Lost Legends

The Acolyte Needs to Give the Sith the Origin Story They Deserve

Why do the Jedi get all the attention?

Lost Legends

The ancient origin of the Jedi has long been shrouded in mystery, but Star Wars is starting to fill in the blanks. Most notably, James Mangold’s upcoming movie, Dawn of the Jedi, will show the beginnings of the Jedi Order, and establish how the religion that brought us this entire sci-fi saga came to be.

But while the Jedi get an entire movie, there’s almost nothing in Star Wars canon that tells us about the history of the Sith. An upcoming Disney+ show has the perfect opportunity to fix this problem, and simultaneously bring one of the most intriguing elements of the Sith into modern canon. All it would take is one flashback.

In the current canon, we don’t know much about the Sith beyond the fact they’re the mortal enemies of the Jedi. But within the old, now non-canon Legends timeline, the history is a lot more detailed. As told in the ‘90s comic series Tales of the Jedi (not to be confused with the Disney+ animated series of the same name), the Sith were actually a species with red skin and tentacle “beards” from the planet Korriban who eventually colonized other planets, like the ice world Ziost.

Lost Legends is an Inverse series about the forgotten lore of our favorite stories.

The Sith species witness the arrival of Jedi exiles in Tales of the Jedi – The Golden Age of the Sith #2.

Dark Horse Comics

These two planets were conquered about 7000 years before the events of the original trilogy by early human Jedi who left the order to follow the Dark Side. Over generations of interbreeding, human-Sith hybrids became the first iteration of the Sith Order as we now know it. One of these first Sith Lords was Naga Sadow, who was name-dropped in the novelization of The Rise of Skywalker. Now, Star Wars should go further and fully integrate this element of Sith lore on screen.

The next live-action Star Wars show to hit Disney+ will be The Acolyte, a series focused on the Sith in the last days of the High Republic, or about a century before the prequel trilogy. While this setting is millennia removed from the Golden Age of the Sith Empire, it’s the first canon project to center around the Sith. We don’t know much about how the order operates, and the best way to get some context would be to flashback to how it all started with the Sith species.

Looking to the past is trendy in Star Wars right now — just look at all those flashbacks in Ahsoka — and The Acolyte is the earliest in the timeline any movie or show has ever ventured. Flashing back all the way to the beginnings of the Sith would show just how much worldbuilding Star Wars has left to accomplish, and it could even foreshadow Dawn of the Jedi doing the same for the Jedi.

A possible Sith Pureblood in Doctor Aphra #29.

Marvel Comics

Current Star Wars canon has hinted at introducing the Sith species — often called “Sith Purebloods” — for a while now. Novel character Iskat Akaris, an inquisitor who served Darth Vader, was described with very Sith-like characteristics, and an ancient Sith in the canon comic Doctor Aphra #29 bears a striking resemblance to a Sith Pureblood. With The Acolyte, Star Wars can and should go all in.

The Jedi and Sith are at the center of every conflict in every chapter of the Star Wars saga, and yet we know so little about them. With such an interesting origin story for each faction — a religious order and a splinter group mixed with a distinct alien species — telling these stories could help the franchise find a new footing. Going into the future with the First Order didn’t work, so maybe it’s time to venture back to a long, long time ago.

The Acolyte premieres Summer 2024 on Disney+.

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