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Saga Lucas’s vision of the Sith and galactic history over time

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by darklordoftech, Mar 12, 2020.

  1. Tython Awakening

    Tython Awakening Force Ghost star 4

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    Oct 12, 2017
    The EU makes the point that the Sith were an ancient galactic space-faring species. The Sith were among the species brought to the planet Tython in the Dawn of the Jedi comic series. Where did the term "Dark Lord of the Sith" originate and what does this term refer to? This term implies there is a group called the Sith and they have powerful overlords. This term goes back to the novelization of A New Hope. The blueprint for the Expanded Universe is right there in the novelization (1976) and film (1977) for A New Hope.

    Lucas could bang his head on the ceiling all day and mince words in every interview post-1999, but -- there needs to still be a war between Jedi and Sith, many wars, as implied by the blueprints he created when he was younger.

    My view is that Lucas turned over those eras to other people by licensing out the timeline. The EU was sufficiently cohesive to provide revelations on the back story for the Sith and Jedi. The EU is still in print and impacts the direction of the current line of stories. Sometimes we see direct references to the EU.

    The revelations of the EU canon cannot be undone. It is too late. We have the option of joining canons or reading one of the two in exclusion of the other.
     
  2. Alexrd

    Alexrd Chosen One star 6

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    Jul 7, 2009
    Yes, he was going to do a sequel trilogy. That doesn't mean he wasn't interested in expanding the story beyond Darth Vader's. Or that to Tolkien the stories of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are all that matters.

    Not being that interested doesn't mean that he had no interest. And he did have ideas. In his backstory, he defined how the Sith came about and how they were nearly destroyed. You don't need to write a book, a script or a movie to have ideas and care about them.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2022
    Sauron_18 likes this.
  3. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

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    Sep 30, 2012
    @Sauron_18 If Lucas had stuck to the “over 1000 generations” date from ANH, would Ki-Adi Mundi have said, “The Sith have been extinct for 1000 generations”? Imagine how much chaos that would have caused for the EU.
     
  4. Lord Sith Harloxzz

    Lord Sith Harloxzz Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 27, 2016
    Looks like in George Lucas story the Republic only existed for 1000 years very short compared to New Canon and Legends
    Apparently there was never an Old Republic or a Republic army before the Clones
    The Clone Wars is referred to as the most devastating War in history so there shouldnt have been a conflict bigger than The Clone Wars so there probably wasnt Mandalorians vs Republic War or Sith vs Republic/Jedi War in George vision If those Wars existed probably wouldnt have been as devastating as The Clone Wars
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2022
  5. Alexrd

    Alexrd Chosen One star 6

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    Jul 7, 2009
    We don't know that. We only know that Obi-Wan's line in ANH is referring to the Republic from the prequels.

    Why? Where does that come from? We do know that the last galactic war happened around the time the Republic was formed. We don't know the scale of devastation of that war, or how the Clone Wars compare to any of the previous wars.
     
  6. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Apr 1, 2005
    Reading the third edition of the Guide to the Star Wars Universe, I read this in the entry for the Sith:

    “Since an internal conflict 2,000 years before the Battle of Yavin, the Sith were reduced to just two members—a master and an apprentice.”

    Since this edition was published only a year after TPM, it’s likely the main source for this was that movie’s novelization. It follows the interpretation of that book that Bane lived two thousand years before the time of the movies and that the Sith followed the rule of two for almost a thousand years before they were thought extinct.

    And yet, other Lucasfilm insiders have doubled-down on the EU’s interpretation that Bane lived only one thousand years prior to the movies, even though this creates the logic issue of the Jedi knowing about the Rule of Two while thinking the Jedi extinct.

