Star Wars Worst Cult Revealed A Darker Plot Than Any Sith

Doctor Aphra #18 revealed the Ascendant Cult endgame, and it was truly terrifying.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #18, on sale now from Marvel Comics.

star warsThe prequel trilogy showed that the pre-Order 66 Jedi Order had begun to turn away from the Force, becoming arrogant and legalistic. Hubris aside, however, there was never any question of them being the heroes of the franchise. They have faced the Sith and their dark side machinations at every turn, protecting the galaxy’s innocents. However, the Sith might not have been the Jedi’s worst enemy after all. Rising from the depths of time, a dark side cult is making a resurgence in the Star Wars: Doctor Aphra the comics and the cult’s endgame were far worse than anything the Sith had ever done.

Recently, the Doctor Aphra The series introduced the Ascendant, an ancient cult that used technology to mimic and replicate the effects of the Force. The most recent, Doctor Aphra #18, (by Alyssa Wong, Minkyu Jung, Rachelle Rosenberg, and VC’s Joe Caramagna) dove deeper into the Ascendant’s endgame, and it was truly gruesome.

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Star Wars Ascending Cast

Doctor Aphra #18 showed Aphra and Sana Starros trying to track down some of the Ascendant’s technology, but the wannabe Dark Sider, Kho Phon Farrus, always stayed one step ahead of them. Plot-wise, not much happened in the issue. However, there was a panel where Farrus was reciting some sort of ascending incantation or motto. He spoke of rituals, blood sacrifices and eternal life, but one particular line stood out. He said, “The false division of two will be undone, and without the Force, all will be one.”

At first glance, the line looks like a bunch of cult gibberish, but what if the “two” were the light and dark sides of the Force? This would make sense as the ancient Ascendant cultists didn’t care about Light versus Dark. They just wanted to replicate the Force, or so it seemed so far because the rest of this line is a major problem.

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Jedi and Sith fight for Aphra Ascendant Header

The only reason the Ascendant cultists would have wanted to combine the “both” would be that they could have gotten rid of the Jedi and the Sith at the same time. But it seems they wanted more than that. The words “without the Force” make it sound like destroying the Jedi and Sith was just a stepping stone on the way to the Ascendant’s true endgame. In other words, the followers of the Ascendant didn’t want to conquer the Jedi and Sith on the way to power, they wanted to destroy the Force itself.

It would be a brilliant and sinister plot because, if the Ascendant cultists could have destroyed the Force, then everyone would have bowed to their Force-emulation technology. Sure, destroying the Force, the thing that binds the galaxy seems like an incredibly bad idea, but it couldn’t be out of the question. The fact that the Ascendant cult was destroyed (apparently by a Jedi and Sith alliance) must mean that the cult was a real threat to the galaxy. After all, Jedi and Sith don’t team up for just anything. Either way, if Kho Phon Farrus is about to unlock the secrets of the Ascendant Cult, then the galaxy should be watching.

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