• Mattie Stu

What Does “Darth” Actually Mean in Star Wars Legends?



When George Lucas first penned the title “Darth”, he simply did so as a play on the word “dark” – conjuring connotations of mystery and horror. Little did the screenwriter know, however, that with the release of the original Star Wars it would evolve into something much more profound. In fact, over forty years later the mere mention of the title inspires thoughts of power and authority, not to mention a crown dictated by the judgement of history. But from an in-universe stand point, what does Darth actually mean? And which ancient Sith in particular helped craft the infamous prefix? Well, let's find out!

A symbol of transformation, the title “Darth” acted as something of a rebirth for many a Sith Lord. Their prior lives as honest farmers or worked-to-the-bone slaves no longer carried any significance. Instead, each almighty Darth looked towards the future, challenging themselves with lofty ambitions. But that's not to say members of the Sith completely abandoned lessons from the past – quite the opposite. So while many believed “Darth” to have derived from the ancient Rakatan term darr tah, meaning “triumph over death”, or daritha, which directly translated to “Emperor”, the title actually represented the proud histories and accomplishments of those who previously held it. Whether it be Darth Andeddu, the god-king of Prakith, the forgers of a new Sith Empire that nearly crumbled the Galactic Republic, Revan and Malak, Darth Malgus, who led his troops in the Sacking of Coruscant, or Darth Bane, who restored the title to the Rule of Two – Darth may have began life all those years ago as a mere play on words, but thanks to the lineage of the Sith, it's become an institution...

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