This article contains spoilers for Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #24! The epic new Sith Killer Sword may seem like a hero’s weapon, but the deadly artifact should only benefit the dark side of the Star Wars universe. For a thousand generations, the Jedi have served as guardians and protectors of the Old Republic. Before that dawn, however, there was a dark night when the Sith Empire ruled the galaxy. It only ended due to the restless nature of the dark side, with the Sith turning against each other in their thirst for power.
The Sith Empire strove to dominate the galaxy and crushed all who challenged them. They especially feared a dark side cult called the Ascendant, which sought to combine science and the Force in ways the Sith considered heretical. An elite group of Sith known as the Darkseekers have spent years hunting the Ascendant with the goal of destroying all traces of their existence. However, they failed as they failed to destroy some of their most powerful creations. These reappear in Marvel’s ongoing Star Wars: Doctor Aphra series, at a time when they could be very useful against Palpatine’s empire.
Doctor Aphra #24 – by Alyssa Wong and Minkyu Jung – reveals the Ascendant’s ultimate weapon against the Sith Empire. It’s a mystical sword crackling with dark side energy, and according to the Spark Eternal AI possessing Doctor Aphra, it’s “a Sith slayer”. The Ascendant used technology to mimic the Sith, so it’s only fitting that they come up with their own lightsaber equivalent; and without a doubt this has unique abilities beyond any kyber powered blade. The Ascendant already had whips that could cause lightsabers to explode by disrupting their energy, so the Sith Killer Blade is necessarily an even more devastating weapon.
Could the Sith Slayer threaten Palpatine and Darth Vader?
The Sith slayer reappears at a strange time when the secret organization Crimson Dawn is working to destroy the Sith – led by Han Solo’s old lover, Qi’ra. The timing is not accidental and is probably due in part to the will of the Force. And yet, whatever the case may be, the truth is that no weapon alone can destroy the Sith. The Ascendant may have forged a Sith Killer, but they were defeated anyway; and Palpatine is potentially the most powerful Sith Lord of all time, while Darth Vader is the chosen one, meaning it will take more than one blade to stop them. Ultimately, the Spark works to replace the Force, and its primary target is the series’ heroes, meaning that this weapon will be used for evil regardless of the Ascendant’s original intent.
The Spark Eternal has just drawn the Sith assassin, suggesting that the issues ahead will see its full power unleashed. The real advantage of the Ascendants is that the Spark allows them to intuitively bond with the technology, using it in much the same way that the Sith wield the Force. The Sith Killer is therefore designed to behave as part of its user’s body and may well be able to overpower standard lightsabers – while the Ascendant was ultimately killed, it fared incredibly well in combat as fans have seen so far , and even their standard weapons have blasted lightsabers.
Ironically, when the Empire was finally defeated, it was because Luke Skywalker laid down his sword. Instead of trying to destroy the Sith, Luke instead tried to redeem one of them: Darth Vader, his father. The Sith were defeated by redemptive love, not brute force, which makes sense since the Sith stood on top of the dark side and tapped into every dark emotion. This means that there was no way for a group like the Crimson Dawn, or a weapon like the Sith Killer, to stop them, as these only add to the darkness of the Star Wars galaxy.
Star Wars: Doctor Aphra #24 is available now from Marvel Comics.