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"The Sith killed each other. Victims of their own greed. But from the ashes of destruction, I was the last survivor."
―Darth Bane's specter — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Darth Bane was a legendary human male Dark Lord of the Sith and the sole survivor of the destruction of the Brotherhood of Darkness at the hands of the Jedi Order during the Jedi-Sith War a thousand years before the Clone Wars. As the only surviving Sith, Bane recognized that Sith infighting had weakened them to the point that the Jedi could destroy them. To rectify this, Bane reformed the Sith and created the Rule of Two, mandating that there could be only two Sith—a Master and an apprentice—at any given time. These new Sith would begin a plot to destroy the Jedi and conquer the galaxy in secret. With Bane's defeat, rumored to have been caused by his apprentice, Darth Zannah, on the Inner Rim world of Ambria, the Jedi wrongly believed that the Sith were defeated with him.

The vendetta Bane held against the Jedi was fulfilled during the Clone Wars, when Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and a follower of the Rule of Two, transformed the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire in 19 BBY and destroyed the Jedi Order. However, the victory was short-lived, as the redeemed Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, formerly the Sith Lord Darth Vader, defeated the Sith twenty-three years later, and the order was finally destroyed upon Sidious' final death in 35 ABY.


Establishing the Rule of Two

"Create the Rule of Two, you did."
―Yoda, to the specter of Darth Bane — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Darth Bane was an ancient Sith Lord from the time of the Old Republic.

Hailing from Apatros,[1] Darth Bane was a legendary Dark Lord of the Sith[9] who lived during the dark age of the Old Republic,[10] a thousand years before the Clone Wars. In his time, the Sith were often fueled by their own individual lusts for power, with squabbling Sith turning against their own.[2] While serving in the Sith Empire, known as the Brotherhood of Darkness,[11] Bane realized that infighting and greed from other dark side warriors created a weakness.[9] The infighting eventually led to the defeat of their dark side order[5] in 1032 BBY,[12] as the Jedi Order was able to all but destroy the weakened Sith.[5] Bane was the sole survivor of the Jedi-Sith War.[4]

Recognizing that the old Sith traditions were a dead end, Bane created a new Sith philosophy[5] that succeeded the older and purer doctrine of the dyad in the Force, a rare and powerful Force-bond that existed between two individuals.[13] Bane's Rule of Two mandated that there could be only two Sith at a given time: a Master to embody power and an apprentice to crave it.[5] Only by slaying their Master could the Sith apprentice gain that title and take on their own apprentice, or the master could train another apprentice and have them kill and replace their outgoing apprentice.[14] These Sith would favor the shadowy tactics of trickery and scheming to destroy their enemies rather than outright force.[5]

Bane created the Rule of Two before his death, ensuring the survival of the Sith for the next thousand years.

Called the Grand Plan, the plot's aim was to corrupt the Galactic Republic from within, diminish and disgrace the Jedi Order, and eventually rise and conquer the galaxy;[15] in other words, softening up the Jedi before zeroing them in for total subjugation.[16] Believing that this new principle would prevent the power of the dark side from destroying the Sith Order,[9] Bane took on an apprentice of his own, Darth Zannah,[3] and began passing on his knowledge. The Jedi learned of Bane's new philosophy and, with Bane's defeat, falsely believed that they had destroyed the Sith forever. However, Bane's plans continued through his apprentice.[2] Although the historical records were not accurate about the identity of Bane's apprentice or how Bane died,[9] it was rumored that Bane was finally killed on the Inner Rim planet of Ambria by Darth Zannah in a duel, a pattern that was repeated by nearly all Sith thereafter.[3]

After Bane's death, his remains were placed in a sarcophagus in the Valley of the Dark Lords on Moraband, the ancient Sith homeworld.[2] Additionally, a colossal statue of Bane in his armor was erected at the far end of the massive burial chamber.[7] Bane was the last Sith Lord to be buried on Moraband.[2]


Shadowy menace

"An illusion. Real, you are not."
―Yoda, to the specter of Darth Bane — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Grand Master Yoda encountered the specter of Darth Bane during the Clone Wars.

