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The REAL Most Powerful Sith Lord

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > STAR WARS Discussion
The REAL Most Powerful Sith Lord

Beniboybling's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 01:26 PM | #1
“Oh no, my young Star Wars enthusiast. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things.”

~ Star Wars lore junkie to misguided Vitiate-Supporter.

In the old days it used to be an accepted fact that Darth Sidious - the pinnacle of the Order of the Sith Lords and Rule of Two philosophy - was the most powerful Sith Lord, the most powerful darksider (with the exception of the deities), in galactic history. But with the advent of Star Wars: The Old Republic, and in particular the introduction of the one known as the ‘Sith Emperor’, this position has been brought under erroneous dispute on multiple occasions. And finally after what has been likely years of debating, arguing and downright flaming, Aurbere and I have brought it upon ourselves to put an end to this unnecessary discussion. By compiling evidence and argument and creating a detailed and comprehensive analysis of Darth Sidious’ power in comparison with that of his ‘challenger’ - the Sith Emperor.

So without further ado, let us begin. This thread will be split into four chapters. The first will concern Darth Sidious’ portrayal within the Star Wars universe. The second will present various theories relevant to the Sith Emperor’s power. The third will contain an in-depth analysis and comparison of Darth Sidious’ and the Sith Emperor’s mastery over the Force in all its aspects, and the fourth and final chapter will compare the two in terms of combat ability.

I – Darth Sidious’ portrayal with the Star Wars universe

Various references and statements touting Darth Sidious to be regarded as the most powerful Sith Lord and master of the dark side to have ever existed.

Sidious is touted as the pinnacle of the Rule of Two and as such a product of centuries of study and advancement in the dark side of the Force.

Sidious grew even more powerful after his first death above Endor, building on his already vast mastery over the Force to become an even more dominant Sith Lord than before.

Darth Sidious has on multiple occasions been described as a living dark side nexus, his mere presence disrupting the balance of the Force, his reach expanding across the galaxy and the fabric of space itself.

Simply through the emergence of a holographic image, Sidious’ power disrupts the balance of the Force on the dark side world of Vjun, causing a weather storm.

Darth Sidious has mastered virtually every existing Force powers and even created new ones, indicating that nothing was beyond his power.

Beniboybling's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 01:27 PM | #2
II – Theories on the Sith Emperor

Canon Statements: as many are no doubt aware, the publication of the SWTOR Encyclopedia has introduced several statements that tout the Sith Emperor as the most powerful Force user in galactic history, and many take this is solid proof that the Sith Emperor is indeed superior to Sidious. However this is not the case. What we have here is a contradiction in canon. As the various canon statements that shower Darth Sidious with similar accolades are still valid, as the sourcebooks that they are contained in are the most up to date. However this contradiction is resolvable through context. The Sith Emperor is the most powerful Force user up until that point - i.e. more powerful than any other Force user pre-Great Galactic War period. But given that the Encyclopedia is written in the context of its period, these statements cannot and do not apply to characters who come after i.e. Darth Sidious.

So essentially we can interpret it as the Sith Emperor being the most powerful Force user in galactic history, until several thousand years later Darth Sidious rose to prominence and surpassed him. Noting that Darth Sidious’ accolades stretch beyond Sith Lord, as he been touted as the “the greatest master of evil to ever use the Sith power”
- the ‘Sith power’ being an undeniable reference to the dark side. Making Sidious the greatest master of the dark side.

Sith Magic: the assumption that the Sith Emperor’s unprecedented mastery over Sith Magic makes him superior to Sidious is a misguided one, and for several reasons. Collectively the ability to conjure Sith Magic in its varying extents is primarily a product of knowledge and understanding as opposed to raw power. And as such is primarily advanced by such agents. To present a few examples:

Girov Dza’tey and Cartariun are names you have likely never heard of, and that is because they were a pair of minor Force sensitives with a meager grasp of the Force - nothing that elicited the attention of the Galactic Empire which was actively scouting for such individuals. Yet after only days of exposure to Sith Magic, they became highly adept wielders of it. Girov was capable of creating tangible illusions that could attack his enemies, and Cartauriun was capable of enslaving the minds of beasts to his will. The only means by which we can explain such mastery over Sith Magic is through innate ability - like the Sith Emperor - these individuals had an innate affinity for the dark side i.e. Sith Magic, but this did not make them powerful Force users. And with that innate ability, all that was required was a little knowledge to unlock immense power. The same applies for the Sith Emperor himself. Through his innate affinity for the dark side and that alone, the Emperor is capable of achieving high level mastery over Sith Magic with little need for raw power. And one would expect that over 1,000 years of study would allow one to wield incredible power.

