Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Introduction - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Introduction

Last week on my birthday as a special treat to Imgur I created an album detailing some Star Wars history, particularly surrounding the Jedi Order and the 'best' members it has ever produced: http://imgur.com/gallery/Tcn9w

Due to the popularity and several personal requests, I have created a sequel post to mirror it, this time focusing on the main antagonists and eternal enemies of the Jedi, the Sith. As with the previous list I will be outlining the beings I feel warrant notoriety as the ten 'best' and most prominent Sith of all time. The list is personalized and slightly subjective as before, with attempts to remain as objective as possible while ultimately bringing together a fun and informative addition to those of you who share in the fandom.
Criteria - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Criteria

As with the Jedi, our Sith have been judged on several factors:

-Force aptitude/power
-Lightsaber prowess
-Deeds/actions
-Knowledge/wisdom
-Additional skills

Now before beginning a few points of order and distinction need to be gone over. Firstly that on this list you will note several glaring omissions such as Darth Vader and fan favorite Revan (the subject of at least one very excellent post all his own on here).

Much as before the reasoning for this is quite simply that this list will focus solely on beings who were ALWAYS Sith, which is to say they were not fallen Jedi of any kind. These beings were either born into the Sith legacy or obtained their place after discovering and honing their skills and power thru the Dark Side of the Force.

(Even as I write this I know there will be those who skim over it entirely and will derisively point out their lack of inclusion in the comments section but rest assured a third and final list is in the works to address these very beings and many others like them).

Secondly that as before this will draw heavily upon the now defunct and vastly trimmed down Expanded Universe wherein a solid percentage of all this information comes from. Though much of the stories are no longer canon, they still exist in the form of 'Star Wars Legends' and were a wonderful source for myself and many others growing up.

Nevertheless it was again a very fun and refreshing project to delve into and that I hope will bring you all as much enjoyment as it did me to create it :)
Honorable Mention: Darth Maul - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Honorable Mention: Darth Maul

Darth Maul was a Zabrak Sith and the first apprentice of Darth Sidious. A talented and adept assassin, Maul was integral to the early machinations of the eventual Emperor, both behind the scenes and eventually at the forefront to challenge the Jedi.

Maul was trained rigorously and in secret even while Palpatine was still an apprentice himself. His naturally high threshold for pain tolerance allowed Sidious to torture and mold the young Zabrak into the perfect Sith assassin.

While possessing an above average strength in the Force, Maul's true gifts lay in lightsaber combat in no small part due to Palpatine's training that focused heavily on that aspect of the arts. Maul was a master of the Jar Kai style, able to use the same legendary dual blade that Exar Kun had created and mastered many thousands of years before. As such he was able to duel and overwhelm one of the preeminent duelists of the Jedi Order in Qui-Gon Jinn and deal him a fatal wound.

Ultimately Maul's desire to overwhelm opponents physically and defeat them thru total martial prowess capped his potential as a true Sith Lord, while falling into the trap of overconfidence that has been the downfall of many a Sith over the millennia.
Honorable Mention: Valkorion - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Honorable Mention: Valkorion

Known primarily as simply the Sith Emperor, Valkorion saved and re-established the Sith Empire after its crushing defeat in the Great Hyperspace War of Galactic fame. As ruler under many different names and titles over time, he brought the Sith into the new centuries and ruled his empire for 1300 years thanks to essence transference, alchemy and incomparable Dark Side capabilities.

From the very beginning he possessed an innate ability to feed off the emotions and life force of others, using his own step-fathers anger to amplify his Force powers at the age of 6 and snap his neck (he would then go on to torture his own mother for months after while using her fear and pain as fuel to grow stronger). At the age of 13 he was granted the title of Lord by the renowned Sith Marka Ragnos, Lord of all Sith at that time.

His research and devotion to Sith lore, alchemy and magic was unparalleled in his day. He created numerous rituals thru which he could warp reality and life itself in many ways. His will was such that he could simultaneously dominate the minds of eight THOUSAND Sith Lords and use their combined power to rip the life force out of an entire planet.

