With the forthcoming Darth Plagueis novel coming out and likely exploring the background and details of Sidious's grand plan, I thought it would be interesting to speculate on a question in this forum before the EU (maybe) takes a crack at it and sticks us with an answer that a significant segment of fandom will insist is gospel. Why did the Sith reveal their existence in TPM? It seems premature. Wouldn't it have been safer to maintain their anonymity until their plans were further along? Like, say, after executing Order 66. They had been in hiding for a thousand years, but they were drawn out by the need to track down a fugitive queen? Couldn't a bounty hunter have done that? And since Amidala's presence on Coruscant actually worked out pretty darn well for Palpatine anyway, was this just a rare strategic lapse? Or did the Sith benefit in some other, more subtle way by their emergence at that point? A few possibilities off the top of my head: 1. (Jedi) Knight takes (Darth) Pawn. Sidious knew that he would need an inside man in the Jedi order to faciliate the creation of the clone army. Maul was, if not deliberately sacrificed, then at least willfully endangered because Sidious knew he would have to get rid of him soon anyway to pave the way for a converted Jedi. With the upcoming need to forge the Separatist movement, Maul was nearing the end of his usefulness. (That would put a different spin on "We are indebted to you for your bravery, Obi-Wan Kenobi.") 2. Psychological Warfare. By raising the specter of the return of the Sith, perhaps paranoia would make the Jedi more likely to wholeheartedly enter the Clone Wars once they suspected a Sith plot at work. When the Jedi hear the Truth from the mouth of a Sith, they believe the Lie. "What if I told you that hundreds of senators are now under the influence of a Sith Lord called Darth Sidious?" 3. Distraction. As the plan progressed, Sidious knew that the Jedi would become aware that the Dark Side was growing ever stronger. Perhaps he felt it would be better if the Jedi were focused on the manhunt for Darth Bogeyman than for them to actually look at the big picture and see the reasons the galaxy and the Force were darkening.