The Phantom Menace

Hutt Haiku Poems

I hope you enjoy these Hutt Haiku Poems created by fans of Star Wars/The Imperial Talker and by yours truly! Feel free to email your own Hutt-related haiku if you would like to add to the page!


Damn, Jabba the Hutt
At it again with the tongue
“Bo shuda” he said

That’s Uncle Ziro
Is he Truman Capote?
I think he might be

Submitted by: John S.


Jabba, great crime slug
your best friend is a muppet
crawl on, m’boogie

Submitted by: Derek W.


Jabba no botha
Said the Twilek with red eyes
Luke did not listen

Solo is frozen
A Huttese decoration
His debt is now paid

Submitted by: Cameron C.


Loved Clone Wars, I did,
but nearly ruined, it was,
by Ziro the Hutt.

Submitted by: Brian L.


Eye for an Eye

Submitted by: Andrew (@AndrewinBelfast)


Dearest Mister Hutt,
I have a question for you
…from where do you poo?

Submitted by: Andykin


You were quite surprised
A princess slave seductress
Binded with your doom.

Eat eat eat those frogs. 
Twi’leks are my favorite. 
Pod racing is blah.

Submitted by: Violet


Jabba no bother
Lives thug life like  no other
Eyes like big brother

Submitted by: David M.


THE INCOMPARABLE LAMENTATIONS OF THE LATE ZIRO DESILIJIC TIURE

“Alas! What a fate!
I was sooo misunderstood…
People were unfair.

In spite of praising
My dazzling sense of fashion
They just misjudged me

Me! the devoted
Champion of betterment
Of my fellow Hutts!

They had no idea,
The great unspeakable things
I was able of!…

The horrors…”

SHUT UP spoiled son!
Who are you trying to fool?
Momma is not proud!

Love-sick purple Hutt!
Getting yourself shot like that!
Sy Snootles? Really?!”

(The incomparable answer of his formidable mother)

Submitted by: Léa Yumekawa


Tow’ring Empire
Wide in size and influence
Pizza or Jabba?

Fickle mood, quick rage
Bad news for interpreters
And also smugglers

That Hutt, the Jabba
He likes haiku, do you too?
Otherwise, Sarlacc…

Trap door in the floor
Hungry Rancor needs to eat;
dancer and not pie?

Slipp’ry and slimy
Bad breath behind that big tongue
Who will love that Hutt?

A Hutt’s heart is sad
Keeping the world so distant
Afraid of slug jokes

Submitted by: Michael M.


I chose not to learn
Huttese because I really
wanted a girlfriend.

Does every Hutt burp
like Nashi, creating a
cloud that smells of meat?

Rotta the Huttlet
Kidnapped by Ventress, Rescued
by Sky Guy and Snips

If not much trouble,
Could someone ask Hidalgo
how Hutt lovers mate?

Pedunkee Mufkin,
Rotta the Huttlet, young son
of vile Jabba.

“Righteous are the Hutts!”
“HA!!! Tell that to Kanjiklub
and you will be killed!”

Great Boonta, Hutt god
on high, does our podracer
Classic delight you?

The Hutt-Xim Conflict,
thousands of years in the past;
no longer canon 😦

Does anyone know
how I can get a meeting
with Voras the Hutt?

Thick bogs, greasy rains,
dragonsnake infested world.
Nal Hutta sounds great!

Do Jedi not care
that slavery is thriving
on Hutt controlled worlds?

Slave Leia no more;
Now she is the Huttslayer,
killer of Jabba.

Submitted by: Jeffrey A. Cagle (The Imperial Talker)


Check out these other Hutt Week posts:

The Imperial Talker Presents: Hutt Week

Hutts: Galactic Gangsters

Hutt Week: “Cute” Jabba the Hutt Merchandise (by Jenmarie from Anakin and His Angel)

Jabba the (CGI) Hutt

Why Ziro’s  My Hero (by Andrew – @AndrewinBelfast)

A Man in Debt to a Hutt (by Michael Miller)

The Hutts of Mataou

Hutt Profile: Gardulla

Heir to a Criminal Empire

Hutt Week: A Conclusion

Star Wars: Padmé

Since writing my post on The Funeral of Padmé Amidala a while back, Padmé has continued to pop into my brain from time to time. But recently, it has been more than sporadic episodes – I’ve just not been able to stop thinking about her. This hardly means I haven’t been contemplating other awesome Star Warsie things, but for some reason my brain would just loop things back to her. Admittedly, it was a bit perplexing, but don’t take that to mean I dislike thinking about Padmé because I think she totally rocks. It’s just that lately she has been taking over my brain waves more than usual and I couldn’t figure out why.

Well, I couldn’t figure out why until just the other day when I was sitting on the couch and realized that Padmé is nowhere to be found these days. Sure, she lives on vicariously through Leia (and perhaps Rey?), but otherwise, Padmé feels like a distant memory, having been relegated to the sidelines of the Star Wars universe. In fact, the more I’ve thought about it, the more I have come to realize that Padmé is getting shafted. Consider this  – as of right now, the stories of the main characters from both the Original and Prequel Trilogies are being continued with the obvious exclusion of Padmé.

What gives? Are Anakin, Obi-Wan, Leia, Han, and Luke just more interesting than Padmé? Is Padmé just unworthy of having her story continued in a meaningful way? I certainly grant that the stories of all characters must, at some point, come to an end but there is no way her story is finished, right? There is so much we don’t know about Padmé, so many questions that need to be answered! Here are a handful that come to mind:

  • How and why did she become the Queen of Naboo at such a young age?
  • As the Queen of Naboo, how did she handle the aftermath of the Trade Federation’s invasion? Did she have regrets about how she had handled the crisis, about trying and failing to keep Naboo out of a war?
  • What was her relationship like with Palpatine in the years between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones?
  • Were there other attempts on her life, similar to the one we see at the beginning of Attack of the Clones?
  • How did she and Anakin navigate their secret marriage, particularly early on in the weeks after they wed? Did she ever confide in anyone close to her (like Dormé) that she was married to Anakin?
  • Besides the adventures we see her go on in The Clone Wars, did she have any others?
  • What was her feelings/reaction to the discovery that she was pregnant? How did she explain her pregnancy to the people around her (i.e. – other Senators, her family)?
    Padme and Dorme
    Padmé sits with her handmaiden Dormé.
    Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Like I said, these are just a handful of questions that come to mind as I think about Padmé. And while I accept that not all of them will be answered, I certainly hope and anticipate that some, heck even just one, eventually will be. Which brings me to this thought:

At the very least, Padmé deserves her own Five-Part Comic Series.

While I would absolutely love to see Natalie Portman reprise her role as Padmé on the big screen, I am also realistic in knowing she most likely never will unless it is a very minor cameo. In lieu of a film, I really believe Padmé would be a great character for a comic series, even a short one. This is precisely what we saw with the Princess Leia comic, a short, five-part series that allowed us to view Leia in her element, being a leader who isn’t afraid to make decisions and put her life in danger for the greater good. I see no reason why the same couldn’t also be true of Padmé. Heck, it already is true of Padmé, as we’ve seen her time and again step up as a leader, taking charge of situations, putting her life on the line, and doing her duty for the benefit of others. A comic series would be a way to not only add a new layer to Padmé’s story, but could serve as a way to dynamically expand upon her great qualities.  

But one of the other important things about the Princess Leia comic is that while we see Leia take the mantle of leadership, we do so while also getting into her mind. This was particularly important for the series as it takes place in the days/weeks after the destruction of Alderaan and the events of A New Hope. As such, we see first hand that she is struggling with the destruction of her homeworld and family, all of which helped to motivate Leia, as the last royal of her planet, to track down and safeguard any remaining Alderaanians.