Darth Bane was considered the founder of the modern Sith,[9] who continued their quest for revenge, working in secret as they plotted their return to galactic dominance. These plans continued through Darth Sidious,[17] publicly known as Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine,[18] who engineered the Clone Wars to gain more power over the Galactic Republic. He also manipulated the war, fought between the Republic and the Separatist Alliance, to make the Jedi compromise their ideals, as they served as leaders in the Grand Army of the Republic. Doing so would allow him to justify his eventual destruction of the Jedi Order.[17]

During the war, Jedi Grand Master Yoda ventured to Moraband on a journey to discover the secrets of immortality. He entered Bane's tomb and encountered a fiery vision of the ancient Dark Lord. As part of Yoda's trial to learn the power of immortality, the vision attempted to convince the Jedi Master to turn to the dark side. Yoda refused, remarking that Bane was dead and that what appeared before him was simply an illusion who had nothing to offer. Yoda's defiance banished the screaming specter back into the sarcophagus, while Yoda continued on his journey.[7]

Revenge of the Sith

"Once more the Sith will rule the galaxy!"
―Darth Sidious — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Bane's Grand Plan shaped galactic events long after his death.

The war's end in 19 BBY[19] saw the culmination of the Sith's millennium-long vendetta against the Jedi. Sidious declared himself Emperor and reformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire. To destroy the Jedi, Sidious issued Order 66, a command implanted in the clone troopers of the Grand Army of the Republic to kill the Jedi as traitors. In addition, Sidious seduced to the dark side Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, believed by the Jedi to be the Chosen One of prophecy who would bring balance to the Force and destroy the Sith. Skywalker adopted the Sith mantle as Darth Vader,[20] and the Great Plan that Darth Bane had put in motion a thousand years ago had thus been fulfilled by Sidious,[15] who was recognized thenceforth as the greatest Sith Lord after Bane.[21]

However, the Sith victory proved short-lived as the Emperor's reign ended within a generation after his rise to power.[17] During the Battle of Endor[22] in 4 ABY,[19] Vader sacrificed his life to save his son, Luke Skywalker, killing the Emperor and dying[22] as the last Sith Lord in the lineage of Darth Bane.[23] The destiny of the Chosen One was fulfilled,[24] and Anakin Skywalker became one with the Force.[22]

Resurrected in a clone body, Darth Sidious plotted the return of the Sith.

Unbeknownst to the galaxy, however, Sidious was resurrected by transferring his essence to an imperfect clone vessel that had been modeled on his original body.[13] Sometime later, Luke Skywalker, the last Jedi in existence and Anakin's son, included a mention of Darth Bane and his Rule of Two in a book where he chronicled the history of the Jedi Order, titled The Secrets of the Jedi.[25]

About thirty years after the Battle of Endor, Kylo Ren, master of the Knights of Ren and grandson of Darth Vader, betrayed and killed Supreme Leader Snoke, Ren's dark side master[26] and a Force-sensitive creature secretly created by Sidious.[13] Ren then took control of the First Order in an act of ascension worthy of Darth Bane's Rule of Two.[9] A year later,[26] the resurrected Sidious made a failed attempt to restore the Sith Order to its former glory, which led to his final defeat, when his granddaughter Rey used the power of all the past deceased Jedi, ultimately leading to Sidious, the Sith, and Bane's long lasting vendetta to be destroyed for good.[27]

Personality and traits

"I chose to pass my knowledge on to only one."
―Darth Bane's specter — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

As the last surviving Sith, Bane reformed the Sith Order based on his philosophical beliefs.

Darth Bane was a human male[4] who possessed fair skin and yellow eyes.[6] He believed that strength should have dominance over weakness. Bane developed this philosophy after his personal experiences and by studying ancient Sith documents.[9] Having witnessed the destruction of the Sith, Bane saw that their infighting and greed led to their downfall. In order to preserve the Sith as its last survivor, Bane adopted the Rule of Two,[7] believing that limiting the number of Sith to one Master and one apprentice would allow the Sith to survive in secret so they could plot their revenge against the Jedi.[5] Like his descendants, Bane inspired fear in the hearts of other beings.[28]

Powers and abilities

As the founder of the Rule of Two and a former member of the Brotherhood of Darkness, Darth Bane was recognized in history for his military tactics and leadership skills. As a Sith, Bane was an agile warrior and renowned for his talents with the lightsaber and the use of intimidation.[29]


Darth Bane wore an ancient Sith armor in colors of blue, gray, and red, which featured gold etching on it and covered most of his body.[30] He also wielded a red-bladed lightsaber.[6]

Behind the scenes


"One of the themes throughout the films is that the Sith Lords, when they started out thousands of years ago, embraced the dark side. They were greedy and self-centered and they all wanted to take over, so they killed each other. Eventually, there was only one left, and that one took on an apprentice. And for thousands of years, the master would teach the apprentice, the master would die, the apprentice would then teach another apprentice, become the master, and so on. But there could never be any more than two of them, because if there were, they would try to get rid of the leader, which is exactly what Vader was trying to do, and that's exactly what the Emperor was trying to do. The Emperor was trying to get rid of Vader, and Vader was trying to get rid of the Emperor. And that is the antithesis of a symbiotic relationship, in which if you do that, you become cancer, and you eventually kill the host, and everything dies."
―George Lucas, on Darth Bane's role in the Sith backstory[src]

The story of Darth Bane was explored at length in Star Wars Legends.

