By Emperordmb 18 Comments
This is a companion piece to my upcoming Darth Bane respect thread, and it is a response to the frequent assumption that POD Bane on Lehon>ROT Bane>DOE Bane in Force power, which is a point of view I heavily disagree with.
The most common feat of Bane's that is completely disregarded and looked over by people as being beyond any of his incarnations is his feat of collapsing the Temple of the Ancients on Lehon, because many believe he was immensely amped by the nexus on Lehon. Ultimately, I believe this is overplayed as there no mention in the entirety of POD of Bane's powers being augmented by Lehon. However, whether or not Bane was amped on Lehon and to what extent is quite honestly irrelevant to the ability of his later incarnations to replicate that feat. This is due to the extent of the superiority of Bane's later incarnations over POD Bane on Lehon, even if he was amped.
In Rule of Two, when Bane is first affixed with two orbalisks, he learns that he can tap into their ability to feed on dark side energy to greatly increase his command of the Force, and upon first drawing upon them for power, he becomes more powerful than he had ever been before, which very importantly includes when he was on Lehon when he collapsed the temple.
Through the gatekeeper, Bane learned of the Dark Master's experiments with the orbalisks, and his only partly successful efforts to control their power. He discovered not only what they were called, but also all the details of their ecology. Some of the information merely confirmed what he already knew: once attached to a host the orbalisks could not be removed. , in addition to boosting a host's physical abilities, .Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Storing the Holocron safely away, he ventured forth from the crypt to find a way to escape the surface of Dxun. The specters of Kaan and Qordis were waiting for him outside.
"You are trapped here " Qordis said, falling immediately into his litany of failure and despair. "What good is the Holocron if you can never leave this moon?"
, he released it in a burst of energy. The hallucinations that had plagued his wounded mind ever since the detonation of the thought bomb vanished, instantly and utterly annihilated by . , and he knew the visions of the dead Sith would haunt him no more.Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Thus, as of the beginning of Bane's orbalisk infestation, he should be more than capable of performing any force feats he accomplished prior to that point of time, most notably collapsing the Temple of the Ancients on Lehon. Now obviously ROT Bane ten years into the infestation is more powerful and has a greater command of the Force than he did at the beginning of his infestation. First of all, ten years later Bane has an additional decade of experience wielding the dark side under his belt. That's just common sense.
Secondly, at the tail end of Bane's orbalisk infestation, he has far more orbalisks affixed to his body, which grants him far more of them to draw power from.
Should one of the organisms somehow be killed, it would release rapidly increasing levels of toxins, killing its host in a matter of days. Fortunately, along with this disturbing revelation, Bane discovered blueprints for a special helmet and face guard designed to while he slept.Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Bane was sitting by the blaze waiting for her, stirring at a bubbling pot of bland-smelling stew. He had taken off his shirt in the summer night's heat. In the flickering glow of the flames,Darth Bane: Rule of Two
, and only because he took extreme precautions: He wore special gloves and boots at all times, and when he slept he donned a special helmet that resembled a cage, meant to keep the parasites from growing over his face.Darth Bane: Rule of Two
And thirdly, Bane is more knowledgeable on the ways of the Dark Side, given his continued study of Freedon Nadd's holocron over that time frame, as well as his study of other Sith lore.
But the orbalisk research was only the beginning. Freedon Nadd had been a Jedi who turned to the dark side as the apprentice of Naga Sadow, the former ruler of the ancient Sith Empire. Sadow's power had been so great, it had allowed him to survive for six centuries, fueled by the energies of the dark side. As his apprentice,
Not surprisingly,Darth Bane: Rule of Two
The nodded. Several months before, .Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Darth Bane: Rule of Two
So clearly, Bane at the tail end of his orbalisk infestation is substantially more powerful than he was at the beginning of his orbalisk infestation. And obviously any Force feats Bane accomplished before his infestation should without a shadow of a doubt be within his grasp at this point in time, again, most notably the Temple of the Ancients feat.
Darth Bane as of Dynasty of Evil however is bereft of the orbalisks, and thus many assume he lacks the power he wielded when encrusted with orbalisks, and many even assume his power doesn't measure up to the power he wielded on Lehon in Path of Destruction. I have come to the conclusion however that Dynasty of Evil is at the very least equal to his orbalisk encrusted self in Force power, and the avenue by which I have come to that conclusion is a comparison of their physical capabilities, namely in their respective fights with Darth Zannah.
First off, the ROT fight:
She fell into a defensive posture as she so often had during their training sessions. But this was no drill, andDarth Bane: Rule of Two
She scrambled to her feet and twirled her lightsaber before her, creating what she hoped would be an impenetrable wall of defense. Instead of trying to pierce her guard,Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Now the DOE fight:
He opened with a series of two-handed overhead chops, using his great height to bring his blade hacking down at her from above.Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
, and he was using new sequences and unfamiliar moves he had never revealed during their practice sessions.Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
It is apparent from the text that Bane is quite blatantly faster in Dynasty of Evil than he was in Rule of Two, as is confirmed by Bane being "faster than [Zannah] could've ever imagined" in their final duel, despite her having faced him while he was in an orbalisk fueled bloodlust, and having witnessed him face the Shadow Assassins and the Jedi strike team on Tython while he was encrusted with the orbalisks. Bane's physical strength also appears more impressive in his final duel with Zannah than in their bout in Rule of Two, as in Rule of Two Zannah blocked a strike in which Bane leapt into the air and brought his blade upon her without staggering, yet in Dynasty of Evil, Bane's less extensive overhand chops send Zannah staggering despite Zannah having easily blocked them. What's especially important to remember in regards to these two showings of strength is the ten year disparity between ROT Zannah and DOE Zannah. DOE Zannah is far more experienced, knowledgeable and skilled, which makes her a more talented lightsaber duelist as of DOE, and she is far more powerful in Dynasty of Evil as well, which grants her superior Force-based physical augmentation. This is all illustrated by how far beneath Bane Zannah is in Rule of Two in both skill and power, even when Bane is wounded and without his orbalisks.
