The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be... unnatural.
―Palpatine


Sheev Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious or simply as the Emperor, is the main antagonist of the Star Wars franchise.

Starting out as a senator, Palpatine was elected the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, and later became the Sith Emperor of the Galactic Empire, after ordering the genocide of the Jedi Order. He was eventually killed by his redeemed former apprentice, Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, when he tried to kill his son, Luke Skywalker. However, he came back to life years later, taking control of the First Order from the shadows and corrupting Ben Solo/Kylo Ren's mind through Snoke. But when he tried to attack and stop the Resistance and the citizens' fleet from destroying the Sith Eternal's fleet (the Final Order) with his Force lightning, he was finally killed by his granddaughter, Rey.

Background

Biography

Palpatine was trained by Darth Plagueis, the Dark Lord of the Sith. After learning everything he knew, he killed his mentor while he was sleeping and proceeded to take up Maul as his apprentice.

Personality

Initially, Palpatine appeared to be an amiable politician, and a harmless but well-meaning individual. This was a guise used to fool those in the Galactic Senate that he had the best intentions for the galaxy.

However, Palpatine is actually an arrogant, ambitious, power-hungry, and machiavellian individual. He desires absolute power and rule out of a deluded belief that he is above everything else. In addition to his narcissism and arrogance, he is extremely intelligent, patient, cunning, and manipulative.

After Palpatine had successively gained full control of the Galactic Republic, turning it into the Galactic Empire, he abandoned his public persona, becoming openly a tyrannical ruler. Despite this, he never reveals that he is the Dark Lord of the Sith to the public, as only his most trusted followers become aware of his Sith identity. Some of his commanding officers, such as Wilhuff Tarkin, also came to suspect that he is a Sith, but with no way to prove it. He is also very clever about hiding his face by using public holograms and decoys that resemble his Pre-Imperial appearance to make it appear that he recovered from his attack by Mace Windu and often appeared in public.

Palpatine is the only Sith Master/Dark Lord of the Sith in the history of the galaxy to achieve the ultimate goal of the Sith Order to eradicate the Jedi Order, and bring the galaxy under the rule of the Sith to restore the Sith Empire.

Palpatine greatly desires to become immortal. His former mentor, Darth Plagueis, had once had the ability to keep others from dying using the power of the dark side of the Force. Palpatine learned this same ability and desires to use a similar power to increase his lifespan so that he can rule the galaxy forever, with one such scheme involving the creation of a Force-made virus called Project: Blackwing. But Palpatine's searches for such secrets of the Sith result being ultimately fruitless, as the Blackwing virus turned its hosts into undead zombies and had to be eradicated. Thus, he never was able to find a way to become immortal.

Despite this desire for immortality, he can still gamble his own life in order to ensure that an exceptionally powerful Force-user is turned to the dark side. This is especially evident with Anakin Skywalker, when Palpatine casually asked if Anakin was going to kill him and then proceeded to heavily imply that doing so would draw him into the dark side. Later, he repeatedly goaded his son, Luke Skywalker, into trying to kill him, so he'd turn to the dark side. On a related note, just prior to his duel with Yoda and stating the latter wouldn't stop his plans due to Darth Vader, he also expressed some eagerness at the potential of Vader becoming far stronger than even himself. Regardless, Palpatine would later achieve his goal of immortality in a sense by being able to revive himself from death, but at the immense cost of becoming blind, partially rotted, unable to walk and undead. It was revealed in the film's novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, that Palpatine's resurrection was aided by his followers of the cult known as the Sith Eternal, who utilized both the dark side of the Force and powerful technology to help revive their master and liege lord inside a clone body.

Like most practitioners of the dark side of the Force, Palpatine is susceptible to fear to the point of being paranoid. This paranoia is extensive to the point where he fears the power of other Force-users and has them hunted down and either killed or turned to his side as loyal servants. But his paranoia is never extensive to the point of being cowardly, since he is not afraid of getting into direct confrontations with exceptionally powerful opponents (such as Mace Windu and Yoda) or in the cases when he risks himself to turn a Force-user to the dark side. But fear ultimately proves to be Palpatine's weakness, as it causes him to constantly plot and devise schemes against his enemies, which ultimately led to the unexpected creation of the Rebel Alliance, and the eventual downfall of the Galactic Empire.

During the time of the Galactic Empire, Palpatine is not very forgiving, killing his allies or subordinates for failing him even once, except for of Vader and his most trusted followers. He has no tolerance for failure while his former apprentice is able to tolerate failure to a certain extent, as Vader once stated that the Emperor was not as forgiving as he was.

Despite Palpatine's evil nature, he is a known patron of the arts. This is evidenced in the craftsmanship of his lightsabers and in the many statues and sculptures present in his office, during his time as Chancellor. However, he abandoned most of his love of the arts when he became the Sith Emperor in favor of expanding his power. Not only is Palpatine greedy, callous, hateful and cold, but he is also extremely creepy as seen by his disfigured appearance, eerie voice and yellow eyes.