This is not to say any one individual can wield Sith Sorcery to such heights, clearly one has to have a considerable command over the Force to do so. However it is obvious that such powers are driven primarily by knowledge as opposed to raw power, and therefore should take a back seat in regards to analysing Force ability - rather than being pushed to the forefront as if often the case.

The Ritual of Nathema: many incorrectly assume that this particular ritual gave the Sith Emperor the combined strength of 8,000 Sith Lords that he could dispense at will. This is not the case. Given that if that was the case the Sith Emperor would have been able to utterly obliterate Revan with his sight alone. In actual fact the majority of these energies were most likely expended in the performance of the ritual itself. Clearly the Sith Emperor did not have the power to perform it alone, and Force drain was noted in Darth Bane to demand copious amounts of Force energy. And while the act replenished and added to the Force reserves of the wielder, it failed to make up for the power expended.

Given that the ritual performed by the Emperor was effectively Force drain on a planetary scale the same mechanics apply. However in this case the Sith Emperor was capable of increasing his power by covering the ‘costs’ if you will by expending the power of the enslaved Sith Lords rather than his own, and as such his powers increased, however the strength of those Sith Lords was expended nonetheless. This likelihood is further reinforced by the fact that in order to perform the ritual again the Emperor required mass genocide. Effectively he needed another ‘sacrifice’ to produce the same if not more Force energy than before that he could use to enact the ritual.

The Emperor’s Ambitions: this shouldn't need to be said, but it’s important to make it clear. The Sith Emperor was indeed planning to perform a ritual that would consume and destroy the entire galaxy and make him indescribably powerful. However this is only a testament to his knowledge of Sith Magic, not his power in any shape or form. This is because most obviously that the Sith Emperor never performed this ritual, and therefore never achieved that kind of power, but also because we cannot say for certain that the ritual would even have succeeded. The Ritual on Nathema was a success but this ritual was far far more ambitious, and one must ask ourselves how exactly the Sith Emperor would have been able to control the outcome.

Darth Sidious makes mention to the fact that Force Storms can become uncontrollable simply because the immense amounts of power being generated. The same applies here, the Sith Emperor could have well been overwhelmed by the power he was creating and destruction he was harnessing and simply have been killed along with the rest of the galaxy. This is excluding the possibility of ‘divine intervention’ - remembering that the Star Wars galaxy is home to the absolute power that is the Force, a power that would not simply allow itself to be utterly destroyed.

So ultimately in regards to demonstrating the Sith Emperor’s power, it is a completely moot point. Especially given that he still lacked the power to perform the ritual without aid i.e. the sacrifice of millions of lives, nor even the power to consume planets like he did on Nathema to grant him that power.

Beniboybling's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 01:27 PM | #3
III – An in-depth analysis and comparison of ability in the Force

This analysis will be divided into the three recognised aspects of Force ability, being Control, Sense and Alter - each aspect covering a certain sphere of Force powers. Refer to this Wookiee article for the specifics.

Control: “Control is internal. It is the Jedi’s ability to recognise the Force in himself and to use it to his benefit.”

The sphere of Control encompasses powers focused around the ability to control one’s own body, and the starting point for any kind of mastery over the Force.

Sith Emperor: with his unprecedented knowledge of Sith Magic which he had over a millennia to study the Sith Emperor become an absolute master of transferring his consciousness - able to imbue portions of himself into the minds of others transforming them into Children of his will or a Voice to exact his commands. And upon his bodily death, in spirit form he was capable of collapsing an entire chamber through sheer will.

Darth Sidious: was exceptionally skilled at channeling his immense Force power into his body to improve his speed and strength and as such dominate his opponents in battle. In terms of Force speed Sidious was capable of catching High Jedi Council members Saesee Tinn and Agen Kolar complete off-guard and cutting them down before they could even react, and has been described as a blur by Darth Maul and Anakin Skywalker and appeared as a practical wraith when he assassinated several members of the Gran Protectorate. His strength was equally formidable, quickly overwhelming and disarming Luke Skywalker through sheer power.

Sidious was also a master of Force concealment, capable of hiding his immense dark side signature from the entirety of the Jedi Order, despite often being in the same room with them, including the venerable Grand Master Yoda himself.

Sidious also possessed a degree of mastery over midi-chlorian manipulation which he inherited from his master, showing a remarkable ability to control and manipulate the bodies of others and bend them to his will.

Finally Sidious was a master over essence transfer, capable of transferring his essence into other hosts and most remarkable the essences of others - even non-Force sensitives. Furthermore as a spirit showed incredible strength of will. Upon experiencing his first death Sidious was banished to the depths of Chaos, but through his sheer strength of will he managed to escape as a Sith Spirit and possess the body of one of his disciples from light-years away. Upon experiencing his final death his spirit was only contained in the Netherworld through the combined strength of every deceased Jedi that inhabited it.


