Before we get to the fun part, let’s cover exactly what it means to “cheat death.” In Star Wars, cheating death could mean prolonging life through Force Hibernation, true resurrection, Holocroms, Essence Transfer, and cloning.
It could also mean staying alive through sheer will power. Sith Specters (evil Force ghosts) will also be discussed here.
Most of this information comes from Legends, but Disney is making steps to bring in more characters and make them canon. One of these characters has always been canon, he just never made it on screen.
Table of Contents
List of Sith Lords Who Cheated Death
- Darth Bane. Darth Bane shaped the future of the Sith by creating the Rule of Two. A highly skilled Force Healer, (a rare thing among Dark Side wielders), Bane could use Essence transfer. This did not end well for him because the one time he tried it was against his apprentice, and it was her body that survived.
- Darth Sion. Darth Sion literally used the Force and his own pain to keep himself alive. His body became heavily scarred due to his fighting style and inability to heal himself, so he was in constant pain. The moment he let go, death would be able to claim him.
- Exar Kun. Exar Kun forced all of his followers to sacrifice themselves so he could separate his spirit from his body. This quickly backfired, as the Jedi trapped his soul in the Temple, where he performed the ritual. He eventually met his end at the hands of Luke Skywalker and his students.
- Marka Ragnos. Marka Ragnos was called the First True Sith Lord. In life, he never encountered the Jedi, and he was never defeated or overthrown by the Sith. He died of old age, yet his connection to the Dark Side was so strong that he showed up at his own funeral as a ghost.
- Freedon Nadd. After being Onderon’s king for a hundred years, this Sith Lord’s ghost consciously aided many Sith and helped turn several Jedi to the Dark Side.
- Darth Andeddu. Darth Andeddu was the first Sith to bear the Darth title and was the Immortal God-King of Prakith. Taking his skills of Force Healing one step further, he learned how to attach a mind to a body (Essence transfer), and with this method, he learned how to attach his spirit to objects.
- Darth Nihilus. Lord of Hunger. Eater of Worlds. Darth Nihilus cheated death in two ways. Using his unique connection to the Dark Side, he was able to drain the life energy out of everything around him. He was also able to attach his soul to his armor. It’s unknown if he still exists.
- Darth Plagueis the Wise. His skill with Midi-chlorians was so great, he was able to stop death from claiming the ones he cared about. His greatest mistake however, was teaching everything he knew to his apprentice, Palpatine/Sidious. His route to attempt immortality was more scientific than the other Sith.
- Darth Vitiate. Darth Vitiate was called the Eternal Emperor. He was able to split his consciousness repeatedly. He could send out parts of his consciousness and keep his body safe.
- Darth Sidious. Darth Sidious was Master to Darth Vader and manipulator of all three trilogies. He cloned himself multiple times and attempted to transfer his essence to the clones. However, these clones were unable to handle the effects of the Dark Side and aged rapidly.
- Darth Reven. Darth Reven technically died twice. At his first death, Reven was split into a dark half and a light half. Though his light side joined the Force, the dark half stuck around for revenge. He made a Sith Holocron and would eventually be rejoined with his light half and die.
- Naga Sadow. Naga Sadow built the temples on Yavin 4 (seen in Episode 9) and went into Force hibernation for 600 years. He could also turn people into mindless slaves.
- Ajunta Pall. Ajunta Pall was the first Dark Lord. He built the first Sith Empire and was hailed as a God. He bound his spirit to his chosen capital, Ziost.
- Darth Malak. Darth Malak destroyed the Jedi Enclave on Dantooine and the planet Taris. He could regenerate by stealing the life force of others and amplify his strength using rage and fear through the Dark Side.
- Darth Maul. He was brought back to life in a comic in order to kill Darth Vader.
- Darth Krayt. He would declare himself Emperor some time after the fall of the Galactic Empire. He made a Rule of One and he hibernated often but would fall to Cade Skywalker in a lightsaber duel.
- Darth Traya. Called the strongest female Sith, she used Force Hibernation and could wield three lightsabers at once using just the Force.
- Dathka Graush. A Sith Sorcerer who used the Tsaiwinokka Hoyakut spell. With it, he raised countless corpses and used the Force to bind them. He also had his heart removed and replaced by a crystal housing many fallen Sith. He was brought back to life shortly after the first Death Star was destroyed. The location of his crystal heart is unknown.
- Karness Muur. The man responsible for the Rakghoul, he was one of the Dark Jedi who would rule the Sith. He made a tome called the Codex of Karness Muur. He was the first Sith Lord to use a lightsaber.
Who Cheated Death Before Palpatine?
Everyone in this list except for Darth Krayt.
Other Points Of Interest
The Sith also had a prophecy. In it, a being known as the Sith’ari would rise up and make the Sith stronger.
Palpatine believed himself to be the Sith’ari, but many fans claim Darth Bane is the Sith’ari, due to the Rule of Two and many other of Bane’s accomplishments.
Darth Revan was a Jedi, then a Sith, then a Jedi, then whatever you want to call his dark half. He finally became a Jedi again right before dying.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. I focused on the cheating death part, but please take the time to learn more about these amazing Sith Lords.
There’s so much that Disney can do with this list alone, and there are a ton of Sith Lords that I haven’t mentioned here! Thank you for reading.