Once the rumors of Lucasfilm bringing not only one, but three live-action series to Netflix started, so too did every fan’s imagination. The wonderful folks over at the WhoWars Podcast just recently did a little segment on what shows they’d like to see, while asking and featuring responses from Twitter followers. Of course I suggested an idea and they graciously included it in their segment, but once I came up with it I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it, hence this post. My idea was this: a show focusing on the Rule of Two, and how over the generations Bane’s simple plan managed to survive long enough for Palpatine to use it to destroy the Jedi. Here’s why I think it would work so well as a TV series.
As I have envisioned it, Rule of Two would follow new Sith Masters and/or Apprentices each season as they schemed to undermine and defeat the Jedi, their most hated enemies, all the while managing to stay hidden and not destroy themselves in the process. Occasionally a Master or Apprentice could survive onto a following season or two, but largely Rule of Two would cover the large swath of time from when Bane implemented it till Palpatine joined it. Imagine starting a show with Bane, which they could pull inspiration from his Legends series, and it ending it’s final season with Palpatine surpassing his master, Darth Plagueis. As great as those two capstone moments would be, there’s a millennium of material just waiting to be mined. In what ways have the Sith worked on destabilizing the Republic all those years? How long did Masters last before their apprentices rose up and took the mantle, as was their right? How many close calls were there that the Jedi might’ve found out about them (and how many Jedi were killed by their hands)? How often did one of the two Sith want to ruin everything and attack the Jedi immediately? The answers to these questions do exactly what any concept for a TV show should: provide limitless storytelling opportunities that can support multiple years on air.
The dominating teaching personality the Master must have to hold unto his power as long as possible would be offset by the always scheming underling; watching those two nearly self-destruct all their plans for personal gain while simultaneously furthering the ultimate goal of the Sith could be really fertile storytelling for TV. I mean, isn’t that why people watch reality TV shows? The constant chance people will self-implode their life’s work over something petty? But Sith (i.e. fictional characters) are way more entertaining when they do it. On top of following the Sith and their machinations, supporting characters could include the underworld sorts like bounty hunters, gangsters/gangster families, pirates, corrupt politicians, etc. (if it’s seedy, we’d get to see it) and how the Sith used them to their advantage to undermine everything the Jedi stand for. Any show focusing on the Sith would lead to the darker side of the galaxy (no pun intended) and they’ve already considered that in the previously rumored Underworld series.
While I know I said there’s a millennia of story to tell, the show wouldn’t need to cover every single year of course, because honestly, it took the Sith an extremely long time just to win for a brief couple of decades. Only the most interesting of moments cooked up by the writers and Story Group would be showcased in the TV series, but that’s not saying there weren’t other interesting things happening in the years in-between. In fact, those jumps in time allow for tie-in media to pick up the pieces, as a comic series, novels, or even a video game would have the potential to share a story/character/setting as seen in the TV series. That’s mostly true of any venture Lucasfilm decides to take with any TV show, but it’s an important aspect to mention. A prime example would be if the show doesn’t follow any Jedi characters for most of it’s run, a book or comic could look at the time period from their perspective, perhaps following a Jedi who finds out about the Sith and how no one ever believes him. Then, in a following season, that character could even appear on the show in some trans-media shenanigans.
But the best part about the Rule of Two series and it’s time jumping with new Masters and/or Apprentices means less commitment from actors and actresses to the show if they’ll only be on one season, à la True Detective. With only a one season commitment to make, True Detective has lured some pretty big movie talent that normally doesn’t appear on TV, including Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson, Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn…to name a few. The Star Wars films have gotten big names before and it’s not hard to imagine big talent signing up for a live-action Star Wars TV show in general, but keeping appearances to a one, maybe two season role could possibly help attract even bigger stars. Then again, genre shows like LOST, Battlestar Galactica, Game of Thrones, etc. have made big names of lesser known actors and actresses and I’d almost much rather have that happen than bring in a bunch of big guns.
As much as I like my idea for Rule of Two to cover vast swaths of time to show us the important moments in the Sith’s plans leading up to Palpatine’s short but oh so sweet defeat of the Jedi, I wouldn’t be against the show focusing primarily on Darth Bane and how he came to power/initiated the Rule of Two in the first place. Yes, the Bane trilogy of novels covered this ground, but the current canon can do whatever it may please with the tale now. The show would get a chance to bring to screen the giant Sith vs Jedi battles lots of fans have been dying to see for years now (and only get in amazing CG video game trailers), as well as peeling back some layers on the early eras of Force users. There’s also the power struggles within both the Brotherhood of Darkness and Army of Light, which could lead to some Game of Thrones-type court drama where everyone has lightsabers, Force abilities, and an eagerness to fight. Mostly importantly, it could have a chance to tell a better version of the story about Bane’s role in changing the Sith forever, as I personally felt the books were mostly hit and miss.
To wrap things up, here’s a fan-made trailer for Bane’s trilogy of novels, and while I don’t agree with all their choices (cast/acting), it’s a fun little proof of concept:
Rule of Two is just one of a few ideas I’d like to see in a live-action Star Wars series, and barring any announcements at D23 Expo on August 15 of specific plans for Star Wars and Netflix, I’ll write up an article or two regarding a few other shows I have in mind that hopefully someone hasn’t already came up with (like the brilliant idea about a Rogue Squadron series as mentioned in the WhoWars Podcast’s segment).
In the meantime, feel free to share your dreams for a live-action Star Wars show on Netflix either here in the comments or on social media!
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