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Darth Zannah

Updated: Jan 31, 2022

Darth Zannah

Name: Darth Zannah

Biographical information

Homeworld: Somov Rit

Born: 1010 BBY (975BrS), Somov Rit

Physical description

Species: Human

Gender: Female

Height: Average

Hair color: Blonde

Eye color: Blue/Yellow (dark side)

Skin color: Fair

Chronological and political information

Affiliation(s): Galactic Republic (as "Rain"), Order of the Sith Lords (as Darth Zannah), Anti-Republic Liberation Front (as "Rainah")

Masters: Darth Bane

Apprentices: Hetton (very briefly), Set Harth (briefly), Darth Cognus

"This is the way of our Order. An individual may die, but the Sith are eternal."

―Darth Zannah, Dark Lord of the Sith

Zannah, known as "Rain" during her childhood, was a Force-sensitive Human female from the planet Somov Rit. She was recruited to fight for the Jedi's Army of Light during the Ruusan campaign of the New Sith Wars but, after arriving on Ruusan, was separated from the group during a Sith attack and presumed dead. Unbeknownst to the Jedi, she had been saved and befriended by a member of the native Bouncer species called Laa. When the Brotherhood of Darkness later unleashed a planet-wide Force storm, Rain survived by instinctively enveloping herself and Laa with a bubble of Force energy. Not long afterward, the young girl watched as Laa was haplessly killed by Jedi scouts. Stricken with anger and grief, she unwittingly gave in to the dark side and murdered the Jedi. Her display of rage attracted the attention of the war's only surviving Dark Lord, Darth Bane, who decided to take her as his apprentice. Rain cast away the handle of her youth and instead embraced her birth name, becoming Darth Zannah.

Zannah's preliminary Force training took place on the planet Ambria and involved the study of ancient Sith magic. In her tutelage under Darth Bane, Zannah executed a variety of missions designed to incite anarchist movements throughout the Galactic Republic, including manipulating the terrorist Anti-Republic Liberation Front into a botched kidnapping attempt on former Supreme Chancellor Tarsus Valorum. From Hetton, the ARLF's leader, Zannah also recovered information regarding the creation of holocrons, a secret highly sought by her Master, who later killed Hetton after Zannah tricked him into an attack on the Dark Lord. When the parasites that comprised Bane's body armor began to cause him concern, Zannah was tasked with infiltrating the Jedi Temple archives on Coruscant to obtain information about the creatures. Her mission complete, Zannah was surprised to encounter her cousin Darovit, who confessed that he had exposed her presence to the Jedi. Zannah fled Coruscant with him and met Darth Bane on Tython, where the Sith prepared to battle the pursuant Jedi. Despite their numbers, all of the Jedi were slain, although Bane was grievously wounded and on the brink of dying. Zannah returned with her Master to Ambria and demanded on threat of death that the local healer save the Dark Lord, which he agreed to do only after Zannah revealed the Sith presence on Ambria to the Jedi. She betrayed and killed the healer upon completion of the procedure and also used her power to drive Darovit mad. The respondent Jedi assumed that he was the Sith Lord they sought and killed him, effectively convincing the Jedi of the Sith's final eradication. With no surviving witnesses, the existence of Darth Zannah and her Master remained safely anonymous.

The Sith relocated to Ciutric IV, and over the course of ten years, Zannah grew to be an accomplished Sith sorceress who equaled Darth Bane in strength. When she failed to confront him for the position of Dark Lord, Bane believed she lacked initiative. However, Zannah had already begun to contemplate his demise. On a mission to Doan, she learned of a Dark Jedi named Set Harth and enlisted the reluctant young man as her apprentice. Zannah returned with him to Ciutric IV to confront her own Master, only to find that Bane had been captured by the Doan Royal Guard. She then returned to Doan, where she infiltrated the place of Bane's imprisonment. She located Bane and fought him, but their duel ended in a draw when both were forced to flee the prison. Soon after, Bane, who had taken the Iktotchi Darth Cognus as his new apprentice, called Zannah to meet him on Ambria, where they dueled for the final time. Zannah was initially overwhelmed by her Master's attacks, but she was able to use her sorcery to injure him. As a last resort, Bane attempted to transfer his essence into her body, but was defeated when Zannah's spirit condemned his to the void of the dark side. Zannah then took Darth Cognus as her apprentice and continued Bane's legacy as Dark Lord of the Sith.


Early life

Jedi recruit

"War is no place for children. I have enough doubts about taking you boys…" "All Rain's asking for is a chance! Please?"

―Torr Snapit and Darovit, discussing Rain

A young Zannah celebrates being able to go to Ruusan.

Zannah was a Human girl from the planet Somov Rit. Born in 1010 BBY, her youth was spent with her cousins, Darovit, Hardin, and Root, and per the custom of the people of that world, was known by her nickname Rain. Unlike Darovit and Hardin, Rain had not shown any sign of Force potential, so, when Jedi scout Torr Snapit of the Army of Light arrived looking to recruit Force-sensitives to fight in the war against the Sith, he was initially hesitant to take her. Rain did not want to be left behind while her cousins went away with the Jedi, and with assistance from Darovit, she manipulated the Force sufficiently for Snapit to allow her to come along. Rain joined her cousins as they went off-world to partake in the war's final campaign on the planet Ruusan.

Upon their arrival, the Jedi starship was attacked by a squad of Buzzard fighters dispatched by the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness. A hole was blown in the side of the vessel, and Rain fell out to the forests below. The Jedi ship was unable to maneuver in the midst of the attack to attempt a rescue, and so Rain was left behind, with her cousins believing that she had perished. The girl had in fact been saved, her fall cushioned by the back of a green-furred Bouncer called Laa. Rain instantly befriended the creature and spent the next few days recovering from her traumatic experiences with her new companion.

Oblivious to the blood being shed in battles all across Ruusan, Rain and Laa ventured across the countryside together. During the sixth such conflict for control of the planet, the Dark Lords of the Sith Brotherhood combined their power to create a storm of destruction that obliterated the landscape for miles. Rain and Laa were caught in the fallout, but the young girl instinctively enveloped herself and Laa in a bubble of protective Force energy. It was then that Rain realized she was indeed strong in the Force, and hoped to one day become a Knight of the Galactic Republic. To Rain's dismay, however, Laa prophesied that she would instead grow to be a powerful Dark Jedi. Bewildered by Laa's prediction, Rain flung herself off of a cliff in a suicide attempt, but quickly levitated herself to safety after deciding instead that her destiny was not controlled by what the Bouncer saw.

Touch of the dark side

"Do you know who I am?" "You're a Sith." "You're not afraid of me?" "No." "I have killed many people. Men, women…even children." "I'm a killer, too."

