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"There is only one plan—one great design which shall govern the universe—mine."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Maul[src]

Set in motion by Darth Bane, galactic events spiralled towards the return of the Sith as a result of their machinations.

The Grand Plan, also known as the Great Plan, was a long-percolating plot hatched by the Sith. Originating with the Sith Lord Darth Bane, who had emerged victorious from a devastating conflict among his peers, its aim was to corrupt the Galactic Republic from within, discredit and diminish the Jedi Order, and ultimately rule the galaxy. A millennium after its creation, the Grand Plan was fulfilled by Darth Sidious.

Background[edit | edit source]

"For a thousand years we have kept to the shadows, not afraid of the Jedi—but ourselves.
The dark side is powerful. It is too powerful.
The weak will meekly stand in regimented order. The Sith…
One master. One apprentice. No more.
For generations.
Generations building to me."
―Darth Sidious lectures Darth Vader[src]

Through Darth Bane's Rule of Two, the Sith survived in the shadows and prepared their revenge.

Following the end of the Jedi-Sith War, only one Sith Lord, Darth Bane survived.[1] In the shadows of the galaxy, Bane used tricks, tactics and schemes to destroy the Sith's enemies,[2] conjuring a plan that would corrupt the Galactic Republic from within, diminish the Jedi, and allow the Sith to conquer the galaxy once more.[3] Bane established the Rule of Two, wherein the Sith lived on in only a master and an apprentice. The rule intended that the latter would grow more powerful with each subsequent succession, which was facilitated by the apprentice killing the master and taking a future replacement. Bane was inspired by his personal experiences, ancient Sith documents,[4] and the idea of a dyad in the Force, a Force-bond as strong as life itself that paired two individuals strong in the Force into one in the Force. Even so, however, the Rule of Two was but a pale imitation of the older, purer doctrine of the dyad in the Force.[5] Following Bane's death at the apparent hands of his apprentice, Darth Zannah,[6] she and subsequent Sith continued his plan.[7]

History[edit | edit source]

"I am the first to restore the Sith to their rightful place in the galaxy. As we planned, the Jedi thought the Sith were long gone, we were so inconsequential.
The pomp of the Jedi was insufferable. I set the galaxy aflame, my apprentice. I have purged all weakness and impurity. From the ashes, we would have a new age.
I learned from the mistakes of my forebears. I used those who were not Sith to achieve my aims."
―Darth Sidious lectures Darth Vader[src]

The manipulative Darth Sidious brought the Grand Plan to fruition.

Around a millennium after the time of Darth Bane,[8] the Sith Lord's lineage passed down to a Naboo human named Darth Sidious.[9] Sidious, with his public visage as Senator Sheev Palpatine of Naboo, continued with the Great Plan of the Sith where the Jedi believed their adversary was extinct,[10] setting up the galaxy for his maneuvers whilst ensuring that his Sith identity was kept a secret from everyone, including the Jedi.[11]

Naboo Crisis[edit | edit source]

"Our best choice would be to push for the election of a stronger Supreme Chancellor, one who could control the bureaucrats and give us justice. You could call for a Vote of No Confidence in Chancellor Valorum."
―Darth Sidious advises Queen Amidala as Senator Palpatine[src]

Darth Sidious began his play by ordering the Trade Federation to blockade and invade Naboo. However, the Queen of Naboo escaped from the planet with assistance from the Jedi Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Sidious' apprentice, Darth Maul, was sent to dispatch them. Nevertheless, when Queen Padmé Amidala arrived at the Galactic Republic's capital world of Coruscant, Senator Palpatine was able to convince her that Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum had no real power or ability in dealing with the Trade Federation's actions. Amidala thus called for a Vote of No Confidence in Valorum before the Galactic Senate, and Palpatine, as expected, was elected as the new Supreme Chancellor following the Naboo-Gungan victory against the Trade Federation, although at the cost of Darth Maul.[8]

As Palpatine, Darth Sidious furthered the Grand Plan by placing himself as the new Chancellor of the Republic.

Despite Maul having been seemingly killed by the Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi on Naboo, the crisis presented a new opportunity in the form of a vergence in the Force—Anakin Skywalker, a young boy whom the Jedi believed to be the Chosen One, one who would bring balance to the Force. Sidious thus took a great interest in Skywalker,[8] manipulating the boy against the Jedi as Palpatine, even as the Chosen One was accepted into the Jedi Order and received training from Obi-Wan Kenobi,[12] who was newly-knighted for defeating Maul.[8]

The Clone Wars[edit | edit source]

"What if I told you that the Republic was now under the control of the Dark Lord of the Sith?"
"No, that's not possible. The Jedi would be aware of it."
"The dark side of the Force has clouded their vision, my friend. Hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious."
"I don't believe you."
"The Viceroy of the Trade Federation was once in league with this Darth Sidious, but he was betrayed ten years ago by the Dark Lord."
―Count Dooku and Obi-Wan Kenobi[src]

A secret army[edit | edit source]

Darth Tyranus planted biochips into clone troopers to ensure the execution of Protocol 66.

