It’s easily one of the greatest mysteries in Star Wars lore…”What happened to the Sith species?”
This then begs the question, does SWTOR offer us any clues? Yes. It does. But don’t get too excited. The Sith were already “extinct” in Darth Bane’s era, so Lucasfilm still has a window of some 2500 years to play with. What does SWTOR give us? Seeds. Small snippets of information that could one day become the reason the Sith species is gone and an explanation as to how it will someday return.
But first, let’s break this down a bit. We’re actually asking several questions. Were the Sith wiped out? What happened? Will they return? How?
Were the Sith wiped out? No. Something happened, but they’re not extinct. Why? I just don’t see Lucasfilm cutting themselves off from ever using a Sith Pureblood in any legacy era stories. The Sith are simply too huge of a story asset to be permanently killed off.
But could *most* of them have been killed off? Sure. That’s definitely possible. Star Wars has a growing theme of Sith Lords wiping out huge portions of their supporters if it serves their own self interest. Naga Sadow did this… and it isn’t a stretch to see the SWTOR Emperor doing it too. If this turns out to be the case, then I have to wonder if SWTOR’s story will ultimately end with answering “what happened to the sith”.
So, it’s possible that most of the Sith were wiped out, but what of the survivors? There’s really only two possibilities: exile, or stasis.
Is it reasonable theb that remaining Sith purebloods have been hiding out all this time in wild space? Certainly. An entire planet of stranded human Sith was recently discovered in the Luke Skywalker era, so we have precedent. One could suggest the Sith purebloods escaping via time travel, but I think that borders on the absurd. The Thrawn trilogy was supposed to include Sith purebloods, but they were changed to Noghri. It’s rumored that the Yuuzhan Vong were also originally supposed to be Sith purebloods.
The other possibility is “stasis”, something Star Wars lore has loved for years from Han Solo all the way to Abeloth today. But carbonite is messy business, with issues such as hibernation sickness. We know it lasts for years, perhaps even centuries, but what about millennia? For the Sith purebloods to survive into legacy era lore, the Sith Empire would need to have acquired technology that could reliably hibernate an entire race for thousands of years. Enter Belsavis.
Minor spoilers abound at this point, but I think you’ll be safe. Belsavis is one of the zones in SWTOR. It’s a prison planet for the Republic, but it goes deeper than that. Belsavis was also a prison planet for the Infinite Empire tens of thousand of years before. It’s where the Rakata imprisoned an entire race known as the Esh-kha. In the Imperial Bonus Series, the Empire acquires this Rakatan technology and intends to build their own Belsavis-style prison as a space station. Could this station or one like it be used to store the pureblood Sith into the legacy era? You bet it could.
Here’s an interesting side note. I almost considered not including it, but hey. Just keep in mind, this is pure fanboy speculation. SWTOR revealed that the Emperor Palpatine based the aesthetic of his own Empire on that of SWTOR’s Sith Empire. That’s why Star Destroyers and Vader’s armor harken back to this style. One thing I haven’t seen anywhere though are orbs. So where did the aesthetic for the Death Star come from? It could just be an original design, but it seems weird that Palpatine would give everything a Sith Empire aesthetic except for his own super weapon.
Where am I going with this? Eventually, one of SWTOR’s future patches will reveal the Empire’s new super prison. Imagine the twist if this prison turns out to be orb shaped. A big, Imperial orb… floating in space. Hm.
With the introduction of Rakata prison, the Sith Empire now has the technology necessary to bring the Sith species into the Legacy era. Sure, Sith purebloods may technically be ancient Sith/Human hybrids, but there’s something cool and logical about the idea of a Death Star shaped prison floating through space, waiting for someone like Cade Skywalker to discover the legions of red Sith sleeping inside.
We’ll just have to wait and see.