- "We rule the Sith. Here we will build a sovereignty of the dark side to overcome millennia of injustice. But I am the rightful ruler, for I alone possess the curiosity to translate their secrets and apply them to larger patterns of conquest. I foresee what will become a magnificent Sith Empire."
- ―Sorzus Syn, Dark Lord of the Sith
The Sith Empire, later known as the Old Sith Empire or Original Sith Empire, was a rich and powerful empire in the Outer Rim established by Dark Jedi who were banished from the Galactic Republic after their defeat at the Battle of Corbos during the Hundred-Year Darkness.
The Jedi exiles fled to the remote world of Korriban, where, after conquering it, they interbred with the native Sith species through the art of Sith alchemy, beginning a long period of building and expansion. The Sith Empire developed in complete isolation within the Stygian Caldera for two thousand years before it eventually rediscovered the Republic.
Under the leadership of the Dark Lord Naga Sadow, the Empire invaded Republic space during the Great Hyperspace War, but it was defeated. The Sith Empire was believed to have been destroyed by Republic forces during the second battle of Korriban.
However, the Sith Lord Vitiate survived the destruction and led many of the remaining Sith in rebuilding the Empire in the Unknown Regions. Though the Sith Empire was defeated, it served as an example to be followed by numerous Empires of later eras, with a legacy that extended across millennia.
- 1 History
- 2 Legacy
- 3 Government and politics
- 4 Society and culture
- 5 Military
- 6 Astrography
- 7 Symbols
- 8 Behind the scenes
- 9 Appearances
- 10 Sources
- 11 Notes and references
- "Once we were mighty Jedi of the Republic, brothers in the Force. But the Great Schism between the Dark side and the Light turned Jedi against Jedi. Our ancestors were defeated, driven off, cast out! But we turned our exile into victory, here on the far side of the galaxy. In these unblemished worlds we found the Sith people treated us as Gods! After many centuries some of us have interbred with the Sith while others still bear true Jedi blood. Our Sith Empire is great, rich, and powerful. This is our Golden Age."
- ―Marka Ragnos, Dark Lord of the Sith
The Sith civilization began around the year 100,000 BBY, by which time a species of red skinned humanoids had evolved on the planet Korriban. They lived a barbaric, yet strangely harmonious, existence filled with constant warring between the various divided nations on their world. During their pre-industrial age, by 30,000 BBY, the inhabitants of Korriban fought off an incursion from the Killiks. It was under the iron rule of King Adas that the Sith first became unified. He was declared the Sith'ari: the ultimate being. It was he who first formed a Sith Empire around the year 28,000 BBY, and his reign lasted for three centuries.
The relative stability of this empire was first challenged in 27,700 BBY when the Sith were visited by the Rakata. These aliens from the distant Infinite Empire attempted to lull the ancient Sith King into their confidence by providing him with the knowledge to create Holocrons. However, their true motivation of conquest quickly became apparent. This led to King Adas bringing the full might of the Sith Empire to bear on the Rakata, and he succeeded in driving them away from Korriban at the cost of his life.
Using the remains of the enemy craft, the once primitive Sith were propelled into a space age and were armed with the power of the dark side of the Force. Using these newly acquired tools from the Infinite Empire, the Sith Empire conquered other nearby worlds which became part of Sith Space and relocated their capital from ancient Korriban to the neighboring world of Ziost. A number of pure-blooded Sith also established a library-temple on the world of Krayiss Two around 14,000 BBY where they slumbered and their spirits continued to haunt the temple for the next 10,000 years. The reign of this empire was short lived, however, as it dissolved into civil war after the death of King Adas, leaving his people to regress into a more primitive state.
Around the year 7000 BBY, a civil war was initiated by Dathka Graush, which left most of the cities of Korriban in ruin. A group of Sith priests of the Kissai caste interpreted the death of Adas as a sign to reject the dark side dominated beliefs of their people. Labeled as heretics for their actions, these Sith were banished and settled the planet Tund, where they became the Sorcerers of Tund. The planet Arkania also fell under the dominion of the Sith, and by 7000 BBY, they had established a library known as Veeshas Tuwan on it.
Around the year 6900 BBY, exiled fallen Jedi fleeing from the Battle of Corbos, which concluded the Hundred-Year Darkness, landed on Korriban, a desolate world inhabited by the relatively primitive but unusually Force-sensitive Sith people. Upon arriving, the Dark Jedi attempted to subjugate the Sith and take whatever knowledge they possessed. The Sith attempted to protect their secrets, but they fell to the superior training and technology of the invaders. Using their training in the Force, the fallen Jedi amazed the Sith, and elevated themselves to god-like status on Korriban, becoming the rulers of the Sith people. Over the next two thousand years, interbreeding occurred between the fallen Jedi and the Sith by means of Sith alchemy, which led to the term "Sith" being used to identify not only the original inhabitants of Korriban, but also their fallen Jedi masters. This intermingling between the two species continued across hundreds of generations, and the hybridized offspring of this union became the new ruling class of the Sith. Thus was the Sith Empire born, with Ziost becoming the capital, while Korriban became a sacred mausoleum-world. One of the first Sith Lords of this new empire was Ajunta Pall, whom the native Sith viewed as an incarnation of their primary god, Typhojem.
Once the Exiles became Sith Lords, an overly ambitious group of their number, led by Baron Remulus Dreypa, decided to retrace their steps back to the Republic using a navicomputer from one of the ships that brought them to Sith Space. Despite the objections of Ajunta Pall, these Sith decided to embark on their quest back to the Republic and wage war against the Jedi. While the greater Sith were unaware of their fate, this expedition did succeed in their goal and fought against the Jedi Order. However, they were defeated and alerted the Jedi that the Exiles had claimed a world of their own. Despite this discovery, the Jedi were unable to determine where Sith Space was and could not locate the growing Sith Empire.