Conclusion: The outcome here is obvious, Sidious is considerably superior. His ability to bolster his fighting capabilities with the Force are nigh unprecedented as is his ability to conceal his presence from others. However in terms of direct comparison, Sidious grossly surpasses the Sith Emperor’s strength of will as a spirit. The Emperor may have been capable of surviving his bodily death, but his spirit had to be collected by the Hand’s and required a great deal of recuperation before he could return to full strength. On the other had Sidious required no assistance, and was able to possess any one of his disciples and dominate their will regardless of distance.

And of course, the Sith Emperor’s ability to transfer his essence into multiple subjects has been replicated via Sidious’ ability to transfer his body into cloned hosts and again most remarkably the ability to transfer the essences of others, and even more remarkable non-Force sensitives with weak Force signatures/essences. Noting however that essence transfer was a power capable of being mastered by even minor Sith adepts - so one would assume the possibilities are endless when one has a willing subject and enough knowledge and time to study the field. Regardless Sidious surpasses the Sith Emperor in this field by being capable of manipulating the essences of others. Midi-chlorian manipulation being the icing on the cake.

Sense: “Sense involves the next step, in which the Jedi recognises the Force in the universe outside themselves.”

The sphere of Sense encompasses powers focused around the ability to probe one’s surroundings, whether that be the minds of others, the past or the future.

Sith Emperor: surprisingly has shown no ability in this category and in fact required Revan, as a prisoner, to access Force visions - so we can only assume his abilities were lacking in this field. Note that I don't consider his ability to dominate the minds of others as indication of ability in Sense because he does it through overwhelming them through sheer strength of will, which is a display of Alter, not Sense.

Darth Sidious: was perhaps one of the greatest wielders of foresight in galactic history. That famous line that opens his Wookiee page: “Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen” is an explicit reference to his mastery in this field. He has experienced countless visions of the future which he used to manipulate events in his favour and he even went as far as to implant the visions of Padme’s death into Anakin’s mind. Indeed Sidious’ remarkable abilities in Force sense likely account of Sidious extensive knowledge of Anakin’s innermost thoughts. And is certainly responsible for Sidious’ awareness of the Rebel presence on Endor.

Sidious also possessed absolutely astounding ability in telepathy. He was capable of probing the minds of powerful Force sensitives with ease. He was able to invade the minds of animals and see what they see. And most remarkably he was capable of reading the mind of his apprentice form light-years away and attacking him through the Force.


Conclusion: Quite clearly Darth Sidious secures the edge in this department, but not entirely by de facto. Not only are Darth Sidious’ abilities incredibly impressive and completely unprecedented, by the Sith Emperor’s reliance on Revan and the Voss reveals a weakness in terms of his Foresight capabilities.

Alter: "Alter is the third and most difficult area to master, for it involves the student's ability to modify the Force and redistribute its energies."

The sphere of Alter encompasses Force powers focused around actively affecting the environment around them, often in destructive and aggressive manners.

Sith Emperor: his telekinetic abilities were likely highly skilled as at a young age he was able to snap his adoptive father's neck with merely a thought. He was also able to generate powerful Force waves to potent effect against powerful Force users such as Revan who he swept clean off his feet.

He was able to generate exceptionally powerful Force lightning, unleashing storms of dark side energy on his opponents which could instantly incapacitate powerful Jedi. He was also able to charge incredibly powerful blasts of energy which even the most powerful of Jedi were unable to deflect.

The Sith Emperor was incredibly skilled in the use of mind control and on numerous occasions dominated the minds of powerful Force users such as Revan and Malak through sheer strength of will. He was also skilled in the use of Qâzoi Kyantuska which he used to dominate the minds of 8,000 Sith Lords.

The Sith Emperor was also exceptionally skilled in the use of Force Drain, able to strip a Sith Lord of his connection to the Force at a young age. And on top of that showed exceptional mastery over Force Drain via the Ritual of Nathema. He was also constantly tapping in the reservoirs of his disciples and of Revan to bolster his power.

Finally the Sith Emperor was regarded as an exceptional master of Sith Sorcery, spending over 1,000 years studying and furthering his mastery over the art. The Emperor’s rituals on Dromund Kaas were capable of warping the planet’s very atmosphere, creating perpetual lightning storms, and he used many arcane rituals to bind individuals to his will and imbue them with his power. He was also capable of summoning potent Force illusions, creating multiple versions of himself when in battle with the Hero of Tython which were able to physically harm him. His most notable accomplishment in Sith Sorcery was when he performed the most complex ritual ever attempted on Nathema, which created the greatest dark side nexus the galaxy had ever seen.

Darth Sidious: was an extremely skilled practitioner of telekinesis, at a young age he telekinetically slaughtered his entire family and bodyguards and his mastery was clearly demonstrated when he launched a volley of senate pods simultaneously at Yoda with incredible dexterity and precision while levitating the one he was standing on. Sidious was also capable of powerful Force pushes that could pin Force sensitives to walls and toss said Force sensitives about like rag-dolls. He was also capable of Force Flight. He was also capable of collapsing his palace on Coruscant.