―Darth Bane and Zannah, upon their first meeting

Zannah's first kill

Widespread destruction on Ruusan caused many of the Bouncers to degenerate into a state of madness and transmit images of pain and death through the Force into the minds of the Army of Light's warriors. To end their own suffering, the Jedi charged two of their own, a Knight named Petja and a companion, with the task of eliminating the Bouncers to prevent the onset of full panic within the army. Although Laa had not succumbed to the same madness as her kin, Petja and his fellow Jedi killed her anyway. Rain, who had been riding the Bouncer, was abruptly thrown off her back. Grief-stricken upon realization of what had transpired, Rain unwittingly used the dark side of the Force to break the necks of both men in retaliation for the murder of her friend. She then returned to the body of Laa, crying uncontrollably.

Rain's raw display of anger attracted the attention of Darth Bane, a Dark Lord who had recently abandoned the Brotherhood of Darkness and had been wandering Ruusan's wilderness since. Rain's use of the Force in an act of vengeance, as well as the fearlessness she displayed in his presence, impressed him. When asked who she was, Rain initially gave her childhood nickname, but quickly abandoned it for her birth name of Zannah, since those who had known her as Rain were all dead as far as she was aware. The large man introduced himself as Darth Bane, the Dark Lord who would restore the lost glory of the Sith. Zannah immediately recognized him for what he was, and Bane recognized in her the potential to become his apprentice. When he told the girl that he had murdered many people—women and children included—Zannah confessed that she, like Bane, was a killer as well. She also admitted upon further inquiry that she had received no formal training in the ways of the Force, nor did she possess an understanding of the dark side; however, she told Bane that she was still young, and that she was willing to learn to harness its power from him.

The final battle on Ruusan saw the decimation of both Jedi and Sith armies with the unleashing of Lord Skere Kaan's life-consuming thought bomb, and Zannah and her new Master were among the few survivors. She accompanied him to the caves where Kaan and his brotherhood had made their final stand, and listened as Bane explained the thought bomb's significance. Zannah's cousin Darovit appeared suddenly from another of the caves, and mistakenly believed that she was Bane's captive when he saw them together. Darovit ignited a red-bladed lightsaber and prepared to attack, causing Zannah to explode his weapon-hand with the Force. When Bane questioned Zannah's reason for sparing the boy's life, she stated that killing him was pointless. Zannah and her Master then left Darovit with the thought bomb in the caves to prepare for their departure from Ruusan.

Final test

"Make your way to Onderon. I will meet you there in ten standard days. After I find Nadd's tomb on Dxun." "How am I supposed to get there?" "You are the chosen one, the anointed heir to the legacy of our order. You will find a way." "And if I don't?" "Then you will have proven yourself unworthy of being my successor, and I will seek out another apprentice."

―Darth Bane and Zannah

In their haste to leave the planet, Zannah quickly learned from Bane to channel the Force to sustain and augment her physical abilities. Before she was officially accepted by him, however, she was given a final test: to find her own way off-world, and in ten standard days meet Bane on the planet Onderon. Initially resentful with Bane for the trial set before her, Zannah wandered in search of a means of completing her task, and chanced upon a shuttle with four Humans nearby. Calling herself Rain again for the time being, Zannah was mistaken for a war orphan and was brought on board their vessel, the Star-Wake, where she was fed and introduced to her hosts. The adult female named Irtanna, whom Zannah believed to be a soldier of some sort, consulted a Human male called Bordon. They offered to let Rain join them, but she refused, stating that she needed to go to Onderon. After she insisted on her destination, Zannah's hosts decided to take her back to the Republic fleet, where the young girl's destiny would be decided for her.

Zannah and her new Master, Darth Bane

Zannah was immediately conflicted by the choices that now lay before her. On one hand, she wanted to honor her commitment to Darth Bane and meet him on Onderon, where he would then begin to help her reach her full potential. On the other, she was slightly intrigued by Bordon's offer, as she had become thoroughly exhausted with the struggle that had been her life thus far, and considered the tranquility that had been extended in her direction. She also realized that if she was turned over to the Republic, they would eventually discover her Force-sensitivity, and also the existence of her Master. Before she could resolve her dilemma, however, Rain was approached by Bordon's youngest son, Wend. After a brief conversation with the boy, Zannah made up in her mind to reject Bordon's offer, realizing that the peace he offered her amounted to nothing more than a lie; though they were happy, Bordon had no way of protecting himself or his family from real danger. When Wend was summoned to the ship's cockpit, Zannah seized the opportunity to search for a means of forcing her saviors into doing her bidding. She located a blaster pistol just as Bordon's adult son, Tallo, arrived, and was tackled by the young man in an attempt to wrench the weapon from her grasp. Bordon arrived to find Zannah and his son in quarrel, and was mortified as he watched her put a gaping hole in Tallo's chest with the blaster. Zannah gunned down Bordon next, and rushed to the cockpit to prevent Irtanna and Wend from interfering. After ordering the woman to set the autopilot on a course for Onderon, which Irtanna refused to do, Zannah killed the soldier and professed her Sith allegiance before doing the same to Wend, despite him begging for his life. She then rode the Star-Wake for seven days to Onderon, to rendezvous with Darth Bane.

Zannah's arrival preceded Bane's, and she was forced to make a rough landing deep in the jungles of Onderon. Her presence attracted the attention of the Skelda clan of native Beast Riders, warriors who flew great winged beasts in battle. Zannah was quickly surrounded as she exited the Star-Wake, and she attempted to bluff her way out of the inevitable confrontation. She tried to flee when they threatened to take her ship, but was quickly tackled by the leader. To his surprise, Zannah reflexively used the Force to blast the man off of her. He realized that the little girl was an untrained Force-sensitive, and offered her one last chance to surrender in the face of insurmountable odds. Zannah, however, revealed that she was far from alone—Darth Bane then appeared in the sky above them, mounted on a winged beast larger than any of those commanded by clan Skelda. She then watched in awe as her Master single-handedly defeated the entire clan, sustained near-fatal injuries, and recovered from them instantaneously, thanks to the orbalisk crustaceans that she saw now covered his body. The Dark Lord was indeed impressed that Zannah had survived the preliminary tests he had set before her; she was then officially made his apprentice, and her real training began.

Bane's apprentice

"I see you decided to teach me two lessons today, Master."

