Star Wars: Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
Twenty years have passed since Darth Bane, reigning Dark Lord of the Sith, demolished the ancient order devoted to the dark side and reinvented it as a circle of two: one Master to wield the power and pass on the wisdom, and one apprentice to learn , challenge, and ultimately usurp the Dark Lord in a duel to the death. But Bane’s acolyte, Zannah, has yet to engage her Master in mortal combat and prove herself a worthy successor. Determined that the Sith dream of galactic domination will not die with him, Bane vows to learn the secret of a forgotten Dark Lord that will assure the Sith’s immortality – and his own.
A perfect opportunity arises when a Jedi emissary is assassinated on the troubled mining planet Doan, giving Bane an excuse to dispatch his apprentice on a fact-finding mission – while he himself sets out in secret to capture the ancient holocron of Darth Andeddu and its precious knowledge. But Zannah is no fool. She knows that her ruthless Master has begun to doubt her, and she senses that he is hiding something crucial to her future. If she is going to claim the power she craves, she must take action now.
While Bane storms the remote stronghold of a fanatical Sith cult, Zannah prepares for her Master’s downfall by choosing an apprentice of her own: a rogue Jedi cunning and cold-blooded enough to embrace the Sith way and to stand beside her when she at last wrests from Bane the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith.
But Zannah is not the only one with the desire and power to destroy Darth Bane. Princess Serra of the Doan royal family is haunted by memories of the monstrous Sith soldier who murdered her father and tortured her when she was a child. Bent on retribution, she hires a merciless assassin to find her tormentor — and bring him back alive to taste her wrath.
Only a Sith who has taken down her own Master can become Dark Lord of the Sith. So when Bane suddenly vanishes, Zannah must find him — possibly even rescue him — before she can kill him. And so she pursues her quarry from the grim depths of a ravaged world on the brink of catastrophe to the barren reaches of a desert outpost, where the future of the dark side’s most powerful disciples will be decided, once and for all, by the final , fatal stroke of a lightsaber.
Author: Drew Karpyshyn
Cover artist: Simon Goinard
Publisher: Del Rey
Release date: April 5, 2022
What’s it about?
Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil is the final novel in the Darth Bane Trilogy from author Drew Karpyshyn. It was originally released on December 8th 2009, and is now being re-released on April 5th as part of the ‘Essential Legends Collection’, along with new cover art.
Set around a thousand years before the Battle of Yavin, the story picks up ten years after the end of Darth Bane: Rule of Two, and focuses on the story of Bane and his apprentice Zannah. With Bane’s health deteriorating due to years of using the dark side of the Force, he is seeking to extend his life as he believes Zannah is not driven or strong enough to fulfill the ‘rule of two’ and succeed him.
With the introduction of Serra, the widow of the Crown prince of Doan (a mining planet) we get another strand of the story, with her husband’s death being avenged by a mysterious assassin killing a group of rebellious miners, but also a Jedi Knight who was dispatched by the Jedi Council to mediate in the dispute between the miners and the Doan Royal family. It also emerges that the miners had allegedly uncovered some Sith artifacts relating to the teachings of Darth Andeddu who had the ability to rejuvenate himself and maybe even transfer his essence into another body.
As the story unfolds we see Bane trying to track down the holocron belonging to Darth Andeddu, Zannah deciding to challenge her master to take the mantle of Sith Lord and train an apprentice of her own, and Serra seeking revenge for the death of her father who she believes was killed by Bane.
Should I read this book?
The book, and indeed the whole trilogy are a must for any fan of the Old Republic era, and with Darth Bane having been brought back into canon via The Clone Wars Lost Missions episodes, along with the fact that the movies adhere to the Sith ‘Rule of Two’ make its origins a real point of interest. Whilst these Legends stories are designed to be treated as ‘campfire tales’ passed down over the years this series really does give you some background on how and why the Sith evolved as they did.
What did you like?
Drew Karpyshyn really captures the essence of the Star Wars universe (maybe to be expected, but as people often criticize when it’s wrong I feel this is important to acknowledge) and the book (and it’s predecessors) are written in such a way that it is very easy to immerse yourself in the story and be transported to a galaxy far, far away. It really does deserve it’s addition to the ‘Essential Legends’ collection.
What did you not like?
The only real (and minor) criticism of the story is the final battle and it’s outcome – SPOILER ALERT !!!!! After the book’s original publication there was much speculation about whether Bane had transferred himself / his essence into Zannah, but Drew himself addressed this by saying although Zannah did win the battle, the ending was meant to be vague as to whether some element of Bane had survived.
I really hope that any future Old Republic stories, either cinematic or Disney Plus etc take the key points from this series and use them as their foundations (as we’ve seen with other projects which have ‘borrowed’ from the old Expanded Universe) whilst taking some new direction as well.
Anything else to add?
With Karpyshyn having been at the helm for these books, The Old Republic: Revan and also behind the stories for the much loved Old Republic and Knights of the Old Republic games, I really hope that any future ventures into this era call on his knowledge, in much the way that Timothy Zahn has been able to do with Thrawn.