Yes, it has been said. Darth Vader should bow to Darth Bane. Made famous by author Drew Karpyshyn, Darth Bane is the revival of the dark side of the force; the man who brought back the infamous rule of two, the title of Darth, and brought the Jedi, the Sith, and the Republic to their knees. A lowly slave worker (sound familiar?) on a mining planet, this physically imposing man kept to himself and tried to stay out of trouble, but trouble found him regardless, and he faced it head on, and with brute Force… pun intended. Dessel became Bane after killing his father, escaping slavery, serving with the Gloomwalkers, and studying at the Sith temple on Korriban.
Darth Vader was born into slavery, was hinted at not ever having a father (*cough* bullshit *cough*), lost his mother, his wife, and custody of his kids; lost his legs, a hand, and all of his friends, save for Darth Sidious (likely a 1000-year-old Bane). Vader had trained as a Jedi, and as far as his Sith education, seemingly learned nothing but how to Force choke, throw, and wield a lightsaber. Yes, he has been voted to the top ten movie villains of all time for many years, but if Bane had a movie of his own… no contest.
15. The Orbalisk Armour
In his quest to retrieve a holocron for study on the planet Dxun, parasites called ‘orbalisks’ rained from the ceiling of the holocron chamber and embedded themselves into Bane’s flesh, pouring forth a deadly toxin into his veins. Having acquired the holocron of Freedon Nadd, Bane was able to learn how to harness the power of the orbalisks, and feed them via the constant surge of dark force energy, making for an incredibly powerful, symbiotic, albeit poisonous, and incredibly dangerous relationship between Bane and the incredibly impervious, shelled creatures.
Spreading about his body, Bane was rendered near invincible by the armour afforded him from the impenetrable shells, save for where he produced special gloves and helmet to protect from the complete infestation of the orbalisks on his body. Bane does lose the armour eventually to his own barrage of force lightning being directed back at him by a dying Jedi, but… Vader had some lousy armour, and all his helmet was good for was allowing him to breathe.
14. Darth Bane Is Eternal
This may not be entirely true, but Darth Bane learned how to transfer his consciousness and his essence into another body, possibly achieving eternal life. After acquiring Darth Andeddu’s holocron, he ripped the knowledge out of it, and kept the ability close at hand, for the inevitable need, should his apprentice prove to be unworthy. Some say that Zannah, his proposed successor, succeeded in fighting off the transfer, proving herself worthy of her master’s power, but the twitch in her hand at the end of Karpyshyn’s Dynasty of Evil, the same twitch that Bane had for some time before his death, suggests otherwise.
Given that Darth Sidious had escaped death at Vader’s hands using the same process (according to literature), and was quoted saying “The dying is painful. The transition is not an enjoyable experience. But it is all a small price to pay… for eternal life.”, it has been suggested by some that Bane still survives, having been unable to find suitable apprentices: Darth Maul, Darth Tyrannous; Darth Vader. And that Vader had often bowed to Sidious, then died while Sidious carried on, is just another reason why Vader should bow to Bane.
13. Bane’s Physical Prowess
Even in his hay-day, Anakin Skywalker was never a physically imposing being. He was whiny, snivelling, and played by the atrocious Hayden Christensen. Yes, he was originally voiced by the brilliant James Earl Jones, who came back to deliver the ‘Franken-Vader’ “NOOOO” in Episode III, but Vader had lost a hand, both his legs, and his ability to breathe on his own come the beginning of A New Hope. Bane, in his original body (Dessel), stood 2m (6′ 6″), and weighed 300lbs. He worked in a mine, and got pain beat out of him by his father at a fairly young age. What pain hadn’t been beat out of him, he lost while training at the Sith temple on Korriban. This monstrosity could cut through Vader with his fists… if Bane had felt the need to body check Vader into oblivion, especially while wearing his orbalisk armour… game over. It could be said that, through the years, Bane would have lost his physical prowess, having transferred into bodies like that of Palpatine but, having lived over a thousand years, I think Bane can be afforded some leniency.
Having studied at the Sith Temple on Korriban, though dissuaded from rooting through the archives by his masters, Bane poured through the history of the Sith, discovering abilities that, even to a Force user, and combat specialist like him, seemed fantastical. However, learning bits and pieces from Githany and Zannah, pouring over ancient tomes, and studying the holocrons of his dark forefathers, Bane not only learned a significant amount about Sith sorcery, but also his limits. Having been declared as a prophesy come fruition, as the Sith’ari, even Bane accepted his overall ineptitude when it came to sorcery, but that did not stop him from working incredible magic, laying waste to swaths of his enemies with little more than a clap. From projecting a field of death, to the execution of the thought bomb, Bane had sorcery… Vader had… a lightsaber?