Sidious was easily capable of incinerating powerful Force sensitives with his lightning which he did so to several dark side prophets. His lightning was also capable of rendering Force users unconscious, it was also powerful enough to stun Master Yoda and almost overload his Force absorption. He was also capable of overwhelming Luke Skywalkers attempts at Force deflection. Sidious’ application of Sith lightning also came in far more precise and grand displays, once slaughtering an entire legion - that’s over 8,000 men - of stormtroopers with lightning while leaving his Royal Guards intermingled amongst them unharmed.

On top of this Darth Sidious mastered the most potent application of Sith Lightning, the dark side and possibly the most destructive Force power known. The Force Storm. A gross extrapolation of the Force maelstrom the power allows the wielder to create vast storms of destructive Force energy capable of rending the very fabric of space and creating hyperspace wormholes. Sidious was capable of controlling these storms and dispatched multiple storms across the galaxy to ravage the surfaces of planets and tear entire fleets apart without any visible effort or concentration in an amazing display of raw Force power.

In terms of mind control Sidious via Sith ritual created ripples through the galaxy that induced fear and aggression in the minds of Jedi across the galaxy and increased Anakin Skywalker’s hunger for power. And as Emperor he used his mastery over Battle Meditation to extend his dark influence across the entire galaxy. Bolstering the fighting capabilities of countless fleets and armies. He was also capable of dominating the minds of others with ease, his greatest demonstration of this being when he utterly dominated the mind of Luke Skywalker in the events of Dark Empire to the point where he forsook his own name and become a mindless slave to his will, and was also capable of tempting Luke and Leia to the dark side from light years away. He was also capable of clouding the minds of the entire Jedi Order, his mere existence preventing them from accessing Force visions, and he did the same to his master, implanting mental suggestions into his head and manipulating him. He also produced a haze of confusion over Saesee Tiin, Agen Kolar and Kit Fisto before dispatching them. Sidious’ abilities were also usable on a far grander scale; in one instance he erased the minds of millions of people on Coruscant, and turned the population of Byss (20 Billion in number) into mindless thralls.

Sidious was also a high level master of Force Drain, in particular using it to gradually siphon the life energies of the entire populating on Byss and absorbed their energies when they died, a populating nearing that of twenty billion.

Sidious also achieved considerable mastery over Sith Sorcery, like the Sith Emperor he was capable of imbuing portions of his power into others - often from light years away - and conjuring potent illusions which often took the form of dreams, which he used to manipulate others. He was also capable of imbuing his dark side energies into areas to create dark side nexuses. He performed this within his secret headquarters in The Works, to create lightning storms throughout Coruscant, and most notably transformed the entire planet of Byss into one of the most powerful dark side nexuses in the entire galaxy. Sidious also achieved mastery over Sith Alchemy, creating an innumerable number of Sithspawn and mutating dark side adepts into Imperial Sentinels which were inextricably bound to his will.


Conclusion: Both the Sith Emperor and Darth Sidious has Force abilities in the category of Alter in incredible scope, so I shall address and compare them individually.

In terms of telekinesis I would give the edge to Darth Sidious simply because he possesses a far wide scope of abilities, and said abilities have been far more impressive. Nor should we be overly impressed by the Sith Emperor’s ability at a young age, as Darth Zannah - a far lesser Force user - was able to crush and kill two Jedi at a similar if not younger age. I also feel Sidious’ telekinetic attacks against Darth Maul and Savage Opress were far more potent than the Sith Emperor’s against Revan - and I don’t believe the disparity between Revan’s and the Zabrak brothers’ abilities are considerable enough to make up for this. Remember that Savage was steeped in dark side energy and Maul had grown considerably more powerful.

In terms of Force Lightning, Darth Sidious again receives the edge. He simply surpasses the Sith Emperor in every feasible way. He has incapacitated and killed more powerful Force users with lightning; he has generated far larger Force storms and has dispatched his dark side energies across a far greater radius. Now one may argue that this is unfair, as the Sith Emperor has never been in a position where he would need to kill a Force user or conjure a Force Storm. However I would retort to the first that the Sith Emperor required a Force Maelstrom to incapacitate the Jedi Strike Team, and a further blast of powerful energy to render them fully unconscious.

Yet with a single blast Sidious was has show himself capable of reducing three dark side prophets to ash, and in a weakened state a single gout was capable of incapacitating Leia (after being trained as a Jedi), seriously wounding Empatojayos Brand who himself was a powerful Jedi, and killing another trained Force User. One would think therefore that if the Sith Emperor’s lightning truly was more potent, he would have would have been able to incapacitate and render unconscious the Jedi Strike Team with something for less potent that a Force Maelstorm coupled with a Force Blast - some of the most potent demonstrations of Sith Lightning.

