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Darth Sidious

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Emperor Sidious
Darth Sidious
Biographical information
Homeworld

Naboo[1]

Born

c. 84 years before the Battle of Yavin, Naboo[2]

Died

Death Star II, during the Battle of Endor

Physical description
Species

Human[3]

Gender

Male[3]

Height

1.73 meters[4]

Mass

75 kilograms[5]

Hair color

Red and gray[1]

Eye color

Blue,[1] yellow (dark side)[6]

Chronological and political information


Affiliation
Masters

Darth Plagueis[8]

Apprentices
"Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen."
―Darth Sidious — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

Darth Sidious was a Human male Dark Lord of the Sith who served as the last Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and as the Emperor of the Galactic Empire. Sidious, born Sheev Palpatine, was trained in the dark side of the Force by Darth Plagueis. Eventually, Sidious took on his own apprentice, Darth Maul, and killed his master. As he continued to train Maul, Sidious came into contact with Count Dooku of Serenno, a member of the Jedi Order, who helped further Sidious' plans. In his public persona, Sidious was the unassuming Senator Palpatine of Naboo, a position he used to manipulate galactic events to his own design.

Thirteen years before his Imperial ascent, Sidious engineered the Invasion of Naboo and used the political crisis as a pretext to being elected Supreme Chancellor by the Galactic Senate. With Maul's defeat at the hands of the Jedi, Sidious was in need of a new apprentice. Dooku left the Jedi Order and was bestowed the title "Darth Tyranus" by Sidious. Together, they formed the Confederacy of Independent Systems to spark a galactic civil war. As Chancellor Palpatine, Sidious was given sweeping central, emergency powers to handle the Separatist crisis, and he raised the Grand Army of the Republic to fight the Clone Wars. The clone troopers in the Grand Army had been secretly commissioned by the Sith, and each contained a bio-chip with a preprogrammed protocol to eliminate the Jedi, the sworn enemies of the Sith, when the order was given.

At the war's end, Sidious had gained almost total control over the Republic. With his new power, Sidious branded the Jedi as traitors and ordered the clones to execute Order 66, thus destroying the Jedi Order. With the Jedi destroyed, Sidious declared himself Emperor and transformed the Republic into the Galactic Empire. Sidious also turned Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, the Chosen One, to the dark side and anointed him Darth Vader. Over the next several years, Sidious transferred the daily management of the Empire to a Ruling Council and spent much of his time in an ancient Sith shrine beneath the Imperial Palace, attempting to use the dark side to reshape the Force to his own ends.

Meanwhile, the Empire expanded across the galaxy, including the building of the Death Star to maintain order and act as a symbol of fear. However, the Rebel Alliance was formed to resist Sidious' rule, and the Death Star was destroyed by Luke Skywalker. Sidious tasked Vader, Skywalker's father, with either destroying or turning the boy, and Vader ultimately brought Skywalker before his master during the Battle of Endor. There, Sidious attempted to turn Skywalker to the dark side, but Skywalker refused. As Sidious attempted to kill Luke, Vader was redeemed and turned on his master, killing himself and Sidious in the process. Through redemption, Anakin Skywalker destroyed the Sith, while the Rebels successfully destroyed the Death Star II.

Biography

Early life

SenatorPalpatine-TPM

Senator Palpatine

"My mentor taught me everything about the Force...even the nature of the dark side."
―Palpatine to Anakin Skywalker[src]

A Human male, Sheev Palpatine was born on the planet of Naboo some 84 years before the Battle of Yavin.[2] He embarked on a career in politics and ended up representing his homeworld on the Galactic Senate, noticing the fervent bickering and corruption that mired the Galactic Republic.[3] At some point during his life, Palpatine assumed the name Darth Sidious when he became apprenticed to the legendary Sith Lord Darth Plagueis the Wise,[8] who could allegedly influence the midi-chlorians to create life and prevent death. Unfortunately for Plagueis, Sidious killed his master in his sleep after being taught everything Plagueis knew about the dark side of the Force.[10]

