Originally posted by Zh|l
(Except if Im being really picky - the 'original Sith' were an alien species, which darksiders stumbled upon - the first 'Sith' as we know them were dark siders within this 'Sith Empire'. Thus logically Sith are Dark Jedi. Sith and Dark Jedi classifications. But this is just stretching and I dont really care - just posting this for the hell of it)
Yes, the 'Sith' were originally an alien species. Dark Jedi were exiled to their planet and used their Force powers to enslave the Sith. Over time, the Dark Jedi inter-bred with the Sith while also developing their own 'teachings' of the Force, which would be coined "Sith Teachings." The original Sith Empire controlled an area of space and eventually tried to attack the Republic five thousand years before Star Wars: Episode IV. The primary dark side individual at this time was Naga Sadow, who claimed the title of Dark Lord of the Sith
after Marka Ragnos passed away. Sadow would be defeated after trying to attack the Republic, and eventually escaped to Yavin IV, where he seeded the beginnings of the next step in Sith teachings. Exar Kun and Ulic Que-Droma would bring about the Sith Wars four thousand years before Episode IV.
Sources are the Tales of the Jedi
Oh, but you know how picky we can get...
As quoted from Star Wars: Episode I The Visual Dictionary
Fueled by the aggressive energies of the dark side, the Sith order began almost two millennia ago with a renegade Jedi who sought to use the Force to gain control. Both strengthened and twisted by the dark side, the Sith fought against each other to gain power and domination until only one remained: Darth Bane. To prevent internecine strife, Bane remade the Sith as an order that would endure in only two individuals at a time. Biding their time, the Sith lay in wait for the right moment to overturn the Jedi and seize control of the galaxy. The present Sith Master, Darth Sidious is the diabolically brilliant mind behind the training of the most dangerous Sith apprentices in history: the deadly Darth Maul."
Darth Maul is one of the most highly trained Sith in the history of the order. Focusing on physical and tactical abilities, Maul serves his master obediently, knowing that his own time for strategic wisdom and eventual domination will come. His face is tattooed with symbols giving evidence of his complete dedication to the discipline in the dark side."
In essence, past publications (prior to Episode I really) freely threw about terms such as "dark Jedi" "Sith" "Dark/Sith Lord" etc. Simply put, a Dark Jedi would be one who was trained first as a Jedi, then fell/seduced by the Dark Side of the Force. A Sith Apprentice/Lord/Master is one who is trained in the Sith Arts (a variant teaching of the Dark Side of the Force). This makes certain individuals, such as Exar Kun, Darth Tyrannis, and Darth Vader exceptionally special as they were Jedi who later studied the Sith Arts.
It's interesting to note that not since Exar Kun was there a "Dark Lord of the Sith" (which originally was coined by those Dark Jedi/Sith Lords Zhil mentioned; they would vie for power within their ranks, the winner being the overall leader with the title Dark Lord of the Sith
), and it appears as though Darth Vader takes on that title. Though it's not been explained in detail, my guess is that when Anakin Skywalker falls to the Dark Side, Sidious/Palpatine instructs him in the Sith Arts, and seeing as Palpatine will rise to the title of Emperor, it allows Vader to take on the role of Lord of the Sith
I wonder... had the Sith Master/Apprentice ideals continued throughout Palpatine's reign, would Vader have continued those ideals himself by taking on an apprentice (Luke) and thus rising to Sith Master himself, but displacing Palpatine altogether?
Darth Maul is not a Dark Jedi. Thus, DJ's avatar isn't the proper one. I would have gone for Darth Vader's image anyway.
...Coruscant provides a hiding place for the mysterious Sith. This ancient dark order has been waiting in the shadows, preparing to prey upon the Galactic Republic's time of weakness and usher in a new era of Sith rule. This phantom menace radiates outward from the center, drawing into its web of individuals and worlds that lie far beyond Coruscant."
So Episode I's title refers not directly to Sidious/Palpatine or Anakin, but rather the Sith Order itself. Oooooh, aaaahhh! Totally irrelevant to the topic, but I'm bored.
/ <--- Darth Maul, with only one extended blade