In his quest to ascend to Godhood he ruled his Empire for well over a millennia, spanning several bodies due to the corrosive effects of of the potency of his Dark Powers. He was also directly responsible for the infamous Mandalorian Wars which led to the falls of Revan and Malak to the Dark Side and changed the course of Galactic History for all time.

In the end even he could not live forever though Darth Plagueis, (himself renowned for his pursuits and skills when it came to achieving immortality), mused that only the Sith Emperor had ever truly come close.

Ten: Lumiya - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Ten: Lumiya

The Dark Lady of the Sith, the woman formerly known as Shira Brie was an Imperial Double agent, Emperor's hand and eventual mantle bearer to the legacy of the Sith after the death's of Palpatine and Vader during the battle of Endor.

Brie was an exceptional pilot and spy, serving Vader personally and with great loyalty over the years. During a mission as a double agent set to infiltrate the Rebel Alliance, Brie and Luke Skywalker developed a strong emotional connection to one another that given different circumstances could have blossomed into more. As it was her mission to disgrace him in the eyes of the Rebellion was successful, (but only very briefly after evidence of her duplicity came to light), yet led to her suffering grievous wounds and requiring lifesaving cybernetics akin to Vader's own needs.

Lumiya was a cunning warrior and incredibly perceptive. Never possessing the raw Force power of many others even on this list, she was a peerless master of the subtle arts. Illusions in particular were her specialty, able to create constructs by the hundreds and fool even the most adept of Jedi during her time. This talent allowed her to seamlessly manipulate, hide or otherwise weave thru any behind the scenes work she set her mind to.

Her weapon of choice was not the traditional lightsaber but rather the rare, and incredibly hard to master Lightwhip. With it she could negate the advantages of traditional lightsaber combat and keep opponents off balance as well as distanced from herself, wearing them down with barrages of unpredictable blows and wide arcing movements.

Her greatest accomplishment however was manipulating and seducing Han and Leia's son Jacen Solo to the dark side of the Force to usher in a new era of Sith Lords, while working tirelessly behind the shadows to bring war once more to the New Republic which she was orchestrated thru Jacen masterfully.

She would finally meet her end at the hands of Luke after he mistakenly was led to believe she had killed his wife Mara. But by then all the damage she had wrought was sealed.
Nine: Darth Sion - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Nine: Darth Sion

One third of the famous Sith Triumvirate that led the remnants of Revan's Sith Empire, Sion was a wholly unique being. Born with an intolerable susceptibility to pain and infirmity he found a way to turn it into hatred for his own power as a Force-user.

Sion sought battles with the Jedi in a vain attempt to end his life and relieve him of his pain. When finally he found an opponent capable of slaying him, the very opposite effect occurred however. His rage increased due to such agonizing pain beyond anything seen before or since, and he rose from death to kill his would be murderer.

With this power, Darth Sion was able to achieve a form of immortality that made him one of the ultimate perversions of the Dark Side. No matter how many injuries he suffered or times he was struck down, he could will himself alive again thru the pain and hatred he carried within. He became a walking decaying corpse of a man, held together solely by the intense dark energies running within him. Such was his power that Jedi and Sith alike looked upon him with fear, revulsion and awe.

After turning on his master, Darth Traya, ultimately Sion was confronted by the Jedi Exile Meetra Surik who was able to convince him to let go of the hatred keeping him cobbled together and accept death in its finality.
Eight: Darth Malgus - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Eight: Darth Malgus

If ever there were a Vader before Vader, Malgus would fit that role to a tee, even down to the requirement of a respirator (from injuries sustained at the hands of Jedi Master Satele Shan).

A born leader, Malgus was an accomplished general during the Great Galactic War who along with his master led the recapturing of the Sith homeworld Korriban from the Republic. His masterstroke however came in very Vader-esque fashion and brought the Jedi to their knees. Under the guise and distraction of a peace summit, Malgus and his Sith strike force lead an incursion onto the capital world of Coruscant and sacked the Jedi temple itself. Using his prodigious Force powers and lightsaber skills, Malgus personally slew scores of Knights and Masters and utterly devastated the Order as well as the Temple itself, leaving it a ruin with half of the High Council slain.

