- This article is about the historic Sith Order. You may be looking for the current incarnation of the Sith, the Order of the Sith.
The Sith Order was a sect of Force-sensitives who utilized the dark side of the Force. The term Sith originally referred to a species of alien native to the planets Korriban and Ziost, who were later enslaved and ruled by exiled Dark Jedi from the Galactic Republic. These Dark Jedi had once been members of the Jedi Order, a monastic Force religion dedicated to peace through the use of the light side of the Force. The Dark Jedi, who refused to rely exclusively on the light side, challenged the Jedi by giving into the dark and starting the Hundred-Year Darkness. However, they had been defeated and subsequently exiled from known space, which led to their discovery of the Sith species. Following centuries of interbreeding and mixing of cultures between the aliens and the exiles, the Sith would no longer be identified by their race, but by their dedication to the ancient Sith philosophy. This religious order would survive in many different incarnations throughout galactic history. The rise of a new leader, or Dark Lord, would often cause drastic reorganizations in the cult, however the Sith would always be characterized by their lust for power and their desire to destroy the Jedi Order.
In the original Sith language, the term Sith'ari translated literally into Lord or Overlord. Over time however, the term became closely associated with the idea of a perfect being, who would rise to power and take control of the Sith Order. The prophesized coming of the Sith'ari was based around the notion that a perfect being, would epitomize the teachings of the Sith Code and became free of all restrictions. This being would lead the Sith, but also destroy them - a destruction that would make the Sith Order stronger than before.
At present, it is believed that the Sith'ari has yet to reveal him/herself much like the Chosen One mentioned in ancient Jedi prophesy.
The Code of the Sith
- "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 Sith Code
The code of the Sith was the mantra which stated the core beliefs of the Sith Order and is believed to have been created in contrast to the Jedi Code. The structure of the codes is almost identical, and the initial line of the Sith Code directly contradicts the initial line of the Jedi Code, which reads: "There is no emotion, there is peace."
The Rule of Many
In the aftermath of the disastrous Battle of Ruusan, the handful of surviving Sith agreed to scatter across the galaxy and observe the Rule of Many - the Many being the Sith Orders that they would create. Each surviving Sith Lord would take on apprentices and form an order with their apprentices' apprentices doing the same. The Sith would grow secretly that even they themselves would not know their true names or numbers. Even if one of the orders were to be found and destroyed by the Jedi and the Republic, it would require only one surviving order to ensure the continuation of the Sith philosophy.
The Rule of Many ultimately allowed the Sith to remain in hiding and undermine the Galactic Republic secretly, culminating into the first full-scale war in a millenium, the First Galactic Civil War. Although the Republic collapsed, the uncoordinated nature of the Rule of Many prevented the Sith from completely destroying their age-old enemies, the Jedi or consolidating their control over the rest of the galaxy. It is believed that since the end of the First Galactic Civil War, much of the Sith have consolidated into the current incarnation of the Sith, the Order of the Sith but it is unclear whether the Rule of Many has been discarded.
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.
- 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 Apprentice - Sith apprentices were Sith neophytes that were studying under the tutelage of a Sith Master.
- 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.
- 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.