Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Keeper_of_Swords, May 22, 2004.
He directed the most anti establishment movies of that group.
"One of the themes throughout the films is that the Sith lords, when they started out thousands of years ago, embraced the dark side. They were greedy and self centered and they all wanted to take over, so they killed each other. Eventually there was only one left and that one took on an apprentice. And for thousands of years, the master would teach the apprentice, the master would die, the apprentice would then teach another apprentice, become the master, and so on. But there could never be more than two of them, because if there were, they would try to get rid of the leader, which is exactly what Vader was trying to do, and that's exactly what the Emperor was trying to do. The Emperor was trying to get rid of Vader, and Vader was trying to get rid of the Emperor. And that is the antithesis of a symbiotic relationship, in which if you do that, you become cancer, and you eventually kill the host, and everything dies."
Interesting that GL says that the Rule of Two is "thousands" of years old. This explains Yoda knowing about the Rule of Two.
So if the Sith never stop trying to kill each other.... you'd think at some point in the last few thousand years, two of them would have managed a mutual KO. Like Holmes and Moriarty at Reichenbach.
But then that would probably put paid to this particular brand of the Sith Order... which shows just how silly and ill-thought-out the PT "Rule of Two" is.
I disagree. Perhaps unrealistic though it was, if the Sith could be shown to have survived a millennia through obeying the Rule of Two, it demonstrates the discipline and danger this dark cult presents to a complacent and weakened Jedi Order. Only two members at any time, biding their time, honing their skills to complete and utter perfection, manipulating everything behind the scenes, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. If it took centuries and the natural deaths of assorted Sith Lords, so be it - the hammer would eventually fall.
One day - maybe not this day, maybe not in my lifetime, or even your lifetime, my apprentice, but one day.
That was the point. Very sinister, truly cult-like, and pretty scary. That's what works about it. One of my favourite elements of the PT.
One thing that bugs me about it is: how would Yoda - or any Jedi for that matter - know about the rule?
As the quote I posted shows, the Rule of Two began thousands of years ago but the Sith have only been "extinct" for 1000 years. In their zeal to blame Lucas and the prequels for everything, people often ignore this quote.
The rule existing for however long isn't the issue. The issue is: how would a Jedi know about a rule that would be in the realm of esoteric insider-knowledge about a cult?
But...it's only been in the 1000 year period that they've actually adhered to the rule. [/quote]I just told you that the quote says otherwise.
But it isn't in the films, and an audience member who isn't a Star Wars fan isn't going to know this. Plus, this makes the Jedi look even more foolish in falling for the whole "extinction" trick that the Sith pulled.
Neither is the claim that the Rule of Two has only been followed for 1000 years.
So the audience isn't going to know about it either way...(?). "What are Sidious and Maul blathering about?" , they would ask. Might as well have left the Rule of Two out... the OT makes sense fine without it, and it doesn't make the Jedi from the PT look any more intelligent. And ATMachine is right: if the rule really matters all that much, the Sith should have gone "extinct" way before they were thought to have done.
I've never liked having to "bone up" on a film via the ancillary materials in order to understand the film itself. That smacks of either bad scriptwriting/editing, or a desire to get people to buy tie-in merchandise.... or both.
Yeah, the Rule does work to a certain degree -- it's not as if the Sith being more numerous makes them more scary, quite the opposite. (Rather akin to the Law of Conservation of Ninjitsu.) Still, at least in terms of probability, it falls apart if you think about it too much.
Doesn't the fact that Yoda knows about the Rule of Two tell the viewer that it's older than 1000 years? EU aside, where was it implied that the Rule of Two is only 1000 years old? Isn't the EU ancillary material?
You can't falt a film for failing to disprove something that it never suggested in the first place. Falting TPM for not talking about Yoda finding out about the Rule of Two is like faulting the OT for not addressing midichlorians.
I wasn't really talking about the Rule of Two there specifically, though I do think clearer writing of the dialogue would have helped viewers understand better the underlying backstory). Way too many movies these days do that -- not only SW.
I wonder when Lucas thought up the Rule of Two.
True - as do a lot of things in SW. In a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, the authors haven't pursued and thought through every single detail to the extent that fans do, and nor should they have to - Tolkien was very much the exception, rather than the rule. George RR Martin has admitted as such - he receives all sorts of fan mail asking questions about Westeros, and it really boils down to this:
Very good question. There's nothing in various materials concerning the OT that even hints at it, and as late as the Third Draft of SW, there's about four (?) Sith Lords around including Vader, but excluding the Master of the Sith, someone separate to the Emperor.
The 1976 novelisation also suggests multiple Sith Lords still in existence besides Vader.
Past ESB, however, the notion of the Sith organisation drops out of the story, it's just light and dark Force users. Various media still referred to Vader as 'the Dark Lord of the Sith', with no explanation, and there was never any indication that Palps was a 'Sith', despite being Vader's master and a Force adept.
