Reader Joa wrote in to ask:
Recently, I read a Star Wars story written by Alan Moore in Marvel UK's The Empire Strikes Back Monthly (Issue 155, reprinted in "Classic Star Wars: Devilworlds #1"). I noticed a character using the term "Sith Lord" in conversation with Darth Vader. This comic was originally published in 1982, nearly 17 years before the term was used in the first Star Wars prequel.
Could it be possible that Alan Moore created the term Sith Lord?
Here's the mention in the story...
And yes, this usage of "Sith Lord" did, in fact, predate the first usage of the term in a Star Wars movie by nearly 20 years...
However, the term actually predates ALL of the Star Wars movies!
You see, it first appeared in Alan Dean Foster's NOVELIZATION of the first Star Wars film (credited to George Lucas), Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker, and the novel came out in 1976, months before the film's release!
Foster was working off of the early screenplays for the film, so he has all the scenes cut from the film (Han meeting Jabba, Luke's scenes with Biggs) but also some other bits that were dropped before they got to filming, including the references to Darth Vader as a "Sith Lord" (and mentions of previous Sith lords).