The placement on this list of Top 10 Sith Lords is based on a poll in which over 11,000 Star Wars fans voted for their favorite Sith lord.
In 10th place, with 350 votes, on the Top 10 Sith Lords list is Vitiate, known as the Sith Emperor. He was born over 5.000 years before the clone wars. By the moment he was born, Vitiate was as power-hungry and evil as you can get. At just the young age of 6, he had already taken someone’s life. The life of his stepfather, after he witnessed his mother’s beating by his stepfather. But Vitiate didn’t kill him out of kindness, as afterward, he went on to torture his mother for months with the Force before finally ending her life too.
The pain and anger produced from these killings fed him power and fueled his ambitions. After killing his mother, he went wild and slaughtered countless inhabitants of his planet. He forced those who were strong enough to serve him. By the time he was only 13 years old, he had conquered his entire homeworld on his own. His lust for power didn’t end there.
When he was older, he succeeded in tricking 8,000 Sith lords into participating in a ritual that resulted in their death. All of their life forces were consumed by Vitiate, which gave him immeasurable amounts of power and made him immortal. After the ritual, he probably becomes the most powerful Sith lord to ever live at that point in history. He was so powerful that he even defeated the famous Jedi Revan and Malak. And by turning them both to the dark side. He then secretly constructed a new sith empire, emerging from the shadows of the galaxy and waging war on the Republic, and taking over half of the galaxy.
Although he was onset on taking over the galaxy, his end goal wasn’t to rule it, but rather to destroy it and consume every living being’s life force, which would have gave him eternal life and the ability to do anything he pleased. If he had succeeded, he would have become a god from that moment. Anyway, he was killed multiple times over a few centuries. Multiples times, in that he was able to transfer his consciousness through the Force into other bodies and cheat death. During his time as the Sith Emperor, he was secretly constructing another galactic empire known as the Eternal Empire. He began to rule over it later, and when he was known as Valkorion. But at that point, he wasn’t exactly a Sith lord, but rather just a dark side user.
Most people voted for Vitiate due to his incredible force powers and the fact that he achieved immortality. Also, because of his very evil and cold-hearted personality.
In 9th place, with 374 votes, on the Top 10 Sith Lords list is Darth Plagueis. A wealthy Muun banker to the public eye, Plagueis was, in reality, a hidden Sith lord. He is best known for being the master to Palpatine and for his midichlorians manipulations. Like most Sith, Plagueis strived to achieve immortality, except he took it a bit to the extreme, especially in later years. He experimented with the force and manipulated the midichlorians to create life, believing that was the path to success. He was somewhat successful, being able to keep his loved ones alive and even resurrect others. It is also believed that Plagueis indirectly created Anakin Skywalker. By accidentally conceiving him through the Force with his manipulations of the midichlorians. Which means Plagueis is technically Anakin’s father.
Anyway, as we know through Palpatine’s tale, Plagueis was eventually betrayed by his own apprentice, that is, the guy who told the story. Plagueis was killed in his sleep after Palpatine cemented his rise to the chancellorship, viewing his former master as nothing more but a loose end at that point. Although his apprentice was a psychopathic monster, Plagueis himself was actually really reasonable and kind of nice, well for a Sith that is.
He came to view Palpatine as an equal despite him being his apprentice. Plagueis even trusted him with his life, which was a fatal mistake. Palpatine betrayed him the moment he had a chance.
Many people voted for Plagueis due to his calm and intelligent personality, and for the fact that he laid the groundwork for the Sith’s takeover of the galaxy. And also because some people believe him to be Snoke.
In 8th place, with 396 votes, on the Top 10 Sith Lords list is Darth Bane. Darth Bane was born about 1000 years before the Clone Wars. At first, he was an ordinary miner who was known only as Dessel. After a heated game of sabacc, Dessel killed an angry Republic officer in self-defense after the officer attacked him over losing the game. Desperate in avoiding the authorities, Dessel smuggled himself out of Republic territory and into the Sith Empire. He quickly became a footsoldier within the Sith army. But when he was recognized as a Force-sensitive, he was sent to the Sith Academy on Korriban for training and became known as Bane afterward.
Although he became an excellent warrior, he soon lost his faith to the group running the place, viewing the brotherhood of darkness as cowards.
Bane went on to study Darth Revan’s sith holocron on the planet Lehon. With this new knowledge, Bane destroyed the brotherhood of darkness and created his own Sith Order. In his order, he instituted the rule of two: which stated that there could only be two sith at any given time, a master and an apprentice.
This rule was to prevent the endless infighting among Sith seen in past Sith orders. Bane later picked the young girl Zannah to be his apprentice and the one he would pass his knowledge down to. A decade passed, and the Jedi discovered Bane’s existence. The Jedi sent a strike team to kill him and his apprentice. Despite being outnumbered, Bane and Zannah were able to defeat them but at the cost that Bane was injured. They both went into hiding, during which Bane healed himself.