In an interview, Ian McDiarmid (Palpatine's actor) claimed Palpatine is pure evil, and that only Snoke is superior to Palpatine in regards to evil, as the Supreme Leader is a much darker person than the Dark Lord of the Sith ever was (despite being later discovered that Palpatine is actually the Supreme Leader's creator, and was utilizing Snoke to control and manipulate others during his absence).

Despite Palpatine's accomplishments, or perhaps because of them, he is arrogant, manipultive, cruel, hateful and extremely wrathful to the point of underestimating his opponents, such as the Rebel Alliance. He pays no heed to the strength and determination of the Rebellion, mainly as a result of them having just a few Force-users in their group, such as Ahsoka Tano, Kanan Jarrus, Ezra Bridger, and Luke Skywalker.

Like Yoda, Palpatine also believes that once an individual falls to the dark side, they could never be swayed to return to the light side. This is evident in his failure to perceive the love Anakin has for his family and the effect that his son would have on him. This arrogance and lack of insight of his eventually led to Palpatine's first death at the hands of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker, when he attempted to kill Anakin's son, Luke. His arrogance was also the result of his second and final death at the hands of his own granddaughter, Rey. Palpatine underestimated her abilities and determination, and her connection with Anakin's grandson, Ben Solo, was unnoticed to him. He only considered the blood relation between the Skywalkers to be the cause of his last defeat at Anakin's hands, failing to notice Kylo Ren's feelings and strong attachment towards Rey, which prompted Ben to abandon the dark side and come to her rescue on Exegol. As result, until they were both in front of him, he never realized that they were in fact a real dyad, a power which he had been searching for years. Ultimately, his attempts to turn Rey to his side failed because of Ben Solo, and her power combined with the strength of all the past Jedi is proven to be superior to his, allowing his granddaughter to disintegrate him with his own Force lightning.

