- "Treachery is the way of the Sith."
- — Darth Tyranus
The Sith Order was a sect of dark side Force users bent on destroying the Jedi. They were characterized by their single-minded lust for power and the brutal methods they were willing to use in order to acquire it. The sect existed in many diverse forms throughout galactic history. Originally, the Sith were a humanoid species that interbred with a group of exiled Dark Jedi, but after the rise and fall of that people, the meaning of the word 'Sith' changed. In time, the Sith would not be identified by their race, but by their dedication to the ancient Sith philosophy. There were many factions of the Sith, the most notable being the Sith Empire and the Order of the Sith Lords.
Philosophy and CustomsEdit
Forged by fireEdit
- "Without strife, your victory has no meaning. Without strife, you do not advance. Without strife, there is only stagnation."
- — Uthar Wynn
Sith philosophy emphasized conflict. The Sith believed that it empowered both individuals and civilizations by forcing them to change, grow, and evolve. Conflict ensured that only the strong would survive, thus leading the Sith down the path to perfection. Sentients only deserved what they were strong enough to take and those too weak to protect themselves were fair game.
The pacifistic teachings of the Jedi were viewed as obstructions to progress; lack of conflict led only to stagnation and decline. Morality was treated as an obstacle to be overcome. It got in the way of a Sith's ability to recognize and grasp opportunities for advancement.
Empowered by passionEdit
- "What fuels your power with the Force but your passion? The stronger, darker emotions. Anger, hatred, fear… these passions empower us."
- — Yuthura Ban
The core of a Sith's power came from emotion. The Jedi taught that fear and anger were negative emotions that must be overcome, but the Sith understood that every living creature was subject to such passions. They believed in harnessing rather than suppressing these natural urges. The Sith did not endeavor to place themselves beyond passions as the Jedi did – on the contrary, they believed that emotion was required in order to attain a holistic understanding of the Force.
However, not all emotions were embraced by the Sith. They, like the Jedi, considered 'love' a dangerous emotion, but for different reasons. The Jedi discouraged love because it led to attachment, but the Sith taught that love led to mercy, which was anathema to them.
- 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.
Many Sith Lords adorn themselves with Sith tattoos, as a symbol of their devotion to the order. The tattoos often have an alternating pattern of red and black, with many runic symbols included. Sith tattoos are incredibly painful to have applied, as they often cover the entire body.
See History of the Sith for more detailed information.
- "The Sith do not fear the dark side. The Sith have no fear. They embrace the whole spectrum of experience, from the heights of transcendent joy to the depths of hatred and despair. Beings have these emotions for a reason, Anakin. That is why the Sith are more powerful: they are not afraid to feel."
- — Palpatine to Anakin Skywalker
Timeline of major events in Sith historyEdit
- 28,000 BBY – Adas rules as King of the Sith. He later led the Sith race to victory over the invading Rakata, but at the cost of his own life plunging the Sith into civil war.
- 24,500 BBY – Xendor and students leave the Jedi Order in the First Great Schism.
- 19,000 BBY – A Killik Sith Lord lived on Alsakan, but was driven off when Humans arrived on the world. He fled to Sarafur, where he was buried in a treasure-filled crypt.
- 7,000 BBY – A group of Jedi break off from the Order and pioneer the science of dark side mutations, starting the Second Great Schism, the war known as the Hundred-Year Darkness.
- 6,900 BBY – Exiled after their defeat during the Hundred-Year Darkness, the Dark Jedi arrive on Korriban, where they interbreed with the Sith natives and form the Sith Empire. Over the millennia, the empire expands to surrounding systems including Korriban.
- 5,000 BBY – Dark Lord of the Sith Naga Sadow is defeated in The Great Hyperspace War and the Sith Empire collapses. Sadow flees with his Massassi warriors to Yavin 4.
- 4,400 BBY – Jedi Knight Freedon Nadd falls to the dark side and is trained by the awakened Naga Sadow. Sadow dies at the hand of Nadd, who soon establishes himself as the king of Onderon.
