1 Reason The Sith Took So Long To Beat The Jedi

Star Wars has subtly hinted at a major reason the Sith took so long to defeat the Jedi. The Sith Empire finally fell a thousand years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. The Jedi confronted Darth Bane, who they believed to be the last Sith Lord, and for a millennium they believed the Sith had been rendered extinct. Unfortunately, their confidence proved to be complacency.

Although the Jedi did not know it, Darth Bane had transformed the Sith before his death. He formulated the Rule of Two; that there must only ever be two Sith Lords, one to crave power and the other to wield it. His guidance led the Sith to take to the shadows, working in secret to undermine the Jedi and the Republic. It's actually quite surprising that it took the Sith a thousand years to undermine the Jedi, given the guardians of the light side became increasingly complacent.


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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace offers a possible hint, in a line of dialogue in which Qui-Gon Jinn claims Anakin Skywalker, who he believes to be the Chosen One, would have been found as an infant had he been born in Republic space. His words allude to some sort of standard midi-chlorian test conducted on newborns at birth across Republic space, with the Jedi taking anyone who proved strong in the Force. These tests would naturally have impeded the Sith, because they'd have meant they struggled to find suitable initiates.

How Did The Sith Recruit Their Apprentices?

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There would have only been a handful of ways for the Sith to recruit new Apprentices. They could have chosen Force-sensitives from beyond Republic space, from the Outer Rim and the Unknown Regions; but these candidates would have been of limited use in Republic space, and they certainly wouldn't have been able to gain positions of prominence. They could have seduced Jedi to the dark side remotely, and indeed tie-ins have suggested this is how the Sith recruited Dooku; but these former Jedi would have been known quantities, watched carefully by the Jedi lest they showed a tendency for the dark side, and - until Dooku - unable to gain political power. Alternatively, the Sith could have simply recruited someone from inside the Republic who had a degree of Force-sensitivity yet whose midi-chlorian count was still too low for the Jedi to be interested. That, naturally, would be anathema to the Sith. It would only be done when all other possibilities had been exhausted.

This explains why Palpatine proved to be the ultimate Sith Lord. The Sith had long since recognized the Jedi were vulnerable in the political arena, but until Palpatine it would have been difficult (if not impossible) to take advantage of this weakness. Palpatine was something unique, a powerful Force-sensitive whose identity was unknown to the Jedi, who had somehow evaded any midi-chlorian tests and thus whose power was a secret. Little wonder Darth Plagueis chose Palpatine as his apprentice, and he went on to fulfill the dream of the Sith, overthrowing the Jedi and initiating the chaos of the Star Wars saga.

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