Padme2
Padmé tells Anakin that she is pregnant. I wonder what she was thinking before/during/after she told him?
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

I believe the same mix of external and internal would be perfect for Padmé as well. Depending on when/where it took place, the series could serve as a way for us to enter into Padmé’s mind, to really experience her motivations, feelings, and struggles. Padmé would certainly get to shine as the story unfolds, and I hardly think the series should be a case study in the psychology of Padme Amidala, but it would be fascinating to get a more personal glimpse of her thoughts. But only a glimpse – even fictional characters should be allowed their privacy.

Lastly, as a final thought, I should mention that I think Padmé deserves to be the center of attention for a rather simple reason – there are far too many male characters dominating the Star Wars landscape. While I love that there’s an Obi-Wan & Anakin comic series, and that Poe Dameron will be the center of attention in an upcoming series, I can’t help but wonder why Princess Leia is the only female character who has received her own  comic run. Well, that could easily be changed with a step in the right direction if Padmé Amidala were given a chance to standout in a series of her own.


Check out these other posts about Padmé Amidala:

The Funeral of Padmé Amidala

The Death of Padmé Amidala

The Rank Lists Awaken

This is the first of MANY pieces I have coming on The Force Awakens. Those other posts will start digging into the content of the film, but for now, I wanted to think about The Force Awakens in relation to the Star Wars canon in general, and the other six live-action films specifically.


Almost immediately after seeing The Force Awakens, one of the first questions I was asked about the film had nothing to do with anything that happens in it. Oh no, the question I got was very specific and not at all surprising – where would I rank The Force Awakens in relation to the other Star Wars films. Frankly, the question left me a little dumbfounded.  I was, at this point, less than 12 hours removed from seeing the movie for the first time and had not fully digested what I had watched. I might be a die-hard Star Wars fan but after one viewing of the film there was just no reasonable way for me to rank The Force Awakens with the other films. So, I politely deflected the question and didn’t answer it.

Empire
Photo Credit – Disney/Lucasfilm

Yet, the question won’t leave me alone. It has popped up in a few other conversations I’ve had about The Force Awakens and I have seen some people post their own updated rankings of the Star Wars films on Facebook,  Twitter, in articles,  etc. Now, to be fair, none of this is surprising. Since a new movie has been added to the list of Star Wars films, it was only a matter of time before conversations started circulating about where The Force Awakens should be ranked in that list. I just didn’t anticipate getting the question immediately after seeing it for the first time, though the person who asked it certainly meant well (as do those who continue asking me).

Here’s the funny thing, though – I don’t have a rank list of the Star Wars films. While The Empire Strikes Back has always been my favorite, I have never taken the time to analyze the others and come up with some definitive list for second, third, fourth, etc. In fact, while “Empire” is my favorite, it’s probably not the one I have even watched the most. I have seen all six films so many times that I have lost count, so I really just don’t know which one tops the viewing chart. Then again, that doesn’t matter. At this point, all six are so engrained in my brain that they are, quite frankly, part of who I am, part of my self-identity.

But the more I have thought about ranking the films, the more various angles and questions began popping into my brain.

Anakin and Ahsoka
Ahsoka Tano sits and talks with her Master, Anakin Skywalker, after the Battle of Christophsis. 
Photo Credit – Star Wars: The Clone Wars (movie)

For starters, when I see fans ranking the films, I can’t help but ask: why aren’t they including The Clone Wars movie? Sure, it isn’t a live-action  film, but it did premier in theaters in 2008. Plus, it  introduced Star Wars fans to Ahsoka Tano, THE most popular character in the Star Wars canon who has never appeared in live-action form. All I’m saying is that if one is going to rank Star Wars films, don’t leave this one off the list just because it’s animated.

In turn, this opens the door to a larger question: why not just rank The Force Awakens with ALL of the Star Wars canon? I’m talking movies, books, comics, video games, etc. Since the Expanded Universe was disbanded by Disney/Lucasfilm, everything going forward is on equal footing as being canonical and relevant. So I have to ask: Is The Force Awakens better than Christie Golden’s novel Dark Disciple, Claudia Gray’s young adult novel Lost Stars, or the Shattered Empire comic series? Perhaps one would rank Ryder Wyndham’s junior novel, Ezra’s Gamble, above The Force Awakens but below the Season 3 episode of The Clone Wars entitled  “Witches of the Mist.” Or maybe someone enjoys The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary MORE than the movie itself and have decided to place it above the film in their list. That might seem counterintuitive to some but to that particular person the decision would make perfect sense.

Realistically, of course, it is difficult to rank the entire Star Wars canon, even for someone like me who is, more often than not, submerged in the Star Wars universe in some way, shape, or form. While everything added to the canon has equal authority, how does one even begin to compare junior novels to the films, or comics to video  games, and so on? There are certainly some stories that I have enjoyed more than others, and there are others that I am more critical of, feeling they fall flat for various reasons. And even if I were to rank the entire canon what would that accomplish? My canonical ranking would look different than someone else’s ranking, and I really have no interest in sitting here trying to argue that mine is the right one.

Theatrical Trailer

Photo Credit – Disney/Lucasfilm

But like I said, the vast majority of people aren’t like me or other die-hard Star Wars fans. For the average moviegoer, The Force Awaken is the newest installment of Star Wars, period. My uncle, for example, has seen all six previous live-action films in the theater, but he certainly didn’t go and see The Clone Wars movie, nor does he read any of the books, comics, etc. AND this takes me back to what I said earlier: I’m not surprised that The Force Awakens is being compared to/ranked with the other live-action Star Wars films. Most people only have the original six films as their points of reference, so I can’t really expect them to include The Clone Wars movie (among other things) in their rank  list.

So, seeing as I’m back where I started,  where do I go from here? Well, the original question is still relevant: where should one rank The Force Awakens in relation to the other six live-action films? I already noted that I don’t have my own rank list and I’m not interested in starting one. However, if you’re planning on creating/updating a rank list, or have already done so, I would suggest you take the following question into consideration:

Is it fair to place The Force Awakens (or Rogue One) higher in a rank list than any of the original Star Wars films?

Attack
Photo Credit – Disney/Lucasfilm

Now, I am purposefully using the word “original” here to refer to both trilogies for a very specific reason: Episodes I-VI are the films that Star Wars creator George Lucas wrote, the comprehensive story he wanted to tell. Those six films are, in every sense of the word, the original Star Wars stories. So, we can reframe the above question in a different way, coming at it from a slightly different angle: Can a new  Star Wars movie like “The Force Awakens” (or Rogue One), a movie NOT written by George Lucas, be a better Star Wars story than Lucas told in the original films?

Don’t presume, though, that I’m suggesting The Force Awakens is not worthy of carrying the banner of Star Wars. On the contrary, I personally enjoyed the film and believe it’s as much a part of Star Wars as Revenge of the Sith, A New Hope, Attack of the Clones, etc. Rather, what I’m asking is whether its possible that The Force Awakens – or Rogue One – is, a more compelling, a more complete, an all-around better Star Wars story than anything Lucas gave us?

Really, I can’t decide this for you. Whether you’re a “rank list” kind of person or not, you’ll just have to figure it out and articulate the answer for yourself.

The Last Sith Lord

First things first, if you have never watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars, do not read a lot of Star Wars comics, or have not followed news about The Force Awakens, then this post contains some spoilers. Read on at your own risk.

Second, I am going to come right out and say that in this post I am pushing some of the limits. I know that some of you will push back against what I say, and I am perfectly fine with that. Do it! Just be nice about it when you do.

Alright, let’s begin…


Anakin Skywalker lifts Sidious, preparing to hurl him into the depths of the Death Star. Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Anakin Skywalker lifts Sidious, preparing to hurl him into the depths of the Death Star.
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

Watching as his pleading son is electrocuted by Darth Sidious, Darth Vader chooses to intervene on his son’s behalf. Vader, or rather, the redeemed Anakin Skywalker, lifts Sidious and plunges him into the bowels of the Death Star. Keeping in line with Sith philosophy dating back to the ancient Sith Darth Bane, by killing Sidious it is then Vader/Skywalker’s right to assume the role of Sith Master and take an apprentice of his own.