    Pablo Hidalgo has maintained since 2003 and up till now that the idea is that Darth Bane did create a secret order and that the Jedi later found out about his Rule of Two even while thinking the Sith destroyed. That’s what the EU followed as it delved more into Bane and added more material to its canon. But Hidalgo did recently admit that Lucas never gave them any indication as to how the Jedi could know about the Rule of Two. But I do actually think he’s probably faithfully operating on what Lucas told them, even if there’s a contradiction. And my main reason for saying this is Matthew Stover’s novelization of Revenge of the Sith.

    Stover clearly incorporated much of the EU into his book, but he also got to chat with Lucas about Jedi and Sith history. He’s said in interviews that Lucas told him things he did not know about that history, some of which he didn’t include in his book but still can’t disclose because of NDAs. I can’t imagine what that might be, but what it says to me is that Lucas gave him the lowdown on his view of Sith history. So while the book may include a lot of EU material, whatever deals with Sith history might come from Lucas. And there’s one passage that is relevant to the Bane question, when Mace, Yoda, and Obi-Wan are discussing the prophecy of the Chosen One:

    “Since the fall of Darth Bane more than a millennium ago, there have been hundreds of thousands of Jedi—hundreds of thousands of Jedi feeding the light with each work of their hands, with each breath, with every beat of their hearts, bringing justice, building civil society, radiating peace, acting out of selfless love for all living things—and in all these thousand years, there have been only two Sith at any time.”

    This clearly places Bane at one thousand years before the movies. And it portrays him as a Sith Lord who was known to the Jedi, and whose fall was also known to them.

    So if that came from Lucas, then we’re just back where the TPM novelization left us, with Bane being there not long after the Sith were born 2,000 years ago and then again when the Sith were thought dead 1,000 years later.

    I don’t care too much about the years at this point. Clearly Lucas will sometimes give years as a general figure more than anything. But I do think he accidentally created the contradiction that the Sith reformed as an order of two after their presumed extinction and yet the Jedi somehow knew about it. Lucasfilm has tried finding ways of making that make sense, but I’m not even sure Lucas himself has bothered.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2022
  7. BlackRanger

    BlackRanger Jedi Master star 4

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    Apr 14, 2018
    A fun way to resolve that contradiction would be if maybe the Jedi killed a Master and Apprentice Sith at some point, and thus thought the Line of Bane was broken, but the Apprentice secretly had an Apprentice of their own who survived (a bit like Vader and Starkiller in the Force Unleashed games). Thus the Rule of Two, and the line of the Sith along with it, would have been preserved precisely because of its violation.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2022
  8. Samuel Vimes

    Samuel Vimes Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Sep 4, 2012
    Why would they say that the Sith had been extinct for that long?
    If the republic was founded over one thousand generations ago but at first it was quite small and other smaller groups of systems existed in the galaxy. One of them could be run by the Sith and there were conflict at times between them and the Republic for time to time. But 1000 years ago it was major war between the Sith forces and the Republic and the Sith were thought to have been wiped out. And after that is when the republic grew to the size that it had at in the PT films.

    In short, the republic could be older and the sith could have been a recurring problem for the Jedi/Republic for a long time but 1000 years ago is when the Sith were thought to have been all killed.
    The age of the Old Republic and the time when the Sith were thought to have been wiped out don't have to be related.

    Bye for now.
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  9. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Apr 1, 2005
    I was reading through Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter the other day, and there was a passage featuring Darth Sidious that reminded me of the Episode I novelization's passage where he ponders the history of the Sith:
    This passage matches what the Episode I novelization introduced for the most part. Shadow Hunter was released in February 2001, not too long after Episode I re-wrote the ancient history of the Sith that the EU had come up with. Some of the terms used in this passage match ideas present in the EU, but they are used in a way that fits more closely to Lucas's own vision. What's also interesting is that this passage pre-figures the kind of thinking Darth Sidious would present to Anakin in Episode III, especially in terms of accusing the Jedi of also seeking power like the Sith do.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2022
  10. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Apr 1, 2005
    Apologies for double posting, but I watched the Tales of the Jedi shorts and a couple of episodes made me think about this topic.

