The Sith Academy
|Name:||Welcome to the Sith Academy, a.k.a. The Sith Academy|
|Dates:||July 1999 - December 2001|
|Fandom:||Star Wars: The Phantom Menace|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
The Sith Academy was a shared universe parodying Star Wars: The Phantom Menace character Darth Maul and modern life as he is trained as a Sith warrior through ordinary day-today activities designed to frustrate and enrage him. The series quickly turned to slash by pairing Darth Maul with a young, and sometimes petulant, love struck Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The series was created by Siubhan and eventually spanned over 200 stories with contributions of fan fiction and art from dozens of fans. Other fan creations followed including tshirts, haikus, a drinking game, and Tarot cards. The series had an editorial policy giving the body of work a more cohesive feel. Fans also ran a mailing list (sithacademy-talk) devoted to the series.According to one reviewer:
While the first several stories focused on similar plotlines of Darth Maul's simple frustration (usually by being ordered to do something humiliating by Darth Sidious in order to "home his rage and hatred") leading to rising fury and finally a cathartic explosion, a milestone in the [Sith Academy] stories, "Life Lessons at the Sith Academy, Part VI" (#29), marked a drastic change in [Sith Academy] canon with the line "Oh shit, he'd slept with Obi-Wan Kenobi." In writing this line, Siubhan "thought people would get a laugh out of it and move on," but the idea of Padawan and Sith Apprentice slash fiction was appealing enough to her fandom that a total of nineteen "Adult" rated fanfics were submitted to the site in pursuit of this idea, not to mention the less explicit but certainly slashy writings available in the site's general-viewing area. Not all readers appreciated this shift in tone, as was soon revealed in disappointed e-mails to Siubhan, but she decided to accept a narrower audience base in order to avoid censoring the site. 
Examples of Some of the Story Themes
- Life Lessons at the Sith Academy (or Take That). This first story was written to vent Siubhan's frustration over a driving test. Later targets included air travel, the National Rifle Association, an IRS audit, IKEA stores, and Martha Stewart.
- Life Lessons at the Sith Academy, Part II, by Siubhan - Darth Maul takes a series of menial jobs
- Distance Learning, by the Intrepid Housemate MelissaTM - Darth Maul does Tech Support
- The Shopping Maul, by Joan the English Chick - Darth Maul buys groceries
- Life Lessons at the Sith Academy, Part IV, by Siubhan - Darth Maul at the laundromat
ExcerptExcerpt from "Take That":
"A true Sith lets his hate flow through him at all times. Exploit the fear of your opponents, and you shall be able to achieve anything."
"Yes, my Master."
"Good, now put your foot on the brake and shift out of park."
Darth Maul obediently did as his Master instructed, and the little hovercraft with the "Student Driver" labels eased into the Coruscant skies.
"Keep an eye on your rear-view mirror," Sidious chided.
"Yes, my Master."
"I want you to ease into that lane of traffic there. Nice and gentle."
"Gentle? But you said..."
"All things in time, my young apprentice. A Sith knows when to wait and when to strike.
"Yes, my Master."
"Okay now, I want you to use the Force to reach out and assess your fellow drivers. Any weaknesses?"
"The old lady in the Edsel."
"Good. How do you feel about her?"
"She's driving too slow in a no-passing zone and she's pissing me off."
"Very good. Let your hate flow through you, wait for a tiny opening in traffic, then pass her illegally and flip her off."
"Shall I lay on the horn, my Master?""An excellent suggestion, my apprentice. Yes, honk at her most aggressively."
From an InterviewIn 1999, Siubhan gave an interview to the Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade explaining the origins of the Sith Academy:
Q: Where did the idea for The Sith Academy come from? S: A heat-wave. The air conditioning broke at work, and I was probably mildly delirious. As I sat in the company cafeteria, watching the cars whiz by on the highway, I came up with the idea for the first story. I was amused enough by it that I wrote the second one the next day, then the third right after that. I didn't think anything of it. Then a couple other people wrote Sith Academy stories. 151 stories later... I didn't plan this. It just happened. 
Reactions and Reviews
Most Star Wars: The Phantom Menace fic is fairly serious, what with the canonical death of the main character and all. But at the Sith Academy, you'll laugh yourself to the point of internal rupture. Meet Darth Sidious, Dark Transvestite of the Sith; see Darth Maul sitting around playing Playstation in his "Sith Lords Kick Ass" t-shirt; hear Yoda say, "know I do when cut weed is" and watch him moonlighting at Wal-Mart; watch in horror as Obi-Wan's hamster, Fluffi-Wan, turns to the Dark Side of the Force... Make sure you aren't drinking anything while you read. 
Who, in the TPM fandom, *doesn't* know about this place!? If you weren't familiar with it, or were just starting to read TPM fics (slash or not, doesn't matter), run, don't walk, to the site now! Immediately! ::waves force suggestions in your face:: Hm? Still here? Darn it, the mind whammy didn't work. ::coughs:: Simply put, the archive houses a series of life stories about "A sith, his master, the enemy and his little twit apprentice, and a bunch of menial crap." That's more than 200 stories (181 of which are canon and in chronological order), cool art galleries, and other fun stuff. And yes, majority of the stories are meant to be hysterically funny. *DO* read the warnings on the Sith Academy entrance page, warnings which you absolutely must heed at all times should you wish to survive your reading experience there (read: absolutely no drinking or eating while reading the Sith Academy fics). No restriction on pairings. Everyone's f**king everyone here. Well, almost. ^_^;;
Not a story, but an entire archive of related stories: if you haven't visited the Sith Academy, you're missing out. Based (lightly) on Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, they're a safe and fun read even for those of us who haven't seen the movie. Funny and silly without being stupid, they contain years worth of siggable material. Read the basic ones that establish the "canon", once you've read enough of the stories to get a feel for them, be sure to read the equally funny A Critical Introduction. Don't miss the newest one, Requiem for Mr. Fluffy by Rachael Sabotini. 
- TV Tropes entry on The Sith Academy
- "Using the Force: Creativity, Community and Star Wars Fans" by Will Brooker. The Sith Academy is mentioned in the chapter entitled "Slash and Other Stories."
- The Sith Academy entry on the feministSF Wiki
- The first four stories were written by Siubhan. According to one reviewer: "The fourth SA fanfic, "Sith Academy--the foul apartment lesson" (by Katherine the Art Chick) marked the involvement of outside authors in the SA, and by then the ball was rolling..." The Sith Academy at Everything2.com, accessed October 7, 2011
- The Sith Academy at Everything2.com, accessed October 7, 2011.
- The Darth Maul Estrogen Brigade Interview with Siubhan, December, 18th 1999, accessed October 7, 2011.
- Your Mileage May Vary: Recs, via Wayback: 2001. (Accessed 10 April 2015)
- chiaroscuro v6 - T.O.T.O. (The Obi-Wan Torture Oasis), 15 March 2002. (Accessed 12 January 2011)
- Sandy Herrold. All Jewels Have Flaws: Older recs: 1999 and before. (Accessed 24 April 2015)