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This article is about the Force-sensitive Order. You may be looking for the species, or the language.

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"Treachery is the way of the Sith."
Darth Tyranus[src]

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 Customs

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"The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power. The only difference between the two is that the Sith are not afraid of the dark side of the Force. That is why they are more powerful."
"The Sith rely on their passion for their strength. They think inwards only about themselves."
"And the Jedi don't?
Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker[src]

Forged by fire

"Without strife, your victory has no meaning. Without strife, you do not advance. Without strife, there is only stagnation."
Yuthura Ban[src]
"It is natural for him to want to destroy me. It is not crude mundane ambition, as it would be in an ordinary man; it is part of his growth. And of course it does not offend me—it is why I chose him. But he needs to grow still further."
Emperor Palpatine, on his apprentice, Darth Vader[src]

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. Likewise, morality was treated as an obstacle to be overcome as it got in the way of a Sith's ability to recognize and seize opportunities for advancement and self-empowerment.

Empowered by passion

"What fuels your power with the Force but your passion? The stronger, darker emotions. Anger, hatred, fear… these passions empower us."
Yuthura Ban[src]

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.
―The Code of the Sith[src]
"May the Force serve you well."
―Sith Phrase

Sith tattoos

Many Sith Lords adorn themselves with unique tattoos, as a symbol of their devotion to the order. The tattoos often have an alternating pattern of red and black based mostly off of Ancient Sith Holocrons. Sith tattoos are incredibly painful to have applied, as they often cover the entire body. Examples of tattooed Sith Lords include the infamous Darth Maul, as well as Darth Talon, Darth Wyyrlok, Darth Ruyn, and many other members of Darth Krayt's new Sith Order.


"The Sith grew past the use of lightsabers, but we continue to use them, if only to humiliate the Jedi."
Darth Sidious to Darth Vader[src]

Many Sith and Dark Jedi used synthetic, reengineered lightsaber crystals, also known as synth crystals, to focus the blades of their lightsabers. These crystals were red, giving the blade a red hue. Synth crystals were more powerful but were unstable, causing lightsabers to short out or die after a much shorter time than normal lightsaber crystals.


"But in their hearts they never forgot the Jedi. The hatred for the Jedi Order burns in their veins like fire, and it echoes in their teachings."
Darth Traya[src]

Timeline of major events in Sith history


Naga Sadow (Left), Darth Sidious (Center), and Darth Bane (Right), three of the most important figures in Sith and galactic history




Many of the incarnations of the Sith order began with a Sith holocron and an overly curious Jedi.

"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."

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.

Sith (species)

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.

True Sith

The "True Sith" was an obscure and largely unknown order of adherents to the dark side of the Force. Darth Traya told the Jedi Exile that the order had been in existence for tens of thousands of years and were silently waiting in the Unknown Regions during the time of the Jedi Civil War.

According to Darth Traya, the "True Sith" had existed for millennia prior to the rise of the ancient Sith Empire. She and Revan believed that it was they who had goaded the Mandalorians into attacking the Galactic Republic, starting the Mandalorian Wars. Kreia stated that both Malachor V and the graveyard planet, Korriban, had once been planets at the edges of that mysterious Empire, and that while these "True Sith" had forgotten those ancient worlds of the dark side, they would remember.


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.

Sith Empire


Naga Sadow's invasion fleet.

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.

Brotherhood of the Sith

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.

Revan's Sith Empire

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.

Sith Triumvirate


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. The Sith Triumvirate was a loose alliance of what remained of Darth Revan's Sith Empire. It was solidified sometime after the Battle of Rakata Prime. This organization comprised several, if not hundreds of Sith apprentices, Sith Masters and most importantly, Sith Assassins. The members were eventually defeated by the Jedi Exile.

New Sith Empire

The New Sith Empire was founded by Darth Ruin, and was the vast area of galactic territory formed out of the Fourth Great Schism, which the Sith ruled over with an iron fist. Its capital was the planet Roon. At its height during the New Sith Wars, it was almost as good as the old Sith Empires of Naga Sadow and Darth Revan; following the Battle of Mizra and during the Republic Dark Age, it encompassed a great percentage of the known Galaxy.