The Golden Age of the Sith
In time, the Sith formed an immensely rich and powerful empire, built upon the use of sorcery and the dark side which fueled their technology, adapted from relics of the Infinite Empire. At its height, the Sith Empire ruled over at least 120 worlds. Long before the race reached their Golden Age, the Sith Empire fought in the Battle of Kalsunor, where Silooths were first used in order to subjugate the planet Kalsunor, which had long resisted conquest. After the world was defeated, the army of Silooths were left behind on that world, where they remained for years.
Over the centuries that followed, the Dark Jedi Exiles were forgotten by the Galactic Republic even as all records of the Republic were lost to the Sith. The two civilizations thrived in isolation, ignorant of one another's existence. To the galaxy outside their space, the Sith Empire was considered nothing more than a fable.
Though the Stygian Caldera that surrounded their territory confined them to Sith Space, it also meant that few travelers stumbled on their empire. However, on occasion, ships that braved the Caldera were captured by the Sith, becoming slaves to ranking nobles in the empire. After generations, these slaves slowly forgot their origins and largely identified themselves as being Sith. It was through the entry of inhabitants from the Tapani sector that led to the influx of highly technical slaves that developed the Sith Empire's technological as well as medical base; millennia later, these Tapani humans formed the backbone of the Lost Tribe of the Sith. Also during this age, Sith Holocrons spoke of the legendary Muur Talisman which many desired to find and possess. While the Sith Empire had grown into a powerful force, they now faced potential self-annihilation. Having starved for centuries, the Sith sought to expand and conquer new worlds and enemies to subjugate.
At some point during the Golden Age, the Sith Lord Ieldis created a slaver organization known as the Crucible which was tasked with capturing refugees displaced from war in order for them to be used as a slave army that would fight for the Sith Empire. The Crucible long outlived the empire it served.
The late Golden Age saw relative stability. At the time, the Dark Lord of the Sith was a particularly powerful and long-lived individual named Marka Ragnos. Through his mastery of the dark side and his fierce intelligence, he had risen through the ranks in order to attain the position of Dark Lord. Ragnos would prove to be one of the last rulers of the original Sith Empire.
Ragnos often placed his rivals against one another, manipulated them into challenging him openly, or simply had them assassinated. While many factions sought to expand beyond the confines of Sith Space, Ragnos forbid it, as he well remembered how his ancestors were defeated by the Jedi Order. He knew how powerful the Jedi were and he was not confident that the Sith Empire was strong enough to challenge them. After ruling for a century, his death caused a power vacuum within the leadership of the Empire which saw the isolationist Ludo Kressh and the expansionist Naga Sadow amass power in order to propel themselves onto the Sith throne.
Great Hyperspace War
- "Across the reaches of the galaxy, through seas of dark stars, rivers of whispering black shadow from the Republic's ancient past. Evil history we had thought forgotten."
- ―Jedi Master Ooroo
In circa 5000 BBY, the isolation of the Sith was broken when two young hyperspace explorers called Gav and Jori Daragon stumbled upon Korriban by accident while they attempted to establish a hyperlane in an effort to expand their trade options. However, the feuding Sith had little interest in peaceful trade with the Republic and instead the pair were captured as spies whereupon they were imprisoned on Ziost whilst they awaited interrogation. By this point in their history, the Sith held little memory of the Republic who lived in distant regions of space compared to them. This saw Ludo Kressh and his conservative allies claim that the two travelers were the precursors of an invasion of their territory whilst his rival Naga Sadow held the view that the Republic offered new lands to conquer. In secret, Sadow also believed that focusing on conquest of the Republic would unite the strained factions of the Empire and distract the populace of the political problems they faced in their native territory. A tribunal of Sith rulers later sentenced the Daragon's to death but Sadow secretly had them rescued and sheltered at his own isolated fortress. However, he left behind evidence to suggest that the rescue attempt was done so by Republic agents and used this to galvanize the Sith Council by exploiting on their fears as well as their doubts. The Daragons proved to be the perfect scapegoats for Sadow who convinced comrades that an invasion was imminent and that they needed to conduct a pre-emptive attack against their enemy.
Whilst the Daragons were kept at his fortress world, Ludo Kressh began to uncover signs that Sadow was responsible for freeing the two alien intruders. Thus, he gathered forces loyal to him in order to assault Naga Sadow's domain in order to expose him as a traitor and schemer. This was partly also an attempt by Kressh to take the mantle of leadership of the Sith Empire. However, this all fell into Sadow's plan as he was well prepared for his rivals "surprise attack" and in the resultant chaos; he convinced Jori Daragon to abandon her brother in order to escape into Republic space. Intending to warn the Galactic Republic of the dangerous Sith Empire; she fled in Starbreaker 12 at which point Sadow unleashed his own hidden forces that annihilated Kressh's with Ludo's own flagship being destroyed thus seemingly killing him. In the aftermath, Naga Sadow declared himself as the new Dark Lord of the Sith and revealed that he had secretly placed a transmitter on Jori Daragon's vessel thus allowing the Empire to trace her journey into Republic territory. After consolidating his forces, Sadow gathered his armies of bloodthirsty Massassi warriors in preparation of the upcoming invasion. Despite the little intelligence he had of his enemy, the Sith Empire's vast invasion force moved through the Daragon Trail into Republic space. Alongside the Dark Lord was his Sith apprentice Gav Daragon whereupon they sent their armada to follow his sisters tracking beacon leading to the surprise Sith onslaught starting at the Koros Major system.
The Dark Lord was well aware that his forces would be insufficient in combating the Republic Navy but made use of the element of surprise to aid him and for a time, it worked. The Koros system fell to the Sith's might and the Empire's naval forces spread through the Koros Trunk Line to assault the shipyards at Foerost whereupon the Sith moved to assault Kaikielius, Metellos, Basilisk, Shawken and ultimately Coruscant itself. The Sith armies on Coruscant managed to march across the Legislative District and onto the steps of the Senate Hall, where they were fought off by the defending Jedi forces. At Koros Major, the Sith proved relentless and unpredictable in their attacks, which was necessary due to Sadow's limited knowledge of the region of space which led to the Republic not faring well in this conflict, which became known as the Great Hyperspace War. Unknown to the Republic, Sadow had stationed his Sith Meditation Sphere around Primus Goluud, where he employed Sith magic to create illusionary phantoms that made the Empire's enemies believe that the Sith had far greater numbers.
