The Star Wars film franchise has been pumping out movies ever since Disney bought the rights, but few antagonists have graced the silver screen. Sure, some amazing evil has been introduced, which might pop up later on in this list, but there haven’t been as many members of the evil Sith as some die-hard fans might like. When it comes to the Sith, there are a lot more than the scant few who have popped up in the movies and we have the newly classified Star Wars Legends to thank for that. Like the Dark Side, there is a lot more happening under the surface than a young Padawan might believe…
Over the years, new books, comics, television series and other forms of media have introduced some seriously sinister members of the Sith to Star Wars Legends and canon. Of those, there are some who stand above the rest as truly evil so we thought it would be fun to list out the most vile, ruthless and sinister members of the Sith for your reading pleasure. There are certainly dozens more we could have included here, so if you don’t see your favorite bad guy from the Star Wars universe, please sound off in the comments and let us know!
*Darth Revan art in feature by Corbin Hunter.
15. KYLO REN
This one comes with a a caveat, and kicks off our list on a bit of a technicality. Kylo Ren is the chosen name of Ben Solo, the son of Leia and Han Solo. Like his mother and uncle, Luke, Ben was strong with his connection to the Force, so he joined Luke to become the next generation of Jedi. Sensing the growing connection to the Dark Side in him, a moment of weakness by Luke turned Kylo against him and the two fought briefly before Ben destroyed the Jedi Academy and joined up with Supreme Leader Snoke and the First Order.
While not technically a member of the Sith, Kylo Ren did begin to worship its most well known Lord and followed their basic tenants, going on to lead a dastardly and as yet mysterious group called the Knights of Ren. He confronted and killed his father on Starkiller Base, which brought him into conflict with Rey as her Force powers manifested. He then went on to kill Snoke, take his place and confront his former Master Luke Skywalker on the planet Crait.
14. DARTH MAUL
Darth Maul made his first cinematic appearance in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace as the first apprentice of Darth Sidious. He served as his Master’s underling and a Sith Lord who traveled the Galaxy in an attempt to thwart the plans of Queen Amidala and her Jedi , Master Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. His final act in the film is a complex fight between all three where he successfully kills Qui-Gon, but is sliced in half by Obi-Wan. He seemingly falls to his death in a bottomless shaft, but survived.
He later appeared in the fourth season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, where it was revealed that he survived and ended up on the junkyard planet Lotho Minor, where he is fitted (via magic) with robotic legs. He continued to appear in comics and the series Star Wars Rebels, where he was briefly reunited with his old nemesis, Obi Wan.
13. DARTH TYRANUS
Before he became known as Darth Tyranus, Count Dooku was a pupil of Jedi Master Yoda. He ascended to the rank of Jedi Master, but turned to the Dark Side after his former Padawan, Qui-Gon Jinn, perished at the hands of Darth Maul. He became the second apprentice to Darth Sidious and became a major player in the Clone Wars. As the founder of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, he worked behind the scenes to establish the need for the Galaxy to create a clone army.
By the opening of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, Sidious’ plot to lure Anakin to the Dark Side comes to fruition when he convinces the young Jedi to murder Tyranus. It was at that moment that Tyranus realized he was only a tool used by Sidious to gain an even more powerful apprentice to do his bidding.
12. DARTH VADER
Darth Vader, the original cinematic Dark Lord of the Sith, began as a simple slave named Anakin Skywalker working in the junkyard of Tatooine before he was found by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. After Master Qui-Gon’s death at the hands of another Sith mentioned later on this list, his training was taken up by the young Jedi Knight known as Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Anakin became a masterful pilot and combatant throughout the Clone Wars, but eventually succumbed to the machinations of Darth Sidious, who turned him to the Dark Side of the Force. Ironically, Anakin wanted nothing more than to save his beloved Padmé, but ultimately killed her when he embraced the Dark Side and his new name, Darth Vader. He went on to hunt down and kill nearly all remaining Jedi in the Galaxy.