Furthermore Sidious’ ability to overwhelm Force deflection/absorption with Force lightning is considerably more impressive than the Sith Emperor’s. The Sith Emperor had blasts of Force lightning capably deflected by Revan, yet Sidious’ lightning was enough to bend Mace Windu’s lightsaber back into his face to the point where he was choking on ozone, with Windu remarking that it was beyond Vaapad. This being Mace mother-#%3$ing Windu using a form designed to absorb and reflect dark side attacks such as this, and yet even he was overwhelmed. And there is certainly an argument to made that Windu is in the same league as Revan, Vaapad giving him a greater edge.

Then of course we have Force deflection via tutaminis. Revan was capable of catching and absorbing the absolute full force of the Sith Emperor’s lightning for a short amount of time, no more than 10 seconds. Yet in that same amount of time Sidious was able to almost overwhelm Yoda entirely, who is vastly more powerful than Revan to be sure. I’d also take this moment to note what happens when one does not have Vaapad and one’s lightsaber is hit with lightning, Yoda’s blade was slapped right of out his hand with a single shock. Revan’s was not - do the math.

And to the second I would retort that if the Sith Emperor in all his one thousand years of study had mastered the Force Storm, he would have most certainly used it. It was definitely a power the Sith Emperor would have been aware of, on top of 1,000+ years of study dedicating to uncovering the secrets of the dark side, the Sith Emperor actually had the Darkstaff in his possession. An immensely powerful dark side artifact that could, after consuming a vast reservoir of energy, conjure a Force Storm. So if the Sith Emperor had knowledge of the ability, why did he not wield it? Would that not have made him easily capable of crushing the Republic without even leaving Dromund Kaas? Of easily committing the mass genocide necessary to enact his final ritual as opposed to the time -consuming and carefully laid plans he favoured instead? One would fully expect it would. The only explanation is that he simply was not powerful enough to harness such power, yet Darth Sidious was, and then some.

In terms of mind control, again Sidious is superior. Now you may be crying out “but the Sith Emperor dominated the minds of 8,000 Sith Lords” and yes I admit that is outwardly impressive. But we must remember the theory presented in Chapter 1, he ability to do that was largely down to a deep understanding and knowledge of Sith Sorcery. It was also a product of two other factors, preparation, and the fact that according to the SWTOR Encyclopedia the Sith Lords were willing. And those who have read Darth Bane may recall how easily Lord Kaan was able to sway his Sith followers into enacting the Force bomb ritual, effectively manipulating their minds - however the fact that they were willing made their minds all the more malleable. The same mechanics applies here, except the Sith Emperor is all the more powerful. Nor is mind control on a massive scale out of Sidious' reach, he erased the minds of millions of people on Coruscant and controlled the minds of 20 billion on Byss. This alone matches if not outstrips the Sith Emperor's abilities in this field.

So instead the most reliable comparisons we can make are those pertaining to raw power. The Sith Emperor was able to dominate the minds of Revan and Malak when they were embroiled within the web of the dark side, however Sidious has surpassed that by dominating the fragile mind of Luke Skywalker himself. Except while Revan was simply able to resist the Sith Emperor the second time, Luke Skywalker remained susceptible, and required the battle meditation of his sister to resist. Always remembering that Luke Skywalker is vastly more powerful than Revan on all accounts.

Darth Sidious has also shown far greater reach than the Emperor, Revan and Malak were able to escape from the Emperor’s influence once they left Sith Space. However Sidious was able to effect and manipulate the minds of other Force sensitives e.g. Luke and Leia, from light years away - he was even capable of attacking their minds, and on top of that performing galaxy wide battle meditation. If it had been he who had dominated Revan and Malak’s mind distance would not have allowed them to escape his influence.

In terms of Force drain I again give the edge to Darth Sidious. Now while consuming the life force of an entire planet and its inhabitants instantaneously may come across as the more impressive, we must remember the realities of Sith Magic and the fact that in order to perform that ritual the Sith Emperor required the Force reservoirs of eight thousand Sith Lords - power which he did not ‘inherit’ in its entirety to perform once the ritual was complete, but was in fact evidently expended in its performance - to complete. In a ritual it should be noted took ten days to complete.

Again it is a question of comparing raw ability, as opposed to a complex application of one’s knowledge and understanding of the Force. While stripping a Sith Lord of his power at a young age is more than impressive, I find siphoning the life force of a 20 billion population without any aid at all even more impressive. As this would indicate that Darth Sidious could have drained the life force of the planet, or at least large portions of it, instantaneously, which even the Sith Emperor was not capable of.

