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The Sith were not mentioned in the theatrical versions of the original Star Wars trilogy. However, Darth Vader was identified as "a Dark Lord of the Sith" as he made his first appearance in the novelization (officially authored by George Lucas, but actually ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster). It also seems to imply that Vader's masked, mechanical appearance may not be unique to him, but may be instead be shared by all the Sith.

So who came up with the name "Sith," Lucas or Foster (or someone else)? And what was "Sith" conceived of meaning, when they were first named, ca. 1976?

marked as duplicate by Jason Baker, Edlothiad, amflare, JohnP, Bellatrix Dec 1 '17 at 20:28

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    I'm sure you meant "Dark Lord of the Sith" – TGnat Dec 1 '17 at 19:49
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The Sith were mentioned in the opening crawl of George Lucas's original Rough Draft, started during the winter of 1973 and completed in May 1974.

THE STAR WARS

Until the recent GREAT REBELLION, the JEDI BENDU were the most feared warriors in the universe. For one hundred thousand years, generations of JEDI perfected their art as the personal bodyguards of the emperor. They were the chief architects of the invincible IMPERIAL SPACE FORCE which expanded the EMPIRE across the galaxy, from the celestial equator to the farthest reaches of the GREAT RIFT.

Now these legendary warriors are all but extinct. One by one they have been hunted down and destroyed as enemies of the NEW EMPIRE by a ferocious and sinister rival warrior sect, THE KNIGHTS OF SITH.

It's spoken later in the draft by Darth Vader:

"Welcome, Prince Valorum. Your exploits are legendary. I have long waited to meet a Knight of the Sith. If there is any way I can assist you, my entire command is at your bidding."

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