11. DARTH SIDIOUS
Darth Sidious was originally known as Sheev Palpatine, a Senator from the planet Naboo. Unbeknownst to the rest of the Galaxy, he was truly a Sith who masterminded his ascension to the head of the Galactic Government. Once he gained political power over the Galaxy, he quickly destroyed the Jedi Council through his own hand as well as via his new apprentice, Darth Vader. He nearly defeated Jedi Master Yoda in a masterful display of Force manipulation powers.
Palpatine quickly established himself as an emperor of the Galaxy, which he ruled with an iron fist. He subjugated entire worlds under his command and fostered an environment, which created the desire for rebellion. He was ultimately destroyed when Vader was turned back to the Light Side of the Force by his son, Luke Skywalker though he lived on in various stories throughout Star Wars Legends.
10. DARTH BANE
More than 1,000 years before the events of the film series, Darth Bane was an incredibly powerful Sith Lord. He began life as Dessel on the planet Apatros and developed an affinity to the Dark Side of the Force at an early age. He subconsciously killed his abusive father in his sleep and goes on to become a powerful Sith Lord. His study of the Golden Age of the Sith helped him realize that his teaching was incomplete.
He completed his training thanks to a Sith Holocron left by Darth Revan and assumed the title of Darth Bane. As he developed his power, he created the “Rule of Two,” which stipulated that only two Sith should ever exist in the galaxy at one time: a Master and an apprentice. This rule remained long after his death and is the reason Darth Sidious only retained one apprentice at a time.
9. DARTH PLAGUEIS
Darth Plagueis was the Sith Lord who trained Darth Sidious, only to be killed by his pupil while he slept. When he spoke of his old Master, Sidious described a Sith Lord so obsessed with finding the key to immortality, that he learned to create life itself (and not the old-fashioned way). It was said that his power was so great, he could manipulate midi-chlorians in such a way that he could prevent death — it was this story that helped convince Anakin Skywalker to embrace the Dark Side due to his desire to save Padmé.
Plagueis’ mastery of the Force and ability to prevent the death of others failed to protect him from his own apprentice, who killed him in accordance with the “Rule of Two”. Though he was mentioned in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, his story was expanded in Star Wars Legends.
8. DARTH REVAN
Darth Revan was a Sith, but began as a Jedi. He left the Jedi Order to fight in the Mandalorian Wars after seeing the Jedi doing little to support that conflict. A year following the war, he returned to Republic Space as the commander of a large invasion fleet of Sith who declared war on the Republic. His goal was to destroy the ancient Sith Empire and unite the galaxy under a single ruler.
In a final battle, Revan is believed to be killed, but survives and is taken by the Jedi to an enclave on Dantooine where the Jedi Council elects to wipe his memory. At this point, the player creates their new character who inhabits the body of Revan (who could be either male or female in the game) in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. The player then progresses as Revan, who follows the Light Side.
7. DARTH NIHILUS
Darth Nihilus was a Dark Lord of the Sith following the events of the Jedi Civil War. He was present at the final battle at the planet of Melachor V, which saw the use the Shadow Generator super-weapon. The planet was enshrouded in a mass shadow and Nihilus was exposed to the intense weapon. He was altered in such a way that he began to crave Force energy, thus becoming a being constantly hungering for power.
He went on to call himself the Lord of Hunger and was able to sap the energy of his opponents. His affliction continued to worsen to the point that he had to encase his very spirit within his mask and armor. He was eventually defeated by the Jedi but survived thanks to his armor and mask. These were buried on the Sith homeworld of Korriban where he could be contacted via a Sith Holocron.
6. DARTH SION
Darth Sion was best known as the Lord of Pain. He was a Sith Lord who fought during the Great Sith War for Exar Kun’s Sith Empire. Sion fell in battle but refused to die. That’s right, he refused death! He called upon all of his pain, hatred and anger — those things that fuel a connection to the Dark Side of the Force, and rose from death. His body wasn’t exactly willing to follow through with his resurrection and there were some side-effects.