HOWEVER, the redeemed Anakin Skywalker, having shed himself of his Sith title, does not take up the mantle of Master. While Vader was interested in taking Luke as an apprentice, Anakin Skywalker has no intentions of doing so since he has shed himself of his Dark title and returned to the Light Side. With Sidious dead, and Vader no longer a Sith, the Order came to a sudden and dramatic end.

Or did it?

“There has been an awakening, have you felt it…?”

A dark robed figure walking through a wintry, wooded area suddenly stops and ignites a crackling red lightsaber, two shorter blades extending to form a cross guard. When the first teaser trailer for The Force Awakens landed, speculation immediately began about whether this mysterious individual, this Kylo Ren, was a Sith.

Kylo Ren ignites his lightsaber. Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Kylo Ren ignites his lightsaber.
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Questioning whether this figure was a Sith was natural. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker is the last Jedi. If Luke went on to rebuild the Jedi Order in the days, months, and years following the Battle of Endor, perhaps another figure had decided to rebuild the Sith Order as well. Besides, it would make sense that if the Jedi were restored that their ancient and mortal enemies would be as well, right?

But just recently, J.J. Abrams, director and co-writer of The Force Awakens, dropped two important nuggets about Kylo Ren. Just as “Darth” is a shortened form for “Dark Lord of the Sith,” Kylo Ren, as Abrams pointed out in an article in Entertainment Weekly, belongs to a group called the Knights of Ren. Presumably, “Ren” is a title.

Secondly, Abrams also confirmed in an article in Empire magazine that Kylo Ren is NOT a Sith, though he does work for First Order Supreme Leader Snoke. Snoke, as Abrams notes, is a powerful Dark Side user but there is no indication that he is a Sith. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t. If I was a betting man, I would put my money on the latter.

Alright, brief recap before continuing:

Anakin Skywalker killed Darth Sidious but did not continue the Sith line. Kylo Ren is a user of the Dark Side who works for another powerful user of the Dark Side. But Kylo Ren IS NOT a Sith, and he is a member of a group called the Knights of Ren, so we can probably bet that there are a handful of other “Ren-ites” out there.

Darth Bane Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13),

Darth Bane
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), “Sacrifices”

Having arrived at this point my question is this: who exactly can we say is the LAST Sith in the line that extends back to Darth Bane? Remember, it is Darth Bane, the ancient Sith Lord who, after surviving the destruction of the Sith millennia ago, re-created the Sith in a new image. You can think of him sort of as the hinge that connects all who came before him and those who came after him. And so, given all that we know, WHO is the Last Sith Lord?

Well, logic dictates that it be either Darth Vader or Darth Sidious. As the Master-Apprentice duo at the end of Return of the Jedi, one should get the technical distinction of being the absolute final Sith Lord. Wellllll, this is the point where you all start groaning at me so let’s just get it over with…

The last Sith is not Darth Vader OR Darth Sidious. The last Sith Lord is Darth Maul.

Darth Maul

I know, I KNOW, I’m as surprised as all of you! I never saw that coming either!

Well, okay, I did see it coming, but whatever. Honestly, my rationale behind this is pretty simple: at the end of the Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir comic series, Darth Maul is still alive. With the help of a few Mandalorian commandos, Maul escapes from the grasp of Darth Sidious, Darth Tyrannus, and General Grievous.

The cover of Star Wars Darth Maul Son of Dathomir: Issue # 1 Photo Credit - Lucasbooks

The cover of Darth Maul Son of Dathomir: Issue 1
Photo Credit – Lucasbooks

Like I said, it is all pretty simple. As it stands right now, at this very moment, Darth Maul is still hanging around the galaxy far, far away. And the thing is, we can’t just presume he died before the events of Return of the Jedi. Maybe he did, but, then again, we all THOUGHT he had died once before because we actually saw him get cleaved in half. From May 19, 1999-January 21, 2011 Darth Maul WAS dead. But then, when The Clone Wars Season 3 episode “Witches of the Mist” aired, we all learned that HE WAS STILL ALIVE!!!

Bringing Darth Maul back into the fold not only forever altered the way we watch The Phantom Menace, but also how we are to think about Darth Maul. No longer was he the quiet but vicious junior Sith Lord who killed Qui-Gon Jinn then was subsequently killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Oh no, this menacing Zabrak is VERY STRONG in the Dark Side of the Force, so strong that he relied on the Dark Side to stay alive even though he was cut in half. Cut. IN. HAAAALF. Yeah, there is no way I am going to sit here and pretend Darth Maul just happened to grow old and die. At this point, if you want to convince me that Darth Maul is really, REALLY dead, then he better be ripped apart atom-by-atom.

But Darth Maul still being alive is only half of the issue. On the flip side, we also need to ask a pretty obvious question: since Sidious took on a new apprentice, is Darth Maul technically still a Sith Lord?

Once a Sith, Always a Sith?

In The Clone Wars Season 5 episode entitled “The Lawless,” Darth Sidious senses a tremor in the Force and goes to the planet Mandalore to confront Darth Maul and his brother/apprentice Savage Oppress. Interestingly, it is not until Sidious senses this tremor that he recognizes Maul has become a threat, although he was made aware of Maul’s existence in an earlier episode. When the two encounter each other, Sidious states that he is impressed that Maul survived his injuries. However, only a moment later, Sidious calls Maul out as a rival. This is, of course, true — in a previous episode, Maul declares that he and Oppress are Sith, the “true Lords of the Sith.”

Maul and Oppress - the

Maul and Oppress – the “true Lords of the Sith.”
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 5, Episode 14), “Eminence”

Now, this is where things get complicated. See, in “The Lawless,” Sidious will ALSO remind Maul (after Sidious kills Oppress) of “the first and only reality of the Sith: there can only be two. And you are no longer my apprentice. You have been replaced!” Well, this is quite true, Maul WAS replaced… but then again, Maul was also not dead.

And that right there is the key – since Maul did not die in The Phantom Menace, neither did his title as Dark Lord of the Sith. Sure, Sidious replaced Maul with Tyrannus, but he did so under the assumption that Maul was dead. As the Sith Master, Sidious should have been more careful, but he wasn’t. Instead, Sidious moved forward with his plans while Maul survived, albeit mentally and physically scarred, on the junk world of Lotho Minor.

But not confirming Darth Maul was dead was Sidious’ first mistake, but not his last.

Although Darth Sidious defeats Maul in lightsaber combat in “The Lawless,” he does not kill him. Instead, in an elaborate ploy (one that plays out in the Son of Dathomir comics), Sidious uses Maul as bait to draw out and destroy Mother Talzin, the powerful Nightsister. With assistance from Darth Tyrannus and General Grievous, Sidious will succeed in destroying Talzin, However, as I already noted, at the end of the four-part comic series Maul is able to survive. While Sidious exclaims at the very end that “Maul’s future has been erased” this does not mean Darth Maul has been erased. This is the second mistake Sidious makes, believing Maul is no longer a threat and choosing to let Maul flee instead of doing the obvious – just killing him.

A Final Thought

Movie Title Idea - Darth Maul: Sith Bad-Ass Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Movie Title Idea – Darth Maul: Sith Bad-Ass
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

I really have no doubt that the people at Lucasfilm have a plan for Darth Maul. The fact that he does escape with his life is reason enough to think that this mysterious and vicious Sith Lord will receive further treatment at some point down the line. In fact, given that actor Ray Park has said he would love to reprise the role, I really hope we end up seeing a live-action Maul once again.

Of course, when Darth Maul does decide to reappear, I hope his reemergence is handled with care. I do not want him to be brought back just so he can “officially” be killed off. No, at this point Maul deserves to much respect for a cheap, quick death. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with Darth Maul eventually dying, I just want it to be done in a way that does him justice. And while his story may very well come to a close before the events of Return of the Jedi, I am not going to sit here and just pretend it does.

So, for right now, I am going to hold on to the idea that Darth Maul is the last Sith Lord.


