I’ve finished reading The Darth Bane trilogy recently. It was written by Drew Karpyshyn and includes three books: Path of Destruction, Rule of Two, Dynasty of Evil. I had read more than half a dozen books about Star Wars universe before that. The first thing I must tell you to set up the overall tone of this review is that I liked this trilogy more than any other Star Wars book I had read before and Darth Bane has become my absolute favorite character in the universe of Star Wars.
Now I’ll try to explain you why this trilogy worth reading (even if you are not a huge fan of Star Wars and probably just watched few classical movies) while trying not to spoil any major plot events. As i didn’t find any big flaws in this trilogy, I’ll focus on what I liked the most.
The first thing I’d like to mention is how dynamically events flow during the whole story, at the same time all being connected (sometimes in unexpected ways). When reading you’ll find yourself travelling across the universe in time and space: from dusty forgotten industrial world of Apatros, where it all starts, to the inhospitable Sith home world of Korriban, and then to forest covered Ruusan, where a great war between Sith and Jedi is waging, and later to desert Ambria… There are many more worlds where action takes place, of course, including forsaken Rakata-Prime.
The story itself is exceptionally captivating. The author managed to create several stories, complementing each other and converging eventually. Every story could serve as a complete narrative by itself. For me the most memorizing stories are the ones related to Korriban and the Sith Academy and the story about Ruusan. You’ll notice how meticulously characters in these stories are portrayed and how authentic they look. Young sith Githany, who betrayed the teachings of Jedi Order, Lord commander of Jedi army of light Hoth and Jedi master Farfalla, the Huntress and Zannah are just a few examples of brilliant and memorizing characters.
But the central figure of the whole trilogy is Darth Bane himself, of course. He is the only character who you follow from the start to the end. His entire story is filled with reversals, transformations and sudden events, which makes it so interesting to follow. There is something in the personality of Dessel, who became dark lord of the Sith later, that makes you sympathize with him despite of those evil deeds he commits. For me personally the most admired trait of his character is his determination to achieve his ultimate goal, no matter the cost. His thirst for ancient knowledge, which he tried to quench during his days in the Sith Academy on Korriban by studying ancient texts looks very appealing to me. Both Bane and his apprentice, Zannah, despised attachments to material comforts and looked at wealth only as a tool to achieve their universal goals. In fact Darth Bane was an ascetic, and that is what I respect in him.
While reading I couldn’t help but ask myself what Darth Bane was seeking, what was his ultimate goal. It is the last part of the main Sith Code verse, he followed unflinchingly, that hints at the answer: “…through power I gain victory, through victory my chains are broken”. Perhaps, Bane was seeking freedom after all. Something, that he, probably, valued above everything else, given his childhood and youth on Apatros. I believe it makes him quite different from most of the other sith lords, who were driven mostly by corrupted desire to rule, but the line is very thin here, I must admit.
Darth Bane was a man of a great vision, that only people chosen by destiny to reshape the world and redefine the rules according to which it exists, have. He managed to bring down the entire Sith Order by subtle manipulations, performed at the right time, in the right place, and established the rule of two. And this is one of the most interesting things to ponder, because traditionally the Sith are considered extremely selfish and ambitious, whereas the Jedi are known for their compassionate and sacrificial attitude in general. But the rule of two, that Bane had established, implies that both master and apprentice must sacrifice themselves at some point for the future of the Sith. Master teaches apprentice everything he knows only to face that apprentice in a deadly combat once, in which only one survives to continue Sith lineage. There is a strong sacrificial element in this, in my opinion.
Every part of Darth Bane journey is interesting in its own way, reflecting transformation of his personality. My personal favorite parts include the days of Bane in the Academy on Korriban and his service in the army of the Sith before he became a Sith. If you are familiar with the story of the Sith lords to some extent you’ll probably notice that Darth Bane is quite different from the rest and, I believe, it is what makes his storyline so unique.
I wish this trilogy was turned into the movie one day. I can even see someone like Vin Diesel as Darth Bane in the main role ! That would be amazing.
Drawing the line I’d like to point out that Darth Bane trilogy would be a very interesting reading not only for those who have been much into the universe of Star Wars, but also for those who like sci-fi stories with intricate plot and deep characters in general. But for Star Wars fans this is a must-read. It can reveal you so much about the nature of the Sith and one the most magnificent sith lords of all times – Darth Bane.