Throughout the history of the Star Wars franchise, there always seemed to be one type of foe that almost everyone could agree was the epitome of evil: the Sith. Even in the sequel trilogy, after the Sith have been been wiped out, the dark side villains of the movies still followed in the footsteps of the Sith, carrying on their traditions, but now without the title. The First Order of The Force Awakens is essentially the evolved form of the Sith.
The Sith have actually evolved for millennia throughout the Star Wars lore. In fact, before the Sith were the dark side-wielding foes of the Jedi, they were actually their own race that lived on the planet Korriban. They were a prominent species about 30,000 years before the events of the Star Wars saga and had a culture that primarily focused around the dark side.
Over the millennia, as the Sith species diminished, their culture was picked up by the Sith Order, which didn’t particularly consist of only members of the Sith species. While the Sith species and the Sith we know certainly had unique physical features that often differed from one another, there were some notable similarities between the two different kinds of “Sith” that the galaxy far far away had seen over the years.
Taking a look at the Sith species, their descendants, and the Sith Order seen in the Star Wars saga, here are the 20 Strange Details About Sith Anatomies.
20 Their Force Abilities Were Hereditary
The ancient Sith species themselves were incredibly sufficient with the dark side of the Force. Nearly every member of the species was able to use the Force sufficiently, with every member only using the dark side, constantly rejecting the light side.
As the Sith began to reproduce with other species and spread across the galaxy, their connection to the dark side tended to remain but wasn’t as strong. This is part of the reason why the Sith Purebloods thought themselves superior among the Sith Order, as they believed that their direct Sith heritage gave them a stronger connection to the dark side. For the most part, this genetic claim proved itself to be true, as the Pureblood Sith were generally stronger with the Force than the rest.
19 They Used The Dark Side As Sustenance
The connection between the Sith and the dark side didn’t just give the Sith species Force abilities like the Sith in the Star Wars saga. The dark side actually provided sustenance for the Sith species, which meant that they didn’t have any need for food or water. The Force alone powered their bodies, which is unlike almost any creature shown in the Star Wars saga.
The other creatures that inhabited the planet that the Sith lived on had the same relationship with the Force, which allowed all of the planet’s creatures to co-exist, as none of the creatures needed to consume the others in order to survive. The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some would consider unnatural.
18 They Had Red Skin
Outside of their dark side-centric culture, the ancient Sith species were most notable for their red skin. The Sith children were typically born with a light red pigment, but upon entering adulthood, their skin tone would turn darker until it became an intimidating crimson. However, some Sith had their skin turn more pink as they aged, but crimson was still the most common skin tone for a Sith to have.
There were a number of outliers to this characteristic, however. There were a few Sith that were recorded to have charcoal colored skin, which is quite different from the species’ typical red skin. It was also not uncommon for parts of Sith skin to turn brown as they aged.
17 Some Could Use The Force Without Even Moving
The Sith were so powerful that they could often use the Force without even needing to move. This isn’t an ability that’s necessarily exclusive to the Sith, however, as some of the strongest Jedi showed this power as well, but it’s still a truly remarkable trait that shows just how powerful the Sith were with the dark side.
Darth Sidious even showed this ability in Return of the Jedi, which helps to back up the theory that he was descended from the Sith species. If he could wield the dark side without needing to move with only a small portion of Sith DNA, it begs the question of just how powerful the original Sith species were with the Force.
16 They Had Tentacles On Their Faces That Could Express Emotion
Another notable physical feature of the ancient Sith was that a majority of them had large tendrils on their face, one on each side of their mouth. These tendrils were attached to their cheekbones and were an easily distinguishable way to determine how a Sith was feeling at a particular time.
The stroking of the right tendril was a way that the Sith would show that they were feeling thoughtful, and the curling of both tendrils showed that a Sith was in a joyful mood. If a Sith was in an angry mood, however, their tendrils would often twitch and quiver, which would help to make the Sith more physically intimidating. The quivering of the tendril was also a way for a Sith to express confusion.
15 They Were Usually Left-Handed
One incredibly peculiar attributes of the Sith species was that a majority of them were left-handed. It’s unclear why the Sith unconsciously favored their left hands over their right ones, but it more than likely was a part of their culture as they adapted and grew as a species. For the first thousand years of the Sith’s existence, they did not encounter any other humanoid species, so being left-handed was probably not unusual from their point of view.
Thousands of years later, the Sith Darth Maul was also left-handed, which could possibly show that he was descended from the ancient Sith themselves. Also, Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker was arguably left-handed as well, being proficient with both hands (however, this is mostly attributed to the fact that his actor Hayden Christensen was left-handed, as Vader was originally intended to only be right-handed).
