Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Darth Bane: The Rule of Two
by Drew Karpyshyn
Book Review by Dan Tres OMi
The story begins shortly after the finale of the Jedi-Sith battle on Ruusan. The Jedi win a Pyhrric victory as the Sith seemingly wipe themselves out while taking close to a hundred Jedi with them including the heroic yet stubborn General Hoth. One Jedi padawan however, Johun Othone, believes that there are a few Sith hiding in the shadows. Yet the Jedi, particularly General Farfalla, doubt that any Sith survived the inescapable thought bomb. The Jedi decide to turn their military power over the Republic through Chancellor Valorum (no not the one from Episode I).
Darth Bane and his new apprentice, Zannah, attempt to leave Ruusan but encounter problems through mercenaries. They quickly dispatch them and leave a few of them alive so that they can spread rumors of dark siders. Bane's plan works as he uses these seeds of deception to spread his Sith like tendrils throughout the galaxy. Ten years pass as Bane and Zannah continue to gain power, spread dissent, and continue to create a web of resources throughout the galaxy. Bane understands that his power needs to grow and that there is still much to learn. Zannah shows a tremendous amount of patience and she continues to follow Bane's orders.
Eventually Othone discovers Tomcat, one of Zannah's cousins who saw her after the demise of the Brotherhood of the Sith on Ruusan. He brings Tomcat to the Jedi temple to bring him before the Jedi Council. Zannah, on a mission to steal information from the temple, encounters Tomcat and kidnaps him. A chase ensues. The Jedi are again ready to deal with the Sith. Or are they?
The story moves slowly. At this point, we see the lightsaber action take a back seat as Bane and his apprentice begin their machinations towards the ruin of the Jedi. Through Bane's actions in both books, one can easily come away with the idea that Bane is stronger and more diabolical then Palpatine ever was. If anything, Bane set the standard for the rule of two. Bane continues to demonstrate the weakness of the previous Sith lords who maintained large armies of Sith masters and students. Bane's focus and determination is unparalleled as he tries to create a Sith holocron. He is truly a student of the dark side and wastes no effort in learning more. At times, the reader wonders if Zannah is worthy of being his apprentice yet she proves her loyalty over and over.
The arrogance of the Jedi is clearly evident. One can see the beginnings of their elitist approach to the galaxy. In Valorum's debate with Farfalla, we see the Jedi refuse to turn over their power. Quickly, they become enslaved to the Republic. Othone, even though he is a student of General Hoth, is a pragmatist. He sees the error in both decisions but realizes that the Jedi can maintain control forever. Othone feels the Jedi should pay a more prominent role in Galactic politics however. It seems as if each Jedi represents a different sentiment. Even the minor Jedi introduced in this book each represent a different facet of what he or she feels the Jedi should follow.
Through the Jedi's insolence, the Sith do escape and they are much stronger than ever. It would be interesting to see how this plays out since Lucas has cancelled the book on Darth Plagueis. For those who want to understand how the Sith work right up to Palpatine, this book is a must read. One will learn that in the Star Wars EU, the Sith after the death of Palpatine revert to the old ways of starting a brotherhood. Soon, our blog will begin to focus on those Sith lords when the time comes.