Update: Sadly, Darth Maul is not the last Sith Lord. In the Season 3 episode of Star Wars Rebels titled “Twin Suns” Maul meets his end at the end of Obi-Wan Kenobi’s blue blade on the planet Tatooine.

Intro to Sithology: The Rule of Two (Part 4)

“Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” – Master Yoda on the Sith

How is it possible for Yoda to know about the Sith Rule of Two when the Sith have been extinct for a millennia?

In Part 1 of this series, I began with the question above. As you may recall from that first post, the question came to me from one of the fans of this blog. Naturally, I was happy to indulge and jumped into it with a full-head of steam.

But as I wrestled with the question in my head, I ran into more problems than I had anticipated, and slowly got bogged down by the extra baggage, all of which I played out in the previous Parts.

At last, though, we have arrived at the Finale and it is time to take the deep dive into my answer to the question.

The Answer

My idea is actually a rather simple one: Rather than having Darth Bane live/enact the Rule of Two 1,000 years before the events of The Phantom Menace, we move his life back in time, essentially making him MORE ancient.

Now, before going any further, I should note that we can do this because there is literally NO ancient history to contend with in the Star Wars canon. Sure, the Expanded Universe (EU), which many of you undoubtedly love and still enjoy, did establish a very detailed history for the era of the Old Republic, including various wars between the Jedi and Sith.

But the EU, while flipping awesome, is not part of the official Star Wars canon, and because it isn’t, we can rearrange things however we want, no longer beholden to those EU stories – including the Darth Bane novels.

The 1st novel in the EU Darth Bane Trilogy Photo Credit - LucasBooks

The 1st novel in the (EU) Darth Bane Trilogy
Photo Credit – LucasBooks

So we push canonical Darth Bane farther into the past. This opens new avenues for storytelling and creates a much clearer picture for the sake of canonical continuity, one that does not put Yoda in the awkward spot of knowing something about the Sith that he shouldn’t be able to know.

Alright, let’s explore the rationale for this and how it plays out.

The Rationale

First off, let’s back up and think about what Yoda says at the end of Episode I about the Rule of Two. He states, “Always two there are, no more, no less. A Master and an Apprentice.”

The fact that Yoda says the word “Always” should tip us off to something – that this is how the Sith have worked for a VERY LONG TIME. Think about it – if Darth Bane lived/enacted the rule 1,000 years ago, and the Sith have been in hiding for those 1,000 years, it would be INCREDIBLY awkward from a continuity/canonical perspective for Yoda to know that this is ALWAYS how the Sith have functioned. How in the hell would he possibly know this if the Sith went extinct 1,000 years ago?

Besides, when Yoda says this statement to Mace Windu in The Phantom Menace, Windu’s reaction is not “Dude, how do you know that!?!” but is rather “But which one was killed, the Master or the Apprentice?” What Yoda says is something Mace Windu already knows.

Also, keep in mind that if we are working within the 1,000 year time frame, the last knowledge the Jedi would have about the Sith is that the Sith Order was massive before it went kaput. Yoda should have said “Always a shit ton of Sith there are!”

Oh, and one other thing – Is Yoda really so accepting that he would actually believe there are only two Sith? The way of the Dark Side is one of lying, deceit, and mistrust, and if Yoda had discovered this new shift in Sith philosophy, he should be the last one to believe this is how the Sith now operate. Then again, that is hardly the point because THE SITH ARE IN HIDING AND THE JEDI BELIEVE THE SITH ARE EXTINCT!!!

Darth Bane speaks to Yoda Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), "Sacrifices"

Darth Bane speaks to Yoda
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), “Sacrifices”

To me, the only conclusion that makes sense is that the Rule of Two was around far longer than 1,000 years ago, so long in fact that the Jedi Order is no longer concerned with thousands of Sith presenting a problem – they are only concerned with two Sith at a given time.

Now, let’s add Darth Bane to the picture.

As I have already quoted and explored in Part 2 and Part 3, Darth Bane states that “The Sith killed each other, victims of their own greed” in The Clone Wars episode “Sacrifices.” Obviously, the implication of this statement is that BEFORE Darth Bane changed Sith philosophy, the Sith were legion. However, what is also implied is that the Sith Order collapsed in on itself. The Dark Side breeds conflict and the Sith focused their fighting on each other rather than their TRUE enemy – the Jedi.

From the “ashes of destruction,” Bane, the last survivor and the most powerful of the old Sith reinvented the Sith Order, declaring that there would be only two Sith Lords.

2,500 years ago. 5,000 years ago. 10,000 years ago. It doesn’t matter when Bane did this, as long as it is at a point longer than 1,000 years ago AND far enough in the past to justify Yoda saying there are “Always” two Sith.

Plus, pushing Bane into the distant past opens up more storytelling possibilities, with two separate eras of the ancient Sith to work with:

1) The Pre-Bane Sith – Story ideas could involve the birth/rise of the ancient Sith Order on Moraband; the constant infighting between Sith Lords; the shaky alliances between Sith in wars against the Jedi Order; a final showdown between the last of the Sith with Darth Bane coming out the victor.

The Inquisitor from Rebels Season 1 speaks with Darth Vader Photo Credit - Star Wars Rebels: Season 1, Episode 1 - "Spark of Rebellion"

The Inquisitor from Rebels Season 1 speaks with Darth Vader
Photo Credit – Star Wars Rebels: Season 1, Episode 1 – “Spark of Rebellion”

2) The Post-Darth Bane/Rule of Two Sith – Stories about two Sith Lords acting at any given time, but with the Apprentice vying with the Master; Master-Apprentice working together to bring about the defeat of the Jedi Order; the relationship between the two Sith and other (non-Sith) Dark Side users (like, for example, the Inquisitors who appear in Star Wars Rebels)

But what of the Sith “extinction” which Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi refers to in The Phantom Menace?

At the 1,000 year mark, the point Master Mundi is referring too, this is when the Sith are finally “defeated” by the Jedi Order. I will let your imagination work to think about what that moment would look like, but the end result is the same: the Jedi are convinced they have finally defeated their arch nemesis.

Battered but not extinct, the Sith would go into hiding, taking a new approach to bringing down the Jedi Order through subtlety, cunning, and intrigue, culminating in Darth Sidious’ victory over the Jedi in Revenge of the Sith.

A Final Thought

Ultimately, I believe this approach, placing Darth Bane/the introduction of the Rule of Two further in the Star Wars past would protect the continuity of the canon while also opening it to new and dynamic story possibilities.

But doing this is not just important for the sake of clarifying how Yoda knows about the Rule of Two in The Phantom Menace, or what Darth Bane is talking about in “Sacrifices.” It is important because as fans, we should expect elements within Star Wars to line up and make sense. That is the entire point of continuity.

Plus, this is even more relevant now that EVERYTHING has the same weight, the same status as being canonical. Whether it is a comic book, video game, television show, a children’s book, or a movie, each of these pieces are on the exact same level. And this necessitates delicacy, attention to detail, and patience to ensure that ALL story-elements in the ENTIRE canon function together and do not create significant points of confusion or contradiction.

But don’t get me wrong, I know incongruities will persist, they just shouldn’t be so massive, so glaring that they chew into a fan’s enjoyment of the galaxy far, far away.

Intro to Sithology: The Rule of Two (Part 3)

“Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” – Master Yoda on the Sith

“The Sith killed each other, victims of their own greed.” – Darth Bane in “Sacrifices”

In Part 1 of this series, I began with a simple question: How is it possible for Yoda to know about the Sith Rule of Two when the Sith have been extinct for a millennia? In answering this question, I stuck with information found in The Phantom Menace and, in the process, ran into some pretty convoluted problems.

However, The Clone Wars episode “Sacrifices” provides more context about the Rule of Two. In it, Yoda travels to Moraband, ancient homeworld of the Sith, and encounters an illusion of the ancient Sith Lord, Darth Bane, the progenitor of the Rule. You can go re-watch the scene HERE. In Part 2, then, I used the information from the Yoda-Bane encounter to, again, address our initial question.

