Power. Greed. Survival of the fittest. Revenge. These are some of the reasons why anyone would fight, but the Sith do this and more.
Before we get started, let’s break the Sith into different eras/groups. Outlining their core beliefs and practices.
Starting with the Sith as a species. These humanoids were barbaric but also intelligent. They were open to the Dark Side, though they called it The Unity, and they could feed off of it and strengthen it as well.
Sadly, they were also xenophobic, (hated everyone that wasn’t one of them), and would be forced to submit to a group of Dark Jedi.
This is where the Sith Code was started and the Order of the Sith began. The Dark Jedi declared themselves Lords of the Sith and eventually found a way to produce offspring with them in the hopes of creating a perfect being.
One that could always tap into the Dark Side, and be able to bring down The Republic and the Jedi.
This would give birth to the Golden Age of the Sith, but there was still infighting. Only the strong got to have any say in their lives.
While the weak had to prove themselves in order to avoid being killed, or used as an experiment by Sith alchemists.
This new breed of Sith only cared about power, for themselves first and their groups second. In those days, there was a council of twelve Sith Lords and a King to rule over them all.
Clashes with the Republic would serve to give them a common enemy, but that would only last for so long. The end of this era would come at the hands of one of the most legendary Sith Lords.
Darth Bane made the Rule of Two and changed the Sith structure to what we see today, more about this further down.
There’s one more era to talk about. One that shared the original Sith Lord plan, (multiple Sith Lords and many apprentices), and the Rule of Two.
These concepts may be expanded on in future movies/shows. This new era was chaotic, the Empire was gone and its leaders were dead.
If Disney brings either of these groups back into canon, then we’ll get to meet a different Skywalker. We’d also get one of the longest living characters back!
Both would attempt to restore the Empire, and both would face the wrath of Luke Skywalker and his students. Luke’s family would be a thorn in the Sith’s side for many years.
Table of Contents
Why Do Sith Fight Each Other?
Regardless of the era, the Sith believed that power was everything, and the strong had the right to do whatever they wanted.
Rather than follow a set doctrine that tried to control them, the Sith wanted everything. Their emotions made them strong.
The films show us that a Sith Apprentice can hold their own against Jedi Masters. The battle between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gonn, and Darth Maul is a perfect example of this.
There’s only ever been one Sith who only wanted to learn about the Dark Side. He never attempted to conquer, his name was Darth Vectivus.
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
The Force shall free me
This is the Sith Code. The Sith wanted the freedom to learn as much about the Force as they could and use it as they saw fit.
They embraced emotions which is something that the Jedi were against. The Sith species didn’t treat the Force as something divided.
They called it Unity and had a symbiotic relationship with it. They already possessed magic and alchemy before the Dark Jedi arrived.
If it wasn’t for the Dark Jedi’s weapons, the Sith could have won the battle for their planet. But ignorance and infighting were their downfalls.
The Sith were raised in the Dark Side and some were more advanced than the Dark Jedi. Since they could survive using the Force alone.
Being closed off from the rest of the galaxy, they didn’t have access to space travel and had never seen a lightsaber before.
This merger would lead countless Jedi to question themselves along with some joining the Sith ranks.
Why Do The Sith Bother With An Apprentice?
Similar to the Jedi, the Sith needed a way to pass on their knowledge. Wars with the Jedi proved that they could be wiped out.
The Jedi had done this once before, believing that the Sith were extinct for a millennium. This act of arrogance would cost them a great deal.
The Sith are many things, stupid isn’t one of them. Not all of them wanted to have children or risk settling down in one place.
So, they did the next best thing. Either lured Jedi into their ranks or found promising Force users that were overlooked/undiscovered by the Jedi and trained them.
Rule Of Two
This is in the era of the films. The Rule of Two sounds very simple, and Yoda explained it in The Phantom Menace.
There’s always supposed to be two, a master and an apprentice. One to have power and the other to seek and crave it.
But, if that’s how it’s supposed to work then why does Dooku keep taking apprentices? Why did Darth Vader take apprentices? We know why he wanted Luke, but there were others before him.
The only times an apprentice was supposed to take a student for themselves was either after they had killed their master, or for the new student to help kill the current master.
The master was only supposed to look for another apprentice if they found one they wanted to train. If they already had an apprentice, then they would either kill them or arrange for their death.
Just like Palpatine did. He wanted Anakin Skywalker from the moment he met him and had Anakin kill Dooku in order to claim him for the Dark Side.
To understand the Rule of Two, we must understand Darth Bane and why he made it. Darth Bane was born on Apatros and would join the Brotherhood of Darkness, (what the Sith Order called themselves at that time), as an adult.
He was a great fighter but had no diplomatic skills. During his time with the Brotherhood, Bane likened the Sith to poison.
Divided, they were weak. All of the Sith were meant to be equal under one ruler, yet weaker students would often team up to defeat the stronger ones.
This infighting was even encouraged by the Blademaster (instructor), and the others in charge of training them. Bane hatched a plan to eliminate the other Sith along with the Jedi.
Bane tricked the leader, Lord Kaan, by teaching him how to make a thought bomb. A powerful Sith weapon capable of killing all Force sensitives within its blast radius.
Bane learned how to make a thought bomb by studying Darth Revan’s Holocron. Because it requires many strong Dark Side users, the Thought Bomb has rarely been used.
He declared himself as a true Sith Lord and called himself Darth Bane. He would take on one apprentice, Darth Zannah, and she would start another tradition.
Killing her master in a duel and taking his place, only to eventually be killed by her apprentice. The status quo between master and apprentice is made of power and knowledge.
The apprentice is meant to obey only until they either learn everything their Master has to offer or until they’re strong enough to kill them. In turn, the Master is always on the lookout for other worthy candidates to train.
Treachery is the backbone of education for the Sith. They even had ritualistic combat where the apprentice would gain tattoos if they succeeded.
If the apprentice died or they were deemed unworthy, then the Master would take a new apprentice. This was more common with the Sith who were trying to become immortal.
Should both die, however, then any of the remaining Sith Acolytes may try to declare themselves Sith Lords. Anyone with an affinity for the Dark Side may declare themselves to be Sith as well (Darth Vectivius did so without encountering any Sith or Jedi).
This explains Snoke. We never heard of him before episode seven, and he barely did anything during the films.
Two Sith Lords can use the title “Darth”, a master and an apprentice. If another Sith tried to claim it, then they’d have to fight one of the current Sith Lords.
Darth Bane intended the Rule of Two to act as a buffer. Only two may carry the Darth title, but there are many Dark Side wielders across the galaxy.
Sith fight for power and due to the nature of the Force, they will always exist. It doesn’t matter how many times the Jedi try to wipe them out.
The Sith will always rise up again. Though it’s unclear if they’ll follow the Rule of Two, or choose to create an army of Sith Lords.
The Sith’s greatest enemy will always be other Sith, the Jedi only assume they’re the ones best suited for handling the Sith. Thank you for reading and remember: The Force will set you free.