Star Wars is intertwined with the concept of destiny. Anakin is the Chosen One according to a Jedi prophecy, and Luke is destined to defeat him because of his bloodline. Prophecies add a power bigger than the characters, a way for the Force itself to influence the story. But two more prophecies ripple throughout the series, and a fascinating fan theory suggests they may be one and the same.
The Rise of Skywalker introduced the concept of the Force Dyad, two people intrinsically connected through the Force. Palpatine thought he could use Ray’s power, but instead, it’s the prophecy Rey and Kylo fulfill when they join forces to defeat Palpatine. In The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary, we see this prophecy in its original Sith Runes.
Lost Legends is an Inverse series about the forgotten lore of our favorite stories.
A while back, Redditor Jaina-Solo took a crack at translating the runes using the little bit of the prophecy we hear Palpatine quote in The Rise of Skywalker: “The power of two restores the one true emperor.” Notably, a synonym for “power” is “rule” — if someone rules over something, they have power over it. That means the “power of two” could be interpreted as “the rule of two.”
The Rule of Two prophecy, first referred to in The Phantom Menace, is one of the guiding principles of the Sith. As much an ethos as a prophecy, it says there can only ever be two Sith, a master and an apprentice, and the apprentice will eventually betray the master. It helps keep the Sith secretive, but it also means there’s never any trust between them. Palpatine pre-emptively betrayed his apprentice, Count Dooku, and alluded to betraying his old master, Darth Plagueis.
The prophecy was spoken in full in a now non-canon novel from 2006, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction. In it, we learn the full text is, “Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it.” Within the old Legends timeline, Darth Bane created the Rule of Two during the Old Republic era to stop Sith infighting. But, looking at the similarities between these two prophecies, it’s unlikely he just thought it up out of thin air. He probably sought inspiration from those runes.
This structure almost perfectly fits the structure of the Dyad prophecy. Just look at the punctuation in the image above: a semicolon, comma, period, comma, and period. Say what you will about the Sith, but “fastidious grammar enthusiasts” isn’t the first thought that comes to mind.
The 2021 book Secrets of the Sith confirmed these two prophecies were connected, saying, “For a millennium, the Sith have adhered to the Rule of Two. But this decree is said to merely be a pale imitation of its predecessor, the Doctrine of the Dyad.” This theory simply goes a step further and suggests the two prophecies aren’t just connected, but are actually different translations of the same core idea.
But what does all this mean for Star Wars? Well, if the two concepts were born of the same idea, then Darth Bane created a literal self-fulfilling prophecy by drawing the wrong message. The Sith, being the Sith, interpreted the prophecy to support a cutthroat battle for power instead of multiplying power through collaboration. Bane sought to avoid Sith infighting, but instead, he just guaranteed betrayal and defeat.
Translation, archiving, and recordkeeping — knowledge, in other words — are just as important as any lightsaber fight. Obi-Wan Kenobi once broke open the secret of the Clones Wars with a trip to the library; maybe Darth Bane should have brushed up on his ruins before founding an entire belief system.