And finally, in terms of Sith Sorcery I would declare the Sith Emperor and Darth Sidious as equals. It is obvious that the Sith Emperor has explored the field of Sith Sorcery in all its extents give that he has had over 1,000 years to do so, and has frequently applied complex acts of Sith Magic to exact his goals. But as has become clear Darth Sidious’ skill in this field is by no means lacking, like the Sith Emperor, Darth Sidious was capable of altering the environment of a planet, conjuring potent illusions, and imbuing his powers into other Force sensitives often from light-years away.

Now one may be thinking that the Sith Emperor has shown his superiority by performing complex rituals that Darth Sidious hasn't show himself capable of. To which I would retort that according to the Dark Empire Sourcebook Sidious has mastered virtually every application of the Force in existence and devised new powers of his own. Sidious is therefore likely capable of much that the Sith Emperor is capable of i.e. Qâzoi Kyantuska and the Ritual of Nathema.

But of course you are now likely asking, then why did he never use such powers? The simple answer is he did not have the resources available to him. The Sith Emperor performed the Ritual of Nathema once because he had 8,000 Sith Lords at his disposal, Sidious does not have access to such vast reservoirs of willing Force sensitives - not even close, and even if he did he could not afford to simply expend it. We also have to remember that Sidious has to maintain a public image, and reducing planet’s to voidless husks is not the best way to do that, not to mention the fact that a ten day ritual would be a lengthy and time consuming process which would leave him vulnerable and occupied. That said Sidious did attempt planetary wide Force drain in a manner far more suitable i.e. on Byss, subtly siphoning the Force energies of the planet so nobody would notice. But in the end the principles and the final outcome are the same.


Final Verdict: I think at this point the conclusion is likely quite obvious to most, there is no room for doubt here that Sidious is the superior Force user. There is not a single field of study that the Sith Emperor surpasses Sidious in. Sidious is considerably superior to the Sith Emperor in terms of his mastery over inner control, is vastly superior in terms of his ability to sense the Force around him, and surpasses the Sith Emperor in almost every field in affecting the environment. Indeed Sith Sorcery is the sole field of study that the Sith Emperor is not surpassed in, and even them he only matches Darth Sidious’ ability, and as explained in the opening chapter this is primarily due extensive study of the field, as opposed to raw power, as Darth Sidious is likely capable of far more potent applications in this field.

So it can be concluded, without a shadow of a doubt, that Darth Sidious is a superior master over the Force and the dark side than the Sith Emperor. The evidence I'm afraid is patently obvious.

Beniboybling's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 01:28 PM | #4
IV – An in-depth analysis and comparison of combat ability

This analysis will be divided into four parts comparing physicality, mentality, lightsaber skill and finally Force abilities in relation to a combat situation. Before issuing a final verdict.


Sith Emperor: has experienced a great deal of dark side corruption and as such his body suffers from the debilitating effects of the dark side. Aside from that the he doesn't appear to have any special advantages or disadvantages.

Darth Sidious: after his death on the Second Death Star, Sidious returned to the physical world in youthful clones of himself, regaining his lost youth. However, Sidious’ new bodies degraded quickly under the enormous pressure of his affinity with the dark side. He did manage to control this, but only to a certain extent.

Edge: Generally, they are both fairly even in this area, and it is likely that Sidious’ youthful form won’t really have much of an impact. An edge cannot be given.


Sith Emperor: was devoid of any empathy or any kind of emotion, save one: fear. Despite considering himself a god, the Emperor fears death, and every ambition and action he took after settling his Empire was to avoid death by any means necessary. He has become extremely paranoid because of this.

In addition to his fear of death, the Emperor seems to display a degree of tunnel vision. During the duel with Revan and his followers he was primarily focused on Revan and almost oblivious to the actions of Meetra Surik or T3-M4 until their attacks entered his trajectory. Quick reflexes and Meetra Surik’s decision to save Revan were his saving grace during the confrontation, which could very well have ended in his death.

Darth Sidious: his mind is an enigma. He is supremely intelligent, manipulative, cunning, and altogether pure evil. Sidious saw everything as a potential tool, and used everyone until their usefulness had ended. The likes of Jedi Master Dooku, Asajj Ventress, Darth Maul, and even his master Darth Plagueis, were simple tools to elevate him to higher places of power. However, he was also very arrogant. He believed himself completely unstoppable and that everything was under his control. His arrogance was such that he was willing to kill Darth Vader’s son right in front of him even though love for his family was what had turned Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader in the first place.

Like his master, Sidious sought a means to cheat death and live forever. After murdering his master, Sidious was constantly wary of potential threats, and found ways to keep these threats suppressed or eliminate them altogether. Such was his paranoia that he completely avoided sleep, a safety measure to avoid the fate of his master.

