Star Wars Lore – The Sith Code (Legends)
Peace is a lie, there is only passion. Through passion, I gain strength. Through strength, I gain power. Through power, I gain victory. Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.
This is the code that so many Sith lived by. With only six lines and two hundred characters, Sorzus Syn and Darth Bane were able to control entire empires. But what made this doctrine so important? And where did each phrase originate from? Well, let's find out!
In 6900 BBY, following the Hundred-Year Darkness, Jedi exiles enslaved Korriban's native Sith species. However, one such disgraced Jedi, Sorzus Syn, came to admire the Pureblood's brutal and impulsive way of living. This inspired her to write a mantra in complete contrast to the Jedi Code, one based on passion and the channeling of rage through anger. Furthermore, Syn wanted a doctrine to openly expose the flaws of the Jedi Code, which would unify the followers of the newly-established Sith Empire. Thus, the Code of the Sith was born.
There's a reason why the Sith Code remained largely unchanged throughout the centuries, and why Darth Bane used the mantra to rebuild the Sith Order, following the Seventh Battle of Ruusan. But what made the doctrine so memorable and effective? Well, let's uncover the meaning of each line.
Peace is a lie, there is only passion
As mentioned earlier, the Code of the Sith was constructed to starkly contrast the Jedi Order's very own beliefs. What better way to achieve such a goal than to immediately insult their enemy's grandest notion. Yes, according to Yuthura Ban, a tutor of Korriban's Sith Academy, peace was the root cause of stagnation. Conflict, on the other hand, acted as a source of progression for both individuals and civilisations. Ultimately, their rejection of selflessness allowed the Sith to fully embrace lust and passion.
Through Passion, I gain strength
As seekers and challengers of old, stagnant ways, the Sith were extremely passionate beings. After all, such a trait is what ascended creatures to the top of the food chain. They deemed their Jedi counterparts to lack passion, which is what ultimately gave them the edge in battle.
Through Strength, I gain power
Simply put, domination resulted in power. Without strength, species, civilisations, worlds would stagnate and become vulnerable. To succeed, the Sith had to strive for excellence.
Through power, I gain victory
Unsurprisingly, the Sith did not deem victory by any means undesirable. However, in their minds, triumph without a display of superiority was meaningless. Consequently, Sith had to fight for their power as they grew stronger in the Force.
Through victory, my chains are broken
The exact meaning of this line was disputed between Sith, but one interpretation referred to the chains as restrictions applied by external forces or by one's own mind. By breaking these prohibitions, the Sith gained freedom, and could achieve anything they wanted to. In fact, whoever could achieve perfect strength and power was awarded the title of Sith'ari. Darth Bane was one such “perfect being”, as he destroyed the Sith with the thought bomb, only to rebuild the order under the Rule of Two.
The Force shall free me
Ultimately, the Sith believed that those who drove for perfection through knowledge and mastery of the Force would be rewarded. By following the Code of the Sith, by seeking a greater purpose, one would set themselves free, extinguishing the restrictions normally emplaced by society and other organisations...
Now it's time for this week's question: if you were in the Star Wars universe, would you follow the Jedi or the Sith Code? Let me know in the comments below.