All right everyone it’s time to explore some science fiction!!!! So we turn to Star Wars. Back in Phantom Menace, the Sith return to the light of day. Yoda says, “Two there are. A Master and Apprentice.” But why did there have to be only two. The Paths of Destruction explores the beginning of the modern day Sith…
The story begins during the last Jedi/Sith war. We meet Dessel on the world of Apatros. He is a cortosis miner. Cortosis was one of the hardest substances in the galaxy. It absorbed lasers and stopped even lightsabers. As a result the Republic was lining all of their ships and trooper armor with the material. The miner’s life was a difficult one. His mother died in childbirth. His father Hurst, a drunk, blamed his son for his wife’s death and regularly beats his son in drunken rage referring to him as the “Bane” of his existence. Eventually Hurst dies from heart failure due to drinking. The company for which Dessel works exploits the workers. There is no housing or commodity on the planet that ORO does not own. They charge exorbitant prices for everything ensuring that the miners must always work for them to pay off their debts. It is slavery in all but name.
Due to his line of work Dessel is a large powerfully built man that no one dares cross. However the story begins with an old friend of Dessel’s father beating him up. This is the first glimmering we see of Dessel’s force ability. Des bites the thumb off the man and ends up suspended for several days. In order to make up for the lost salary, Des goes to the cantina and gambles. The Force is with Des, and he wins the biggest pot of Sabbac in the history of the planet. Unfortunately, he earns the ire of a young Republic ensign who loses to him. After the cantina closes, Des is attacked by this ensign and his cohorts. He fights them off but kills the ensign with his own vibroblade. Des is forced to escape the planet. He cannot flee to the Republic obliviously. So he flees to the Sith as a soldier.
The next we see Des, he is a lieutenant. He is a skilled commander and inspires loyalty amongst those he leads. Unfortunately for him, he and his troops are sent on a suicide mission by one of the Sith Lords. Rather than follow orders, Des chooses the route that will ensure his men survive while completing the objectives of the mission. His is imprisoned for a short period of time, but the Sith Lord Kopecz recognizes his Force potential and sends him to Korriban, the training facility for the most talented Sith apprentices.
Korriban is a world seeped in the Dark Side and filled with treachery. The Sith value cunning and betrayal over loyalty. As part of becoming a Sith Des chooses to be called “Bane.” Bane is different than most students. Rather than learn exclusively at the feet of the Sith Masters, he supplements his learned with ancient Sith texts. Bane rises in the estimation of his peers and teachers only to lose it. In his first defining Combat Challenge, Bane uses the Dark Side to kill his opponent. This process scares him when he realizes that he had used the Dark Side to cause his father to have “heart failure.” For a time, he loses the ability to use the Force, as a result he loses his next challenge and all standing. For a time he is an outcast at the facility; and all Masters have been told not to waste their time teaching him.
However, a young former Jedi, named Githany, arrives at Korriban and teaches him what she has learned as well as how to regain the Force as a means to her own end of getting rid of a powerful student, Sirak. But treachery is the way of the Sith, and this doesn’t go as she expects.
The War is taking its toll on the Sith. They are losing ground mainly due to the leadership of the Jedi General Hoth. Here we see how different the Jedi of old were different from the Jedi of Anakin Skywalkers Age. First, Jedi Masters were allowed to have two Padawan learners. Second, the Sith were more like the Jedi in that they tried to conquer the galaxy by open brute force as opposed to subversion like Palpatine. Also the Jedi were alot more ruthless. As the war progressed, the Jedi were recruiting and sending half-trained children into battle.
At a certain point, Sith Lord Kaan (the leader of the Sith) realized he would have to empty all Sith training facilities in order to defeat the Jedi. Korriban was the last facility to be sent into battle. However, Bane defied all the Sith Masters and did not go to Ruusan. Rather he went to the “Unknown World” in order to find the true meaning of being a Sith. Here he found an ancient Holocron made by Darth Revan. After learning all he could from the holocron, Bane realized that the Sith needed to be purged. In order to ensure that Sith would survive rather than being destroyed from within he instituted the Rule of Two.
Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody the power, the other to crave it.
Armed with this, he set out to find his apprentice and destroy the rest of the Brotherhood of Darkness.
Bane eventually reached Ruusan after narrowly surviving an assassination attempt orchestrated by Sith Lord Kaan. Once there he orchestrates events to drive Kaan over edge of sanity. As a last resort to destroy the Jedi Kaan convinced the remaining Sith to detonate one of the most dangerous Force weapons- the thought bomb. It destroyed all the remaining Sith and 100 Jedi including General Hoth. The one down side to the weapon is that it entrapped the souls of all Force uses in a stasis.
Once all the Sith were dead, Bane prepared to leave the planet, but not before meeting who was to become his new apprentice, Zannah, a nine year old Jedi Padawan. He knew that it would take decades, even centuries to bring down the Jedi. But ultimately, he knew the Sith would be victorious.
This story is only the beginning. Later this month, the next Darth Bane novel comes out. It’s called Darth Bane: The Rule of Two.