But in doing so, a new problem popped up.

Darth Bane Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13),

Darth Bane
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), “Sacrifices”

It is a portion of this conversation between Yoda and Bane that left things in a bit of a kerfuffle when Darth Bane says “The Sith killed each other, victims of their own greed. But from the ashes of destruction, I was the last survivor.” Though this is what the ancient Sith states in the episode, the Darth Bane page in the Star Wars Databank says something different about the destruction of the Sith: “After the Sith were decimated by the Jedi Knights of a thousand years ago, Bane enacted the Sith rule of two…”

So, at the end of Part 2 I left readers with a choice about the way we could interpret what Bane says. On the one hand, we could take his statement as factually true, that the Sith literally killed each other, victims of their own selfish ways.

Or, on the other hand, we could interpret Bane’s statement as metaphor, and argue that he is using figurative language to describe the Sith destruction, which allows us to link what Bane says with the Databank.

After receiving a number of comments, it became pretty apparent that the majority of readers wanted me to play with BOTH approaches.

So, that is what I have done. I pushed forward with both approaches and what follows is where I ended up with each.

Metaphorical Approach to Bane’s Statement

Approaching Bane’s statement as a metaphor makes sense if we want to link what he says with the Databank. As a reminder, it states that the Jedi decimated the Sith 1,000 years ago [prior to the events of The Phantom Menace.]

When Bane says to Yoda that “The Sith killed each other, victims of their own greed” he is being figurative, implying that the Sith caused their own downfall because of their incessant in-fighting. Constantly at odds, the Sith were unable to put up a united front against the Jedi Order which was easily able to defeat the dis-unified Dark Lords.

Or, put in simpler terms, Bane is saying that the Sith had no one to blame but themselves for their defeat.

From the “ashes of destruction,” the sole survivor of the decimation, Darth Bane, changed the Sith forever. Understanding that the Sith had caused their own defeat, Bane instituted the Rule of Two. In doing so, he ensured the self-preservation of the Sith. No longer would there be thousands (or more) of Sith Lords vying for power with one another, but instead, only two would exist to vie with one another: Master and Apprentice.

Alright, so far so good…but there is something else we need to deal with: Yoda is speaking to Darth Bane in the dead Sith’s tomb. Plus, there is a giant statue of Bane standing behind the sarcophagus of the entombed Dark Lord. Where did this tomb and the statue come from, and how did Bane’s body come to be interred inside the tomb?

Darth Bane's Tomb - sarcophagus and statue at the far end. Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13),

Darth Bane’s Tomb (click on the pic for a better view)
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), “Sacrifices”

How about this: let’s say Bane’s tomb on Moraband was built PRIOR the Sith destruction. Certainly, as a Dark Lord, Bane would be allowed to have his final resting place constructed before he died, like the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt, along with a magnificent statue built to stand guard over his sarcophagus.

But that still does not account for how Bane’s body came to be interred in the sarcophagus…

Hold up, after killing Bane and taking the mantle of Dark Lord for him/herself, Bane’s Apprentice-turned-Master placed Bane’s body in its finally resting place on Moraband. It was the least s/he could do for the final survivor of the “old” Sith, the one who had changed the Sith forever going forward.

Totally makes sense! Darth Bane dead, body interred in his tombbbbb wait, the tomb is located on Moraband, the ancient homeworld of the Sith. And the Jedi decimated the Sith, believing them to be extinct. So for this to work, after the Sith “extinction,” the Jedi had to not only believe the Sith to be fully eradicated, but ALSO had to stop paying attention to Moraband altogether. They had to be so convinced the Sith would never again be a problem EVER AGAIN that they literally just left Moraband alone.

Question: Are you okay with the Jedi being THAT inept? The Sith were their mortal enemies and in the wake of the Sith defeat, the Jedi just ignore the Sith home world so completely that a Sith Lord is interred on the planet.

Okay, maybe the Jedi Order IS that inept. Perhaps the Jedi were so utterly convinced that they had exterminated the Sith threat once and for all that they didn’t believe they needed to lock-down Moraband. Something about that just doesn’t feel right, but I will just roll with it for now.

Hokay, Sith decimated, Bane enacts Rule, Bane killed by Apprentice, Apprentice-turned-Master inters Bane’s body on Moraband (Jedi not watching), and Yoda knows of the Rule of Two in Episode I, how?

Once again, we have run into the very same issue we started with. The Metaphorical Approach allows us to line up Bane’s statement with the Star Wars Databank, but it does not provide any help answering that damn question about Yoda knowing about the Rule of Two. All it does it lead right back to it, and in doing so, also returns us to the initial problems we ran into in Part 1.

Problems which, you will recall, launched us on this exploration into the tomb of Darth Bane. Basically, the Metaphorical Approach pushes us back to where we started in Part 1.

Factual Approach to Bane’s Statement

Alright, no more metaphor, no more figurative speech, just pure, unadulterated truth: when Bane says the Sith killed each other, he means that they literally annihilated themselves. That would make for one hell of a movie: lots of red lightsabers, Sith lightning, Force choking, black capes, scary masks, etc. And, at the end of the final Sith showdown, literally walking through the “ashes of destruction,” Darth Bane would emerge the victor. Epic!

Now, like in the Metaphorical Approach, seeing that the greed of the Sith caused their own demise, Bane took it upon himself to alter the philosophy of the Order. But instead of re-creating the Sith in the same way, which would ultimately result in the same outcome (the Sith constantly being at odds) there would only be two Dark Lords from now on: Master and Apprentice.

Basically, both approaches come to the same point from different angles: Darth Bane and the Rule of Two.

Moraband (ancient Sith structures in background) Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13),

Moraband (ancient Sith structures in background)
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), “Sacrifices”

And what about Bane’s tomb on Moraband? Easy – same solution as before. His tomb on Moraband was built BEFORE the Sith extinction, and once he was killed, his Apprentice-turned-Master interred the body in the sarcophagus.

But at this point, we begin running into the same problems as before, starting with the ineptitude of the Jedi. Again, as I already noted in the Metaphorical Approach, how do we deal with the Jedi allowing a deceased Sith to be buried on Moraband? I am still not really sure how I feel about this, but like before, we will just go with it.

Okay, so, Sith destroy each other, Bane survives, Bane institutes Rule of Two, Apprentice kills Bane, Apprentice-turned-Master inters Bane in pre-built tomb on Moraband (Jedi not watching), and Yoda knows about the Rule of Two, how?

Just as before, the Factual Approach takes us right back to where we started. We can account for what Bane says, for his tomb, for his body being interred, but we have no way of neatly answering how Master Yoda knows about the philosophy Bane instituted.

And with that said, I have to bring out conversation to a screeching halt because there really isn’t much more to say…

…except for one thing: What if we just stop assuming that everything happened 1,000 years ago? As I noted in Part 2, we have been working under the assumption that Bane lived 1,000 years ago, but what happens if we move his life back in time further?

What I will present in the Final Part of this series is this alternate approach to the way we have been thinking, an approach that will provide an otherwise simple answer to the “How does Yoda know” question.

However, it also means we will have to change how we think about ancient history in the Star Wars universe and, for some fans, particularly those who really love the Expanded Universe, this shift may not sit well with them.

Part 4, THE FINALE, will be here soon.

Intro to Sithology: The Rule of Two (Part 2)

“Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” – Master Yoda on the Sith

In Part 1 of this series, we began with a question which will continue to be the focus of this discussion. That question was: how is it possible for Yoda to know about the Sith Rule of Two if the Sith have been extinct for a millennia?

Specifically, this question comes from facts that are presented in The Phantom Menace. In the film, Master Yoda is aware of the Sith Rule of Two, the notion that there are only ever two Sith at a time, Master and Apprentice. However, we also learn in the movie that the Sith have been extinct for a millennia. As I explained, the assumption we were working under was that the Rule was instituted AFTER the Sith “extinction.”

