The Star Wars franchise features some memorable (and terrifying) Sith Lords, from the acrobatic and menacing Darth Maul to the imposing and mechanical Darth Vader, his sinister master Darth Sidious and the suave and duplicitous Count Dooku. The franchise’s villains have always stolen the show, which makes it a shame that we still haven’t seen a female Sith Lord grace our screens. Although, Dark Rey, I’m looking at you. Clone Wars and Rebels boasted some impressive female Dark side users and villains, but none of them are considered Sith Lords. Before Disney acquired Lucasfilm and reestablished a new canon, the Expanded Universe featured several memorable and powerful ladies of the Sith.
There aren’t many Sith Lords in Disney’s canon, and only one of them is female—Master Shaa, the First Lady of the Sith. There’s not a lot of information about the character, and she only appeared in a single issue of the Darth Vader comic series in a flashback. With the plethora of new Star Wars projects on the horizon, including the much anticipated Star Wars: Acolyte, we can only hope that one day we’ll see a female Sith Lord kicking ass. For now, we have to stick to Legends (material existing outside of Disney’s established canon) if we want to read about the wickedest ladies of the Sith Order.
This list, in no particular order, explores the worst of the worst, the most memorable female Sith Lords.
Darth Zannah, also known as Rain, was the apprentice of Darth Bane, who wiped out the Sith Order and replaced it with a long-lost philosophy of the Dark Side: The Rule of Two. One master, Bane, and one apprentice—Zannah. Although she didn’t demonstrate Force abilities as a younger child, Zannah survived a devastating planet-wide Force attack from the Brotherhood of Darkness during the Old Sith Wars of Legends. The young girl discovered she had immense talents in the Force, but after a terrible run-in with some Jedi Knights that led to the death of her friend and caretaker, a vengeful Zannah devoted herself to the Dark Side. Her anger and power in the Force drew the attention of Darth Bane, who took her as his apprentice.
Under Bane’s tutelage, Zannah became a powerful Sith Sorceress and wielded a double-bladed lightsaber. While Bane relied on pure strength and rage, Zannah focused her energies on deception, subterfuge, and magic. As the Rule of Two dictated, Zannah eventually surpassed her master and killed him in combat, taking an apprentice of her own, a female bounty hunter who adapted the name Darth Cognus.
Darth Maladi, who battled the descendants of Luke Skywalker, was a female Devaronian who was taken captive by the Sith as a young girl after Darth Krayt murdered her Jedi Knight father. She was brainwashed and trained in the ways of the Dark Side, developing an affinity for torture, experimentation, and mind manipulation. She served the Sith as the head of intelligence and assassination. Ever the scientist, Maladi bioengineered weapons to take over the Sith, but she was forced to flee to the shadows and remains in hiding, biding her time until she can reclaim the control as the leader of the One Sith.
Darth Traya, or Kreia, is a Lady of the Sith who debuted in Knights of the Old Republic II: Sith Lords. What makes Traya unique is how she rejects the divide between the Light and Dark sides of the Force, though it’s revealed by the game’s conclusion she wants to destroy the Force in its totality. Traya doesn’t view the galaxy through the lens of right and wrong; rather she emphasizes the importance of freedom of choice.
Traya is perceived as an elderly blind woman, and her power in the Force is nearly unrivaled. She trained two Sith Lords, Darth Sion, and Darth Nihilus, who betrayed her and cast her aside. After many betrayals, Traya operates on her own, later acting as a mentor to the player in Sith Lords before she reveals her goals and identity.
Former Jedi Knight turned Sith Lady, Githany briefly trained with Darth Bane during his early years with the Sith. She wielded the lightwhip during the New Sith Wars, a thousand years before the births of Luke Skywalker and his twin sister Leia and killed several Jedi with it. According to the Sith Bladesmaster Kas’im, she wielded the lightwhip not out of any tactical advantages it presented in battle but to exploit its unfamiliarity and rarity to most Jedi duelists, as the Jedi Order forbade the usage of lightwhips. Lady Githany is sly and duplicitous, using her good looks and sexuality to exert her control over her Sith peers. Githany appears in the first book in the Darth Bane trilogy, titled Star Wars: Path of Destruction.
Darth Talon served as the personal assassin to Darth Krayt during the reign of the New Jedi Order. She was a special kind of Twi’lek with exotic red skin caused by a genetic mutation. Talon etched black tattoos all over her body and face which she earned through ritualistic training. Due to her talents in the Force and her headstrong attitude, Darth Krayt saw her potential and anointed Talon as one of his two personal Hands. She carried out several of his secret missions, including capturing Cade Skywalker and tempting him into the Dark Side.
Following Palpatine’s death in Legends, one of his Force-sensitive agents, Lady Lumiya, established a new generation of the Sith Order. Lumiya once infiltrated the Rebel Alliance and was tasked with killing Luke Skywalker. Though she failed, Lumiya later succeeded in turning Han and Leia’s son to the Dark Side of the Force, plunging the galaxy into the Second Galactic War. Like Githany thousands of years before her, Lady Lumiya wielded a lightwhip and bested Luke in lightsaber combat on a few occasions. Deadly and motivated by hate and vengeance, Lady Lumiya proved to be a worthy adversary to Luke and his allies.
Who’s your favorite female Sith Lord? Let me know in the comments! Check out my website for all things Star Wars and pop culture. Stay nerdy!