From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.
Through passion, I gain strength.
Through strength, I gain power.
Through power, I gain victory.
Through victory, my chains are broken.
The Force shall free me.
Emperor Palpatine (left) and Darth Vader (right), two of the most well-known Sith Lords of the Star Wars series
Emperor Palpatine (left) and Darth Vader (right), two of the most well-known Sith Lords of the Star Wars series

Within the fictional Star Wars universe, the term Sith is used to describe two separate but related groups. The most common use of the word applies to a cult of warrior priests devoted to the dark side of the Force, serving as the counterparts of the Jedi Knights. This article deals primarily with this group, the leaders of which were known as "Sith Lords."

The second group was a near-human race enslaved by the aforementioned cult, who later took the name of this race as their own.


[edit] Etymology of the word Sith

The first use of the word Sith (in the Star Wars Universe) was in the script and novelization for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, as a title for Darth Vader, the "Dark Lord of the Sith." George Lucas did not explain exactly what this meant, however. Early works of Expanded Universe fiction interpreted the term "Lord of the Sith," under the guidance of Lucas, as meaning that there was some sort of group that Darth Vader was lord over, and from this created the story of the Sith race, who were enslaved by early practitioners of the dark side. For a decade or more additional fictional works fleshed this story out, elaborating on how, once this race had faded to obscurity, the word Sith remained the name of the villains in George Lucas's prequel Star Wars films. However, the word "Sith" was never mentioned in the original film trilogy.

[edit] Sith philosophy

Fear leads to anger.
Anger leads to hate.
Hatred leads to power.
Power leads to victory.
Let your anger flow through you.
Your hate will make you strong.
True power is only achieved through
testing the limits of one's anger,
passing through unscathed.
Rage channeled through anger is unstoppable.
The dark side of the Force
offers unimaginable power.
The dark side is stronger than the light.
The weak deserve their fate.
–tenets of Sith philosophy

Sith Lords are devoted to the dark side of the Force and are expected to draw on their anger, fear, and hatred in order to gain power. The Sith therefore maintain a certain psychological isolation where they continue to hold themselves above all others.

"Two there should be. No more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it." - Darth Bane

"Tell me what you regard as your greatest strength, so I will know best what to undermine you. Tell me of your greatest fear, so I will know what I must force you to face. Tell me what you cherish most, so I will know what to take from you. And tell me what you crave, so that I might deny you" - Darth Plagueis

[edit] History of the Sith Order

[edit] Timeline for ancient Jedi-versus-Sith conflicts

[edit] The Second Great Schism

[edit] The Golden Age of the Sith

  • 5,000 BBY — The Battle of Khar Dhelba
  • 5,000 BBY — The Great Hyperspace War
    • The Battle of Coruscant
    • The Battle of Koros Major
    • The Battle of Kirrek
    • The Battle of Primus Goluud
    • The First Battle of Korriban
    • The Second Battle of Korriban

[edit] The Old Sith Wars

  • 4,015 BBY — The Great Droid Revolution
  • 4,002 BBY — The destruction of Ambria
  • 4,000-3,996 BBY — The Great Sith War, First Sith War, or Exar Kun War
    • The Beast Wars of Onderon
      • 4,000 — The Battle of Onderon
    • The Freedon Nadd Uprising or Naddist Revolt
      • 3,998 — The First Battle of Onderon
      • 3,998 — The Second Battle of Onderon
    • The Krath Holy Crusade
      • 3,996 BBY — The Battle of Basilisk
      • 3,996 BBY — The Dark Reaper Campaign
      • 3,996 BBY — The Battle of Foerost
      • 3,996 BBY — The First Battle of Coruscant
      • 3,996 BBY — The Battle of Vento
      • 3,996 BBY — The Second Battle of Coruscant
      • 3,996 BBY — The Battle of Kemplex IX
      • 3,996 BBY — The Battle of Ossus
      • 3,996 BBY — The Battle of Al'Har
      • 3,996 BBY — The Battle of Onderon
      • 3,996 BBY — The Battle of Yavin IV
      • 3,996 BBY — The Battle of Empress Teta
  • 3,995-3,993 BBY — The Great Hunt
  • The Cleansing of the Nine Houses
  • 3,965-3,960 BBY — The Mandalorian Wars
    • 3,965 BBY — The First Battle of Onderon
    • 3,965 BBY — The First Battle of Dxun
    • 3,963 BBY — The Battle of Serroco
    • 3,963 BBY — The Battle of Cathar
    • 3,963 BBY — The Battle of Iridonia
    • 3,962 BBY — The Battle of Dagary Minor
    • 3,962 BBY — The Battle of Eres III
    • 3,962 BBY — The Battle of Duro
    • 3,962 BBY — The Battle of Althir
    • 3,961 BBY — The Battle of Taris
    • 3,961 BBY — The Battle of Jaga's Cluster
    • 3,960 BBY — The Second Battle of Onderon
    • 3,960 BBY — The Second Battle of Dxun
    • 3,960 BBY — The Battle of Malachor V
  • 3,959-3,956 BBY — The Jedi Civil War, Second Sith War, or War of the Star Forge
    • 3,959 BBY — The Battle of Foerost
    • 3,959 BBY — The bombing of Telos IV
    • 3,957 BBY — The capture of Darth Revan
    • 3,956 BBY — The Battle of Taris
    • 3,956 BBY — The attack on Dantooine
    • 3,956 BBY — The Battle of Rakata Prime
  • 3,955-3,951 BBY — The Sith Civil War
    • 3,952 BBY — The destruction of Katarr
    • 3,951 BBY — The destruction of Peragus II
    • 3,951 BBY — The Battle of Dantooine
    • 3,951 BBY — The Onderon Civil War
      • The First Battle of Onderon
      • The Second Battle of Onderon
    • 3,951 BBY — The Battle of Telos IV
    • 3,951 BBY — The destruction of Malachor V

