The Sith Code Explained

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For thousands of years before the Battle of Yavin IV and shortly after the peak of the Jedi, the Sith Order was formed. The Sith were force-users who split away from the Jedi Order after their ideologies started differing from the other Jedi. But even when they became enemies of the Jedi and decided to acquaint themselves with the Dark Side of the Force, the Sith were not lawless. They considered themselves equal if not superior to the Jedi.

Much like the Jedi they had split off from, the Sith too had their own ideology. They followed a set of rules and operated in a certain way. You could even say that the Sith had their own code.

Where did the Code come from?

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When the first Sith, Sorzus Syn split off from the Ancient Jedi Order and founded the Order of the Sith, she penned down what she believed were the values that the Sith had to follow.

Also known as the Qotsisajak, the Code was built around being selfish and gaining power through passion and conflict. Eventually, the Code began being followed by Dark Side users across the Galaxy. The Sith held their Code in such high regard that even thousands of years after its initial writing, when the Sith Order was destroyed and eventually re-founded, Darth Bane taught it as it was to his followers.

What is the Sith Code?

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Since the dawn of the Jedi and eventually the founding of the Sith Order, Force Users throughout the Galaxy Far Far Away have lived according to one of three codes.

The Jedi had their own code, which followed their values and showcased their alignment with the Light Side of the Force. The Jedi Code was strict and rigorous and was the exact opposite of what the Sith believed.

The other code was that of the Grey Jedi. The Grey Jedi were a group of splintered off Jedi that believed only in the Force. They did not think of their values as divided into Light and Dark but as a means to an end.

Finally comes the Sith Code. Being believers in the power of the Dark Side of the Force, the Sith devised their own code that was, in its essence, the Dark Side counter to the Jedi Code. It focused on the Sith gaining power to help only themselves and remained unchanged throughout the millennia.

The Code goes:

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.

The code itself can be broken down and analyzed according to every line, given that each line represents a different part of the ideology that the Sith believe in.

What does the Code represent?

sith code
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When Sorzus Syn initially wrote the Code for her followers, it was because they had become sick of what the Jedi Order represented. The Jedi believed that emotions were supposed to be mastered and embracing one’s feelings was the path to chaos and defeat.

On the other hand, Syn believed that being in touch with your emotions was the path to absolute power and made that philosophy the underlying tone of the Code.

Peace is a lie, there is only passion.

The first line of the Code comes from the reason that the Sith Order was formed. When Sozrus Syn and her followers split off from the Jedi Order, it was because they believed that their emotions were what gave them strength instead of the peace that came from mastering them.

The Jedi through their years of training, always believed that tranquility and balance were the paths to becoming one with the Force. It was the Sith’s adversity to this concept and their belief in the passion that came from feeling their own emotions that led to them being so sure that the peace promised by the Jedi was a lie.

So, in itself, the first line of the code is very literal when it says that “peace is a lie” and that “there is only passion”.

Through passion, I gain strength.

anakin dark force choking his wife
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The second line of the code starts to build on the fundamental ideology that the Sith follow by defining the path that they followed in accumulating the power that they so desperately craved.

The passion that is talked about here is the same set of emotions that the Sith believe should be embraced fully. Their passion for greatness, their drive and lust for power, and their hatred of those that follow the self-righteous path of the Jedi.

It was through these that Sith Lords and Apprentices alike gained strength. Their mastery of the Dark Side of the Force came entirely from how completely they embraced the hatred and anger inside of them. It was more often than not that a Sith Lord would find apprentices by manipulating them into giving in to their fear and lust for power.

Through strength, I gain power.

sith apprentice
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This part of the Code is perhaps the vaguest given that power and strength are considered very similar if not entirely the same. But perhaps the only way to understand this is through the teachings of a Twi’lek Sith Practitioner by the name of Yuthura Ban.
In the years that he was teaching the Sith Apprentices in Darth Revan’s Academy, he said, “Without strife, the victory has no meaning. Without strife, one does not advance. Without strife, there is only stagnation.”

