From Academic Kids

For the Irish fairy, see Sídhe. For the hornet-like monster in Edgar Rice Burroughs fiction, see Warlords of Mars.

In the fictional Star Wars universe, the Sith were a humanoid race enslaved by a group of warrior priests who follow the dark side of the Force and serve as the evil counterparts to the Jedi. Their leaders are known as "Sith Lords", and the most powerful one as "Dark Lord of the Sith". Many members are fallen Jedi who join the dark side. Sith Lords often adopt names that are preceded by "Darth".

"Always two there are —no more, no less: A master and an apprentice."Yoda

The Sith Code

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.

The Great Schism

According to Star Wars Expanded Universe fiction, the Sith Order, or cult, was first established when dissident Jedi discovered that "true" power was achieved not through pensive meditation, as taught by their Jedi Masters, but through emotion. The tension between the Jedi and these dissident Dark Jedi, led by Xendor, the first Dark Jedi, grew until conflict erupted, thousands of years before the Battle of Yavin. This conflict, called the Great Schism, 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 these Sith, 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 occured between the Dark Jedi and the Sith, the term "Sith" came to mean not the original insect-like 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. Sometime during the early history of the Sith Empire, the coming of the Sith'ari, the prophesied savior of the Sith Order, was foretold. The Sith'ari was a perfect being who would rise to power and bring balance to the Force. According to 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, a striking parallel to the Chosen One of Jedi legend, though it is most likely that the Sith'ari and Chosen One are one and the same.

The Fall of the Sith Empire and the Freedon Nadd Uprising

5,000 years BBY, the Republic rediscovered the Sith and the Great Hyperspace War began. Though it ended with Dark Lord of the Sith Naga Sadow in suspended animation on Yavin 4 and his great war fleets destroyed, the Sith Empire survived. It was believed to have collapsed shortly afterward due to infighting and attacks by the Old Republic, but it was later discovered that the Sith Empire had retreated into the Unknown Regions, where the Lords of the Sith waited patiently for over a millennium for the right moment to return.

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 he perished at his pupil's hand. Freedon Nadd used his newfound powers to conquer the Onderon System.

The Great Sith War

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 corrupted 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 several more Jedi turned to the dark side and many 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 eventually destroyed by a group of Luke Skywalker's students. Most of what remained of his Sith Brotherhood by the end of the Great Sith War was hunted down by the Old Republic in a purge known as "the Cleansing of the Nine Houses".

The War of the Star Forge

Less than four decades later, the Jedi Revan and Malak, heroes of the Mandalorian Wars (a bloody conflict allegedly instigated by the remnants of the ancient Sith Empire in the Unknown Regions), fell to the dark side and founded a new Sith Order. 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 murdered 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 rediscovered the long-lost ancient Sith Empire in the Unknown Regions, and were therefore careful to preserve the Republic's shipyards to use against this forgotten threat once they had conquered the galaxy. Due to an attempted coup by Malak, however, Revan's mind was destroyed and Revan, captured by the Jedi, was re-trained in their ways. 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 old friends, allowing the Old Republic to destroy the Star Forge and win the day.

Despite this great victory won for the Old Republic by Revan, the galaxy soon grew even darker. Few 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 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, Lord 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 ancient Sith, and had 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. 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 insidious "shadow Sith", slaying 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".

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 BBY, yet another Jedi, chafing under the restrictions of the Jedi Council, fell to the dark side, 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 minions, 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 deserving of it.

The final conflict of the New Sith Wars, the War of Light and Dark (sometimes 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 forces of all those in the vicinity. Both armies were all but destroyed, and only one Sith Lord survived: Darth Bane.

To guard against the Sith self-destructing or losing sight of their "ideals" again, Bane took only one apprentice, starting a one-master-one-apprentice tradition to prevent the Sith from destroying themselves again. 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 sinister order would be cunning, stealth, and subterfuge.

The Revenge of the Sith

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

Though Darth Maul was slain in that battle at the hands of Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi, the day proved an unparalleled victory for the Sith; Darth Sidious, whose true identity was Senator Palpatine of Naboo, was elected to the office of Chancellor of the Galactic Republic.

More than a decade passed, during which Palpatine manipulated the Senate into granting him more and more power. His new apprentice, Darth Tyranus (a former Jedi once known as Dooku, Count of Serenno), formed the Confederacy of Independent Systems (CIS), 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 CIS and its Kaleesh cyborg commanding military leader, General Grievous. The Clone Wars eventually stretched to Coruscant, where the cunning general captured Supreme Chancellor Palpatine. A great battle erupted above the planet-city. In that battle, Tyranus was killed by Anakin Skywalker, goaded on by Palpatine.

The Chancellor then started to use his "emergency" powers to control the Jedi Order. This caused suspicion among the Jedi of Palpatine's motives. They believed that Darth Sidious was a part of Palpatine's inner circle and was controlling him. Using Anakin as a spy, Palpatine appointed Anakin to the Jedi Council, and convinced him that the Jedi were trying to take over the Republic.