[edit] The New Sith Wars

  • The Battle of Uba IV
  • 1,532 BBY — The Battle of Gap Nine
  • c. 1,500 BBY — The Dark Underlord Campaigns
  • 1,466 BBY — The Battle of Mizra
  • 1,250 - 1,230 BBY — The Sictis Wars
  • The Battle of Dromund Kaas
  • The Battle of Malrev IV
  • The Light and Darkness War
    • 1,000 BBY — The Battle of Hypori
    • 1,000 BBY — The Battle of Balowa
    • 1,000 BBY — The Battle of Almas
    • 1,000 BBY — The First Battle of Ruusan
    • 1,000 BBY — The Second Battle of Ruusan
    • 1,000 BBY — The Third Battle of Ruusan
    • 1,000 BBY — The Fourth Battle of Ruusan
    • 1,000 BBY — The Fifth Battle of Ruusan
    • 1,000 BBY — The Sixth Battle of Ruusan
    • 1,000 BBY — The Seventh Battle of Ruusan
    • 1,000 BBY - Darth Bane sends Sith into hiding, amounting no more than 2 sith shall live, master and apprentice

[edit] The Hundred-Year Darkness

In Terry Brooks' novelization of The Phantom Menace, definitive information about the Sith and how they came to be was released for the first time. In the novel, Darth Sidious ponders how the Sith started as a cult led by one young man with a huge Force potential. He discovers, one day, the power of the Dark Side, and how its brute strength prevails over that of the Light. He foolishly shares his opinions with the Jedi Council, and they cast him out for his beliefs. He swears vengeance on those who cast him out, as he had only wanted to help them and was punished for his "generosity". He gathers several followers, and they eventually form the Brotherhood of Darkness. However, they kill each other in massive struggles for power. Brooks writes, "They killed the leader first, then they turned against one another. While they tore each other apart like kriks, Darth Bane stepped aside and bided his time." The Jedi, for their part, had no pity for their dark brethren; as Palpatine mentions in Matthew Stover's novelization of Revenge of the Sith, "The Jedi would simply kill Darth Plagueis, not for any crime on his part, but for being a Sith.") (See also Path of Destruction.) According to Expanded Universe fiction, the Sith Order, or cult, was first established when the dissident Jedi came to believe that "true" power was achieved not through reflective meditation, as taught by the Jedi Masters, but through emotion. The tension between the Jedi and these dissident "Dark Jedi" grew until conflict erupted, seven thousand years before the Battle of Yavin and the events of A New Hope. This conflict, called the Hundred-Year Darkness, the Second Great Schism of the Jedi Order, led to the Dark Jedi being banished by the Old Republic. These outcasts found a new home on the distant planet of Korriban, a desolate world inhabited by the relatively primitive Sith people. However, the Force flowed strongly with the Sith species, allowing them to create their own brand of black magic. The Dark Jedi saw this as an opportunity to gain additional power. Using their training in the Force, the Dark Jedi amazed the Sith and elevated themselves to god-like status on Korriban, becoming the rulers of the Sith people. As years passed, and interbreeding occurred between the Dark Jedi and the Sith, the term "Sith" came to mean not only the original near-human inhabitants of Korriban, but their Dark Jedi masters as well. It is from this rise to power and integration into Sith culture that the term Dark Lord of the Sith was first conceived as a title bestowed upon the leader of the Sith Empire by a council of lesser Sith Lords.

[edit] The Great Hyperspace War and the Naddist Uprising

Naga Sadow, Dark Lord of the Sith
Naga Sadow, Dark Lord of the Sith

In 5,000 BBY, the Republic rediscovered the Sith and the Great Hyperspace War began. It ended with Dark Lord of the Sith Naga Sadow hiding in suspended animation on Yavin 4, his great war fleets destroyed. Within 10 years, the Sith Empire was all but annihilated.

Centuries later, a Jedi Knight named Freedon Nadd fell to the dark side. On Yavin 4, he awakened former Dark Lord Naga Sadow, who trained him in the ways of the Sith. Though Sadow's definite fate is not known, it is believed that he perished and his spirit was destroyed at his pupil's hand. Freedon Nadd used his newfound powers to conquer the Onderon system. But Freedon Nadd's extraordinary reign of power eventually came to a close. His death created a great power vacuum all throughout the galaxy. His dark gloomy tomb, constructed on Dxun and greatly tainted by the dark side, would remain an outpost for Sith lords for many years to come.

Sith teachings would bring constant civil war throughout their civilization however, as the primal instinct of their teachings was based upon the principle that they must continually prove their strength against each other or even challenging their masters.

