Darth Tenebrous, also known as Rugess Nome, was a male Bith Dark Lord of the Sith of the lineage of Darth Bane. In his public persona as Nome, he was a legendary artisanal starship designer with a reputation spanning the galaxy; as the Sith Lord Darth Tenebrous, he was a scientific mastermind possessed of a calculating intellect with an obsession on shaping the future, and the master of Darth Plagueis and Darth Venamis.
After being selected as an apprentice by a Twi'lek Sith Lord, Rugess Nome became Darth Tenebrous. Together, he and his Master devoted themselves to the Grand Plan. In the mix, Darth Tenebrous constructed a red lightsaber, and would go on to wield the weapon when he either sparred or honed his lightsaber combat skills. One of the schemes Tenebrous and his Master devised was the development of a targeted virus that would sever the Jedi's connection to the Force; yet despite spending years developing the virus, the project was ultimately a failure.
Tenebrous eventually came to see the dark side of the Force not as a kind of malevolent mystic sentience bent on spreading suffering throughout the galaxy but as an energy source, which could, like any energy source, be manipulated. When Nome saw no further use for his master, he killed him.
Seeking out an apprentice
In searching for a Sith apprentice, Tenebrous manipulated a middle ranking InterGalactic Bank agent named Caar Damask into meeting his future wife, knowing that if they had a child, their offspring would be strong in the Force. When the expected child, Hego Damask, turned five, Nome traveled to Mygeeto and was able to convince his parents to hand him over. Tenebrous took the child as his apprentice, naming him Darth Plagueis.
- "For the last time I call you apprentice and I applaud your skillful use of surprise and misdirection. Perhaps I was wrong to think you had no stomach for it."
- ―Rugess Nome to his Sith apprentice, Darth Plagueis
At some point, Tenebrous and his apprentice, Plagueis, traveled to the planet Bal'demnic; there, Plagueis set in motion his plan to kill his Master. When he realized that his apprentice's desire to kill him had seriously endangered the continuation of the Sith, Tenebrous expressed disappointment in his pupil, and ended up stranding the Muun where he required an enviro-suit to survive. Plagueis, angered by this, broke the Bith's neck. As the unconscious Nome slowly died, Plagueis utilized the Force to study microscopic changes in Tenebrous' body, observing the slow death of his neurons and midi-chlorians.
However, this was not the end of Tenebrous, who ensured the survival of his own consciousness into altered midi-chlorians—which he labeled maxi-chlorians. Those maxi-chlorians would then migrate not into the Force, but into Plagueis, the "diseased one". Not possessing a Bith's precision, Plagueis would never suspect Tenebrous' consciousness was inside his body, infecting cells with maxi-chlorians that would cut off the host of its Force-sensitivity. In order to fulfill his goals, Tenebrous sacrificed his ability to sense the motion of the future, something he no longer required since he already knew his future.
As his body died, Darth Tenebrous entered his apprentice's body and slipped into his cells. As the retrovirus propagated, the Bith gained access to Plagueis' powers of foresight. At that moment, he discovered and felt Plagueis' own death at the hands of his apprentice, which was only visible as a smear of darkness. That vision horrified him; Plagueis would die too soon, and Tenebrous would not fulfill his ultimate goal—seizing and becoming the Chosen One when he would appear.
Seeking an answer to understand Plagueis' complacent behavior, Tenebrous threw again his mind at the future, but could see nothing, as the retrovirus infected Plagueis' every cell; his apprentice was now robbed of his foresight power. Wholly giving himself to panic, Nome escaped Plagueis' body to think about a way out, only to discover his mummified remains. Time had passed, but the Sith Lord was unaware of it. He then wondered if his foresight, instead of being eliminated, had been twisted in upon itself, forcing him to endlessly relive his death. At that moment of realization, the Dark Lord wished he still had a mouth with which to scream.
Personality and traits
Darth Tenebrous was a rationalist in his approach to the Force, which he believed to be nothing more than a very potent tool. Nevertheless, he covered his body in tattoos and body markings representing esoteric concepts, which his apprentice discovered shortly before his master's death.
Powers and abilities
Darth Tenebrous was very powerful in the Force, and a talented lightsaber duelist, a trait that he passed on to his secret apprentice, Darth Venamis. Tenebrous was also proficient in Force speed, using it to attempt to escape the cortosis mine and used the Force to shield himself and Plagueis from a bomb's explosion. He could also hold up heavy rocks with the Force, an impressive display of telekinesis, and could fire the rare form of red Force lightning. Moreover, Tenebrous had extremely powerful precognitive abilities, able to foresee his own death, something even Darth Sidious and Darth Caedus were unable to do.
In addition, Tenebrous designed his own starship and invented his own retrovirus that could turn his midi-chlorians into maxi-chlorians, as he had great knowledge of the former, knowing which counted belayed great power.
Behind the scenes
Darth Tenebrous's name was included in a 2006 blog entry by Leland Chee, the keeper of the Holocron continuity database, marking the character's first mention in Star Wars canon. Chee stated that Tenebrous's name may have been derived from the word "tenebrous," a word meaning dark, gloomy, or obscure. In 2008, author James Luceno indicated that if he were able to, he would choose "Darth Tenebrous" as the name of the first Sith to ever use the Darth title. Tenebrous appeared in Luceno's 2012 novel, Darth Plagueis, as the Master of Darth Plagueis. His birth name, Rugess Nome, also appeared.
When deciding Tenebrous's species, Luceno was seeking an existing intelligent and "brainy" species in Star Wars canon. The Bith species fit the bill, but Luceno found that he associated Bith with harmless jizz-playing bands rather than menacing Sith Lords. However, cognizant of the fact that many different personality types could be found in a single species, he ultimately said "what the heck."
- "The Tenebrous Way"—Star Wars Insider 130 (First appearance)
- Darth Plagueis (First identified as Rugess Nome)
Notes and references
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 "The Tenebrous Way"—Star Wars Insider 130
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 Darth Plagueis
- ↑ Tenebrous. Dictionary.com. Retrieved on November 16, 2010.
- ↑ Interview with Author James Luceno. EUCantina.net. Retrieved on November 16, 2010.
- ↑ Star Wars: Darth Plagueis. Random House Audio. Retrieved on November 20, 2011.
- ↑ Jedi Journals: Darth Plagueis Author James Luceno Interview. The ForceCast. Retrieved on December 30, 2011.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 The New Essential Chronology
- ↑ Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force