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Star Wars – the Sith explained

The Sith are the baddest guys around, and are known for their villainous schemes in the galaxy far, far away, so here are the Star Wars villains explained.

Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars

What are the Sith in Star Wars? The epic franchise chronicles the eternal battle for control of the galaxy between the Sith and the Jedi, but who are the evildoers exactly?

If you’ve seen Star Wars at all – either the Star Wars movies or any of the Star Wars series – you may be left with more questions than answers about who the Sith are and what they represent. We’re here to deconstruct any fake news and give you the lowdown on the history of the Sith, and the most important Star Wars characters within their order.

While you’re reading, remember these wise words from Jedi Master Yoda: “Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering” otherwise, you might find yourself falling for the seduction and promises of the dark side. Here’s our guide to the Sith explained.

The Sith explained

The Sith are an order of Force-sensitive warriors who have embraced and worship the dark side of the Force. Unlike the Jedi, who used the Force while remaining detached from their emotions, the Sith enhanced their ability with the Force by embracing negative emotions like anger, hate, jealousy, and fear.

While the Jedi used the force in more discrete ways, Sith channel the power of their negative emotions and used it to project lightning from their fingertips, and they fought with crimson-red lightsabers. The most powerful Sith were capable of prescience, foresight, and manipulating the emotions of others, for example when Star Wars villain Darth Sidious clouded Yoda’s judgement or implanted dark visions in Anakin Skywalker‘s mind.

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The Sith reached the height of their powers during the period of the Galactic Empire, ruled by Darth Sidious and his disciple Darth Vader. Together, largely through Order 66, they had destroyed their sworn enemies, the Jedi Order, rooting out almost every last trace of them throughout the galaxy.

However, the Sith were hugely wounded by the Rebellion and Luke Skywalker, which undid the Galactic Empire, killing Darth Vader in the process. The Sith were eventually destroyed completely by Rey after she killed the somehow returned Emperor Palpatine.

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Who are the most important Sith?

There’s no bigger baddie than Emperor Palpatine, Darth Sidious, who led the Sith for the majority of the events in the Star Wars timeline. He is the most powerful Sith that we see on screen, managing to hold his own against four Jedi Masters, and Yoda.

Despite his decrepit, OAP exterior, he was as capable wielding a lightsaber as he was with the Dark Side of the Force and possessed many impressive ancient Sith abilities and battle techniques. His charisma and powers of persuasion were also important tools, which he used to create the Galactic Empire and convert Anakin to the dark side.

Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars

Darth Vader is next in line. He was known for his intimidating presence, his confident fighting ability, and his impressive use of the Force. Despite his wounds and injuries, he was fuelled by hatred and anger for his old master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Other notable Sith were Darth Maul and Darth Tyranus (AKA Count Dooku) who were also important figures in the ascendancy of the Sith, albeit less powerful than Sidious and Vader. We will learn more about the ancient Sith when The Acolyte release date arrives.

For more galaxy-spanning fun, check out our guide to the best sci-fi series. Or, take a look at our guide to Andor cast of characters with our explainers on Luthen Rael, Mon Mothma, and Syril Karn. Alternatively, you can find out more about the Andor season 2 release date or the Ahsoka release date.