[edit] The Great Sith War

Exar Kun, Dark Lord of the Sith
Exar Kun, Dark Lord of the Sith

Four hundred years after Nadd's death, the Jedi Exar Kun sought out his tomb, a place strong in the dark side. Nadd's spirit materialized and succeeded in corrupting Kun, but was eventually destroyed by his student. Exar Kun was pronounced the new Dark Lord of the Sith by the ghost of the ancient Dark Lord Marka Ragnos. As his first apprentice he took another fallen Jedi, Ulic Qel-Droma, and the Great Sith War began. Although many Jedi turned to the dark side and still more were killed, Exar Kun was finally defeated when Ulic realized the error of his ways and led the Old Republic's forces to Kun's stronghold on Yavin 4. Using the drained life energies of his Massassi warriors, Kun shed his physical body and imprisoned his spirit within the walls of Yavin 4's Massassi temples. His ghost, driven half-mad by millennia of isolation, was destroyed by a group of Luke Skywalker's students thousands of years later. Most of what remained of his Sith Brotherhood by the end of the Great Sith War is believed to have formed an organization known as the Mecrosa Order, which was hunted down by the Jedi in a purge known as the Cleansing of the Nine Houses.

[edit] The Second Sith War

Less than four decades later, the Jedi Revan and Malak, heroes of the Mandalorian War (a bloody conflict instigated by an unidentified group within the Unknown Regions known only as the "True Sith"), fell to the dark side and founded a new Sith Empire. Using the ancient Rakatan Star Forge factory, they built a massive war fleet and began attacking the Old Republic. Thus began the second Sith War, later called the Jedi Civil War (and, still later, the War of the Star Forge), a conflict that proved even more devastating than Kun's war as more Jedi fell to the dark side, were killed in battle, or were murderered by Sith Assassins. Revan was the greatest military genius the Jedi had ever seen. It was through his cunning alone that the Mandalorian Wars had been won, as the Old Republic soon discovered. During the Mandalorian Wars, Revan and Malak had discovered a mysterious force called the so-called True Sith in the Unknown Regions, and were therefore careful to preserve the Republic's shipyards to use against this threat once they had conquered the galaxy. After an attempted coup by Malak, however, Revan's mind was destroyed and he was captured by the Jedi. He was re-trained in their ways and sent against his traitorous apprentice. Taking up the mantle of Dark Lord, Malak redoubled his empire's offenses against the Old Republic, no longer caring about preserving his enemy's resources. Following a long and arduous quest for the five Star Maps that would lead him to the Sith's stronghold, the new Revan led a frontal assault on the Star Forge. He battled his way through the Forge's droid army and legions of Sith and Dark Jedi. After redeeming Malak's apprentice, Bastila Shan, he slew Malak himself in a final confrontation between the two old friends, allowing the Old Republic to destroy the Star Forge and win the day. Sadness grew, as Revan told his fellows that he must go to destroy the Sith threat once and for all, leaving no whereabouts of where he went.

Despite this great victory won for the Old Republic by Revan, the galaxy soon grew even darker. Barely a hundred Jedi remained after the Jedi Civil War, and those who did soon found their ranks thinning at an alarming rate. Everywhere Jedi congregated, they were murdered, struck down by an invisible enemy who, incredibly enough, was somehow attacking them through the Force itself. Darth Nihilus, the Lord of Hunger, and Darth Sion, Lord of Pain, were students of Revan's former Jedi Master, Kreia (now a Sith called Darth Traya, Lady of Betrayal), had begun a shadow war against the surviving Jedi. Despite their incredible powers, they did not believe themselves strong enough to defeat the Jedi in the same kind of open warfare employed by Revan and Malak. (Revan himself had disappeared into the Unknown Regions a year after the destruction of the Star Forge, hoping to put an end to the ever-present threat posed by the mysterious True Sith, and has not been heard from since.)

Five years after Malak's defeat on the Star Forge, a Jedi exile who had served Revan as a general during the Mandalorian Wars returned from the Outer Rim to find the Jedi Order virtually extinct. Thought to be the last of the Jedi by Nihilus and Sion, the exile was hunted mercilessly by Sith Assassins from planet to planet as the "last of the Jedi" tracked down the surviving members of the Jedi Council. In the end, several of these Jedi were killed, but the exile managed to turn the tide against the shadow Sith, killing Nihilus, Sion, and Traya in battle, thereby ending their Jedi purge and giving the Jedi Order a chance to rebuild.

In modern history texts, the Great Sith War, the Cleansing of the Nine Houses, the Mandalorian Wars, and the War of the Star Forge are often grouped together under the collective appellation of "the Old Sith Wars."

[edit] The New Sith Wars

Slowly, over the next thousand years, the Jedi Order rebuilt itself back to its former strength. Then, some 2,000 years before the Battle of Yavin, yet another Jedi, chafing under the restrictions of the Jedi Council, fell to the dark side, stole a Sith Holocron, renamed himself "Darth Ruin," formed a new Sith Order, and began recruiting others to his cause. This spawned a new series of conflicts, called the New Sith Wars, which lasted for a millennium.

However, the Sith very nearly proved to be their own undoing. Hungry for power, they turned on each other, all but destroying their order. The survivors reformed under the leadership of Lord Kaan, calling themselves "the Brotherhood of Darkness." To appease his disheartened servants, Kaan abandoned the millennia-old tradition of one ruling Dark Lord and granted the title to a good number of his followers, though very few of them were truly deserving of it.

