If you are a Star Wars fan, there’s always a good time to discuss the Sith. Whether you love the Skywalker Saga or all the animated tales of The Force, Star Wars is like baseball — it’s a talking sport.
Inside the Matrix, our podcast draft master MrCrockpot has earned his nerd wings with all the numerous Mandalorian posts he creates for our reading leisure. In a few of those, he has mentioned Ahsoka Tano, who will be making her long-awaited live-action debut in the Disney+ series.
While many of us geckaphiles can’t wait for that to happen, it got this particular nerd thinking about the Dark Side of the Force. Personally, I love the Sith side of things. George Lucas created some badass personas among the Sith, but have you ever considered — dare I say, power ranked, the Sith?
Here are the Top 13 Star Wars Sith Lords, power ranking style.
13. Ulic Qel-Droma
Imagine if Luke did give in to Daddy, slowly. His genius, strategy, and passion all for the forces of evil. That would have been Ulic Qel-Droma who pretended to be a dark Jedi before he became one. Regretfully for him, the switch wasn’t intentional — he was injected by a rage-augmenting chemical. That anger caused him to find a home in the Dark Side.
That’s why he is revered as he is throughout Sith Lord lore. His training was limited, but his gifts were innate. His Force power was born with him but when he was corrupted, he began to toy with new gifts more sinister in nature. Those included mind control and increased agility that he used to his full capacity. Ulic Qel-Droma was studied for future Sith in how to tap the full potential of the Dark Side.
12. Darth Malgus
Without question, Darth Malgus is surely one of the most fearful Sith Lords to see. Imagine rolling up in a dark alley to see this dude?! Yeah, you’d pee a little. Unfortunately, he doesn’t ring a bell for many Star Wars fans.
What made him so hard to kill, much less to touch, is Malgus was known for his lightning speed. Imagine dueling The Flash in a swordfight? Yeah, good luck with that. He had an infamous reputation for bloodlust. He ran through Jedi Masters like Luke blasted away Stormtroopers.
Even the famous Jedi Master Ven Zallow was quickly impaled by Darth Malgus. He loved his Twi’lek partner, so for that treasure — Malgus killed her and became even stronger. In short, Malgus was a beast.
11. Darth Vader
There is no question who is the owner of that mysterious silhouette. Darth Vader is the face of the Empire and quite possibly, the Star Wars franchise overall. The strange thing is when you compare him to others, Anakin Skywalker didn’t possess all the powers of the Dark Side as other Sith Lords.
Throughout canon, Vader didn’t take down any true Jedi or Sith. His presence was intimidating, and he may be one of the most calculating military minds of the Sith, but he lacked the Dark Side force others controlled. The only real blow was chopping off his son’s hands and hurling Palpatine into the Death Star Core (and that didn’t even work). Also, when you consider he couldn’t use Force Lightning because those aren’t his real hands, you begin to wonder just how POW-wa-ful he really was.
Turns out, he was more of a doting father than a dangerous Sith Lord. But who cares? He’s Darth effing Vader, and that’s alright with us!
10. Darth Nihilus
Darth Nihilus was not a Sith Lord with feelings you could detect and manipulate. This Sith Lord was known as “The Lord of Hunger.” He could consume entire planets. Really. In fact, as a Dark Jedi, he encountered “a destructive spatial phenomenon known as a mass shadow.” It left him like Dracula, only sucking from the teet of The Force! From there, he became a “wound in the Force, more presence than flesh.”
How? His consciousness was bound to his badass mask and armor. They were imbued with his dark powers, so naturally he had to feed on the Dark Side of the Force like a nonagenarian to an oxygen tank. And this Force Ghost guy was trained by Darth Traya, which proved to him mastery of the Dark Side means the Jedi Order had to go. This Sith Lord was an amazing power of the Dark Side.
9. Freedon Nadd
Don’t bother searching for this ancient Sith Lord because Freedon Nadd is no longer in canon. Yet, that doesn’t diminish his importance to the Dark Side. Freedon Nadd was one of the main players in the Old Republic. He was the master to the one seed on this list and had a legacy that helped mold the Dark Side into what it is today.
Unlike many Sith Lords, he ruled the galaxy not with a lightsaber, but with sorcery. In fact, after he believed he acquired everything he could from his master Naga Sadow, he cast a spell, killed his master, and took on the mantle of Dark Lord himself.
He ruled Onderon for a hundred years. That’s an empire. And even though he eventually died, his spirit remained an important influence in the universe for more than a millennia afterward.
8. Darth Traya
Darth Traya was, like many others on this list, a Jedi before she became a Sith Lord. She was Darth Revan’s and Darth Nihilus’ Sith Master. She mastered such Dark Side Force techniques that she used the Force to wield her lightsabers telekinetically. As in “Look mom, no hands!” Her mind was so powerful that she could see far into the future.
Her diabolical strength and polarizing duality are where she found peace riding the fence between Light and Dark. The Jedi had their issues and weaknesses, and she knew them all. Additionally, she knew the bloodthirst and power-fueled angst of the Sith would cause her to lose focus. Darth Traya was a Sith Lord few were able to handle or compare.
7. Lord Vitiate
Who needs a mask or a hood when you got that Silver Fox look, amirite ladies? Before someone who is coming in this list was known as the Galactic Emperor, Lord Vitiate was the “Sith Emperor.” That title was all he needed to believe he was all powerful, so this Sith Lord went about the galaxy looking to overrule everyone and rid the cosmos of hope.
