|“||He is a Wound in the Force, more presence than flesh. And in his wake life dies, sacrificing itself to his hunger.||„|
|~ Visas Marr describes her master|
Darth Nihilus is the Dark Lord of the Sith and a member of the Sith Triumvirate. He is one of the two secondary antagonists of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords and later became a recurring villain throughout the Star Wars saga.
Nihilus lost everything, including his will to go on living, after the Mandalorian Wars, between the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders and the Galactic Republic. In the final battle of the war on Malachor V, the Jedi Meetra Surik had the Mass Shadow Generator weapon activated, killing practically everyone on the planet and in orbit.
Nihilus somehow survived the mass destruction of the planet and took on a new more dark personality so as to survive, having been trapped on Malachor V by artificial shadows with many disabled Mandalorian fleets, the shadows and Malachor V eventually caused Nihilus to become sick, making him feel empty and granting him great “hunger” that couldn't be filled. He accidentally drained the life energy of another survivor, but while it was unpleasant, Nihilus felt his hunger disappear for a moment. He proceeded to feed on life energy from more survivors, but as he did, the hunger ceased for less and less time and grew more and more intense.
After Darth Malak was slain at the end of the Jedi Civil War, the Sith Empire became fractured with numerous factions trying to take command. Nihilus was found by Darth Traya who sensed he was a “wound in the Force”, a catastrophic disturbance in the Force. She explained to him that the Force fueled his hunger and offered to give him the training that would make him able to feed on entire planets. Nihilus went with Traya to her Sith Academy, where he studied to become a Sith, alongside Darth Sion. They learned aspects and skills of the Dark Side, finally becoming Sith Lords. With Traya, they formed a Sith Triumvirate and the three each took a title, in Nihilus’ case, “Lord of Hunger”. Sion's, "Lord of Pain" and Traya's "Lord of Betrayal".
Training new Sith and becoming the Dark Lord
Seeing her apprentice’s hunger as an obstacle to the success of the Sith, Traya kept her promise and taught Nihilus to harness it to become stronger. He devoured entire planets a number of times, relieving his hunger for a time and allowing himself to grow more and more immersed and powerful in the Dark Side.
As Nihilus’ hunger grew, so too did his power and he finally became stronger than Traya and Sion.
Nihilus and Sion became divided on how to wipe out the Jedi; the two wanted to destroy them with pure force while their master preferred a longer, less direct approach. This caused their Triumvirate to become fragile and finally Nihilus and Sion joined forces to overthrow Traya. They ambushed her in her Sith Academy, successfully defeating her, then cutting off her connection to the Force and banishing her.
Thus, Lord Nihilus took Darth Traya's place and became Dark Lord of the Sith and Sith Emperor.
The Dark Wars and Jedi Purge
Darth Nihilus and Darth Sion then became the new rulers of the Sith Empire and ended it, becoming fractured with numerous factions attempting to take command and the two Dark Lords led the Sith in a massive Jedi purging campaign, waging war against them named the Dark Wars, with Sion hunting the Jedi down himself and slaying them. Meanwhile Nihilus hunted the fringes of space with a huge fleet he’d taken from Malachor V for large deposits of Force energy, so as to feed his hunger.
The two managed to wipe out the Jedi and Nihilus grew so consumed by the dark side and his hunger, his body started to decay. He realized he would soon die if he did not act soon so he removed his spirit from his body, placing it in his armor, while the dark side devoured his body, and yet keeping him alive still. Nihilus kept his armor together with the Force, granting him a physical form so he could wield his Force powers and lightsaber, but leaving him nothing more than basic, primitive purpose.
Traya’s Sith Academy continued to train large numbers of Sith Lords under the command of Nihilus and Sion. They unleashed destruction throughout the galaxy and recruited many Force-sensitives. Darth Nihilus ruled all with an iron fist while Sion led his and Nihilus' assassins who were sent out into war against the remaining Jedi. Most of Nihilus' followers, simply from being around their master, became able to drain Force energy from others to become stronger.
After Jedi Master Atris gathered a large group of Jedi on Katarr, she leaked the location so as to draw in and destroy Nihilus, whom she’d sensed.