11. He Reinstated The Rule Of Two
While deep in his studies, in the archives on Korriban, Bane realized that the Sith brotherhood, led by the dark lord Kaan, was sacrilege to the true teachings of the Sith. This led Bane to turn his back on the brotherhood, and seek out the truth about the dark side. Taking back the mantle of Darth, Bane ventured forth, seeking holocrons from the Sith of old. Then it hit him: “One to embody the power; the other to crave it.” This was the infamous rule of two. There should be no brotherhood. With so many Sith, their power dwindles, they fall to infighting, and perhaps it could be compared to herding cats. But with only two: one Sith lord could be the epitome of the dark side, while the other hungered for that power, eventually challenging their master, taking the mantle for themselves, and seeking out an apprentice of their own. Darth Vader was a subject of this rule of two, and never lived long enough to embody the power.
10. Purged The Sith Army With A Single Clap
Opening up the Sith Brotherhood on Ruusan to attack by the Army of Light, Bane gave Kaan, his former master, instructions to create the thought bomb, which he claimed would destroy all of the Jedi in the vicinity. Retreating to deep caverns with all of the Sith lords, Kaan began preparing for the use of the devastating weapon. Thinking he had tricked Bane into staying behind, Kaan did not realize that Bane was the deceiver, knowing full well that the thought bomb would destroy all force-sensitive beings in an enormous radius.
Realizing the error of her ways, Githany, a love interest of Bane’s at one time, made to flee from the caverns, but losing her way, was lost in the blast as Kaan, met by an army of Jedi, clapped just once, and destroyed the entire Sith order, and one hundred Jedi. Far enough away from the blast, Bane survived, and shortly after, found his little apprentice, Zannah.
9. Bane Has His Own Trilogy
Sure, Darth Vader has, since the original movie trilogy, had countless comics, and books, and games, with his name all over them, but Bane began with a ‘Path of Destruction’ and didn’t end with ‘A Dynasty Of Evil’. Bane began with his own trilogy, sanctioned by George Lucas, and then continued on, for over a thousand story years now.
In the original Star Wars trilogy, Vader destroys a planet with a weapon he didn’t create, kills a bunch of officers with the Force, kills a Jedi master who simply lets him do it, and (as known through the comics) doesn’t succeed in killing Darth Sidious, then dies. Bane kills his father, decimates the Army of Light, at least, destroys the Sith Brotherhood, slaughters hundreds of people and creatures, and learns to become everlasting.
8. The Slaughter Of General Hoth And 99 Other Jedi
As already mentioned, at Kaan’s clap, the thought bomb destroyed the entire Sith Brotherhood, and one hundred Jedi. One of the important things to note here is just who was leading the Jedi who ventured forth on this suicide mission. That’s right, the namesake of the planet the rebels chose to have as base camp: Hoth! General Hoth, and ninety nine other Jedi, knowing what Kaan was up to, delved into the caverns of Ruusan to face certain death. One could call it a cheap victory for Bane in ridding the Army of Light of one of its generals simply through his willingness to sacrifice himself and others to obliterate the Brotherhood, but Bane’s main intention was the extermination of the latter. The worst was not over for Hoth and his band of Jedi, though. At the epicentre of the thought bomb, all Force-sensitive souls became trapped together in time, and Sith and Jedi alike floated there in the centre of the caverns for over a thousand years.
7. He Brought Back The ‘Darth’ Title
Kaan’s Brotherhood of Darkness sought to unify the Sith, and overcome the Jedi through strength of numbers. As a non-Force-using being, this would make sense, but Kaan, and the rest of the Brotherhood all had an affinity for the dark side, and had in their possession units and units of Force-less soldiers and spies to fight for them as well. Bane fought as part of one such unit before being brought to Korriban: The Gloomwalkers. Bane however, studying the ways of the true Sith of old, though constantly berated for doing so, discovered that power didn’t come through strength in numbers. The power of the dark side came through hatred, and selfishness; there must always be turmoil. Without someone claiming the mantle of Darth, the Brotherhood was destined to fail, the Sith unable to live up to their true potential. With that knowledge, Bane claimed the title of Darth, and abandoned the Brotherhood.
