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In the final episode of season 6 of The Clone Wars, (spoilers)

The mystical priestesses conjure up an illusion of Darth Bane, the ancient Sith Lord who started the Rule of Two. Just by visual inspection, Yoda knows the ancient Sith Lord's name and that he was the one who started the Rule of Two.

Darth Bane was around roughly a century before Yoda was born. It also seems like all of the Jedi who ever encountered him did not live long enough to talk about it (for example, the duel on Typhon). By the time Darth Zannah took the mantle as Dark Lord of the the Sith, the Jedi were convinced that the Sith were extinct.

This question explains how the Jedi found out about the Rule of Two, but it doesn't explain how Yoda was able to learn about the identities of the members of the Order of the Sith Lords.

  • I'm sure there were non-Jedi who saw Bane's appearance and lived to tell the fact. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Mar 31 '14 at 17:07
  • @DVK He was actually rather reclusive because of a condition he had. He sent Zannah out to do his bidding almost always. I don't recall any civilians living to talk about him either. On top of that, according to the question that I linked to, the Jedi did not find out about the Rule of Two until about 800 years after Bane died. So even if anyone who met him survived, they would have died long before the Jedi could find out about him. The only explanation I can think of, is that his existence was leaked by future Sith somehow. – red_eight Mar 31 '14 at 17:22
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Darth Bane got his start before the Sith were so secretive, he was a leading member of the Brotherhood of Darkness which openly fought the Jedi. The book The Jedi Path, a guide to the Jedi Order supposedly written by some Jedi about a decade after the New Sith Wars and read by Yoda (whose annotations appear in the book along with those of other Jedi), has a section on Darth Bane on p. 148 which includes a picture, so it doesn't seem his appearance was a secret. The book does indicate that the Jedi thought he had died at the battle on Ruusan, saying:

In the war's last decade, Bane rose through the ranks of the Brotherhood of Darkness to challenge the leadership of Sith Lord Kaan. From the Sith prisoners in custody on Akrit'tar, we have learned that many of them considered Bane to be the Sith'ari—the culmination of a prophecy that foretold the rise of a perfect being. This divination, an inverted mirror of the Jedi prophecy of the Chosen One, reflected the Sith need to cast their hopes upon a savior as the Jedi Army of Light closed in on them. Bane's popularity split the ranks of the Sith Lords, causing them to lose focus and to surrender key ground at Ruusan. Ultimately, Lord Kaan knew he could not win and triggered a Thought Bomb. This unspeakable dark side weapon scorched the surface of Ruusan and drew the spirits of every combatant, Jedi and Sith, into its bottomless singularity.

Bane died with the rest of the Sith Lords on Ruusan, proving that not even the Sith'ari could sustain an order founded on aggression and greed.

  • 1
    This is a good answer. It explains how Yoda knows about Darth Bane. But how does Yoda know that Darth Bane was the one who started the Rule of Two? – jliv902 Apr 4 '14 at 18:28
  • @jliv902 - good question. The "Rule of Two" article at starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Rule_of_Two says "Around 188 BBY, during the Dark Jedi Conflict, Kibh Jeen warned the Jedi that the Sith had survived and were operating utilizing the Rule of Two"--maybe Jeen also told them Bane was the originator? Certainly Yoda apparently knew of the Rule of Two at the time of Phantom Menace, and starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Kibh_Jeen says that the character was actually created to resolve a continuity conflict between that movie and the later idea that Bane created the Rule of Two as a secret. – Hypnosifl Apr 4 '14 at 18:49
  • @Hypnosifl +1, but as for jliv902's question, Kibh Jeen wasn't around until 800 years after Darth Bane died. The only explanation I can think of, is that his existence was leaked by future Sith somehow. – red_eight Apr 5 '14 at 4:32
  • @red_eight - I was assuming that if Kibh Jeen knew about the Rule of Two he must have heard it from a Sith (or someone else who heard it from a Sith, etc.), so that Sith could have told him that Bane started it as well. – Hypnosifl Apr 5 '14 at 16:54
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This is just an idea, as there isn't an official answer yet, but I think a cool explanation would be that, given 188 BBY would about the time Darth Tenebrous would've been just plotting to overthrow his master and find his own apprentice, he could have learned about the dark Jedi conflict and sought Jeen out as his apprentice, revealing to him Darth Bane's new Sith order, but is forced to take on Plagueis instead when Jeen is killed. That way, Jeen's insane confessional to the Jedi on his death bed could contain all the knowledge necessary to make Yoda's recognizing of Darth Bane make sense.

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My guess is because Yoda was exceptionally skilled in seeing the past and future also spent much time in the Council unto which he could find him in the archives; for not all Jedi died from Darth Bane.
I don't know exactly who survived his carnage but there was one if not two who barely escaped with their lives. Yoda with his skill in the force could easily have foretold their past and then learned about Darth Bane.

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In the Darth Plagueis book, he explains to Palpatine that one of the later successors to Bane had a change of heart and babbled to the jedi about it all, but was ultimately defeated by his twiilek apprentice who carried on the Rule of Two legacy.

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