The Dark Lord did head for the planet, but as he drew close, he spoke and the Miraluka, the inhabitants of Katarr and all of the Jedi felt his hunger in the Force. It overwhelmed and destroyed them, along with everything else touched by the Force. Nihilus wiped out most of what was left of the Jedi, though Atris did not actually attend the gathering. As he walked across Katarr, the Dark Lord found only one living creature, a Miraluka woman named Visas Marr.
Nihilus put her in a deep sleep, before taking her to his ship and when she awoke days later, she asked why she only had survived. The Dark Lord said nothing and showed Marr a vision of how he saw the galaxy, in chaos, with beings ignorant of the Force and unconnected, which Nihilus restored order to. This vision took away Marr’s Force sight ability, as well as destroying her eyes. Marr agreed to become Nihilus’ apprentice and the two developed a strong Force bond, making both stronger and granting them the ability to empower or weaken one another.
Plans on Onderon and hunt for Meetra SurikNihilus formed an alliance with General Vaklu, the leader of the separatists of Onderon, just as Meetra Surik, known as the Exile, returned to the Republic space after her banishment by the Jedi, becoming a major force in politics. Atris arranged for Surik’s return on a Republic warship and leaked her location, hoping to draw in Nihilus. However Surik became the student of the Dark Lord’s former teacher, Darth Traya, now known as Kreia, who hoped to use her for revenge against Nihilus and Sion. Nihilus eventually sensed a disturbance in the Force that only Marr was able to pinpoint and he sent her to find Surik, the source, for him to devour.
However, Marr was defeated by Surik, causing her to question her loyalty and finally she came to serve Surik in her fight against Nihilus. Meanwhile, the Dark Lord continued to aid Vaklu in breaking Onderon off from the Republic so that Onderon would fall under the influence of the Sith and he would later feed on the planet. Nihilus also set up a base on Dxun, Onderon’s moon, in the tomb of Freedon Nadd, an ancient and powerful Sith Lord, which contained a dark Force nexus Nihilus later hoped to feed on. Some of Nihilus’ followers, led by a Sith Master who served Nihilus and was sent there, prepared to perform a dark ritual to help the Onderon separatists win the Onderon Civil War.
However Surik, aided by Mandalore the Preserver and his Mandalorian clan, which lived in secret on Dxun, interfered. She sent a team to Nadd’s tomb that stopped the ritual, while she supported Onderon’s queen, Talia, who wanted the planet to remain as part of the Republic. Nihilius and Sion's Dark Jedi followers that had allied with the separatists marched on Onderon’s royal palace. However Surik defeated the separatists and Vaklu, ending Nihilus’ plans for Onderon. But the Dark Lord would soon be coming back for Onderon to devour it. It would only be a matter of time.
Later, Colonel Tobin, Vaklu’s second-in-command and Nihilus’ contact, informed the Dark Lord that there was a Jedi Academy on Telos IV. However this was a trick organized by Kreia to draw in Nihilus, while she went to retake her academy. When the Dark Lord and the Sith fleet arrived at Telos IV, he found the Republic fleet waiting for him, aided by the Mandalorians and Meetra Surik and her companions.A huge battle erupted and it was only too late that Nihilus realized there were no Force-sensitives to be found. However his hunger made him try to devour planets anyways. Eventually Nihilus’ ship was boarded by the Mandalorians, along with Surik and Visas Marr, who headed for the bridge, setting 4 proton bombs as they went.
Finally, Surik, Visas and Mandalore entered the bridge alone to face Nihilus. After a brief talk in the confrontation, Nihilus tried to feed on the Exile’s Force energy. However her ability to absorb Force energy from others just made Nihilus tire himself out. The Dark Lord then fought Surik in the epic battle and proved to be beyond either one of Surik's, Visas's or Mandalore's ability to defeat, but Surik figured out that he shared a Force bond with Marr and used this to her advantage.
