Skip to main content

Darth Bane: Dessel, the Creator of the Rule of Two

Rui Carreira is a pop-culture-oriented individual, and he loves all things cinema, anime, gaming, and entertainment.

darth-bane-dessel-the-creator-of-the-rule-of-two

Darth Bane: Banite Sith Founder, Rule of Two Creator, Galactic Impact

Darth Bane was the Dark Lord of Sith responsible for creating the Rule of Two. The Rule of Two establishes that only two Sith can exist at one given time: the master and the apprentice. He was also the first Sith in the lineage of Darth Plagueis, Darth Sidious, and Darth Vader, all of whom were Banite Sith.

From Dessel to Lord Bane

Born under the name Dessel, he joined the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness. He served as a foot soldier to escape imprisonment by the Republic after he committed murder. However, he was soon recognized as being Force Sensitive and taken to the Sith Academy on Korriban.

Christened Lord Bane, he climbed through the Dark Side ranks, but he lost all faith in the Brotherhood of Darkness as he saw the organization led by Lord Kaan was flawed. He viewed his leader, Skere Kaan, as a fool and a coward, so he deserted the Order and went to Lehon to study Darth Revan’s Holocron. Revan and his own training gave him the power to destroy the Brotherhood and establish his own Sith Order, also implementing a new rule—the Rule of Two.

Why He Created the Rule of Two

The Sith were always prone to infighting, and Bane envisioned the Rule of Two as the solution for this. It also ensured that the two Sith who came out on top would be the strongest pair possible. It was at this time he took two things vital to him: the title Darth and a Sith apprentice. The apprentice was named Darth Zannah.

Battle in Darzu's Fortress and Death of Darovit

Bane was totally dedicated to the future of his Sith Order, so he looked to create his own Holocron to pass down his knowledge. He went to Tython to find the ancient Sith Holocron of Lord Belia Darzu, but the Jedi Order learned of his existence and sent Jedi to kill him and Zannah in Darzu’s fortress. The Sith were outnumbered but still beat the Jedi back.

Bane was severely injured, though, and Zannah took him to Ambria where a healer could heal him—if persuaded to do so. Zannah tried, and when the healer refused and notified the Jedi, Zannah killed him and hid herself and her master, turning Caleb’s cousin Darovit crazy before they left.

The Jedi, when arriving, saw the insane Darovit and believed him to be the Sith Lord, so they killed him and believed the Sith were destroyed.

Search for a Longer Life

Fast forward 10 years, Bane again became concerned over the future of his Sith Order. This time, he feared that his apprentice, Zannah, wouldn't become strong enough to defeat him and usurp the mantle of the Dark Lord of the Sith. He started searching for ways to extend his life, seeking out and finding the Holocron of Darth Andeddu.

Zannah Becomes the Dark Lord

When he next encountered Zannah on Doan, she dueled him to become the new Dark Lord. Their duel ended up as a draw, and Bane escaped with Cognus, a skilled Force user he planned to take as a replacement apprentice in case Zannah was too weak.

Zannah pursued him and dueled him again, but this time Zannah got the best of him and claimed the title of Dark Lord. After losing, Bane tried to transfer his essence into Zannah’s body via the Force but failed. Zannah became the new Dark Lord and took Darth Cognus as her apprentice.

Galactic Rule

Millennium later, Bane’s Sith Order defeated the Jedi and ruled over the Galactic Empire via the Banite Sith Darth Sidious.

Darth Bane and Zannah

Darth Bane and Zannah

Darth Bane and Darth Zannah: Master, Apprentice, and Their History

Darth Bane and Darth Zannah are among the most iconic master-apprentice duos in Star Wars lore, and for good reason. Not only are they the founders of one of the most impactful Sith lines ever, they were also together for most of Zannah's life.

Zannah was recruited by Bane as a child after she had her only friend killed by Jedi troops and her Force Sensitivity and potential was recognized by Bane. Bane trained her in his own image and made her see what he wished the Sith Order to become. It is no wonder that Zannah dedicated herself to the Order as much as her master once she became the Dark Lord of the Sith.

Their fighting spirit and synergy were proven to be formidable in the battle on Tython, where they slaughtered the Jedi who outnumbered them and came from all sides. Even though Bane started to worry that Zannah was too weak, she proved him wrong by beating him as described earlier.

She then took her own apprentice, Dark Cognus. Soon after, the Rule of Two was finally tested for the first time.

Banite Sith

Banite Sith

The Future of the Banite Lineage After Darth Bane's Death

Darth Bane's death marked the beginning of his true tests. How strong was the Order he fought so hard to build? Would his teachings guarantee the future of the Banite lineage? Would the Rule of Two be tested? All of these questions would be answered in the future.

Zannah, Cognus, and Millenial

Darth Zannah was now the Dark Lord of the Sith, with Darth Cognus as an apprentice. Zannah was 100% loyal to Bane's ideals, and she wanted to preserve his teachings.

Darth Cognus was taught all about the ideals of the Order, and she also kept those values to heart. After Cognus herself became the Dark Lord of the Sith, she took an apprentice, Darth Millenial. Darth Millenial mocked the Rule of Two and highly disagreed with it. Not only that, he was constantly resorting to blasphemy against the Banite ideals.

This was the first test to Bane's lineage and its rules, but Darth Cognus was unwavering and outlawed Darth Millenial.

Plagueis, Sidious, and Vader

The Rule of Two kept being enforced. Flash forward down the line, and Bane's lineage was still going strong with Darth Plagueis. That's right—the lineage we all love came from Bane.

Darth Plagueis was succeeded by Darth Sidious, who got himself killed by Darth Vader, who destroyed both the Sith and the Jedi, leaving one key Jedi alive: Luke Skywalker, the direct descendent of a Banite Sith and the only lightsaber-wielder in the galaxy ... or so we thought.

Bane in Orbalisk armor.

Bane in Orbalisk armor.

Darth Bane: The Sith Lord of Contradictions and Plot Holes

Darth Bane's story is riddled with plot holes; even if you discard Legends entirely, there are still a lot of contradictions in his different media appearances.

Master(s)

If you take Bane's biography in The New Essential Guide to Characters or the short story Bane of the Sith, then you'll read that Bane was trained by Qordis alone. If you read the novel, though, you'll see a lot of other Sith Masters mentioned; apparently, Qordis wasn't his only master.

Lightsaber Hilt and Color

In the stories Path of Destruction and, again, Bane of the Sith, his lightsaber hilt is described as hooked. However, in all of the illustrations after this, Bane's hilt is constantly standard-design. (Consider also the fact that in The Essential Reader's Companion, Bane's lightsaber is curved again!)

We also have the issue of Bane's lightsaber color, which is frequently depicted as purple but corrected in Darth Bane: The Rule of Two.

Orbalisk Armor

If you add Legends and the Orbalisk armor into the mix, things get even messier.

Final Thoughts: What Do You Think?

What do you think? Do you like Darth Bane? What version of Darth Bane do you like best—the armored one you can see in the Clone Wars, the Orbalisk armor version or the plain old Dessel look?

I would also like to know what you think of the Rule of Two. Do you agree with Bane on it? Drop me a comment down below as I answer all of the comments I get!