Keeping his Sith identity a secret from the public eye, Sidious took it upon himself to execute the Sith's long-percolating plan to supplant the Old Republic with a new Sith Empire, and destroy the Jedi Order.[11] Seeking a Sith apprentice, Sidious travelled to the planet Dathomir and met with the Dathomirian Nightsister Mother Talzin. Intermingling his knowledge of the dark side of the Force with Talzin's knowledge of Nighsister magicks, Sidious promised to make Talzin his apprentice and right hand. However, Sidious betrayed Talzin and kidnapped her infant son, the Zabrak Nightbrother who would become his true Sith apprentice, Darth Maul.[12] Sidious brutally trained Maul to be a weapon of the Sith, viewing Maul's prowess and combat abilities as an invaluable asset to his master plan.[13]

As Sidious furthered Maul's training, he came into contact with Jedi Master Dooku, who had grown increasingly disgusted with the corruption found within the Republic. Sidious managed to lure Dooku to the dark side, and used him to further his own agenda.[14][15]

War on Naboo

Invasion of Naboo

"At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge."
Darth Maul speaking to his master — Gnome-speakernotesListen (file info)[src]

Palpatine moved to seize power from Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, who had virtually no political power and counted Palpatine as a close friend and ally, allowing for Palpatine to easily manipulate him.[16] Through holographic communication, Palpatine conspired with Trade Federation Viceroy Nute Gunray to blockade the planet Naboo in protest of the Senate's taxation of trade routes in outlying star systems. Driven to desperation by the inactivity of the Senate, Valorum secretly dispatched two Jedi KnightsMaster Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi—as ambassadors to negotiate with the Federation's Neimoidian leaders.[1]

Upon learning of the ambassadors' identities, Sidious ordered the immediate invasion of Naboo and execution of the two Jedi; when Gunray questioned the legality of such an action, Sidious simply stated that he would make it legal. The Neimoidians acted accordingly, but the Jedi survived the assassination attempt and escaped the Federation ship. After Palpatine terminated his communication with Gunray, Queen Padmé Amidala contacted him concerning the Federation's denial that the Chancellor had sent ambassadors to speak with them as promised. Palpatine feigned concern at this supposed revelation, but was cut off mid-sentence by the Trade Federation's communication blackout, notifying the Naboo to their invasion.[1]

The Federation's droid army proceeded with their assault. Within a day, the army occupied the planet's capital city of Theed and its surrounding regions. Additionally, Amidala and her retinue were captured and presented with a treaty that would bring an air of legitimacy to their invasion. However, the Jedi arrived to rescue them, and they successfully evaded the blockade aboard the queen's starship.[1]

The search for Queen Amidala

When Gunray informed Sidious of Amidala's failure to sign the treaty, the livid Sith Lord introduced them to Darth Maul, whom he dispatched to find and recapture Amidala. Due to Amidala's ship sustaining damage in the escape, the queen opted to land on Tatooine, an obscure desert world in the Outer Rim Territories, to repair the ship. Maul managed to ascertain the queen's location, and assured his master that his search on the sparsely populated world would be a short one. Sidious told him to move against the Jedi first, and then take the queen once they were dead. Maul left for Tatooine, but he failed to kill the Jedi or retrieve Amidala.[1]

Valorum's fall and Palpatine's rise

"Enter the bureaucrats, the true rulers of the Republic, and on the payroll of the Trade Federation, I might add. This is where Chancellor Valorum's strength will disappear."
―Palpatine to Queen Amidala[src]

Despite these setbacks, Palpatine was able to convene with Amidala on Coruscant, where she intended to plead her case to Chancellor Valorum before the Galactic Senate. Bringing Amidala to his apartment for an audience, Palpatine told the queen that the senate was long past caring about the common good, while Valorum was essentially powerless against them. With both the Senate and Valorum closed off to her as options, Palpatine offered her two choices: she could move for a Vote of No Confidence in Chancellor Valorum, and push for the election of a more effective leader; or she could take the matter to the courts, which would take even longer. Desiring more immediate action to save her people, Amidala opted for the former.[1]