- (4,000 BBY|4,000 – 3,998 BBY) — Freedon Nadd's descendants Queen Amanoa and King Ommin lead the Naddist Sith cult in a skirmish with the Jedi during the Beast Wars and the Freedon Nadd Uprising. The Great Sith War begins. Satal and Aleema Keto are taught Sith teachings by Nadd's spirit. After the defeat of the Naddists, they flee to the Empress Teta system and form the Krath sect.
- 3,997 BBY – Exar Kun falls to the dark side. The spirit of of Freedon Nadd leads him from Dxun to Korriban and thence to Yavin IV, where Kun destroys Nadd utterly. There he founds a new Sith order named the Brotherhood of the Sith.
- 3,996 BBY — Kun takes the fallen Jedi Ulic Qel-Droma, leader of the Krath, as his apprentice. The Brotherhood of the Sith and the Krath fall during the Battle of Yavin IV.
- 3,960 BBY — Jedi Knight Revan, hero of the Mandalorian Wars, turns to the dark side. After discovering the Trayus Academy on Malachor V, a relic of the ancient Sith Empire, he forms a new Sith Empire.
- (3,959 – 3,956 BBY) — Darth Revan supplements his forces with a fleet constructed by the Star Forge and invades the Republic during the Second Sith War. Revan eventually returns to the light, kills Dark Lord of the Sith Malak, and destroys the Star Forge. After the Second Sith War, it became common practice for the Sith to append the title "Darth" to their name.
- (3,956 – 3,955 BBY) — In the wake of the Battle of Rakata Prime the First Sith Civil War erupts on Korriban and virtually wipes out the Sith followers of Revan and Malak.
- (3,956 – 3,951 BBY) — Darth Traya, Darth Nihilus and Darth Sion wage a shadow war upon the devastated Republic, but are defeated by the Jedi Exile. A Second Sith Civil War ensues, as the remaining Sith fight over the remnants of their empire.
- 2,000 BBY — Darth Ruin, another fallen Jedi, forms a new Sith order and begins the New Sith Wars. Lasting a millennium, by 1,466 BBY the New Sith Empire conquer all of known space outside the Colonies.
- (2,000 – 1,000 BBY) — The Sith prove to be their own undoing, as internal power struggles destroy their organization. Lord Kaan unites the survivors under the Brotherhood of Darkness and grants the title of "Dark Lord" to many Sith.
- 1,000 BBY — Both Jedi and Sith armies are destroyed in the Battle of Ruusan, leaving Darth Bane the only survivor. To ensure the continued survival of the Sith, Bane institutes the Rule of Two.
- (1,000 – 33 BBY) — The Rule of Two continues. Darth Millennial abandons his master, Darth Cognus, and establishes the Prophets of the Dark Side. Darth Vectivus becomes the administrator of a mine on an asteroid near Bimmiel and builds a mansion there, at the heart of the dark side energy, where he lived out the rest of his days surrounded by friends and family, and presumably trained his own apprentice. The Muun Sith Lord, Darth Plagueis is found and trained by an unknown Master. Palpatine is trained under the tutelage of Darth Plagueis and is given the title of Darth Sidious. Palpatine kills his Master in his sleep. He then trains Darth Maul as his new apprentice.
- 33 BBY — Darth Maul kills Black Sun's leader, Alexi Garyn, clearing the way for Prince Xizor.
- 32.5 BBY — When Hath Monchar steals Darth Sidious's plans for the blockade on Naboo and tries to sell them, Darth Maul hunts him down and kills him. Eventually, the plans are returned to Palpatine and Maul kills the last witness to the plans.
- 32 BBY — The Sith, who had been in hiding for nearly one thousand years, resurface again when Darth Sidious orchestrates the Battle of Naboo.
- 27 BBY — Outbound Flight is destroyed by Commander Mitth'raw'nuruodo as part of Sidious' scheme to kill Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth.
- (22 – 19 BBY) — Darth Sidious and Darth Tyranus initiate the Clone Wars, and many Jedi die or turn to the dark side.