Sometime between 1,010 and 1,006 BBY the New Sith Empire collapsed in a civil war. From the ashes, Kaan established the Brotherhood of Darkness.

Brotherhood of Darkness

Founded by Lord Kaan, the Brotherhood of Darkness (sometimes referred to as the Dark Army) was the last mass gathering of the Sith for nearly 1200 years. An army of over twenty thousand Sith Lords and their followers, its destruction on Ruusan heralded the beginning of a new order.

Order of the Sith Lords

Under the last surviving Sith Lord of that army, Darth Bane, a new Sith Order was created as a result of the devastating Seventh Battle of Ruusan, which saw the annihilation of the previous Sith Order. Bane's Sith Order, known formally as the Order of the Sith Lords, was founded upon the principles of Darth Revan's Holocron, where from he formed the Rule of Two, utilizing stealth tactics and treachery to achieve their means. The Rule of Two would allow his eventual successor, Darth Sidious, to finally triumph over the Jedi and the Galactic Republic nearly 1,000 years later.

Disciples of Ragnos

The Disciples of Ragnos was a Sith Cult under the leadership of Tavion Axmis, who sought to resurrect the spirit of Marka Ragnos through ancient Sith sorcery and take control of the galaxy. The cult was closely related to the Empire Reborn movement of which Tavion had herself been part with the Dark Jedi Desann. The cult was ultimately defeated by Jaden Korr and the New Jedi Order.

Lumiya's Sith

Lumiya's Sith were a loosely collected group of individuals associated with Lumiya, self-proclaimed Dark Lady of the Sith after the final death of Darth Sidious. Even with Palpatine's final death, the Sith continued to survive. Their next Sith Lord was an Emperor's Hand named Lumiya. Darth Vader had passed on to Lumiya some Sith teaching secretly from his master, and the woman adopted the title "Dark Lady of the Sith" upon her masters' death at Endor. She trained two apprentices: Flint, who was redeemed by Vader's son Luke Skywalker, and Carnor Jax, who was killed by Palpatine loyalist Kir Kanos.

Soon afterwards she succeeded in convincing Vader's grandson Jacen Solo to join the ranks of the Sith, thus calling himself Darth Caedus. Darth Caedus later corrupted the Jedi Tahiri Veila and took her as his apprentice. However, following the death of Caedus and the redemption of his apprentice, the war Lumiya had started was over; and Lumiya's Sith had perished.

New Sith Order

By the year 130 ABY, a new Sith Order had risen to take the place of Darth Bane's order. It is known that a Sith known as Darth Krayt began the order on Korriban, the ancient Sith burial world, around 30 ABY. In this new Sith cult, many of the followers sported a red-and-black tattooed appearance and used lightsabers with an yorik coral-styled hilt design. This Sith Order was considered heretical by the Sith of the past. Krayt spent over a century growing and strengthening the new order, planning to unify the galaxy once more under Sith rule. He and his new order made their presence known around 127-130 ABY by initiating the Sith-Imperial War, and then launching an attack on the Jedi on Ossus.


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."

Sith Empire

These were the ranks of the Sith Order before Darth Bane instituted the Rule of Two.

Dark Lord of the Sith

Darth Sidious NEGTC2

Darth Sidious, a Dark Lord of the Sith.

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 Lord

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 Marauder

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 Warrior

Sith Warrior was a rank of the Sith order before Darth Bane's reform of the Sith Order. They 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

Sith Acolyte were Force-sensitive apprentices who had only just started down the dark path under the tutelage of a more experienced Sith.

Sith adept

Sith Adept was a Sith rank during the New Sith Wars, similar to Sith acolyte. The Brotherhood of Darkness trained them in the Dathomir Academy and Iridonia Academy.

Sith Assassin

Sith ass

A Sith Assassin.

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 Minion

Sith Minions were the lowliest members of the Sith. Some were not even Force-sensitive, and often worshiped 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[src]

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.

Sith Master

Sith Masters were Sith Lords that had an apprentice serving beneath them. Notable Sith Masters include Darth Sidious, Darth Plagueis and Darth Bane.