Through power, I gain victory.

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The ultimate objective that the Sith strived towards was the victory that they aimed to have over the Jedi. Their quest for strength, the power they amassed, their study of the Dark Side, it was all to be able to show the Jedi that they were superior.

But in itself, this was not the only objective that the Sith worked towards. The Sith believed that victory was only complete when they had utterly defeated their opponent. The concept of victory that the Sith harbored was to have so much more power than their opponents that it was purely through their power that their victory was achieved.

Through victory, my chains are broken.

rule of two
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The “chains” referred to in this part of the Code are singlehandedly the most controversial part of the Sith Manifesto. There are two different beliefs about what the Code means when it talks of chains being broken.

The first ideology, as taught by Revan and Yuthura Ban, was that the chains were the shackles that each Sith wore. It meant the limitations that the person placed upon themself, and how realizing how absolute their power was, would break these chains. It taught the Sith that their victory was not only over others but also over the restrictions and “chains” that they had placed upon themselves.

On the other hand, some Sith believed that the breaking of chains referred to achieving perfection. This perfect being that the Sith had mythologized was referred to as the Sith’ari. He was believed to be a warrior that would initially destroy the Sith, only to rebuild them in a way infinitely more powerful than their previous incarnation.

The myth of the Sith’ari eventually became true when Darth Bane used the thought bomb to destroy the Sith Order and rebuild it as the Rule of Two.

The Force shall free me.

There is a certain irony to this part of the Sith Code, while being a true opposite to the last line of the Jedi Code, it entails the same concept. When the Sith talk of the Force freeing them, it comes from a desire to complete their mastery of the Force and not have to be reliant on another living being.

The Jedi, in the mastery of their emotions, also strive for freedom through the Force. The only difference is that the Sith believe in bending the Force to their will, while the Jedi believe in becoming one with the Force after death.


star wars knights of the old replublic - sith code back story
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The Sith Code was initially written for the 2003 video-game, Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic. The game’s story artist, David Gaider, wrote the Code by inverting the Jedi Code and using certain inspirations from Hitler’s autobiography, Mein Kampf.

The Code’s second appearance in mainstream media was in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Season 3 Episode 16, “Altar of Mortis”, took Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Ahsoka Tano to the planet of Mortis where they learned the true nature of the Force, the Light Side, and the Dark Side.


Question: Did Palpatine write the Sith Code?

Answer: No, while Darth Sidious, also known as Sheev Palpatine, was the most powerful Sith that we knew throughout the Skywalker Saga, he was by no means the first Sith ever. The Sith had existed for thousands of years before the era of Star Wars we were introduced to and the Code was written when the Order was first founded.

Question: Is the Sith Code the same as the Grey Jedi Code

Answer: No, while both the Sith and the Grey Jedi are not considered Jedi, that is where their similarities end. The Sith are believers in the power of the Dark Side of the Force and their Code represents their selfish and single-minded beliefs.
The Grey Jedi on the other hand, do not think of the Force in terms of Light and Dark. They follow their own beliefs and consider themselves the middle ground between the Jedi and the Sith.

Question: Where was the Sith Code first discovered?

Answer: The Sith Code was first discovered on Korriban, the homeworld of the Sith and the founding place of the Sith Order. The planet is also sometimes known as Moraband and was featured in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Episode 6 when Yoda traveled there to uncover the secrets of the Force.

When was the Sith Code written?

The Sith Code was written, according to Legends Canon, in 7000 BBY when the first group of Dark Jedi split off from the Jedi Order and found themselves on the Sith world of Korriban.


In a final look, the Sith Code is one that has defined the Galaxy and its history in more ways than one. The Code itself led to the creation and actions of tyrants such as Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Darth Revan, and others.

With a history that started off with splitting off from the Jedi Order, and reaching its peak when the Galaxy was purged of all the Jedi in it, the Code seems like one that will continue to be followed by Dark Side users long after the age of the Jedi and the Sith is over.

If you’re interested in reading a bit more about Star Wars, check out the following articles:

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