    In a couple of the TOTJ shorts, we see Dooku as a Jedi intervening in the politics of different worlds in increasingly aggressive fashion.

    In one short, he faces a senator who has been exploiting his people, and goes as far as to choke him with the Force nearly to death to stop him. In another short, he’s investigating the death of a Jedi and comes into conflict with yet another corrupt senator, pursuing his investigation until it results in the death of the senator and most of his guards (who were rebelling against him).

    These cases are fairly light for the most part, but they made me wonder if a similar scenario could’ve been what led the Jedi who founded the Sith Order to start using the dark side. Maybe he found that using the power of the Force aggressively and not stopping himself from killing his enemies was a more efficient way of creating peace and order than through mostly nonviolent negotiation.

    The Sith mentality that we see in the prequels is that their use of the dark side is justified because they bring peace and order. In truth they really are seeking power over others, but it’s uncertain how self-aware they are about this. Still, that tells me that seduction to the dark side can happen when a Jedi decides that a moral end can be achieved through immoral means. And this is true in life as well.

    What do others think about that first seduction of the Sith? Or, alternatively, about what Darth Vader’s seduction to the dark side as originally portrayed the first Star Wars movie? (Since that prefigured the original Sith’s fall as Lucas’s lore evolved.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2022
  11. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

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    Sep 30, 2012
    This is an interesting possibility. It definitely could be.

    I also wanted to say that if Lucas meant for Darth Bane to have lived 1000 years before the movies, I think he would have had the Sith be founded 1000 years before the movies as well. Everything points to Lucas seeing the Rule of Two as the only way the Sith can survive.
     
  12. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Apr 1, 2005
    I agree. Although the Episode I novelization gives us two distinct dates—2000 and 1000 years before the movies—the text itself only seems to refer to a single time period. I think Lucas likely only meant that more than a thousand years prior to the movies, the Sith Order was founded, destroyed itself and was remade by Bane, and then was thought extinct some time after that. Whether that whole process only took weeks (as the novelization stated) or decades (as Lucas suggested in the Archives book) is not as clear and may not have been something he settled on.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2022
  13. Darth Caliban

    Darth Caliban Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 17, 2015
    Interesting. From what i know about the first draft (e. g. Kaminsky's Secret History of Star Wars and his old website), i never had the impression that Sith history was an issue in this script.

    Wish Lucas would finally publically release *all* of his drafts.

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  14. Darth Caliban

    Darth Caliban Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 17, 2015
    Perhaps it's possible that Lucas originally thought of Bane being a member of a long living species or having been able to rise his life expectancy with ancient Sith techniques.

    Maybe much of what is known or assumed about Plagueis comes from his original thoughts about Bane.

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  15. Sauron_18

    Sauron_18 Jedi Grand Master star 5

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    Apr 1, 2005
    It’s true that nothing says Darth Bane couldn’t have been from a long-lived species. But I think that might be giving too much credence to dates that may simply be contradictory or nebulous.

    When Lucas talks about dates for events set in the past, his references are usually not absolute or precise. He’s giving general figures and may sometimes appear to contradict himself because he’s not really trying to provide a strict chronology.

    The more I think of this topic, the more wary I become of overthinking it. And I appreciate the simpler statements that Lucas makes because I think they’re closer to how he really thinks of topics like these. So I really appreciate this statement below as his general view of Sith history:
    That’s the short version. But the Jedi know of Darth Bane, so the Sith’s self destruction is not why the Jedi thought the order had gone extinct. I suspect it‘s more likely that he was a parallel to Darth Sidious, that he emerged from hiding and waged his own campaign to conquer the galaxy before he and his apprentice were stopped.

    To add another interesting dimension to that idea, I want to share Mace Windu’s full line to Sidious during their battle from the screenplay for Revenge of the Sith:
    This suggests that the Sith were last seen after the foundation of the Republic and that they were even able to conquer it through some means or another before being finally defeated. Though, as I said earlier, this may already be me overthinking things.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2022