6. The Death Field
In retrieving Darth Andeddu’s holocron from the planet of Prakith, Bane was faced with a hoard of fanatical cultists, who worshiped the deceased dark lord. Having lost his orbalisk armour by this time, Bane was not so foolish as to charge headlong into a sea of zealots, eager for his blood, so he stood his ground, lightsaber extinguished, and called upon the power of the temple of Andeddu itself to feed his already devastating abilities. Pushing forth a field of dark energy, stretching out ten metres, Bane waited for the hoard to rush in, and as they did, their bodies began to wither away, aging a thousand years in mere seconds. The middle of the group, seeing the desiccation, tried in vain to turn tail, but the fanatics in the rear pushed them onward to their deaths. As those in the back realized what was happening, they let up, but were too few to stop Bane from cutting through them, dropping the death field, and wasting them with his lightsaber. All it took was some Force lightning to kill Vader…
5. Bane Had Formal Training
As mentioned several times above, Darth Bane studied at the Sith temple on Korriban. This was no nice academy for gifted youth. This was a painful, and petty place. Everyone always trying to be the best, or side with the best, learning to harness great, dark power, and battering down other students in single combat. And that’s only during classes. Never mind the infighting the Sith students resorted to in order to rid themselves of their greatest threats. This is the first formal training Bane got in the ways of the dark side, supplemented with his study of the archives, Githany’s teaching of Force skills, and Kas’im’s instruction on the lightsaber. Darth Vader, on the other hand, started his training as a Jedi, and other than manipulation, the occasional tossing of objects and lightsaber battles, he wasn’t all that great a Jedi, let’s be honest.
4. Never A Jedi
That leads directly into the next, very important point as to why Vader should bow to Bane. Darth Bane was never a Jedi. There are some very notable Sith lords who crossed the floor to become incredibly powerful users of the dark side, but it has to be pointed out that Bane is a true, pure-blood Sith. What’s interesting is that the dark side teaches one to twist emotions into anger, into power, whereas the Jedi teach to relieve one’s self of emotions. Vader failed at both. Were it not for his emotions, he’d have remained a Jedi, and because of his emotions, Luke Skywalker lives. So he is a sorry excuse for both a Jedi, and a Sith. But Darth Bane, ridding himself of his empathy on Korriban, embraced his emotions, shunned peace, and achieved “Ultimate power!” Darth Bane held true to the Sith code: “Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.”
3. He Defeated The Brotherhood, The Jedi, And The Republic
This one depends on one’s thoughts on the everlasting life of Darth Bane, but a solid case can be made for this assertion. Bane destroys the entire Sith order with a single clap, delivered by a puppet, who simultaneously massacres a great swath of Jedi. Leaving the Army of Light to relax, allowing them to think they’ve won, Bane takes his new apprentice, and goes in search of greater knowledge and power. Many times, Bane has been met with Jedi forces, and every time has dispatched them with relative ease. Having lost his original form, using his ability to transfer his essence into another body, Bane takes the form of his apprentice Zannah, and continues this trend for centuries as the Republic grows stronger, and the Jedi weaker, not overly trusted by politicians, which is a laugh, until he takes the form of Palpatine. Bringing the Jedi to their knees, and turning Skywalker into Vader, Bane/Sidious crushes the Republic, slaughters the Jedi, and builds the Galactic Empire. Vader. On. His. Knees.
2. Bane Both Knew And Killed His Father
Though the case is somehow made that Anakin Skywalker was born of a virgin, which simply translates into a slave girl being had at (unless you believe the Darth Plagueis story), giving birth, and young Annie never knowing his father, Bane actually knew his father, and what’s more? He is responsible for his father’s death. A young Dessel, though a giant of a man, received abuse from his father, Hurst, who called Dessel the “bane” of his existence, for killing his mother in childbirth. Tired of the old man’s abuse, one night, after a particular beating, Dessel goes to bed, envisioning Hurst’s heart exploding, and sure enough, come the morning, Hurst is dead. It does take Bane some time to realize that it was his power that killed his father, and it is thanks to his father that he has the name Bane. So Bane not only is responsible for his mother’s death, but unwittingly killed his father also. Vader didn’t know his father, and couldn’t save his mother from a band of Tusken raiders because he was too busy being manipulated by Darth Sidious/Bane. Bow down.
1. He Learned From Darth Revan
Darth Revan started out as a Jedi, like Vader, turned Sith, and then turned back to the light before the end. Revan lasted longer than Vader though, and did more damage while a Sith also. Darth Revan is the Sith Bane got the idea for the ‘rule of two’ from. Revan believed only one apprentice should be trained at a time. Bane found Darth Revan’s holocron in the Rakatan Temple on the planet Rakata Prime. From Revan’s avatar, Bane learned many things, aside from the rule of two, including the overwhelmingly powerful thought bomb. From this Jedi-turned-Sith-turned-Jedi, Darth Bane learned how to destroy the Sith Brotherhood, and a score of Jedi: a rather poetic way for Revan’s powers to be used. Vader never seemed to seek out power, and was clearly and severely under-powered compared to Darth Sidious, who could likely have himself been the essence of Darth Bane.