―Zannah, to Darth Bane

Zannah's training took place on the world of Ambria for much of her early time with Bane. Because he sought to keep his new Order beneath galactic notice, Bane instilled within Zannah tenets of secrecy, patience, and ingenuity. Her first lesson was to tame a wild neek—a reptilian creature native to Ambria, specifically near the dark side-infused Lake Natth—and to bring the domesticated creature back to their camp of its own volition. While familiarizing herself with the animals, Zannah spent days earning one particular neek's trust and, in doing so, became emotionally attached to it, treating it almost like a pet. Finally, she was able to coax the reptile into following her. When they arrived at the camp her Master was pleased, but he then suddenly snapped its neck through the Force, and ordered Zannah to toss the dead thing into a boiling pot nearby. She realized at that moment that her Master's lesson was twofold: having the patience to dominate another being or creature through cunning, and to bend it to her will, all while maintaining a sense of detachment.

Zannah's early Sith training took place on Ambria.

By the time Zannah was fourteen, her training had advanced into the study of the ways of the ancient Sith. She learned to manipulate the power of the dark side through Sith spells that Bane had extracted from the holocron of Freedon Nadd, which he had found in Nadd's tomb during his trek to the jungle moon Dxun. Bane confessed his own inability with the inner-workings of Sith magic, and stated that his talents were expressed in more natural and elemental uses of the dark side. Zannah, however, was eager to learn Nadd's teachings and immediately began to absorb everything she could. While she studied the transcript, Bane warned her that if she ever attempted her spells on him, he would destroy her.

Zannah constructed her personal double-bladed lightsaber not long afterward. Her customized weapon included a longer than average hilt and was powered by a set of synthetic lightsaber crystals, one of which was known as Bane's Heart. Her lightsaber produced blades that were three-quarters of a meter in length each, ones that also released an electrical discharge when the weapon was utilized by anyone other than its owner, courtesy of Bane's Heart. Zannah built her lightsaber in that manner to compensate for the proportions of her petite frame. Bane explained that her weapon was critical to her chosen style of lightsaber combat, one that expended minimal energy while maximizing her endurance in battle, creating what he described as the "impenetrable defense" of Soresu.

Her Master's will

"The Republic keeps the Jedi in check. It maintains control and imposes order across thousands of worlds. But if the Republic falls, a score of new interstellar governments and galactic organizations will rise. It is far easier to manipulate and control a single enemy than twenty. That is why we must seek out radical separatist groups, identify the ones that have the potential to become true threats, then encourage them to strike before they are ready. We must exploit them, playing them off against the Republic. We must let our enemies weaken one another while we stay hidden and grow strong. One day the Republic will fall and the Jedi will be wiped out. But it will not happen until we are ready to seize that power for ourselves."

―Darth Bane

Tarsus Valorum, the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic

By 990 BBY, Zannah had become more than just a Sith apprentice; she was now an instrument of Darth Bane's will. Because the Dark Lord's orbalisk armor prevented him from moving in public unnoticed, he was forced to rely on Zannah as his primary means of contact with the outside world. To further their covert Sith agenda, the adolescent woman was sent on a variety of secret missions that were designed to force the enemies of the Sith into open conflict with the Galactic Republic, on whose superior strength Darth Bane counted to eliminate those threats he deemed less-significant. Among them were also schemes that slowly spread the numbers of the Jedi thin, so that over time, their ability to efficiently respond to a sudden crisis en masse was diminished.

One of her missions involved the exploitation of a group of dissidents on the planet Serenno known as the Anti-Republic Liberation Front. Under the guise of "Rainah," Zannah became the lover of one of the ARLF's more prominent members, a Twi'lek male named Kelad'den. She convinced the Lethan to make an abduction of Supreme Chancellor Tarsus Valorum, who was scheduled to visit Serenno soon on a diplomatic mission. The attempt ultimately failed—Bane had known this from the very beginning—resulted in the deaths of Kel and three other Front operatives at the hands of Jedi Knight Johun Othone.

Zannah was later detained by the surviving members of the plot, Cyndra and Paak, who confiscated her lightsaber and took her to meet the leader of the ARLF, Hetton. Once there, she used her sorcery to drive Cyndra insane, which caused the Chiss woman to gouge out her own eyes and babble incoherently. In retaliation, Paak attacked with a vibroblade, and Zannah summoned her lightsaber in her own defense. After using the Force to snap her restraints, she toyed with Paak, who then pulled a blaster on her. She deflected the first bolt and redirected the second into his head, which killed him instantly. Hetton, who had been watching nearby, was impressed by Zannah and recognized her as a Sith Lord; he then confessed that he had been waiting his entire life for someone like her. Zannah learned from Hetton that he had used his vast resources to collect a wealth of dark side artifacts and knowledge over the past three decades. Her interest piqued when Hetton spoke of an ancient Dark Lord of the Sith named Belia Darzu, who was said to have mastered the creation of Sith holocrons, a skill that had eluded Zannah's Master thus far. During their conversation, Zannah also learned that Hetton employed eight Umbaran Shadow Assassins who would consign themselves to the Sith Lord's disposal should she choose to take Hetton as her apprentice. Zannah agreed, though not in earnest; she planned to simply use Hetton and eventually take from him information that would lead her Master to Belia Darzu's fortress on the planet Tython, where she hoped he would discover the secret of holocron creation.

Zannah was given a datacard that contained the sum of Hetton's knowledge. She then took him and his Umbaran minions to Ambria, to attack her Master. Although the assassins caught Bane unawares, they were no match for the Dark Lord, who slew all eight of them in rapid succession before finally killing Hetton, all while Zannah stood by and watched. She expected Bane to demand an explanation of her actions, but he instead attacked her under the belief that she had betrayed him. Zannah suffered a severe beating before she was finally able to reveal that she had only allied herself with Bane's attacker for the benefit of obtaining the secret of creating holocrons. He ceased his attack at that moment and allowed Zannah to present the datacard that contained the hyperspace route to Tython. She also professed her confidence in Bane's ability to beat his assailants. When he presented Zannah with a scenario that resulted in his defeat, Zannah answered that he would have deserved death, having proven himself unworthy of the position of Dark Lord of the Sith.

Mission to the Jedi Temple

"Rain? What are you doing here?"

―Darovit recognizes Zannah in the Jedi Archives

Zannah's mission to Coruscant involved an infiltration in the Jedi Temple.