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.

Eventually Palpatine revealed to Anakin that he was, in fact, 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), 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 confront 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's control over the Senate and judicial system was complete. As Windu moved to kill the Sith Lord, Anakin turned on his ally, allowing Palpatine to strike him down.

Skywalker, now a Dark Lord of the Sith, was given the name Darth Vader and instructed to dispose of all the Jedi in the Jedi Temple, including children. 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 Kenobi.

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 crowned himself Emperor and replaced the ancient Republic with the Empire, an oppressive, galaxy-spanning dark-side dictatorship, the likes of which had not been seen for millennia.

The Jedi Purge continued, led by Vader and other Force-sensitive minions of the Emperor (including groups known as the Inquisitorius, the Emperor's Hands, and the Prophets of the Dark Side), until only a handful of Jedi were left alive.

It was a dark time for the galaxy.

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 Luke 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 Skywalker 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. Moved by his son's suffering, Vader realized the error of his ways and threw his Sith Master down the Death Star's reactor shaft, in the process subjecting himself to the full force of the Emperor's lightning. Luke escaped with his father's body shortly before the new Death Star was destroyed, marking the beginning of the end of the Galactic Empire.

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 dead and gone.

During the Clone Wars, Darth Sidious and Darth 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, Drevekka Hoctu, 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. After the death of the Emperor, the Inquisitor Jerec and his cadre of six Dark Jedi made an attempt to seize the Valley of the Jedi, the place of imprisonment of all those who were destroyed by Kaan's thought bomb during the Battle of Ruusan, however, Jerec and his cohorts were eliminated by Kyle Katarn. New Dark Jedi are constantly crawling out of the woodwork, some of them fallen students of Luke Skywalker, like Gantoris, Kyp Durron, Brakiss, Kueller, Tavion, and Desann.

The Sith Legacy

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 it contained that he had been forced to begin periodically transfering his soul into fresh clones of himself. Vader's treachery, however, had been unexpected, and Palpatine's spirit had been forced to take possession of the body of Emperor's Hand Jeng Droga. Though Droga went mad in the process, he journeyed to Byss, where Palpatine was able to take possession of a new clone. Unfortunately for the Sith Lord, spending such an extended period outside his body had driven the Emperor half-mad. 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 resurrected Palpatine eventually began to succumb to clone madness 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 dying Jedi Knight Empatajayos 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.

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 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. Afterwards, Lady Lumiya went into hiding, returning the Sith Order to the secret, underground existence begun by Darth Bane a millennium before.

Following the Yuuzhan Vong invasion, Jedi Knight Kyle Katarn sets out on a hunt to destroy the Sith once and for all and he has not been heard since.

Dark Lords 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.

Note: for title "Dark Lord of the Sith" please see the Dark Lord of the Sith article.

Lesser Sith Lords

The Ancient Sith Empire

The Brotherhood of the Sith

Darth Revan's New Sith Empire

The Brotherhood of Darkness

External links

de:Figuren aus Star Wars#Die Sith es:Sith fr:Sith nl:Sith pl:Sithowie sk:Sith

Dark LordFirst Chronological AppearanceLast Chronological Appearance
Ajunta PallKnights of the Old RepublicKnights of the Old Republic
Marka RagnosTales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the SithJedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Naga SadowTales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the SithTales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire
Ludo KresshTales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the SithTales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire
Tulak Hord
Freedon NaddTales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd UprisingTales of the Jedi: The Sith War
Exar KunTales of the Jedi: The Sith WarThe Jedi Academy Trilogy: Champions of the Force
Darth RevanKnights of the Old RepublicKnights of the Old Republic
Darth MalakKnights of the Old RepublicKnights of the Old Republic
Lord KaanJedi vs. SithBane of the Sith
Darth Rivan
Lord QordisBane of the SithBane of the Sith
Lord KopeczJedi vs. SithJedi vs. Sith
Lady GithanyJedi vs. SithJedi vs. Sith
Darth BaneJedi vs. SithBane of the Sith
Darth ZannahJedi vs. SithJedi vs. Sith
Darth Millennial
Darth Andeddu
Darth Plagueis
Darth SidiousJedi Council: Acts of WarEmpire's End
Darth MaulJedi Council: Acts of WarThe Phantom Menace
Darth TyranusLegacy of the JediRevenge of the Sith
Darth VaderEpisode I Adventures: The Ghostling ChildrenThe New Jedi Order: The Unifying Force
Lady LumiyaStar Wars Marvel #56: "Coffin in the Clouds"Lumiya: Dark Star of the Empire
Lord FlintStar Wars Marvel Annual #3: "The Apprentice"Star Wars Marvel #92: The Dream
Carnor JaxCrimson EmpireCrimson Empire

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