14 There Were “Sith Purebloods”
As the Sith civilization grew beyond their original planet, they encountered more humanoid species across the galaxy. Eventually, the Sith began to mate with these other species, which eventually led to the “extinction” of the Sith species, as there were no more creatures that carried only the Sith bloodline. However, before the Sith went extinct, and as the Sith culture was becoming the “Sith Order,” a number of Sith rose to the top of the hierarchy as Sith Purebloods.
The Purebloods claimed that they were some of the few Sith left in existence to not have any heritage outside of the Sith species, which in their mind made them incredibly superior. However, by the time the Star Wars saga began, the Sith Purebloods had already been gone for thousands of years, and the Sith gene was not much more than a legend.
13 They Had Irregular Bone Spurs At Random Points Across Their Bodies
Another interesting physical characteristic of the Sith species was that they had bone spurs across different parts of their bodies. These bony projections on their skeleton would appear randomly across their bodies, with very little consistencies regarding where the spurs would appear. The only common location for a bone spur to be was on the elbow. Outside of this one location, the spurs would be absolutely random.
As the Sith started to mate with other species, the bone spurs were one of the first physical features to disappear, along with their facial tendrils. While the bone spurs were present, though, they did help to make the Sith look more intimidating, as the unnatural-looking spurs were incredibly off-putting to foes.
12 Their Teeth Were Incredibly Sharp
The teeth of the Sith were incredibly sharp, which would make it look as though they were a carnivorous species if they didn’t already get their sustenance from the Force. However, their sharp teeth did help to make them look more intimidating in a fight, and possibly even helped the Sith in a fight if their mouths got close enough to their enemies.
The mouths of the Sith species were simian, which allowed for them to have more teeth than the average humanoid and allowed those teeth to be even larger. They had a long line of jaws in their mouth thanks to their over-sized jawline. For reference, simian mouths are the types of mouths that orangutans have.
11 Most Only Had Three Fingers Per Hand
A majority of the Sith only had three fingers on each hand, which is an unusually low finger count, even for Star Wars creatures. Their fingers were also exceptionally sharp, with a thick claw being on each one of them. Though they may have two less fingers than the average species, the damage that they could do with their three fingers greatly outweighed what any other species could do.
Their feet also only had three toes per foot, but their foot design was even more peculiar. They would have two clawed toes at the front of each foot, with the third toe protruding directly behind their feet. This helped to balance their footing, as three toes going directly forward would typically not be enough toes to keep up a balanced equilibrium.
10 They Had Unique Left-Handed Weapons
Since the Sith were the few species to be primarily left-handed, they made unique weapons that were exclusively designed to be used with the left hand, called lanvaroks. Lanvaroks were actually two-handed weapons, but they could only be truly utilized if the user was left-handed.
The weapon served both as an axe and as a projectile weapon, which would shoot out dark side-powered discs at their foes. The lanvaroks became an important part of the Sith history, often being used in their ceremonies and rituals. The usage of the lanvaroks carried on for thousands of years, even being used through the events of the Star Wars saga. It is the only Sith species accomplishment that survived after the decimation of the Sith, outside of their evil dark side ways.
9 They Had Great Hearing, Despite Their Small Ears
The Sith species all had incredibly small ears compared to other humanoids, but this didn’t mean that their hearing senses were small as well. In comparison to humans, the Sith species had fantastic hearing, among other great senses. While the advanced hearing in their ears was certainly not as great as the strongest ears in the galaxy, their hearing was still above average.
Arguably, the small ear canals of the Sith may have actually helped their hearing, as the sound waves wouldn’t have had a chance to escape their narrow ear canals. Their increased hearing also probably helped the Sith in their fights, as it helped them to prepare for an enemy’s attack outside of just seeing their attacker’s movement, similarly to Marvel’s Daredevil.
8 The Strongest Sith Historically Were Those Descended From Sith Blood
As the Sith started to expand across the galaxy, the Sith Purebloods rose to the top of the Sith Order, since they all claimed to have a deeper connection with the dark side of the Force. Historically, this claim proved itself to be quite true, as those with the deeper genetic connection to the Sith tended to have a deeper connection with the dark side.
Even years after the Sith species was seemingly decimated, with the species breeding with other species for thousands of years, the Sith Order members who stood at the top of the hierarchy all seemed to have some sort of Sith lineage, even if it was only a small percentage of their DNA. It is believed that Darth Sidious and Darth Maul both descended from the Sith species, which explains how they were so strong.