The final conflict of the New Sith Wars, the War of Light and Dark or the Light and Darkness War (sometimes also referred to, as Exar Kun's war had been, as the Great Sith War), came to a head in the titanic seventh Battle of Ruusan, in which the Jedi Lord Hoth and the Army of Light clashed with Lord Kaan and the Brotherhood of Darkness for the last time. In the end, a deranged Kaan activated a thought bomb, an ancient Sith technique that sapped the life energy of all Force-sensitives in the vicinity. Both armies were all but destroyed, and only one Sith Lord survived: Darth Bane.

To guard against the Sith again engaging in fratricidal internecine war or losing sight of their "ideals", Bane took only one apprentice, starting a "one master, one apprentice" tradition to prevent the Sith from destroying themselves once more. "Two there should be; no more, no less," he is said to have explained; "One to embody power, the other to crave it." He also restarted the tradition of passing the name "Darth" to each of his successors, a trend which appears to have originated with Darth Revan millennia before. In a nod to Kaan's earlier pronouncement, both master and apprentice in Bane's Sith Order held the title "Dark Lord of the Sith," making them, nominally at least, equals. The new tenets of this order would be cunning, stealth, subterfuge, and a virtue learned from their worst enemy, patience.

[edit] The Sith'ari

Around the time of the Jedi Civil War, the coming of the Sith'ari, an ancient Sith prophecy, became somewhat well known in Darth Revan's Sith Empire. The Sith'ari, like the Jedi Chosen One, was said to be a perfect being who would rise to power and bring balance to the Force. According to the prophecy, the Sith'ari would rise up and destroy the Sith, but in the process would return to lead the Sith and make them stronger than ever before. Significant evidence exists pointing to Darth Bane as the Sith'ari. Lord Bane rejected the philosophy of the Brotherhood of Darkness, which held that all of the Sith, equal in power, could conquer the galaxy simply by overwhelming the Jedi with their great number. He believed, instead, that there should only be two Sith Lords: "One to embody power, and the other to crave it". Bane betrayed the Sith, led by Lord Kaan, by instructing the Brotherhood to create a thought bomb which would destroy all Force users in its immediate vicinity. The Sith, in the midst of a war against the Jedi under General Hoth, were desperately making a last stand on Ruusan. They detonated Bane's thought bomb in a series of caverns, destroying the General, one hundred Jedi, and all the Sith except Darth Bane, thus fulfilling the first part of the prophecy. Bane, however, did not account for the possibility that some Jedi would sacrifice themselves by huddling around the thought bomb while the rest of their order escaped, and was thus forced into hiding instead of taking immediate control of the galaxy. He soon finds an apprentice, Zannah, and begins the Rule of Two wherein the Sith use guile and cunning, rather than brute force, to destroy their enemies.

[edit] The Revenge of the Sith

Darth Maul, first known apprentice of Darth Sidious
Darth Maul, first known apprentice of Darth Sidious

Bane's reformed Sith Order went into hiding, though they were soon discovered by the Jedi and believed to be destroyed. They survived, but would not resurface for almost one thousand years, with the depredations of Darth Sidious and Darth Maul that occurred shortly before the Battle of Naboo.

Though Darth Maul was slain in that battle at the hands of Jedi Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, the day proved an unparalleled victory for the Sith; Darth Sidious, generally known to the public as Senator Palpatine of Naboo, was elected to the office of Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, and set his sights on making Anakin Skywalker, newly discovered by the Jedi and rumored to be the prophesied "Chosen One," his new apprentice.

More than a decade passed, during which Palpatine was granted emergency powers, a motion made in the Senate by Representative Jar Jar Binks, who was easily manipulated by Palpatine. As Chancellor, Palpatine gained more and more emergency powers. His new apprentice, former Jedi Master Count Dooku (renamed Darth Tyranus in the Sith tradition), formed the Confederacy of Independent Systems (or the Separatists), which seceded from the Galactic Republic, beginning a long and bloody conflict known as the Clone Wars.

During the Clone Wars, many Jedi lost their lives at the hands of the Separatists and their Kaleesh cyborg military leader, General Grievous. The Clone Wars eventually reached even Coruscant, where the cunning general captured Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. A great battle erupted above the planet-city. In that battle, Anakin Skywalker, now a full-fledged Jedi, brutally executed Count Dooku, as he was goaded by Palpatine.

The Chancellor then started to use his emergency powers to control the Jedi Order. The Jedi were instantly suspicious of Palpatine's motives, and suspected that Darth Sidious was a part of Palpatine's inner circle and was controlling him. Palpatine appointed Anakin to the Jedi Council as the Chancellor's representative, and convinced him that the Jedi were trying to take over the Republic as later evidence proved this true but not in the sense in which Palpatine had brainwashed Anakin into believing. Since Palpatine had control of the Senate and the Courts, without the Jedi stepping in to do something, Palpatine would have still destroyed the Jedi and Palpatine would had even more firm control of the situation.

It was also during this time that Anakin began to be plagued with visions of the death of his pregnant wife, Senator Padmé Amidala, in childbirth. Haunted by the murder of his mother three years earlier by Tusken Raiders on Tatooine, Anakin had been determined to find a way to prevent death using the Force. Palpatine, having learned all about the secret wedding from Captain Panaka used this as an opportune moment for Anakin to become his new successor.

