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I understand the desire to learn the dark side and become powerful, but why follow "the religion" of the Sith?

For instance, Kreia describes Darth Nihilus as someone who doesn't care about the Sith organization. But, why should he or any other Sith Lord care about anything other than furthering their own ambitions? Why take the time to adhere to the Sith principles? Also, if Darth Nihilus didn't care for the Sith, and only cared about his hunger, then why did it bother his holocron that Darth Krayt chose not to follow the rule of two?

Sidious' main goal was to obtain full control of the galaxy. After killing his master, why did he bother trying to preserve his Sith identity by collecting Sith artifacts and maintaining a hate for the Jedi? I understand he had to get rid of the Jedi because they stood in the way of his goals, but his hate for them seemed to stem from his Sith teachings rather than because they were an obstacle.

What is the motivation of a Sith Lord to keep their Order going?

By the way, I've only watched the movies and read bits and pieces of Wookiepedia. I've never read the EU or played the KotR games, so forgive me if the answer to this question is obvious.

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After killing his master, why did he bother trying to preserve his Sith identity by collecting Sith artifacts and maintaining a hate for the Jedi?

Because the former gave him more power and the latter let him both destroy and keep down his main opponents, and allow a focused enemy for his subjects.

As far as holocrons, having disciples and followers of YOUR mental patterns is a question of legacy which most ambitious people are concerned with.

   

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As was touched on by DVK, the question is one of legacy. Any ambitious, powerful, yet mortal person will want to ensure that their posterity knows what they did in their life. As a result, no matter how much disregard for any rules or societal contract you may have, it is in your own self-interest to continue the line of Sith Lords, so that people who come after you will know what you did.

This is the essence of the Rule of Two: if there are ever more than two Sith, two of them will invariably gang up on the third in their quest for power. However, if a sole Sith does not take on an apprentice, then the entire Sith Order and their history becomes extinct with the death of the last Sith, a fate no Sith would want. So, two Sith is a self-enforcing rule.

  • A good example of how the rule of two is to protect the sith master is how Kreia (dark traya) trained Sion and Nihilus which in turn, ganged up on her, stole her ability of the force and cast her out like the jedi order did to her in the past. To be angry that a sith lord is making the same mistake Nihilus' former master did, i understand how the holocron would be pissed off. (This is all referance to KOTOR Wrath of the sith lords) – Master Skorh Dec 3 '13 at 18:39
  • @MasterSkorh Rule of two wasn't in force at this point was it? – Cearon O'Flynn Jan 26 '16 at 14:44
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It is about pride and power. The concept of the rule of two is that when the apprentice kills the master, they become the master and take on a new apprentice. The Sith want the Dark Side to be the most powerful, so they want the most powerful dark side users to prevail over the weak ones.

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I disagree with the idea of legacy as it has to do with the personal reasons for following the Sith teachings. A Sith master only wants more for themselves - they are ultimately selfish. The reasons for taking on an apprentice are two-fold:

  1. Apprentices are useful because you make them do the dirty work for you.
  2. Apprentices are competition, and competition makes you better.

That's why they follow the rule of two. Not because it's good for the Sith or good for their legacy. It's because it's good for them personally, or at least better than the alternatives: taking on no apprentices means you stagnate, and taking on more than one apprentice means they'll surely gang up on you. The fact that this is also good for the "Sith Order" because it propagates the lineage and tends towards ever-increasing accumulation of power is the reason why the Sith Order survived while others may not. It's survivorship bias.

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