Malgus was an incredible force on the battlefield, fighting with a focused rage like few before him had ever possessed. Still a part of his true potential could never be realized because of emotion. Best exemplified when he allowed his would be assassin, Jedi Aryn Leneer, to live after she had in turn spared his slave-turned-lover, Eleena Daru. When Malgus realized the weakness within him over her, he stabbed Daru thru the chest with his lightsaber when she awoke in the hospital. After this Malgus was able to reach heights of power thru his rage and focus to attain complete Oneness with the Force on the battlefield, becoming a maelstrom of Darkness that was virtually unstoppable.

After the supposed death of the Sith Emperor Valkorion, Malgus came forward to claim himself the new Emperor. He eventually however was tracked down to his secret base and defeated, only to be capture in carbonite and presented to the still alive Valkorion as a trophy.
Seven: Darth Nihilus - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Seven: Darth Nihilus

Essentially the Galactus of the SW Universe, Nihilus was another third of the famed Sith Triumvirate and easily the most powerful. Created as a direct result of the Republic's war with the Mandalorians, and indeed the actions of Jedi Exile Meetra Surik destroying Malachor V, Nihilus became 'a wound in the Force' itself.

Nihilus dubbed himself with the moniker The Lord of Hunger. Possessing a unique and insatiable desire to consume Force life energy, he could literally rip the Force away from any living thing, and in time, whole planets themselves to add to his power. He was also essentially a powerful spirit, bound to his mask and armor, with no body to speak of thanks to the nature of his power.

Another unique trait was that unlike most Sith Lords he cared little for furthering the goals or prosperity of the Sith as a whole. Death was his sole purpose and the Jedi themselves he held responsible for all the pain and anguish from his loss during the Mandalorian War.

He initiated the First Jedi Purge. After years of galactic strife and a civil war, the Order was decimated to barely a hundred surviving Knights and Masters. Soon they too began to disappear, along with whole worlds that they gathered on, the work of Nihilus and his unending hunger.

In the end he was defeated by the same Meetra Surik who inadvertently led to his creation and his spirit bound to the Sith world of Korriban after his armor and mask were buried there.
Six: Darth Plagueis - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Six: Darth Plagueis

The man behind the man, no single individual outside of Palpatine himself was responsible for the fall and eventual purge of the Jedi Order. Thru years of behind the scenes work, he and his apprentice were able to lay the groundwork for an Empire, shift the very balance of the Force and almost bring about the extinction of the Jedi...all while both leading very public lives and dual personas.

He possessed incredible abilities of perception, but rather than turning them outwards towards foresight as many Force users had over history, he instead focused them inward. It was this skill that allowed him to discover the secrets to manipulating life and the Force itself that he ultimately became most famous for. Because he took a scientific view of the Force, rather than a mystical one, he was able to advance the knowledge of the Force on a biological level never before seen.

Despite all the machinations and plotting, Plagueis and Sidious' masterwork happened quite by accident. Ten years before the Blockade of Naboo and with their plans well under way, Master and apprentice together entered an intense state of meditation. For several months they applied their wills directly towards shifting the balance in the Force back to the Dark Side which they succeeded in doing.

Plagueis however decided to try and take it one step further, reaching out with Sidious to pour all their will and malicious intent into creating a being of their own, and fulfill the prophecy of the Chosen One. However the Force itself fought back against this attempted violation and created its own Chosen One to combat the attempted violation by the Sith.

Plagueis has been widely under-appreciated in the annals of Sith, even his own apprentice arrogantly believed he could accomplish similar feats with the Force as his Master and so killed him before the fullness of their plans could be realized. Nevertheless without his influence the SW Universe as we know it would not exist.
Five: Darth Andeddu - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Five: Darth Andeddu

An ancient Sith of lore, and indeed the forebear of the 'Darth' title, was one of the first and most powerful Sith to arise after the Hundred Year Darkness. He was revered as a God-King while being one of the first to discover and master the power of Essence Transfer in order to attain lasting immortality.

As with many Sith over time, his secrets and powers were long sought after by enemies hoping to enhance their own powers by stealing his. After his followers and contemporaries forced him to flee Korriban, he settled and then ruled the planet Prakith for many centuries.