Eventually Palpatine revealed to Anakin that he was, in fact, Darth Sidious. In doing so, he offered him the secret he had been looking for (claiming it had been discovered by his former master, Darth Plagueis[1]), so long as he joined him as his new apprentice. Instead, Anakin went to the Jedi Council and told Jedi Master Mace Windu of Palpatine's true identity. Windu, along with the Jedi Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin, and Kit Fisto, moved to arrest the Chancellor. However, Sidious quickly cut down the latter three and was battling with Windu when Anakin arrived. Skywalker demanded that Palpatine be arrested and stand trial, but the Jedi master argued that Sidious was far too dangerous to be allowed to live any longer. As Windu moved to kill the Sith Lord, Anakin severed Windu's right hand, allowing Palpatine to strike him down.

Darth Vader
Darth Vader

Skywalker became Sidious's new apprentice, assuming the Sith title Darth Vader. Sidious quickly instructed Lord Vader to move against the Jedi Temple, imploring him to dispose of all the remaining Jedi, including younglings. Most surviving Jedi not present at the temple were disposed of by "Order 66," which instructed all clone troopers to execute their Jedi commanders. Very few Jedi survived this treachery, the most notable among them Yoda and Obi-Wan.

When it was over, the Jedi ranks had been thinned considerably. At last, the moment had come for the Sith to reclaim their former glory. Sidious/Palpatine replaced the ancient Republic with the Empire, an oppressive, galaxy-spanning dictatorship the likes of which had not been seen for a millennium.

The Great Jedi Purge continued, led by Vader and other Force-sensitive servants of the Emperor, such as the Inquisitorius and the Emperor's Hands, until only a handful of Jedi were left alive. It was a dark time for the galaxy, in which the Force became thought of throughout the Empire (except in the cases of Vader, Palpatine, and their Dark Jedi servants) as an arcane philosophy, almost like a fairy tale. (This was used as an explanation for absence of the term "Sith" in the original trilogy.)

[edit] The fall of the Galactic Empire

Luke Skywalker faces off against his father, Darth Vader
Luke Skywalker faces off against his father, Darth Vader

Eventually, however, the Rebel Alliance arose to threaten the Empire's unchallenged sovereignty. The Galactic Civil War drew many into its fold, perhaps the most notable of whom was Luke Skywalker, the son of Anakin. Shortly after the Rebels destroyed the Empire's terrifying Death Star superweapon, the Emperor and Vader became aware of the young man's identity. Both Sith Lords hoped to corrupt Luke to the dark side, but each had a different motive. Vader desired to kill the Emperor and rule the galaxy with his son, but Palpatine wished to replace Vader with the boy. During the Battle of Endor, Skywalker refused to join the Emperor, who then began torturing him with Force lightning. His son's suffering and pleas for help freed Anakin Skywalker from the Emperor's service, and he threw his master down the newly constructed second Death Star's reactor shaft, in the process subjecting himself to the full force of the Emperor's lightning. Severely injured by the Emperor's assault and with his life-sustaining armor non-functional, the former Sith Lord died a few minutes later, finally fulfilling the Jedi prophecy of the Chosen One. Luke escaped with his father's body (still wearing the trademark armor) shortly before the new Death Star was destroyed. Luke later burned his father's body on a funeral pyre on Endor, marking the end of the Emperor's reign.

[edit] Dark Jedi

The Lords of the Sith are not the only ones capable of calling upon the corrupting powers of the dark side of the Force, though they are by far the most dangerous Force-wielding foes of the Jedi. The blanket label "Dark Jedi" is often used to refer to non-Sith Force-users, though these darksiders may never have been true Jedi, as can be seen by the countless "Dark Jedi" trained during the reign of the Empire, during which the Jedi Order was nearly extinct.

During the Clone Wars, Sidious and Tyranus had a number of Dark Jedi serving the Separatist side. Among the most notable of Count Dooku's inner circle were Asajj Ventress, Sora Bulq, Artel Darc, Dustrose, Karoc, Vinoc, Sev'rance Tann, Nikkos Tyris, Saato, Tol Skorr, Kadrian Sey, Trenox, and Quinlan Vos. Sidious, as Emperor, continued this trend after the formation of the Empire, with Dark Jedi such as the Inquisitorius, the Secret Order, the Emperor's Hands, the Dark Side Elite, the Emperor's Royal Guard, and various Dark Side Adepts. Such agents of the Sith were the Dark Jedi Mara Jade and Jeng Droga who would often be sent on missions of subterfuge. After the death of the Emperor, the former Inquisitor Jerec and his cadre of six Dark Jedi made an attempt to seize the Valley of the Jedi, the place of imprisonment of the souls of all those who were destroyed by Kaan's thought bomb during the Battle of Ruusan; Jerec and his Dark Jedi, however, were killed by Kyle Katarn.

New Dark Jedi are constantly crawling out of the woodwork, many of them fallen students of Luke Skywalker, like Gantoris, Kyp Durron, Brakiss, Kueller, Bey Gandon, Dal Konur, and Desann.

