him. As a Jedi, Malak used the Force as a means of protection and healing. During his later reign as a Sith Lord, Malak employed the Force to choke more than one person at a time. Before his final duel with Revan, Malak demonstrated this ability to the former Sith Lord, simultaneously choking two of the Jedi that he had captured. Immediately after, the Dark Lord exemplified his skills by throwing and plunging his lightsaber into the chest of one of the captured Jedi. Malak's strength with the Force enabled him to create a whirlwind of Force energy that would encircle his victim, and he also possessed the ability to create a stasis field with the Force that he used to freeze his enemies in place. He was proficient in using the Force to augment his speed and to suppress the abilities of another Force user. Malak was able to render himself virtually invulnerable to most Force powers for a limited amount of time, and was additionally capable of leaping large distances in order to reach his enemy.
Darth Malak was able to amplify his screams, triggering shock waves that rippled through the Force. He also used the Force to tap into his innermost fears, pain, and hate and convert them into intense anger, which could be channeled to increase his speed, strength, and ferocity. Malak's connection to the dark side gave him the use of Dark Healing, an ability that fueled one's regenerative processes by draining the life force of another. He was skilled in the use of Sith sorcery. During his time as a Sith, Malak was proficient in Force lightning, which he used with ease while torturing Bastila Shan and while dueling Revan aboard the Star Forge.
Behind the scenes
- "We needed a reason for the player to have fallen from power and lost his memory, so we introduced Darth Malak… Malak's cybernetic parts were added [to the design] relatively early… much like the Ebon Hawk/Millenium [sic] Falcon we wanted to evoke images of Darth Vader without being considered a carbon copy."
- ―James Ohlen, the lead designer of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, explains why BioWare created Darth Malak
Darth Malak was created by BioWare as the main antagonist for the 2003 Xbox and PC video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. In both Knights of the Old Republic and its sequel, The Sith Lords, he was voiced by actor Rafael Ferrer. Malak's name was derived from the word "malice." According to the Knights of the Old Republic video game's lead designer, James Ohlen, as the designers at BioWare began to flesh out their initial story about Revan, they realized that they needed a good antagonist. BioWare created Malak to help explain why and how Revan, the game's protagonist, lost both his power and memories. Malak was featured in a vision to the Jedi Knight Duron Qel-Droma in the story Shadows and Light, which was published in Star Wars Tales 23 and was written by Joshua Ortega. Malak was also featured in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic comic series, written by John Jackson Miller and published by Dark Horse Comics. In the comic series, Malak was drawn by Brian Ching, Dustin Weaver, Bong Dazo, Scott Hepburn, Alan Robinson, and Ron Chan. Malak was later mentioned in various entries in The Secret Journal of Doctor Demagol, written by John Jackson Miller for Star Wars Hyperspace, an exclusive club on StarWars.com. An image of Darth Malak was featured in the first entry of the Galactic Timeline, an online video series created to elaborate upon the background for BioWare's PC video game Star Wars: The Old Republic. The entry was titled Treaty of Coruscant. Malak was later featured prominently in the Galactic Timeline's eighth, ninth, and tenth entries, entitled The Jedi Civil War, The Mandalorian Wars, and The Exar Kun War, respectively. All of the installments are available through The Holonet section of The Old Republic's official website. A novel based on the Star Wars: The Old Republic game and written by Drew Karpyshyn, Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan, was released in 2011 and detailed Revan and Malak's discovery and interactions with the Sith Emperor.
John Jackson Miller stated in production notes for the thirty-first issue of the Knights of the Old Republic comic series that Malak's immigration experience was inspired by the character Vito Corleone of The Godfather movies, who took the name of his Italian hometown when he came to America. Miller later revealed that Alek's surname of "Squinquargesimus" was not his true name, as the surname had been assigned by Republic immigration officials. Before the character of Alek took the name Malak, there had been speculation among fans of the series that Alek and Darth Malak were the same character; this belief was confirmed with the release of Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force. Miller later confirmed in his production notes for the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide that he had always intended to turn Alek's character into Malak. When asked in a series of questions on his blog about Malak's age, Miller stated that the Jedi was closer in age to Jarael—who was born in 3,988 BBY—and that Malak was older than Zayne Carrick.
Malak received an entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia. He also received an entry under his former nickname of Squint. According to Malak's entry in the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide, he held a rank called the "Sith Magnus." Abel G. Peña, who wrote Malak's entry in the campaign guide, stated on his official thread on StarWars.com that while the "Sith Magnus" is a canonical rank, he could not elaborate on its meaning yet. In the intro for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Malak is said to be Revan's last surviving apprentice. However, all other available sources list Malak as Revan's only apprentice. The light-sided ending in which Revan slays Malak and destroys the Star Forge has been confirmed as the canonical ending by The New Essential Chronology, Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force, and the Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide. However, in the alternate dark side ending for Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Revan gives in to the dark side at the Temple of the Ancients on Rakata Prime. He and Bastila Shan, who has sworn fealty to him, board the Star Forge and make their way to the command center. Revan confronts Malak in the Star Forge's observation deck after he slays three of the Dark Lord's Dark Jedi and defeats the Star Forge droids. Malak is eventually slain by Revan, who reclaims his title of Dark Lord of the Sith.
An easter egg in the ending of the Xbox version of Knights of the Old Republic allows the player to transform Malak into a green-skinned female Twi'lek dancer and skip the final battle. In the Jedi Exile's vision of Malak in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Malak wields a red-bladed lightsaber. According to the sequel's official strategy guide, Malak's lightsaber contained a violet crystal, and could be found at some point in the game. An item that can be found in The Sith Lords is "Darth Malak's armor," which differs in appearance from the armor Malak is seen wearing in the first game. While various artwork portrays Malak with brown irises, both the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game and Celebration IV's exclusive bust of Malak depict him with gray irises.
An action figure of Darth Malak was released by Hasbro in the third quarter of 2007 as part of the Expanded Universe wave of the 30th Anniversary basic figure collection; he was the thirty-fifth figure to be released in this line. A miniature of Darth Malak was featured in the Champions of the Force set of Star Wars Miniatures, which was released on June 6, 2006. The Knights of the Old Republic set of miniatures, released on August 19, 2009, features another miniature of Darth Malak, as well as one of his former identity of Squint. In the article The 100 Greatest Things About Star Wars... Ever!, which was published in Star Wars Insider 100, Malak came in at twenty-third place and was beaten by his Sith apprentice, Darth Bandon, who received twenty-second place in the rankings. In a list of the 100 best Star Wars characters compiled by IGN Entertainment Games, Darth Malak was listed in twenty-eighth place. In another list of the 100 best video game antagonists, IGN listed Malak in thirty-third place. Darth Malak was featured as part of a downloadable character package for the Xbox 360 version of the Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II video game.