Working with the information available in Episode I, possible answers are present, but these answers also create some rather convoluted problems that begin undercutting Star Wars lore. For the sake of brevity, I will let you go back and refresh your memory on these answers and the problems they cause.

In Part 1, I purposefully chose to stick only with information from The Phantom Menace. Now, moving forward, it is necessary to add more pieces to the puzzle. To do this, we need to consider an episode of The Clone Wars.

Yoda Travels to Moraband

Yoda on Moraband Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13),

Yoda on Moraband
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), “Sacrifices”

In the very last episode of The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13) entitled “Sacrifices,” Yoda travels to the ancient homeworld of the Sith: Moraband.[i] This journey occurs around 13 years after the events of The Phantom Menance.

Walking across the deserted wasteland of Moraband, a planet long abandoned because of countless wars, Yoda is accosted by apparitions of the ancient Sith, but these spirits do not stop his journey. Eventually, the elder Jedi makes his way to a large tomb located in a large valley. Entering the tomb, the Jedi Master is confronted by an illusion of an ancient Sith Lord, Darth Bane, who manifests from the sarcophagus inside the tomb.

Here is part of the dialogue between Master Yoda and Darth Bane that is relevant to our discussion…

Darth Bane: Why do you come to my tomb, Jedi?

Yoda: To learn.

Darth Bane: Do you know who I am?

Yoda: Yes. Darth Bane, the ancient Sith Lord you are.

Darth Bane: And know why I am not forgotten?

Yoda: Created the rule of two, you did.

Darth Bane: The Sith killed each other, victims of their own greed. But from the ashes of destruction, I was the last survivor. I chose to pass my knowledge onto only one, I created a legacy so resilient, that now you come before me. Have you come to be my apprentice? You must kill me to gain my place.[ii]

Master Yoda and Darth Bane, face-to-face Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13),

Master Yoda and Darth Bane, face-to-face
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), “Sacrifices”

From this short exchange, we can glean a lot of information, some of which we will carefully work through as it relates to our topic.

In The Phantom Menace, Yoda knows about the Rule of Two, but here, we find that 1) Yoda knows he is speaking to Darth Bane and 2) Bane was the Sith Lord who instituted the Rule of Two. This is rather curious and leads to another question: when did Yoda discover that Bane was the originator of the Rule?

My immediate assumption was that Yoda learned about the Rule of Two and Darth Bane in the same instance prior to The Phantom Menace. This would make sense since Bane and the Rule are intimately linked. However, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Yoda could have known about the Rule prior to the events of Episode I, and then learned about Darth Bane afterwards.

Moving forward, then, there is other information in this scene that needs to be addressed which comes directly from Darth Bane. What the Sith Lord presents may or may not already be known to Yoda, but we viewers are certainly unaware of it.

Specifically, Darth Bane explains that “the Sith killed each other” due to their greed, and that he “was the last survivor” of the Sith destruction. Furthermore, we learn that Bane decided to pass his “knowledge onto only one [apprentice]”, and that the apprentice must kill his/her Master in order to take the mantle of Master as their own.

This is a rather short statement from Bane, but we gain a lot of insight into the Sith Order from it.

Ashes of Destruction

The point Darth Bane makes about the Sith killing each other, and that Bane was the last survivor of the Sith destruction, is the most important piece of information that we need to address at this point. Why? Because what Darth Bane says gives rise to an entirely new question:

Is the Sith destruction Bane speaks of the same “extinction” event that Ki-Adi Mundi suggests in The Phantom Menace?

As I already pointed out, the assumption we have been working under has centered on how Yoda learned about the Rule of Two AFTER the Sith “extinction.” And, as I noted in Part 1, this raises a cacophony of answers/problems.

This new question, though, raises an entirely new possibility: that in describing the self-inflicted destruction of the Sith, Darth Bane is talking about an event that happened long before the Sith “extinction” to which Ki-Adi Mundi alludes.

If this is the case, that we are actually discussing two separate historical events, then the examination at hand can effectively be ended.

TIME OUT! I just checked the Darth Bane page on the Star Wars Databank on StarWars.com and THIS is what it says over there: “After the Sith were decimated by the Jedi Knights of a thousand years ago, Bane enacted the Sith rule of two…”[iii] But this is not what Darth Bane says to Yoda. BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT DARTH BANE SAYS TO YODA! He said that the Sith were the ones who destroyed each other, and that he instituted the Rule in the wake of their self-inflicted destruction. You know, “out of the ashes of destruction” and all. He never mentions anything about the Jedi decimating the Sith.

So what in the heck is the Databank talking about?

Darth Bane Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13),

Darth Bane
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), “Sacrifices”

At this point, in this very moment, there is one, singular instance of Darth Bane appearing in the Star Wars canon…and we have been talking about it this entire time. There is LITERALLY no other information out in the canon, at this stage, that lends itself to what the Databank says.

Soooooo we have two options to make sense of this snafu.

Option one is that Bane is be speaking metaphorically about the destruction of the Sith, arguing that their downfall at the hands of the Jedi was actually the fault of the Sith Lords and their greed. In essence, the Sith were flawed, could not put up a united defense against the Jedi of old, were subsequently decimated a millennia ago, and as a result Darth Bane changed the Sith forever.

On the other hand, option two is that the Databank is wrong. This is not to say that the Databank is useless as a tool for understanding Star Wars, but rather, that the Databank should align factually with what is presented in the Star Wars canon. In the case of “Sacrifices,” what Darth Bane says is clear: the Sith destroyed each other, and from the ashes of their self-inflicted destruction, he fundamentally changed the Sith forever. If the Jedi had decimated the Sith, Darth Bane would have said as much.

Further, under this option, the Sith destruction could have been a millennia ago, or Bane could be describing a much more ancient event as I previously laid out.

And with all of that said we are, once again, at an impasse. We began with a question concerning how Yoda knows about the Sith Rule of Two, and now we are trying to figure out if an ancient Dark Lord was speaking metaphorically or factually. OI VEY!

Ultimately, the answer to HOW Bane is speaking really comes down to personal preference. Some might like the idea that he is speaking metaphorically about the downfall of the Sith, while others might see him speaking in a matter-of-fact manner about the Sith killing each other. Either way, both options, taken to their logical ends, will affect the way one thinks about a number of elements within Star Wars.

So, here is what I propose: I am going to let you choose the direction we head in. Think of it as a “Choose Your Own Adventure.” All you need to do is leave a comment down below, on Facebook, or on Twitter that says “Metaphor,” “Fact,” or, if you really want to make me work, you can ask for “Both.” Also, feel free to provide some thoughts/feedback on your choice if you feel so inclined. Whichever preference wins out, that is the direction I will head in in Part 3…so, for the sake of moving things along, give me your choice in the next few days.

The sarcophagus of Darth Bane on Moraband Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13),

The sarcophagus of Darth Bane
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars (Season 6, Episode 13), “Sacrifices”

But before we end, there is one tinnnnnny little question that I want you to think about in relation to everything else I have discussed, and which could impact the choice you make. It is this:

How was it possible for Darth Bane to be buried on Moraband and who built the giant statue of Bane that stands behind his sarcophagus?

I will address this in Part 3.


[i] Some of you might know the planet as Korriban, the name used in the Expanded Universe (Legends). I am not going to get into a debate about the name. Call it what you want, it is the same place in my mind.

[ii] Dialogue taken from Star Wars The Clone Wars: Season 6, Episode 13 “Sacrifices”

[iii] Star Wars Databank

Intro to Sithology: The Rule of Two (Part 1)

“Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.” – Master Yoda on the Sith

Question: How is it possible for Yoda to know about the Sith Rule of Two when the Sith have been extinct for a millennia?

This question is one that a fan of The Imperial Talker asked me to address, and I am more than happy to do so because it is a question that has bounced around my mind on a number of occasions. Plus, after diving head first into tackling this question, it dawned on me that there are a number of other things to be addressed with regard to the Rule of Two. So this will only be the first of a number of posts where I explore this question, and the Rule of Two.

