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  1. #1
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    Default Star Wars: Sith Apprentices, the Rule of Two, and Time Lines

    In discussing matters on the Episode VII thread (NOTE: that's a spoiler thread, don't follow the quote link if you haven't seen the movie and don't want to trip over unwelcome reveals), I made a comment:
    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    ...That's something that hasn't been done enough in the canon (ignoring EU): exploring personal relationships within the Sith pairs. Count Dooku's attempt to recruit Obi-Wan suggest to me that is a constant, Darwinian chess match between master and apprentice. With each trying to find a new apprentice for themselves, so the apprentice may determine if they're ready to supplant the master, or the master may determine if the apprentice is still worthy of holding his place.
    That got me thinking: how often was the Sith Rule of Two more of a guideline than a law? I didn't read much of the EU, which has been de-canonized anyway, and I haven't seen all of the Clone Wars. I do know that Darth Tyrannus took on an apprentice - Assajj? - while Tyrannus was still apprenticed to Darth Sidious.

    Further, Darth Sidious seems to have had two apprentices at the same time himself, or nearly so. During Phantom Menace, Sidious' apprentice is clearly Darth Maul, however, The Attack of the Clones is set 10 years after Phantom Menace, and yet there are indications that Darth Tyrannus, or someone like him, had been at work on Darth Sidious' plans at least 10 years earlier, roughly at the same time as Obi-Wan Kenobi's bisection of Darth Maul.

    Somebody hired the Kimino cloners for Darth Sidious, perhaps either Maul or Tyrannus impersonating Jedi Master Syfodious. Attack of the Clones specifically state that Tyrannus recruited Jango Fett for the clone project; now that one's a bit looser, because we don't know how much time elapsed between "Syfodious'" arrangements with the cloners, and the first extraction of genetic material from Jango, but it wouldn't seem like enough time for Darth Sidious to recruit Darth Tyrannus from scratch. Also, mind you, Darth Sidious could not have been free to run around doing a whole lot of recruiting or organizing himself at the time, because at the end of Phantom Menace, he'd been elected Supreme Chancellor. There's not going to be a lot of sneaking away feasible for him.

    So it would seem that, at a minimum, Darth Sidious would have had to have Count Dooku's recruitment and training well underway while Darth Maul was still in his service. Thus, Darth Sidious may have had two or more apprentices, more or less, simultaneously.

    Was Darth Maul a new apprentice, intended to challenge Darth Tyrannus for his place at Darth Sidious' side? Was the late Master Syfodious another such apprentice? Perhaps even Darth Sidious' main apprentice, who failed in a play to supplant Darth Sidious, or supplanted himself by Darth Tyrannus or Darth Maul? Was Darth Sidious' agreement with Darth Vader to recruit Luke Skywalker understood by both Sith Lords to be a Darwinian opportunity for each of them to test their worthiness to hold their respective titles (and their lives)?

    Ignoring the sidelined EU material, what does current canon suggest to you?

  2. #2
    Astonishing Member David Walton's Avatar
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    I think everything is a suggestion for the Sith, who aren't exactly known for keeping their oaths.

    I do think Palpatine played things from every angle he could, planting various apprentices all throughout the galaxy.

    In the new Darth Vader comic from Marvel, spoilers:
    Vader actually deals with one of Palpatine's backup plans.
    end of spoilers

    Truth be told, I wonder if the "Rule of Two" is a complete and utter failure, since they still inevitably betray each other. And when they limit their numbers to two, the only way to amass any kind of real power is to have your own private army of non-Force users. It works for Palpatine, but it's hardly likely.

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    If it's a strict rule then he certainly could have "runner-ups" in case the apprentice dies. Just like in the battle between Anakin and Dooku. He has the apprentice but he's also been grooming Anakin to replace him and that battle cements it, basically.

    So maybe the same thing, he would have had Dooku try to replace Maul but it was decided for him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Walton View Post

    Truth be told, I wonder if the "Rule of Two" is a complete and utter failure, since they still inevitably betray each other.
    That was the point of the rule of two though. The apprentice would grow in strength and try to surpass the master. If they couldn't, they weren't fit to continue the Sith. If they did, then the Sith master is stronger which will ensure the next apprentice will be stronger ....etc.

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    Darth Plagueis was still alive being Sidious' master when Maul and Tyrannus were still apprenticed to Sidious in his eponymous novel.

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    Astonishing Member RobinFan4880's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    In discussing matters on the Episode VII thread (NOTE: that's a spoiler thread, don't follow the quote link if you haven't seen the movie and don't want to trip over unwelcome reveals), I made a comment:

    That got me thinking: how often was the Sith Rule of Two more of a guideline than a law? I didn't read much of the EU, which has been de-canonized anyway, and I haven't seen all of the Clone Wars. I do know that Darth Tyrannus took on an apprentice - Assajj? - while Tyrannus was still apprenticed to Darth Sidious.

