The Sith Order is the opposite of the Jedi Order and has been the mortal enemy of the light side for thousands of years. Of course, while we do know that the Sith Order was around for thousands of years before its permanent(?) destruction in ‘Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker,’ there weren’t a lot of Sith Lords that the modern Star Wars canon named. So, how many Sith Lords are there?
In canon, around 35 Sith Lords have been named, although it is likely that thousands of them existed in the past. Only two Sith Lords existed during the Skywalker Saga due to the Rule of Two. Currently, there are no longer any Sith Lords remaining in the galaxy.
The thing about the Sith Order is that its history dates back thousands of years ago when there were many different Sith Lords in the galaxy. Of course, this is something that the current canon has never explored, and that’s why only a few Sith Lords have been mentioned in the canon lore of Star Wars. Still, let’s look at how many Sith Lords are there in the Star Wars universe.
Sith Lords in canon
If there’s a rivalry that we know lasted for thousands of years, it involves the Jedi Order and the Sith Order. Simply known as the Sith, these Force wielders were powerful people that drew strength from the dark side of the Force. As such, they valued power, passion, and selfishness above anything else. And that was how they became powerful enough to challenge the Jedi for thousands of years.
Of course, in the current Star Wars canon, the history of the Sith Order hasn’t been fleshed out well enough. The days of the Old Republic, which existed thousands of years before the events of the Skywalker Saga, are untouched by the canon. As such, the battles waged between thousands of Jedi and thousands of Sith during the Old Republic era are still part of the Legends arm of Star Wars.
So, because of that, there haven’t been a lot of Sith Lords that have been confirmed to be part of the current Star Wars canon. Six of these Sith Lords are undoubtedly part of the canon because they were featured or, at the very least, mentioned in the movies and the animated TV shows. These are Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, Darth Plagueis, and Darth Bane.
However, we also know that the other Star Wars movies, shows, books, and comics teased the possibility that some Sith Lords may have existed in the current canon. Of course, some of these names were confirmed to be part of the canon, while others are still just hinted to be part of the canon. Nevertheless, we believe that around 35 of these Sith Lords existed in the current canon.
Some of these Sith Lords were confirmed to be part of the canon by the books and comic books. In contrast, some were namedropped during the events of the sequel trilogy, where the different legions of the First Order/Last Order were named after legendary Sith Lords that lived thousands of years ago.
Only two Sith Lords could exist at a time
Thousands of years before the events of the Skywalker Saga, thousands of people belonged to the Sith Order. However, in a battle that happened between the Jedi and the Sith over a thousand years before the Skywalker Saga, the Sith Order was all but destroyed. Darth Bane was the only Sith Lord to survive that battle, and he hid from the Jedi to make them believe that the Sith had been wiped out.
While hiding, Bane instituted the Rule of Two as part of the Sith Order’s doctrine. The Rule of Two states that there should only be two members of the Sith Order at any given time. There must be a master that represented the power of the Sith, whereas the apprentice was supposed to represent the desire to obtain that power. This rule was created because Bane believed that the infighting among the Sith Lords caused the downfall of the Sith Order.
Due to the Rule of Two, the Sith Lords could hide for a thousand years until it was time for Darth Sidious to rule as the Sith master. As Sheev Palpatine, Sidious hid as a political leader within the Republic while plotting and manipulating the events of the galaxy to destroy the Jedi Order.
In that regard, it was during his time that five of the known Sith Lords in canon existed. His master was Darth Plagueis, who he killed in his ascent to power. Sidious went on to take three apprentices on separate occasions. These were Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus (Count Dooku), and Darth Vader (Anakin Skywalker).
As such, in the one thousand years that followed Darth Bane’s Rule of Two, only two Sith Lords existed at any given time. That’s why, even though Maul was still alive when Dooku was Palpatine’s apprentice, he was no longer a Sith Lord as his master had already chosen a new apprentice to replace the old one.
The Sith Order is now extinct
Of course, as of this writing, we know that the Sith Order is now extinct. That means no Sith Lords are hiding in the Star Wars galaxy. This was because Rey had killed her grandfather, Emperor Palpatine, in the final battle of ‘The Rise of Skywalker.’ In doing so, she killed all of the Sith using the power of all of the Jedi.
As such, moving forward, the Sith Order will probably no longer threaten the galaxy because Rey has already destroyed it. Nevertheless, there’s still a good chance that a new threat will rise because the dark side of the Force always exists. Of course, we are not dismissing the possibility of a Sith Lord survivor somewhere in the galaxy, just like how Darth Bane survived and hid in plain sight when the Jedi thought that the Sith had been wiped out.
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