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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 — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

Darth Bane was a human male Dark Lord of the Sith and the sole survivor of the destruction of the Sith 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 in secret. With Bane's defeat, 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 Palpatine, secretly the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and a follower of the Rule of Two, transformed the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire and destroyed the Jedi Order. The victory was short-lived, however, as the redeemed Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker defeated the Sith twenty-three years later.


Establishing the Rule of Two

"Created the Rule of Two, you did."
―Yoda, to the specter of Darth Bane — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

Darth Bane's Rule of Two mandated that only two Sith Lords could exist at any given time.

Darth Bane was a Dark Lord of the Sith[4] who lived during the dark age of Old Republic,[5] a thousand years before the Clone Wars. In his time, the Sith were often fueled by their own individual lusts for power, with Sith turning against their own.[1] While serving in the Sith army, Bane realized that infighting and greed from other dark side warriors created a weakness.[6] The infighting eventually led to the defeat of their dark side order, as the Jedi Order was able to all but destroy the weakened Sith.[3] Bane was the sole survivor of the Jedi–Sith war.[2]

Recognizing that the old Sith traditions were a dead end, Bane created a new Sith philosophy, the Rule of Two, in which there could be only two Sith at a given time: a Master to embody power and an apprentice to crave it.[3] He thought that this new principle would prevent the power of the dark side from destroying the Sith Order.[6] Bane took on an apprentice of his own and began passing on his knowledge, all while establishing the new Sith way of pursuing power and revenge against the Jedi through manipulation and subterfuge. 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.[1] Although the historical records were not accurate about who Bane's apprentice was, or how Bane died, it was considered possible that he was murdered by his apprentice.[6]

After Bane's death, his remains were placed into a sarcophagus in the Valley of the Dark Lords on Moraband, the ancient Sith homeworld.[1] Additionally, a colossal statue of Bane in his armor was erected at the far end of the massive burial chamber.[4] As of the Clone Wars, Bane was the last Sith Lord to be buried on Moraband.[1]


"An illusion. Real, you are not."
―Yoda, to the specter of Darth Bane — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]
Darth Banes tomb

Darth Bane was buried in the Valley of the Dark Lords on Moraband.

In the years following Bane's death, Bane was considered the founder of the modern Sith,[6] who continued their quest for revenge, working in secret as they plotted their return to galactic dominance. These plans continued through Darth Sidious,[7] publicly known as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine,[8] 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 Jedi compromise their ideals, who were serving as leaders in the Grand Army of the Republic. Doing so would allow him to justify his eventual destruction of the Jedi Order.[7]

During the war, Jedi Grand Master Yoda ventured to Moraband on a journey to discover the secrets of immortality. He entered Darth 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 specter back into the sarcophagus, while Yoda continued on his journey.[4]


Yoda encounters the specter of Darth Bane.

The war's end 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 turned to the dark side Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, believed by the Jedi to be the Chosen One of prophecy who would destroy the Sith. The plans that started with Darth Bane had thus been fulfilled.[8]

The Sith victory was short-lived, however, as Sidious met defeat during the Battle of Endor[9] in 4 ABY.[10] A redeemed Skywalker killed the Emperor, resulting in his own death,[9] but also ending the rule of the Sith[7] that Darth Bane had set in motion over a thousand years earlier.[3]

About thirty years after the Battle of Endor,[11] Kylo Ren, master of the Knights of Ren and grandson of Anakin Skywalker, killed Supreme Leader Snoke, his dark side master, and took the reins of the First Order in an act of ascension worthy of Darth Bane's Rule of Two.[6]

Personality and traits

Darth Bane was a human male,[2] who considered that strength should have dominance over weakness. He developed this philosophy after his personal experiences and by studying ancient Sith documents.[6] Having witnessed the destruction of the Sith, Bane believed 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,[4] 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.[3] Like his descendants, Bane was known for inspiring fear in the hearts of other beings.[12]

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 backstory of the Sith[src]
Darth Bane Clone Wars