During the awaited Senate session, Federation representative Lott Dod fervently objected to Palpatine and Amidala's statements, and moved for a committee to investigate their "accusations", while Vice Chair Mas Amedda kept Valorum shackled by procedure, forcing him to concede that the Federation was within their rights. Outraged, Amidala pushed for the Vote of No Confidence. Within moments, hundreds of Senators were arguing over Amidala's decision, leaving Valorum thunderstruck.[1]

The sudden power vacuum led to Palpatine's nomination as Supreme Chancellor alongside Bail Antilles of Alderaan and Ainlee Teem of Malastare. When he announced his nomination to Amidala, however, the queen declared her intention to return to Naboo and reclaim it from the Trade Federation by whatever means she could. Palpatine made a show of concern and tried halfheartedly to convince her to stay on Coruscant. She left anyway, taking both Jinn and Kenobi with her for protection.[1]

Battle of Naboo

"Wipe them out. All of them."
―Darth Sidious to Nute Gunray[src]

Sidious contacted the Nemoidians on Naboo, instructing them to kill Amidala upon arrival, and sent Maul to accompany them with orders to make certain the Neimoidians killed the queen, and that the Jedi fell by his own hand. Even while he managed the election on Coruscant, he made time to go over the Neimoidians' progress. Against his expectations, he learned that Amidala not only managed to escape Gunray's reach, but also forged an alliance with the Gungans and assembled an army in the planet swamp in preparation for a strike against the Federation occupation force. He doubted she would last even five minutes in such a contest, and gave his approval to Gunray's plan to meet the Gungans head-on.[1]

Ultimately, Palpatine won the election for Supreme Chancellor. However, the Federation army was defeated, Gunray was captured by Amidala's forces, and Maul met his presumed death at the hands of Obi-Wan Kenobi, though not before striking down Qui-Gon Jinn, whose funeral Palpatine would later attend. Palpatine also learned that the Naboo owed their victory to the unexpected intervention of Anakin Skywalker, a young, freed slave from Tatooine who was highly attuned to the Force, fueling the belief that he was the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy who would bring balance to the Force. After much debate, the Jedi Council decided that Skywalker would be apprenticed to Kenobi as a Jedi. Palpatine personally congratulated the two Jedi during the celebration on Naboo, telling young Skywalker that his career would be watched with "great interest".[1]

Further preparations

Over the next ten years,[17] Supreme Chancellor Palpatine amassed a favorable reputation as a mild-mannered servant of the common good, and the public remained oblivious to his true, insidious persona. As Anakin Skywalker grew older, his relationship with Palpatine deepened; on many occasions, Palpatine lauded Skywalker as the most gifted Jedi he had ever encountered, one who would surpass even Yoda, the Grand Master of the Jedi Council. Skywalker, who grew increasingly frustrated with the strict lifestyle of the Jedi under his master Kenobi's guidance, admired Palpatine's praise and greatly took to his counsel. In truth, this was all part of Sidious' plan to gain Skywalker's trust and groom him into his new Sith apprentice.[3][7]

With Maul's defeat, Sidious found himself in need of a new apprentice, and so he turned to Dooku to fill that role. Dooku left the Jedi Order, reclaiming his wealth and title as the Count of Serenno.[15] With the turn of Dooku—anointed Darth Tyranus—the Sith orchestrated the death of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas and took over his clientele for the commission of a clone army produced on Kamino; the event was subsequently covered up when Dooku erased all records of Kamino from the Jedi Archives.[18] Subsequently, bounty hunter Jango Fett was hired as the clones' genetic template, and the clones were fitted with a bio-chip containing a protocol that would ensure their total obedience to Sidious when the time came for it.[7][19]

