Always two there are...

In today's review of the Star Wars Sith Legacy set, yo mentioned that Darth Bane first appeared in the Phantom Menace novelization. That's an interesting fact, but is the story itself any good? Let's review it!

This scene, by the way, takes place while Sidious and Maul are hanging out on the balcony, just before the "at last we will have our revenge" bit. Sidious is staring out over the Coruscant skyline at night, and thinks back on the history of the Sith order:

The Sith had come into being almost two thousand years ago. They were a cult given over to the dark side of the Force, embracing fully the concept that power denied was power wasted. A rogue Jedi Knight had founded the Sith, a singular dissident in an order of harmonious followers, a rebel who understood from the beginning that the real power of the Force lay not in the light, but in the dark. Failing to gain approval for his beliefs from the Council, he had broken with the order, departing with his knowledge and skills, swearing in secret that he could bring down those who had dismissed him.

He was alone at first, but others from the Jedi order who believed as he did and who had followed him in his study of the dark side soon came over. Others were recruited, and soon the ranks of the Sith swelled to more than fifty in number. Disdaining the concepts of cooperation and consensus, relying on the belief that acquisition of power in any form lends strength and yields control, the Sith began to build their cult in opposition to the Jedi. Theirs was not an order created to serve; theirs was an order created to dominate.

Their war with the Jedi was vengeful and furious and ultimately doomed. The rogue Jedi who had founded the Sith order was its nominal leader, but his ambition excluded any sharing of power. His disciples began to conspire against him and each other almost from the beginning, so that the war they instigated was as much with each other as with the Jedi.

In the end, the Sith destroyed themselves. They destroyed their leader first, then each other. What few survived the initial bloodbath were quickly dispatched by watchful Jedi. In a matter of only weeks, all of them died.

All but one.

Darth Maul shifted impatiently. The younger Sith had not yet learned his Master's patience; that would come with time and training. It was patience that had saved the Sith order in the end. It was patience that would give them victory now over the Jedi.

The Sith who had survived when all of his fellows had died had understood that. He had adopted patience as a virtue when the others had forsaken it. He had adopted cunning, stealth and subterfuge as the foundation of his way - old Jedi virtues the others had disdained. He stood aside while the Sith tore at each other like kriks and were destroyed. When the carnage was complete, he went into hiding, biding his time, waiting for his chance.

When it was believed all of the Sith were destroyed, he emerged from his concealment. At first he worked along, but he was growing old and he was the last of his kind. Eventually, he went outin search of an apprentice. Finding one, he trained him to be a Master in his turn, then to find his own apprentice. and so to carry on their work. But there would only be two at any one time. There would be no repetition of the mistakes of the old order, no struggle between Siths warring for power within the cult. Their common enemy was the Jedi, not each other. It was for their war with the Jedi they must save themselves.

The Sith who reinvented the order called himself Darth Bane.

A thousand years had passed since the Sith were believed destroyed, and the time they waited for had come at last.

Now, yes, these days, all that is pretty common knowledge (among the diehard SW fans, at least), and has even been shown in greater detail in several books and comics. But this was the first time it had ever been written down, ever been laid out in an official source, so it was pretty momentous.

Considering that this was basically a work-for-hire job, Terry Brooks did a pretty good job of bringing his "A" game. Apparently he spent about an hour on the phone with George Lucas discussing the history that had been developed for Episode I but couldn't be included, so it's pretty safe to assume what we've been told here is accurate. This sort of infodump wouldn't have worked in the movie, but in a book? It's not out of place at all.

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