Star Wars: The High Republic‘s biggest selling point has been its place in the Star Wars timeline: The High Republic era exists 200 years before The Skywalker Saga begins in The Phantom Menace; a time where the Jedi Order and Republic were thriving in a time of light, and the threat of the Sith Empire had been (seemingly) destroyed. But now, through some roundabout means, Star Wars has confirmed there is indeed a Sith Lord or two currently hiding in The High Republic! The question is: where are the dark lords hiding out, and is any character in the franchise that we already know actually a Sith?
The fixed nature of Star Wars canon means that we already know the Sith weren’t gone from the galaxy entirely during The High Republic – they just bided their time in hiding, living by the Rule of Two. That turn in Sith philosophy (from a sprawling empire to a two-person system of master and apprentice) came at the behest of Darth Bane, the leader of the Sith Empire during its fall who secretly survived the Jedi-Sith War. Darth Bane and the Jedi-Sith War was a major piece of Star Wars Extended Universe (now “Legends”) lore, but Disney’s new Star Wars canon has kept the dark lord’s story and presence somewhat ambiguous… until now.
The new Star Wars #20 comic book from Marvel tells a story of Luke Skywalker’s attempt to self-train as a Jedi after The Empire Strikes Back. A Holocron from Yoda, leads Luke to a remote Jedi “temple” that is also a Vergence point in the Force – but instead of a temple, Luke finds himself being eaten alive by a living planet. It’s while trapped in the webbed catacombs of Planet Gazian that Luke is able to deeply commune with the Force and make contact with the “imprint” of other Jedi that visited the site.
One particular “echo” surfaces to commune with Luke: The High Republic’s troubled Jedi character, Elzar Mann. Elzar lets Luke know that there have always been different phases of the Jedi Order – from the near-extinct light in the dark that Luke represents to the bright light The High Republic era of the Jedi. Elzar also drops one key Star Wars timeline detail: that the glory of The High Republic was won after the Jedi defeated the Sith Lord Darth Bane, eight centuries before.
It’s simple math and deductive reasoning to now know that eight centuries after the Jedi think Darth Bane is dead and gone, the Sith Rule of Two is actually alive and well, embedded within the framework of The High Republic. There’s only one question that still remains: Where are the Sith hiding? And is it in plain sight (like Elzar Mann himself)?
Star Wars: The High Republic books and comics are now available. Star Wars #20 is now on sale from Marvel Comics.