Separatist crisis

Under Sidious' direction, Dooku rallied several thousand solar systems into declaring independence from the Galactic Republic, forming the Confederacy of Independent Systems with himself as its leader. Many commercial organizations—including the Trade Federation—pledged their droid military forces to this Confederacy. With civil war imminent and the Jedi's numbers too few to maintain galactic peace, the Senate pushed for a vote to create a Grand Army of the Republic.[7]

Upon arriving in Coruscant to vote on the matter, Palpatine's successor as Senator of Naboo, former Queen Padmé Amidala, narrowly avoided an assassination attempt carried out by Zam Wesell on behalf of the vengeful Nute Gunray. Palpatine had the vote delayed and placed the senator under the protection of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, her old allies from the Battle of Naboo. After a second attempt on the senator's life was made, Skywalker was assigned to protect her back on her homeworld of Naboo. There the two secretly started to fall in love which, coupled with Skywalker's later discovery of his mother Shmi's death at the hands of Tusken Raiders, would bring the young Jedi ever closer to the dark side, and more vulnerable to Sidious' machinations.[7]

However, when it is revealed that the Separatists are secretly building a battle droid army, Palpatine uses the situation to have himself granted emergency powers from the Senate by Representative Jar Jar Binks. Palpatine feigns reluctance to accept this authority, promising to return it to the Senate once the crisis has ended. His first act is to allow the use of the clone army, which were discovered by Kenobi on Kamino, to counter the Separatist threat; this results in the Battle of Geonosis, which serves as the opening salvo of the Clone Wars. After clone template Jango Fett is killed and the Separatist partners escape the battle, Dooku meets with Sidious with not only good news that the war the Sith have been orchestrating has begun, but with plans for a Geonosian superweapon, that may be of use for their future Sith-led regime. Sidious was pleased with these turn of events, and later with the leaders of the Senate oversaw the new Republic army marching towards war, while Skywalker and Amidala secretly wed on Naboo with their two droids C-3PO and R2-D2 as witnesses, which Sidious would later use as an advantage to lure Skywalker to become his next apprentice.[7]

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End of the Clone Wars

Kidnapped by General Grievous

Nineteen years before the Battle of Yavin, General Grievous invaded Coruscant to help Sidious stage the kidnapping of his alter ego. Chancellor Palpatine was then rescued by Anakin Skywalker, who managed to kill Count Dooku in the process, and Obi-Wan Kenobi, who was carried on Anakin's back after being knocked out.

The seduction of Anakin Skywalker

Palpatine, in the meantime, began preparing for the war's end. Skywalker, who had just been hailed as a hero for killing Count Dooku and rescuing the Chancellor, began having visions of his wife dying in childbirth. Palpatine decided to use that to his advantage. Throughout the next few rotations, their relationship kept growing. Ultimately, Palpatine appointed Anakin to be his representative to the Jedi Council.

Meanwhile, the Jedi began to grow distrusting of the Chancellor, who was gaining more and more power. The Council, who was not happy with Skywalker's appointment, denied him the rank of "Jedi Master" further pushing Palpatine's plans forward.

The Council however, decided to use this appointment as a chance to spy on Palpatine. Skywalker, who felt insulted by that demand, regretfully agreed and began to devote his time to getting to know the Chancellor better.

Some Jedi, such as Mace Windu, were concerned about their relationship, seeing that it could be dangerous putting the two together. Windu ultimately noted that the dark side of the Force surrounded the Chancellor.

At an opera show, Palpatine and Skywalker discussed the situation with Palpatine revealing to know that the Council wanted Anakin to spy on him. At the same time, Anakin, who was dealing with the fear of his wife's loss was beginning to distrust the Jedi Council. This allowed Palpatine to orchestrate Anakin's downfall by telling him the story of his Master, "Darth Plagueis the Wise." According to the story, Plagueis was so strong in the Force that he could use it to "save the ones he cared about from dying." Anakin, enthralled by the story, wished to know more about this power, asking him if he could learn it with Palpatine stating, "Not from a Jedi."[10]