Created by George Lucas as part of the backstory for the Star Wars prequel trilogy,[31] Darth Bane was first mentioned in the novelization of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, written by Terry Brooks and published in 1999.[32] Bane's story was then expanded upon in a number of reference books[33] and comic books[34] before being made the subject of a novel trilogy authored by Drew Karpyshyn: Path of Destruction, Rule of Two, and Dynasty of Evil.[35] These stories are part of Star Wars Legends, previously known as the Expanded Universe, and are therefore not part of the new Star Wars canon.[36]

Darth Bane was included in Fantasy Flight Games' Star Wars: Destiny collectible dice and card game via the 2020 booster pack, Covert Missions.[6] According to Martin de Diego Sádaba, who illustrated[37] the card "Darth Bane—Ancient Master" for the pack,[6] his illustration depicts Bane "keeping the gate to a forgotten Sith temple."[37]

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

The Mortis arc

"We are those who have come before, those who were betrayed, those who hate. We are the wielders of the dark side."
―Darths Bane and Revan introduce themselves to the Son in the deleted scene for "Ghosts of Mortis" — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

During the writing of "Ghosts of Mortis,"[38] the seventeenth episode in the third season of the Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series,[39] Lucas wanted to include two ancient Sith Lords who could serve as an "uber evil influence guiding the Son," the villain of the episode. The production team decided that Darth Bane and Darth Revan, the main character of the Legends video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, would be the two Sith Lords.[38]

Darth Bane was nearly depicted in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Ghosts of Mortis," based on his Legends appearance.

The two characters were styled and modeled for "Ghosts of Mortis" based on their appearances in the Expanded Universe, but the scene, despite being laid out, was never animated. Dave Filoni, the show's supervising director, was apprehensive of the idea that Sith Lords could return as spirits, believing that Bane and Revan's appearance would have greater implications than the episode was exploring. Lucas thought about it as well and eventually agreed that the scene should be removed from the episode due to those implications on his ideas about the Force.[38]

The unrealized scene, called "Son Confers with Ancient Sith Lords" and released in an uncompleted form in the Jedi Temple Archives feature for Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three, depicts Bane and Revan speaking to the Son in the Well of the Dark Side on Mortis. The Son, who has been guided by the two Sith Lords in the past, questions why he feels pain over the events of the two previous episodes, "Overlords" and "Altar of Mortis," and the Sith Lords tell him it is because he has not embraced his pain and resentment. When the Son demands to know their true identities, the two spirits reveal themselves as Bane and Revan and tell him that controlling Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, is the key to controlling the galaxy.[40]


"I thought, wow, what a great, bizarre reflection to have Mark play, like, the ultimate side of good and light, and then the, kind of, the father of old, ancient evil."
―Dave Filoni, on Mark Hamill voicing Darth Bane in Star Wars: The Clone Wars — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Despite being cut from "Ghosts of Mortis," a specter of Darth Bane appeared in "Sacrifice,"[7] the thirteenth and final episode in the sixth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.[41] Cutting the previously planned appearance allowed the show's team to redesign the character and define what Bane would look like in the new Star Wars canon.[31] The production team wanted Bane's outfit to resemble ancient warrior armor while still featuring futuristic, high-tech elements.[42]

Character concept of Darth Bane, as seen in The Clone Wars episode "Sacrifice"

The concept design for Bane, created by Darren Marshall, included a full armor suit[43] that was influenced by both samurai armor, which also inspired the design of Darth Vader's suit, as well as ancient Chinese medieval armor.[42] The concept art also contained a "Sith warrior lightsaber pike" designed by David Le Merrer.[43] Additionally, according to the Lucasfilm Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo, Bane's specter was conjured by the Force Priestesses in the episode.[44]

