The exclusive list of confirmed Sith Lords has grown by one, now that Darth Atrius and his crossguard lightsabers have been revealed in the Star Wars Annual #4. And not only is the previously unknown Sith now in canon, but he plays a major role in the events that brought Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader into the same location - long before their own lightsaber duel in The Empire Strikes Back.
As fate would have it, the estranged father and son first crossed paths thanks to a duel of a different kind. One that saw each Skywalker claim one of Darth Atrius's lightsaber... along with the hateful anger that still haunted the Sith blades.
For those who may have assumed that the history of the Sith was as extensive and varied as that of the Jedi, you're now right and wrong, thanks to most of the Star Wars expanded universe going from canon to "Legends." Previously, storytellers cooked up all kinds of Sith figures who tied into modern events. But after the Disney acquisition, the list has been pared down to those confirmed only in films, TV shows, novels, and comics post-purchase.
Which is why the introduction of Darth Atrius in the Star Wars Annual is such a historic reveal.
The story begins thanks to the thief/smuggler/outlaw Sana Starros who has chased down the ancient weapons of Darth Atrius: a matched pair of crossguard lightsabers - a design that stunned movie fans with Kylo Ren's blade in The Force Awakens. The design was later revealed to be an accepted one of both Sith and Jedi thousands of years ago in The Clone Wars. What wasn't made explicitly clear is the notion that such weapons may be "haunted" by the Sith Lords who wielded them. A notion put on display when both Luke and Vader exhibit rage once holding one of Atrius's lightsabers.
Whether for that Sith connection or purely a historic admiration, Darth Vader seeks to attain the lightsabers (either for himself or his master, Darth Sidious). Things spin out of control and the bodies start dropping when Sana does as all smugglers do, and attempts to sell one to both Vader and another buyer. The implication being that whatever use Vader has for them, he requires both for then to be of any use at all.
Which is bad news for fans of crossguard lightsabers, since Luke realizes the Dark Side 'echo' contained in the weapon, and destroys it. Once Vader realizes it as Luke escapes, he destroys his own. Meaning whatever secrets the weapons could provide of Darth Atrius's are lost soon after they are found in the first place.
For those wondering, the addition of Darth Atrius to the ancient past swells the known ranks by a solid percentage. Add in the previously "Legendary" Darth Bane who was confirmed in Clone Wars, and sadly hold off on The Last Jedi's hint to Darth Revan, and the known Sith Lord's following the "Rule of Two" now officially consists of:
- Darth Atrius
- Darth Bane
- Darth Plagueius
- Darth Sidious
- Darth Maul
- Darth Tyranus
- Darth Vader
With a pair of twin crossguards, the question of which Sith had the coolest weapons may be easier to settle than the missing masters and apprentices in the new Star Wars history.
Star Wars Annual #4 is available now from Marvel Comics.