- "With us, you are ruler of all the Sith, answerable only to the Emperor himself."
- ―Darth Marr to Darth Nox, upon the latter's elevation to the Council
The Dark Council was a twelve-member council that served as the ruling body of the reconstituted Sith Empire throughout much of the government's history. Each member of the Council held the title of Dark Lord of the Sith and controlled one of the twelve Spheres of Influence within the Empire, making the Council the most powerful individuals in the Empire below the Sith Emperor himself. Seats on the Council were hotly contested among the Sith, with the tenures of some Councilors lasting only months while others lasted decades, and every single individual within the entire Empire ultimately answered to one member of the Council through the Imperial hierarchy of power bases. Since its inception at the Empire's founding in 4,980 BBY, the Dark Council tried and failed to overthrow the Emperor twice and its members were purged as a result.
Powers and successionEdit
- "The Dark Council are the galaxy's most powerful Sith. Thanaton will have access to all resources in his pyramid of the Sith hierarchy."
- ―Moff Valion Pyron, discussing the power a Dark Councilor wielded within the Empire
The ruling body of the Sith Empire, the Dark Council consisted of twelve Sith Lords who each held the title of Dark Lord of the Sith. As the Sith Emperor retreated into seclusion, the Dark Council took over the day-to-day managing of the Empire, and a seat on the Council meant that one was among the most powerful individuals in the Empire—second only to the Emperor himself. In the traditional order of succession on the Council, a fallen member's apprentice was the first choice to replace them, though there were other routes to gaining a seat. The Emperor himself could select new members, as he did after the two purges of traitorous Councils throughout the Empire's history, while the death of a Councilor at the hands of another Sith guaranteed that the victor would take the seat of the fallen Council member. When the traditional order of succession failed, the other members could select new Councilors during their meetings through a unanimous vote, though the Council was not always unanimous on which candidate to select. 
The twelve SpheresEdit
- "We all serve the Dark Council and through them, the Emperor."
- ―Watcher Two
Each Council member controlled one of the twelve Spheres of Influence within the Empire, and the various Sith who served each Councilor maintained power bases of their own. Through that system of power bases, every single Sith within the Empire ultimately answered to one of the Dark Council, and every non-Sith organization also fell under one or more of the Councilors' Spheres of Influence. The Spheres of Military Offense and Defense of the Empire were advised by the Sphere of Military Strategy, and together those three Councilors controlled the Imperial Ministry of War. The Dark Councilor at the head of the Sphere of Imperial Intelligence oversaw the Ministry of Intelligence, while the Sphere of Production and Logistics controlled the Ministry of Logistics. The Dark Councilor in charge of the Sphere of Ancient Knowledge commanded the Imperial Reclamation Service, while the Sphere of Mysteries worked in secrecy to guard the secrets of the Sith and the Sphere of Sith Philosophy ensured that the Code of the Sith was upheld and spread anti-Jedi sentiment throughout the Empire. The Sphere of Expansion and Diplomacy oversaw the Imperial Diplomatic Service and the expansion of Imperial borders, and the Sphere of Laws and Justice maintained order and justice within the Empire itself. The final two Spheres, Technology and Biotic Science, oversaw the Empire's technological advancements and medical science respectively.
- "It's a Sith's job to try and unseat us. That's why we have to keep a close eye on you."
- ―Darth Howl
When the Sith Emperor established his new Empire on Dromund Kaas in 4,980 BBY, he also gathered the twelve wisest most powerful Sith Lords who had accompanied him during their long exodus and created the Dark Council. As he began to withdraw into seclusion, the Dark Council gradually took over the day-to-day running of the new Empire, and each Councilor assumed control over an aspect of the Empire. Darth Zavakon, the Councilor who chose to adopt the study of ancient knowledge as his domain, soon discovered that his underlings were refusing to share the knowledge they gathered from ancient ruins across the fledgling Empire, and he decided to pair a group of disciplined officers from the Imperial Military with civilian experts in archaeology and history for an expedition into an ancient Sith complex. The combined group's findings far surpassed that of the Sith who had searched the ruins previously, and Zavakon presented their results to the Council. Impressed, the eleven other Councilors agreed to Zavakon's proposal and allowed him to officially establish the Imperial Reclamation Service.
During the first centuries of the Empire's existence, Dark Councilor Darth Lokess summoned her fellow Dark Councilors to a meeting and convinced them to join her plot to destroy the Sith Emperor. The other eleven Sith Lords agreed to join Lokess' cause, but when they gathered on the steps of the Imperial Citadel in order to confront the Emperor, all eleven died instantly in a flash of light. Lokess was locked within the depths of the Citadel by the Emperor, who tortured her until her death. Around 4,043 BBY, two members of the Dark Council—Darths Qalar and Victun—declared a Kaggath upon each other. The ancient Sith duel ripped apart the Citadel, and the two were summarily executed by the other ten Councilors when they called a draw. At the order of the Council, both Qalar and Victun's family lines were exterminated, and the two Councilors' resources were used in the construction of the new Citadel.
