Star Wars retcons Sith Rule of Two in new Rise of Skywalker novel

(Image credit: LucasFilm)

Remember when Palpatine showed up in Exegol with an entire Sith army? Oh, and that longstanding rule from The Phantom Menace that there can only ever be two Sith? Don’t worry, we were confused too. But, luckily, a new junior novelisation of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has addressed it and cleared everything up.

Though fans are normally reaching for the pitchforks each time a retcon happens, this one actually helps things make sense. The Sith Rule of Two was made official Star Wars canon in The Phantom Menace when, during Qui-Gon Jinn’s funeral, Yoda explains, “Always two there are. No more… no less. A master and an apprentice.” 

This was all well and good until The Rise of Skywalker introduced an entire Sith population living in secret on Exegol, a legendary planet hidden in the Unknown Regions. There were more than two Sith in those crowds, for certain… Thankfully, the new junior novel has the answers.

(Image credit: LucasFilm)

According to ScreenRant, in Michael Kogge’s novel Rey discovers part of an ancient text that reads "The Prime is one, but the Jedi are many. The Sith were Many but often emerged Ruled by Two."

Throughout the prequel trilogy, the Jedi has always believed there were only ever two Sith: a master and an apprentice. It makes sense that this would have enabled Palpatine to keep Exegol hidden for all this time. It’s a smart recon, as it essentially preserves the original rule but neatly explains how a cult of Sith’s came to exist in the final entry to the Skywalker Trilogy.

If you need a refresher, you won’t have to wait too long as The Rise of Skywalker will be making its way onto Disney Plus on May 4 AKA Star Wars Day. Elsewhere in the galaxy, the penultimate episode of The Clone Wars looks set to show the moment Order 66 was enacted; when the Clones betrayed the Jedi. Prepare the tissues.

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Millicent Thomas

Millicent Thomas was once a freelance games and film journalist, writing for publications including GamesRadar, Total Film,,, Wireframe, Little White Lies, Culturess, SciFiNow, and more. She is now in international PR and marketing for Ubisoft.