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This article covers the Canon version of this subject.  Click here for Wookieepedia's article on the Legends version of this subject. 
This article is about the Sith title "Dark Lord of the Sith".
You may be looking for other similar Sith titles such as "Darth" and "Sith Lord".
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"Always two, there are; no more, no less. A master and an apprentice."
―Yoda[src]

Dark Lord of the Sith was a title used by members of the Sith, also known as Sith Lords. Under the Rule of Two, it applied to both the Sith Master and the Sith apprentice.

Darth Plagueis' apprentice, Darth Sidious, conspired to restore the Sith to power roughly a millennium after the death of Darth Bane, the Dark Lord who reformed the Sith. During the Clone Wars, Darth Maul and Savage Opress claimed the mantle of Dark Lord despite the presence of Sidious and Darth Tyranus. Sidious killed Opress and chastised Maul, reminding his former apprentice that there could only be two Sith Lords at any given time.

After the Galactic Republic fell, the galaxy was ruled by two Dark Lords—Galactic Emperor Darth Sidious and his apprentice, the fallen Jedi Darth Vader—during the era of the Galactic Empire. Their reign ended when Vader sacrificed himself by destroying his master, rendering the Sith extinct through the deaths of the final Dark Lords.

Despite the Sith's prophesied destruction, their legacy endured through Sidious, who was revived through cloning and the dark side of the Force, as well as Supreme Leader Kylo Ren, Vader's grandson. During the First Order's war against the Resistance, Ren aspired to rule all the galaxy as the new Emperor and Dark Lord of the Sith. Following Ren's redemption, Sidious perished along with his followers in the Battle of Exegol as the very last Dark Lord of the Sith remaining.

History[]

"I am a lord of the Sith. They are the ones who should be running."
―Darth Vader[src]

Darth Bane was the first Dark Lord of the Sith under the Rule of Two.

The Dark Lord of the Sith, alternatively known as a Sith Lord, was a title in the Sith Order. In the distant past of the Old Republic, the Sith were led by the Dark Lords during their constant wars against the Jedi Order. The Sith later fell victim to infighting because of their greed for power, weakening the Sith Order to defeat[3] and near-destruction by the Jedi.[4] However, the ancient Sith Order had one surviving member: Darth Bane. Bane assumed the mantle of Dark Lord and established a philosophy known as the Rule of Two, declaring that only two Dark Lords could exist at any time—a Sith Master and a Sith apprentice.[3]

The Dark Lords that succeeded Darth Bane would adhere to his teachings, maintaining the Sith Order's ranks at two members throughout the millennium-long reign of the modern Galactic Republic. Darth Sidious, publicly known as Sheev Palpatine from Naboo, became the Dark Lord of The Sith after murdering his Sith Master Darth Plagueis. Sidious was the Dark Lord of The Sith during the last years of the Republic and the rise of the Galactic Empire.[5] At the time of the Clone Wars, Sidious' former apprentice Darth Maul sought to reclaim his status as a Sith Lord while training his brother, Savage Opress. Having replaced Maul with Darth Tyranus, Sidious confronted the Zabrak Sith claimants on Mandalore. There, he killed Opress and subdued Maul. The Dark Lord castigated Maul, informing the Dathomirian that he had been replaced in an Order that permitted only two Sith Lords. However, Sidious informed Maul that he still had uses for his former apprentice,[6] using him to draw out Mother Talzin.[7]

Darth Vader was the last Dark Lord of the Sith until Darth Sidious was resurrected.

Sidious would later betray Tyranus and have him killed by Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, as he desired to make Anakin his apprentice. Not too long after killing Tyranus, Skywalker fell to the dark side and became Darth Vader, Sidious's third apprentice. Sidious proclaimed himself Galactic Emperor after destroying the Jedi Order.[5] The Dark Lords ruled the galaxy for a generation[8] until the Battle of Endor[9] in 4 ABY,[10] when Sidious betrayed Vader and tried to make Luke Skywalker his new apprentice.[9] Previously, Vader had tried to do the same, but he gave up on his quest to make his son his apprentice after the mission to Exegol.[11]

During the Battle of Endor, Luke refused to kill his father, however, declaring his allegiance to the Jedi.[9] Enraged by Luke's refusal to turn to the dark side, Sidious tortured the Jedi Knight with Force lightning. Luke begged Vader to save him; unwilling to see his son die, Vader sacrificed his life[8] by destroying the Emperor.[12]

The deaths of Sidious and Vader marked the end of the lineage of Dark Lords going back to Darth Bane,[13] and the beginning of the New Republic Era.[8] Vader died as Anakin Skywalker[14] having returned to the light side[15] through an act of selflessness and sacrifice,[14] which allowed Yoda to preserve Anakin's identity when he became one with the Force. As a result, Anakin joined Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi in death as a Force spirit. With his death, Anakin brought balance to the Force[16] and his destiny as the Chosen One was fulfilled.[17]

Through the dark side of the Force, Darth Sidious transferred his consciousness to the body of his clone.

