Everything Star Wars Canon Has Already Revealed About The Acolyte’s Mysterious Sith Lord

While Star Wars’s new Sith-focused series The Acolyte premieres on June 4th, we already know quite a bit about the series’ mysterious Sith Lord villain. Taking place during the High Republic era, The Acolyte happens at the tail end of the golden age of the Jedi Order and the Republic. During this time, the Sith as an order were in hiding, only making scant appearances – especially to Jedi.

But with The Acolyte’s trailers revealing a being who wields a red lightsaber facing down against an entire group of Jedi, speculation about the Sith has begun. This dark-cloaked Force-sensitive person wears a distinct yet familiar toothed helmet, and clearly strikes fear into the Jedi who oppose them. Who is this dark sider, and what do we already know about them and the Sith during this era?

The Sith Have Been Believed Extinct for 900 Years

The Acolyte takes place in 132 BBY, 100 years before the events of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. That film gives us a lot of the knowledge we have about the Sith during this era and is the basis for the High Republic era in general. In The Phantom Menace, the Jedi Council makes some very specific remarks about the Sith when presented with Qui-Gon’s testimony.

When Darth Maul’s existence is brought to the Council’s attention, Master Ki-Adi-Mundi says, “The Sith have been extinct for a millennium.” He claims this because of events that happened during the Old Republic era. Taking place before the High Republic, the Old Republic was characterized by its wars between the Jedi and Sith. At the end of this era, the Sith were defeated, and the Jedi incorrectly believed them to be extinct.

Darth Bane Established the Rule of Two to Sustain Them… & It’s Worked

After the Sith’s defeat at the hands of the Jedi, there was a single survivor: Darth Bane. Darth Bane is one of the most important characters in the entire Star Wars timeline, as he began a new order of Sith that actually managed to survive. Darth Bane then founded the Baneite Sith, a tradition that involved only two Sith at a time.

Darth Bane’s “Rule of Two” is based on the fact that the Sith will always be competing with each other, to their own detriment. Bane’s rule makes it so the Sith train each other up in their dark side abilities, before the apprentice eventually rises up, kills the master, and recruits a new apprentice. This direct line eventually led up to Darth Plagueis, Darth Sidious, and Darth Vader during the era of the Empire – which only existed because of amassed Sith power and plotting.

We Know of One Sith Stronghold Around During the High Republic Era

The Star Wars novel Shadow Fall by Alexander Freed may take place after Return of the Jedi, but it actually includes a hint toward the Sith’s history in the galaxy. The book takes us to the Cerberon system, where it is strongly implied the Sith engineered the economic downfall of the planet Troithe during the High Republic Era. In fact, the Sith had a stronghold on an asteroid in the Cerberon system, one in a decaying orbit around a black hole.

The Cerberon system’s Sith base is very similar to Darth Vader’s tower on Mustafar. It appears to be situated at a horrific dark side vergence, and can only be accessed through pain and suffering. Presumably, there are similar Sith strongholds scattered across the galaxy during the High Republic Era.

Two Sith Are Known to Be Active in the High Republic Era

But the most important clues about the Sith in the High Republic actually come from Star Wars Legends, and the broad strokes of its lore that have been transplanted into canon. Legends gave a lot of information about the Sith under Darth Bane’s Rule of Two leading into the prequel era, and a lot of that information has been soft-canonized in various sources. Two main Sith Lords are present during this period, and could very easily tie into The Acolyte.

Darth Tenebrous

The Bith Sith Lord Darth Tenebrous was born firmly in the High Republic era, though in the Legends timeline. He was incredibly powerful, and accumulated a lot of wealth through his public front as a famous starship designer. He was the master of Darth Plagueis, Palpatine’s master, and was killed in 67 BBY in Legends, well after The Acolyte’s timeline slot in canon. If the Sith Lord of this period needed to appear during this series, it would technically have to be Tenebrous to line up with Legends.

Darth Plagueis

Another prominent Sith Lord of the era is Darth Plagueis – one of the best-known Sith. In Legends, Plagueis was born around the time of The Acolyte, and he would eventually kill his own master, Darth Tenebrous, after a lifetime of training. Plagueis then picked an apprentice of his own, Darth Sidious, or, Palpatine. Plagueis’s presence is not as likely as Tenebrous’, but is still a possibility, especially when considering how popular and iconic the character is – and how Plagueis is much more canon than Tenebrous is.

Wrapping Up

The Sith’s history, especially during the time of the High Republic, is largely a mystery in canon Star Wars. But there are definitely small hints all over the saga that can lead new lore in the right direction. Because of the specificity of some of these established tidbits, though, it will be interesting to see how seamlessly The Acolyte deals with the complicated task of fitting into an already established part of the Star Wars timeline.

The Acolyte premieres on June 4 on Disney+. Catch up with Star Wars on Disney+ now.

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