A decade later, Bane’s rule of two was put to the test. Believing she was ready to surpass her master, Zannah instigated a duel with Bane seeking to replace him. The first duel between them ended with a draw, with Bane escaping. Shortly after, a second duel was fought between them, in which Darth Bane was finally defeated. His apprentice continued his rule of two by taking on her own apprentice Darth Cognus. This same cycle continued for centuries in the shadows, with it finally building up to Darth Sidious, who went on to destroy the Jedi Order through deception and manipulation.
Most people who voted for Darth Bene seemed to vote for him because he created the rule of two, which paved the path for the Sith to, eventually, take over the galaxy.
In 7th place, with 406 votes, on the Top 10 Sith Lords list is Darth Talon. Born over 100 years after the clone wars, this rare red colored twi’lek was brought up under Darth Krayt’s Sith Empire. She quickly rose through the ranks after killing her master, Darth Ruyn, and she later achieved the high rank of becoming a Hand of Darth Krayt’s order. She was given a mission to capture Cade Skywalker and to convert him to the dark side. During her time with Cade, they developed a relationship with each other. But it didn’t last long, with Cade eventually injuring her in a fight.
After Cade Skywalker defeated Darth Krayt, Darth Talon and all the other remaining Sith of the order went into hiding. Her ultimate fate is left unknown.
Many people voted for her because of her unending loyalty to her master and also because of a way how she looks.
In 6th place, with 444 votes, on the Top 10 Sith Lords list is Darth Tyranus. Originally a long devoted Jedi, Dooku became very disaffected with the Jedi Order and the Republic they were serving. He viewed both as corrupt institutions that have lost their ways. Being regarded as one of the greatest Jedi at the time, Dooku’s departure was a significant blow to the Order and the Master who taught him. The Jedi eventually created a bust in his name and viewed his departure as a failure in their own ways.
Dooku eventually fell to the dark side and became Palpatine’s apprentice, taking the name of Darth Tyranus. Together they schemed the ultimate Sith plot on destroying the Jedi and taking over the galaxy. They did this by starting the Clone Wars and tricking the Jedi into accepting an army whose sole purpose was to betray and destroy them. Unfortunately for Dooku, he was betrayed by Palpatine once he was defeated by Anakin Skywalker, who went on to replace him as Palpatine’s new apprentice.
Many people voted for Count Dooku because he was played by Christopher Lee and for his very elegant lightsaber fighting style.
In 5th place, with 698 votes, on this list of the Top 10 Sith Lords is Darth Sidious. Born to a wealthy family on the planet of Naboo, Sheev Palpatine’s sought power from a very young age. Viewed and treated as an outcast by his family, Palpatine eventually got his revenge by secretly killing them when he was a young adult. He was later taken in as an apprentice to Darth Plagueis and was trained in the dark side. Along with his Sith teachings, Palpatine was groomed to become an influential politician who would spearhead the Sith plot by becoming the supreme chancellor. In Plagueis’s opinion, only a human at that moment could become a supreme chancellor within the Republic. And seeing the recent history of the chancellorship, it seemed he wasn’t wrong.
Anyway, once Palpatine cemented his rise to become Supreme Chancellor, he killed Plagueis in his sleep. He killed him because, at that moment, he considered him nothing more than a nuisance. As chancellor, Palpatine manipulated the galaxy by staging crises across the galaxy to establish his influence. And so eventually, he gains enormous power once the clone wars erupted. After the Jedi were destroyed from Order 66, Palpatine declared himself Emperor of his new galactic empire. He ruled with an iron fist for the next two decades before finally being betrayed and killed by Darth Vader.
But his story didn’t end there. In Legends, Palpatine came back to life through transferring his consciousness into clone bodies he had stored on secret worlds across the galaxy. Once ready, he brought destruction and devastation to the galaxy and forced the emerging New Republic back into a full out war.
He finally was defeated after Han Solo killed his last clone body and when a Jedi named Brand consumed Palpatine’s spirit and trapped him along with every other deceased Jedi in the force itself.
Most of his votes came from people who enjoyed his manipulative personality, which allowed him to trick the Jedi into their own destruction and to cement himself to becoming Emperor of the galaxy.
In 4th place, with 967 votes, on the Top 10 Sith Lords list is Darth Nihilus. Hi is another Sith from the Old Republic era, being active almost 4000 years before the clone wars. As a young man, Nihilus lost everything during the Mandalorian Wars. Then he is soon imbued with immense pain, which later developed into an unusual hunger for relief through the Force. This hunger could only be cured by stealing the force energies of living beings. But the relief only lasted for a short time, as the hunger came back worse than ever before, demanding Nihilus to continue draining his prey.
He soon became a slave to this hunger, committing all of his time to feed on people’s force energies. He continued to do this until he was taken in by Darth Traya, a former Jedi turned Sith. She wanted to turn him into her student to hone his abilities and make him her powerful servant. She eventually granted him Darth Nihilus and the title Lord of Hunger. With all the training he had received, Nihilus was able to drain entire planets for all of their life forces, making him one of the most powerful Sith to ever live.