[edit] The Sith hierarchy

Like the Jedi Order, which has a clearly defined hierarchy of titles (Jedi Initiate, or "youngling," to Jedi Padawan to Jedi Knight to Jedi Master to Jedi Grand Master), the Sith Order has a ranking system to divide the strong from the stronger, though it should be noted that, due to the great number of successive incarnations of the order, Sith hierarchy didn't maintain a single continuous ranking system throughout its history. Like the Jedi and the Old Republic, the Sith underwent a great reformation after the apocalyptic Battle of Ruusan, and the ranks of the Sith Order were among the things changed. Prior to that, however, Sith hierarchy remained much the same for almost 6,000 years: Sith Minion to Sith Acolyte to Sith Warrior to Sith Lord to Dark Lord of the Sith. For the most part this ranking system remained the same, through the ancient Sith Empire, Exar Kun's Brotherhood of the Sith, and Darth Revan's Sith Empire, until Lord Kaan declared that all of his highest ranking followers in the Sith Brotherhood of Darkness were Dark Lords of the Sith. Following the Sith Order's destruction at the Seventh Battle of Ruusan, Darth Bane reformed the order and decreed that there would only be two Sith at a time from that point onward: a Master and an apprentice. Both would bear the title "Dark Lord of the Sith," which at that point in time became interchangeable with the term "Sith Lord."

[edit] The Sith legacy

Jeng Droga, Emperor's Hand
Jeng Droga, Emperor's Hand

Six years after the Battle of Endor, Palpatine returned to threaten the New Republic. Unbeknownst to the Rebellion, the Emperor had maintained a secret supply of Spaarti cloning cylinders on the planet Byss in the Deep Core. Years before his death at Endor, Palpatine's body had begun to decay so rapidly from the ravaging dark side energies he manipulated that he had been forced to consider periodically transferring his soul into fresh clones of himself. Vader's treachery, however, had been unexpected, and the spirits of the ancient Dark Lords of Korriban had been forced to intervene and draw Palpatine back from the "madness beyond death" themselves. Palpatine's spirit, lacking a nearby clone body to inhabit, took possession of the Emperor's Hand Jeng Droga. Though Droga went mad in the process, he journeyed to Byss, where Grand Vizier Sate Pestage exorcised the Emperor's soul, allowing him to possess a fresh clone. Unfortunately, the trauma of his unexpected death, the transference of his spirit across astronomical distances, and the length of time spent outside his body had considerably weakened the Emperor's mental stability. He would spend five years rebuilding his personal power in the Force and subtle galactic influence, but his mind would never fully recover. Though he and his loyal Imperial forces managed to briefly retake the galactic capital of Coruscant and wreak havoc on the galaxy for a year, the mental and physical health of the resurrected Palpatine continued to deteriorate due to his repeated deaths and the genetic tampering done to his clones by the treacherous Sovereign Protector Carnor Jax. He died a final death on the planet Onderon, when the dying Jedi Knight Empatojayos Brand, a survivor of the Jedi Purge, bound the Emperor's departing life essence to his own, taking the Dark Lord with him as he became one with the Force. Palpatine, the greatest Dark Lord of the Sith, descended into Chaos, the eternal "madness beyond death."

Though Jedi have continued to fall into darkness since then, none have proved as great a threat as that posed by the newest Sith Order. Lumiya, a former Emperor's Hand and Darth Vader's secret apprentice, became Dark Lady of the Sith following her master's death at Endor. She trained two consecutive apprentices: Flint, who was redeemed by Luke Skywalker, and Carnor Jax, who was killed by Palpatine loyalist Kir Kanos shortly after the Emperor's final death on Onderon.

Lumiya supported both the Nagai and Tof alien invasions in the aftermath of the Battle of Endor, crossed paths with Leia Organa on Herdessa and dueled with Luke Skywalker on Kinooine, though all her endeavors ultimately ended in failure. Afterwards, Lady Lumiya went into hiding, returning the Sith Order to the secret, underground existence begun by Darth Bane a millennium before. She reappeared briefly during the Yuuzhan Vong War when she attempted to steal a sample of bafforr pollen from Yaga Minor. After battling the Yuuzhan Vong invaders to a standstill, she vanished once more and has not been heard from since. It is believed that the legacy of Lady Lumiya, who fled after her encounter with the Yuuzhan Vong will be realised in the upcoming Dark Horse comic, Star Wars: Legacy.

Following the Yuuzhan Vong War, however, Jedi Master Kyle Katarn encountered a Force-strong Yuuzhan Vong female in the mysterious Cloak of the Sith region of the galaxy, where it was rumored that post-Palpatine Sith still lived. Powerful though she was, Kyle sensed an even darker hand behind her training. Ominously, this Yuuzhan Vong apparently had a Master.

[edit] Dark Lords of the Sith

Main article: Dark Lord of the Sith

The Dark Lords of the Sith are acknowledged as the leaders of their order, and the most powerful Sith of their time. Only one Dark Lord existed at a time until the reign of Kaan.

An asterisk (*) denotes that the Sith returned to the light side at some point.