At some point during the conflict, the Sith Lord Naga Sadow dispatched some of his forces to locate Lignan crystals, which were to be used in the creation of advanced lightsabers for use against the Republic and the Jedi. One of the ships dispatched was the Omen. However, it crashed on the primitive world of Kesh. While the crew at first attempted to return to space, they were unable, and later adapted to life on the planet amongst the native Keshiri. During the war, several Jedi were corrupted and joined the forces of the Sith Empire, one of which included the Kaleesh Saes Rrogon, who commanded the Harbinger. In the closing stages of the conflict, the newly trained Sith Valik Kodank diverted resources for the construction of her own Sith Temple located in the Tascollan Nebula. She would later leave the Sith Empire with a sect consisting of her followers in order to continue their existence elsewhere. As the conflict continued, it was known that the Jedi used the planet Ossus as a staging ground for raids into Sith territory.
After learning of the Sith magic being used in the war, the Republic became emboldened to strike back against the Empire. This saw them being reinforced from the naval base at Anaxes which they used to push back the Sith armada to their beachhead at Koros Major. Their combined forces pushed towards Primus Goluud, where they attacked the Empire's forces present in the region. By this point, Gav Daragon had turned against his Sith Master but Sadow had tricked him into being left behind on the Meditation Ship, leading to Daragon dying at the hands of the Republic's retaliating fleet. His act of betrayal against Gav Daragon also turned the young explorer against his master and he revealed to Empress Teta the hyperspace coordinates of the Sith Empire's territories. In an effort to destroy his enemies, Naga Sadow used his own Sith technology to cause the Primus Goluud star to erupt into a supernova whilst he made his escape back to Sith Space with what few forces he had left.
When Naga Sadow returned to the Sith Empire, he was greeted by an unexpected figure - his rival Ludo Kressh, who had not died in their earlier battle but was warned by his spies of the assassination attempt. Showing no mercy, Kressh's forces mercilessly attacked Sadow's battered fleet before they could recover and declared them traitors. However, Naga Sadow's forces fought with wild frenzy as they had nothing to lose, leading to both sides being devastated as a result at the second battle of Korriban. Kressh himself was killed when one of Sadow's battleships rammed into it, at which point the fleets of the Republic arrived and attacked the weakened Sith forces. The Republic forces decimated the remaining Sith fleets and brought about the downfall of their Empire in the resultant crossfire. In a final desperate gamble, Sadow gathered what few followers he could and fled from the battlefield whilst being pursued by Republic ships. Utilizing Sith sorcery, he had his lone warship fly through the Denarii Nova and caused solar flares that destroyed his pursuers.
By this point, Supreme Chancellor Pultimo ordered Republic forces in an invasion of Sith Space, which saw hundreds of ships piercing the Stygian Veil. The Sith Empire at the time was in complete turmoil after the death of Ludo Kressh and was unable to withstand the onslaught of these invaders. With Kressh dead and Sadow missing, Shar Dakhan became appointed as the acting Dark Lord of the Sith. Sensing defeat and possible surrender being the only options available to them, he commanded his warriors to make suicidal attacks against the invading enemy fleets. This act led to heavy losses being sustained by the Republic and forced them into making a temporary retreat as a result. Ultimately, the Republic only won after many of the lower-caste Sith committed ritualistic suicide. Whilst the Sith by this point no longer posed a threat, the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic was still unsatisfied as to the outcome of the conflict. Thus, Jedi and Republic forces were sent to Korriban as well as other Sith planets in order to ensure that no remnants of the Sith Empire remained. This act forced a number of Sith to flee into space, where they were led by a Sith who had arisen to take Naga Sadow's place as the new Dark Lord. Members of this exile fleet later settled on Dromund Kaas, where they waited for centuries in order to get their revenge against the Republic. One of the last holdouts was that of Elcho Kressh, who spent years developing a counterattack plan outside the Caldera where he made most of the few forces available to him. Utilizing a tactic used by Naga Sadow, he began recruiting groups that were hostile to the Republic, which ranged from pirate bands to mercenary militias and other such species, which allowed him to build an impressive force. However, on the eve of his planned invasion, Elcho suffered from a ruptured stomach after heavy drinking which killed him within hours, thus ending any plans of revenge.
The Sith Empire was broken as a result, though unknown to the Republic, Sadow had in fact escaped in the struggle. He fled to Yavin 4 in his single Derriphan-class battleship, which was buried on the moon while the Dark Lords' Massassi created Temples for their master. One of the Sith Lords to die during the conflict was Lord Garu, who was the holder of King Adas's holocron and perished on the world of Ashas Ree, thus leaving the ancient relic behind, where it remained undiscovered for centuries. The Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic worked to destroy any remaining strongholds of the Sith which saw the end of their once glorious empire. After their defeat, a group of Sith retreated to the planet Thule, home to a stealth regiment where they worked alongside special forces in order to build up once more and set themselves up as an advance force for an eventual return of the empire. However, no one came, and the forces on Thule remained in the shadows for generations, waiting for their moment at getting their revenge. Some Sith Lords disappeared where they haunted worlds such as Vjun.
Following the supposed destruction of the Sith Empire, the Jedi worked to destroy whatever remained of the Sith's legacy which included talismans, temples and holocrons. This was an attempt by the Jedi to prevent the dark knowledge of the Sith from being used by other Dark Siders or by students who could be influenced by those teachings. Among the many locations destroyed, the ancient Sith library on Arkania known as Veeshas Tuwan was destroyed by a group of Jedi Masters. Jedi Shadows worked to destroy any Dark Side artifacts created by the Sith, such as amulets and talismans. While the ranks of the Jedi Shadows destroyed most of these tainted artifacts, items such as holocrons were kept in the custody of the Jedi Order, though many others were left in the burial vaults of the Sith Lords. Any surviving manuscripts and books were later taken to the Galactic Museum at Republic City, where they were stored in the Sith Hall for visitors to see. Many of these artifacts were later taken by the secret Jedi cabal known as the Jedi Covenant. Despite their efforts, many great Sith weapons would be forgotten and lost for ages such as the dread Dark Reaper.
