The recently released Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens teaser finally showed us who would be getting a taste of Kylo Ren's unique lightsaber - none other than John Boyega's Finn.
I think we can all assume Kylo Ren is a formidable user of the dark side of the force, but how will be rank amongst the galaxies other powerful and influential Sith lords?
Well, Imgur user LucasFilm has created a very insightful look into the most badass and dangerous Sith to ever walk in the galaxy, far, far away. Many of these are characters are drawn from the Star Wars Extended Universe, a collection of stories that have now been rendered non-canonical. Despite this, it is still an interesting insight into those red-lightsaber-loving bad guys. Check them out, along with LucasFilm's detailed and expert descriptions, below:
Plageueis’s skill with a lightsaber was not the greatest nor was his mastery of the force, but what set him apart from other Lords was that Plagueis was a Sith scholar and a master of midi-chlorian manipulation.
Unlike other Sith who desire power above all else, Plagueis desired knowledge: he believed that eventually he would find the knowledge that would allow him to cheat death, a story we hear Palpatine (the apprentice of Plagueis) tell Anakin in Episode III. However Plageuis would never accomplish his goal of cheating death, instead he was betrayed by his apprentice Darth Sidious who proved to be his greatest contribution to the Galaxy.
Before Darth Bane the Sith had been a large cult containing numerous Sith Lords and apprentices. However after Bane created the “Rule of two” all of this changed. In previous Sith Empires in-fighting plagued the Dark council as varying Sith Lords jockeyed for power.
Bane saw this as a weakness that needed to be eliminated if the Sith were ever to become powerful again. Thus he created a rule which stated that at any time there may only be a Master and their apprentice. He stated that “Two there should be; no more, no less. One to embody power, the other to crave it.”
The apprentices lust for power would ensure that when they were strong enough in the way of the dark side they would kill their own master and then find their own apprentice to continue the cycle.
He was solely responsible for changing the structure of the Sith order with a rule that later a thousand years until the rule of Darth Sidious.
Every Star Wars fan is aware of Darth Vader, he is the dark face of the Star Wars movies and one of the greatest sci-fi characters ever created.
Darth Vader had the highest midi-chlorian count ever. Even though this is true Vader never realized his true potential, and mostly due to the fact he was the Emperor’s puppet after his fall to the Sith.
Were he ever to become more powerful than the Emperor he would be a threat thus he was kept from being as powerful as he was destined to be. If it were not for Palpatine’s involvement in turning Anakin to the dark side he may have well became the most powerful force user ever to have existed.
Freedon Nadd was a Jedi of the Old Republic, before a desire for power led him to slay his master and leave the Jedi order, which then saw him flee from Republic space to the old Sith empire. Here he gained a wealth of knowledge of the dark side of the force, which led him to Yavin 4 where he awakened the spirit of the deceased dark lord Naga Sadow who took Nadd as his apprentice.
Nadd became a master of the force and was more than capable with a lightsaber and after he believed that he had learned all he could from Naga Sadow’s spirit, he used his new power to destroy Sadow and leave Yavin. He then travelled to the world of Onderon where he used his new found powers to bring the world under his control, and he ruled over Onderon as King until his death. But even this was not the end as his spirit lived on and the dark side of the force lingered on Onderon for centuries to come.
His ultimate goal in death was that he would be able to be physically resurrected by one of his followers, however his spirit was destroyed nearly 350 after his physical death at the hands of Exar Kun.
Marka Ragnos was an incredibly powerful Sith Lord who took the Sith Empire into a golden age. He was remarkable duellist and was among the most powerful force users of his time.
Under his rule the Sith empire flourished conducting precise, brutal campaigns against it’s enemies. This led the empire to regain the strength it lost in centuries past and would provide a platform for the Empire to grow and prosper long after his death. During his rule Ragnos took a young boy by the name of Tenebrae as his apprentice this would prove to be his greatest legacy in years to come.
Just like Nadd even after his death Ragnos lived on, during the period after his death Ragnos appeared to those trying to claim his throne proclaiming only those were the most powerful could control his empire. He was also responsible for crowning Exar Kun as the new Dark Lord and making Ulic-Qel Droma his apprentice.
His spirit lingered on even into the age of the New Republic until he was finally defeated by the Jedi and sealed away in his tomb.
Revan was once a naive young Jedi at the time of the Mandolorian wars. He argued that instead of sitting on the sidelines the Jedi should intervene. Although the Jedi Council stood fast in there decision Revan defied them and rallied other Jedi to him.
After leading his forces to victory he pursued the Mandolorians into unknown space, where he and his apprentice Malak found Dromund-Kaas and came face to face with the Sith Emperor and the long hidden Sith Empire. Here he was seduced by the Emperor and descended into darkness becoming the Emperors servant who dubbed him Darth Revan. Revan set out from Dromund-Kaas with a new mission from his Master to find the Legendary Star-Forge.
