Sith swords were melee weapons used by the Sith in the days of the Sith Empire, from 6,900 BBY to approximately 5,000 BBY. Though similar to the bladed weapons utilized by the ancient Jedi, Sith swords were distinguished from Jedi katanas by their fundamental nature—both powered by and empowering the dark side of the Force.
Sith swords were constructed through various metallurgical and magical means, transmuting base metals into an alchemical alloy possessing an unusual affinity for dark side energies. The rare metallic compounds used in its construction frequently resulted in a blade far heavier than its 1.4 meter length would indicate—6.5 kilograms, or over triple the weight of a vibro-ax, though the weight could be drastically altered by using different metals. There were examples of smaller swords massing as little as 3kg. Regardless, it often required great strength of body as well as in the Force to successfully wield the weapon in combat.
A user skilled in the dark side could alter the weapon's molecular structure, making it stronger and sharper, and reverse its magnetic polarity, turning it into a high-temperature superconductor that could deflect blaster bolts and other particle weapons as if magnetically sealed. The rare ores used in its construction resisted lightsabers in much the same manner as cortosis and Phrik alloy, while its polished surface reflected laser beams and other coherent light weapons like a mirror. But perhaps most significantly, the weapon served as a focus for the dark energies of its wielder, amplifying their power and refining their control until they became a walking nexus of dark side power.
The weapon's magnetic properties, combined with its attraction to the dark side of the Force, caused it to react unusually to discharges of Force lightning; The blade would attract and absorb the energy, storing it like an electric capacitor until the blade made contact with a substantial physical object, whereupon the amplified electrical energy was discharged— to an extremely devastating effect.
Developed by the ancient Sith, it was adopted by the Jen'jidai following their arrival on Korriban. The Sith's native martial traditions were absorbed, blending with the exiled Jedi's forms of lightsaber combat to create a powerful hybrid—much as the Dark Jedi would do with the Sith race as a whole upon seizing the mantles of Sith Lords.
Quite a few Sith Lords, including the Dark Lords Ajunta Pall, Marka Ragnos, Naga Sadow and Ludo Kressh used Sith swords rather than lightsabers—either for tradition, or because they preferred the more visceral feeling of sword cutting through flesh.[source?] After the fall of the Old Sith Empire, the majority of the Sith abandoned Sith swords in favor of the more effective lightsabers.
Another pair of Sith swords was a legacy passed to King Ommin of Onderon from his family, which could possibly trace back to Freedon Nadd himself. The pair was later passed to Satal Keto and his cousin, Aleema.
Under Darth Revan and Darth Malak's rule, the Sith developed the Sith Tremor Sword, used by Dark Jedi and Sith troopers alike. Malak was also rumored to have in his possession a powerful Sith sword recovered from Korriban, although he rarely used it in combat.
Ludo Kressh's War Sword was a double-bladed sword, and therefore very dangerous to wield. Some say it was cursed, corrupting the mind of one who would use it. [source?] It is possible that this sword was recovered by the Jedi Exile, during the events of the First Jedi Purge, sometime before the deaths of Darth Sion, Kreia and Darth Nihilus.
Sith swords were last seen in 14 ABY when Tavion Axmis, possessed by the Force ghost of Marka Ragnos, unleashed the hidden sword inside the Scepter of Ragnos against Jaden Korr. The Sith sword glowed with dark side energy as Marka Ragnos battled Jaden Korr, ending with the defeat of Marka Ragnos and the destruction of the sword and the Scepter of Ragnos. Any remaining examples of Sith swords in the greater Galaxy persist as mere historical curiosities—archaic relics of a dead civilization and their extinct culture.
- Tales of the Jedi: The Golden Age of the Sith
- Tales of the Jedi: The Fall of the Sith Empire
- Tales of the Jedi: The Freedon Nadd Uprising 2: Initiates of the Sith (First appearance)
- Tales of the Jedi: Dark Lords of the Sith 5: Sith Secrets
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords
- "The Mask of Darth Nihilus"—The Unknown Regions
- Red Harvest
- Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided
- Light and Dark
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith (Possible appearance)
- Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
- Tales of the Jedi Companion
- The Dark Side Sourcebook
- The New Essential Guide to Weapons and Technology
- Star Wars Galaxies: The Total Experience: Prima Official Game Guide
- "Heritage of the Sith"—Star Wars Insider 88
- Evil Never Dies: The Sith Dynasties
- Jedi vs. Sith: The Essential Guide to the Force
- Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic (Information on sith swords contained ingame)
- "A Mon Alone"
- Threats of the Galaxy
- Knights of the Old Republic Campaign Guide
- The Unknown Regions
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side