Powers and Abilities

Powers

  • Power of the Force: Despite Palpatine's old age, he is immensely powerful and has an amazingly strong connection to the Force, as he is the most powerful Sith in existence and overall one of the most powerful Force-users in the history of the galaxy. Palpatine's Force powers are rivaled only by Yoda, and surpassed only by Anakin Skywalker, Luke Skywalker, and the dyad in the Force union between Ben Solo and his granddaughter, Rey. Palpatine's skills with the dark side of the Force are also such that he almost never needed to rely on his lightsabers, and generally believes himself above using such weapons. In addition to this, Palpatine believes the source of his powers exist within the Unknown Regions of the galaxy, and longs to find it. After Palpatine's death at the hands of Anakin during the Battle of Endor, his powers became greater than ever, despite his body being destroyed and his consciousness being transferred into a clone body. He was also able to create an engineered puppet ruler, Snoke, with the assistance of the Sith Eternal cult on Exegol. Later, he managed to physically restore himself by draining power and life from the Force dyad shared between Rey and the grandson of Anakin, Ben Solo. This restoration was only brief as the very power he gained was deflected back on him in the form of his own Force lightning by Rey, assisted by the Jedi from the past.
    • Telekinesis: Palpatine can telekinetically move objects or other individuals without physically touching them, and he utilizes it for offensive or defensive purposes. As a display of power, he used this power to remove Luke Skywalker's binders aboard the second Death Star while barely lifting a finger. His immense level of telekinetic strength was enough that he could affect large structures with ease, specifically the massive hovering platforms within the Senate chamber on Corusant, as he managed to fling multiple hovercrafts at Yoda simultaneously. Conversely, this same strength allowed him to consciously resist telekinetic attacks from most other Force-users, as he did when Anakin attempted to grab, and throttle him with the Force moments after his entombment within his armor, and being informed of his wife, Padmé Amidala's death at his own hands.
      • Force Push: Palpatine can telekinetically send his opponents flying through the air, causing serious injury or temporarily incapacitating/knocking them unconscious, depending on how much power is unleashed.
      • Force Flight: Palpatine can telekinetically levitate himself or to slow-down his fall to the ground.
      • Force Pull: Palpatine can telekinetically pull his opponents or objects towards him.
      • Force Choke: Palpatine can telekinetically choke his opponents to either weaken, kill or intimidate them. He is also able to choke targets that are in another room or even on another planet, by knowing their location relative to himself. This is shown when he was able to choke Dooku, who was on Serenno, from Coruscant while talking to him on a hologram.
      • Force Grip: Palpatine can telekinetically lift his opponents off the ground and into the air, sometimes by the neck, to immobilize them. Due to his immense level of power, the strength of his telekinetic grip is so great that most other Force-users are unable to defend themselves against it.
      • Force Throw: Palpatine can telekinetically cause objects and other individuals to be hurled toward a target at an astounding velocity. He notably used this power while dueling Yoda within the Senate building, specifically to launch multiple viewing platforms simultaneously towards the Jedi Master.
    • Tutaminis: Palpatine can dissipate concentrated energy such as blaster bolts or Force lightning with his bare hands.
    • Force Deflection: Palpatine can telekinetically redirect incoming attacks such as blaster bolts or Force lightning, with or without his lightsaber. He is able to block several shots fired at him by the Rebel spy Eneb Ray with his bare hand when the spy was attempting to assassinate him.
    • Force Drain: Palpatine can drain life-force energy from other individuals. This allowed him to regenerate his almost imperfect naturally degenerated clone body completely back to life. Although he needed to specifically drain the energy from a very powerful source as Rey and Ben Solo's dyad in the Force to be capable of restoring himself, due to the great power their unique bond contain.
    • Force Stealth: Palpatine can conceal his presence from other Force-users. He was not only able to prevent the Jedi Order from being able to detect his Force-sensitivity and dark side alignment, but was also able to suppress the physical transformations caused by the dark side of the Force for almost two decades, allowing him to appear to be a normal human.
    • Telepathy: Palpatine can telepathically communicate with other individuals over small or vast distances. He and by extension his creation, Snoke, were able to do this with Ben Solo throughout his life, eventually leading to Ben's corruption to the dark side.
      • Mind Trick: Palpatine can control the minds of other sentient beings, except for individuals with indomitable wills.
      • Mind Probe: Palpatine can telepathically sense and sift through the thoughts and memories of other sentient beings. His use of a ritualistic dark side altar allowed him to temporarily invade the mind of Yoda with assistance from Dooku, all while his target was light years away on the planet Coraban. This caused Yoda to have a vision designed to tempt him with a chance to end the Clone War and thwart Palpatine's secret future plans, although Yoda managed to fight this temptation and free himself. Additionally he was able to probe the mental defenses of Luke Skywalker during the young Jedi's raid on Imperial Refining Platform M36, creating a vision of him leaving the Galactic Civil War and retreating into isolation, though he managed to free himself from the Emperor and the dark side's attempts to trick him.
    • Force Vision: Palpatine can see visions of the past, present, and future. However, like all Force-users, his visions are not always clear or sometimes they happen without warning.
    • Force Sense: Palpatine can sense another sentient being's emotions, the future, ripples in the Force caused by momentous or traumatic events, impending danger, and the presence of other light or dark side Force-users. However, in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, for unknown reasons, he was unable to sense the presence of Luke Skywalker on Endor, while Darth Vader was able to easily sense the presence of his son because of their Force connection.
    • Force Lightning: Palpatine can create and project bright purple, later blue electricity from both his hands or fingers to weaken, kill or intimidate his opponents. Due to Palpatine's level of power and skill, his lightning possesses greater intensity and power than most who possess the ability, allowing him to potentially cause more greater damage to his target. In the Lords of the Sith novel, he demonstrated the strength of his lightning as being enough to damage machinery, such as a ship's engines, as well as fatally shocking several Lylek's and scorching their blaster resistant carapaces. This power later proved to be his own undoing, when his granddaughter, Rey, used the Skywalker and Leia's lightsabers to redirect it at him, destroying him completely.
    • Force Storm: Palpatine can affect the weather and cause an atmospheric effect with conscious effort.
    • Focused Rage: Palpatine can channel his anger to amplify his strength, durability, endurance, speed, ferocity, aggression, and the potency of his combat prowess/attacks.
    • Force Jump: Palpatine can jump or leap at great distances.
    • Force Dash: Palpatine can move at amazing speeds. He can move so fast that he was able to kill both Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin simultaneously with his lightsaber before the two Jedi Masters could react.