- 19 BBY — Darth Vader becomes Sidious' new apprentice. The Galactic Empire is established by Darth Sidious. The Sith rule the Galaxy once more, from the Core Worlds to Wild Space.
- (19 – 1 BBY) — Darth Sidious takes efforts to eradicate the Jedi in the Great Jedi Purge.
- 4 ABY — Vader is turned back to the light side of the Force by Luke Skywalker, resulting in the deaths of both Sidious and Vader, presumed extinction of the Sith order.
- 4 - 15 ABY - Palpatine's legacy lives on through former Dark Side Elite and Adepts, including Wyth Skellheim, Sabbathius Osbourne, and Alora Antieres. Eventually, Bacharan Valak rises as the most powerful, claiming the title of Dark Lord of the Sith and establishing himself as Emperor. He takes on several new adepts, including Lara Grayson and Cort Stasus, and executes the Third Jedi Purge. Valak eventually disappears, replaced by Darth Pain. Pain herself is eventually toppled by the combined might of Darth Malus and his subordinate, Vassily Korolov, but their reign does not last long, overthrown by Aleister Vadim and his apprentices, Darth Malign and Darth Venger. With Vadim as the new galactic emperor, Malign establishes the New Sith Order and Venger assumes the role of Executor.
- "There is a faction of meatbags called the Sith. They want what any rational meatbag would want—the power to assassinate anyone they choose at any time."
- — HK-47
The term Sith referred to numerous disparate dark side organizations that rose and fell over thousands of years of galactic history. No single entity long survived the vigilance of the Jedi Knights, but even in defeat the ancient Sith teachings proved difficult to suppress. Each time the Jedi Order grew complacent, a Sith cult, brotherhood, order, or empire would arise from the ashes to threaten the galaxy once more. New iterations of the Sith would be linked only tenuously to past traditions through a shared ideology.
The Sith were a species of red-skinned humanoids native to Ziost and Korriban that were enslaved by exiled Dark Jedi. Prior to their discovery, the Sith were divided into a meek and lowly slave class, a skilled and intelligent engineer class, and the warlike Massassi class. Over time, the Sith interbred with the Human Dark Jedi through the practice of Sith Alchemy, and the two peoples became one.
The Massassi were related to the Sith species. Under the rule of the exiled Dark Jedi, many Massassi captives were subject to Sith Alchemy, which resulted in them being more deadly and easier for their Sith masters to control. They were distinguished by bone spurs which erupted from their skin and by their abnormally giant size. They would serve as soldiers for the Sith Empire.
The Sith Empire was a rich and powerful empire that was established by Dark Jedi banished from the Galactic Republic after their defeat at the Battle of Corbos during the Hundred-Year Darkness. After developing in complete isolation for thousands of years, the Sith eventually rediscovered the Republic. The Dark Lord of the Sith Naga Sadow led the Empire in an invasion during the Great Hyperspace War, but he was defeated. The Sith Empire was believed to have been utterly destroyed by Republic forces in the aftermath of the Second Battle of Korriban.
The Brotherhood of the Sith was a group of Dark Jedi founded by Exar Kun who broke away from the Jedi Order to study Sith techniques. During the Great Sith War, the Brotherhood attempted to conquer the Republic with the aid of the Krath and the Mandalorian Crusaders. The Brotherhood was defeated and virtually exterminated during the Battle of Yavin IV.
The Krath was a Sith secret society founded by Aleema and Satal Keto, the bored heirs to the Empress Teta system. Following a Krath attack on a Jedi conclave, Ulic Qel-Droma attempted to infiltrate the group, but he failed. He was seduced to the dark side and eventually became the leader of the sect. During the Great Sith War, the Krath became the military arm of Exar Kun's Sith Order and fell with it on Yavin 4.
The Sith Empire was temporarily resurrected by the fallen Jedi Revan and Malak. Built upon a hardened core of veterans from the Mandalorian Wars and a host of Jedi converts, the fledgling new galactic power very nearly succeeded in conquering the Republic during the Second Sith War. After the redemption of Darth Revan and the death of Darth Malak, their Empire splintered into factions and eventually collapsed.