The effects and impact of his knowledge however would not be felt as strongly in his own time as they would be many millennia later. His very name and reputation caused the Jedi Council to try and wipe all knowledge of his existence from historical records. But his Holocron, containing all this knowledge, secrets and very enduring essence remained, eventually obtained by another infamous Sith Lord, Darth Bane.

His power too was sought after by Darth Kryat, a Sith Lord who took over the galaxy after the time of Luke Skywalker. It was during this time that Andeddu would meet his final end after his reconstituted essence was defeated by a rival Sith under Kryat, consumed by his own fears and his spirit vanished entirely from the galaxy.
Four: Marka Ragnos - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Four: Marka Ragnos

Marka Ragnos was an ancient half-human/half-Sith and one of the most powerful masters of the Dark Side in history. Owing in part to his lineage, descending directly from the first Dark Jedi to break away from the Order and form the Sith years prior. As was the case in these ancient days, Ragnos dueled and slew his rival to fully assume the mantle of Dark Lord of the Sith.

Marka had an unparalleled skill with Sith magic and alchemy in his time. Creating such weapons as a pair of gauntlets that could empower a Force user to new heights and a scepter that could siphon Force energy from just about anywhere. He was an expert duelist, carrying not a lightsaber (though he was adept with one) but rather the traditional Sith sword, imbued with dark sorcery.

He led the Sith Empire during a Golden Age, where despite isolation from the Republic at large they grew in power and influence. Even as he died, his spirit endured with such strength that he oversaw the duel to take his place and gave his blessing to the winner as the new Lord, but warned the combatants that the fate of the Sith hung in the balance.

Ragnos' most enduring legacy came a thousand years later when he helped solidify the fall of Exar Kun and Ulic Quel-Droma, proclaiming the former the new Dark Lord. With his guidance and secret knowledge to light the way, Kun brought the Great Sith War down upon the galaxy and left devastation in his wake once more.
Three: Naga Sadow - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Three: Naga Sadow

The leader and Dark Lord of the Sith right after the death of Marka Ragnos, Naga Sadow was one of the most important Sith in all of history and the first to lead them on a progressive conquest outside of their isolationist ways.

When hyperspace lane explorers Gav and Jori Daragon accidentally stumbled upon the Sith homeworld while charting new and lucrative trade routes, Sadow saw his chance to further his ambitions all the more. Tricking the Daragon's into believing he was trustworthy, Naga took their knowledge of the star-ways and used it to bring war to the galaxy for the first time in centuries.

Renowned for his sorcery, Sadow used human and Massassi slaves to further his exploits in the art. A pure-blood xenophobe, he believed only certain true bloodlines deserved to rule and inherit the power of the Sith. Indeed both his slave groups would go on to have profound effects on the galaxy in their own right. The Massassi would settle on Yavin 4 with Sadow, building the temples that one day became the site of Luke Skywalkers New Jedi Order. Additionally during the war some of his human slaves were cut off from the Empire and would settle on the planet Kesh, where they too grew in isolation for many thousands of years as a New Sith Empire that would come into play during Luke's time and be critical to the defeat of the Dark Force Goddess Abeloth.

Additionally he had a skill for illusions that went unmatched in his time, able to create entire phantom armies and soldiers which were actually capable of inflicting damage upon his enemies.

Ultimately however his pride led to his fall. The Republic army was far grander and more experienced than the Sith, and his oppressive nature allowed his rival, Ludo Kreesh (with whom he had dueled over the title of Dark Lord several years earlier), to supplant him while he was away leading their forces in the Great Hyperspace War. However his legacy endured, essentially introducing the Sith to the galaxy at large and ushering in an era of conflict with the Jedi once more for millennia to come.
Two: Darth Bane - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

Two: Darth Bane

Famed creator of the Rule of Two, Darth Bane was a legendary figured in galactic history, responsible for the survival of the Sith and ultimately the downfall of the Jedi as a result.