7 They Had Glowing Yellow Eyes
A majority of the Sith species members all had glowing yellow eyes, which, as one could imagine, were extremely intimidating. However, not all of the Sith species had glowing yellow eyes. Some of the Sith had orange or red eyes, with only the yellow eyes being the eyes that could glow. It’s unclear how brightly their eyes could glow, but it’s assumed it was only a dim glow.
As the Sith started to breed with other species, their glowing yellow eyes went away rather quickly. Much like their tendrils and red skin, their eye colors were not the most dominant genetic traits. As the Sith evolved over the years, the dark side power was really the only genetic characteristic that stuck around for the Sith descendants.
6 Their Jobs In Sith Culture Were Decided By Their Breed
The class system of the ancient Sith culture was actually decided by what kind of breed each Sith was, showing that even before there were Sith Purebloods, there was still a bit of racism among the Sith culture. The three different breeds of Sith were Kissai, Massassi, and Zuguruk.
The Kissai were at the top of the Sith culture, as they ended up being the priests and the leaders of the rest of the Sith. The Massassi were the middle class members of the culture, being the warriors, with their primary weapon being the lanvaroks. The Zuguruk were the lowest on the Sith hierarchy, being the engineers that would clean up the messes no one else wanted to take care of.
5 They Often Remained Incredibly Agile, Even In Old Age
The dark side helped to keep the Sith incredibly powerful and agile as they grew older, which really showed how deep their connection with the Force was. Since the dark side provided the Sith with sustenance, it would only make sense that it keep them nimble as they grew older — more nimble than any kind of food or water could.
Though Darth Sidious wasn’t even part of the Sith species, he was a perfect example of how the dark side helped to keep their bodies alive as they grew older. Though Sidious was well certainly old when he rose to power, he still proved to be incredibly skillful in a fight, even being able to overcome Yoda in a physical fight.
4 Their Force Abilities Couldn’t Keep Their Bodies Alive Forever
Unfortunately for the Sith, the sustenance provided from the Sith wasn’t ambrosia. The Sith still only had the average lifespan of the other humanoids, despite being quite nimble and agile in their old age. Though they were still active and powerful, most didn’t live longer than 100 years.
The biggest historical exception to this was Darth Plagueis, who spent most of his Sith career studying the possibilities of immortality. He ended up living for about 115 years, but he more than likely would have survived longer had he not been betrayed by his apprentice. In fairness, however, Plagueis was much more interested in helping others live for an extended period of time than helping himself.
3 By The Events Of The Star Wars Movies, Most Of The Sith Lineage Was Extinct Or Inconsequential
As previously mentioned, in the tens of thousands of years following the expansion of the Sith culture across the galaxy, the Sith species had essentially been wiped out, with the descendants being bred with a variety of other species to the point where the physical features of the Sith were no longer distinguishable.
By the time the Star Wars saga picked up, most of the people in the galaxy had completely forgotten that the Sith were even a species, or even a culture that originally formed from a species. Instead, the Sith were only seen as an evil cult that had seemingly been wiped out long before the events of The Phantom Menace. It’s unclear if the remaining Sith were indeed descended from the Sith species, and in the long run, it didn’t really matter anyways.
2 They Could Move Incredibly Quickly
The dark side not only helped to keep the Sith alive, but it also boosted their physical strength. Outside of being nimble, the Sith were found to be incredibly fast, which was directly connected to their connection to the dark side. This ability was not only prominent in the Sith species, but in the members of the Sith Order as well.
Darth Sidious, Darth Vader, and Darth Maul all showed these abilities at time. While it wasn’t an ability that they used often, it still helped them in combat, particularly in a duel. Their arms tended to move quicker than even those of a Jedi, which helped to give them the advantage in a lightsaber fight.
1 The Survival Of The Sith Bodies Gave Strength To The Dark Side Of The Force
While it’s become incredibly clear how powerful the Sith were thanks to the dark side, it should be noted that their connection to the dark side of the Force was not one-sided. Back when the Sith were a prominent species in the galaxy, the survival of the species would help to keep the dark side alive as well.
The bond between the species and the Force was incredibly unique. The more Sith there were, the stronger the Sith would be, seeing as the dark side itself would also be stronger. This connection carried on as the Sith grew into the Sith Order, with the height of the Sith’s strength being when the Sith power engulfed a majority of the galaxy.
Are there any other interesting facts about Sith anatomies in Star Wars? Let us know in the comments!
Fan art by Kirashik, Marcin Koszalski, and AHague.