Though the Empire was destroyed, one of its legacies remained in the form of the Crucible, which continued to operate in the shadows for centuries, abducting countless people and turning them into ruthless warriors. One of the few known artifacts that were kept by the Jedi Order included the Holocron of Naga Sadow, which was kept in order to provide insight into the origins of the ancient Sith. Ultimately, the campaigns of the Jedi to bury the teachings of the Sith was partly successful with much of the Sith Empire's history being masked in shadows over the centuries that followed.
- "You thought that the corrupted remnants of the Republic, the machines spawned by technology that Revan led into battle were the Sith? You are wrong. The Sith is a belief. And its empire, the true Sith Empire, rules elsewhere. And Revan knew the true war is not against the Republic. It waits for us, beyond the Outer Rim. And he has gone to fight it, in his own way."
- ―Kreia, to Meetra Surik
With the Sith Empire defeated, its long reign came to an end as a result of the devastating conclusion of the Great Hyperspace War. Worlds such as Korriban became lasting monuments that provided only traces of the ancient Sith Empire. The planet Dromund Kaas itself also vanished for a time, until it was discovered by the Empire-in-Exile led by the Sith Emperor, which had been rebuilding its forces within the Unknown Regions. This faction of the Sith, along with other relics, continued to influence and shape events in the galaxy for thousands of years. It was from that point onwards that the term Sith changed from being a name for the species to being a title given to those that practiced the Sith teachings. Among the many legacies of the ancient Sith were their various warbots, that were deactivated after the defeat of the Empire. These few battle droids remained hidden, with some emerging during various events such as the later Great Sith War and even during the Jedi Civil War. It was believed that very few Sith starships survived the devastating conclusion of the Great Hyperspace War, though knowledge of their construction was believed to still reside within scrolls and holocrons. However, these vessels were inferior compared to designs that would be developed in the following years.
Other legacies of the ancient Sith included the manipulations of long dead Sith Lords such as Marka Ragnos with the Disciples of Ragnos forming during the era of the Galactic Civil War. This group sought to bring about the return of their master until they were defeated by Jaden Korr. Decades after its creation, the Galactic Empire was destroyed, and it seemed that the legacy of the Sith Empire was gone with it. But in 9 ABY, the dark history of the planet Dromund Kaas came once more and in an effort to protect his fledgling New Jedi Order, Luke Skywalker worked with New Republic Intelligence to bury the knowledge of the world in order to ensure that its corruption would not bring further threats to the galaxy. However, unknown to many, a forgotten remnant of the Sith Empire had been left abandoned on the planet Kesh, which formed the Lost Tribe of Sith, who sought to bring about the great splendours of their ancestors to the galaxy.
Even further into the future, the dark shadow of the Sith still fell across the galaxy when the teachings of XoXaan, now a long-dead Sith spirit, were used by the fallen Jedi known as Darth Krayt, who used them to found the One Sith. He later succeeded in taking control of the Fel Empire and made himself the Emperor, thus creating a new Sith Empire.
Among the various eras, numerous attempts had been made to create a new Sith Empire.
Exar Kun's Sith Empire
- "I am here to warn you Jedi, you must not interfere with the work of the dark side. The Dark Lords of the Sith are destined to rise again. Nothing can prevent that."
"You can't frighten us with useless prophecies. I thought Master Arca drove you away when he buried your bones on that barren moon."
"Arca cannot interfere with the dead…nor can he help you, poor Jedi, to avoid your destiny."
"What are you talking about?"
"You…will be one of the great ones."
- ―Freedon Nadd tells Ulic Qel-Droma of his destiny as a Sith Lord
In 4400 BBY, the fallen Jedi Freedon Nadd discovered two artifacts that the Jedi Shadows had failed to destroy. The first was Adas's holocron and the second, the spirit of Naga Sadow himself which Nadd used to absorb himself in the teachings of the Sith. After communing with the long dead Sith Lord, Freedon Nadd destroyed Sadow's spirit and later used his newly acquired power to bring about the Freedon Nadd Uprising, whereupon he was defeated. However, like Sadow, Nadd's spirit remained on Onderon. Despite his defeat, Nadd's teachings would yet lead to a new Sith Empire.
In 4000 BBY, a young Jedi known as Exar Kun became curious about the teachings of the Sith and was thus lured to the Dark Side by the ghost of Freedon Nadd. His actions led to the Great Sith War, which tore the galaxy apart and instigated the fall of Ulic Qel-Droma. Kun recruited Qel-Droma as well as many Jedi into his Brotherhood of the Sith. Kun and Qel-Droma led their reborn Sith Empire and caused great destruction during their short reign of power. One of the many Sith inspired cults that formed after the conflict was the Krath, who had learned much of their power from Sith artifacts that survived the Great Hyperspace War. This group later allied with Exar Kun and Ulic Qel-Droma in the Great Sith War. It was the Krath who were responsible for uncovering the dreaded Sith weapon known as the Dark Reaper and used it during the conflict. The rule of this Sith Empire continued until Kun's defeat at Yavin 4 in 3996 BBY.
Revan and Malak's Sith Empire
- "Three years ago, Revan and Malak returned at the head of a massive invasion fleet. Revan had assumed the title of Sith Lord; the hero had become a conqueror."
