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Template:Wiktionary Template:Original research In the fictional Star Wars universe, Darth is the traditional title of a Sith Lord or Master, the first part of the new name they take on. It was once believed to be a condensed version of 'Dark Lord of the Sith', and thus the reason for the title.
The term first appeared in the original script for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, which bore little resemblance to the final release of the film. In it, a "Darth Vader" appeared as an Imperial official who would be renamed Grand Moff Tarkin in the final film, with Darth Vader becoming the name of the menacing black-armored villain.
However, the title Darth is not given to all Sith. Many important Sith, such as Lumiya and Exar Kun, did not take the title of Darth. In addition, Sith Lords in the Old Sith Empire before the Great Hyperspace War did not hold the title of Darth.
Prior to the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in 1999, the only known Sith Lord who carried the name "Darth" was Darth Vader. When Darth Sidious and Darth Maul were revealed in The Phantom Menace, the name took on its distinct association with the Sith (not counting towards the audiences who had read the Star Wars series books prior to the video), and has since appeared throughout all eras of Star Wars fiction. In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Obi Wan Kenobi refers to Vader as simply "Darth". Template:Eras Template:Citation
Many Sith Lords chose to add "Darth" to their name, so much so that the word is considered synonymous with the dark side of the Force in some circles. It was also taken to signify giving up one's old life. Such examples are Anakin Skywalker becoming Darth Vader, or Jacen Solo becoming Darth Caedus. But the origins of the word are uncertain. It is often thought that "Darth" is merely a contraction of the title "Dark Lord of the Sith", but there are theories that suggest a deeper interpretation.
The possibility of Rakatan originEdit
Because the first recorded Sith to use the title were Darth Revan and Darth Malak, the fact that they derived much of their power from the Star Forge, a creation of the Rakata, has led some historians to suggest that "Darth" is actually a corruption of the Rakatan word Daritha, meaning "emperor". Others note another Rakatan connection: the words for "triumph" or "conquest" in Rakatan is darr, and the word for "death" is tah, leading to the theory that "Darth" is derived from darr tah and therefore means "triumph over death" or "immortal". Given the obsession of the Sith with discovering the means to live forever, this idea, on the surface, is not entirely without merit. But others point out that the true meaning of darr tah is "conquest through death," meaning the conquest of one's enemies.
Ultimately, the flaw in such theories involving a Rakatan origin is that, even if they are accurate, they cannot spring specifically from Revan or Malak's own connection to the Star Forge. Five years prior to their emergence as Sith Lords (3,964 BBY), the title "Darth" was already well known by the Jedi in connection to the Sith, which is why Padawan Zayne Carrick could call Jarael "Darth Sunshine". In addition, Haazen claimed that if he were to take a name like the Sith of old, it would be "Darth Hayze," all but asserting that the title Darth was around prior to Revan and Malak. There is still the possibility that one of the Rakatan theories could be correct, since the ancient Sith homeworld of Korriban had once been occupied by the Rakata (circa 28,000 BBY), which is one way either the Daritha or darr tah term could have entered the ancient Sith language. But even if the Rakatan connection proves to have some validity, numerous other cultures make similar claims to the etymology of the title, so for the present, there is no definitive answer as to what the term "Darth" truly means.
Some have speculated that the style of armor worn by Darth Andeddu suggests that the title may date back as far as the days of the Old Sith Empire (6,900 BBY to 5,000 BBY). However, very little has been verified about the life of Darth Andeddu, and his dates of birth and death are, as yet, unknown. As such any assertion about the history of the "Darth" title based on presumptions about Andeddu's use of the title must be considered speculative at this point in time.
Usage of the termEdit
The earliest verified use of the title was by the master and apprentice duo of Darth Revan and Darth Malak, after the Mandalorian Wars and during the Jedi Civil War. Later Sith Lords of the Jedi Civil War era also used the title Darth, as did the founding Sith Lord of the Light and Darkness War, Darth Ruin, though there were few later Sith bearing the title until the rise of Darth Rivan and Darth Bane. During the Draggulch Period, Lord Kaan discouraged the usage of the term within the Brotherhood of Darkness, claiming that it promoted rivalry among the Sith. Darth Bane, believing that the reason was merely fear, revived the use of the title in the last days of the Brotherhood. Bane, as the only survivor of the Sith Order after the Seventh Battle of Ruusan, was largely able to reshape the Sith in his own image, instituting such reforms as the Rule of Two, and most (possibly all) of the Sith of his lineage adopted the Darth title as he did, generally coupling it with a new Sith name (e.g. Sidious, Tyranus, Vader), which appears to have been chosen for the apprentice by the master at the time the apprentice swore allegiance to the Sith.
By the time of the One Sith, the "Darth" title was reserved only for those who proved their power and their unquestioning loyalty to Darth Krayt. Others, such as Vul Isen, were not entitled to the Darth title despite their expertise in the Dark Side of the Force, and weren't regarded as real Sith by some of the Darths.
Columnist Maureen Dowd has used the nickname "Darth Cheney", amongst others, to refer to former U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney. The comparative moniker was used by others to voice their opposition to the politician. Most references, however, are still associated with the Star Wars universe.
Darth in other countriesEdit
In some cases, the word Darth was changed for a variety of reasons. In Italy, for instance, Darth Vader's name was changed to Dart Fener, probably for dubbing reasons. This is the only case where the word "Darth" loses its "h"; other Sith Lords retain the Darth adjective and do not have the altered name (e.g. Darth Sidious, Darth Traya, Darth Revan, Darth Malak, Darth Bandon). Claudio Sorrentino proposed an online poll to decide whether to keep the name Dart Fener during the production of the new trilogy; 55.6 percent of the voters chose "yes". In France, the word "Darth" has changed to Dark, and this applies to all the Sith Lords (Darth Maul is known as Dark Maul and so on). In every other country, the word "Darth" remains unchanged, or appropriately transliterated as in the case of Chinese or Japanese.
Darth - DefinitionEdit
In the fictional Star Wars universe, Darth precedes the title of a Sith Lord. Contrary to popular belief, the word "Darth" is neither a Dutch nor German word meaning "dark" (donker and dunkel, respectively), but it does bear an obvious resemblance to the English word. Darth Vader, the first Sith introduced in the original Star Wars trilogy of movies, could be roughly translated as Dark Father ("Vader" is, in fact, the Dutch word for father), which defines his character (note that in French, for instance, Darth Vader is plainly named Dark Vador).According to George Lucas, "Darth" is a variation of "dark," while "Vader" means "father." (The Dutch word for "father" is "vader," but is pronounced differently; the German "vater" has a closer pronunciation to the name.).Some sourses claim the name Darth Vader,comes from Dark Invader,rather than Dark Father.
- French: Dark Vador
- Italian: Dart Fener
Etymology: Derived from the fictional character, w:Darth Vader, Darth Vader, itself derived from either Dark Lord of the Sith or a blend of "dark" and "death", both of which form Darth, and an abbreviated form of the word father.
Darth is often thought to be a combination of letters from the title 'Dark Lord of the Sith', but there is no basis in Star Wars canon for this. It is most likely untrue, if only for the reason that Darth Bandon and Darth Sion were never Dark Lords.
Sith Lords who have held the title include Darth Revan, Darth Malak, Darth Bandon, Darth Nihilus, Darth Traya, Darth Sion, Darth Rivan, Darth Bane, Darth Andeddu, Darth Plagueis, Darth Sidious, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus, and Darth Vader.
Since the popularity of Star Wars, the term Darth has really entered the popular lexicon as a term for evil. Most references are still associated with the Star Wars universe.