The scientist-philosophers were the leaders of the Oblee, a sentient species that resided on the planet Oblis in the Cularin system. Thousands of years before the Clone Wars, a wandering traveler brought the Darkstaff, a dangerous Sith artifact, to Oblis. The scientist-philosophers evntually obtained and studied the object, and they recognized that the staff was a source of great power. However, the Darkstaff began manipulating the Oblee and it summoned a shadow creature to Oblis, then led the scientist-philosophers to believe that the creature posed a threat to the Oblee. The scientist-philosophers determined to used the Darkstaff to power a machine that would allow them to send the shadow creature away from the Cularin system and to power the machine, they created three focusing crystals, into which all of the Oblee channeled their hopes and fears. The scientist-philsophers then placed the Darkstaff inside the machine, resulting in a large cataclysm that destroyed Oblis and transformed the scientist-philosophers and the rest of the Oblee into incorporeal beings known as "shadow lurkers."