Several years before 3,954 BBY, the Dark Councilors Darth Nyriss and Darth Xedrix joined with two other Council members to form a conspiracy with the purpose of unseating the Emperor and preventing him from attacking the Republic again. When the Emperor began to grow suspicious, Nyriss arranged for assassination attempts upon herself to draw away suspicion. Nyriss then led Lord Scourge, the Sith who the Emperor had selected to investigate, through a series of tests and manipulations to determine whether he could join the conspiracy, and she recruited him to their cause by showing Scourge the Emperor's ravaged homeworld of Nathema after the Sith Lord killed Xedrix. However, Scourge would betray the conspiracy to the Emperor four years later in order to free the captive Jedi Master Revan, as Scourge had joined forces with Revan's friend Meetra Surik in an attempt to destroy the Emperor, as well as being dissatisfied with the conspiracy's unwillingness to act due to power plays and doublecrossing that preventing them from making any progress. The Sith ruler summoned the nine innocent Council members to his chambers while he dispatched the Imperial Guard to destroy the three conspirators, and he promptly killed those nine as the Guard the killed the three traitors and destroyed their power bases. Revan, Surik, and Scourge would fail in their attack, but the Emperor appointed twelve new members to the Council with the unspoken warning that traitors would receive the same fate as Nyriss and the others.
In 3,678 BBY, Darth Marr, alongside two of his fellow councilors, sent Sith apprentice Teneb Kel to hunt down Exal Kressh, the Emperor's rogue apprentice. After Kel completed his task, he demanded from the Council that he should be elevated to the rank of Sith Lord and granted the title "Darth Thanaton." The Council acceded to his demands when he also agreed to reveal one of the Emperor's secret plots.
After the Treaty of Coruscant and the conclusion of the Great Galactic War, the Emperor withdrew to pursue his own mysterious goals, deferring power over the Empire to the Dark Council. The Dark Council then oversaw the consolidation of the Empire's new domains from the citadel on Dromund Kaas. Only 7 members of the Dark Council survived the war. By 3,643 BBY, there was at least one female on the Council.
At the outbreak of the Second Great Galactic War, Darth Baras attempted to claim the position of Emperor's Voice. Some on the Council believed his claim to be true, others saw an advantage in supporting him and Baras plotted against those who opposed him. Ultimately, his claim was challenged and defeated by the new Emperor's Wrath. The Dark Council quickly disavowed their support of Baras and pledged their loyalty to their Emperor's Wrath
- Sphere of Ancient Knowledge
- Sphere of Military Offense
- Sphere of Military Strategy
- Sphere of Technology
- Darth Gorgos† 
- Darth Gorgos' successor
- Darth Howl
- Darth Igrol † (between 3,984 and 3,974 BBY—3,950 BBY)
- Darth Lokess †
- Darth Nyriss † (c. 3,974–3,950 BBY)
- Darth Qalar † ( —c. 4,043 BBY)
- Darth Sajar (Turned to the light side of the Force)
- Darth Victun † ( —c. 4,043 BBY)
- Darth Xedrix † (c. 3,984—3,954 BBY)
- Skeletal female Dark Lord
Behind the scenesEdit
The Dark Council was first introduced in the 2011 novel Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan, a tie-in novel to Star Wars: The Old Republic. The novel revealed a great deal of information about the Empire's origins. During the course of the novel, the entire Dark Council is killed by the Emperor as the result of a conspiracy, regardless of whether or not they participated in the conspiracy.
The Council later appears in The Old Republic, a massively multiplayer online role-playing game released by BioWare on December 20, 2011. Many of the Council members can die during the game, depending on the players' decisions. Currently only the light side options for Republic characters and the dark side options for Imperial characters are canon, and the fates of the individuals in the game will be reflected as such.
Upon ascension to the Dark Council Darth Nox can also be dubbed Darth Occlus or Darth Imperius, should they be neutral or light sided, respectively.
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan
- Star Wars: The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire
- Star Wars: The Old Republic, Threat of Peace Act 1: Treaty of Coruscant (First appearance)
- Timeline 1: Treaty of Coruscant (Mentioned only)
- Timeline 11: Rebirth of the Sith Empire (Appears in hologram)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Star Wars: The Old Republic 7: The Lost Suns, Part 1 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Old Republic 8: The Lost Suns, Part 2 (Appears in flashback(s))
- Star Wars: The Old Republic 9: The Lost Suns, Part 3 (Mentioned only)
- Star Wars: The Old Republic 11: The Lost Suns, Part 5
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Annihilation
- Star Wars: The Old Republic: Rise of the Hutt Cartel
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side
- Star Wars: The Ultimate Visual Guide: Updated and Expanded
- The Essential Reader's Companion
- Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
Notes and referencesEdit
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 1.20 Star Wars: The Old Republic Encyclopedia
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 Star Wars: The Old Republic: Revan
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Star Wars: The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 1: Shades of the Sith
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Inquisitor Mission: "The Dark Council" on Korriban
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "The Dark Council"
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "Darth Zhorrid (Agent)"
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 7.2 Star Wars: The Old Republic: Annihilation
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "The Citadel"
- ↑ "Star Wars: The Old Republic, Blood of the Empire Act 3: Burn the Future"
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Sith Warrior Mission: "Retribution" on Korriban
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 12.5 "The Last Battle of Colonel Jace Malcom"—Star Wars Insider 137
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Republic Mission: "Government Clearance" on Corellia
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "Darth Decimus"
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Republic Mission: "Right to Arms" on Corellia
- ↑ "Star Wars: The Old Republic 7: The Lost Suns, Part 1"
- ↑ "Star Wars: The Old Republic 11: The Lost Suns, Part 5"
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic—Codex Entry: "The Spires of Victory"
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Star Wars: The Old Republic: Fatal Alliance
- ↑ Star Wars: The Old Republic—Jedi Knight Mission: "The Emperor's Wrath" on Quesh
- ↑ Consensus Track