Bane was born a poor miner but showed great potential in the Force after killing a Galactic officer in a dispute. Rather than face jail, he fled to the Sith homeworld where he could hone his skills. Possessing such power he quickly rose in the ranks over acolytes with much more training on their side and was granted a place in the Brotherhood.

In his quest to gain greater power, Bane sought the knowledge, tomes and Holocrons of Sith masters long dead, knowledge that his contemporary acolytes and even the Lords of the time had little appreciation for. He could project Force waves and malevolent energy of such strength that they would decimate all in his path, and on the battle field none was his equal with a lightsaber as the years went on.

The New Sith Wars brought the Brotherhood into conflict with the Republic and the Jedi once more. Bane saw the error of the Sith Order's ways, forever growing too large and seeking conquest thru martial prowess when they ought to be focusing on bringing down the Jedi thru superior cunning and subterfuge.

After obtaining the long lost secret to a Sith power known as the Thought Bomb, Bane allowed the knowledge to be shared with Kaan, leader of the Brotherhood, who sought to use the weapon in an attempt to destroy the Army of Light on Ruusann. However Bane turned the weapon on both Brotherhood and Jedi alike, devastating both armies and leaving himself and a young girl named Zannah whom he would take on as his apprentice.

Bane's legacy instituting the Rule of Two had another side effect, wherein the student always sought to supplant the teacher. In the end Bane was indeed the first in a long line to fall at the hands of his apprentice, but his doctrine lived on throughout the ages as Sith followed the tradition and eventually brought down the Jedi because of it.
One: Darth Sidious - Top 10 Sith of All Time.

One: Darth Sidious

Perhaps somewhat unsurprisingly, Emperor Palpatine tops the list as the greatest Sith of all time...and rightly so. The embodiment of darkness itself, Sidious was one of the most cunning, malicious, manipulative and ultimately successful beings in all of Galactic history regardless of affiliation.

From the beginning growing up on Naboo, Palpatine was fascinated by the Dark Side and the Sith as a whole (collecting many artifacts thanks to his families wealth). He hated his father and on many occasions tried to undermine him politically and personally. His manipulative nature was evident from the onset, when he finally drew the attention of Darth Plagueis, he was able to convince the Dark Lord that he had never heard of the Sith despite years of fascination and desire to join their ranks.

Sidious was a master swordsmen, able to slaughter three of the Jedi Order's most adept bladesbeings of the day in a matter of seconds and the equal to Masters Yoda and Windu in combat (themselves two of the best swordsmen EVER of any era). However like many Sith, lightsaber combat was almost an afterthought, for his true power lay in his mastery of the Force.

Jedi and Sith alike during his lifetime described Palpatine as the 'ultimate expression of the Dark Side'. His most common expression was his adept skill with Force Lightening, and when he wasn't focused on using it merely to torture his victims, Sidious could ramp up the power to such a degree that it could completely obliterate an opponent. Such was his raw power that he was the only known being capable of generating a Force Storm (essentially a wormhole) of his own power. After his death on Endor, Palpatine's spirit endured and using the skill of Essence Transfer he was able to retreat into one of his many clone bodies, a contingency he had always set aside should he eventually ever die.

But his greatest skill was hiding in plain sight. Using unparalleled manipulation he was able to maintain an extraordinarily public persona as heir to a well respected family, Senator and eventually Supreme Chancellor of the Republic. He helped orchestrate and eventually assume responsibility for the Grand Plan to bring the galaxy under Sith rule once more. He drew in several members of the Jedi, most notably Count Dooku, to fall to the Dark Side themselves and aid in his plans. And all under the watchful eyes of the Jedi Order, Sidious was able to manipulate his election, assume total control, amass his army, start a major galactic war (which he was the leader of both sides) and eventually extinguish the very Order itself...a combination of feats unmatched in the history of either side.

As with most Sith his pride would be his ultimate undoing, having never planned to give up his power or let any Sith assume his mantle, Sidious resurrected himself several times over the years, even managing to almost seduce Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side after his first rebirth. He met his final end when he tried to transfer his essence into the newly born Anakin Solo but was blocked by a dying Knight and bound their souls together. Palpatine descended into the void where his spirit remained forever trapped by the combined efforts of every Jedi who had died over time.