Bane's specter was voiced by Mark Hamill, best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga. To create Bane's voice as heard in the episode, Dave Filoni recorded Hamill reading his lines using two different inflections, and then sound designers Matthew Wood and David Acord layered the recordings on top of one another.[42] Prior to taking on the role of Bane, Hamill did not know of the character or how Bane fit into the overall arc of Star Wars. His son Nathan Hamill knew about the history of the character and was able to explain it to his father once he took on the role.[45]



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Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Star Wars: Geektionary: The Galaxy from A - Z (French version only)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 StarWars.com Encyclopedia Darth Bane in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 2 (Databank A-Z: Alzoc III–Antilles)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ultimate Star Wars
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 StarWars-DatabankII.png Darth Bane in the Databank (backup link)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 SW Destiny Template.png Star Wars: Destiny – Covert Missions (Card: Darth Bane—Ancient Master)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
  8. Star Wars: The Dark Side establishes that Darth Bane served in the Sith army during the Jedi-Sith War, which Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 28 (Databank A-Z: Queen Jamillia–Jedi Temples) identifies as the Sith Brotherhood and is alternatively named as the Brotherhood of Darkness per Endless Vigil.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 9.5 9.6 9.7 Star Wars: The Dark Side
  10. Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy places the Jedi-Sith War, from which Darth Bane emerged as the sole survivor, according to Ultimate Star Wars, within the dark age of the Old Republic.
  11. Star Wars: The Dark Side establishes that Darth Bane served in the Sith army during the Jedi-Sith War, which Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 28 (Databank A-Z: Queen Jamillia–Jedi Temples) identifies as the Sith Brotherhood and is alternatively named as the Brotherhood of Darkness per Endless Vigil. The Star Wars Book identifies the brotherhood as the Sith Empire, while Nexus of Power also establishes that it is a Sith Empire.
  12. The Star Wars Book states that the Sith were seemingly destroyed 1032 years before Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the events of Episode IV to 0 BBY, the Sith must have been destroyed in 1032 BBY.
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
  14. Rise of the Separatists
  15. 15.0 15.1 Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 14 (Weapons & Uniforms: The Sith)
  16. ToppsDigitalLogo.pngStar Wars: Card Trader (Card: Darth Bane - ACW-29 - Galactic Files 2018)
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 StarWars-DatabankII.png Sith in the Databank (backup link)
  18. Tarkin
  19. 19.0 19.1 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  20. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  21. Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 51 (Weapons & Uniforms: Dark Side Servants)
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  23. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
  24. Featurette "The Chosen One," Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith DVD
  25. Star Wars: The Secrets of the Jedi
  26. 26.0 26.1 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
  27. Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  28. Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  29. Star Wars The Clone Wars Character Encyclopedia Join the Battle!
  30. SW Destiny Template.png Star Wars: Destiny – Covert Missions (Card: Ancient Sith Armor)
  31. 31.0 31.1 StarWars.com Sacrifice Trivia Gallery on StarWars.com (backup link) (Slide 2)
  32. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace novelization
  33. The Essential Chronology
  34. Star Wars: Jedi vs. Sith
  35. The Essential Reader's Companion
  36. StarWars.com The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page on StarWars.com (backup link)
  37. 37.0 37.1 ArtStation-Logo.png STAR WARS TCG: Darth Bane on Martin de Diego Sádaba's profile on ArtStation. "'Darth Bane' keeping the gate to a forgotten sith temple. 2018 illustration for Star Wars card game." (backup link)
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 StarWars.com Ghosts of Mortis Episode Featurette on StarWars.com (backup link)
  39. Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Episode Guide
  40. Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three — Jedi Temple Archives: "Ghosts of Mortis"
  41. SWInsider.png "100 and Counting Expanded"—Star Wars Insider 150
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 StarWars.com The Lost Missions Q&A: Darth Bane on StarWars.com (backup link)
  43. 43.0 43.1 StarWars.com Sacrifice Concept Art Gallery on StarWars.com (backup link) (Slides 1 and 3)
  44. TwitterLogo.svg Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) on Twitter: "that was an illusion created by the Priestesses" (screenshot)
  45. YouTube.png Mark Hamill Conversation FULL Show Day 3, Star Wars Weekends - Talks Yoda, Joker, Stunts, Diet + on the MouseSteps / JWL Media YouTube channel (backup link)
  46. The Star Wars Book places the supposed destruction of the Sith—which occurred at the end of the Jedi-Sith War according to Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy— to 1,032 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states that A New Hope begins in 0 BBY, meaning the Sith's defeat must have occurred in 1032 BBY. As the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Sacrifice" establishes that Bane created the Rule of Two after the Jedi-Sith War, it must have been created after 1032 BBY.