Why Was The Rule Of Two A Bad Idea And Destined To Fail? | Star Wars Lore

Published on Oct 6, 2021
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Why was The Rule Of Two A Bad Idea And Always Destined To Fail?

The rule of two did have it's successes, most notably of course, the complete overthrow of the Galactic Republic. A few months ago, I released a short video explaining why, despite its apparent success, I believe the rule of two sith to be a fundamentally flawed idea. However, that video received quite a lot of backlash in the comments section, with many claiming the Rule Of Two philosophy to be faultless. This video will explain in detail why I believe the rule of two was largely, a foolish idea.


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Fiirst, we must have a look at the strengths of the rule of two sith. As we briefly explored in my last video, the sith of the new sith wars were weak. No longer were the sith ruled by the strongest sith lord, they were now led by a coalition of the weak, leading to defeat after defeat at the hands of the Jedi.

Undoubtedly, change was needed. The instigation of the rule of two by Darth Bane was an understandable reaction to the failures of the Sith of Old. The transformation of the sith from warriors into politicians and bankers was certainly an effective strategy and one that I will not be criticising. In fact, I do not disagree with the essence of much of the rule of two. The Sith needed to do things differently and The integration of a brutal meritocratic system was sorely needed. As the establishment of the Empire exemplifies, the strategy of destroying the Republic from within was very successful.

However, this system also had its faults. Faults so significant that the success of the rule of two cannot be only attributed to its merits, suggesting a great deal of luck must have been present. In fact these fundamental faults are so significant, they eventually led to the complete destruction of the Sith Order.

The first major problem was the lack of adherence to its finer details by many of its followers. Apprentices were only meant to replace their masters once they had become more powerful than their masters. To prove they were more powerful, Sith were meant to challenge and defeat their masters in a fair fight. However, during the latter days of the Rule of Two Sith, this almost never happened. Darth Plagueis killed his master by dropping a cave on his head, while Plageius himself was killed while intoxicated and asleep.

On both occasions, it was unclear whether the more powerful sith had actually won. By killing their masters, both Plageius and Palpatine lost the Sith Order the secret of Immortality, setting the Sith back years in research. Rather than killing them in a fair fight to prove who was more powerful, deceit and betrayal were used instead.


The extent to which this harmed the Sith is of course impossible to prove and requires some level of speculation. However I believe that If Plageius and Palpatine had ruled together as originally planned, the galaxy would have been almost helpless to stop them by the events of a new hope. With Plagiuses power, the sith would have been effectively immortal and it is likely that the Siths knowledge of the dark side would have grown far faster.


The Sith wished to unlock all the secrets of the dark side and By prematurely killing off those who held knowledge of these powers, all it did was hinder the Siths progress.



The loss of knowledge was not the only reason why it took a millennia for them to become powerful enough to destroy the Republic. One of the main reasons why the sith of old became so powerful was because there were so many of them. Just like with any scientific endeavour, many sith worked to perfect the use of the dark side, discovering many dark side abilities that even Sidious was unable to replicate. By limiting themselves only to two, research into the dark side was very slow.

In fact, it would seem as though little progress was made into the dark side across the millennia. While we can never know truely who was more powerful, the force and lightsaber feats of Darth Bane eclipse that of many later rule of two sith. The rule of two system was set up to increase the Siths power over time. However, in one thousand years, almost no progress was made in rediscovering ancient sith abilities such as sith alchemy. It was only through the machinations of truely remarkable sith such as Tenebrous, Plagueis and Palpatine that the sith made any progress in terms of the dark side.


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