You cant die yet, Zannah thought bitterly, chewing on her lip. There's so much more you have to teach me!Darth Bane: Rule of Two
She could feel Bane's power-whole once more-coursing through his veins. She could feel the heat of his anger, and she knew one wrong word and he'd snap her neck in two with the Force.Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Over the years Bane had tracked her progress carefully, and he could no longer say with certainty which one of them would survive a confrontation between them.Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
Thus it is apparent that DOE Bane is more physically impressive than ROT Bane. This is important because without Force-based physical augmentation, ROT Bane would definitely be superior physically, as the orbalisks increase his physical capabilities, even when there were only two of them affixed to his body.
; it felt as if every drop of blood were boiling ... . In addition to his miraculous healing abilities,Darth Bane: Rule of Two
But he also learned that, , it was possible to tap into the parasites' ability to feed on the dark side to greatly increase one's own command of the Force.Darth Bane: Rule of Two
He hit the ground and rolled several times before springing back to his feet, uninjured thanks to .Darth Bane: Rule of Two
This is a very important detail because it means that for Bane to be physically superior in Dynasty of Evil, DOE Bane's Force-based physical augmentation would have to outstrip ROT Bane's Force-based physical augmentation and the physical augmentation ROT Bane received from the orbalisks combined. Since ROT Bane's focus in combat was overpowering his enemy with his sheer physical might, DOE Bane would need to be more powerful in the Force to achieve such a level of Force-based physical augmentation to surpass him. At the very very least, and this is being generous in regards to ROT Bane and conservative in regards to DOE Bane, DOE Bane would have to be on par with ROT Bane in his command of the Force to achieve this.
Some may ask how it's possible for Bane to be more powerful in Dynasty of Evil without the power boost provided by the orbalisks. Again, he first off has the advantage of another decade of experience wielding the Dark Side, as is common sense.
Secondly, he has the advantage of more knowledge regarding the dark side of the Force. In the decade between Rule of Two and Dynasty of Evil, Bane has both amassed a library of Sith knowledge, and uncovered the holocron of the legendary Sorzus Syn.
Punching in the digits, he gently pushed the door open and stepped into the building that served as his private library. The interior consisted of a single square room, five meters on each side, lit only by a single soft light hanging from the ceiling. The walls were lined by shelves overflowing with the scrolls, tomes, and manuscripts he had assembled over the years: the teachings of the ancient Sith.Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
And thirdly, because of the vastly greater willpower DOE Bane possesses in comparison to ROT Bane, as shown by his examples of pain tolerance.
... only to wake up here.Darth Bane: Rule of Two
Suddenly the tendrils flew at him. He slashed out with his lightsaber to chop the closest one in half, but the blade simply passed through the black mist with no effect. Bane threw himself to the side, but . The material of his clothes melted away as if it had been splashed with acid. A chunk of flesh beneath simply dissolved, and Bane screamed in agony. During her interrogation, Serra had pumped him full of a drug that had felt like it was eating him alive from the inside. The damage was far from life threatening, but it nearly sent Bane into shock. He fell hard to the ground, his jaw slack and his eyes rolling back into his head. His mind was reeling from the brief contact.Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
With his foe unarmed and helpless at his feet Bane brought his arm down for the coup de grace, only to have it intercepted mid-swing by one of the dark side tendrils. His disembodied forearm and fist tumbled harmlessly to the ground, his lightsaber flicking off as the hilt slid from his suddenly nerveless fingers. Everything went black. Blind and alone, he felt the void closing in. In desperation he reached out with his left hand, clutching Zannah's wrist as she lay on the ground beside him.
Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil
It is very clear from these examples that DOE Bane far outstrips ROT Bane in terms of willpower, given that the pain of the orbalisks exploding inside of him in Rule of Two was enough to knock him out, while he was capable of evoking a very complex Sith ritual immediately after experiencing far far worse pain. This is important because willpower is one of the most vital components of Dark Side power, at least according to Darth Sidious, who happens to be the most powerful and knowledgeable Sith Lord in galactic history.
Thus DOE Bane became more powerful than he was in ROT, due to greater experience, greater knowledge, and greater willpower (which is a key component in dark side power).
In conclusion, aside from durability and regeneration, Bane as of Dynasty of Evil is more physically impressive than he was in Rule of Two, despite the physical enhancement provided to his orbalisk encrusted incarnation by the alien fluids they metabolized in his bloodstream. For this to be true, DOE Bane would have to possess a greater command of the Force than ROT Bane, and given his greater knowledge experience and willpower, it is possible for DOE Bane to the more powerful of the two, despite being bereft of the orbalisks his ROT self possessed. And it is for these reasons that I ultimately find Bane as of Dynasty of Evil to be more powerful in the Force than Bane as of Rule of Two, and find both of them to be easily more powerful than any previous incarnation of Bane, including Bane with the power he had on Lehon.