An Intense Masterpiece
Prelude: The New Sith Wars
You may recall that in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones there are several references to a prior conflict that shook the Republic to it's core. In the film's this conflict was referred to as the Ruusan Reformations. The Ruusan Reformation was a final act, a closure, to a conflict that began a millennia prior and became known as the New Sith Wars.
New Sith Wars
The New Sith Wars began around 2,000 years prior to Episode IV: A New Hope and several hundred years after the MMORPG: The Old Republic. It was a millennia of conflict that pitted the Jedi Order against the Order of the Sith Lords. This conflict was a defining period for both the Galactic Republic, Jedi Order, Order of the Sith Lords, and Sith Empire. The end of the conflict which we will discuss in detail, at the end of the article (mentioned briefly above) was the Seventh Battle of Ruusan.
The period that defined the New Sith Wars was also called the Dark Age of the Republic. Numerous star systems were conquered by the Sith Empire and like many times in Star Wars canon the Republic was pushed back to the coreworlds. However, it was a back and forth struggle that lasted centuries. This was not a quick three year conflict like Darth Revan's conquest of the galaxy depicted in Knights of the Old Republic I and II.
The New Sith Wars lasted a long time and it saw the cultural, economic, and political dissentigration of the Galactic Republic. The Galactic Republic dissolved to a point where the only way to keep it running was to install a Jedi Supreme Chancellor. During this period, the Jedi effectively governed the "free" areas of the galaxy. Jedi Generals battled Sith Lords, Jedi Politicians governed, and it was the Jedi that would ultimately defeat the Sith.
Jedi Vs. Sith
The Final Years
The New Sith Wars lasted for generations, but in the last three years the final act began to form. The act would involve the principal players of the conflict, but it was orchastrated by a young Sith Lord named Darth Bane and put into action in the pages of Darth Bane: Path of Destruction.
The Brotherhood of Darkness became the pivotal faction that would lead the Sith Empire during the final decades of the New Sith Wars. The faction's leader was named Kaan (pictured seated above) and he had a simple philosophy. To allow the Sith to rule the galaxy he would have to create an order that fostered cooperation and ended in-fighting. Kaan had witnessed the destruction of many great Sith Empires because of in-fighting. There was Revan's Sith Empire, and the Old Sith Empire depicted in the video game The Old Republic.
Kaan's Brotherhood of Darkness reached incredible power because he called for a truce amongst the Sith Lords. No longer would the title of Darth be used. Instead the Sith would work as one and each lord would be equal no matter their power or command over the force. Due, to his reforms the Sith were able to beat the Republic military back and were close to winning the war.
During the final part's of the New Sith Wars many beigns began to join the Brotherhood of Darkness and the Sith's military swelled in numbers. One of the people who joined was a man named Des, a former miner from the world of Apathos. During a local conflict, Des a Sargeant in the Gloom Walkers, disregarded a direct order and was sent to a Sith Lord for punishment. When the Sith Lord felt Des's power he had him sent to Korriban to train as a Sith Lord.
It would be on Korriban that Des became Darth Bane and his year of training there occured at the same time as the first six battles of Ruusan.
The New Sith Wars
The Army of Light
The Rise of a New Darth
The New Sith Wars had reached a climax on the planet of Ruusan. Ruusan was a small, desolate world, of little importance. But, it was symbolic since it was just inside the inner-rim and very close to the core. General Hoth, Supreme Commander of the Republic, choose this location to strike back against the Brotherhood of Darkness. He rallied every avaliable Jedi in the Galaxy to Ruusan and formed them into the Army of Light.
Kaan furious gathered the entire Brotherhood of Darkness and strikedback at Ruusan. General Hoth and Lord Kaan fought fight seven battles on Ruusan with the seventh being the end to the New Sith Wars.
During the first six conflicts, Baan went from a lowly recruit on the planet Korriban to being the most powerful Sith Lord there. He even overpowered the master of the academy. Bane became convinced during his studies that the Brotherhood of Darkness was leading the Sith to ruin.
The reasons for this were simple. They had turned their back on the history of the Sith and were focusing on unity and cooperation. Bane believed that the Sith were the masters of the dark side and that treachery, betrayal, and cunning should be encouraged. He thought that unity and cooperation were aspects better left to the Jedi Order. Bane hated the direction the Brotherhood was going and resolved to destroy all of the Sith so that the order could be restarted, under his guidance. His plan was the rule of two. Read about the end of Bane's legacy and the rule of two here: http://www.infobarrel.com/Review__Darth_Plagueis
Closing and Final Thoughts
The war would ultimately climax with the Seventh Battle of Ruusan and I am not going to spoil the last one hundred pages of the book. Drew Karpyshyn has crafted a masterpiece thriller with Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. It not only explains the entire New Sith War, but also allows you to walk in the feet of the principal players: General Hoth, Lord Kaan, Bane and more.
In the book you will discover why the Brotherhood was weak and why Bane had to destroy the order to restart it. Of course, Bane's new sith line would eventually climax with Palpatine and the Galactic Empire. His methods for growing a Sith dynasty were more insidious than Kaan's cooperative Sith.
I highly recommend that you check out this book. Not only is it a great read, but it casts a lot of light on the end of an era. For a while now a lot of Star Wars expanded universe books and games have focused on the Old Republic. We have seen how the Jedi and Sith have battled for numerous books and games, but this book shows the end of that long conflict.
It also shows the birth of a new conflict. The conflict that would ultimately climax in the Star Wars movies.
I highly recommend this book. It is excellent. 5/5 stars.