Marr then entered a trance to slightly weaken Nihilus, finally letting Surik strike down the Dark Lord of the Sith. Visas then removed the mask from Nihilus' demonic face and brought it to Surik. When she looked upon Nihilus, Visas saw Malachor V, and said that she felt it through him as she feels it through Surik too. They then left the bridge. The Dark Lord's body then faded away as Dark Side energies dissipated his body as it faded away, but somehow, Darth Nihilus was not truly dead...
Afterwards, Surik, the Mandalorians and Surik's other allies left the Ravager in the shuttle that they had arrived in and set off the 4 explosive proton bombs and the Ravager and the rest of the Sith fleet were destroyed.
But even after his physical body was lost, Nihilus’ spirit lived on inside his armor, which survived the destruction of his ship and of Malachor V. It was brought to Korriban to be buried and Nihilus’ spirit came into contact with the dark side nexus there, letting his spirit stay in contact with the physical world. Even though everyone assumed him to be dead, the Dark Lord lived on in secret, even after the deaths of Kreia (who became Darth Traya again) and Sion.
At one point, Nihilus had made a holocron that allowed people to communicate with his spirit, as well as containing numerous secrets of the Sith. It eventually fell into the hands of a crime lord named Diago Hixan and a Sith, Vaverone Zare, tried to obtain the holocron. However she was betrayed by a smuggler she was working with, who aided a Jedi, Nariel Pridence.
Pridence managed to get Nihilus’ holocron, but after some time, it came into the hands of Darth Krayt, as well as two that contained Darth Andeddu and Darth Bane. He sought advice on how to stop the Yuuzhan Vong from consuming him, but Nihilus just said something in his strange language which the other two didn’t try to translate. The three Sith Lords believed Krayt was not a worthy Sith, saying the Rule of One he’d instated went against the ways of the Sith.
Nihilus is always determined to gain more power. He believes that death is life’s only purpose and power is the way of gaining it. Nihilus is very cautious, but is also highly aggressive, refusing to allow anything to threaten his power. He fully embraces his strange condition, thanks to the fear it instills in all those around him and does not feel fear or any other emotion, only acting on purpose. However Nihilus did have something of a bond with Marr, showing anger when she turned on him and being slightly weakened when she severed it in the final battle with him.
Powers and Abilities
Nihilus is a skilled lightsaber wielder, using an aggressive fighting style, and very powerful in the Dark Side of the Force. While he is extremely knowledgeable in the powerful arts of the Sith, to the point he was able to remove his spirit from his body to escape death, Nihilus suffers from a dependence. He must feed on Force energy to restore himself, which makes him stronger. Nihilus is able to sense Force sensitives throughout the galaxy and can wipe out anything linked to the Force on a planet, feeding on their Force energy.
However this hunger controls Nihilus and it increases in intensity each time he feeds, to the point that he instinctively feeds on everyone around him. Just Nihilus talking is able to unleash suffering and death on others, as well as turn people into complete mutilated slaves that do his bidding.
His various Force powers include telekinesis, to the point that Nihilus can lift and keep together a huge starship, Force Rage, where he channels his negative emotions to form them into a fierce rage, boosting his abilities, Farsight, the ability to see vague visions in other places or times, Force lightning, Force resistance, a shield that somewhat protects Nihilus from other Force attacks, Force scream, a powerful shriek of rage or grief that sends shockwaves through the Force, Force whirlwind, a maelstrom created by telekinesis, a version of Force healing, and a dark variation of Sever Force, which blocks a person’s connection to the Force and various other great powers of the Dark Side.
Nihilus’ knowledge of the dark side extends to even more secret powers, which lets him increase the power of his Force attacks to up to twice its power and increase the range of a Force power to up to a whole star system. Nihilus even knows the ways of Sith Alchemy which can also control beasts.
In the fan-made films of KOTOR II: TSL
Main Article: Darth Nihilus (Fan-Films)
- Nihilus’ name is derived from "nihilist".
- In the game, Nihilus never speaks clearly, just speaks an ancient Sith language that also comes out of Sith holocrons and the Sith Assassins, which are never subtitled unlike other alien languages. However, in Darth Ycey's fan-made films, it is subtitled and you know what he's saying.
- It's has been implied in that Nihilus could have been a Jedi, hence way he was on Malachor V, when The Mass Shadow Generator was activated.