Before jumping directly into answering the question at hand, a bit of context is necessary so that we are all on the same page. That said, it is essential to first consider the two scenes from The Phantom Menace from which this question is born. I have provided links for both of the scenes below to refresh your memory.

Jedi Master Ki-Adi Mundi Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Jedi Master Ki-Adi-Mundi
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The first is a scene in which Qui-Gon Jinn explains to the Jedi Council that he was attacked by a mysterious warrior while on the planet Tatooine, concluding that the warrior was, in fact, a Sith. In response, Master Ki-Adi-Mundi, a member of the Council, exclaims that “the Sith have been extinct for a millennia.”

The second scene is at the end of the film, and depicts Qui-Gon’s funeral after he is killed. Off to the side, Master Yoda and Master Windu discuss the identity of the mysterious warrior. Master Windu states, “There’s no doubt that the mysterious warrior was a Sith.” In response, Master Yoda, agreeing with his friend, states “Always two there are, no more, no less. A master and an apprentice.”

Now, there is obviously much more happening in both of these scenes than we will be discussing here, but for the sake of staying on topic, we will skip over the other stuff this time around.

Ultimately, the question at hand is amalgamation of both of these scenes, or rather, points that are raised in each scene. On the one hand, we discover from Master Mundi that the Sith have been extinct for a millennia. But we also know, from Master Yoda, that the Sith operate in a curious way: there are only ever two Sith Lords, a Master and Apprentice. The question then, how Yoda knows about the Rule of Two, is a pertinent one. Once again, if the Sith have been extinct for a millennia, how can a Jedi know anything about this very specific Rule?

The Phantom Menace does not provide a whole lot of information to solve this conundrum. Even if we added other moments in the film, there is still not much to work with. Still, let’s play around with what we have.

We have been working off of the assumption that the Rule of Two was instituted AFTER the Sith “extinction” event. The problem, though, is that this creates a couple of convoluted problems when the moment arrives and Yoda actually learns about the Rule of Two.

On the one hand, if he discovered the information himself (let’s say he found a Sith artifact that discusses the Rule), he must have kept the discovery to himself. What would this say about Yoda? He knew the Sith had instituted a new Rule AFTER their extinction, that the Sith were still out there? Are we to believe Yoda chose to hide this information from the Council, and not use the full weight of the Jedi Order to hunt down the hidden Sith Lords?

Masters Yoda and Windu at Qui-Gon Jinn's funeral Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Jedi Masters Yoda and Windu at Qui-Gon Jinn’s funeral
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Plus, when watching the scene where Mace Windu and Yoda are conversing at Qui-Gon’s funeral, one does not get the impression that Windu is surprised by what Yoda says. Instead, Yoda’s assertion that “Always two there are…” is matter of fact, something Mace Windu already knew. Perhaps Yoda had confided in Mace Windu about what he discovered, but then all this does is forces us to re-ask the questions I just presented, with Yoda and Windu both implicated.

However, I am led to believe that what Masters Yoda and Windu are discussing is something the Jedi Order already knows about the Sith. In other words, it is common knowledge that the Sith have a Rule of Two.

On the other hand, what if Yoda learned the information from the Jedi Order, and did not independently discover the information? This lines up with the the Rule of Two being “common knowledge,” but this essentially means the Jedi did know that the Sith had survived. At best, this throws Ki-Adi-Mundi under the bus and makes him look like a fool, and at worst, it means the Jedi just stopped caring about the Sith, their mortal enemy, even though they knew the Sith were still around…

Frankly, I just don’t buy it. The Jedi might be flawed in a number of ways, but I can’t see them willfully ignoring the existence of the Sith. Besides, I take Master Mundi at his word, and trust that he is presenting the official position of the Jedi Order: the Sith are extinct.

But what if it is the official position of the Jedi Order that the Sith are extinct, but the Council is hiding the truth. Could it be the Jedi Council knew that the Sith were still alive for all those years, that they had instituted a new Rule of Two, and the Council kept this a secret? Perhaps Master Mundi was feigning ignorance, pretending to be in disbelief at Qui-Gon’s statement that he was attacked by a Sith Lord. What would this say about the members of the Jedi Council?

Master Yoda Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Jedi Master Yoda
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

I will be arguing in another post that the Jedi are victims of their own hubris, but I am not sure I believe the Council misled the Jedi Order, and the Republic, and kept the knowledge about the Sith hidden. Don’t get me wrong, I do think this is a possibility, and that this approach could potentially work. However, I feel like the way things play out in the Prequel Trilogy hinges, in part, on the Jedi scrambling at the re-emergence of the Sith, as if the Order, and the Council in particular, are unsure how to act.

Plus, I am also not willing to undermine the scheme the Sith put into play when they went “extinct.” The Sith instituted a master plan that came to fruition in the Prequels, beginning with their return in The Phantom Menace. I would suggest we let the Sith have their moment in the sun, and when they reveal themselves, they caught the Jedi off-guard and unprepared.

And with that said, where in the world do we go from here?

Well, there is actually some more information we can look at, but it doesn’t come from The Phantom Menace. In Part 2, then, we will a journey to Moraband, the ancient homeworld of the Sith and meet the Sith Lord who instituted the Rule of Two: Darth Bane.

Oh, and just FYI, things are going to get really complicated.

Qui-Gon Jinn, A Novel Character

“Finding him was the will of the force, I have no doubt of that.” – Qui-Gon Jinn in The Phantom Menace

When I saw The Phantom Menace for the first time in 1999, I was absolutely stunned when Darth Maul killed Qui-Gon Jinn. At the time, my 14-year-old brain had to cope with the reality that sometimes the “good guys” can be defeated by one of the “bad guys.” Older now, I naturally have a different perspective on the scene and am not quite as shocked by Qui-Gon’s demise. Darth Maul was much younger and more physically gifted than the Jedi Master, and though Qui-Gon was likely more gifted in the use of the Force, Darth Maul was just the better all-around fighter.

Darth Maul stabs Qui-Gon Jinn Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Darth Maul stabs Qui-Gon Jinn
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Or, perhaps it had nothing to do with Darth Maul being the better fighter. Just as Qui-Gon states that finding Anakin Skywalker was “the will of the Force,” I would suggest that the death of Qui-Gon Jinn was also the will of the Force. At first, reluctant to allow Qui-Gon to train Anakin as a Jedi, it is only when the Jedi Master dies that the Jedi Council agrees to let his padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, train the young boy. Qui-Gon’s death, then, functions as the catalyst the Force uses to propel Anakin along the path towards balancing the Force.

Qui-Gon’s story does not come to an end in The Phantom Menace, though.

At the end of Revenge of the Sith, Yoda explains to Obi-Wan that Qui-Gon Jinn has returned from the netherworld of the Force, noting that he will teach Kenobi how to converse with the former Jedi Master. Although the scene is brief, it never-the-less establishes that it is Qui-Gon Jinn, teaching from the beyond, who directed Kenobi in unlocking the secrets of existence after death. When Obi-Wan “disappears” in A New Hope, and reappears as a Force ghost in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, we now know that it was Qui-Gon Jinn who guided Kenobi in discovering how to do these incredible things.

Further, it is in Season 6 of The Clone Wars, in the episode titled “Voices,” that Qui-Gon reaches out to Master Yoda as an incorporeal voice, instructing the Jedi to travel to the planet Dagobah. There, Qui-Gon will reveal new realities about the Force, and will explain that both he and Yoda had been chosen to maintain their life force after death so that in the dark times ahead, there would still be light. Though Qui-Gon notes that he died before completing his training, which hinders him from appearing to Yoda, he reveals that Yoda will learn this ability as he continues on his journey of discovery.

Along with what Qui-Gon explains to Yoda about the Force, another rather intriguing point is also introduced in “Voices.” When Yoda explains to the Jedi Council that Qui-Gon has conversed with him from the beyond, Master Ki-Adi Mundi states that, “What Yoda claims is not possible…the dead are part of the Cosmic Force and lose their individuality.” Even Yoda, the wisest and oldest of the Jedi, does not at first believe in the possibility of maintaining one’s individuality after death. Knowledgeable about the Force they might be, but even the Jedi Council is limited in their understanding of the mystical power.

