Katelyn continues to explore the balance of the force with a special focus on The Sith: Origins and Philosophies
Welcome back, reader, to the Balance series. If you missed the introduction article to the series, you can find it here. In a nutshell, we are diving deeper into what “balance” in the Star Wars universe actually means. I am doing this by using both old and new facts as well as long-held theories that might be right or wrong. We’ll have to see…
In this particular article, we will be looking at the origins and philosophies of The Sith. Keep in mind as I go through these articles, some of what I use may or may not be Disney canon. This, unfortunately, cannot be helped. Disney has given us no new backstories for some of these ideas and so, I must rely on old canon and theories.
No more time to waste, so let’s get into it.
Where did the Sith come from?
The Sith were originally just a species of people from the planet Korriban. The planet was unknown to the Republic and both lived ignorant of the other. They were a proud, warrior-like people with a caste system based on subspecies. The Sith Empire was created by Dark Jedi in 6,900 BBY. These Dark Jedi were fleeing the battle of Corbos, which was the final battle in The Hundred-Year Darkness. These Jedi were exiled and would be hunted if they remained in occupied space.
The Dark Jedi set themselves up as leaders. After mixing with the locals, the term Sith referred to all inhabitants of the planet, not just those of the species. After a new hyperspace lane was formed nearby, two brothers rediscovered the planet around 5,000 BBY. At this time, Sith Lord Naga Sadow saw an opportunity and led her warriors closer to the Republic, starting the Great Hyperspace War.
After the defeat of the Sith empire and Korriban, the planet was turned into an abandoned tomb world. The defeat of the Sith triggered a galactic change. There was no longer a Sith “army” so to speak. The defeat of the Sith was mostly blamed on their leader, Naga Sadow. They considered it a blunder to try and attack the Republic and Jedi, as they were unprepared for a full-scale war. It is worth noting that after defeat, Sadow ran to the 4th moon in the Yavin system and had the Massassi warriors under his command build a series of temples. Sadow died there. If you decide to read the original extended universe, there are some storylines that deal with these temples and Naga’s legacy.
The Sith Now
The Sith we know now are very different than those of 10,000 years ago. Darth Bane was the creator of The Rule of Two, and the Sith have stuck to the ideal ever since. Bane realized 1,000 years before The Clone Wars, that it was infighting that destroyed the Sith for good. The rule of two was meant to keep the knowledge concentrated so group infighting could not occur. It’s interesting that the Sith do not want balance within the galaxy, but they do seem to want it in their own organization.
What do they believe?
Just as there is a Jedi code, so there is a Sith one.
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.
Unfortunately, what we mainly see of the Sith in the films is all constructed around Palpatine. We don’t see another side or a different goal. However, we see from the Sith past, domination and fear were always at the forefront. Fear keeps people still and in survival mode, which makes them easier to manage. Going with “total domination” sounds cliche, but it applies. If you’d like to look more in-depth about the Sith ideas of domination, look up a set of books Palpatine wrote called “The Dark Side Compendium”. It’s a set of three that are meant to share his knowledge of the dark side and the Sith.
The modern Sith wanted to push the limits of possibility. They had no qualms meddling in forces and trying theories that were unknown or dangerous. Many guess that this is how Anakin came to be. The theory is that Plagueis did indeed find the way to immortality, it just wasn’t what he thought it was. Instead of he himself living, his life was transferred to Anakin. Hence, no father and a high midichlorian count. There are dozens of abilities that the Jedi order outlawed for its members because they were considered “Sith”. Whether this was right or not, we will discuss at a later date.
Naga Sadow may have messed up his homeworld and gotten most of his people killed, but he taught the Sith an important lesson; patience. Take a hard look at the Sith we see from the films. Patience is truly a virtue you will see demonstrated over and over. Playing the long-term game was of utmost importance. It’s how they won. Anakin was groomed for 13 years. The war took just as long to create. Setbacks were taken in turn and seeing the opportunity in the loss was one of the Sith strong points.
If you want to know the legacy of the Sith, and what made them dangerous, it is truly fear and determination. The ability to stay a course for decades, realizing you may not even get to see the outcome, is actually admirable. The Sith were willing to give it all for the goal, to never hesitate or act from compassion. While the Jedi acted from rationale, the Sith acted out of emotion. They were just better at seeing their emotions through to the end.
Up Next In The Balance Series:
- Jedi- philosophies and origins
- The Mortis storyline (TCW)- it’s intentions, repercussions, & consequences. Ahsoka and Obi-wan’s visions.
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Katelyn Mathis is a regular Staff Writer for Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is the go-to source for Force Knowledge. Follow her on Twitter @ForceKnowledge where she uses the force frequently!
Writer. Creator of forceknowledge.org. Networking manager for GarageWorx. Leader of Entrepreneurial Blueprint Behavioral Insights.