Many who understand Star Wars canon regard Lord Vitiate as one of the most powerful Sith Lords in history. The dude killed his own father because he believed “Dad” was a source of power in his way. He did it with a mere thought…at the age of 10. He didn’t need a Death Star. His fearsome presence and military destroyed many planets. That’s power and someone certainly in the Dark Side.
6. Darth Bane
Darth Bane was around 1,000 years before The Clone Wars and remains one of the most influential of the Sith Lords. He created “The Rule of Two.” For many fans, the light bulb went off over your heads, and now you know. For others, here is what is “The Rule of Two.”
The Rule of Two states there would be only two Sith at one time, a master and an apprentice, guaranteeing that when the apprentice becomes powerful enough in the ways of the dark side to take the title of master, only then would they be worthy of the title. This transfer of power would only take place when the apprentice takes their master’s life and finds a worthy student to repeat the cycle, this way the Sith will grow more powerful and still exist through the new master. Both master and apprentice were considered to be Sith Lords.Wookieepedia
Darth Bane also marked his place in Sith Lord history by establishing his own Sith Order. Bane wasn’t a fan of the old Sith Order by the Sith Council that existed back then, so he studied Darth Revan’s holocron. From there, his mind and power grew. He demolished the old Sith Order and even the Old Jedi who tried to stop him.
When Bane was attempting to create his own holocron, to pass down to further Sith Lords, the Jedi sent a task force to kill him. Although outnumbered, the Sith Lord and his apprentice killed every single one of the Jedi attackers. Then, he overthrew the Republic.
5. Darth Revan
Easily one of the most feared Sith Lords, Revan is also one of the most popular, namely if you have played the video game “Knights of the Old Republic.” More than four millennia before the Skywalker Saga, Revan brought his militaristic mind (that would rival Alexander the Great) and recruited as many Jedi as he could to the Dark Side.
In fact, he was so renowned throughout the galaxy for his brute force, he was known as “Revan the Butcher.” Dude had a rep, largely because of how he pummeled the Republic to submission and brainwashed the Jedi. Like, all of them. Look at his mask. See anything? Kylo Ren loved his granddaddy but Revan was his mentor. Much like he was for Darth Malak, his apprentice, whom he killed.
4. Darth Plagueis
This phallic-cranium Sith Lord wasn’t feared for his saber play. In fact, he was dubbed “Plagueis the Wise” because he knew everything about the Force. There were no secrets with the Dark Side, which is why he was obsessed with immortality. His studies showed him immortality was possible within the Dark Side of the Force.
Why would a guy who was not such so good at dueling be so high on the list? That mental acuity made him a threat to everyone. If you were thinking of a plan, Plagueis considered it first. Also, his star pupil is a famous grandfather we all came to know quite well in the Skywalker Saga. This guy was that bad.
3. Marka Ragnos
Easily one of the most intimidating upon his appearance, Marka Ragnos is a devasting Sith Lord from the first Sith Empire. In fact, his Force ghost was more powerful than some Sith Lords or Jedi were in the flesh.
A strange creature of the Sith, Marka Ragnos is a Sith-Human hybrid. The Dark Side exudes from his presence, which was sparked by a Dark Jedi who fled the Republic after the 100-year Darkness. He was unchallenged for an entire century. His dueling power with a one-of-a-kind “Sith sword” was that awesome.
That’s why Marka Ragnos is one of the most fabled Sith Lords in history. In fact, Ragnos’ Force Ghost was said to be even more powerful than most Jedi. He managed to keep his spirit alive for many thousands of years after his death, being one of the first Force ghosts ever — Jedi or Sith.
2. Darth Sidious
“The Emperor” Sheev Palpatine was the apprentice of Darth Plagueis, who gave him the Sith moniker of Sidious. It was actually following the death of Plagueis (which Sidious committed, while his master was sleeping), he and Darth Maul attacked Naboo and made a place for Palpatine as Chancellor. Yes, that was Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
The man couldn’t keep an apprentice because his evil was too powerful and somehowe caused the death of his students. Maul? Dead in battle. Dooku (Tyrannus)? Dead in defense. Vader? Dead by Force Lightning. Kylo Ren? Death by wooed from the Light Side.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, Sidious activated Order 66, a clone army created to kill every single Jedi. He ravaged the Republic and created the Galactic Empire. And, like his master, he figured a way to cheat death, as we saw in The Rise of Skywalker. The man earned his evil street cred and will always be a supreme Sith Lord.
1. Exar Kun
Exar Kun, is the goat of Sith Lords. Look at his lightsaber. Yeah, and you thought Darth Maul created that. To fight like that and duel with surgical precision only inspired Maul. It came from Exar Kun.
He was once a part of the Jedi Order, and he was considered the standard. He chose his apprentice — Ulic Qel-Droma (see no. 13) — that is, he walked into a Jedi Council meeting, killed Supreme Chancellor Sidrona, and took Droma with him. It took a few years, but par for the course is the apprentice kills the master. But this was Exar Kun.
Following his “death,” Exar Kun used everything he knew about being a Sith Lord and separated his spirit from his body before he died. And he remained like that, more powerful than ever, for a few millennia. Living and killing that long into the afterlife?! Who else could do that?