Dark Lord First Chronological Appearance Last Chronological Appearance
Ajunta Pall* Knights of the Old Republic Knights of the Old Republic
Dathka Graush Planet Hoppers: "Korriban: Planet of Lost Souls" (mentioned only)
Tulak Hord Knights of the Old Republic (mentioned only)
Darth Andeddu Star Wars Republic #63: "Striking from the Shadows" (mentioned only)
Marka Ragnos Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Naga Sadow Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire
Ludo Kressh Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire
Freedon Nadd Tales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd Uprising Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith
Exar Kun Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith The Jedi Academy Trilogy: Champions of the Force
Darth Revan* Knights of the Old Republic Knights of the Old Republic
Darth Malak Knights of the Old Republic Knights of the Old Republic
Darth Nihilus Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (flashback) Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
Darth Ruin Vader: The Ultimate Guide (mentioned only)
The Dark Underlord Heroes & Rogues (mentioned only)
Darth Rivan Living Force Campaign: Almas (mentioned only)
Belia Darzu The Dark Side Sourcebook (mentioned only)
Lord Kaan Darth Bane: Path of Destruction "Bane of the Sith"
Lord LaTor Dark Forces: Jedi Knight (flashback) Dark Forces: Jedi Knight (flashback)
Lord Qordis Darth Bane: Path of Destruction "Bane of the Sith"
Lord Kopecz Darth Bane: Path of Destruction Jedi vs. Sith
Lady Githany Darth Bane: Path of Destruction Jedi vs. Sith
Kaox Krul "Darkness Shared" "Darkness Shared"
Seviss Vaa Star Wars Gamer #4 (mentioned only)
Lord Kas'im Darth Bane: Path of Destruction Darth Bane: Path of Destruction
Lord Hezzoran Darth Bane: Path of Destruction (mentioned only)
Lord Orilltha Darth Bane: Path of Destruction (mentioned only)
Lord Shenayag Darth Bane: Path of Destruction (mentioned only)
Lord Brothis Darth Bane: Path of Destruction (mentioned only)
Darth Bane Darth Bane: Path of Destruction "Bane of the Sith"
Darth Zannah Jedi vs. Sith Jedi vs. Sith
Darth Cognus "Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties" (mentioned only)
Darth Millennial "The Dark Forces Saga" Part 5 (mentioned only)
Darth Vectivus Legacy of the Force: Betrayal (mentioned only)
Darth Plagueis Labyrinth of Evil (mentioned only)
Darth Sidious Star Wars Republic #64: "Bloodlines" (flashback) Empire's End
Darth Maul "Marked" (flashback) The Phantom Menace
Darth Tyranus Legacy of the Jedi (flashback) Revenge of the Sith
Darth Vader* Episode I Adventures: The Ghostling Children The New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
Lady Lumiya Star Wars Marvel #56: "Coffin in the Clouds" Legacy of the Force: Tempest
Lord Flint* Star Wars Marvel Annual #3: "The Apprentice" Star Wars Marvel #92: "The Dream"
Carnor Jax Crimson Empire Crimson Empire
Jacen Solo The Thrawn Trilogy: The Last Command Legacy of the Force: Tempest
Darth Krayt Legacy: Broken Legacy: Broken

[edit] Ancient Sith

Note: An asterisk (*) denotes that the Sith returned to the light side at some point.

[edit] The Old Sith Empire

[edit] The Onderonian Dynasty

[edit] The Brotherhood of the Sith

[edit] The Second Sith Empire

[edit] The Lords of Malachor

[edit] The New Sith Empire

[edit] The Sith Legacy

[edit] The Fist of the Empire

Though technically not Sith, the darksiders who belonged to the Galactic Empire are sometimes referred to as the Emperor's Army of Sith Knights: the Fist of the Empire. See Inquisitorius, Prophets of the Dark Side, Emperor's Royal Guard, Emperor's Hand, Dark Jedi, and Dark side devotee.

[edit] Sith cults and offshoots

[edit] The Bladeborn

The Bladeborn were an offshoot of the Sith formed sometime before the Sith Civil War. They specialized in sword mastery instead of lightsaber combat, and the greatest among them, known as "masterblades," were capable of defeating ten lightsaber-wielding opponents at a time.

[edit] The Disciples of Ragnos

The Disciples of Ragnos were a Sith cult dedicated to the ancient Dark Lord Marka Ragnos. Led by the Dark Jedi Tavion Axmis, the Disciples attempted to resurrect the spirit of the millennia-dead Sith Lord, only to be stopped by Jedi Knight Jaden Korr. Known Disciples of Ragnos include:

[edit] The Krath

The Krath were a cult founded by Empress Tetan nobles Satal and Aleema Keto, using dark side magics taught them by the shade of the Dark Lord Freedon Nadd. The Krath allied themselves with Exar Kun's Brotherhood of the Sith during the Great Sith War and were largely annihilated in that conflict. Sebban Keto, however, would reestablish the cult in the Empress Tetan capital of Cinnagar millennia later. Known Krath include:

[edit] The Mecrosa Order

The Mecrosa Order was a Sith-inspired order of assassins sponsored by House Mecetti, the rulers of the Tapani Sector's Mecetti Province. Speculated to have been formed by the survivors of Exar Kun's Sith Brotherhood, the Mecrosa Order was wiped out by the Jedi and House Pelagia of the Tapani Sector's Pelagia Province during the Cleansing of the Nine Houses. It was later reestablished during the reign of the Galactic Empire.

