Did 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Retcon the "Rule Of Two?"

Love it or hate it, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has put its own stamp on the Star Wars universe. From offering a Midi-chlorian free explanation of the Force to having Yoda's Force-ghost directly interact with the physical environment by calling down a lightning strike, many of the things fans thought they knew about the way Star Wars works are a bit up in the air after this latest installment of the franchise. Now fans are wondering if this applies to the Dark Side as well, specifically the Sith Rule of Two.

On Reddit's Star Wars Speculation community, some fans have wondered if The Last Jedi retconned the long-held constant of the Rule of Two. Specifically, they wondered if Force shifted in power concentration from one side to the other based on the power of the Force user in order to create balance and, if so, did the Rule of Two help stack the deck in the Dark Side's favor. A Reddit user going by the name HiddenCity gave specific examples of what they referred to as two "turbo charged Sith" rising with power -- in this case Palpatine and Anakin -- in the prequels as well as pointed to Rey as being a turbo charged Force user on the Light Side as an example of Snoke's sentiment that the darkness rises with the light to meet it. HiddenCity suggested that Rey's unexpected Force power could be a way of changing the Rule of Two – presumably with Rey and Kylo being the two -- and bringing a different type of balance.

It's an interesting theory, but is ultimately one that doesn't really work. First, the Rule of Two doesn't really apply to The Last Jedi simply because Snoke and Kylo Ren are not Sith. The Sith Order technically ended in Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker killed Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious only to himself be mortally wounded in the process. That death also redeemed Anakin so not only did he die, he died having been restored to the side of the Light ensuring the end of the Sith. Without a Sith Order, you have no application for the Rule of Two.

This theory that The Last Jedi retcons the Rule of Two by assuming the Force "balances" by giving stronger power to one side or the other to compensate for powerful Force users and that the combination of Rey and Kylo themselves create balance also suffers from a basic misunderstanding of what balance means in terms of the Force. George Lucas himself explained in an introductory documentary for the special edition VHS of A New Hope that Anakin Skywalker restores balance to the Force by "doing away with the Sith and getting rid of evil in the universe." This simply isn’t the same as having literal one-to-one balance.


It's also worth noting that Kylo Ren himself appears to have no interest in the Sith Rule of Two. Even though he declares himself Snoke's successor as Supreme Leader, Kylo is consumed by the idea of letting the past die -- presumably a past that includes the Jedi, the Sith, and the Rule of Two, making things all the more interesting heading into Episode IX.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is in theaters now.