Deep Sith

New Star Wars comic changes the origins of a famous Sith tradition

A new comic reveals what the Sith looked like "a long, long time ago."

While it feels like Star Wars introduces Jedi left and right, the Sith are much more discerning. On the light side, there’s Ahsoka Tano, Cal Kestis, and Ezra Bridger all leading shows and games. But thanks to the Rule of Two, there are generally only two living Sith lords at any time during the years of the Skywalker Saga. This makes exploring the culture of the Sith difficult: It’s hard to have a culture with just two members. Now, however, a new Star Wars comic reveals multiple Sith lords stretching back further than we’ve ever seen before.

Star Wars blog DrunkWooky managed to snag an advanced copy of Doctor Aphra #24, which comes out on September 28. The Doctor Aphra comics have long been a fan favorite, following archaeologist and general scoundrel Chelli Lona Aphra as she explores the galaxy. This issue follows her as she realizes she’s stuck in her own memories.

Amid this inner journey Dr. Aphra encounters Miril, a long-dead member of the Ascendant, a cult obsessed with the Spark Eternal. The Spark Eternal could potentially grant Force-like powers to whoever encountered it, but it was sealed in a tomb until Dr. Aphra unearthed it. It then possessed her, giving her the ability to literally dive into her memories.

The Spark Eternal possesses Dr. Aphra in Doctor Aphra #22. Marvel Comics

Miril brings Dr. Aphra into her own memories instead, taking her back at least a thousand years earlier. There, they’re pursued by a Togruta Sith and a league of “Darkseekers.” Darkseekers appear to essentially be an ancient version of the Inquisitors, but instead of hunting Jedi, they hunt any threat to the Sith, including cultists who think they can distill Force powers.

The inclusion of the Sith in a time before the Rule of Two has multiple implications for the Star Wars galaxy. As an archaeologist, Dr. Aphra is no stranger to ancient history: In previous issues, she explored ancient Jedi confessionals. Ancient Sith have been explored in other comics before (there was even a Sith species!) but that was all rendered non-canon. So this was the next logical next step for Dr. Aphra, but a canonical return to the early days of the Sith is groundbreaking. How many Sith were running around back then, and how much will we learn about them?

Dr. Aphra encounters a Jedi confessional in Doctor Aphra (2016) #40.Marvel Comics

What’s more, this reveal could affect Star Wars TV: The upcoming series The Acolyte focuses on the Sith a century before the prequels. Maybe the Darkseekers will feature in that series as proto-Inquisitors.

Even if these characters stay within the vast world of comics, they’re making Star Wars history and creating a clearer picture of a Sith world that’s been hidden in the shadows.

Doctor Aphra #24 will be available for purchase September 28, 2022.