STAR WARS: Abandoned Heroes
This article will hopefully help explain the differenced between the ‘Sith Master’, ‘Dark Lord’, ‘Sith Lord’ and ‘Darth’ titles. There is a great amount of confusion about them, as they changed each time a new Leader rose to power and shook things up. With each new bastardisation of the original meaning the prerequisites of the titles became more and more relaxed until ultimately they lost their meaning altogether.
However! The Sith are still young pups in the galaxy so not too much has changed.
- SITH MASTER
“To be a Sith is to taste freedom and to know victory.”
Original & Current Meaning: A ‘Sith Master’ or ‘Master Sith’ refers to the highest rank within the Sith Academy. A Sith Master has proved his dedication and his unquestionable knowledge of Sith lore. Upon being warded this title they earn the right to train one or more apprentice, completing the chain of; Initiate, Apprentice, Knight, Master.
- SITH LORD
“A Sith Lord is…?”
“A being who stands against the Jedi and their control over the Republic.”
―Mitth’raw’nuruodo and Kinman Doriana
Original Meaning: Sith Lord was a title that was conferred on a powerful Sith Master. Previously, “Sith Lord” referred to a high-ranking member of the Sith race’s society. As the Sith civilization progressed, many claimed the title and battled against each other to earn the superior title of Sith’ari: the Sith Overlord, however this title did not carry any further power or responsibility.
Current Meaning: Sith Lord is the title bestowed only upon the most highly feared and highest achieving Sith Masters, having been hand picked up the Emperor himself. The most deserving of the Sith Lords were invited onto The Dark Council, though the names of these Lords were kept a secret so as to avoid in-fighting. Many of the Sith Lords also accepted the responsibility of General within the Sith Army, however some declined to focus on their own goals.
“The Darth title was more than just a symbol of power; it was a claim of supremacy. It was used by those Sith Lords who have sought to enforce their will on the other Masters. It was a challenge — a warning to bow down or be destroyed.”
―Sith Blademaster, Kas’im
Original Meaning: Darth was a title given to certain Sith Lords which preceded either their chosen Sith name, or, in some cases, their birth name. They could only be given this title by the Dark Lord of the Sith, as a mark of their true dedication to the cause and bravery in the face of adversity.
Current Meaning: Darth has become a socially and self-appointed title for those who wish to stand above the rest, accepting the stigma that comes with it. A Darth wishes to challenge the mainstream with their-own ideologies and whims.
It was also taken to signify giving up one’s old life, a fallen Jedi Master may take up a Darth Title to better distinguish them from the Jedi Order and further challenge the Sith Masters to dare take them down.
A Darth will revel in inter-sith rivalry and murder, believing that with every test of their might they are taking a step towards becoming a Dark Lord.
- DARK LORD OF THE SITH
“The Sith must be ruled by a single leader, the very embodiment of the strength and power of the dark side. If the leader grows weak, another must rise to seize the mantle.”
―Darth Revan’s holocron
Original Meaning: Dark Lord of the Sith (or Jen’ari in the Sith language) originally referred to the ruler of the Sith Empire, and later was also taken by the recognized leader of the Order of the Sith Lords. There was only one Dark Lord of the Sith at a time, who was the head of the Order.
Current Meaning: Recently the Dark Lord title has been shared by multiple individuals simultaneously. Most often between the true Dark Lord and their Apprentice, who receives it gratis. Two examples would be Darth Malak as Darth Revan’s apprentice, and Darth Vader as Darth Sidious’
The Current Dark Lord is The Sith Emperor, who’s apprentice is unknown.