10 most powerful Sith of all time, ranked

What is a protagonist without an antagonist? Through the nine Skywalker Saga films, and well beyond live-action media, there has been a plethora of Sith lords to challenge the Jedi. The highly spiritual and political galaxy of Star Wars has been punctuated with the dark side and light, battling to either balance the force, or tip the scales in their favor.

Here’s some of the most powerful Sith of all time.

10. Darth Tyranus

Dooku
Image via Lucasfilm

Beside having a name reminiscent of a tyrannosaurus rex and being played by Christopher Lee, a lot of Count Dooku / Darth Tyranus’ interesting points are his reason for turning to the dark side. He doesn’t believe in galactic domination or destroying the Jedi or democracy, he simply wants to level the playing field. Aggrieved by Qui-Gon’s seemingly meaningless death in The Phantom Menace, he turned to Sidious.

It’s a shame that not much of this is made clear until the novelizations and The Clone Wars series. All that power and interesting backstory didn’t stop him from being decapitated though.

9. Darth Maul

Image via Lucasfilm

He may have lost his legs and gained some chicken ones in return, but the good news is that he looks like Satan and has a double-bladed lightsaber. What more could you want from a Sith lord? Maul was introduced in The Phantom Menace, but got killed off almost immediately, until The Clone Wars came about. All of a sudden he’s back on the hunt for Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Pure hatred for Kenobi seems to drive him to keep living. That and Sith magic from the Witches of Dathomir. Seems like a fun guy.

8. Darth Sidious

star wars the rise of skywalker palpatine
via Lucasfilm

The sheer power of Sheev Palpatine is remarkable. Implied to have caused the virginal conception of Anakin Skywalker, and so powerful he put a shroud on the Jedis force-using abilities for the best part of 20 years. It doesn’t stop there, as he masterminded a Galactic Empire, using his intuition with the force to stop most threats. Capable of shooting lightning from his palms, Sidious will go down as the most powerful Sith seen in the films.

Oh yeah, and his clone might have consumed the powers of every Sith lord during Rise of Skywalker?

7. Darth Plageuis

A point for argument, as many fans believe Sidious could in fact be Plageuis, and there is also “Word of God” implications form George Lucas that he may not have been as powerful as Sidious hypes him up to be. The creator of the “rule of two”, Plageuis was later slain by his apprentice Sidious, who then somehow just managed to be a senator for a good thirty years. Alright.

There’s some obvious issues with Plagueis existing, with very few people aside from Tarkin and Sidious ever referencing him in canon. Whether or not he’s just a Sith legend or Sith reality is yet to be properly addressed in movies.

6. Darth Bane

If he took off the mask, it would be extremely painful. Bane is an interesting member of the Sith, as he’s one of the few to reject the religion and politics associated with the dark side of the force. Believing the Sith had become too weak and petty, he reinstated the previously abandoned rule of two, meaning there could not be such infighting within the sith institution. More or less he did some HR work and made people redundant.

Would make a good manager, needs to set his sights higher than the Sith.

5. Darth Revan

Bit of a badboy, set the standard for switching back-and-forth between Jedi and the Sith. Revan is one of the most loved Sith characters in the Star Wars canon. While his entry into the franchise, Knights of the Old Republic, is now Legends, that hasn’t stopped the content flowing in for him, and there’s constant hope from fans for him to return to canon.

Perhaps one day we’ll see him in live-action, and when he does, expect fans to declare the character as ruined by the social justice warriors, or something like that.

4. Galen Marek

The tragic protagonist of The Force Unleashed games, Galen Marek ended up being a ridiculously powerful force user. By the second game he’s capable of bringing Star Destroyers down with his abilities, and seems to face no qualms with any force-related issue. Like a lot of modern Sith characters, he’s afforded redemption and allowed to become better than what he once was.

Still holding out hope for the threequel, though.

3. Darth Vitiate

Image via LucasArts

Declaring himself the first Sith Emperor, Vitiate is a very evil looking man with very strong force powers. The most interesting part of him is probably his chin. There’s been a lot of stuff done by Vitiate, but on his CV his greatest accomplishment would have to be ruling the galaxy for 1500 years.

2. Kylo Ren

Image via Disney/LucasFilm

The grandson of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, formerly Ben Solo, displayed true ferocity with the force. Like his grandfather, he did get redemption in the end, but along the way was able to display his tremendous power. Part of a dyad in the force, alongside Rey Skywalker, Ren showed raw strength and ability that the Force offers up once in a generation. Taught by both Luke Skywalker, but groomed to the dark side by Snoke, he was a standout of the sequel trilogy.

Arguably not a Sith however, as he is never officially declared to be a master nor an apprentice: instead his main title is Supreme Leader after he mirrors Sidious and Plageuis by killing his master Snoke.

1. Darth Vader

Image via Disney/Lucasfilm

Quite possibly the most well-known villain of all-time, Vader, formerly Anakin Skywalker, is a truly powerful Sith. Capable of bringing starships crashing down to Earth, stopping force-users in their tracks, and known for just toying with Jedi in battles. Perhaps the greatest display of power from Vader came during Obi-Wan Kenobi, with him pulling a freighter.

His anger powers him in such an interesting way. While the prequel trilogy doesn’t quite make Vader that interesting, the idea of a Citizen Kane in space is still very effective. Shame about all those kids he killed, though. Audiences can’t seem to get enough of Vader, regardless. It’s surely only a matter of time before he gets a solo show.