    Further, Darth Sidious seems to have had two apprentices at the same time himself, or nearly so. During Phantom Menace, Sidious' apprentice is clearly Darth Maul, however, The Attack of the Clones is set 10 years after Phantom Menace, and yet there are indications that Darth Tyrannus, or someone like him, had been at work on Darth Sidious' plans at least 10 years earlier, roughly at the same time as Obi-Wan Kenobi's bisection of Darth Maul.

    Somebody hired the Kimino cloners for Darth Sidious, perhaps either Maul or Tyrannus impersonating Jedi Master Syfodious. Attack of the Clones specifically state that Tyrannus recruited Jango Fett for the clone project; now that one's a bit looser, because we don't know how much time elapsed between "Syfodious'" arrangements with the cloners, and the first extraction of genetic material from Jango, but it wouldn't seem like enough time for Darth Sidious to recruit Darth Tyrannus from scratch. Also, mind you, Darth Sidious could not have been free to run around doing a whole lot of recruiting or organizing himself at the time, because at the end of Phantom Menace, he'd been elected Supreme Chancellor. There's not going to be a lot of sneaking away feasible for him.

    So it would seem that, at a minimum, Darth Sidious would have had to have Count Dooku's recruitment and training well underway while Darth Maul was still in his service. Thus, Darth Sidious may have had two or more apprentices, more or less, simultaneously.

    Was Darth Maul a new apprentice, intended to challenge Darth Tyrannus for his place at Darth Sidious' side? Was the late Master Syfodious another such apprentice? Perhaps even Darth Sidious' main apprentice, who failed in a play to supplant Darth Sidious, or supplanted himself by Darth Tyrannus or Darth Maul? Was Darth Sidious' agreement with Darth Vader to recruit Luke Skywalker understood by both Sith Lords to be a Darwinian opportunity for each of them to test their worthiness to hold their respective titles (and their lives)?

    Ignoring the sidelined EU material, what does current canon suggest to you?
    Dooku was a fully trained Jedi Master. Qui-Gon was his apprentice.

    Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas had premonitions that the Republic would need an army. His fellows on the council disagreed with him. When Sifo pushed, the other Council Members removed him from the High Council. On his own, Sifo-Dyas went to Kamino to get them to clone an army. Palpatine caught wind of this and concocted a plan for Sifo to be killed and Darth Tyrannus to take control of the clone project. Sifo-Dyas was not a Sith nor did he fall to the Dark Side.

    The Rule of Two was established because the Sith of old modeled themselves after the Jedi. They had large numbers, an army and a bureacracy but where as the Jedi inherently trust one another and work together for a common goal, the Sith spent much of their time backstabbing and killing each other. When they set their petty difference aside, they lessened their connection to the Dark side of the Force. Bane created the Rule of Two because it was the only proper way for the Sith to ever fully achieve victory over the Jedi. They would have to use guile, subterfuge and etc. to get revenge, all of which strengthened their connection to the dark side.

    The underpinning of the Rule of Two is that the apprentice is always looking for ways to usurp the Master, while the Master is ever vigilant for betrayal. This cat and mouse game means the two are always challenging one another to become stronger and better Sith. For the Apprentice, the Master is often too powerful to tackle alone and so he will secretly train an apprentice of his own. If the Master ever catches wind of this, it is his duty to kill the Apprentice's Apprentice as a punishment for his Apprentice's sloppiness in allowing his Apprentice to be revealed/discovered before the final gambit. For the Master, he must be ever vigilant for newer and better Apprentices. He must also think long term about how the Apprentice may die unexpectedly. So it is the duty of the Master to have several back up candidates. Just as the Master will kill the Apprentices' Apprentice, the Apprentice must also kill the Master's backup Apprentices.

    All of this hones both the Master's and the Apprentices' skills and makes them all around better Sith.
    Last edited by RobinFan4880; 12-22-2015 at 10:36 AM.

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    All that above has been rendered non-canon, though they could still reuse it. Or were Darth Bane's stories still considered canon? I can't keep track. Either way his books were great and you wrote a great summary of the rule of two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abysslord View Post
    All that above has been rendered non-canon, though they could still reuse it. Or were Darth Bane's stories still considered canon? I can't keep track. Either way his books were great and you wrote a great summary of the rule of two.
    Yes, those are good enough ideas that they can be adopted into new material without much trouble.