While Bane traveled to Tython, Zannah was tasked with infiltrating the Jedi Temple's Archives on Coruscant. The Dark Lord had obtained for Zannah an alias in the form of a Padawan named Nalia Adollu, to whom Zannah was physically very similar. For a week she studied Adollu's profile, as well as that of her Pyn'gani Jedi Master, Anno Wen-Chii, until every detail of both individuals had been committed to memory. A cover story was also fabricated that claimed that Wen-Chii needed Adollu to research material regarding a rare parasitic life form native to his homeworld of Polus; in truth, Zannah would actually be searching the expanse of the Jedi Archives for any information regarding orbalisks, the creatures whose carapaces formed Darth Bane's impenetrable armor. To complete her deception, Zannah had also practiced a Sith spell that involved covering her dark side aura with one of light. She worked diligently on perfecting the spell, but despite her best efforts, her true disposition still occasionally manifested. Zannah could only hope that her power did not fail once she was in the presence of the Jedi.

Upon arrival on the galactic capital in the starship Loranda, Zannah projected her false light side aura and entered the Jedi Temple unhindered. She made her way to the Archives and, as Nalia Adollu, met with its chief librarian, Barra-Rona-Ban. Zannah had contacted the librarian beforehand to advise of her upcoming visit, and was given a datacard that contained several reference materials to aid in her search. She proceeded to the fourth hall of the Archives—the section dedicated to zoological study—to begin her search for any information on orbalisks. Days of tedious research failed to reveal anything conclusive, until one night Zannah discovered a thesis entitled An Examination and Exploration of a Most Dangerous and Resilient Organism. Her false light-side aura faltered in that moment of excitement, and before she was able to assert control, she was startled by her cousin Darovit, the last person she expected to see on Coruscant.

As surprised to see him as he was to see her, Zannah's shock quickly gave way to anger when Darovit told her that he had alerted the Jedi to the continued existence of the Sith. After she copied the thesis on her datacard, Zannah took her cousin by the arm and advised him that he would be accompanying her to Tython to warn Darth Bane. She led Darovit to a different section of the Archives, where she accessed another computer and found an adequate hyperspace route to the Deep Core world, and copied that information onto her datacard as well. She and Darovit then left the Temple, boarded the Loranda, and fled Coruscant. While en route to Tython, Zannah's cousin tried repeatedly to sway her from the path of the dark side, though to no avail. She eventually responded by Force-choking Darovit, and advised him that her Master's need of his healing skills was the only thing that prevented her from killing him. She released him and threatened to destroy his remaining hand if he badgered her any further.

Facing the enemy

Darovit: "Is something wrong? What is it?"

Zannah: "We were followed."

Bane: "Inside the fortress. The Jedi have found us."

―Darovit, Zannah, and Darth Bane

The Loranda entered Tython's atmosphere just over Belia Darzu's fortress, and upon sight of Darth Bane's ship, the Mystic, Zannah landed nearby. Zannah exited her ship with Darovit behind her and saw that Bane was waiting outside the fortress. After he demanded to know why she had come, Zannah explained the details of her chance encounter with Darovit in the Jedi Temple and how he had revealed their existence to the High Council. She also told Bane that Darovit would be able to rid him of the orbalisk infestation. Their meeting was interrupted when they noticed another ship heading fast in their direction. Both Zannah and her Master felt the light-side orientation of its passengers and realized that the Jedi had followed them to Tython. They quickly retreated to the interior of Belia Darzu's fortress and began to fortify their position in preparation for an inevitable battle.

The duel on Tython

Zannah and her Master held fast in a large circular room with two exits, chosen specifically by Bane to provide them with an escape route should they be forced to retreat. As Zannah began to mentally focus for the battle, she hid the datacard with the information from the Temple Archives in a nearby closet. She told Darovit to hide there as well, and explained to her Master that the young man would only hinder their efforts. Five Jedi burst into the room soon afterward, and battle quickly ensued. Zannah immediately erected her impenetrable defensive wall while taking up position in a nearby corner in an effort to protect her flanks from her two Human assailants, Knights Johun Othone and the physically enormous Sarro Xaj. Zannah quickly realized that Xaj—who wielded a massive blue-bladed version of her own weapon—posed the greater threat of her two opponents. His powerful attacks were metered, however, by the awkward dueling style of Othone, which allowed Zannah to play off of the smaller man's disruption of the larger one's advance. Her plan was to hold them off until Darth Bane finished with his own opponents, at which time he would be able to assist her.

Zannah's defensive wall was breached by the larger Jedi when she spared a moment to observe her Master's progress, but she was able to resume her lightsaber's rhythm after Othone again blocked his partner's attack. Zannah soon found herself alone against Xaj, after Othone went to protect the fifth Jedi, an Ithorian who had been supporting his colleagues through use of battle meditation. Without the benefit of the smaller man to impede the larger one's efforts, Zannah was steadily driven back by the strength of Xaj's blows. The flow of battle shifted, however, when the Ithorian's concentration was suddenly disrupted, robbing Zannah's opponent of his Force-empowerment. Zannah seized the opportunity to cast a spell that summoned the Jedi's most primal fears, causing him to flail about in terror. She closed in and swiftly cut him down, then masked her Force presence before moving in behind Bane's female Echani assailant and running her through. When Bane's two surviving opponents realized that Zannah had killed their companion, they turned to face her, and Bane responded by severing the Human's weapon-hand and beheading the Equine Jedi, Valenthyne Farfalla. Her Master then mortally wounded the Ithorian, but in a last desperate move, the Jedi trapped both himself and Bane within a bubble of Force energy just as the Dark Lord unleashed a storm of purple lightning intended for Othone. Bane suffered the full force of his own attack, which left him a smoking husk on the ground. Zannah rushed to her Master's side after killing Othone, whom she caught moving toward his fallen lightsaber. She then ordered Darovit, who had come out of the closet after the fight had ended, to collect the Jedi lightsabers as they prepared to leave.

Saving Darth Bane

"You can't die yet. There's so much more you have to teach me!"

―Darth Zannah

Zannah used the Force to levitate Darth Bane's unconscious body from Darzu's fortress to the Loranda. She carried him into the ship's fully-equipped medical bay, where she attempted with minimal success to stabilize his perilous condition by connecting him to a bacta pump. Zannah tried forcefully to make use of Darovit's healing skills, an order he all but refused given the severity of Bane's condition; in their death throes, the orbalisks attached to Bane's skin released into his bloodstream deadly toxins for which there was no known antidote. She repeatedly ordered Darovit to intervene, and each time he professed his inability to heal the Dark Lord. The realization that she would be unable to advance the Sith agenda if Bane died slowly dawned on Zannah; with his condition rapidly deteriorating, she decided to visit the only other healer whom she knew: Caleb of Ambria. As she plotted a course for the Inner Rim world, Zannah demanded that Darovit do whatever was necessary to ensure that Bane survived the journey.[3]