In 3976 BBY the Mandalorian Wars engulfed the galaxy, threatening the destruction of the Galactic Republic. The Jedi High Council abstained from participating in the war, sensing danger, but not all Jedi followed their example. A Jedi known as the Revanchist recruited like-minded members of the order and led the Republic to victory over the Mandalorians, ending the war in 3960 BBY. Some time during or near after the war ended, Revan visited the Trayus Academy on the Sith world of Malachor V. There, he discovered evidence that an ancient Sith faction survived the violence of the Great Hyperspace War and existed in the Unknown Regions. Revan pursued these rumors and came into contact with the Sith Emperor, a surviving Sith Lord who turned him to the dark side. Revan was sent back to the Republic to prepare it for the invasion of the Exiled Sith, but instead Revan and his apprentice, Malak, acted for their own gain. Secretly, the pair searched for ancient Star Maps that led them to the Star Forge, a treasure of the forgotten Rakatan Infinite Empire. Using the Star Forge, Revan raised his own Sith Empire and invaded the Galactic Republic.
As the Sith's conquest continued unchecked, worlds began to secede to the Sith invasion fleet voluntarily, either out of fear or because they believed that the corrupt and ineffectual Republic was finally about to fall. However, the Republic armadas were saved from certain destruction by the talents of a young Jedi Padawan named Bastila Shan. During a long string of Republic losses, her skills in battle meditation staved off utter defeat, and when the Sith were on the brink of victory, Bastila led a Jedi strike team to invade Darth Revan's flagship. Ever ambitious, Malak fired upon his master's vessel, hoping to destroy his enemies and usurp control of the Sith Empire with one swift stroke, but all did not go as he had planned. The ship was destroyed, but the Jedi were able to escape with a critically injured Revan. The Jedi Council repaired Revan's broken mind, implanting him with the personality of a loyal soldier of the Republic. As he fought the Sith Empire alongside Bastila, he regained memories of being the Sith Lord Revan, but stayed loyal to the Republic and to the light side of the Force. He led the assault on the Star Forge during the Battle of Rakata Prime and killed his former pupil. The Star Forge plunged into Rakata's sun and was destroyed, effectively destroying the Sith Empire of Revan and Malak as well.
The Sith Triumvirate's Sith Empire
- "To be united by hatred is a… fragile alliance at best."
- ―Darth Traya
The Sith Triumvirate was a loose alliance of what remained of Darth Revan's Sith. It was solidified sometime after the Battle of Rakata Prime around the Trayus Academy on Malachor V. This organization was made up of several, if not hundreds, of Sith apprentices, Sith Masters, and, most importantly, Sith assassins, and fell under the leadership of three powerful Sith Lords, Darth Traya, Darth Nihilus, and Darth Sion, co-rulers of a new Sith Empire. From Malachor V, they subtly intervened with galactic affairs, using Darth Traya's idea of echoes in the Force, and corrupting Jedi to the dark side. Sion quickly grew impatient of waiting to fight the Jedi and the Republic, while Nihilus grew hungry and needed Force sustenance.
The two conspired against Darth Traya and attacked when she was vulnerable. The two Lords used an unknown Force technique to sever her connection to the Force, leaving her cast out by both Jedi and Sith. Abandoning her Sith name and title and traveling as Kreia, the fallen Sith Lord directed her anger towards the Force itself, viewing it as a malevolent intelligent being. She directed her manipulations toward the Jedi Exile, who had cut herself off from the Force following the events of the Mandalorian Wars, and in whom Kreia saw a means to destroy the Force itself. Sion and Nihilus went their separate ways, Sion carrying out a purge of the Jedi Order and Nihilus consuming entire civilizations in his hunger. They then turned on each other, each controlling a nearly equal section of their Sith Empire. Thus began the Sith Civil War.
Under Kreia's direction, the Jedi Exile retrained herself as a Jedi and fought the Sith Empire of Sion and Nihilus, eventually destroying them both. Kreia revealed her true intentions, killing the survivors of the Jedi High Council and luring the Jedi Exile to the Trayus Academy on Malachor V. There, Kreia—once again in the guise of Darth Traya, Sith Lord of Betrayal—fought the Exile with the intention of using the retrained Jedi's unique connection to the Force in order to destroy the Force entirely. The Jedi Exile defeated Traya and Malachor V was destroyed by Bao-Dur's Mass Shadow Generator in 3951 BBY, ending her Sith Empire once and for all.
The revitalized Sith Empire
- "Our time has come. For three hundred years, we prepared. We grew stronger. While you rested in your cradle of power, believing your people were safe and protected. You were trusted to lead the Republic but you were deceived, as our powers of the Dark Side have blinded you. You assumed no force could challenge you and now… finally, we have returned."
- ―Sith Lord Darth Malgus during the Sacking of Coruscant
In the aftermath of the Great Hyperspace War of 5000 BBY, survivors of the original Sith Empire established a new Sith Empire in the galaxy's Unknown Regions. This Empire, also known as the "True Sith" sect, was led by Darth Vitiate, a surviving Sith Lord of the old Sith Empire. The refugees wandered aimlessly through space in search of a new home. Twenty years after their departure from the original Empire's territory, the Sith discovered the forgotten world of Dromund Kaas and settled it to begin the process of rebuilding. It was this Sith Empire which offered the Mandalorian Neo-Crusaders their new crusade against their common foe resulting to the Mandalorian Wars.
During the war, Revan discovered and was turned by the Emperor before invading the Republic at the head of his own Sith Empire. Around three hundred years after the Jedi Civil War, the Sith Empire—still under the command of the Emperor, his life extended through Sith magics—invaded the Republic, sparking the Great Galactic War. In 3653 BBY, the Treaty of Coruscant ended the Great Galactic War, giving way to the Cold War, the galaxy divided between the Sith Empire and the Galactic Republic.
Darth Sidious' Galactic Empire
- "We are an Empire ruled by the majority! An Empire ruled by a new Constitution! An Empire of laws, not of politicians! An Empire devoted to the preservation of a just society. Of a safe and secure society! We are an Empire that will stand for ten thousand years!"