As the situation grew worse, Anakin went to speak with the Chancellor regarding the Battle of Utapau. Anakin expressed his disappointment that he was not chosen for the assignment. Palpatine told Anakin that the Council did not trust him and that the Jedi were plotting to take control of the Republic. Palpatine then revealed that he was trained in the ways of the Force, "even the nature of the dark side." This led to Anakin concluding that Palpatine himself, was the Sith Lord the Jedi were hunting down. With this, Palpatine told Anakin that he would teach him to save his wife from death. Anakin, who desired to kill him, went to the Jedi Council with this Information.[10]

Duel in the Chancellor's Office

Mace Windu, after learning about Anakin's claim went to confront the Chancellor. Windu and three other Jedi declared that Palpatine was under arrest. This caused him to leap out and kill three of the four Jedi. Palpatine and Windu ultimately dueled. Palpatine had been winning at first, but ultimately Windu fought back knocking him to the floor, nearly killing him. Now weakened and growing deformed, Anakin, who managed to sneak his way into the building was asked to help him, but was told by Mace Windu that he needed to be killed. Anakin told Windu that he had to stand trial, but was told that he was "too dangerous to be kept alive", and that he controlled the Senate and the Courts. Deciding that his wife was more important, he cut off Mace Windu's hand, which led to Palpatine killing him and ultimately, throwing him out the office window.[10]

Anakin turns to the Dark Side

Anakin, trying to figure out what he has done, ultimately kneels before the Chancellor, where he agrees to join the dark side on the condition that he be shown how to save Padme's life and Palpatine bestows on the young man the Sith name of Darth Vader. Palpatine, instructs Vader to wipe out the Jedi, who Vader believed were plotting to overthrow the Republic, as well as to wipe out the Separatist leaders on Mustafar.[10]

Order 66 and rise of the New Order

Prior to the start of the war, Palpatine instructed his apprentice, Darth Tyranus to have the clone army they created, to have organic chips implanted in their brains to allow them to do anything someone tells them to, in this case, execute the Jedi. With one simple command, the clones would enter a trance-like state and preform whatever orders they were given.[20][21][22]

When Anakin was sent to kill the Jedi in the Temple, Palpatine also managed to contact the rest of clone troopers on various planets and commanded them to "Execute Order 66." Because of this, the clone troopers, who formed deep relationships with their Jedi Generals, turned against them and managed to wipe out most of the Jedi with the exception of a few, notably Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and Kanan Jarrus.[10][23]

Palpatine, meanwhile, addressed the Senate, accusing the Jedi of trying to kill him and overthrow the Republic. He ultimately announces the Republic's reorganization into the first Galactic Empire.[24]

Fight with Yoda and birth of Lord Vader

With Obi-Wan and Yoda realizing what has happened, Yoda goes to face the Emperor personally, while Obi-Wan heads to kill Anakin. Yoda surprises Palpatine who tells him that his arrogance has blinded him and that his apprentice will be more powerful than both of them. Yoda tells Palpatine that his faith in Vader is a mistake along with his faith in the dark side. The two duel in the Senate hall leading to a draw, which caused Yoda to go into exile.[10]

Vader meanwhile, is badly injured and is nearly left for dead. Palpatine orders the clones accompanying him to prepare a medical capsule.[10]

Anakin is surgically reconstructed as a cyborg. There, Palpatine has told him that he killed Padme in his anger. With the last ounce of Anakin gone, Palpatine's plan is complete and Darth Vader is officially born.[10]

The Galactic Empire

"There is only one plan—one great design which shall govern the universe—mine."
―Darth Sidious[src]

A new threat

With the Jedi mostly defeated, Emperor Palpatine has foreseen a new threat rising against him. He commanded his apprentice, Lord Vader to contact an Utapan Inquisitor to hunt them down and destroy them if they did not serve the Empire.[25]

The Emperor would continue to monitor the situation closely. After the Inquisitor's death, he dispatched his apprentice to Lothal as an "alternative solution" to the growing rebel problem.[26]