Caleb, the healer

The Loranda touched down just outside of Caleb's shack, and leaving Darth Bane's unconscious body strapped to a hovergurney, Zannah and Darovit exited the ship. She surveyed the camp before entering the shack in search of Caleb, whom she did not see at first but quickly found hiding in a makeshift cellar. After forcing him out, Zannah inquired as to whether or not Caleb knew her identity, to which he confessed having known who she was ever since she and Bane had made Ambria their residence. She questioned further if he knew her reason for coming to him, and Caleb answered that he had hid himself when he sensed Zannah approaching. She asked out of curiosity when he had constructed the cellar and learned that Caleb had created the hiding place for his daughter—Bane had found Caleb during the New Sith Wars and had forced the healer to help him by threatening his daughter's life. Caleb's daughter was now an adult, however, and Zannah took notice of the satisfaction with which he spoke as he told her that his daughter was gone, and the Sith therefore held no more power over him. Time and again Zannah attempted to coerce Caleb into cooperation, but threats, bribes, and even torture were not enough to compel the healer into again serving the Sith. While in the midst of tormenting Caleb by using the Force to painfully squeeze his internal organs, Zannah was interrupted by Darovit as he entered the shack and demanded that she cease the healer's suffering. Zannah explained to Darovit that Caleb had refused to help, prompting the man to verbally reaffirm his position. Zannah knelt beside Caleb and threatened him one last time, vowing to use her sorcery to subject him to the worst agonies she could think of. Caleb, however, replied that if Zannah harmed him in the manner in which she described, Darth Bane would most certainly die. Infuriated by Caleb's declaration, the Sith apprentice stormed out of the shack to go and attend to Darth Bane.

Zannah was approached by Darovit as she stood over Bane's prostrate form. When her cousin attempted to commiserate with her by stating that Bane would die in peace, Zannah lashed out at Darovit and exclaimed that death, in whatever manner it was ultimately realized, was still death. She rebuffed Darovit's subsequent attempts to placate her but became partially interested when he said that even though Caleb had refused to assist her, Bane could still be saved. She listened as Darovit explained that he had convinced Caleb to heal Bane—only if Zannah agreed to send a message to the Jedi alerting them of the presence of the Sith on Ambria. She at first denounced Darovit's plan as preposterous, but after several moments of silent contemplation, Zannah agreed to the terms of the deal. Caleb subsequently upheld his end of the bargain. Zannah initially suggested relocating Bane to the Loranda's medical bay, but the healer refused, believing that Ambria's powerful undercurrent of Force energy lent strength to his medicaments. Upon the task's completion, Zannah demanded to see her Master, who was barely awake, but alert nonetheless. She told Bane that he was now bereft of the orbalisks to which he had grown accustomed, just as he slipped back into unconsciousness. When she visited him again two days later, Zannah's mentor was fully coherent. She explained that Caleb had healed him, though only after Zannah alerted the Jedi to their presence on Ambria. Bane was infuriated by Zannah's apparent betrayal and demanded that she kill him in lieu of surrendering him to the Jedi. He begged her to flee and seek an apprentice of her own, that she might continue the Order of the Sith Lords. When Zannah revealed that such action was currently impossible, since Caleb had also stipulated that the Loranda be rendered inoperable, Bane regarded her with disgust, utterly disappointed by her failure to meet his expectations. Zannah reassured her Master that there was still a chance they might yet survive, but he was not convinced and continued to beg for death even as he again fell into unconsciousness.

Mission accomplished

"You have done well, Zannah. I underestimated you. Had I known your plans, I would never have asked you to kill me." "You still have much to teach me. I will continue to study at your feet, Master. I will learn from your wisdom. I will discover your secrets, unlocking them one by one until everything you know—all your knowledge and all your power—is mine. And once you are no longer of use to me, I will destroy you."

―Darth Bane and Darth Zannah

Realizing that the Jedi would be arriving soon on Ambria, Zannah formulated a plan. She activated her lightsaber, exited the hut, and murdered Caleb, hewing him limb from limb. Zannah then used her sorcery to drive Darovit insane and left the young man hysterical and huddled in a corner of the shack. She placed the five lightsabers of the vanquished Jedi from Tython by the door and retrieved her Master's comatose form, hiding with him in the hut's makeshift cellar and covering them both with a concealment charm to hide their presences from the fast-approaching Jedi. The Sith sorceress' plan went off without a hitch; a team of fourteen Jedi led by a Twi'lek Master named Tho'natu arrived not long afterward and mistook the maddened Darovit for the Sith Lord whom the message drone claimed was on Ambria. Zannah's cousin attacked them and was quickly slain by the Jedi. Believing that the Sith had been eradicated once and for all, the Jedi collected the lightsabers of Tython's fallen, as well as the remains of Caleb—who had been hacked to pieces by Zannah—and departed from Ambria.

Zannah spent the next three days repairing the Loranda, during which time she reconnected Darth Bane to a bacta pump in the ship's medical bay to expedite the convalescence begun by Caleb. When the Loranda had finally been made operable, Zannah returned to check on her Master. She found her wrist caught in the powerful grip of a fully conscious and rejuvenated Darth Bane, whose last recollection of Zannah was the confession of what seemed to be her betrayal of him. When she elaborated, however, on how the Jedi had departed after killing Darovit under the pretense that he had been the Sith Lord whom they sought, and that the Sith had effectively been consigned to obscurity as a result, her Master released his grasp. Pleased by Zannah's ingenuity, Bane confessed that he had underestimated his apprentice and would never have asked for death had he known the extent of her plans. Zannah expressed her appreciation of the compliment, but vowed that she would one day surpass him in power and destroy him when he had nothing left to offer—a proclamation that garnered her Master's approval.

Path to Mastery

A new apprentice

"Greetings. I don't believe we've had the pleasure. My name is Set Harth."

―Set Harth, upon meeting Darth Zannah

Dark Jedi Set Harth, Darth Zannah's first legitimate apprentice

After the events on Ambria, Zannah, under the alias of Allia Omek, and Bane spent the next ten years strengthening themselves, cultivating resources and contacts, and perpetuating the Jedi's belief that the Sith had been eradicated. By 980 BBY, she and her Master had relocated to the planet Ciutric IV, where they began living in a mansion outside of the city of Daplona as the wealthy merchant siblings Allia and Sepp Omek, respectively. Zannah continued her training as well, both under Darth Bane and through her own acquisitions of long-forgotten Sith knowledge. As the years passed, however, she still had yet to confront Bane and wrest from him the position of Sith Master. He speculated that she was waiting for him to age until his powers were weakened and he would be easier to defeat, which, in his mind, made her unworthy of becoming the Dark Lord of the Sith. Unbeknownst to Bane, however, Zannah had not attacked him for two reasons—first, she had noticed Bane's deteriorating body, but was wary that it was a trick to prompt her into a premature attack, believing that he was testing her patience. Secondly, she wanted to acquire an apprentice of her own before attacking him, so that if she won, she would be ready to continue the legacy of the Rule of Two without further delay. Without Zannah's knowledge, Bane then began to look into the legend of Darth Andeddu's holocron, which was said to hold the secret of eternal life—an ability that would allow him to live long enough to find and train another apprentice, one whom he felt would be more worthy than Zannah.

