The Sith’s iconic rule of two has a loophole that changes its meaning
Contains spoilers for Star Wars: Hidden Empire #1!In War of the galaxies the tradition, the iconic Sith two states rule, “There should be two. No more, no less. One to embody power, the other to desire it.” The law is meant to ensure the survival and growth of the Sith Order, but it turns out that even this ironclad rule has some exceptions.
Before the Rule of Two existed, the Sith were as numerous as the Jedi. The two orders of Force users waged war against each other for millennia, but the Sith were often fractured by disunity and ambition. His greed and desire for power even over his fellow Sith often led to internal strife and conflict. In this weakened state, the Jedi were able to gain an advantage, nearly wiping out the Sith during the ancient Battle of Ruusan. One of the few survivors was a Sith by the name of Darth Bane, who eliminated the other surviving lords and created the Rule of Two.
However, in Star Wars: The Hidden Empire #1, by Charles Soule and Steven Cummings, it is revealed that the long-lost Sith weapon known as Fermata’s Cage can suspend people in time forever, and it is suggested that the cage’s current occupant is a former Sith Lord. Crimson Dawn leader Qi’ra is trying to free the trapped Force user in hopes that they will seek out Emperor Palpatine and destroy him, because as she says, “There can only be two of themHowever, the existence of a caged Sith Lord means that the Rule of Two itself has at least one loophole.
Sith breaks the rules
Darth Bane established Rule Two as a way to keep the Sith Order strong and flexible. A Sith master would train a Sith apprentice, and that apprentice would one day rise up and try to kill their master and usurp his place. At the same time, a master could choose to train potential apprentices who could replace or replace their current student before that happened, just as Palpatine did with Maul, Dooku, and Anakin. This ultimately means that there is no level of trust between master and apprentice, as each is motivated to kill the other, but prior to the revelation of Fermata’s cage this rule was always assumed to be absolute.
Now it looks like more than two Sith tin they really exist in the universe, as long as one of them is locked in the cage. Death is no longer the only canonical means of advancing the Sith lineage. It is still unclear who or what is trapped inside the cage, a master or an apprentice, but they are still alive (albeit unconscious) and can be brought back. This means that for the entire War of the galaxies the saga as experienced by the fans, there is never there have only been two Sith, and Qi’ra’s plan hinges on using this loophole in the Rule of Two to bring deadly disunity back into the Sith Order.
It makes perfect sense that once a Sith was locked in Fermata’s cage, their position in the Rule of Two would be lost, but it breaks both the spirit and the letter of Bane’s law to leave a potential Sith competitor still capable to return the galaxy By rights, the Rule of Two should make it the rest of the Sith’s job to destroy Fermata’s cage or free their “ally,” but Sith philosophy is against that kind of risk taken in the name of a other person Deeming the Sith locked in Fermata’s cage to be “dead”, the Sith discovered a loophole in a rule that defined Palpatine’s greatest achievements, thus allowing the emergence of a new competitor in War of the galaxies‘history in progress.
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