The Galactic Empire can be said to have begun with the scheming aspiration of Senator Palpatine of Naboo, whose alter ego was the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Using the Trade Federation as a pawn to blockade Naboo in 32 BBY, he used manipulation of the crisis, as well as of Queen Padmé Amidala, to instigate a Vote of No Confidence in Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, and ultimately to become Chancellor himself. When his apprentice, Darth Maul, was defeated by Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi on Naboo, Sidious took on the former Jedi Count Dooku as his new apprentice. Count Dooku then joined with the Trade Federation under Viceroy Nute Gunray and others to form the Confederacy of Independent Systems. This group, known as the Separatists, ignited a war with the Galactic Republic known as the Clone Wars. It was named after the clone troopers used by the Republic.
Manipulating the war from behind the scenes, Palpatine arranged for extraordinary powers to be granted to the office of Supreme Chancellor, and for the deaths of many Jedi throughout the war. However, Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker discovered that Palpatine was a Sith Lord and, after informing Jedi Master Mace Windu of his discovery, a Jedi task force, led by Windu himself, attempted to arrest him. After a brief duel, Palpatine appeared to be defeated. Skywalker arrived and demanded Windu not kill the Sith Lord. Deeply troubled, Skywalker nonetheless helped Palpatine kill Windu, and thus became the Emperor's new apprentice, Darth Vader. Palpatine then proceeded to carry out the Great Jedi Purge, which eliminated almost all of the thousands of Jedi, and had Vader eliminate Nute Gunray and the other Separatist leaders on the fiery world of Mustafar, thus bringing an end to the Clone Wars. Secure in his power and position, Palpatine used the so-called Jedi rebellion to issue the Declaration of a New Order and declared himself Emperor in 19 BBY.
The Galactic Empire flourished under Palpatine's rule until the Alliance to Restore the Republic, also known as the Rebel Alliance, became a serious threat following the Corellian Treaty and the issuance of the Declaration of Rebellion in 2 BBY. The Rebel Alliance engaged in guerrilla warfare against the Empire, and scored a major victory against the Galactic Empire at the Battle of Yavin, where hero, Jedi apprentice of Kenobi, and son of Vader, Luke Skywalker destroyed the first Death Star. Skywalker continued to fight the Galactic Empire, and continued his training under Jedi Master Yoda. Four years later, the Rebel Alliance destroyed the second Death Star at the Battle of Endor, resulting in the deaths of Palpatine and Vader, the end of the Rule of Two, and the fracturing of the Galactic Empire. The Rebel Alliance reestablished itself as the New Republic.
The remnant of the Galactic Empire and Palpatine's Sith threatened the galaxy in the following decades in various resurgent forms, such as the Imperial Warlords who engaged in inter-imperial war even as they opposed the New Republic, a reunited Empire led by a possessed clone of Palpatine, the military campaigns of Grand Admiral Thrawn, and the machinations of Palpatine's former Sith Acolytes, such as the Emperor's Hands and other Dark Side Adepts or the Second Imperium. The New Republic, now called the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, almost returned to the practices of Palpatine's Empire during the Second Galactic Civil War with the Confederation under the guidance of Darth Caedus, the apprentice of Lumiya, the Dark Lady of the Sith. The Imperial Remnant would eventually unify with the Galactic Alliance, and Jagged Fel would become Emperor of the Empire, establishing the Fel Empire. The Fel Empire turned away from the teachings of the Sith, and actively opposed Darth Krayt's One Sith after the Sith–Imperial War in 127 ABY.
Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire
- "Roan Fel never really embraced the war or the idea of a unified galaxy. He went along with it as a political necessity. That's not what the Empire—what the galaxy—needs. The galaxy writhes in chaos and disorder. It requires a man of vision. I am that man of vision. I am the new Emperor."
- ―Darth Krayt
Darth Krayt's Galactic Empire was the government that formed out of the Fel Empire in 130 ABY, when Darth Krayt, Dark Lord of the Sith, made a coup against Emperor Roan Fel. When the Moff Council invoked the Treaty of Anaxes against the will of Emperor Roan Fel, and in 127 ABY, the Sith-Imperial War broke out, and the One Sith allied with the Empire. The war resulted in the fall of the Alliance and the reestablishment of the Empire as the primary galactic government. The territories and bureaucracy of the Alliance were absorbed into the Empire, but the Galactic Alliance Core Fleet refused to surrender, and continued to fight the resurgent Empire. Shortly after the fall of the Alliance, the Emperor called upon the entire New Jedi Order to surrender and subject their will to the Empire, in which some of them did, becoming Imperial Knights, while the others remained to the will of the Force and retreated to Ossus. After the Alliance defeat and the Massacre at Ossus, the Sith under the command of Darth Krayt turned against Emperor Fel. He launched a daring coup, marching with his cohorts straight into Fel's audience chamber himself, and killing the man who sat on the throne. Fel eluded the Sith forces for seven years, then resurfaced on Bastion, seizing control of the military forces there and inciting the Second Imperial Civil War.
Government and politics
- "They must be precursors to an invasion…we should kill them at once!"
"No—not until we interrogate them. They may be alien spies…or they may be the key to ripe new fields for the Sith Lords to conquer."
- ―Ludo Kressh and Naga Sadow discuss the Daragons
Much of the structure of the Empire had changed following 6,900 BBY due to the arrival of the Dark Jedi Exiles. Their government was ultimately led by a cabal of Sith Lords with a single Dark Lord who served as ruler of his people. It was these individuals that controlled the now Force-using magocracy of the Sith Empire. Their society also was left in a state of perpetual conflict as these rival Sith Lords often raised their own personal armies in order to unseat the ruling Dark Lord.
The title of Dark Lord of the Sith was typically given to the individual by their deceased predecessor who manifested as a Dark Side Spirit after being interred within their tomb. The cabal beneath him were the Sith Council who were a body of advisors to the reigning Dark Lord of the Sith. It consisted of ten members made up of Sith Lords within the Empire. Each Lord on the Council personally ruled over a dozen worlds. This Council convened in a great citadel on Ziost. In this ancient age, the Lords of the Sith Empire were the undisputed masters of the worlds that fell under their control.
Political factions were also known to exist within the ranks of the government of the Sith Empire with such coalitions formed around specific Sith Lords.
