- "What have we here?"
- ―Paak, upon discovering Zannah's double-bladed lightsaber
Bane's Heart was the name given to the lightsaber of the Sith Lord Darth Zannah, a name shared with one of the two synthetic crystals used to focus its blade. The double-bladed weapon was created to suit both her petite figure and particular choice in lightsaber combat style, Form III: Soresu. Darth Zannah's lightsaber served her during the early decades of the reformed Galactic Republic and was instrumental in the defeat of many an opponent, including her own Sith Master, Darth Bane. It was rediscovered during the Clone Wars by the infamous Jedi killer General Grievous and was later counted among the weapons of the prototype combat droid N-K Necrosis.
- "The smaller blades give you greater speed and maneuverability… you will sacrifice reach and leverage, but you will be able to create a shield of impenetrable defense."
- ―Darth Bane, to Zannah
The Sith apprentice Darth Zannah created a double-bladed lightsaber that was specifically designed to accommodate her slight physique. An elongated hilt supported the Force-resonating, twin, synthetic lightsaber crystals that powered the weapon, one of which was red, starburst-shaped, and called Bane's Heart. When in the possession of anyone other than its proper owner, Zannah's lightsaber, which was also called Bane's Heart, released an electrical discharge courtesy of its specialized crystal. The weapon produced twin red blades, each 0.75 meters long. The lightsaber emitted a buzzing hum upon ignition and thrummed mildly when deactivated; it also emitted a peculiarly high-pitched sound when either blade absorbed or redirected Force lightning. When not in use, Bane's Heart was worn at Darth Zannah's hip, tucked inside her belt, or kept concealed within the folds of her robes, always on the left side for optimal accessibility to her preferential hand.
- "Do not block. Redirect. Wait for opponents to become weary or frustrated. Let them make a mistake, then seize the opening and make them pay."
- ―Darth Bane teaches Zannah how to utilize her weapon most effectively
The unique construction of the Bane's Heart lightsaber made a subtle yet critical difference from other lightsabers in the way it was wielded. The half-standard blade length resulted in reduced reach and leverage but granted a considerable increase in quickness and dexterity, a balance well-suited to the defensive nature of Zannah's chosen style of lightsaber combat, Form III: Soresu. Although its creator was naturally left-handed, Bane's Heart could be wielded in either extremity. Zannah's defensive salute consisted of the lightsaber extended with the blades held horizontal to the ground. The weapon required precise wrist control and a light, but nonetheless firm, grasp to effect the twirling maneuver that constituted Zannah's wall of near-impenetrable defense. The hypnotic patterns woven by her ignited lightsaber served to unsettle unsuspecting opponents, who became increasingly frustrated as their attacks were repeatedly parried—instead of blocked—with minimal effort. When the enemy finally faltered, Bane's Heart allowed its wielder to retaliate with lethal speed, although the specialized length of the blades usually required close-quarter engagement to dispatch foes. Those of superior physical strength were only slightly hindered by the defensive style for which Bane's Heart was designed and were eventually able to disrupt the spinning lightsaber's momentum.
- "What is this? A lightsaber? Where'd you get this? You steal it off a Jedi or something?"
- ―Paak, to Zannah
In the year 996 BBY on the desert world of Ambria, a young Human girl named Zannah constructed a double-bladed lightsaber as a test of her apprenticeship under the ruling Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Bane. Zannah was given two Force-sensitive synth-crystals with which to power her weapon, one of which was called Bane's Heart, a name that was then shared with the apprentice's completed lightsaber. Initially reluctant to accept the defensive purpose of her saberstaff's unique creation, Zannah eventually mastered the creation of a nearly impenetrable defensive wall with her twin blades.
Six years after its creation, Darth Zannah's lightsaber sparked the curiosity of Paak, a mercenary who had arrested her on the planet Serenno for treachery against the terrorist Anti-Republic Liberation Front organization. Confiscated from its owner, Bane's Heart was given to the ARLF's leader, Hetton, whose interest piqued upon sight of the unique weapon. Zannah soon retrieved the saberstaff and briefly dueled a vibroblade-armed Paak, whom she eventually slew with a deflected blaster bolt. The Sith apprentice was later forced to briefly wield her lightsaber against Darth Bane himself, who mistakenly believed that she had betrayed him before he was convinced otherwise.