Stolen Death Star plans, disbanding the Senate

With the Rebel Alliance making major gains, the Death Star plans were stolen by Leia Organa, the daughter of Senator Bail Organa. Organa then placed the plans inside an R2 Unit. Eventually, the Emperor disbanded the Senate giving the regional governors direct control of their territories.[27]

Eventually, the son of his apprentice, Luke Skywalker became a member of a squadron of Rebel fighters that went into battle to destroy the Death Star. Luke, who had been training under Obi-Wan Kenobi to become a Jedi, used the Force to destroy the Death Star, killing all on board and striking a crippling blow to the Galactic Empire.[27]

"A great disturbance in the Force"

Three years after the Battle on Yavin, Emperor Palpatine's empire had managed to gain a major victory by capturing the Rebel base on the ice planet of Hoth. However, something bigger was growing. He ultimately contacted Admiral Piett, telling him to have Darth Vader contact him immediately. Vader did as he was instructed and was told of his son for the first time.[28] Vader however, had known of his son's existence and hoped to overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy. Palpatine, however had different plans, to kill Vader and have Luke become his new apprentice.[29]

Threatofskywalker

Lord Vader and Emperor Palpatine discuss the growing power of Luke Skywalker.

The fall of the Sith

Sometime after the showdown on Bespin, Luke had become strong in the Force and the Emperor still intended to turn Luke over to the dark side.

The Emperor, meanwhile, had begun planning the end to the galactic conflict. He purposely allowed the Rebels to obtain the plans of the new Death Star and the Shield Generator.[29]

The Emperor, using the lack of work as an excuse, went to the second Death Star to oversee the defeat of the Rebellion and the fall of the Jedi Order, once and for all.[29]

Meeting Luke Skywalker

While on the Death Star, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca stole an Imperial Shuttle and managed to sneak pass the shield and land on Endor's Sanctuary Moon.[29]

Vader, who had been told to dispatch the fleet to the moon and to remain on a command ship, sensed his son's arrival. Because of this, he journeyed to the Death Star, where he told the Emperor that he sensed Luke's arrival. Surprised that he was unable to sense it, he told Vader to go and wait for him, saying that he had foreseen Luke seeking Vader out and faking a surrender to personally meet with the Emperor in an attempt to redeem his fallen father.[29]

Once Luke did this, the Emperor greeted Luke, dismissed the Royal Guards and removed his chains. Luke was told that the Emperor planned to turn Luke to the dark side and that all that has happened on the Moon was all his plan. The Emperor also managed to explain that his father was irredeemable and could never be turned from the dark side. Palpatine had also managed to cook up a surprise for the Rebels. When the Alliance Fleet arrived, the Death Star's superlaser was operational, contrary to what the Rebels had been led to believe. The Death Star was able to destroy several of the command ships, but the Rebels both on the surface and in space managed to press forward with their attack, as Lando was counting on Han to destroy the Shield Generator.[29]

Luke was then manipulated by the Emperor, who told him of his friends' impending doom and Luke was told that he would soon become his apprentice. Luke at first resisted, but as the Emperor continued to taunt him, Luke grew angrier and then grabbed his lightsaber and began to engage Vader in a duel. The Emperor was delighted by this.[29]

Palpatine saber clash

Palpatine watches as Luke and Vader engage in a Lightsaber duel.

Luke was first able to resist, refusing to fight his father but then as the fight grew stronger, Vader read his mind and learned that Luke had a sister. With this knowledge, Vader told Luke that if he did not turned to the dark side, she would. The threat of losing his sister enraged Luke and drove him to angrily attack Vader.[29]

Although he nearly killed Vader and cut off his mechanical hand, Luke began to see what had happened and that he was dangerously close to the line between light and dark. Luke threw away his lightsaber and turned to face the Emperor. He told the Emperor that he would never turn to the dark side and that he was a Jedi, like his father before him.[29]

Death

Angered by this, Palpatine unleashed Force lightning upon him, forcing him onto his knees and begging his father to help him. The Emperor then proceeded to torment Luke, saying that his "Feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side", and that Luke was weak and a fool.[29]

