- "It is your duty to learn what I know. It is my duty to learn what there is to teach."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader
A Sith Master was a rank in the Sith Order, reserved for a Sith Lord who instructed a Sith apprentice in the arts of the dark side of the Force. The role of a Sith Master was to pass his knowledge to the student. By tradition, the apprentice had to kill his Sith Master in order to complete his training, or the master could train another student to kill and then replace their outgoing student.
Under the Rule of Two established by Darth Bane, the Order's ranks were limited to two Sith Lords—a Sith Master and an apprentice—at any given time. After a millennium of hiding from the Jedi Order, the Sith returned to power in the galaxy through the rise of Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith who killed his Sith Master, Darth Plagueis, and mentored the Sith apprentices Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, and Darth Vader.
- "I'm looking forward to completing your training. In time, you will call me master."
- ―Darth Sidious, to Luke Skywalker
In the Sith Order, a Sith Master was the title of a Sith Lord who trained a Sith apprentice in the ways of the dark side of the Force. It was the duty of a Sith Master to learn all that there was to know about the Force, and then to pass this knowledge to his Sith apprentice.
- "You don't know the power of the dark side. I must obey my master."
- ―Darth Vader, to Luke Skywalker
Approximately a millennium before the Invasion of Naboo, the Sith's greed for power led to infighting, which caused them to be defeated and nearly destroyed by the Jedi. As a consequence, the last survivor, Darth Bane, established the Rule of Two, which restructured the sect so that there could only be two Sith at a time, a master and an apprentice. In the last decades of the Galactic Republic, the Sith Master Darth Plagueis tutored an apprentice in the ways of the Sith. After betraying and murdering Plagueis, Darth Sidious subsequently took over his master's role as the Sith master, and managed to reach the highest echelons of democractic power before anointing himself Galactic Emperor.
Darth Tyranus trained Asajj Ventress as his apprentice during the Clone Wars, though he was still apprenticed to Darth Sidious. As Ventress grew in power, Sidious grew suspicious of Tyranus' intentions. He ordered his apprentice to kill the Nightsister assassin, and Tyranus complied despite regarding Ventress as his most reliable asset. Tyranus then sought to replace Ventress with Savage Opress, intending to overthrow his Sith Master after training the Dathomirian Nightbrother in the ways of the dark side.
Sidious eventually betrayed Tyranus by ordering Anakin Skywalker to kill him. Tyranus was then replaced by Skywalker, who pledged fealty to his new Sith Master as Darth Vader. Like his predecessor, Vader was an apprentice who mentored Force-sensitive students despite not holding the rank of Sith Master. His apprentices belonged to a cadre of fallen Jedi-turned-Jedi hunters known as the Inquisitorius. Sidious eventually sought to betray and replace Vader, by becoming the Sith Master of his apprentice's son, Luke Skywalker. However, he was killed by a redeemed Vader, after Luke pledged himself as a Jedi like his father before him.
Kylo Ren, the grandson of Vader, was lured to the dark side through the machinations of a revived Sidious and his creation, Supreme Leader Snoke. Although Snoke directly oversaw Ren's training, Sidious considered himself to be Ren's true master. By using Snoke as a proxy mentor for Ren, Sidious managed to circumvent a dark side tradition in which the apprentice completed his training by killing the master who trained him.
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars Epic Yarns: Return of the Jedi
- LEGO Star Wars: Droid Tales Episodes I-III (Appears as Force spirit and in flashbacks)
- Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
- (First identified as Sith Master)
- Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know
- Star Wars: Ships of the Galaxy
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 1 (Highlights of the Saga: Duel in Cloud City)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 8 (Helmets: General Grievous; Weapons & Uniforms: Imperial Droids)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 10 (Highlights of the Saga: Birth of an Empire)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 13 (Databank A-Z: Poe Dameron–Delta 7-B)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 14 (Weapons & Uniforms: The Sith)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 16 (Helmets: 501st Legion Stormtroopers)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 19 (Highlights of the Saga: The Death of Jabba the Hutt)
- Darth Vader: Sith Lord
- Star Wars: The Visual Encyclopedia
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 28 (Databank A-Z: Queen Jamillia–Jedi Temples)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 31 (Databank A-Z: Kaminoans–King Katuunko)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 38 (Databank A-Z: Baze Malbus–Darth Maul)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 45 (Databank A-Z: Petranaki Arena–Proton Torpedoes)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 49 (Databank A-Z: Serenno–Anakin Skywalker)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 51 (Weapons & Uniforms: Dark Side Servants)
- Star Wars Helmet Collection 76 (Weapons & Uniforms: Aurra Sing)
- Starships and Speeders
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – "Directing"
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – "Legacy"
- Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian – "Score"
- (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: The Lightsaber Collection (Picture only)
- Star Wars Bust Collection 1 (Star Wars Universe: Darth Vader)
- Star Wars - The Official Magazine 101 (Database: Before the dark times…)
- Star Wars: The Tiny Book of Sith
- (Picture only)
Notes and references
- Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
- Star Wars: Galactic Atlas dates Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi to 4 ABY and Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens to 34 ABY. Because Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: The Visual Dictionary places Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker one year later, it must take place in 35 ABY.
- Darth Vader 6
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Nightsisters"
- Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Monster"
- Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 6
- Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
- The Star Wars Book