Meanwhile, the Jedi Knight Medd Tandar, who had been sent to mediate a political situation on the planet Doan, was killed. Zannah was sent by Bane on a mission to find out who was responsible for the murder of the Jedi, while he secretly went on his own mission to recover Darth Andeddu's holocron. On Doan, Zannah encountered evidence of a Dark Jedi who was searching for Sith artifacts. With the help of a Rodian named Quano and his Human friend, Pommat, she discovered that the Dark Jedi had come from Nal Hutta. From this, using various other contacts, she eventually tracked the Dark Jedi—who was named Set Harth—to his home on Nal Hutta, where she confronted him in a duel. Zannah defeated Harth with ease, using her Sith sorcery to incapacitate him. She decided that if he was strong enough to recover from her sorcery, then she would take him as her apprentice. He successfully recuperated three nights after their battle, and Zannah offered him the chance to become her apprentice. Harth reluctantly accepted, realizing that she would kill him if he refused.

Zannah returned with Harth to Ciutric IV to confront Bane, only to find that the Dark Lord had been captured by the Doan Royal Guard. Chet, the customs officer who took care of her ship—a Theta-class T-1 vessel, the Victory—when it was docked on Ciutric IV, had informed her shortly before she had left for her mission to Doan that Bane had been meeting with Argel Tenn, a collector and seller of illegal Sith artifacts, and Zannah decided to meet with Tenn. Tenn proved to be stubborn, however, refusing to violate his customers' confidentiality. Zannah was thus forced to interrogate him with the dark side, revealing her true identity as a Sith. From this, she was able to extract only one name from Tenn—Darth Andeddu—before she had to kill him, lest he betray the secret of the Sith Order's survival.


"Do you really believe you can defeat me?" "You allowed yourself to be captured by mercenaries. You couldn't bring yourself to kill the woman who stood in your way. You even let yourself get trapped in these halls without a lightsaber. Your time is over, Bane."

―Darth Bane and Darth Zannah

Upon returning to her Master's mansion, Zannah mentioned the name of Andeddu to Harth, who revealed that during his time training under Jedi Master Obba, a member of the Council of First Knowledge, Harth had spent a large amount of time researching the histories of the ancient Sith. Harth had come across the name Andeddu multiple times and had thus heard that the Sith Lord had ruled over the planet Prakith as a god. He also revealed that, according to legend, Andeddu had created his own holocron, in which it was rumored he had documented the secret of eternal life. Zannah was infuriated; she believed that Bane had betrayed her, turning his back on their Order and the Rule of Two by searching for immortality.

Zannah and Harth traveled to Doan, where they found that Bane had been taken to the Stone Prison, a secret dungeon located deep underground. Upon arrival, Zannah left Harth with explicit instructions to stay and guard the Victory in one of the prison's hangars before she left to hunt down Bane. It was not long before she sensed that he had escaped from where he had been held captive, and she found him shortly afterward in a hallway conversing with a woman. Catching him unawares, Zannah attacked Bane with a powerful Force blast that he was able to shield himself from, but nonetheless killed the woman with whom he had been speaking. As he recovered, Zannah criticized her Master for betraying her as well as his own Rule of Two by searching for eternal life. Bane, in turn, rebuked her for waiting until he had grown weak before attacking him, claiming that, in doing so, she had violated the tenet that only the strongest could survive.

Darth Bane, Dark Lord of the Sith, with Zannah

Zannah then attacked her weaponless Master, who defended himself with Force lightning. She quickly advanced, forcing him to retreat through the prison's corridors and cornering him several times, but never managing to kill him. Eventually, Princess Serra, Caleb's daughter and the individual who had ordered Bane's capture, initiated the Stone Prison's self-destruct sequence—a series of explosives placed throughout the prison that would collapse the building within minutes—in hopes of killing the two Sith. Zannah's duel with her Master ended shortly afterward when Bane shot two bursts of lightning into the wall, setting off one of the detonators prematurely and causing the passageway to collapse between them. Zannah was unable to reach him and decided instead to save herself before the entire building came crashing down. As the warning alarm went off, Zannah backtracked through the corridors until she arrived at the hangar, where she was surprised to find that Set Harth had disobeyed her orders and absconded. Zannah made haste her own departure from the collapsing prison in the Victory, while recognizing the error in choosing Harth as her apprentice, realizing that she had overlooked many of his flaws in her eagerness to take on the mantle of Dark Lord. She also speculated that Bane might have been telling the truth—he had not gone after Andeddu's holocron in the hopes of living forever; rather, only to live long enough to choose and train another apprentice, before his body weakened too much. Zannah decided that she would hunt down Bane and confront him one more time in an attempt to wrest from him the title of Dark Lord of the Sith.

Duel with the Dark Lord

"I wondered why you chose this place to meet. I thought it might have some symbolic meaning for you. The last time we were here you were too weak to even stand. You were helpless, and you thought I had betrayed you to the Jedi. You said you would rather die than be a prisoner for the rest of your life. You wanted me to take your life. But I refused." "You knew I still had things to teach you. You swore you would not kill me until you had learned all my secrets." "That day is here. I have surpassed you, Bane. Now I am the Master." "Then prove it."

―Darth Zannah and Darth Bane

Before long, Zannah received a distress signal in her shuttle on a channel that only she and Bane knew, instructing her to meet him on Ambria at Caleb's camp. She worried at first that it might be a trap, but her instincts told her it was nothing more than a challenge to finish what they had begun on Doan. Zannah arrived on Ambria and landed the Victory just outside Caleb's camp, where she found that Bane was accompanied by a female Iktotchi assassin whom he revealed had sworn her loyalty to the Sith as his new apprentice. Darth Cognus, as the apprentice identified herself, added that she would serve the true Sith Master—whichever of them won the coming duel.