Society and culture
- "Evil began in a time before recorded history, when magicians made themselves into kings… and gods… using the power of the dark side of the Force. The weak minded have ever been ready to obey one who wields great power. Those who learned the power of the darkside were quick to exploit this weakness -- to make war. Again and again, the dark side has surged forth, like a storm… devouring whole worlds and entire star systems. Those who mastered dark power became the dark power. They unleashed destruction, for no other reason than selfish gain. They despoiled nations… destroyed whole civilizations. Some of them, I am ashamed to say, were Jedi."
- ―Jedi Master Ood Bnar
Culturally, the Sith Empire was very different from that of the Republic, being much more ecumenically-driven than its counterpart. The Sith Empire was hierarchical, utilizing both a rigid caste system and a stratified rank structure to put its subjects in their proper place. Due to how long Sith society has separated the Sith into castes (across approximately 100,000 years), each caste was sometimes referred to as a sub-species of Sith. The Kissai were the priest caste of the Sith who also served as spiritual leaders that indoctrinated others into Sith teachings. This was most likely where the mages and other practitioners of their ancient and mysterious magic were placed. In contrast, the Massassi were the warrior caste of the Sith. They were unswervingly obedient to the Dark Lord of the Sith; they were also loyal to the individual Sith Lord they served, though this loyalty was secondary to their loyalty to the Dark Lord. The Sith Engineer Caste built and maintained Sith technology, including droids and starships. Sith slaves were the lowliest caste of the Sith. They worshipped the Sith Lords as gods, and were often used as sacrifices. The Sith Lords used them for slave labor and menial tasks, such as grooming their feet. Most citizens of the Empire lived in this meager caste driven structure where they toiled to build their rulers tomb or dying by the millions in internecine warfare. They were ultimately ruled by a military styled culture with a great reverence for the dead. When a Sith Lord died, his slaves were buried alive with his body in his tomb on Korriban.
When Adas unified the Sith nations, he took the title of "Sith'ari" which, when translated, meant "Sith Overlord" in Basic. They were the leaders of the Sith. Each Sith Lord had his own slaves and his own army of Massassi while the Sith'ari ruled over all the Sith Lords also. Following the death of Adas, many claimed the title of Sith'ari and fought each other in constant civil wars, each ruling only a fief. Following 6,900 BBY, the current Sith'ari was killed and the Sith interbred with the Jen'jidai, resulting in a mix of Ancient Sith and baseline Human species traits, resulting in many losing the low-light vision which most Ancient Sith possessed. Following the fall of the Sith Empire in 5,000 BBY, the word "Sith'ari" took on the approximate meaning "Chosen One" with later Sith, referring to an unidentified individual who would fulfill a particular Sith prophecy, this prophecy was later fulfilled by Darth Bane.
The term "Jen'ari" was the title translated "Dark Lord of the Sith" in Basic. Jen'ari were the greatest and most powerful of the Sith Lords who took the place of the Sith'ari in the Sith hierarchy. There was only one Jen'ari at a time, who was the head of the Sith Council, and ruler of the Sith Empire. The original Jen'ari were Jen'jidai; later Jen'ari were Sith Lords who assumed the title after the death of the previous Jen'ari, defeating any rival claimant to the title in combat (often resulting in death, or at least disfigurement). From 6,900 BBY to 5,000 BBY, the Sith Lords collectively ruled the Empire through a governing body known as the Sith Council, which the Jen'ari ruled over and commanded; each member of the Council had a personal fleet. Many Jen'ari had partial Jen'jidai ancestry, which was, in some, considered more desirable. After the fall of the Sith Empire, the title "Dark Lord of the Sith" was used by both the leader of the Sith Order (such as Exar Kun or Revan) and his apprentice (such as Ulic Qel-Droma or Malak), although it is uncertain if the title "Jen'ari" remained in use in any capacity, or was abandoned for the title "Darth".
Before the formation of the Sith Empire, the Sith were engaged in constant warfare with one another though this was seen as an acceptable practice as they believed it to be a fundamental aspect of their existence. This meant that they lived both a barbaric yet strangely harmonious existence on their homeworld. The early Sith often engaged in sentient sacrifices which they made to their deities. Their constant warring led to a dwindling of the population on their original homeworld of Korriban as well as cultivated an intensely xenophobic society. After the arrival of the Exiles, only those that were Force-sensitive had the capacity to reach the upper echlons of the Sith Empire. Those that were blind to the Force were considered useless; fit for only common labor purposes or simple bureaucratic work. Amongst the elite, power was craved due to the intense feelings of greed perpetrated by the dark side which also meant that these individuals were also ambitious as well as paranoid. This society encouraged the survival of the fittest with only the most ruthless and powerful rising to positions of power as well as surviving.
This empire ultimately thrived on slavery as well as exploitation and oppression of the masses. In addition, they lived in constant belief that they would face external threats to their dominion and thus had a belief in expansion or dying. Some believed that this was a necessity for the Sith as they hungered for new lands and riches to bring under their control. This allowed for Naga Sadow to lead his forces during the Great Hyperspace War though despite this being the case, there were other traditional and more conservative factions that believed in remaining within their territory in order to preserve their ways.
During the time of the first Sith Empire, there were many instances of travelers stumbling into Sith space where they became slaves to one of the many members of the nobility. Over the years of enslavement, these aliens and outsiders continued to live for generations whereupon they forgot their origins thus turning them into true subjects of the Sith. Some Sith Lords even found value in the descendants of these foreigners such as those of the Tapani worlds due to their skills in science. Natural born Sith tended to focus on sorcery while the Tapani's excellence in the fields of science meant that they became valued members of the Empire and developed the industrial as well as medical infrastructure for several Sith Lords. Through such means as those presented by the Tapani, the Sith developed new lightsaber construction techniques that were more advanced than those produced by either Sith or Jedi. However, the intense rivalry and fierce competitive nature of Sith society meant that ranking Sith Lords never shared these new developments or weapons. Among the Sith, about glorification of self and the subjugation of others was a constant aspect within their society.