Sidious was a practitioner of Dun Moch, a method of psychological warfare bent on manipulating the opponent into surrender or into making foolish mistakes that would cost them their life. On top of that Sidious was a duelling tactician, and could move his opponents into a position where they are most vulnerable, something that lead to Grand Master Yoda’s defeat during the fall of the Old Republic.

Edge: Both fear death and will do anything to achieve immortality, but that is where the similarities stop. Darth Sidious simply has more mental utility and a broader tactical scope than the Sith Emperor and therefore receives the edge.

Lightsaber Skill

Sith Emperor: shows little to no skill in lightsaber combat.

Darth Sidious: possessed incredible skill with the blade. After decades of learning the ways of Sith in both the Force and lightsaber combat, Sidious became a Sith Swordmaster. He was a master of all seven lightsaber forms, and possessed the ability to wield them ambidextrously, and switch between forms at will. His preferred style appeared to be Juyo, the seventh style of Jedi lightsaber combat. Sidious considered Juyo to be the Sith style for its principles of enjoying combat, something that would lead most Jedi to the dark side.

Sidious’ skill with the blade was so great that he was able to face Jedi Master Yoda, and Weapon Master Mace Windu – Jedi that were widely considered the very best the Order had ever produced- on equal terms. He has also defeated Luke Skywalker in lightsaber combat. As a combatant, whenever he is confronted by an opponent of equal or greater skill, he engages them in a lightsaber duel, usually using the combat as a method of humouring them. However, if he is incapable of defeating them quickly in this field, he resorts to his Force abilities.

He would also use Force Speed in combat and was so blindingly fast that he was able to cut down three of the Jedi Order’s most celebrated duellists in mere seconds, the first two before they could even react.

Edge: The given edge is obvious. The Sith Emperor has no real skill, but Sidious is immensely skilled with the blade.

Force Abilities

Sith Emperor: supremely gifted in the Force, the Sith Emperor was an immensely powerful practitioner of the dark side. Even as a child he was capable of utterly dominating others, and eventually gained ownership of an entire planet. His strength in the dark side was such that the legendary Marka Ragnos dubbed him a Sith Lord.

Throughout his life, the Sith Emperor’s focus was primarily on applications of Sith Sorcery, and powerful rituals derived from Sith Magic. But despite his supreme focus on Sith Sorcery, the Sith Emperor was also powerful in other areas of the Force, particularly those more applicable to a combat situation. His capacity for mental domination was incredible, able to mentally dominate practically anyone who lacked the willpower to resist him.

The Sith Emperor was capable of unleashing incredibly powerful Force lightning. Taking this power to near pinnacle with the Force Storm ability – note however this is not the variant that produces hyperspace wormholes or a Force maelstrom. He was also capable of unleashing powerful Force Waves to telekinetically assault his foes.

Darth Sidious: the culmination of Darth Bane’s Rule of Two, Darth Sidious was supremely powerful in the dark side of the Force. Even as a child he was capable of unleashing bursts of power that surprised even Darth Plagueis.

Over time, Darth Sidious gained complete mastery over the dark side and after slaying his master; he heard the voices of ancient Sith proclaiming his reign, praising him as the one to usher in the new era. The dark side took him as a possession, and he took the dark side.

Darth Sidious’ grasp of the Force was unending. Every facet of the Force was his to command. He learned all of the teachings of the dark side, the various Force cults, and even preserved and corrupted the Jedi teachings. Every Force power had been unveiled. He knew all things in the Force. Darth Sidious was a master of Force Stealth, the ability to hide in the Force. His abilities with this were such that he could hide his presence from the venerable Master Yoda, and fifteen thousand other Jedi while openly interacting with them.

His abilities for foresight and precognition were beyond masterful. He foresaw many things, even an invasion that would take place decades in the future. Darth Sidious’ affinity for Battle Meditation was also masterful. His reach was galaxy-wide. His will drove the Galactic Empire, and without him it quickly crumbled.

His abilities for mental manipulation branched out to mind tricks, but even this was capable of being used on a massive scale. He once mind-wiped millions of civilians on Coruscant, so that they would forget that he hid the Super Star Destroyer Lusankya on the planet. Darth Sidious was also a powerful telepath. His reach was galaxy-wide, and so powerful that he could drive the powerful Darth Vader to his knees from across the galaxy.

His abilities for telekinesis were immensely powerful. He was capable of lifting multiple heavy objects with ease. He was able to lift and throw multiple Senate pods during his duel with Master Yoda, treating the heavy objects like a child’s playthings. Sidious was also master of Sith Sorcery and Sith Magic.

His mastery of the Force was displayed most famously in his usage of Force lightning. He displayed such a command of the power that he could destroy entire legions with deadly bolts, while displaying the control necessary to protect his allies from the attack. Even his applications used for torture could leave subjects crippled for long periods of time. His Force lightning was so powerful that he was able to disarm Master Yoda, and bend Mace Windu’s lightsaber.