The early 1990s EU picked up on the name, though - it's worth mentioning that the Noghri of Timothy Zahn's Heir to the Empire trilogy were first called the Sith, until GL and LFL stomped on the idea - and an ancient Sith mythology was constructed for the Dark Empire comic series and its supporting series, Tales of the Jedi, set 4-5 millennia before the GCW.
These early tales don't really relate to the 'Sith' culture of the SW Saga and the current EU canon in terms of the specifics - there's no 'Darth' titles, and no actual Rule of Two. As I understand it, GL specified that such stories had to be set in the distant past, so as not to interfere with the stories he was writing.
However, the second TOTJ series, entitled 'Dark Lords of the Sith' did introduce something which would eventually appear in TPM - a double-bladed lightsaber.
It also finished with Exar Kuun being anointed by ancient Sith spirits as 'the Dark Lord of the Sith', with Ulic Qel Droma as his apprentice. While there was no mention of there only being two Sith Lords allowed at a time, it certainly echoes the Rule of Two. Whether or not this was suggested by GL, or something which inspired him, I've never come across anything to indicate one way or another, but it was there in 1995.
Does that include the words GRRM cribbed from Sindarin and Quenya?
Probably, he's pretty shameless about such things, there's an Oakenshield in there, and a Beren, IIRC. Maybe we'll run into some Wookiees and Klingons north of the Wall in The Winds of Winter.
A bit of a minor nitpick, but it relates to a personal pet peeve of mine so I thought I'd point it out: using languages as an example of Tolkien being an unusually meticulous worldbuilder doesn't really work, because the man was a linguist by profession and inclination - he arguably created Middle-Earth solely as background for the fictional languages he wanted to come up with.
Very true - he was basically an academic first and an author second. The mythology he created was almost an exercise - apart from the linguistic aspects, it also used a number of well-known, sometimes universal mythological elements, like the Atlantis story, original sin, the fallen angel and so on.
(I don't think GRRM was necessarily saying otherwise, although the term 'architect' might suggest that the languages and history were created as a foundation for Middle-Earth, when they were really ends in themselves)
Regarding the rule of two... I know the OT works fine without it... but it leaves you wondering about why neither Vader nor Palpatine never tried to get an apprentice (or two... or five) of their own. They didn't know about Luke for almost twenty years, after all. And then each of them tries to get Luke on their side and eliminate the other. Sounds like what the Sith would do.
Which makes me wonder if the Rule of Two was invented for the PT and OT's sake both.
I don't know if this is what's accepted in the wider SW lexicon as 'canon', but I've always figured the Rule of Two was something the Sith only adhered to during the millennium that they lurked in the shadows, after having been ousted from power. Once they took over the galaxy, Palps and Vader might have arrogantly decided that it had served its purpose - which, of course, was wrong, as the events of ESB and ROTJ are a perfect illustration of just why such evil, treacherous people needed it in the first place.
(And no, I don't think for a second that GL thought up the RoT while he was making the OT, just that it would have been inspired, in part, by Palpatine's and Vader's attempted betrayals of each other)
They may well have regarded all Sith dogma as no longer needed, as well (which would provide a convenient rationalisation as to why the term 'Sith' is never mentioned in the OT).
Disagree because that would raise the question of how Yoda knows about the Rule of Two (and Windu seems to know about the Rule of Two as well judging by his response to Yoda.) Not only do they know about the Rule of Two, they also seem to accept it as absolute, always-true, applicable-to-all-Sith fact. I'm curious as to what made you figure that the Sith didn't follow the Rule of Two before they were ousted from power a millenium ago.
I think that Palpatine dropped all dogma upon becoming an Emperor because he seems way too narcissistic to follow anyone's dogma except his own if he has a choice.
The OT gave me the impression that masters and apprentices scheming against each other wasn't the norm. The idea that Sith always backstab each other is something that surprised me when they were developed in the prequels and EU.
They didn't. The Rule of Two was a completely new practice, adopted 1000 years before TPM by Darth Bane, after a massive war in which the Sith managed to undermine themselves with their own individual ambitions. Darth Bane was the only Sith Lord left, and he understood that such ambitions were what had led to the Sith's defeat - hence why he created the Rule of Two. It didn't exist before then, it was brought in as a result of the Sith's defeat. That's not just EU stuff, it's from GL himself, and was also included in the TPM novelisation.
Regarding how Yoda knew about the RoT - IIRC, from EU materials mentioned on Wookieepedia a while back, apparently during the interim, one Sith Lord went insane and confessed a number of Sith secrets to Republic/Jedi authorities, about 200 years before TPM. I think it may have been technically retconned, as it's not there anymore, but come on. Given 1000 years, I don't think it's too much of a stretch to simply believe that a 900-year-old Jedi master like Yoda might have come across some sort of information about the Sith at some time, or that such information might have leaked somehow, without having it spelled out. Not everything has to be.
Ancillary materials are there to elaborate upon the story for those interested in further details, but for the film itself, all that was required was the establishment of the two Sith themselves (Sidious and Maul), and to reinforce just how dangerous these two characters were, a simple line from a credible in-film character (I can't think of a source more credible than Yoda when it comes to such matters):
"Always two there are - no more, no less. A master and an apprentice."