When your power eclipses mine I will become expendable. This is the Rule of Two: one Master and one apprentice. When you are ready to claim the mantle of Dark Lord as your own, you must do so by eliminating me.—Darth Bane to Darth Zannah, Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it.—Darth Bane, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
To avoid the seemingly inevitable clash between power hungry Sith, Darth Bane hid from the Jedi and invoked the rule, which stated that there may only be two Sith at a time in the galaxy—a Sith Master, and an apprentice. Bane formulated the concept of the Rule of Two after discovering a holocron in the Temple of the Ancients on Lehon. The holocron belonged to the ancient Sith Lord Darth Revan, who, just like Exar Kun before him, had used an early incarnation of the Rule of Two when training his apprentice, Darth Malak.
With the knowledge gained from Darth Revan's Holocron, Bane was able to avoid further intra-Sith conflict and continue the Sith Order.
Some similarity can be seen between the Sith Rule of Two and the Jedi custom of a Master having only one Padawan at a time. Bane may even have based his Rule on this custom, seeing how "correct" and effective it had been throughout history.
For nearly 1,000 years they watched and waited, doing their best to destabilize the Galactic Republic without revealing themselves. Around 188 BBY, during the Dark Jedi Conflict, Kibh Jeen told the Jedi that the Sith had survived and were operating under the Rule of Two, though his warnings were ignored or passed off as the rantings of a madman. Finally, one Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, under the guise of Senator Palpatine, was elected Supreme Chancellor and masterminded a devastating galactic war involving the Republic, and, as Emperor of the newly formed Galactic Empire, brought the Galaxy under the control of the Sith, bringing about their foretold revenge.
Always two their are. No more, no less. A master and an apprentice.—Yoda, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
It is worth noting that Sidious broke the Rule of Two at least twice: once by training Darth Maul while still under the tutelage of Darth Plagueis; and secondly, by taking on two apprentices at once, and in the form of two Jedi: Count Dooku, dubbed Darth Tyranus, and the Fosh Jedi Vergere. However, Vergere was said to be merely a candidate and not a "true" apprentice. It should also be noted that this information derives from Lumiya's account to Jacen Solo, and is the only known source. In the latter case, Vergere left Palpatine's instruction, while in the former, Sidious corrected his violation true to Sith form: by murdering his Master. It also appears that Sidious approached Tyranus prior to Maul's death, although details on the timing are vague. However, these could be considered careful precautions to ensure the continuation of the Sith, even if they did, technically, violate the Rule in its strictest form.
Sidious, Tyranus, and Vader trained and employed a number of Dark Jedi and other Force-sensitive agents such as the Dark Acolytes, the Inquisitorius and the Dark Side Elite. As these agents were not taught the secrets of the Sith and were considered merely acolytes, not apprentices, they did not consider this a violation of the Rule of Two. However, the fact that Tyranus sought to replace the Jedi Order with a Sith army, the so-called Fist of the Empire, indicated that he had envisioned the abolition of the Rule of Two once the Sith took over the galaxy. Much like Sidious had done by with Darth Maul, Vader also took on a secret apprentice of his own.
Darth Bane, however, overlooked one possibility: that one of the Sith Lords may be redeemed. When Darth Vader killed Sidious, it appeared that there were no others to carry on the order's traditions and teachings, and the Rule of Two was pretty much destroyed. Once again, the Sith had destroyed themselves—or so it seemed. Another secret apprentice of Darth Vader, Lumiya declared herself Dark Lady of the Sith and took a succession of apprentices—at least Flint, Carnor Jax and Jacen Solo (later known as Darth Caedus)—apparently following the Rule of Two, although she may also have been connected to Darth Krayt, who became a Sith during this time and abandoned the Rule of Two. She did demand that the last of her known apprentices, Darth Caedus, Vader's grandson, would take one apprentice himself, which he did, he took the Jedi Knight Tahiri Veila as his sole apprentice weeks after Lumiya was killed by Luke Skywalker.
However, after the Galactic Civil War, the New Republic and New Jedi Order were opposed by the Disciples of Ragnos, which nearly resurrected the spirit of Marka Ragnos on Korriban in the Valley of the Dark Lords. This institution broke the Rule of Two, as it had been broken by the Prophets of the Dark Side.
By the year 130 ABY a new Sith Order had risen to take the place of that of Darth Bane's order. However, this order has abolished the Rule of Two and replaced it with the Rule of One, with one Dark Lord of the Sith representing the Order itself, and many Lords, acolytes and minions at his service.
Behind the scenesEdit
Chronologically speaking Darth Rivan predates Darth Bane, and Darth Bane is supposed to be the author of the Rule of Two. However, one of the traps in Darth Rivan's fortress, as shown in A Mon Alone, is based on the Sith adherence to the Rule of Two. This might imply that Rivan had precognitive powers, however it more likely implies that Rivan followed Darth Revan's version of the Rule of Two, which is likely considering Rivan based his own Sith name off of historical texts of Revan.
- Darth Bane trilogy
- Jedi vs. Sith
- Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
- Labyrinth of Evil
- Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
- Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
- Star Wars: The Force Unleashed
- Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
- Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
- Legacy of the Force
- Star Wars Legacy 5: Broken, Part 4 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars Legacy 18: Claws of the Dragon, Part 5 (Mentioned only)
Notes and referencesEdit
- New Essential Chronology
- Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties
- "Conversations with Lanius"
- "A Mon Alone" (Mentioned only)