With the apparent death of Darth Maul,[8] Sidious took on former Jedi Master Dooku as his new apprentice, Darth Tyranus.[13] Sidious and Tyranus eventually learned about former Jedi High Council member Master Sifo-Dyas's idea to order an army for the Republic in case of a civil war. To ensure Sifo-Dyas's silence, Dooku contacted Lom Pyke of the Pyke Syndicate, and as Tyranus, paid the Pykes to kill Sifo-Dyas. However, unbeknownst to Tyranus, the Pykes kept Chancellor Vallorum's aide, Silman, alive as insurance against the Sith Lord.[14]

Following Sifo-Dyas's death, Tyranus recruited[15] and paid bounty hunter Jango Fett to be the clone template for the Kaminoans.[13] Tyranus also supplied the Kaminoan cloners with a behavioral modification biochip, but told them to keep its "safeguard" order a secret from the Jedi.[16]

The galaxy aflame[edit | edit source]

"[…] Darth Tyranus…he was a proton torpedo. He served his purpose and was gone…I had a superior candidate in mind."
―Darth Sidious lectures Darth Vader[src]

Darth Sidious maintained his place as the galaxy's leader with war, which saw the end of democracy and the Jedi Order.

Tyranus, as Count Dooku, continued to recruit corporations[17] and star systems into the Separatist movement. With the outbreak of war on Geonosis[13] in 22 BBY,[18] the Jedi took up arms and led the newly-found clone troopers against the onslaught of the Separatist Droid Army.[13] Thus began the Clone Wars, and as the conflict raged on and more Jedi fell to battle, Darth Sidious continued to amass economic and political power for the Office of the Supreme Chancellor, allowing himself, as Palpatine, to sway ever more support in the Senate and rule the InterGalactic Banking Clan that supplied financial aid to both the Republic and the Separatists.[19][20]

A New Order[edit | edit source]

"With your help, the Jedi can stop Sidious before it's too late."
"Too late for what? The Republic to fall? It already has, and you just can't see it! There is no justice, no law, no order, except for the one that will replace it!"
Ahsoka Tano and renegade Sith Lord Maul[src]

The Grand Plan[21] came to fruition when the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious, successfully seduced Anakin Skywalker to commit fully to the dark side of the Force and anointed him as the Sith Lord Darth Vader after Skywalker killed Tyranus during the Battle of Coruscant. Together, they commanded the clones of the Republic to turn against their Jedi commanders under whom they had served for three years,[18] thereby initiating the Great Jedi Purge.[22] As thousands of members of the Jedi Order were slaughtered, Darth Sidious addressed the Galactic Senate as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine and proclaimed the reorganization of the Republic into the First Galactic Empire and declared himself Emperor.[23]

With an unrivaled military and a loyal bureaucracy under his grip, Emperor Palpatine had conquered the galaxy,[source?] destroyed the Jedi Order, and fulfilled the revenge of the Sith.[23]

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Return of the Jedi[edit | edit source]

"I am a Jedi, like my father before me."
―Luke Skywalker, to Darth Sidious — (audio) Listen (file info)[src]

Although he was the Galactic Emperor, Darth Sidious was eventually dethroned and the Sith's Grand Plan was undone.

Although the Great Plan was realized,[3] the New Order[24] and the reign of the Sith did not last.[25] Darth Sidious' Galactic Empire was toppled by the Alliance to Restore the Republic and surviving Jedi in the Galactic Civil War.[26] Masters Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda of the fallen Jedi Order trained the offspring of Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, in the Jedi ways, ensuring the return of the Jedi. Confronting his father and Darth Sidious, Luke Skywalker's plead for help against the wrath of the Emperor convinced Darth Vader—the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker—to save Luke and overthrow Darth Sidious; the Dark Lord was destroyed as he fell into an abyss aboard his new battle station,[25] and balance was restored to the Force.[27]