Unbeknownst to the galaxy at large, Sidious was revived when he used the dark side to move his spirit to a cloned body.[12] Aided by his followers on Exegol, the Sith Eternal cult, the fallen Emperor engineered the strandcast Snoke[18] to groom Vader's grandson, Kylo Ren, into an heir that was worthy of inheriting the Sith legacy.[19] Ren, who coveted the power of his Sith grandfather,[20] sought to rule all the galaxy as the new Emperor[21] and Dark Lord of the Sith.[22]

Sidious' plan to restore his Order through the creation of a new Sith Empire[19] ended at the Battle of Exegol. Kylo Ren had returned to the light side of the Force, renouncing the dark side and his claim to the Sith mantle, while Sidious' granddaughter, the Jedi apprentice Rey rejected the Emperor's entreaty to succeed him. Ultimately, Rey used the power from all the past deceased Jedi to destroy Sidious and Sith for good.[21]

List of Dark Lords of the Sith[]

Pre-Rule of Two[]

Period Dark Lord
c. 4000 BBY[23] Sith canon.svg
Exar Kun[24]

Rule of Two[]

Period Sith Master Sith apprentice
After 1032 BBY[25] DarthBaneHS-CM.png
Darth Bane[26]
Sith canon.svg
Darth Zannah[26]
Prior to 32 BBY Sith canon.svg
Darth Tenebrous[27]
SecretsoftheSith-Darth-Plagueis.png
Darth Plagueis[27]
Prior to 32 BBY[28] SecretsoftheSith-Darth-Plagueis.png
Darth Plagueis[18]
DarthSidiousEpI SWCT.png
Darth Sidious[18]
–32 BBY[10] DarthSidiousEpI SWCT.png
Darth Sidious[29]
Darth Maul profile.png
Darth Maul[29]
c. 32 BBY[30]19 BBY[10] DarthSidiousEpI SWCT.png
Darth Sidious[31]
DookuHS-SWILotS.png
Darth Tyranus[31]
20 BBY–19 BBY[10] SASWS Slashfilm Maul HS.png
Darth Maul (claimant)[32]
Savage Opress missing horn.png
Savage Opress (claimant)[32]
19 BBY–4 ABY[1] Emperor Sidious.png
Darth Sidious[5]
Vader Rogue One Ending.png
Darth Vader[5]
After 4 ABY–35 ABY[1] Palpatine-TROS-infobox.jpg
Darth Sidious[21]

Appearances[]

Non-canon appearances[]

Sources[]

Notes and references[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi to 4 ABY and Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens to 34 ABY. Because Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary places Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker one year later, it must take place in 35 ABY.
  2. Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope
  3. 3.0 3.1 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
  4. Star Wars: Jedi vs. Sith
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  6. TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lawless"
  7. Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 1
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 StarWars-DatabankII.png Sith in the Databank (backup link)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Star Wars: Galactic Atlas
  11. Darth Vader (2020) 11
  12. 12.0 12.1 The Star Wars Book
  13. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The Visual Dictionary
  14. 14.0 14.1 StarWars-DatabankII.png Anakin Skywalker in the Databank (backup link)
  15. StarWars-DatabankII.png Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Databank (backup link)
  16. StarWars-DatabankII.png Yoda in the Databank (backup link)
  17. Return of the Jedi: Beware the Power of the Dark Side!
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
  19. 19.0 19.1 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
  20. Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
  22. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: A Junior Novel
  23. Nexus of Power
  24. AltayaCite.svg "Lightsabers and Jedi Equipment" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
  25. The Star Wars Book places the supposed destruction of the Sith—which occurred at the end of the Jedi-Sith War according to Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy— to 1,032 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Star Wars: Galactic Atlas states that A New Hope begins in 0 BBY, meaning the Sith's defeat must have occurred in 1032 BBY. As the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Sacrifice" establishes that Bane created the Rule of Two after the Jedi-Sith War, it must have been created after 1032 BBY.
  26. 26.0 26.1 Helmet Collection logo small.png Star Wars Helmet Collection 2 (Databank A-Z: Ambria)
  27. 27.0 27.1 Build the Millennium Falcon.png Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 44 (Starship Fact File: Sith Infiltrator: Scimitar)
  28. In Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, Jedi Master Yoda states that there could only be two Sith Lords at a time; a Rule of Two was in place of Sith succession, as explained in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars episode "Sacrifice." Since Darth Sidious and Darth Maul were the two Dark Lords during The Phantom Menace, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 32 BBY, and that Darth Plagueis was Sidious' Sith Master according to StarWars.com's Databank, Plagueis had to have been the Sith alongside his apprentice before the title of Darth, and hence the mantle of succeeding the remaining place of the Rule of Two, was conferred to Maul, which had been so by the events of The Phantom Menace, in 32 BBY.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  30. Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
  31. 31.0 31.1 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  32. 32.0 32.1 TCW mini logo.jpg Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Eminence"
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