In the most supreme display of Force lightning, Darth Sidious unleashed massive Force Storms on the galaxy. His mastery of the Force Storm was such that he could rip the very fabric of space to teleport objects or people across the galaxy. His Force Storms had the power to destroy entire fleets and ships deemed indestructible through conventional means. His Force Storms could even ravage entire planets and Luke Skywalker believed he had the power to destroy them. Darth Sidious’ mastery of the dark side was supreme, and thus he became a nexus of the dark side that followed him like a dark shadow. Those near him felt drawn to his power, only to find themselves eclipsed by his might. He was seen as a black hole in the Force.

Edge: Both are capable of similar abilities, but Sidious has displayed the raw power to completely outclass that of the Sith Emperor’s on practically every level. Even mental manipulation falls into Sidious’ favour. As while the Sith Emperor has dominated practically everyone he has aimed to dominate, Sidious has shown planetary levels of mental manipulation. The edge here is given to Darth Sidious.

Verdict: Darth Sidious holds all of the cards here. While the Sith Emperor is extremely powerful, he is also over-specialized in Sith Sorcery, and all of the spells of Sith Sorcery that he has shown are rituals that require a great deal of time to perform. In any other area, Sidious outclasses Vitiate, by a lot. It is unlikely that Sidious would deem it necessary to use his lightsaber here, which means that this would come down to the Force, and in that area Sidious has everything in his favour. It can therefore be concluded that Darth Sidious is the superior combatant and most likely to win any such engagement.


The fallacy that the Sith Emperor is a superior Force user to Darth Sidious is one that arises primarily from ignorance. By no fault of their own a large portion of the Star Wars community are only familiar with Darth Sidious’ feats within the movies which while impressive are alone not enough to contend with that of the Sith Emperor in all fields. However Sidious’ abilities have been explored in depth within the EU, and as displayed here there is a vast amount of evidence that supports the canon statement that Darth Sidious is indeed the most powerful wielder of the dark side.

Indeed there is in reality no need to cling to canon statements in order to affirm this, as it is blatantly self-evident. As one can imagine, such accolades give writers a huge amount of creative freedom to effectively ascribe Sidious unimaginable amounts of power, in order to ensure that Sidious lives up to the title.

Nor should one assume that once the Sequel trilogy is released that Sidious position will be diminished, as the vast majority of his Force abilities are not explored in the post-ROTJ but in prior EU which is not at risk of being retconned. The only major ability that could face overhaul is the Force Storm, yet despite this Sidious would remain superior to the Sith Emperor who has not even explored this category, nor would it retcon the various compendiums made by Sidious that point to him exploring the power of the Force Storm prior to his first death.

Altogether Sidious’ position as the most powerful Sith Lord in galactic history is at the present moment and in the future, extremely solid. And the Sith Emperor simply isn't in a position, and likely never will be, to challenge him.

NOTE: A more favorable comparison for the Sith Emperor would be with that of Darth Caedus. However even against him the Sith Emperor still falls short, though he is certainly much more of a challenge. See my comparison here.

Also if your interested, a community made list of the Most Powerful Sith Lords, other lists can be found here.

Aurbere's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 01:46 PM | #5
I really wish I had taken more time on my part. But at least it got the point across.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Darkelefantos's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 01:52 PM | #6
If you compare them like this, really, putting these next to another makes it look like Vitiate isn't even competition. You might aswell be comparing Sidious to Darth Bandon. Although, let's just blame this on the lack of information..

Aurbere's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 01:54 PM | #7
Quote: Originally Posted by Beniboybling View Post
Refer to this Wookiee article for the specifics.
Need the link here.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

Aurbere's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 01:59 PM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Darkelefantos View Post
If you compare them like this, really, putting these next to another makes it look like Vitiate isn't even competition. You might aswell be comparing Sidious to Darth Bandon. Although, let's just blame this on the lack of information..
Vitiate really isn't any competition. It's just, for some reason, entire threads need to be dedicated to proving that.

Frankly, a much better, more exciting comparison would be between Darths Sidious and Caedus.
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus

sell-dog's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 01:59 PM | #9
The sad thing is it will be even harder to convince people that Darth Caedus is more powerful than Vitiate
"What's the difference between hot and cold doughnuts?"
"The difference is: cold ones I can eat 8, hot ones I can eat 48!"

Aurbere's Avatar

10.02.2013 , 02:00 PM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by sell-dog View Post
The sad thing is it will be even harder to convince people that Darth Caedus is more powerful than Vitiate
Ooh, Beni! Let's do that one next!
Added Chapter 66 to The Shadows Fall
"Your only hope to survive is to give in to the rage boiling within you, to acknowledge the Dark Side you deny, and tap into it!"--Darth Tyranus