That same year, Zannah and her Master were pursued by a strike team of Jedi to the Deep Core world of Tython. The Sith were positioned in the abandoned fortress of the ancient Dark Lord Belia Darzu when the Jedi arrived to do battle, and Zannah ignited her double-bladed lightsaber against Jedi Knights Sarro Xaj and Johun Othone; the latter's awkward Form VI: Niman technique offset his partner's more refined assaults. With Bane's Heart, Zannah was able to effortlessly deflect and redirect both men's incoming attacks, while the defensive shield she erected against them remained intact. Her saberstaff was miniscule in comparison to Xaj's blue-bladed version, and his superior strength with his own weapon was more than a match for hers when the two finally faced each other in single combat. Unable to rely solely on Bane's Heart for an ensured victory, Zannah conjured a Force distraction before she fatally slashed Xaj across his chest with her blades. The double-bladed lightsaber was then used to eliminate Jedi Raskta Lsu and Othone, both of whom were fatally run through with its blades. When the Sith later returned to Ambria, Zannah murdered the planet's resident healer, Caleb, with Bane's Heart, after she forced the reluctant man to heal her mortally wounded Master.
Ten years later, although Zannah had since become her Master's equal in strength and stature, she never gave him audience without being equipped with her lightsaber. While on a mission to the planet Doan on behalf of the Dark Lord, Zannah was compelled to kill two beings with Bane's Heart, a Rodian and a Human, after it was determined that they had discovered the Sith sorceress's planet of residence. Her venture led her to Nal Hutta and into direct confrontation with the Dark Jedi Set Harth, whose specialized Form IV: Ataru variant was no match for the instinctive defensive rhythm and impenetrable barrier created by Zannah's lightsaber.
Zannah next employed her lightsaber against an unarmed Darth Bane, whom she had tracked to the Stone Prison of Doan and challenged for the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith. Unfamiliar with the role of aggressor in lightsaber combat, Zannah uncertainly thrust her blades repeatedly at Bane and was forced to constantly block hurled bolts of Force lightning with either end. She was unable to defeat him even with the advantage of her saberstaff but was soon afterward granted another opportunity when Master and apprentice confronted each other for a final time on Ambria. Despite the ferocity with which he attacked her, Zannah was able to remain grounded and safe behind her lightsaber's defensive shield for much of the duel. However, a misstep on her part resulted in the momentary loss of her weapon, and Zannah had to again rely on the Force to ultimately prevail against her opponent.
Recovery and later usageEdit
Centuries after Zannah created and owned Bane's Heart, the lightsaber came into the possession of a Dark Jedi who, by the time of the Clone Wars, lost it in a fatal encounter with General Grievous, the Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies within the Confederacy of Independent Systems. The saberstaff was one of the cyborg General's earliest lightsaber trophies, tokens that he kept from each additional Jedi death for which he was responsible. In the wake of Grievous's own demise at the war's end, Bane's Heart was numbered among the collection of confiscated lightsabers he kept within his personal starfighter. It was soon afterward recovered by scientists of the newly-formed Galactic Empire and given to N-K Necrosis, a prototype combat droid created from the reanimated corpse of the late General Grievous.
Around the time of the Battle of Yavin of 0 BBY, a group of spacers discovered and defeated N-K Necrosis in the Myyydril Caverns of the planet Kashyyyk. The spacers looted the body of the destroyed droid, taking as part of their spoils the Bane's Heart lightsaber crystal that once powered the eponymous lightsaber but had since been extracted from it.
Behind the scenesEdit
Darth Zannah's lightsaber first appeared in the second novel of author Drew Karpyshyn's Darth Bane trilogy, titled Rule of Two, and in its sequel, Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil, both of which give several pertinent details regarding the lightsaber's specifications. The Story of General Grievous: Lord of War, an online article released through Hyperspace as a supplement to the Unknown Soldier: The Story of General Grievous article, reveals N-K Necrosis's ownership of Bane's Heart, as well as Grievous's initial acquisition of the lightsaber from the unnamed Dark Jedi on either Necropolis or Dica. While Unknown Soldier never conclusively establishes the identity of the individual, Dark Jedi, a comic that falls within the non-canon elements of "Infinities," presents two possibilities in either of the twin sisters Kaa and Lii, characters who fight Grievous on the worlds in question. The Story of General Grievous: Lord of War also reveals that the lightsaber was powered by a special crystal called Bane's Heart, a name that was later given to the lightsaber itself through its entry in The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I ("Bane's Heart") (First identified as Bane's Heart)
- The Essential Guide to Warfare (Picture only)
- The Essential Reader's Companion (Picture only)
- The Official Star Wars Fact File Part 14 (LIG17, Darth Maul's Lightsaber)
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 Darth Bane: Rule of Two
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, Vol. I, p. 58 ("Bane's Heart")
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
- ↑ Star Wars Galaxies Trading Card Game – Champions of the Force (Card: Bane's Heart)
- ↑ Star Wars Galaxies: Rage of the Wookiees