Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Rule of Two

For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the "Rule of Two" was a policy enacted by the Sith Lord Darth Bane some 1,000 years prior to the events of the Star Wars movies. Essentially, Bane thought that the Sith order was weakened by having so many in its ranks-that the power of the Dark Side was 'diluted'-not to mention the fact that all the infighting within the order kept dragging them down. Therefore, he essentially disbanded the order (as it was) and decreed that there would be only ONE Dark Lord of the Sith and he would have only ONE apprentice. Thus, it was the rule of two.

This was one of those literary inventions used to explain Yoda's line in the movies "There are always, two, master and apprentice". And like a lot of things where writers try to explain the logic behind a statement, it is just a bit "iffy" (in my opinion). At least if you take it at face value. Essentially, some people take this to believe that there are only ever two Sith at one time. Period. To me, this seems ridiculous and way too literal. Even if there is no official "Sith Order", there would have to be hundreds, if not thousands of "Hopefuls" out there. People with Darkside abilities waiting their chance to rise to the top. This seems to be the case in established Canon. I mean, Darth Sidious (who was apparently following the 'rule of two') certainly came up with a new apprentice very quickly after Maul died. And in the cartoons, this Apprentice took on an apprentice as well-Asaaj Ventress. And (as much as I am loathe to even include this in continuity), Vader took on a 'secret apprentice' for himself. So is it the rule of two.. or three? or What?

To me, the whole concept is just kind of stupid. Especially when you look at the fact that Apprentices are SUPPOSED to try and kill their masters and take their place. Thus, by having 'just two', you really aren't limiting the amount of treachery. Everyone you know and deal with is STILL trying to kill you- only now its harder to find qualified replacements when you have to smack down your apprentice. Its just another example of Expanded Universe taking something said in the movies and 'expanding' upon it in a rather stupid way (in my opinion). I always imagined the Sith as a shadowy organization with numerous 'lords' each of them doing their own thing. Sure, one may be recognized as the most powerful, and maybe he and his apprentice are "The Two" in charge, but there would have to be dozens, if not hundreds or thousands of others out there. So maybe what Yoda was talking about was the fact that Sith Operate in groups of two... not that there are only two Sith in the entire Galaxy. When you keep a very loose organization like that, it makes it VERY difficult to have the whole thing wiped out if the Jedi find you-like "cells" in a resistance movement. You take one out, the others pick up the slack to compensate. To me, that sounds like a much more plausible meaning.

Anyway, just a random thought.

And apologies for the lack of posts. Work has been hella busy lately.


  1. When I saw the movie and Yoda uttered that line, it never occurred to me that he was making a statement about the Sith order. I took it as a loose statement that where you find one of these, you will always find another. (Kind of like nuns traveling in pairs, only not.)

    The thought that came to mind was something I had learned about killing snakes. If you killed a snake, you left the body out for a couple of hours to see if its mate showed up (where there's one, there's another). If the other snake showed up, you killed it. Then you could bury them both.

  2. A very good point. And I like the analogy of the snakes. Fitting for Sith.