Sion’s body was in a constant state of decomposition and continuous agony. It was held together by the Dark Side of the Force and he was able to survive the Great Sith War in this state. In his final battle, he was struck down multiple times, but resurrected himself only to finally realize the cost of his immortality. He finally allowed himself to die.
5. TULAK HORD
Tulak Hord often went by his preferred moniker, Lord of Hate and Master of the Gathering Darkness. He was a Dark Lord of the Sith who ruled during the early days of the Sith Empire. He was especially skilled in lightsaber combat and wore a fearsome mask and armor that inspired fear in his opponents and fellow members of the Sith.
Hord spend much of his time mastering Sith sorcery with the goal of learning the secrets of immortality. He is believed to have defeated more than 100 worlds during his time commanding the armies of the Sith. Unfortunately, his understanding of the Force didn’t save his life when Ortan Cela, his only apprentice, literally stabbed him in the back. He was buried in a massive tomb on Korriban with his writings, the Sith Holocron he created and his mask.
4. DARTH VITIATE
Vitiate was the Sith Emperor who ruled the reconstituted Sith Empire as Valkorion. He was one of the most powerful Sith of all time who was born evil. He was the illegitimate son of Lord Dramath of Medriaas and an unknown peasant woman. In his youth, he tortured and murdered his mother and adoptive father and went on to slaughter thousands of villagers… you know, crazy kid stuff.
He became Darth Vitiate and ruled over the planet Medriaas. Following the Great Hyperspace War, he summoned the remaining Sith Lords to his planet and sucked their very life force into his own. This prolonged his life considerably, but it was thanks to his ability to transfer his consciousness into new bodies, called Emperor’s Voices, that allowed him to live for so long. He went on to rule the Sith Empire for more than 1,500 years.
3. EXAR KUN
During the time of the Old Sith Wars, Exar Kun was a Jedi Knight. He succumbed to the Dark Side and became a Dark Lord of the Sith, beginning his path to the Dark Side when he traveled to the planet Onderon to study the Sith. He found the spirit of the long-dead Sith Lord Freedon Nadd who believed he could use the young Jedi to regain physical form.
Kun established his foothold on the planet Yavin IV but was eventually killed in a battle with the Jedi. He was able to separate his spirit from his body and live on but was trapped on the planet. Millennia later, Luke Skywalker established a new Jedi training ground on Yavin IV and battled the spirit of Exar Kun. With the help of his apprentices, they were able to successfully banish Kun’s spirit forever.
2. DARTH MALGUS
Darth Malgus was a Sith Lord during the Great Galactic Civil War. He was born Veradun and showed his affinity to the Dark Side at an early age by killing a Twi’lek servant who worked for his father. He was then sent to learn the ways of the Force at the Sith Academy and went on to become a powerful member of the Sith military. He rose through the ranks and eventually struck down his Master Vindican, taking his place.
By the end of the Cold War, Malgus declared a new Sith Empire, believing the Sith Emperor dead. His goal was to establish a new empire devoid of the usual infighting common in the Sith Dark Council. He was tracked down and defeated in battle, but instead of being killed, he was frozen in carbonite and given as a gift to the Immortal Emperor Valkorion by his two sons.
1. DARTH CAEDUS
Darth Caedus is the son of Han and Leia Organa Solo who was originally named Jacen Solo. He followed in his uncle Luke’s footsteps and became a powerful Jedi Knight who was instrumental in defeating the Yuuzhan Vong during the Yuuzhan Vong War. Unfortunately, he ended up following in his grandfather’s footsteps (Darth Vader) and turned to the Dark Side of the Force, renaming himself Darth Caedus.
As Darth Caedus, he strove to bring order and stability to the galaxy just like his grandfather. He ended up turning to the Dark Side due to a vision of a dark figure ruling the galaxy. His desire to prevent this from happening drove him towards a chaotic descent to the Dark Side. He seized control of the Galactic Alliance, killed Mara Jade Skywalker and tortured Ben Skywalker. He was finally killed by his twin sister Jaina.
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