Lived: 1026 - 980 BBY
First Appeared: Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Novel, 1999
Behind the Scenes:
The character of Darth Bane, and his Rule of Two, were created by George Lucas as part of his backstory of the Sith he developed for the prequel trilogy. Bane was first mentioned in The Phantom Menace novel as the creator of the Rule of Two. In 2000, The Essential Chronology collated these events with the Battle of Ruusan mentioned in Dark Forces: Jedi Knight, creating a backstory further developed in Jedi vs Sith by Darko Macan and Bane of the Sith by Kevin J. Anderson. The New Essential Guide to Characters and The New Essential Chronology provided more details, and the latter attempted to correct inconsistencies between Jedi vs Sith and Bane of the Sith.
In 2006, Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, written by Drew Karpyshyn was released. Several of the details in it contradicted previous information about Bane. Another novel about Darth Bane, Darth Bane: Rule of Two, was released in 2007 and fixed some of the conflicting elements. Part of the novel covers Bane of the Sith, while it also invents new history for Bane and his apprentice. A third novel, Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil, was released in 2009. Each of these novels expanded on Bane's backstory, with Dynasty of Evil killing off the Dark Lord.
Many fans were initially confused as to whether Bane or Zannah won the final duel between the two at the end of Dynasty of Evil. Author Drew Karpshyn confirmed a few days later that Zannah had won the duel, although a small remnant of Bane remained in her.
Bane was to originally appear, alongside Darth Revan, in "Ghosts of Mortis," an episode of the 2010 Star Wars: The Clone Wars television series' third season as an influence to the Force-wielding Son, an embodiment of the dark side of the Force. Although George Lucas commissioned the scene, he later cut it before the scene could be fully animated. Series Director Dave Filoni voiced similar concerns to the inclusion of the two Sith Lords; though the scene would have been appreciated by Expanded Universe fans, he stated that cutting the scene had been the right thing to do.
Lucasfilm official Leland Chee stated in his blog that Bane's name is based on the word "Bane," which means, among other things, "a person or thing that ruins or spoils." Jan Duursema's depiction of Bane in Star Wars: Legacy was based on the partially completed costume of a fan, Thomas J. Spanos.