Commanding the loyalty of those who had followed him into the Mandolorian war and an armada constructed by the Star-forge, he led a crusade against the Republic forging his own Empire separate from the one he found on Dromound-Kaas. His victory seemed almost certain until he was lured into a trap set by the Jedi. Just before he engaged the Jedi in combat his apprentice Darth Malak betrayed him and seized control of his empire.
Revan, however, was not killed, he was captured by the Jedi who were able to erase the memories of his dark past and bring him back to the light side of the force. Although he would later regain his memories he refused to fall back to the dark side. Later he would go on to destroy the empire he had founded, destroying both the Star-forge and his apprentice Malak in the process. After this he left to the unkown regions to pursue the true Sith Empire.
Nihilus reigned as Sith Lord during the ere of Strife after the Jedi Civil war. Nihilus survived the activation of the Mass Shadow Generator weapon that engulfed the planet Malachor V with a Mass Shadow. Nihilus should have been killed, but the shadow changed him entirely: he became a wound in the force, an affliction that caused him to crave force energy.
He was found by Darth Traya who offered him the chance to sate his hunger, accepted her offer and together along with Darth Sion they formed the Sith Triumvirate. Eventually Nihilus and Sion decided to betray their master, Sion restrained Traya while Nihilus sapped her of her force energy.
Nihilus’s affliction continued to worsen to the point he had to encase his spirit within his mask and armour. To feed his never ending hunger Nihilus went on a Jedi purge nearly destroying the order entirely. On the verge of extinction the Jedi had to deal with the threat Nihilus posed. In the end Nihilus’s hunger led to his demise, he arrived at Telos V believing it was rich with Jedi force-users.
All of this was a ploy set up by a coalition of Jedi and Mandolorians who ambushed Nihilus on his flagship “The Ravager”. In the end Nihilus’s physical form was destroyed but the armour that contained his spirit was taken back to the Sith homeworled of Korriban for burial.
During his younger years Palpatine led a double life serving as the apprentice of Darth Plagueis while at the same time serving as the ambassador for the planet Naboo at the Republic Senate. While his master was busy trying to find the key to eternal life Palpatine was busy manipulating galactic politics to ensure he would rise to become Supreme Chancellor. This culminated in the Naboo crisis which lead to Palpatine winning the nomination to become Supreme Chancellor. Around this time Palpatine fulfilled the rule of two and killed Plagueis, thus began the next stage in Palpatines plan to rebuild the Sith Empire.
Palpatine orchestrated the devastating Clone wars, as more people perished in the conflict the people rallied to the Chancellor granting him more powers and allowing him to become more powerful than the Senate itself. As the war neared it’s end Palpatine began the final phase in his plan, he executed Order 66 which instructed the Republic Clone armies to exterminate all Jedi across the galaxy, he also managed to sway the powerful young Jedi Anakin Skywalker into becoming his apprentice by manipulating his feelings over his wife.
With the Jedi all but exterminated and his powerful apprentice Darth Vader at his side Palpatine formed the Galactic Empire and placed himself as it’s all powerful ruler. Although the power of his Empire was unlike anything that had ever been seen it was defeated by the fledgling Rebel Alliance, as for Palpatine he was finally defeated by his apprentice who fulfilled the prophecy of the one who would bring balance to the force.
During his time as a Jedi, Exar Kun displayed a curiosity into teachings forbidden by the Jedi Order, his curiosity was so great he eventually chose to leave the order after his training was completed. He left in pursuit of knowledge of the ancient Sith, this led him to the planet of Onderon where he awoke the spirit of the Sith Lord Freedon Nadd.
Like so many Jedi before him Kun gave in to the power of the dark side and became Nadd’s apprentice. When his training was complete Kun destroyed Freedon Nadd’s spirit and set off to dominate the galaxy. The first thing Kun did was travel the galaxy eliminating Sith cults and any who could oppose him, this led him to find Ulic-Qel Droma a warlord of one of the cults he planned to destroy. Both Ulic and Exar were visited by eh spirit of Marka Ragnos who brought them both to the dark side.
After this Kun and Qel Droma formed the Brotherhood of the Sith and began a war against the Republic and the Jedi Order. Even while he was waging war Kun’s hunt for ancient Sith knowledge never stopped, this led to hi m finding an ancient Sith holocron which he used to corrupt Jedi and turn them to the dark side.
At the height of his power Kun arrived on Coruscant where he killed the Supreme Chancellor and duelled with the Grand Master of the Jedi Order and even managed to free his apprentice Ulic-Qel Droma from imprisonment. Kun was eventually defeated on Yavin 4 after being betrayed by Ulic, Kun tried to separate his spirit from his body but the Jedi ensure that he was trapped within his temple on Yavin forever.
So how will Kylo Ren rank among his Sith lord ancestors? Well, it's currently hard to tell. His young age and (apparently) homemade lightsaber suggests he still has a lot to learn before becoming a powerful Sith lord. Furthermore, the apparent destruction (or at least weakening) of the Empire has also probably limited his training with the dark side of the force. However, if the rumors about his origins are true, it's likely he has a rather powerful - in fact maybe THE most powerful - connection to the force.