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Can Sith Be Redeemed?

Can Sith Be Redeemed?

Many Jedi have fallen to the dark side and turned Sith. However, some throughout Star Wars Canon and Legends regretted their decisions and wished to return to the light side. But once a Jedi falls to the Sith, can they redeem themselves?

The Rise of Skywalker revealed a Sith Lord can cheat death if they are well-versed enough in the dark side. While Sith Lords develop deep connections with the dark side, they may redeem themselves. 

Can a Sith Lord Be Revived?

Darth Sidious supposedly died after a redeemed Darth Vader threw him into a reactor in Return of the Jedi. However, the Sequel Trilogy showed Sidious in a new body as he continued his quest to rule the galaxy.

Jedi can't sense Palpatine

So how did this Sith Lord revive himself?

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The short answer: A bit of science and Sith magic. 

Darth Sidious sent his consciousness into a cloned body that Sith cultists known as the Sith Eternal, designed. However, it was a painful process, and he soon realized his cloned body was decaying because of his deep connection with the dark side. 

Therefore, his new body was temporary. Though mostly immobile, his mind remained, allowing him to forge a plan that would eventually let him complete his resurrection and become Emperor. 

To do this, Sidious needed an able-bodied host to house his spirit, who he chose to be Rey, his granddaughter. During the climax in The Rise of Skywalker, he tried to convince her to kill him, which would initiate a Sith ritual to transfer his spirit into Rey’s body. 

Rey Meets Palpatine | The Rise of Skywalker

Can Sith Be Redeemed? 

The question of whether Sith can redeem themselves is subjective to the Sith Lord’s actions. Theoretically, any Sith can be redeemed if they embrace the light side of the Force. However, they must also perform an act of valor to confirm their redemption. 

Their actions must speak louder than their words or feelings. Below are two examples. 

In Star Wars Legends, Luke Skywalker rejected Flint’s offer to become his apprentice, causing Flint to resent him. 

Darth Vader took advantage and turned Flint to the dark side. It wasn’t until Flint sought revenge on Luke did he turn to the light side after reconnecting with a presumed-dead friend, Barney. 

Flint turned from the dark side and embraced the light before returning to Belderone, his home planet. Unfortunately, one of his former masters, Lumiya, found and killed him. 

Revan embraced light side teachings before he fell to the dark side with his friend, Malak. They crossed the Sith Lord Darth Vitiate, and both fell to his mind control. Later, they broke free and declared war on the Jedi, igniting the Jedi Civil War. 

History of Darth Revan

Had Malak not turned on Revan, the duo may have won the war for the Sith. However, the Jedi rescued Revan and retrained him in the light side of the Force. Once re-acclimated with the light side, Revan waged war against the Emperor but died in the effort. 

While Sith like Flint and Revan redeemed themselves, their actions led them back to the light side. So whether a Sith returns to the light is ultimately their decision. 

Could Darth Sidious Be Redeemed?

Some Sith Lords are so deeply ingrained in the dark side of the Force there is lesser hope for them to redeem themselves. However, any Sith Lord could redeem themselves, including Darth Sidious. 

Now, Sidious was too far entrenched in the dark side when the Original Trilogy rolled around. But YouTube’s Star Wars Thought has a cool theory on how Anakin Skywalker could have redeemed Darth Sidious in Revenge of the Sith. 

Anakin could have made Sidious realize that Darth Plagueis brainwashed him into embracing the dark side. A guilty Darth Sidious would then admit to and show remorse for his crimes, the most notorious included igniting the Clone Wars. 

This would lead to two possibilities:

  1. The Jedi jail Palpatine for his actions
  2. They train Palpatine in the light side

The first scenario would be the Jedi’s preferred method. However, Palpatine was popular among the public. If the Jedi realized how deep Palpatine’s popularity ran, they may have retrained him in the light side, which would fully redeem Palpatine. 

However, even Star Wars Thought noted how far-fetched this theory is, given Palpatine’s history before crossing Darth Plagueis. 

In the novel Darth Plagueis, Palpatine always thought of himself as different and better than those around him growing up. And he also felt his family held him back. 

But, the above scenario shows the slim chance of Palpatine perhaps redeeming himself and embracing the light side, however unlikely this scenario is. 

Did Darth Vader Get Redeemed?

During the Battle of Endor, Luke Skywalker engaged in an epic lightsaber duel with Darth Vader. 

Later in the duel, Luke put away his lightsaber and declared that he would no longer fight Vader. Vader, however, stated if Luke doesn’t turn to the dark side, then Leia would. 

Angered, Luke again ignited his lightsaber and confronted Vader, gaining the upper hand when he sliced off his father’s hand and ended the duel. Darth Sidious, the Emperor in the Original Trilogy, wanted Luke to kill Vader, targeting the Jedi Knight as his next apprentice. 

When Luke refused and angered Sidious, he struck him with Force lightning. And when you watch Darth Vader’s mannerisms while Luke pleads for his father to help him, you will notice Vader is slowly reverting to the light side. 

He’s glancing from Luke to Sidious, and you can almost see the emotion in Vader’s face, despite his mask and helmet. 

Once Sidious was about to finish Luke off, Vader muttered, “No,” before throwing the Emperor into the reactor, killing him until the Dark Lord of the Sith resurrected himself. 

At this moment, Darth Vader fully redeemed himself to the light side and resumed Anakin Skywalker’s identity. 

Further evidence regarding Anakin Skywalker’s redemption came in the last scene in Return of the Jedi, where he’s seen standing with Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi as a Force ghost. 

Star Wars VI - Return of the Jedi - Final End


A Sith’s redemption depends on their actions. Darth Sidious could theoretically have been redeemed. But he became so ingrained in the dark side that he opted to cheat death and attempt to use a Sith ritual to reinstall himself as Emperor and control the galaxy. 

Darth Vader’s actions led to his redemption. Ditto for Flint and Revan, among other Sith adepts, returned to the light side in Star Wars Canon and Legends. 

As Darth Sidious showed in The Rise of Skywalker, Sith Lords can be revived, but it’s a painful process. Cheating death, Sidious decayed in a temporary body as he awaited his granddaughter, Rey, to kill and transfer his soul into her body.

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