- "Once more the Sith will rule the galaxy, and we shall have peace."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader
The Sith Empire was the name shared by a series of empires ruled by the Sith that existed long before the Galactic Empire. The Sith Empires at various moments once controlled most of the galaxy, and often fought against the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order in a series of wars and battles, including the Great Hyperspace War, the Sith Wars, the Great Scourge of Malachor, the crusade of Krath, and other conflicts, until the last Sith Empire collapsed.
Great Hyperspace War
Various Sith-led governments that shared the name the Sith Empire existed long before the Galactic Civil War. At one point according to the Qel-Droma Epics following its inception, a Sith Empire invaded the Deep Core planet of Empress Teta, with Sith forces being led by the Sith Lord Naga Sadow. The invasion led to Empress Teta to ally herself with the Jedi Order, which were mortal enemies of the Sith. The conflict resulted in the Great Hyperspace War, and the Jedi and Empress Teta supposedly managed to drive back Sadow's forces, resulting in their defeat and forcing the Sith to scatter throughout the galaxy. In another moment according to the Qel-Droma Epics, Naga Sadow decimated the Jedi world of Ossus when he triggered the stars in the Cron Cluster, resulting in the Cron Supernova which left Ossus scarred and barren.
Great Scourge of Malachor
In another instance, a Sith Empire maintained a presence on the Sith world of Malachor. A Sith Temple was situated on the surface, which contained a superweapon that was created by Darth Tanis. Eventually the Jedi Order invaded the planet in what became known as the Great Scourge of Malachor, as during the battle between the Jedi and the Sith Empire's thousands of Sith led by a Sith witch, the superweapon activated and petrified the surface, killing all of the combatants.
Galactic dominance and wars
At another point, the Sith eventually controlled the majority of the galaxy, and as such, gemstones were freely traded, although this caused a flooding of the market and the value of gemstones dropped until bans and limits were put in place. Additionally, many incarnations of the Sith Empire were built by slave labor. Serenno was a particular planet under the rule of a Sith Empire according to legend, until it was overthrown by a victorious charge led by a member of House Serenno. Also at another time, a Sith Empire participated in the Sith Wars against the Galactic Republic and the Chiss Ascendancy. Thousands of years before the Galactic Civil War that took place from 4 BBY to 5 ABY, various Sith Empires controlled the planet Auratera following an initial invasion, and the world shifted allegiance between the Republic and the Sith throughout millennia, according to whoever controlled the nearby regions.
Exar Kun's Sith Empire
Additionally, according to the Qel-Droma Epics, a millennium following the Great Hyperspace War, corrupt descendants from Empress Teta's nobility created the Krath, a dark side cult, after being empowered by Sith artifacts. The Jedi Knight Ulic Qel-Droma infiltrated the group after they launched a bloody crusade against the Jedi Order, but was corrupted by the dark side of the Force and alongside the fallen Jedi Exar Kun, led the Krath. Together, the two turned Empress Teta into a stronghold for a resurgent Sith Empire.
Brotherhood of Darkness
The Brotherhood of Darkness, was an army of Sith and eventually a Sith Empire that participated in the Jedi-Sith War. The Sith Brotherhood was active on Auratera until it collapsed, becoming the last Sith Empire. The inhabitants who lived there coordinated with the Jedi to secretly alter official Republic records to misclassify the system as uninhabitable. As such, the inhabitants and the planet became nearly closed off to the rest of the galaxy, and eventually cut ties with the few remaining trading partners that they had when the Brotherhood fell. At the end of the war around 1032 BBY, the Sith Brotherhood was defeated by the Republic and the Jedi, and all the Sith were thought destroyed when they all turned on each other. Darth Bane was the sole survivor, and established the Rule of Two, which served as a doctrine for the surviving Sith for the next thousand years.
Fall of the Republic
- "The history of the Ascendancy is in these rooms, some of the pieces dating back to Chiss participation in the wars between the Galactic Republic and the Sith Empire."
- ―Mitth'raw'nuru, to Irizi'ar'alani
Long after the fall of the ancient Sith, Darth Maul was taken to Malachor by his Sith Master, the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Using the history of conflict between the Sith and Jedi Order to instill a sense of hatred for the Jedi in his Sith apprentice, the Dark Lord compelled Maul to inhale the ashes of the fallen Sith, causing the Dathomirian Zabrak to experience the Great Scourge of Malachor through a Force vision.
During the Republic Era, the Chiss Ascendancy maintained historical pieces in several rooms, with some dating back to the Sith Wars. Chiss officer Mitth'raw'nuru demonstrated the pieces to fellow officer Irizi'ar'alani.
Revenge of the Sith
- "The oppression of the Sith will never return!"
- ―Mace Windu, to Darth Sidious
Ultimately, the Sith obtained galactic dominance once again by the end of the Clone Wars after Darth Sidious, who had manipulated the war and kept his Sith identity hidden through his public persona as Supreme Chancellor Sheev Palpatine, reorganized the Republic into the Galactic Empire and proclaimed himself the Galactic Emperor with the approval of the Galactic Senate.
In 4 ABY, Darth Vader turned on his Sith Master, the Emperor, and killed him at the Battle of Endor in an effort to save his Jedi son, Luke Skywalker. Vader died from wounds inflicted upon him by the Emperor shortly thereafter, which rendered the Sith extinct and resulted in the fragmenting of the Galactic Empire.
Attempted revival and destruction
- "At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The day of revenge. The day of the Sith."