Meanwhile, Darth Vader watched as his son was struggling. Forced to choose between saving his son and obeying his master, he chose to save his son by grabbing the Emperor and throwing him off the ledge.[29]

Anakin was badly damaged as the decision to save his son's life cost him his own. Luke tried to convince Anakin to let him be saved by him, but Anakin told Luke that he already did and that he was right about there still being good in him.[29]

With Anakin's death, he had fulfilled the ancient prophecy as Qui-Gon Jinn had foreseen thirty-six years earlier.[1]

Personality and traits

"We shall double our efforts."
"I hope so, Commander, for your sake. The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am."
―Commander Jerjerrod and Darth Vader[src]

Prior to the creation of his Empire, Palpatine was careful to put on a charade, presenting himself as a grandfatherly gentleman and a servant of the public good. When in character, he always tried to avoid ostentation and often spoke of himself with great modesty.[17] However, Palpatine was in fact a skilled manipulator and strategist, having orchestrated countless events in the galaxy, from the Invasion of Naboo to the Clone Wars, with the sole aim of increasing his own power.[3] Even when something occurred that he did not initially plan for, the Sith Lord could rework his plans effectively.[1]

After his ascension to Galactic Emperor, Palpatine renounced his public persona and started living as Sidious full-time.[11] Freed from his gentle alter-ego, Palpatine demonstrated sadistic tendencies. During his fight with Yoda, the Sith Lord kept cackling in delight.[10] Years later, immediately before his death at the hands of Vader, the Emperor smiled at the young Jedi as he prepared to finish him off. He was also noted for his lack of forgiveness. Darth Vader, who was known for murdering the officers who had failed him in cold blood, considered Palpatine to be even less clement than himself.[29] In spite of his exceptional mastery of the dark arts, he was no less susceptible to fear, one of the primary emotions of the dark side, than any other Sith: after being attacked by a powerful Force push from Yoda, he displayed visible panic, attempting to flee rather than fight, and only confronted his opponent when he appeared to have no other choice.[10]

Power and abilities

"Do not underestimate the powers of the Emperor, or suffer your father's fate, you will."
―Yoda, to Luke Skywalker[src]
TorturePalpatine2321

Palpatine using Force lightning

As the reigning Dark Lord of the Sith in his time,[30] Palpatine was a powerful Force-user. He was a practitioner of Force lightning, and was known to use this power both as a deadly attack, and as a means of torture.[29] He was also skilled with telekinesis; during his duel with Yoda, he levitated several Senate pods simultaneously, including the one he was standing on, with great dexterity and accuracy.[10] Likewise, he was skilled enough with telekinesis that he was also able to remove Luke Skywalker's handcuffs while barely even lifting his finger when meeting face to face on the Second Death Star.[29] On Mandalore, Sidious used telekinesis to strangle several Mandalorians to death and pin both Darth Maul and Savage Opress against a wall.

Darth Sidious was highly adept at foreseeing the future, often utilizing the power to see his plots to fruition, ensuring that all would proceed as he had envisioned. Furthermore, Sidious was able to conceal his inner darkness from the Jedi for many years before allowing himself to be discovered. His power was so great that he managed to cloud the Jedi's vision, making it exceedingly difficult to predict future events.[29] The Dark Lord also possessed knowledge of Sith magic, allowing him to utter incantations in the Balc speech, as well as knowledge of the ancient Sith tongue.[31][32]

Despite his frail appearance, Darth Sidious was incredibly skilled in lightsaber combat, one of the greatest duelists of all time. As a result of his tremendous skill, he killed Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin—who were considered to be two of the finest lightsaber duelists of their time—each with a single blow, and while also engaged with Mace Windu, he slew the formidable Kit Fisto only moments later. He also held his own against Yoda in a lightsaber duel later on but in the end he forced the Jedi Master to flee with his Force powers rather than his lightsaber. Sidious had an extremely aggressive dueling style and augmented his swordplay by using Force-enhanced speed, which allowed him to defeat three experienced Jedi Masters at once with very little effort. His style was a combination of brutal aggression and lethal precision making him an almost unstoppable opponent. In fact, the only person known to have defeated him in lightsaber combat was Mace Windu. Although Sidious usually used only one lightsaber, he was also a master of Jar'Kai, wielding both of his lightsabers against Darth Maul and Savage Opress. Utilizing a ferocious yet fluid fighting style, Sidious fended off both brothers simultaneously. Sidious effortlessly defeated them, killing Opress and disarming Maul.