Zannah and Bane duel on Ambria

Zannah challenged Bane, and the Dark Lord of the Sith—whose lightsaber had since been returned to him by Cognus—fell upon her with furious, powerful strokes, quickly driving her backward. She was able to stave off his attacks, which soon changed into a pattern of quick thrusts and feints. Zannah decided that to ensure victory she needed to use her sorcery; however, as she split her focus between Bane and gathering her power, she failed to notice the freshly-dug grave of Serra, who had been recently killed by Cognus. Zannah tripped over the grave and fell, and Bane instantly set upon her with a barrage of powerful blows and kicks, cracking one of her ribs. Zannah was able to free herself from the assault with a series of acrobatic maneuvers and quickly stabbed at Bane, only to find that he had not followed her escape, instead staying several meters away. Her mistake had cost her; she now had a broken rib, and her acrobatics had tired her greatly. Zannah quickly unleashed her gathered power in an attempt to drive her Master insane with hallucinations.

Bane was initially incapacitated by the mental attack of Zannah's sorcery, but he had conquered his fears years previously and was able to destroy the phantoms in a violent blast of dark side energy, which also sent Zannah staggering backward. Desperate, Zannah tapped into the energy of the dark side nexus present on Ambria. Using this power, she drew forth tendrils of pure dark side energy from the ground, and directed them against her master. One of her tendrils clipped Bane's shoulder and caused him such excruciating pain that he fell to the ground in shock. Zannah continued to pour the dark side into her manifestations, and Bane tried ineffectively to stall them with Force lightning before he charged the sorceress in an attempt to overwhelm her with brute strength. Each of Zannah's tendrils were dodged as Bane moved in, swept her off of her feet, and knocked her lightsaber out of her hand. As he went for the killing blow, however, one of her tendrils cut off his arm, and he collapsed to the ground in agony. Bane quickly grabbed Zannah's wrist in a moment of despair and performed the ritual of essence transfer—a magical ability in which one's consciousness was transferred into another object or being—which he had learned from Andeddu's holocron. His body was destroyed as his consciousness invaded Zannah's body, but Zannah fought back, and the two entered a battle of wills. After a moment during which they were matched evenly, Zannah finally defeated Bane, banishing his spirit into the void of the Force.

Zannah lay on the ground, still disoriented from the struggle for dominion of her own body with Bane. Even though Bane had been defeated, part of him remained imprinted upon her in the form of a spasming left hand. She rose awkwardly, and cleared the last vestiges of confusion before addressing the approaching Iktotchi. When Cognus called the name of Bane, Zannah declared that Bane was no more, and that she, Darth Zannah, was the new Dark Lord of the Sith. As Cognus's new Master, she instructed the Iktotchi to take Bane's lightsaber, which she would use until she built one of her own. Zannah added that they were Bane's legacy, and that they would continue the ways of the Rule of Two. That way, although an individual might die, the Sith Order would live on forever.


Darth Cognus, Zannah's Sith apprentice

"A date of death for Bane and Zannah has yet to be determined, but it is known that they were succeeded by Darth Cognus and her apprentice Darth Millennial."

―Report by Gannod Chant

Darth Zannah was eventually succeeded by Darth Cognus and her three-eyed mutant apprentice, Darth Millennial. Centuries after her reign as Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Zannah's unique double-bladed lightsaber came into the possession of Grievous, a Kaleesh warlord–turned–cyborg general for the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Later still, Zannah's lightsaber was inherited by N-K Necrosis, a battle droid created from the remains of the late General Grievous. Later, in 40 ABY, Gannod Chant wrote a report on the history of the Sith and the "Darth" title for the Galactic Alliance's Council on Security and Intelligence, in which he discussed the history surrounding Bane, Zannah, and her successors. Despite that, the exact circumstances surrounding Zannah's life and death were still very mysterious to the Galactic Alliance and the galaxy at large during that time.

Personality and traits

"She's attractive enough…if you can get past the whole Sith sorceress thing."

―Set Harth

As a youth, Zannah had short, tousled, dirty blond hair and blue eyes. She grew into an athletically built, left-handed woman of average height, with long, blond curls of hair and eyes yellow with the dark side. She was often looked upon by those whom she encountered in public as unusually beautiful, and was fully aware of her striking appearance. Because of the anonymity required by the Sith, however, Zannah took measures to make herself inconspicuous when necessary. Wearing unflattering clothing and wrapping herself in a Force aura of insignificance were among her methods, though the occasional double-take still occurred. Despite this, she often made full use of her appearance, using her looks to assist her when extracting information from others.

Rain, fearless before the last living Lord of the Sith.

As a child, Zannah was timid and had to be convinced to display her Force ability when the Jedi scout Torr Snapit arrived. She expressed compassion for the Bouncer Laa, as well as deep sorrow for Laa when she was killed. The death of her Bouncer friend drove Zannah to anger, then to murder, and she displayed no mercy to the Jedi for their act. She showed no fear of Darth Bane upon their first meeting, instead admitting that she, like him, was also a killer. With time, Zannah grew in cunning and ingenuity, and Darth Bane became impressed with her subtle and calculating nature, the same methods with which she employed the Force. Nonetheless, Zannah was regarded by her Master as no more than an heir to his Sith legacy.

Zannah displayed a hunger for knowledge and readily accepted Bane's offer to train her, passing several tests as a child to convince him of her dedication. She was eager to learn the spells of Freedon Nadd, and was also eager to learn a more aggressive style of lightsaber combat, before her Master explained the reason for elevating her to Form III mastery. Of all the things Zannah learned from Bane, compassion and love were not among them, and she found herself questioning what an actual loving paternal relationship would have been like. She did experience love of the romantic sort, however, from the Twi'lek Kelad'en, though she only feigned the same desire for him in return.

Zannah was loyal to Darth Bane throughout her time with him and carried out his orders without question. She expressed concern for Bane's health with regard to his parasitic orbalisk armor, both for his sake and with her own intentions in mind. When Bane lay dying on Tython, Zannah cared for him, albeit selfishly; her reason for keeping him alive was so that she could continue to learn from him the ways of the dark side. She was given to betrayal as well, having done so to Hetton and his entire ilk, the healer Caleb, and even her own cousin, Darovit. Zannah recognized that treachery against her Master one day was also the way of the Sith, and pledged herself to striking him down in accordance with the Rule of Two.

While living on Ciutric IV, Zannah was often friendly to the beings with whom she dealt. She also employed the usage of bribes, as such attitudes allowed her to get most of the things she required without drawing too much attention. During the latter years of her time as Bane's apprentice, Zannah noticed Bane's withering body—despite his attempts to hide it from her—but she suspected that it was a test of her patience, nothing more than a ploy to get her to attack him prematurely. She later chose the Dark Jedi Set Harth as her first Sith apprentice, despite his reluctance and failure to quickly grasp many facets of the Rule of Two. Still, eager to take over the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith from Darth Bane, Zannah overlooked many of Harth's shortcomings. Later, after he fled from the Sith at the Stone Prison, Zannah realized that choosing Harth had been a mistake.