- ―Darth Sidious's broadcast, to the galaxy
In the three decades following Endor, the Sith loyalists toiled to keep their Sith Lord alive and developed the Final Order (also known as the Sith Empire), a massive fleet comprised of thousands of Xyston-class Star Destroyers, each armed with a miniaturized superlaser capable of destroying planets by themselves, while Sidious manipulated the New Republic and forged the remnants of the Galactic Empire into the First Order from afar. The Sith Eternal groomed Ben Solo from afar for his role as heir to the new Sith Empire through Snoke, a creature Sidious created. When Solo renounced the dark side, however, Sidious sought to initiate a Sith ritual that would transfer his spirit from his decaying clone body into a younger and healthier vessel: his granddaughter, Rey, a Jedi Padawan trained by Luke Skywalker and Leia Skywalker Organa Solo. When both she and Solo refused him, Sidious took the reins of Sith Emperor after draining the life force of their Force dyad when he discovered its existence, but he was ultimately destroyed while battling Rey as she was aided by the spirits of the Jedi past. The destruction of his body caused a massive burst of energy to release that crumbled the Sith Citadel, its debris crushing the Sith loyalists, and killed Rey, but she was resurrected by Solo, who gave his life for hers. Meanwhile, the Sith armada was destroyed by the Resistance and a Citizens' Fleet above Exegol during the Battle of Exegol, resulting in the ultimate collapse of the Sith Empire and sparking uprisings against the First Order across the galaxy.
- "Long have Sith empires been built upon the backs of slaves."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Darth Tyranus
When a Sith Empire dominated the galaxy, gemstones were freely traded, although this caused a flooding of the market and the value of gemstones dropped until bans and limits were put in place. Additionally, trade occurred on at least one planet a Sith Empire controlled, Auratera. Sith Empires traditionally used slave labor to build themselves.
Society and culture
Being of the Sith, the Sith Empires used the dark side of the Force. These governments were built up through the use of slave labor, a practice that the Galactic Republic outlawed during its stewardship of the galaxy. The idea of an enormous, spacefaring, planet-destroying superweapon had dated back a millennium prior to the rise of the Galactic Empire; in the days of the Sith Empire, tyrants were playing with the idea of a weapon so powerful that it could destroy entire worlds. Although only a few superweapons were produced by the Sith Empire, it wasn't until the successes of Darth Sidious and Darth Tyranus with the outbreak of the Clone Wars that the idea came to fruition in the form of the Death Star battle station.
Empress Teta in the Deep Core was once invaded by a Sith Empire, and a millennium later became the stronghold of another Sith Empire when the Krath launched bloody crusades against the Jedi Order. Additionally, a Sith Empire maintained a presence on the Sith world of Malachor that was located in the Outer Rim Territories. Additionally, Serenno, also located in the Outer Rim, was a world under the control of a Sith Empire. At one point prior to its collapse, the Sith controlled most of the galaxy.
Behind the scenes
The Sith Empire was first identified in Star Wars canon in the 2017 novel Aftermath: Empire's End by Chuck Wendig. The Sith Empire originated in the Star Wars Legends comic Tales of the Jedi – The Golden Age of the Sith 0 on July 1, 1996.
- The High Republic: Into the Dark (Mentioned only)
- The High Republic: Into the Dark audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Dooku: Jedi Lost (Mentioned only) (In flashback(s))
- Dooku: Jedi Lost script (Mentioned only) (In flashback(s))
- Master & Apprentice (Indirect mention only)
- Master & Apprentice audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Darth Maul (2017) 2 (First appearance) (Vision to Darth Maul) (In flashback(s))
- Darth Maul (2017) 4 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Escape from Kadavo" (Indirect mention only)
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising (Mentioned only) (In flashback(s))
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising audiobook (Mentioned only) (In flashback(s))
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (First mentioned) (Indirect mention only)
- Revenge of the Sith Read-Along Storybook and CD (Indirect mention only)
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good (Indirect mention only)
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Greater Good audiobook (Indirect mention only)
- Darth Vader (2017) 24 (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars Rebels – "Twilight of the Apprentice" (Indirect mention only)
- "The Kindling"—Life Day Treasury (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Squadrons (Mentioned only) (DLC)
- Aftermath: Empire's End (Mentioned only) (First identified as Sith Empire, simultaneous with Aftermath: Empire's End audiobook)
- Aftermath: Empire's End audiobook (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: Build the Millennium Falcon 47 (Secrets of Spaceflight: Hyperspace)
- Nexus of Power
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Star Wars: The Complete Visual Dictionary, New Edition
- The Star Wars Book
Notes and references
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Escape from Kadavo"
- "Coruscant" – Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Nexus of Power
- Darth Maul (2017) 2
- Star Wars (2015) 9
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Aftermath: Empire's End
- Star Wars Rebels – "Twilight of the Apprentice"
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary
- Dawn of Rebellion
- Master & Apprentice
- Dooku: Jedi Lost
- Thrawn Ascendancy: Chaos Rising
- The action at Mustafar, which Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates to 4 BBY, was one of the earliest rebel victories in the Galactic Civil War. Therefore, the Galactic Civil War must have begun by 4 BBY. Additionally, Galactic Atlas establishes that the war ended in 5 ABY. states that the
- Endless Vigil
- Star Wars: The Dark Side
- The Star Wars Book
- Star Wars Propaganda: A History of Persuasive Art in the Galaxy
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition
- Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker
- Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace