When Star Wars fans think of the Sith, a few key names usually come to mind — Darth Sidious (formerly Emperor Sheev Palpatine), Palpatine’s Master Darth Plagueis, Palpatine’s apprentice Darth Maul, and, of course, the Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Vader (formerly Anakin Skywalker).
Now, for the first time since the prequel trilogy — when Darth Maul (Ray Park) first appeared in Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) and Count Dooku (Christopher Lee) was introduced as Darth Tyranus in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) — it seems that a new Sith Lord is entering the current Star Wars canon.
The Star Wars: The High Republic publishing and multimedia initiative has just introduced what appears to be a never-before-seen Sith character. A preview for an upcoming Marvel Comics issue by Cavan Scott, Georges Jeanty, Karl Story, Annalisa Leoni, and Ariana Maher, showcases Jedi Knight Keeve Trennis — who was only recently promoted from Padawan status.
ScreenRant shared details about the introduction of this new Sith:
This preview shows Keeve in an unknown place before she begins talking to Kanrii, Bartol, and Julus. Already this indicates that things may not be what they seem – after all, Julus was killed by the Drengir in a previous Star Wars issue. The conclusion of the preview reveals a dark, mysterious foe and a red lightsaber, before revealing a scarred face that fans have not seen before.
While we knew it was likely that the Sith would eventually make an appearance in the High Republic initiative, this is much sooner than most fans expected — to date, the Jedi have been battling foes like the Drengir and the Nihil, instead of the more familiar dark side villain that has been part of the Star Wars story since George Lucas’s original 1977 film, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
As for whether or not this new Sith Lord — whose name remains unknown — could appear in live-action down the road, that possibility certainly exists. We know that Leslye Headland’s upcoming Disney+ series, The Acolyte, will take place at the end of the High Republic era and will focus on the rise of the dark side of the Force.
There are even rumors that the series will somehow bring popular “Knights of the Old Republic” video game character Darth Revan into canon for the first time, perhaps in a flashback sequence.
Intriguingly, as ScreenRant pointed out, this new Sith’s appearance may not be all that appears in this comic book preview. There is, in fact, a chance he could be from an even older era in the Star Wars timeline — the High Republic age is about 200 years before the events of The Phantom Menace, for context:
Even though the Sith have been absent within this era, they do have connections to the Jedi’s current foe: the Drengir. These plant-like creatures operate as a hive mind and are strong in the dark side. Long before this era, they had connections to the Sith, who kept the Drengir prisoner until ultimately betraying the botanical entity. This could explain why the Sith are appearing now and why this may not be as true an appearance as it seems at an initial glance. The Drengir are powerful foes capable of attacking minds.
It is, therefore, plausible that the Sith Lord who Trennis meets is actually one of the antagonists who kept the Drengir under lock and key even before the High Republic novels and comics pick up.
While all is likely to be explained in future Star Wars projects, the initial introduction of a new Sith Lord is an exciting twist at an unexpected moment in the High Republic.
What role do you think the Sith will play moving forward?