"You want to kill me. That is what I want. Kill me, and my spirit will pass into you. And all the Sith that live in me."

Darth Sidious to Rey, The Rise of Skywalker

In The Rise of Skywalker, Darth Sidious invites Rey to strike him down, so that his spirit and that of all the Sith in him, would pass into her, making her the new Sith Lord.

Is that the general rationale behind the Rule of Two? That by killing the master, their spirit passes into the apprentice. Darth Sidious does call it a ritual, hinting that it has been done more than once. Also, he mentions all the Sith that live in him, which seems to indicate that this has happened numerous times, possibly every time an apprentice kills their master.

The answers to this question touch upon it, but do not fully answer my questions.

  • 1
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 12:39
  • @TheLethalCarrot indeed, but it does not quite answer my question. I've edited my question to reflect that.
    – SQB
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 12:55
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    In The Old Republic game series there is a ritual that allows this to happen but it seems to be more of an obscure exception rather then a rule. So possibly a retcon made for the new movie with little established lore behind it.
    – A.bakker
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 13:17
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    Darth Bane invented the Rule of Two and he sought to transfer his soul into his apprentice at the moment of their battle, but ultimately he failed ... I don't know if this is what the movie is refferint to.
    – RigaCrypto
    Commented Feb 4, 2020 at 15:19
  • 1
    When Sidious was bragging to Rey about how her killing him would make his soul possess her body, turning her into the embodiment of all previous Sith, I really wanted her to chop his head off, wait a minute, have nothing in particular happen to her, and then laugh and say: "Yeah, I thought he was bluffing! Just trying to intimidate me into not attacking! How gullible did he think I was, anyway?"
    – Lorendiac
    Commented Feb 6, 2020 at 15:30

1 Answer 1


All Sith living through the current Sith Lord is a new concept introduced to the films only recently in Rise of Skywalker.

In the original trilogy, it went more like this:

You want this, don't you? The hate is swelling in you now. Take your Jedi weapon. Use it. I am unarmed. Strike me down with it. Give in to your anger. With each passing moment, you make yourself more my servant.


Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon! Strike me down with all your hatred, and your journey towards the dark side will be complete.

And also:

Good. Use your aggressive feelings, boy! Let the hate flow through you.

source: https://www.imsdb.com/scripts/Star-Wars-Return-of-the-Jedi.html

If we were to use only canon from the movies, either the Emperor is speaking metaphorically, and is just referring to the fact that he would be replaced as Sith Lord and Emperor, or else it is the case that that is how the Rule of Two works.

Out-of-universe, I think that the original method was not very consistant with the Sith's lust for power - wanting to be killed - so Disney just found a way that doesn't seem to conflict with that as much.

I don't know about Legends, or non-movie canon.

  • 3
    Vader blocks Luke's swing when he finally does give in to the Emperor's taunts. The Emperor never intended to let Luke kill him.
    – J Doe
    Commented Feb 8, 2020 at 9:40
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    @JDoe That may be so, or perhaps Vader knew Luke was turning to the Dark Side, and wanted deep down to prevent him from doing that. Commented Feb 8, 2020 at 11:13
  • @JamesDouglas one of the novellizations specifically addresses that. When Vader discovered that Luke is thinking about hos sister, Luke briefly used the Dark Side - he wanted to kill Vader in rage.
    – TimSparrow
    Commented Jul 27, 2020 at 13:13

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