The Sith Triumvirate was a brief but deadly Sith Order founded by the former Jedi Kreia, now known as Darth Traya, she took two apprentices of unknown origins and trained many new Sith at the Trayus Academy on Malachor V. After her exile from the Triumvirate the two remaining Sith Lords; Darth Nihilus, and Darth Sion executed the First Jedi Purge. They were eventually defeated by the Jedi Exile.
The New Sith Empire was a vast area of galactic territory which the Brotherhood of Darkness ruled over with an iron fist. At its height during the New Sith Wars, it was even greater than the Sith Empires of Naga Sadow and Darth Revan. The New Sith Empire crumbled after the devastating Seventh Battle of Ruusan.
The last surviving Sith Lord, Darth Bane, reinvented the Sith Order into an organization based on stealth and secrecy after the Sith defeat on Ruusan. He founded the Rule of Two that would allow his eventual successor, Darth Sidious, to finally triumph over the Jedi and the Republic 1,000 years later.
The Sith had a clearly defined hierarchy which divided the strong from the weak, but because the Sith order existed in numerous disparate incarnations, the Sith hierarchy did not maintain a single continuous ranking system throughout its history. The Sith hierarchy remained much the same for almost 6,000 years - 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 Brotherhood of Darkness were Dark Lords of the Sith. Like the Jedi and the Old Republic, the Sith underwent a great reformation after the apocalyptic final Battle of Ruusan. The Sith order's destruction inspired Darth Bane to reform the order and decree that there would be only two Sith at a time from that point forward: a Master and an apprentice. Both would bear the title "Dark Lord of the Sith," which would become synonymous with the term "Sith Lord."
Dark Lords of the Sith were the greatest and most powerful of the Sith Lords. Up until the reign of Kaan, it was a title that was only given to those that were acknowledged as the leaders of their order, but by the end of the New Sith Wars the title was held by many Sith Lords simultaneously.
Sith Lords were the leaders of the Sith. They commanded armies of Sith Minions, Acolytes and Warriors during wartime and ruled through a governing body known as the Sith council. Sith Lords used the dark side of the Force to inflict misery, suffering, and corruption. They were also tasked with preserving the lore of the Sith by passing all their knowledge on to their acolytes. While they did not enter combat as often as lesser Sith (preferring to use pawns, servants, or proxies), they were the most fearsome of the Sith as they were the keepers of the Sith's greatest secrets and wielders of its most potent sorceries.
Sith Marauders, a variant of the Sith Warriors, were often responsible for the most brutal acts carried out by the Sith. Their training emphasized the aggressive use of a lightsaber rather than the Force. A Sith Marauder's berserk physical prowess was a dark side technique fueled by hatred, rage, and cruelty. Thus, most Marauders could duel an average Jedi toe-to-toe and win easily. Caring little for the subtleties of manipulating others and lacking a deep understanding of the Force, Marauders were often burdened with carrying out the wishes of the Sith Lords.
Sith Warriors were mid-ranking Sith who generally focused their energies and skills towards battle, spending little time on actual dark side philosophy or other concerns of the "purer" Sith.
Sith Acolyte were Force-sensitive apprentices who had only just started down the dark path under the tutelage of a more experienced Sith.
Specialized Sith minions included Sith Assassins, who preferred to ambush targets from the shadows rather than engaging them in standard combat. Almost always working solo or in small groups, they utilized stealth field generators and the rare art of Force camouflage to launch surprise attacks on their Jedi victims. While some used a lightsaber, most fought with more conventional melee weapons such as Force Pikes. Darth Traya, Darth Sion, and Darth Nihilus commanded legions of Sith Assassins during the aftermath of the Jedi Civil War, causing the near-extermination of the Jedi Order. The Sith Assassins drew their powers from the Force power of their enemies.
Sith Minions were the lowliest members of the Sith. Some were not even Force-sensitive, and often worshipped the Sith Lords as gods. Sith Cultists, Sith Assassins and Sith Marauders can be considered examples of Sith Minions. However, the Sith also used soldiers, mercenaries, and conscripts to work for them.
- "Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it."