Unfortunately for Traya, she was betrayed by Nihilus and a few other students. Having now devoted himself considerably to his interests, Nihilus continued to force drain as many beings as he possibly could. Eventually, he destroys his physical body because it could no longer contain all the energy he consumed. This forces him to use to encase himself into a mask and robe. He later took on an apprentice named Visas Marr, a survivor from one of the planets he consumed to destruction. Marr would eventually betray her master and team up with Jedi Master Meetra Surik and the current Mandalore to defeat Nihilus. Although he was defeated, his force spirit remained alive and later became a force ghost on the planet Korriban.
Many people voted for Darth Nihilus due to how uniquely powerful he was and his ability to destroy all life on planets. And because many people like the design of his mask.
In 3rd place, with 1350 votes, on the Top 10 Sith Lords list is Darth Maul. Originally supposed to act as a Sith assassin for both Palpatine and Plagueis, Maul became a full-fledged Sith Lord. This happens after Palpatine betrayed his master and made him his apprentice. However, this apprenticeship was short-lived once Maul was defeated at the hands of Obi-Wan when he was cut down. Believed to be dead, Maul was soon replaced by Dooku as Palpatine’s new apprentice. But he wasn’t dead, and he continued to live on a junk planet for the next ten years. There he eventually went insane over his failures and defeats by Obi-Wan
His brother Savage Opress takes him off the planet and brings him to Dathomir at Mother Talzin. There, with the help of Mother Talzin, Maul heals and becomes sane again. Now back and seeking revenge, Maul wreaked havoc through the Outer Systems. He intends to lure Obi-Wan and try to destroy him. At the same time, he is trying to take over the galaxy by taking power over Mandalore and criminal unions. But his plans were thwarted when Palpatine discovered his existence and took care of him. Palpatine captured his former apprentice and took him to Stygeon Prime, where he was tortured. Palpatine’s ultimate plan was not to kill Maul. He wanted to use him as bait to lure his Mother Talzin and killed her once and for all. Maul fell for this trap, eventually leading Palpatine and his henchmen to Talzin and having her get killed.
After witnessing his own mother get killed, Maul went into hiding and pretty much became a shadow of his former self. He reappeared almost two decades later, and he tried to turn Ezra Bridger to the dark side and make him his apprentice, but he has currently found no success in doing so.
Maul gained many votes for his persistence in staying alive and unending rage that’s been motivating him in getting his revenge on Obi-Wan. He also gained many votes for his tattoos and double-bladed lightsaber.
In 2nd place, with 2741 votes, on the Top 10 Sith Lords list is Darth Vader. He is probably the most iconic villain of all time. And not only in Star Wars but also in the entire cinematography. Darth Vader made his first menacing appearance in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. He returned in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, where he proved to audiences that he is a force to be feared. He was the Emperor’s main enforcer and was typically found spearheading operations, from hunting down Jedi to chasing down rebels. Although his injuries limited his ability to perform some force powers, like force lightning, he was still a monster in lightsaber combat.
His strikes were so strong and heavy-hitting that he was able to overpower most low-level Jedi with just a few hits, knocking their lightsabers out of their hands and then landing a killing blow on them. Although he at first was pretty much wholly loyal to his master, this loyalty quickly slipped once Vader discovered he had a son. While he was unable to convince his son to join him and rule the galaxy at his side, he did eventually save Luke’s life by sacrificing his life in killing Emperor Palpatine.
People voted for Vader for multiple reasons, from his iconic voice and suit to his character development of a broken man who was corrupted and twisted both mentally and physically by Palpatine but was able to ultimately overcome this and take down the man who had kept him in chains for decades.
And finally, on the 1st place in the list of Top 10 Sith Lords, with 2942 votes, is Darth Revan. Originally a prominent Jedi who led the Republic in the Mandalorian Wars, Revan turned to the dark side when he and his friend Malak confronted the Sith Emperor known as Vitiate. As a Sith Lord, Darth Revan started the Jedi civil war and killed multiple Jedi. He was eventually betrayed by his friend, Darth Malak, and he was believed to have been dead. But he survived, and he eventually recovered but with no memory of who he was. Knowing how powerful he was and wished to exploit his powers for themselves, the Jedi decided to retrain him in the Jedi ways again so they could later use him.
Once retrained as a Jedi, Revan was sent to kill his former friend, Darth Malak. He succeeded. After a while, the memories of his past life started to reappear. This caused him to search for answers. During this search, he was captured by the Sith and kept as a prisoner. As a prisoner, he was constantly tortured by the Sith Emperor. This eventually caused his mind to split in two, light and darkness. The dark side of Revan sought to destroy the Sith Emperor once and for all through extreme methods. But before he was able to accomplish this, he was defeated by the Republic and the light side of Revan. After everything, Revan finally was able to go out in peace as he became one with the Force.
On this list of the Top 10 Sith Lords, many voted for Revan because he tried to do what he believed was right, even though it meant going against the wishes of the Jedi. His struggle between the light and the dark was also a reason people voted for him.
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