Sith apprentice

Sith apprentices were Sith neophytes that were studying under the tutelage of a Sith Master. Notable Sith apprentices include Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus and Darth Vader.

Dark Side Adepts

Dark Side Adepts were not technically Sith. These Force-sensitives were chosen and honed by the Sith apprentice. Essentially, adepts were candidates to replace the Apprentice when he or she was killed or ascended to mastery.

Palpatine Era

"Once more, the Sith will rule the galaxy…and we shall have peace."
Darth Sidious to Darth Vader[src]

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, six years after his death.


The Inquisitorius was a secret division of Imperial Intelligence consisting of dark side Force-sensitive agents known as Inquisitors (sometimes also as Inquisitioners), or "truth officers".

Under the control of Darth Vader, these Inquisitors were considered the highest ranking of the Dark Side Adepts, outranking the Emperor's Hands, Prophets of the Dark Side, and lesser Dark Jedi. They reported directly to Emperor Palpatine.

Prophets of the Dark Side


Darth Vader in his armor.

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

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.

Imperial Royal Guard

These were hand-picked elite stormtroopers assigned to protect and serve the Emperor directly. Force sensitivity was by no means a requirement. Those with advanced talents, however, were assigned as Sovereign Protectors, and those with even more advanced talents underwent Force training under Dark Jedi tutors.

Dark Jedi

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 (e.g. Kam Solusar). Other notable Dark Jedi included Sora Bulq, Joruus C'baoth, Jerec, and the particularly infamous Asajj Ventress.

Legacy Era

Sith Legacy

Some of the most prominent Legacy era Sith with their leader, Darth Krayt (left).

By the year 130 ABY a new Sith Order had risen to take the place of that of Darth Bane's order. Krayt abolished Darth Bane's Rule of Two. Instead, there would be the Rule of One—that One being the Sith Order itself, under which there would be many Sith Minions.

Ruled by Krayt, the new Sith Order flourished and a chance for Galactic domination presented itself. The reverse Vong-forming of worlds was sabotaged and when the galaxy at large blamed and persecuted the Yuuzhan Vong, the GA and Jedi Order were split down the middle. In the midst of the New Galactic Civil War the Imperial Remnant joined forces with the Legacy Sith and brought the galaxy to its knees. The new Sith, however, betrayed the Empire and deposed the Emperor. Darth Krayt assumed the throne of the Empire. But the deposed Emperor, Roan Fel, set up a rival faction of the Empire that remained loyal to him. Each side tried to dominate the Galaxy in the years to come.

It is known that a Sith known as Darth Krayt began the order on Korriban, the ancient Sith burial world, around 30 ABY. In this new Sith cult, many of the followers sported a red and black tattooed appearance.


The Fist was a Sith Lord who served as the supreme military commander for the new Sith Order. The Fist was appointed to the position by Darth Krayt. As of 137 ABY Darth Stryfe served as Krayt's Fist. At the Massacre of Ossus, Darth Nihl was the Fist, but was made a Hand when his predecessor was killed during the battle.


The Hands were Darth Krayt's most able servants, trained and existing to carry out his will. They took only his orders, and reported only to him.

By 137 ABY, Krayt's only Hand was Darth Nihl, having been given the post when his predecessor died unexpectedly. That year, he made Darth Talon into his second Hand, a fact that displeased Nihl.

Sith Intelligence and Assassination

Sith Intelligence and Assassination was an agency of the new Sith Order of Darth Krayt. It was in charge of spying, political murder, and torture. Around 130 ABY, it was headed by Darth Maladi. Jor Torlin was one of its ranking agents.

Darth Maladi's laboratory, in the Temple of the Sith, was a location of Sith Intelligence and Assassination.

Behind the scenes

  • "Sith" was the name of a type of giant poisonous insect in Edgar Rice Burroughs's Barsoom novels.
  • An issue of Star-Lord, published by Marvel Comics in 1973, featured a villain, Rruothk'ar, who was described as a "Sith-Lord". [1]



Non-canon appearances


See also

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