- — Darth Bane
To ensure the continued survival of the Sith, Bane was forced to put them on the brink of extinction. He instituted the Rule of Two. In Bane's order, both Sith held the title Dark Lord of the Sith. The rule of the two instituted that a master train an apprentice. Once the apprentice was fully trained, he would kill the master and take on the mantle himself and repeat the process. The death of the master is either a ceremonial killing or an assassination.
Technically they are not Sith, they are Force-sensitives chosen and honed by the Sith apprentice. Essentially the in-lines to replace the Apprentice when he or she ascended to mastery.
When Palpatine declared himself Galactic Emperor, the Sith controlled the known galaxy, in a political sense, for the first time. With this new, far-reaching authority came a need for functionaries throughout the Empire who were, to one extent or another, supporters if not adherents of the dark side. Though not Sith in any strict sense, these quasi-Sith minions were known generally as Dark Side Adepts. As Force-sensitive individuals serving the Emperor, they supported his Sith rule by working in the roles of servants, agents, intelligence operatives, military officials, etc. Dark Side Adepts were particularly important when Palpatine was reborn into his clone bodies, five years after his death.
The Dark Side Prophets were an ancient Outer Rim renegade Sith order founded by Darth Millennial. Though not Banist Sith, the Prophets were arguably a kind of true Sith. Darth Sidious rediscovered the group and brought them once again under his control, renaming them the Emperor's Mages.
Emperor's Hands were top-secret special operatives trained in the Force by the Emperor himself. They were so secret they usually had no knowledge of each other. Mara Jade was one of the best-known Emperor's Hands.
Together with the Emperor's Mages, the Emperor's Hands were called the Dark Side Elite.
These were hand-picked elite stormtroopers assigned to protect and serve the Emperor directly. They were required to have Force sensitivity, even if undeveloped. Those with advanced talents were underwent Force training under Dark Jedi tutors.
Although the name might imply otherwise, Dark Jedi were not synonymous with Sith, although Darth Vader among others used techniques drawn from the traditions of both the Dark Jedi and the Sith. Dark Jedi were distinguished from the Sith in the fact that Dark Jedi just used the dark side, whereas the Sith abided by the religion and codes passed down through the holocrons. It was much more likely for Dark Jedi to return to the Light.
The era of the Sith Order after the death of its champion, Darth Sidious, was one marked with constant in-fighting and various heirs to the title of Dark Lord of the Sith, each vying for total control of both the Force and the Galactic Empire. Various claimants to the title arose in the first two years of Palpatine's death; each were former students of Palpatine, his Dark Side Adepts, ranging from the Dark Side Elite to the run of the mill Dark Jedi that swore allegiance to Palpatine. The very first was Dobbs, who took the title of Emperor and took upon an apprentice of his own, Lucifer; Dobbs, however, was executed by another Dark Jedi, Wyth Skellheim, who in turn was later killed by Alaric Darkstar.
Sabbathius Osbourne was yet another Dark Jedi at this time, whose own plans called for the resurrection of Palpatine. He was stopped, however, by Luke Skywalker and met an untimely death. But all these Dark Jedi were ultimately outdone by the cunning Bacharan Valak, a great pupil of Palpatine whose control of the Dark Side allowed him to take firm control of the Galactic Empire, allowing for the re-establishment of the Empire in 8 ABY, with him as the first official Emperor since Palpatine. Valak was immensely powerful in the Dark Side, allowing him to best the up-and-coming of the Jedi Order, including Skywalker. His apprentices ranged from his Hand, Lara Grayson, to Morganna Tazecks and Cort Stasus, who was crucial in implementing the Third Jedi Purge.
But even Valak could not withstand the inevitable; he was ultimately replaced by Darth Pain and later by Darth Malus, but these two incumbents were mere stepping stones for the true power behind the scenes: Aleister Vadim, whose apprentice Darth Malign did away with Malus and wrestled firm control of the Empire, sharing it with Darth Venger, and ultimately paving the way for Vadim to secure the throne for himself.Malign would later found the New Sith Order, the latest incarnation of the Sith.