Star Wars uses 2022 to secure Jedi and Sith futures in franchise
Last year's Star Wars story made the inevitable return of the ancient Jedi and Sith to the galaxy -- will the war end?
Star Wars comics guarantee that the return of the Jedi and Sith is inevitable. The history of the Star Wars galaxy is essentially one of constant conflict between followers of the light side of the Force and followers of the dark side. Even galactic politics have always been dominated by Jedi and Sith. The Galactic Republic was formed after the defeat of Darth Bane, and Palpatine quickly established a new Sith Empire after taking power a thousand years later.
It is entirely possible that the Chosen One was born to end this conflict. After all, Anakin Skywalker took part in the slaughter of the Jedi before going on to end Bennett Sith. Viewed in this light, it's certainly not a coincidence that Rey - who is certainly destined to start a new Jedi Order - seems to have learned from ancient texts that preceded the Schism that created the Sith. She wanted the potential to build something new, a truly balanced Jedi Order. But recent Star Wars comics have made the Ancient Sith and Return of the Jedi seem more likely.
Of course, the timing is no coincidence, especially for the Jedi; Lucasfilm's Star Wars: The High Republic transmedia initiative has demonstrated a strong interest in Jedi history. Writers are understandably eager to bring together narrative threads from different eras, and readers crave this cross-media experience. But the sheer scale, and the potential return of the Jedi and Sith, is no less surprising.
Star Wars' New Force Vergences Give The Galaxy A "Memory"
Star Wars introduces several Force-rich planets, so-called "Force Confluences" with unique properties. The most famous of these is Exegol, introduced in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a planet with an unusually thin veil between life and death - explaining why Palpatine can be resurrected there, and why the dead The voice of a Jedi Knight can speak words of encouragement to Rey. But Charles Soule and Marco Castiello's Star Wars #20 introduces a perhaps more important focus, the Ghazian Sea of Life. This world leaves imprints from any Force user who visits it, and anyone who dives into Ghazan's sea of life can communicate with these imprints. The Ghazan Living Sea effectively provides an easily accessible "memory" for the galaxy. Never Need a Jedi or Sith Secret Lost, because there's always the possibility of learning from past Jedi and Sith.
The Jedi have always guarded the Force Junction, which explains why Ghazan's live seafood is known. But it's certainly known to the Jedi of the Republic era, having been discovered by Luke Skywalker shortly before the events of The Empire Strikes Back. The interesting question is do the Sith know its location? A holograph message from Master Yoda reveals that several of the divergence points have the same purpose, and it is worth noting that the other two divergence points he mentions were destroyed by the Empire (the Jedi Temple on Coruscant and Jada's temple). Presumably, Palpatine took aim at these divisions as he attempted to destroy all records of the Jedi, including those provided by the Force. The Ghazian Sea of Life, though, is too large to be destroyed by anything other than the Death Star; if Palpatine did know of its existence, Luke Skywalker likely saved it when he blew up the battle station.
The Ghazian Sea of Life provides Luke with visions of the past and future, apparently possessing powers beyond the essence of time. But it is undeniable that the impact It's more of the light side of the Force, a meeting point of light influenced by countless generations of Jedi Knights. It will be interesting to speculate whether the Sith have discovered a similar divide and twisted it to their own ends, thereby allying themselves with the dark side and leaving a permanent record of their evil order.
The Fermata Cage Would Allow An Ancient Sith To Return
Recent comics have revealed a more straightforward return of the ancient Jedi and Sith - a new way to explore time travel in Star Wars. It seems that the ancient Sith pagan Darth Momin discovered a way to use the dark side to manipulate time itself, and he built a contraption he called the Fermata Cage. He used it to place a Sith Lord outside of time, trapping them for millennia - until the events of Charles Thor and Steven Cummings' current Hidden Empire miniseries. The story takes place before the events of The Empire Strikes Back and follows a desperate struggle between the Empire and a criminal organization known as the Crimson Dawn. Lady Zira, leader of the Crimson Dawn, is committed to overthrowing the Sith - and she believes the best way to do that is to bring another Sith back to the galaxy. The dark side is rivalry and hostile, and she rightly believes another Sith will try to overthrow Palpatine and Darth Vader, causing chaos in the galaxy.
Qi'ra appears to be right, as Palpatine is surprisingly terrified of the return of the Sith. He created a civilization steeped in the dark side of the Force, which he channeled and manipulated, but any Sith who returned in that time period would inevitably benefit from it as well. The Hidden Empire event apparently took place before the Fermata Cage was opened, and it's unclear what would happen when the Sith inside emerged. At the same time, what's been done once can be done again; there's no reason to think the Fermata Cage is the only device that can lock a Sith or Jedi out of time.
The Spark Eternal Is Another Terrifying Threat From The Past
Finally, the ongoing Dr. Aphra series (written by Alyssa Wong and illustrated by Minkyu Jung) introduces a new technique to preserve the minds of people from ancient times. Created by a Force cult called Ascendant, the Spark Eternal has the power to transform anyone into the Sith equivalent. The eternal spark has been absorbed Written by Dr. Aphra, apparently trying to counter Darth Vader himself. But those stakes could be higher than the Sith's potential rewards; there are hints that the Spark Eternal will threaten the Force itself, presumably a technological alliance aimed at wiping out all life across the galaxy. Ironically, this could be the enemy that forces Star Wars' Jedi and Sith to work together.