  9. #9
    Astonishing Member RobinFan4880's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abysslord View Post
    All that above has been rendered non-canon, though they could still reuse it. Or were Darth Bane's stories still considered canon? I can't keep track. Either way his books were great and you wrote a great summary of the rule of two.
    In the Clone Wars TV show, Darth Bane popped up and made reference to all of this (although he did not go into specifics (but if you read the books, everthing aligns with what he said in the show)).

    Sifo-Dyas is still canon, there was a whole story arc in the Clone Wars that delved into the creation of the Clone Army.

    EDIT: I really wish Path of Destruction was still canon. It was a great read and really cemented the current era's Sith's philosophy.
    Last edited by RobinFan4880; 12-22-2015 at 11:14 AM.

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    Is the Darth Plaguis book canon? That was a little dry but it was great seeing how Palpatine grew up. However, it seemed to suggest they didn't create Anakin and the movies did suggest that, so I remember being a little confused. [/off topic]

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    Astonishing Member RobinFan4880's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by abysslord View Post
    Is the Darth Plaguis book canon? That was a little dry but it was great seeing how Palpatine grew up. However, it seemed to suggest they didn't create Anakin and the movies did suggest that, so I remember being a little confused. [/off topic]
    No, sadly.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobinFan4880 View Post
    ...Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas had premonitions that the Republic would need an army. His fellows on the council disagreed with him. When Sifo pushed, the other Council Members removed him from the High Council. On his own, Sifo-Dyas went to Kamino to get them to clone an army. Palpatine caught wind of this and concocted a plan for Sifo to be killed and Darth Tyrannus to take control of the clone project. Sifo-Dyas was not a Sith nor did he fall to the Dark Side.
    Did that come from Clone Wars? If not, it all now lies outside canon.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobinFan4880 View Post
    The Rule of Two was established because the Sith of old modeled themselves after the Jedi. They had large numbers, an army and a bureacracy but where as the Jedi inherently trust one another and work together for a common goal, the Sith spent much of their time backstabbing and killing each other. When they set their petty difference aside, they lessened their connection to the Dark side of the Force. Bane created the Rule of Two because it was the only proper way for the Sith to ever fully achieve victory over the Jedi. They would have to use guile, subterfuge and etc. to get revenge, all of which strengthened their connection to the dark side.
    Unfortunately, that all also now lies outside canon.

    Quote Originally Posted by RobinFan4880 View Post
    The underpinning of the Rule of Two is that the apprentice is always looking for ways to usurp the Master, while the Master is ever vigilant for betrayal. This cat and mouse game means the two are always challenging one another to become stronger and better Sith. For the Apprentice, the Master is often too powerful to tackle alone and so he will secretly train an apprentice of his own. If the Master ever catches wind of this, it is his duty to kill the Apprentice's Apprentice as a punishment for his Apprentice's sloppiness in allowing his Apprentice to be revealed/discovered before the final gambit. For the Master, he must be ever vigilant for newer and better Apprentices. He must also think long term about how the Apprentice may die unexpectedly. So it is the duty of the Master to have several back up candidates. Just as the Master will kill the Apprentices' Apprentice, the Apprentice must also kill the Master's backup Apprentices.

    All of this hones both the Master's and the Apprentices' skills and makes them all around better Sith.
    That all comes through, if only by inference in the eight remaining canonical sources. Makes sense. Assajj, then was not "officially" a Sith Lord, but some kind of initiate. I can buy that.

    Another thing that's not touched on in canon is that a Sith Lord would seem to enjoy an inherent advantage in confronting a Jedi. By their nature, the Sith are violent, even viciously so, while a Jedi requires a state of calm to bring his abilities with the Force to bear, and combat is not conducive to calm. Thus in facing a Sith, a Jedi is not only at risk of the harm the Sith is capable of doing, but from drawing on the Force while in a state of fear, or anger. So Sith has only one way of losing: being exhausted/overwhelmed by the Jedi, while the Jedi has two: being exhausted/overwhelmed by the Sith or being corrupted by their own passions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrNewGod View Post
    Another thing that's not touched on in canon is that a Sith Lord would seem to enjoy an inherent advantage in confronting a Jedi. By their nature, the Sith are violent, even viciously so, while a Jedi requires a state of calm to bring his abilities with the Force to bear, and combat is not conducive to calm. Thus in facing a Sith, a Jedi is not only at risk of the harm the Sith is capable of doing, but from drawing on the Force while in a state of fear, or anger. So Sith has only one way of losing: being exhausted/overwhelmed by the Jedi, while the Jedi has two: being exhausted/overwhelmed by the Sith or being corrupted by their own passions.
    Yes, but when you start fighting with hate/anger you may not think as well. Like in MMA or boxing, you walk in with a plan, get your bell rung, and suddenly you're fighting mad instead of smart and usually it doesn't work out well.

    But yes, that's a good point. I never thought about it like that before.

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