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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. Bane was later defeated by the Jedi, who 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 was a Dark Lord of the Sith who lived during the Dark Age of the Republic,[6] 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. The infighting led to the defeat of their dark side order,[2] as the Jedi Order was able to all but destroy the weakened Sith. Bane was the sole survivor of the Jedi–Sith war.[6][3]

Recognizing that it was infighting that destroyed the Sith, 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. 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, while defeating Bane himself, falsely believed that they had destroyed the Sith forever. However, Bane's plans continued through his apprentice.[2]

After Bane's death, his remains were placed into a sarcophagus in the Valley of the Dark Lords on Moraband, the ancient Sith homeworld. As of the Clone Wars, Bane was the last Sith Lord to be buried on Moraband.[2]


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

In the years following Bane's death, the Sith continued their quest for revenge, working in secret as they plotted their return to galactic dominance. These plans continued through Darth Sidious, publicly known as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, 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 turn public opinion against the Jedi,[7] 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.[8]


Yoda encounters the specter of Darth Bane.

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.[5] The vision,[9] conjured by the Force Priestesses[10] as part of Yoda's trial to learn the power of immortality,[9] 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.[5]

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[11] twenty-three years later.[12] A redeemed Skywalker killed the Emperor, resulting in his own death[11] but also ending the rule of the Sith[13] that Darth Bane had set in motion over a thousand years earlier.[2]

Personality and traits

Darth Bane was a human.[3] 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,[5] 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.[14]

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

The Clone Wars

"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]

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.[18]

Darth Bane BtS

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

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.[19]

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. Concept art for the character was created by Darren Marshall, which included full armor as well as a "Sith warrior lightsaber pike."[20] In the episode, Bane's specter was voiced by Mark Hamill, best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker.[5] 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.[21]



Notes and references

  1. Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy states that the Galactic Republic did not reach a 1,000 years in existence before it was dissolved, which according to Star Wars: Galactic Atlas takes place in 19 BBY. Therefore the Republic must have been formed sometime after 1019 BBY. As Darth Bane was the sole Sith survivor of the war between the Jedi and Sith that concluded with the Republic's formation, it can be deduced that Bane was born before 1019 BBY.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Encyclopedia-Logo Darth Bane in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Ultimate Star Wars
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 StarWars-DatabankII Darth Bane in the Databank (backup link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
  7. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sabotage"
  8. 8.0 8.1 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  9. 9.0 9.1 TwitterLogo @pablohidalgo (Pablo Hidalgo) on Twitter "That wasn't his spirit. It was a vision that was part of Yoda's ongoing trial." (screenshot)
  10. TwitterLogo @pablohidalgo (Pablo Hidalgo) on Twitter "that was an illusion created by the Priestesses" (screenshot)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  12. TwitterLogo @HolocronKeeper (Leland Chee) on Twitter "0 10 10-13 13 27 32 35 36" (screenshot)—The tweet in question refers to the number of in-universe years between the canon films and television shows, with Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace set as Year 0. Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi can be deduced as taking place twenty-three years after Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith.
  13. StarWars-DatabankII Sith in the Databank (backup link)
  14. Encyclopedia-Logo Sith in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link)
  15. SWicon Endnotes for The New Essential Chronology on (content now obsolete; backup link)
  16. Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace novelization
  17. SWCustom-2011 The Legendary Star Wars Expanded Universe Turns a New Page on
  18. SWCustom-2011 "Ghosts of Mortis" Episode Featurette on
  19. Star Wars: The Clone Wars The Complete Season Three—Jedi Temple Archives: "Ghosts of Mortis"
  20. MouseSteps / JWL Media (2014-06-09). Mark Hamill Conversation FULL Show Day 3, Star Wars Weekends - Talks Yoda, Joker, Stunts, Diet + (Video). MouseSteps. MouseSteps via YouTube. Retrieved on August 1, 2014.