A duel took place between Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious and Jedi Grand Master Yoda who engaged in a powerful lightsaber duel within the heart of the Imperial Galactic Senate Chamber. Ultimately, Yoda retreated and went into exile on Dagobah, while Sidious became Emperor of the galaxy.
- "Destroy the Sith, we must."
- ―Yoda to Obi-Wan Kenobi
A ferocious duel between Jedi Master Mace Windu and Supreme Chancellor Palpatine--who was also Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Sidious-- had ended when Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker intervened to save the Chancellor by slicing off Windu's sword hand. This action stripped Windu of his lightsaber and allowed Sidious to kill the Jedi Master with a blast of Force lightning.
Sidious, having played the role of mentor to Skywalker for years, swayed him to his side by tempting him with the ability to save his wife through the power of the dark side of the Force. Though horrified by what he had allowed to happen, Skywalker desired to save his wife above all other considerations, and furthermore believed that his role in Windu's death had eliminated any possibility of returning to the Order. As such, Skywalker pledged himself to the Dark Lord, who anointed him with the Sith name Darth Vader. Vader's new master then sent him to the Jedi Temple with the 501st Legion and ordered him to kill all Jedi within. Sidious meanwhile executed Order 66, a protocol programmed into the clones to execute their Jedi commanders in the event of a Jedi betrayal. The two combined actions almost completely eradicated the Jedi Order.
Before leaving the Temple, Vader activated the beacon signaling the Jedi to return to Coruscant, in the hopes that it would attract and destroy the few survivors of Order 66. Jedi Masters Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi however, had managed to survive the first strike of the Jedi Purge and regroup. Discovering the message and suspecting it was a trap, they made their way to the Jedi temple with the hope of re-configuring the transmission. Upon their arrival, they discovered a clone trooper garrison left to kill any Jedi that heeded the beacon. After eliminating them, they recoded the beacon to warn all remaining Jedi to go into hiding and stay away from the Temple. Looking at the Temple's security holofootage on their way out, they discovered that Skywalker, Kenobi's former Padawan, had led the assault. Knowing they had to destroy the Sith Lords for the sake of the galaxy, they decided to split up and take out the two Sith individually. Kenobi wanted to fight Sidious, unable to bear the thought of striking down his former pupil and friend. Yoda, however, pointed out that Sidious was too strong for Kenobi, and instead sent him to track down Vader. Yoda, meanwhile, infiltrated the Senate building, determined to kill the recently-anointed Galactic Emperor.
Inside the Senate Building, Yoda strolled into Palpatine's office and casually rendered his two guards unconscious by Force pushing them into a wall. Mockingly addressing Palpatine as "Emperor", Yoda informed the Dark Lord that he knew of Anakin's new status as Sidious's new apprentice. Palpatine noted rhetorically that Yoda had survived Order 66, and when Yoda facetiously asked him if he was surprised, Palpatine snarled that Yoda's arrogance had blinded him. He then launched a blast of Force lightning at the Grand Master which slammed him against a wall and caused him to momentarily lose consciousness.
Realizing that a battle between two Force masters was imminent, Vice Chair Mas Amedda quickly left the office as Palpatine approached the prone Jedi Master. Laughing contemptuously at his opponent, Sidious taunted Yoda with the fact that the Order had been destroyed, and that the Jedi were all but extinct. However, Yoda responded with a Force push that sent Sidious flying back across the room and over his desk. Yoda asserted that Sidious's short reign was over, and Sidious attempted to flee. However Yoda blocked his way and ignited his lightsaber, challenging that Sidious had no need to leave if he was as powerful as he claimed to be. Realizing he would have to fight the Jedi Master blade-to-blade, Sidious ignited his own lightsaber and snarled that Yoda could not stop him and that Darth Vader would become more powerful than either of them. In response, Yoda stated that his faith in Vader and in the dark side itself were perhaps misplaced. With nothing left to be said, the duel began.
Their battle raged through the office for some time, with neither opponent able to gain an advantage. The fight eventually moved to the Chancellor's podium, which rose through the retractable ceiling into the Senate Chamber. As the duel continued upon the podium, Sidious found himself hampered by the small size of the battleground, while Yoda was able to leap around the Sith Lord with little difficulty. Pressed, Sidious jumped to one of the Senate pods above him and began to use the Force to throw waves of these pods at Yoda. The Jedi Grand Master used his own powers to dodge from one pod to another and attempted to make his way up to where Sidious was perched in order to re-engage him in lightsaber combat. However, the Dark Lord's attack was too intense for Yoda to close the distance, and he eventually slipped and fell as Sidious continued his barrage.
Regaining his feet, Yoda realized that his strategy was failing and deactivated his weapon. As Sidious sent yet another pod at him, Yoda used his own powers to stop it and send it hurtling back at Sidious. As the pod flew at the Dark Lord, he was forced to jump from his perch to a lower pod. Yoda saw his chance to re-engage Sidious at close quarters and leaped at the Sith Lord, landing on the edge of Sidious's pod and reigniting his lightsaber. However, Sidious unleashed a torrent of Force lightning at Yoda before he could strike, knocking Yoda's lightsaber from his hand. Disarmed, Yoda was forced to absorb Sidious's lightning bare-handed. Sidious advanced on the diminutive Jedi Master as he continued his assault, and Yoda was nearly overwhelmed by Sidious's power. However, Yoda eventually managed to start coalescing the energy of Sidious's Force lightning into a blue orb between the two of them. As each combatant attempted to overpower the other, the orb of energy exploded and knocked them apart.
Sidious was sent tumbling head over heels to the edge of the pod, but having been at its opposite end when the energy orb exploded, he was not thrown clear of the pod and managed to grab one of its guardrails. Yoda however had been standing at the very edge of the pod during the explosion, and weighed very little. As such, he was blasted completely clear of the pod and fell all the way back to the Chancellor's podium. Yoda struck the podium too hard to control his landing and he rolled off the main portion to the edge, where he desperately attempted to climb back up. But, exhausted and holding onto a smooth edge, Yoda lost his grip and fell dozens of meters to the Senate floor. Battered and weary, Yoda retreated as Sidious cackled in triumph above him.
Shock troopers sweeping the chamber were unable to recover Yoda's body, and Sidious ordered the clones to double their search for him. Having been unable to defeat the Sith Lord, Yoda chose to go into exile on the swamp planet of Dagobah, where he would wait until Anakin's son, Luke, would be old enough to turn his father back from the Dark Side. Years later, on Dagobah, Yoda would train Luke in the ways of the Force, and he would ultimately go on to rescue his father from the dark side and inspire him to defeat Palpatine, bringing balance to the Force at last.
Behind the scenesEdit
This lightsaber duel in the Senate Rotunda was created for the 2005 film, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. According to The Making of Star Wars Revenge of the Sith, Senate hovercams were meant to broadcast the duel across the galaxy on the HoloNet, but this idea was later dropped. In a DVD commentary, Rob Coleman stated that the Emperor's use of Senate pods as weapons was a metaphor for the fall of freedom and democracy brought about by Palpatine's victory.[source?]
- Star Wars Battlefront II (Indirect mention only)
- Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith (First appearance)
- "There is Another"—From a Certain Point of View (Indirect mention only)
Notes and referencesEdit