6. Darth Malak
Darth Malak was a Sith Lord in the really, really old Star Wars lore. If you’ve ever played Knights of the Old Republic, that’s the area we’re talking about here.
Malak is a really interesting character. He was a rebellious Jedi Knight who actually helped the Republic fight ancient wars against the orders of the Jedi. Interestingly, this isn’t what makes him turn evil. For a series that constructs its morality around the idea that breaking the rules leads to evil, this is an interesting change of pace. He’s a freelancing Jedi, but is still a morally good person (generally speaking).
Then he encounters the Sith, and he and his friend Revan and tortured until their wills are broken and they turn. Malak fully embraces this role, becoming a brutal and power-hungry dark lord. His mask adds a cool element to his look. Then you realize he wears it because Revan cut off his lower jaw. Yeesh.
He’s also one of the darkest characters in the lore. His reign is described as “genocidal”and his legacy of cruelty is something that carries on throughout the lore.
His best villain moment is when he tries to destroy the ship that his best friend and Jedi enemies are on. He became jealous and power hungry, taking the chance to simultaneously kill his foe and his ally and master so as to usurp his power. That’s peak Star Wars villain stuff right there. This ultimately fails miserably and blows up in his face.
The progression of the Malak to evil is very complex, because it is built on years of temptation and defiance rather than a single moment. He’s a very well created character, and the interaction between he and Revan is extraordinarily strong. I really want an Old Republic film or show some day. The world owes it to us.
Next: 5. I Really Wish This Was in the New Movie, Part II