The Sith had been the great enemy of the Jedi for thousands of years. Many had done dark and terrible things, conquering planets, building empires, and delving deep into the very nature of the Dark Side of the Force. However most Sith Lords we have seen in the Star Wars universe were always defeated by the Jedi and agents of the Light Side of the Force. Even when they had moments of victory, they would always end up vanquished in the end. What if there was a successful Sith Lord who managed to rule his Empire, lived a very long life, and died peacefully in his bed without an apprentice killing him? Well there was such a Sith Lord who managed to gain such power that he could fall asleep in peace and die. That Sith was none other than Marka Ragnos, greatest of the Dark Lords of the Original Sith Empire.
Long before the Galactic Empire, Long Before Sidious, even long before famous Sith Lords Revan and Malak from Legends, there was Marka Ragnos. A crossbreed of two species, he was part of not only the Sith religion but also the ancient Sith species, native to the world of Korriban. He was a true Sith of the true Sith Empire of old.
In the ancient times, when the Republic was still young, and before countless wars between the Jedi and the Sith had even begun, the Sith ruled an empire in the deepest parts of the galaxy, isolated from the known universe but strong and dangerous. During his reign, the Sith Empire was in its first and only Golden Age. Far from the reach of the Jedi, Marka Ragnos ruled the empire like most Sith did, through fear, cunning, and manipulation. Typical Sith stuff. However, unlike other Sith, he did not expand his empire but instead focused on what he already had and reinforced it, a rarity for Sith of his time. By making the smart move not to expand the empire, he was able to keep his power, and build the Sith society up.
During his time, he had many acolytes and even an apprentice in a thirteen-year-old Sith named Tenebrae, who would grow up to become one of the most powerful Sith Lords of the ancient times, even more powerful than Darth Sidious himself. Ragnos also created various powerful items, such as a staff that could suck out the living force from any area and concentrate it. This artifact would get used later in the history of the galaxy far, far away.
Ragnos's legacy continued on even after his death. As he had embedded his spirit in artifacts in his temple on Karriban, various amulets would reappear again and again throughout the Sith history to guide future Sith Lords in their own conquest. His spirit appeared after his death to warn his direct successors that great challenges would come to the Sith Empire and that if they did not heed him the Empire he maintained would fall to ruin. They did not listen to him, and the Sith Empire fell when the Great Hyperspace War broke out, marking the first Jedi attack against the Sith. Many years later, he would appear before fallen Jedi Exar Kun, and grant him the title of Sith, thus ensuring that his legacy that would continue long after his time and beyond.
Marka Ragnos was one of the most unique Sith Lords of Star Wars Legends. He was a Sith who was able to live out his life, and die peacefully, never losing his power to any usurper or apprentice. Although he was never featured directly within the old continuity, he was mentioned several times in various books and source material as a important architect of the greatest enemy of the Jedi. His legacy and impact on the Star Wars galaxy was felt in his successors in the mark he left on Korriban and the Sith who came after him. He was a Sith of legends even within legends, and one who should be remembered to this day as the most successful Sith Lord of all time.
Written By Joel Davis
Syndicated From Culture Slate