At first, when Zannah discovered that Bane had traveled to Prakith to learn the secret of eternal life from Andeddu's holocron, she was infuriated. She felt that her Master had betrayed her as well as his own Sith Order by intentionally breaking the Rule of Two. Bane later revealed to her that he had gone after the holocron because he thought that she was waiting until his powers had deteriorated before she attacked him, and though Zannah was doubtful at first, she later came to believe that he might have been telling the truth. After killing her Master in their final duel on Ambria, Zannah held on staunchly to his ideals, explaining to Darth Cognus that they were Bane's legacy, and that she intended to continue the Rule of Two.

Powers and abilities

Lightsaber skill

"Defense will not slay my enemy." "You lack the physical strength required for the powerful attacking strikes of Djem So or the other aggressive forms. You must rely on quickness, cunning and, most of all, patience to best your enemies."

―Zannah learns the significance of Form III from Bane

Darth Zannah, wielding her double-bladed lightsaber alongside Darth Bane

Darth Zannah was a left-handed master of the lightsaber combat form Soresu, becoming proficient at creating defensive barriers using a custom-made, double-bladed lightsaber. Her unique weapon allowed her to defend herself indefinitely against enemies with minimal effort, only switching to the offensive when her adversary was weakened or frustrated. Zannah mastered her saber form to such a degree that her Soresu rhythms became a matter of instinct, thus allowing her to also concentrate on and incorporate Force techniques while battling with her enemies. Even against opponents of far greater size, such as Jedi Knight Sarro Xaj, Zannah was able to erect and maintain an effective wall of defense. Without the application of her sorcery, however, Zannah would have eventually fallen to Xaj's superior physical strength. The Form III tenets of patience and cunning that Zannah learned from Bane also allowed her to easily defeat Set Harth's mastery of the fourth lightsaber combat form, Ataru. While dueling Harth in his mansion, Zannah capitalized on his mistakes, which ultimately resulted from Harth's own arrogance and impatience; this allowed her to attack him with a spell of insanity, against which he had no defense and through which he was defeated. Because of her explicit focus on defensive cadences, however, Zannah found difficulty in maintaining situations that saw her as the primary aggressor. During her confrontation with Bane in the Stone Prison, she successfully cornered him multiple times, but despite the Dark Lord's lack of a weapon, she was unable to kill him. Later, during her final duel with Darth Bane, her Master overwhelmed her defenses with his powerful attacks, and she was forced to resort to her sorcery to defeat him.

Force mastery

"I can use my powers to conjure up your worst nightmares and bring them to life before your eyes. I can drive you mad with fear, shred your sanity, and leave you a raving lunatic for the rest of your life."

―Zannah, describing the effects of her sorcery

Even as a youth, Zannah had great instinctive control over the Force. She used her basically untrained power to shield herself from the combined power of a Sith-created Force storm, snap the necks of two Jedi warriors, and even to survive the thought bomb when nearly every other present Force sensitive individual was annihilated by it. As a student of the dark side, Darth Zannah perfected her natural talent for Sith magic and became an accomplished sorceress. She studied the doctrines of the ancient Sith magician Freedon Nadd and mastered his teachings for a variety of effects—covering herself and others in a false light side aura, driving people insane by showing them their greatest fears, or even simply masking her presence in the Force were all within the scope of her abilities. Zannah's spell of concealment was so strong that its effects lingered on for years after its use. The decade-old remnants of her concealment charm were so powerful that it violently disrupted the psychometry of Darth Cognus when she attempted to read Caleb's hut. Over the years she spent as Darth Bane's Shadow Hand, Zannah acquired a vast amount of Sith knowledge from a variety of other sources and kept many of her learned abilities in reserve for the inevitable day she would have to use them against Darth Bane. Among her holdout talents was the conjuring of dark side tendrils—negative Force manifestations that appeared in the form of black mist and were capable of disintegrating flesh and bone on contact. Zannah was also able to sense other beings in the Force, and displayed the ability to expel powerful telekinetic blasts.

Behind the scenes

"The Dark Forces Saga was going to give me a chance to touch on the events of the last conflict of the New Sith Wars, and that meant having a say about Bane's Sith apprentice but not a lot of space to do it in. The project wasn't about the New Sith Wars, after all. So, how would I accomplish the three aforementioned objectives (definitively establishing Rain as Bane's apprentice, establishing the Darth title as a staple of Bane's Sith, and giving Rain a proper Sith name)? As it turned out, I accomplished it in two words: Darth Zannah. Simple, certainly, but poetic, and more so than at first glance."

―Abel G. Peña

The character of Darth Bane and his first apprentice was first established by George Lucas in his backstory for Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, and was given to author Terry Brooks to detail in his novelization of the film. As the Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace novelization was written before the identity of Zannah was established, it refers to Darth Bane's apprentice as "him." Zannah's first actual appearance as a character was in Darko Macan's Star Wars: Jedi vs. Sith comic series, in which she was penciled by artist Ramón F. Bachs. Author Abel G. Peña, who takes credit for the establishment of Zannah's Sith identity, explained in his blog the various factors he considered prior to deciding on what he felt would be an appropriate name for the last of the Darths with which he was intimately involved. After giving a thorough explanation on the revival of the antiquated "Darth" title, Peña stated that "Darth Zannah" mirrored the simplicity of the names chosen by Sith who had preceded her, most notably Darths Revan and Malak. He further alluded to the negative connotations of the name Zannah which, when translated from Hebrew (spelled "Zanah"), was synonymous with adultery, fornication, and prostitution. Peña also voiced his suspicion that Macan, who is of Eastern-European descent, intended Zannah to be a reference to "Zânã," a Romanian goddess and equivalent to the Charites of Greek mythology.

Zannah was absent in the short story Bane of the Sith, which detailed Darth Bane's time on Dxun. The New Essential Chronology explained that she had found her own way to Onderon. Both The New Essential Chronology and part 6 of The Dark Forces Saga mistakenly identified Zannah and Darovit as siblings, when in fact they were cousins, as expressed in Jedi vs. Sith. She subsequently appeared in a cameo role in the epilogue of Darth Bane: Path of Destruction and was featured fully in the novel's sequels, Darth Bane: Rule of Two and Darth Bane: Dynasty of Evil. Zannah received fleeting and indirect mentions in the Power of the Jedi Sourcebook; The Dark Side Sourcebook; The Story of General Grievous: Lord of War, an online supplement to Unknown Soldier: The Story of General Grievous, which appeared in Star Wars Insider 86; as well as Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties, the online supplement for Insider 88. Zannah also received her own entry in 2008's Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia.

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