This fact, though, also reveals something about Qui-Gon Jinn: before he died, he had ascertained a unique understanding of the Force – an understanding that fundamentally differed from the Jedi Council’s own knowledge – and had kept this knowledge to himself.

At Odds with the Council

Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Anakin stand before the Jedi Council Photo Credit - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, and Anakin stand before the Jedi Council
Photo Credit – Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

In The Phantom Menace, the Jedi Council and Qui-Gon Jinn are clearly at odds, particularly over the fate of Anakin Skywalker.

  • While Qui-Gon is certain the boy is the Chosen One, the Council is not as certain.
  • The Council believes the boy is too old to be trained; Qui-Gon does not believe this should disqualify him from being trained.
  • Qui-Gon chooses to take Anakin as his padawan, but the Council states that the Jedi Code forbids his taking a second padawan.
  • Qui-Gon states that Obi-Wan is ready to face the Trials and become a Jedi Knight, the Council rebukes him by stating that they will decide when Obi-Wan is ready.

Four points of contention in only a minute. These may not be enough to argue that Qui-Gon is always at odds with the Council, but the interaction between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan only moments later can do it for me.

Obi-Wan: Do not defy the council, Master, not again.
Qui-Gon Jinn: I shall do what I must, Obi-Wan.

From this small exchange, we can glean that Master Qui-Gon has a tendency of refusing to follow the Council’s directive. His padawan implores him not to defy the Council once again, but Qui-Gon will do what HE feels he must do. I don’t know about you, but this leaves me wondering not only how, and how often, he has defied the Council in the past, but WHY he has done so. Was it in his nature to be defiant? Did he learn it from someone? Or was it perhaps a little bit of both? Whatever the case, there is a very obvious way he would have learned some of this defiance: from his own former Master, Count Dooku.

It is in Attack of the Clones where we learn Qui-Gon Jinn was once Count Dooku’s padawan. Given that Count Dooku left the Jedi Order after becoming cynical and disillusioned by it, and because he craved more power, it is hardly a stretch to imagine that Dooku held these feelings for quite some time, perhaps even while he was training his young padawan. As Qui-Gon’s master, Dooku would have exerted an incredible influence over his padawan, impacting the way the burgeoning Jedi would have understood the Force, the Jedi Order, and the role of the Jedi, amongst other things. The fact that Qui-Gon Jinn learned how to preserve his individuality after death probably did not come from Count Dooku directly, but his interest in discovering new realities about the Force would have certainly been planted by his Masters encouragement to question the Order’s views. It is also likely, though, that as Qui-Gon grew and formed his own, independent views, that he would have most certainly questioned his Master. Defiant he might have been towards the Jedi Council at times, Qui-Gon Jinn never left the Order, and his former Master did.

With all of this in mind, I am going to propose a novel idea. No, seriously, I am going to propose an actual idea for a novel.

My proposition is that a novel dedicated to Qui-Gon Jinn’s back-story be added to the Star Wars canon. With all that we know about Jinn, that he was apprenticed to Count Dooku, was defiant of the Jedi Council, believed that Anakin was the Chosen One, and was able to preserve his life force after death, I am curious to find out even more about this fascinating Jedi. What was he like as a child? What was his relationship really like with Dooku? Did he ever challenge his Master? What were his beliefs regarding the will of the Force? When did he begin training to preserve his life force after death? How and why did he consistently defy the Council? When was Obi-Wan apprenticed to him and, for that matter, what was Obi-Wan like as a child?

Such a book could certainly answer some of these questions about Qui-Gon, and could also be used to develop other characters, story-lines, events, and ideas. Plus, as it currently stands, a dark area exists in the Star Wars canon prior to The Phantom Menace, with only small pockets of information that provide clarity for this period. A novel dedicated to Qui-Gon Jinn would be a great way to start filling in the gaps in the timeline, and would help paint a small picture of what the galaxy was like prior to the crisis on Naboo.

It is my hope that someday we are able to explore the Star Wars universe through the life of this fascinating Jedi Master. In the meantime, I decided to play around with what the prologue for said novel could look like.

Qui-Gon Jinn: A Prologue

Master Yoda stood in the center of the icy Temple, watching the seven younglings walk towards him. Shivering and exhausted, the children looked up and around as they entered, awe struck by beauty of the icy hall. Behind them, the outside wind could be heard far down the passage, blowing through the entrance they came through.

Master Yoda standing in front of the entrance to the crystal caves on the planet Ilum Photo Credit - Star Wars The Clone Wars: Season 5, Episode 6 -

Master Yoda standing in front of the entrance to the crystal caves on the planet Ilum
Photo Credit – Star Wars The Clone Wars: Season 5, Episode 6 – “The Gathering”

The younglings had traveled for miles across the wintry landscape since landing in the Crucible, the Jedi training cruiser. They did not yet know why they were on the planet Ilum, only knowing that the ice-covered and wind-battered planet was one of the Order’s most sacred locations.

“Where are we, Master Yoda,” a female Chagrian asked the elder Master as the group approached.

“Come, gather round younglings. Share with you, I will, why you have come,” Yoda responded.

Moving into a half-circle around the old Jedi, the younglings watched as Master Yoda used the Force to manipulate an object on the ceiling. Reflecting a sliver of sunlight streaming in from an opening in the top of the hall, the object reflected the light onto the wall of ice behind Master Yoda. On command, the ice melted away revealing a passage way, and beyond, a cave.

“Arrived, you have, at The Gathering,” the Jedi Master remarked. “A rite of passage for young Jedi, this is. Into the cave will you go to find your Kyber Crystal.”

This time, a young Zabrak male spoke up.

“Master, what are Kyber Crystals,” the child asked.

“In harmony with the Force, the crystals are. The heart of the Jedi’s light-saber, the crystal is.”

The younglings, hearing that they would enter the cave to discover the most important component in the construction of their light-sabers began to talk excitedly. Finding their crystal would put them one step closer to becoming full-fledged Jedi.

Letting out a small laugh, Yoda silenced the group.

“Into the cave you must go if Jedi you are to become. Trust the Force, you must, if successful you hope to be. But be mindful, as the sun sets, slowly freeze, the entrance will. Once frozen, trapped inside will you be.”

Looking upwards, the younglings saw that the tall entrance was already beginning to freeze as the light from outside slowly moved downwards.

“Go now, enter the cave, and discover your crystal.”

Eager to discover their crystals and not wanting to be trapped inside, the younglings frantically rushed past Yoda and into the cave to begin their searches. All, that is, except for one.

A young human boy around the age of 10 stood in place, continuing to look at the ice that was slowly creeping downward from the ceiling and which, in a few short hours, would cover the entrance.

Turning, the Jedi Master saw that the child had not left his spot.

“Stand here when inside the cave should you be, Qui-Gon,” Yoda said. “Losing time, you are, yes. Trapped, by the ice if not you hurry.”

For a moment, the boy did not respond. Then, slowly, the youngling turned his head downwards to see the Jedi Master in front of him. Turning his gaze back to the ice, the boy finally spoke, “I will go in soon, Master. I just wanted a moment to admire the ice.”

“And what have you to say about the ice, hmmmm,” the Yoda asked.

“That if it is the will of the Force for me to be trapped, then it is the will of the Force,” Qui-Gon responded looking back at the Jedi Master.

Walking past Yoda, Qui-Gon ascended the few stairs to the caves entrance. Stopping at the opening, he gazed into the darkness beyond, feeling the Master’s eyes fixated on him as he stood there.

Turning his head and body half-way around, the child let out a small laugh.

“Besides Master,” Qui-Gon called back, “it’s just ice. If I am trapped, I will break it.”

Turning, the boy ran into the darkness of the cave.


***Content for this prologue was inspired by Star Wars The Clone Wars Season 5, Episode 6: “The Gathering.”***