One of the greatest secrets of the ancient Sith was their devotion to the arts of Sith sorcery. As such, those individuals that practiced this art took on the title of Sith mages who held great mystical power that allowed them to cause stars to go supernova. The original Sith were also quite skilled in the art of Sith alchemy though it was the Dark Jedi Exiles who later became Sith Lords that perfected the ability. Originally, the species was a united people who instead preferred to stay within different and divided tribes. These were led by one or more sorcerers who were in charge with the groups protection. This remained the case until the arrival of the Exiles who took interest in the species' techniques in drawing on the power of the dark side of the Force which they used to accomplish their sorcery. This practice was used by pure blood Sith who often dwelled in Library-temples where they sat in meditation as well as recorded their experiences as well as experiments. They also created many tools designed to enhance or project their power which was commonly seen in Sith talismans. These dark side empowered constructs were capable of a wide range of feats from being simple concentration tools to being a trap that turned other Force users to the dark side when being used or defensive tools that absorbed weapon fire and even being used for healing. They also created special chambers and sanctuaries that amplified the power of the Force which were either used as Meditation chamber or Focusing chambers. One of the greater feats was the capacity to create sentient vessels such as Meditation Spheres that were capable of enhancing the power of a Sith sorcerer.
The Sith Empire had also made use of droids and recognized their potential as security troops leading to several different designs to be produced. Schematics for these droids were often stored within holocrons and though their inner workings were inferior to later generation droids, the fact that Sith alchemy was used in their construction meant that their outer plating was equal to a low powered shield generator.
The navy of the Sith Empire included starships of many different types. These included frigates, such as the Derriphan-class battleship, smaller attack craft such as the Blade starfighter, Sith drop ship, Sith escort gunship, and Sith starfighter, as well as non-combat craft such as the Sith personnel carrier, and the Sith shuttle. The Sith also crafted semi-sentient spaceships called Sith Meditation Spheres that were capable of independent action, even the training of apprentices.
The Sith Empire's ground forces largely consisted of Massassi warriors that served as shock troopers and brutal weapons of terror on the battlefield that were led by ranking Sith Lords. Massassi warriors, armed with Sith swords such as the lanvarok or war swords, often served as foot soldiers in the campaigns of the Sith and also piloted the great warships of the empire. In battle, they fought with a single minded fury and selflessly hurled themselves in combat against their foes. Early in their history, the Sith Empire came to realize the potential in the use of automated droids to enhance the combat performances of their military. Droids such as elite warbots, slayer droids, and sentries were often treated with alchemy in order to improve their construction materials and add to their combat capabilities. As such, several different forms of droids were manufactured which ranged from simple security droids to elite warbots to fully fledged war droids.
In addition, they also made use of many different forms of creatures—such as Chrysalide, Sith war behemoths, Sith warbirds, Sith war rhinos, Sith war worms, and Silooth—that augmented the fighting power of their legions. These domesticated creatures were often used as mounts for heavy weaponry and artillery. These beasts were often treated with Sith alchemy and were part of centuries long breeding programs that were designed to create easily trained animals that responded to certain commands. To enforce control over these creatures, the Sith often used standard command coding in order to manage these animals in combat engagements. This combined with generations of breeding meant that anyone trained in animal handling skills were capable of controlling certain Sith war beasts. When ready for war, these creatures often accompanied the Sith army where they were outfitted with gun turrets as well as other weaponry to add to their terrifying potential on the battlefield.
- "You wish to know about the worlds of the Sith Empire? There were many, well over one hundred that were habitable, and the Sith controlled the riches of a thousand species."
- ―Seviss Vaa of the Brotherhood of Darkness.
The portion of the galaxy that the Sith Empire ruled was known as Sith Space in a region of space surrounded by the Stygian Caldera. It contained at least 120 inhabited worlds, including some early Sith colonies outside of Sith Space, such as Arbra, Malachor V, Tund, and Arkania. Worlds of special note in Sith Space were the capital planet of Ziost and the graveyard planet of Korriban, which was placed along the Daragon Trail route to the Deep Core. Travel between Sith Space and the Republic was known to be rare as the Sith were more concerned with making war against one another or cowing other civilizations within the interstellar neighbourhood.
Along the Kamat Krote route were the planets of Bosthirda, Dromund Kaas, and Jaguada. Jaguada was also included in the Kamat Aegit route along with Begeren, Kalsunor, Ashas Ree, and Khar Delba. Nicht Ka was along the Nache Bhelfia route that connected Korriban to Ziost, and the Zorfee Trete route connected Ch'hodos to Ashas Ree. The Descri Wris route connected Korriz, Athiss, Svolten, Bhargebba, and Nfolgai. Krayiss Two and Rhelg were on the far side of the Nache Bhelfia route across from Nicht Ka. Thule, Iliabath and Corbos were outside the Stygian Caldera.
When the Sith Empire fell, refugees fled back to the worlds of Ambria, Kesh, Thule, Tund, Vjun, Yavin 4, and into the Unknown Regions.
Behind the scenes
The existence of the "True Sith" has caused some confusion with their placement in the canonical timeline of galactic chronology. When Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords was first released, the establishment of the Old Sith Empire was believed to have taken place circa 25,000 BBY. Additionally, the beginning of the "True Sith's" existence was fixed as being approximately "tens of thousands of years" in the past. In 2005, however, the establishment of the Old Sith Empire was retconned to have happened around 6900 BBY, which presented a new divide in the historical placement of the two groups, and indeed in the very nature of the Sith themselves.
It has since been mentioned by VIPs on developer Obsidian Entertainment's message boards that the company in fact did not use the "25,000 BBY" date as a basis for their development of the "True Sith;" the order was conceived as an entirely separate geographic group from the later Sith Order of Marka Ragnos and its like.[source?]
Later, it was discovered that, after the Sith King Adas died while driving the Rakata from Korriban in 27,700 BBY, the Sith species possessed the technology to relocate themselves to nearby planets, creating the region known as Sith Space and the earliest Sith Empire.