[edit] The Naddists

The Naddists were a Sith cult on the planet Onderon that worshipped the deceased Dark Lord Freedon Nadd. Comprised of the both Force-sensitives and non-Force-sensitives, the Naddists, under the leadership of King Ommin and the specter of Freedon Nadd, were destroyed by a group of Jedi under the leadership of Arca Jeth and Ulic Qel-Droma during the Naddist Revolt, though the cult's surviving texts and lore allowed for the quick and easy formation of the Krath. Known Force-sensitive Naddists include:

[edit] The Prophets of the Dark Side

The Prophets of the Dark Side were an offshoot of the Sith formed by renegade Sith apprentice Darth Millennial sometime after the New Sith Wars. Believing the Rule of Two created by Darth Bane to be too restrictive, Millennial fled from his Master and founded the Prophets of the Dark Side on the ancient Sith world Dromund Kaas, where they were free to practice Lord Kaan's more martial philosophy of Rule by the Strong. Centuries later, the Prophets were reunited with the Sith when Darth Sidious persuaded them to join his future Empire and they became a part of the Emperor's Secret Order. Just prior to the Emperor's death at the Battle of Endor, the Prophets went into hiding and were eventually wiped out by the Dark Jedi Azrakel and Sith Lords Lumiya and Carnor Jax. Known Prophets of the Dark Side include:

[edit] Weapons of the Sith

The Sith's traditional weapon was the lightsaber. It is usually red, but some Sith used different colors (even blue, a traditional Jedi color), especially just after turning to the dark side of the Force. Many Sith preferred the double-bladed lightsaber variant, which was invented by Exar Kun, as it allowed the wielder to slaughter enemies faster.

Some Sith, especially during the reign of their first empire, preferred specially crafted Sith swords to lightsabers. Sith swords were altered by Sith Alchemy to be harder and sharper. They never dulled, they could block blaster fire, and they were even able to resist lightsabers. Quite a few Sith Lords, including the Dark Lords Ajunta Pall, Naga Sadow, and the Dark Underlord used Sith swords rather than lightsabers—either for tradition, or because they preferred the more visceral feeling of sword cutting through flesh.

Another traditional Sith weapon was the lanvarok, a wrist-mounted projectile launcher which could fling a number of thin but solid metal discs in a spray towards a target. To increase the weapon's accuracy, Sith would often guide the projectiles into their targets using the Force.

Lumiya, is seen to prefer a lightwhip which has a flexible cutting edge. According to Star Wars: Legacy of the Force: Tempest, this lightsaber variant was once in common use among at least one force-using order.

[edit] Cultural influences

 This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.
Please help Wikipedia by adding references. See the talk page for details.

The Star Wars mythos were created by Director George Lucas, who wrote most of the storylines behind the movies. The cultural origin of the Jedi Order is clearly a parallel to the feudal Japanese Samurai class, including the traditional Japanese robes worn by the Jedi and the focus on the use of a 'sword' type weapon even in an era of 'gun' technology (the 'blaster' equivalent). Other clear parallels are the dedication to removing emotion from battle, to being true to oneself and one's heart, and above all, to eradicate fear from one's emotional set, all clear links to the way of the warrior, or Bushido, in Japanese culture. Lucas went so far as to begin training the actors with a traditional Kendo sword artist from Japan, who was asked to invent a futuristic form of Kendo, based on the concept of a katana (traditional Samurai sword) that was capable of cutting in all directions simultaneously, which is the concept embodied in the lightsabre weapon.

The Sith then are the true opposites of the Jedi, trained to embrace fear and use it rather than reject it. While there is no clear parallel in Japanese culture to an 'anti-Samurai', they must have been present, but are not discussed in Japanese culture due to the extreme shame. An anti-Samurai could be a general who relished war and enjoyed killing, or one who deliberately took advantage of weaker people to advance his aims. A warrior who rejected the traditional tenets of Budo and instead adopted a strategy of embracing hatred and anger in his kata would be a good model for the Sith. Such schools and people must certainly have existed in Feudal Japan.

The concept of the ancient Sith Empire may have been influenced by the culture of Ancient Egypt. Particularly, the god-like status accorded the Dark Lord of the Sith is similar to that of the Egyptian Pharaohs, and much of the architecture on Korriban (as seen in the comics) bears a noticeable resemblance to that of Egyptian tombs.

Despite the name "Sith" being identical to one version of an Irish term for fairies (sidhe), which in folklore were sometimes malignant, there appears to be no relation between the terms.

Though not confirmed another possible origin Lucas used were the secret societies of the Egyptian Seth and/or Set (both groups being preoccupied with a rebellion against nature and an argument for the lefthanded path), as well as Nietzsche's The Will to Power. The sith philosophy expoused in the Knights of the Old Republic video game series also bears a striking resemblance to some of the views of Ayn Rand.

[edit] Pronouncing "Sith"

The sound of English written as <th> (phonetically the voiceless dental fricative, IPA: [θ]) is not used in many languages, including French, German, Portuguese, Italian, Swedish, Polish, Chinese, Russian, and Japanese. In foreign language versions of the Star Wars franchise, the <th> in <Sith> was pronounced as /t/ in German, and as /s/ in Japanese.

[edit] Footnotes

  1. ^ Although it is never stated in the movie that Sidious was Plagueis's apprentice, it is included in the novelization of Revenge of the Sith and implied in the film, as well as mentioned in "Labyrinth of Evil." See Darth Plagueis.

[edit] Sources

[edit] External links

Personal tools