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Disney has retconned the Star Wars Rule of Two

May 10th, 2020 by Marc Comments

Disney have just retconned one of the biggest parts of Star Wars and it looks like not only does it fly in the face of what we know of the lore, but it’s expressly against what George Lucas wrote of the mythology… probably. Well, maybe.

In Star Wars the Rule of Two – first mentioned on screen by Master Yoda at the end of Episode I: The Phantom Menace when he remarked of Darth Maul: “Always two there are, a master and an apprentice” – is the rule that, due to their thirst for power and tendency to kill any who are a threat to them, the Sith must always only be two, as Yoda said, a master and an apprentice.

In Episode I we met Shiv Palpatine and his apprentice Darth Maul. When Maul died, he was replaced by Darth Tyrannus, who was replaced, as we know, by Anakin Skywalker when he became Darth Vader.

There are, of course many dark Force-users such as Assajj Ventress and Savage Opress, but very, very few even make it to the rank of master or apprentice.

Yoda’s quote is based on Darth Bane’s description of the mandate: “Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it.”

Bane was the one who made the rule law during the time of the Old Republic, many thousands of years before the current Star Wars movies and shows.

However, Disney just took it upon themselves to… tinker.

The new junior novelization of, the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker written by Michael Kogge, Rey reads an ancient text about the Sith that informs her that the Jedi were wrong all along about the Sith and their teachings: “The Prime is one, but the Jedi are many. The Sith were Many but often emerge Ruled by Two,” the text reads.

“The Seeds of the Jedi have been Sown throughout the Galaxy, on Ossus, Jedha, Xenxiar, and Others. The Sith have no Seeds, since what they Bury does not Grow. They are the Despoilers of Worlds, and have Laid to Waste once Fertile Habitats such as Korriban, Ziost, Ixigul, Asog, and Others.”

Now, while I hate the very idea of going against such long-standing lore, I can see a way that this can be used to explain certain aspects of the Star Wars story.

As I mentioned above, there are always other Force wielders in the darker side of the Force who never become top-two material, and there has been many more.

In Timothy Zahn’s iconic Thrawn trilogy of books we met Mara Jade, a hand of the Emperor, who was a bad-ass Force user for bad – although she did eventually become the wife in the now Legends stories of Luke Skywalker (although rumours persist that we’ll see her in the new universe too) – we’ve also me the Inquistors in Rebels and in the game Fallen Order who are powerful hunters used by the Emperor to hunt stray Jedi after Order 66.

Here’s what George Lucas himself had to say about the Rule of Two: “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.

“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.”

So what do you think? Has Disney ruined a big part of the saga? Have they improved it? Or has it little consequence?

Let me know all your thought, guys…

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….