Updated: Mar 10
Where are my fellow fans of the dark side of the Force? If that's you, this blog post is one I hope you enjoy (or hate). Arguably the most popular dark side faction are the Sith, but they are just one of several. Nightsisters, Knights of Ren, Acolytes of the Beyond, and the Inquisitorius are other dark side factions. Here's a brief run down on some of the galaxy's dark side organizations.
SITH: The Sith are an ancient order of dark side users that have long been the enemy of the Jedi. In fact, the first Sith were Jedi. In Marvel's STAR WARS #9 (pictured below), we learn the Sith were once brothers in the Force with their fellow Jedi, until an event known as the Hundred-Year Darkness saw the creation of the Sith. The Sith once had Empires, in an era before the Galactic Republic. Sith are known for their red lightsabers, and the use of the title "Darth."
The Sith have fought many wars against the Jedi Order. We learn in STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS that at some point in Sith history they had an alliance with the Nightsisters. What kind of alliance? That is unknown at the moment, but Count Dooku wanted to bring the old alliance back with Mother Talzin.
Sith use their aggressive feelings, and try to obtain power at any cost. Sith of the Old Republic era were many, but after their defeat at the hands of the Jedi, a Sith survivor, known as Darth Bane, kept the Sith alive in secret under his Rule of Two. The Sith saw their final defeat (as of right now) on the Death Star II.
The Knights of Ren, and most particularly Kylo Ren, are "a new generation of dark side users that have emerged to fill the void left by the Sith's demise." That comes from the book STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS: THE VISUAL DICTIONARY. We see the Knights of Ren in Rey's Forceback, so we know there are at least 7 members in the Knights of Ren.
INQUISITORIUS: The Inquistorius was a dark side organization that worked for the Galactic Empire. We first see the Imperial Inquisitors in the television series STAR WARS REBELS, while another is introduced in the novel STAR WARS: AHSOKA., and even more have been revealed in Marvel's DARTH VADER series. These Imperial agents are tasked with finding any Jedi that survived Order 66. Along with that mission, they are also after children that are strong with the Force.
The Inquisitors are trained by Darth Vader. All Inquisitors are equipped with a double-bladed spinning lightsaber. The Grand Inquisitor leads the Inquisitors. As of right now, known Inquisitors are 5th Brother, 6th Brother, 7th Sister, 8th Brother, and the unnamed Inquisitors from Marvel STAR WARS: DARTH VADER 6 (pictured below).
Inquisitors are trained in the most basic of dark side techniques, while their lightsabers are designed to make up for their lack of skills. Inquisitors are sometimes referred to as Red Blades and Jedi Hunters.
ACOLYTES OF THE BEYOND: The Acolytes of the Beyond are a group of dark side worshipers that seem to all be non Force-sensitive themselves. These dark side fanatics worshiped fallen Sith and collected Sith artifacts, at first destroying them to return them to their dead owners. They were lead by Yupe Tashu, one of Emperor Sheev Palpatine's closest advisors. You can read about the Acolytes of the Beyond in the STAR WARS: AFTERMATH trilogy set between EPISODES VI & VII.
NIGHTSISTERS: The Nightsisters are an ancient matriarchal society that uses dark magicks to fuel their power. This "dark magick" is of course just the dark side of the Force. The Nightsisters, like the Sith, use the dark side of the Force, but the Nightsisters believe they aren't consumed by it like the Sith.
As stated earlier in this post, the Nightsisters had an alliance with the Sith at some point in their past history. Mother Talzin declined to renew this old alliance during the Clone Wars. Darth Sidious viewed the Nightsisters as a threat to his Empire and eventually worked out a scheme that saw the end of the Nightsisters. This can be read in the Dark Horse Comics mini-series STAR WARS: DARTH MAUL: SON OF DATHOMIR.
Which is your favorite dark side group? Let me know in the comments below.