However, death was not the end for Sidious; the Sith's spirit retreated to the hidden Sith redoubt of Exegol on the fringes of the galaxy, joining with Sith Eternal cultists through new clone bodies.[5] From Exegol, Sidious manipulated the New Republic and forged the remnants of his fallen Empire into the First Order,[9] something unbeknownst to even the highest echelons of First Order leadership. Sidious created Snoke,[28] who went on to rule the First Order as Supreme Leader, his origins unknown to the First Order's leaders.[29] Meanwhile, the Cosmic Force—an aspect of the Force that bound all things and communicated to living sentient beings, and which formed a balanced, symbiotic relationship with the Living Force, the energy of all life[30]—became dormant after the Galactic Civil War, only to be reawakened with certain individuals' realization of their latent Force abilities[31] in 34 ABY.[18] Such individuals included Rey, a scavenger on Jakku,[31] who did not know that she was, in fact, the granddaughter of Darth Sidious.[28]

End of the Sith[edit | edit source]

"You are nothing! A scavenger girl who is no match for the power in me. I am all the Sith!"
"And I… am all the Jedi."
―Darth Sidious and Rey[src]

In 35 ABY,[32] with the New Republic having been decapitated and large swathes of the galaxy having fallen to the First Order during their war against the Resistance,[29][27] Darth Sidious returned to reconquer the galaxy in full force. With an armada of planet-destroying warships, the Final Order, the Sith Lord and cultists intended to establish a New Empire. As the Sith fleet prepared to strike at the embattled galaxy, the Dark Lord made efforts to corrupt Jedi into his minions, reaching out to the heir of the previous war's heroesBen Solo.[5]

With the support of Sith cultists, Darth Sidious sought to return to power, but they were stopped by the Jedi.

When the Jedi student Rey guided Ben Solo back to the light thanks to her newfound understanding with him—which was formed by their Force dyad, the power of which was unseen for generations—and surfaced to the Emperor's attention, the Sith sought to abandon his crippled body and transfer his essence over to his granddaughter. However, with her affinity to the Force and the support of the Jedi before her, Rey willed against Darth Sidious, ultimately obliterating the Sith Lord's physical vessel and putting an end to the threat of the Sith. Rey fell, but was resuscitated from death by Ben Solo, who gave his life for hers.[5]

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The Grand Plan first appeared in the 1999 prequel trilogy film, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace.[8] It was first identified in the new Star Wars canon as the Great Plan in Star Wars Helmet Collection 2, released by De Agostini in 2016,[6] and was identified as the Grand Plan in Star Wars Helmet Collection 44, released by De Agostini in 2017.[21] It was originally identified as the Grand Plan in the 2012 Star Wars Legends novel Darth Plagueis, authored by James Luceno.[33]

Appearances[edit | edit source]

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Sources[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. Ultimate Star Wars
  2. StarWars-DatabankII.png Darth Bane in the Databank (backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 14 (Weapons & Uniforms: The Sith)
  4. Star Wars: The Dark Side
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
  6. 6.0 6.1 Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 2 (Databank A-Z: Alzoc III—Antilles)
  7. StarWars.com Encyclopedia Darth Bane in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  9. 9.0 9.1 StarWars-DatabankII.png Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious in the Databank (backup link)
  10. StarWars-DatabankII.png Sith in the Databank (backup link)
  11. StarWars.com Encyclopedia Darth Sidious in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  12. Obi-Wan and Anakin 1
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  14. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lost One"
  15. Age of Republic - Jango Fett 1
  16. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Conspiracy"
  17. Age of Republic - Count Dooku 1
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  19. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Crisis at the Heart"
  20. StarWars.com Encyclopedia Bail Organa in the Encyclopedia (content now obsolete; backup link)
  21. 21.0 21.1 Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 44 (Databank A-Z: Zeb Orrelios–Pau City)
  22. Knights of Fate
  23. 23.0 23.1 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  24. Battlefront: Twilight Company
  25. 25.0 25.1 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  26. Star Wars: Complete Locations
  27. 27.0 27.1 Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
  28. 28.0 28.1 Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  29. 29.0 29.1 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
  30. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Voices"
  31. 31.0 31.1 Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary
  32. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary dates the events of Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker as taking place one year after the "Starkiller Incident." As Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates the Starkiller Incident to 34 ABY, it can be deduced the events of The Rise of Skywalker took place in 35 ABY.
  33. Darth Plagueis
History of the Sith
Hundred-Year Darkness · Sith Wars · Sith war · Great Sith War · Sith Empire · Great Scourge of Malachor
Darth Momin's destruction of a city · Great Hyperspace War · Battle of Wasted Years · Era of the Sith
Battle of Takodana · Jedi-Sith War · Rule of Two
Great Plan (Oba Diah · Naboo Crisis · Separatist Crisis · Clone Wars)
Darth Maul (Drazkel · Mandalorian civil war · Campaign against the Shadow Collective)
Galactic Empire (Great Jedi Purge · Early rebellion · Galactic Civil War) · Mission to Malachor · World Between Worlds
Sith Eternal (First Order/Resistance War)
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