Behind the scenes

PalpatineOldHolog2

Elaine Baker as Emperor Palpatine in the pre-DVD version of The Empire Strikes Back.

The holographic image of the Emperor that briefly appeared in the original version of The Empire Strikes Back was played by Elaine Baker, then-wife of makeup designer Rick Baker. Her face was composited with the image of a chimpanzee for the eyes while the voice was provided by Clive Revill.

Ian McDiarmid played the elderly Emperor Palpatine of the original trilogy, the younger Palpatine of The Phantom Menace, and the middle-aged Palpatine of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

For the 2004 DVD release of the original trilogy, the scene in The Empire Strikes Back was re-shot with Ian McDiarmid replacing Revill as the Emperor, with new lines recorded for both McDiarmid and James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader). The re-shoot was shot during the of the production of Revenge of the Sith.

In Star Wars: The Clone Wars film and TV series, Palpatine was voiced by Ian Abercrombie until his death on January 26, 2012, with famed British actor Tim Curry taking over the role.

In the trailer for the second season of Star Wars Rebels, Sam Witwer provided Palpatine's voice.

George Lucas compared the story of Palpatine to "Caesar, Napoleon, and Hitler." The Hitler similarities are particularly evident from Palpatine's position as Chancellor and the use of emergency powers to cement his hold on the waning Republic.[33]

Palpatine was not given a first name in any canonical or Star Wars Legends source until 2014, when the character's first name—Sheev—was revealed in the novel Tarkin by James Luceno.[2]

Appearances

Sources

Notes and references

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 1.19 Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Tarkin
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Encyclopedia-Logo Palpatine in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  4. StarWars-DatabankII Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious in the Databank
  5. Star Wars Journeys: Beginnings
  6. 6.0 6.1 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.6 Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones
  8. 8.0 8.1 Darth Sidious Biography Gallery on Star Wars.com (Image 1 caption)
  9. Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  10. 10.00 10.01 10.02 10.03 10.04 10.05 10.06 10.07 10.08 10.09 10.10 10.11 Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  11. 11.0 11.1 Encyclopedia-Logo Darth Sidious in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  12. Star Wars: Darth Maul—Son of Dathomir 3
  13. Encyclopedia-Logo Darth Maul in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  14. SWYTlogo Sifo-Dyas and the Sith: The Clone Wars - The Lost Missions Q&A on the official Star Wars YouTube Channel
  15. 15.0 15.1 Encyclopedia-Logo Count Dooku in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  16. Encyclopedia-Logo Supreme Chancellor Valorum in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  17. 17.0 17.1 SWCustom-2011 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org) (Story Gallery: Slide 4)
  18. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "The Lost One"
  19. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Conspiracy"
  20. Conspiracy
  21. Fugitive
  22. Orders
  23. A New Dawn
  24. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  25. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion"
  26. Rebels-mini-logo Star Wars Rebels – "Fire Across the Galaxy"
  27. 27.0 27.1 Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope
  28. Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  29. 29.00 29.01 29.02 29.03 29.04 29.05 29.06 29.07 29.08 29.09 29.10 29.11 29.12 29.13 29.14 29.15 Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi
  30. Encyclopedia-Logo Yoda in the Encyclopedia (link now obsolete; backup link on Archive.org)
  31. Lords of the Sith
  32. TCW mini logo Star Wars: The Clone Wars – "Sacrifice"
  33. SWCustom-2011 From World War to Star Wars: Rise of an Empire on StarWars.com (backup link on Archive.org)
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