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

Darth Bane was created by George Lucas as part of the backstory for the prequel trilogy[13] and was first mentioned in the novelization of Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, written by Terry Brooks and published in 1999.[14] Bane's story was expanded upon in a number of reference books[15] and comic books[16] before being made the subject of a novel trilogy authored by Drew Karpyshyn: Path of Destruction, Rule of Two, and Dynasty of Evil.[17] These stories are part of Star Wars Legends, previously known as the Expanded Universe, and are therefore not official canon.[18]

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."
―Darth Bane and Revan introduce themselves to the Son in the deleted scene for "Ghosts of Mortis" — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]
Darth Bane BtS

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

During the writing of "Ghosts of Mortis," the seventeenth episode in the third season of the television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars, 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 Revan, the main character of the now-Legends video game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and Bane would be the two Sith Lords. 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.[19]

The unrealized scene, called "Son Confers with Ancient Sith Lords" and released in an uncompleted form on 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.[20]


"My son Nathan knew the history of Darth Bane, because I didn't really realize how he fit into the scheme of things."
―Mark Hamill, who voiced Darth Bane, speaking of his knowledge of the character[src]
Sith warrior lightsaber pike bts

Character concept of the "Sith warrior lightsaber pike"

Despite being cut from "Ghosts of Mortis," a specter of Darth Bane appeared in "Sacrifice," The Clone Wars series finale. Cutting the previously planned appearance allowed the show's team to redesign the character and define what Bane would look like in the official Star Wars canon.[13] The concept design for Bane, created by Darren Marshall, included a full armor[21] that was influenced by the samurai armor, which was also the inspiration behind the design of Vader's armor, and the ancient Chinese medieval armor. Filoni expressed that they wanted it to resemble to an ancient warrior armor, while still featuring futuristic high-tech elements.[22] The concept art also contained a "Sith warrior lightsaber pike" designed by David Le Merrer.[21] Additionally, according to the Lucasfilm Story Group's Pablo Hidalgo, Bane's specter was conjured by the Force Priestesses in the episode.[23]

Bane's specter was voiced by Mark Hamill, best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker.[4] Filoni recorded Hamill to reading his line using two different inflections, and then the sound designers Matthew Wood and David Acord layered them on top of one another to create the version heard within the episode.[22] 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.[24]



Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Encyclopedia-Logo Darth Bane in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Ultimate Star Wars
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 StarWars-DatabankII Darth Bane in the Databank (backup link)
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
  5. 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, to the dark age of Old Republic.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 Star Wars: The Dark Side
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 StarWars-DatabankII Sith in the Databank (backup link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  9. 9.0 9.1 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  10. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  11. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas places the Battle of Endor and the events of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens in 4 and 34 ABY respectively. As the events of Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi, including Snoke's death, take place immediately after the end of The Force Awakens, he must have died about thirty years after the Battle of Endor.
  12. Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
  13. 13.0 13.1 SWCustom-2011 Sacrifice Trivia Gallery on (backup link) (Slide 2)
  14. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace novelization
  15. The Essential Chronology
  16. Star Wars: Jedi vs. Sith
  17. The Essential Reader's Companion
  18. SWCustom-2011 The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page on (backup link)
  19. SWCustom-2011 Ghosts of Mortis Episode Featurette on (backup link)
  20. Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three—Jedi Temple Archives: "Ghosts of Mortis"
  21. 21.0 21.1 SWCustom-2011 Sacrifice Concept Art Gallery on (backup link) (Slides 1 and 3)
  22. 22.0 22.1 SWCustom-2011 The Lost Missions Q&A: Darth Bane on (backup link)
  23. TwitterLogo @pablohidalgo (Pablo Hidalgo) on Twitter "that was an illusion created by the Priestesses" (screenshot)
  24. YouTube Mark Hamill Conversation FULL Show Day 3, Star Wars Weekends - Talks Yoda, Joker, Stunts, Diet + on the MouseSteps / JWL Media YouTube channel
  25. 25.0 25.1 Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy establishes that the Galactic Republic was founded at the end of the Jedi–Sith war, from which Darth Bane emerged as the sole survivor, according to Ultimate Star Wars. The former book also states that the Republic never reached a thousand years in its existence before it was dissolved, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 19 BBY. As the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Sacrifice" establishes that Bane created the Rule of Two after the JediSith war, it must have been created after 1019 BBY.