Abilities

  • Master Lightsaber Duelist: Despite Palpatine's frail appearance and old age, he is an extremely skilled lightsaber duelist, as he is one of the deadliest lightsaber duelists in the history of the galaxy. The only individual known to have bested Palpatine in lightsaber combat was Mace Windu. In truth, he actually threw the fight in order to manipulate Anakin Skywalker into killing Mace. His intention was to further corrupt Anakin, which he succeeded at as Anakin became indirectly responsible for Mace's death. Palpatine is one of the few known individuals proven to be able to fight on par against Yoda. His lightsaber combat skills are such that he mastered all the seven forms of lightsaber combat, as he is able to shift from one lightsaber combat form to another fluidly and without effort. Palpatine's technique and combat style is a combination of brutal aggression and lethal precision, making him an almost unstoppable opponent. Ironically, despite Palpatine's masterful dueling skills, he is fairly disdainful of lightsaber combat in general, believing the Sith to have grown beyond the need for lightsabers. He also rarely uses his lightsabers unless absolutely necessary because others would be able to instantly identify him as a Sith, although he still carries them as a way of mocking the Jedi. Despite Palpatine being an exceptionally skilled lightsaber duelist, he was ultimately pressured by Yoda during their duel, as the Grand Master forced him to use the power of Force to fight Yoda to a draw.
    • Form I: Palpatine is a master of Shii Cho.
    • Form II: Palpatine is a master of Makashi.
    • Form III: Palpatine is a master of Soresu.
    • Form IV: Palpatine is a master of Ataru.
    • Form V: Palpatine is a master of Shien/Djem So.
    • Form VI: Palpatine is a master of Niman.
    • Form VII: Palpatine is a master of Juyo/Vaapad.
    • Jar'Kai: Palpatine is a master of Jar'Kai.
    • Shiak: Palpatine is highly skilled in Shiak. He is so skilled at it that he was able to kill both Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin simultaneously before the two Jedi Masters could react.
  • Genius-Level Intellect/Master Tactician/Leader/Manipulator: Palpatine is amazingly intelligent and wise. His intellect and wisdom was rivaled only by Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn, Anakin Skywalker, and Luke Skywalker. As the leader of the Sith Order, he is a highly skilled tactician and a very capable leader. He is very manipulative, as he is able to easily manipulate other individuals directly or indirectly to achieve his goals. Palpatine even managed to manipulate and deceive individuals with genius intellects as Anakin and Ben Solo, causing them to fall to the dark side and turn against the Jedi Order.

Weapons and Equipment

Lightsabers

Palpatine' valued weapons and possessions are his two red-bladed lightsabers, whose hilts are inlaid with gold-colored Electrum, and comprised of Phrik alloy, making them completely indestructible even to other lightsabers. The weapons bear the same appearance to one another save for one being coated in an unknown black alloy. Being a patron of the arts, the lightsabers are elegantly crafted with an artisan's skill and are small enough that they can be easily hidden up his sleeves. While in office as the Supreme Chancellor, Palpatine always kept one of his lightsabers hidden inside a neuranium statue on his desk in his office in case of emergencies. Both lightsabers were utilized together once in his duel on Mandalore against his former apprentice, Darth Maul, and Maul's brother, Savage Oppress. Though the origin of his lightsabers is unknown, Palpatine probably killed two Jedi and corrupted the kyber crystals within their lightsabers with the dark side of the Force to create his signature weapons, as was implied in Darth Vader #1: The Chosen One Part I by Marvel Comics.

  • First Lightsaber: Palpatine had built his first red-bladed lightsaber during his apprenticeship under Darth Plagueis. It would remain in Palpatine's possession until his duel against Mace Windu.
  • Second Lightsaber: At some point, Palpatine had built a second red-bladed lightsaber. It would remain in Palpatine's possession until his death, though he rarely wielded the weapon. It is unknown what happened to it after his first death.

Film Appearances

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Senator Palpatine with Queen Amidala.

Palpatine is a middle-aged politician of the Republic who rises to power through deception and treachery. Outwardly, he behaves like a well-intentioned and loyal public servant and supporter of democracy, yet underneath his affable public persona lurks his true identity; Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith. He orchestrates the invasion of Naboo through pawns Viceroy Nute Gunray and Gunray's assistant, Rune Haako of the Trade Federation. When Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi arrive on Gunray's ship to negotiate, Palpatine orders their deaths, though Gunray fails to kill them.

After Queen Amidala escapes the invasion, Sidious dispatches Darth Maul, his apprentice, to dispose of the Jedi. Pretending to help deal with the invasion as Palpatine, he convinces the Senate to make him the new Chancellor in place of Chancellor Valorum by convincing Amidala to move for a vote of no confidence in Valorum. Soon after, he learns of Queen Amidala's plans to return to Naboo and liberate their people, and dispatches Maul once again to join the subsequent battle.

Amidala's plan is risky, but it succeeds in the end. Gunray is captured, the droid army is immobilized, and Maul is defeated. Sidious' plans to take over Naboo have failed for the time being. He is last seen being introduced to Anakin Skywalker, who has just destroyed the Droid Control Ship.

Star Wars: Attack of the Clones

As Chancellor Palpatine of the Republic, Darth Sidious continues in his guise. To replace Darth Maul, Sidious begins training Count Dooku, a man who used to be a Jedi but turned to the dark side, dubbing him Darth Tyranus.

As Palpatine, he sets up security measures to counter the mercenaries attempting to murder Senator Amidala, also lying to Yoda that he fears the thought of an imminent war (in reality, he anticipates it) he also convinces Jar Jar Binks to propose that the senate grant him emergency powers, allowing him to summon the clone army and consolidate his control. With this new authority, he begins the Battle of Geonosis and later the Clone Wars. After the said battle, Dooku informs him that the war had begun as planned, and even though they lost, it was merely the first step in a greater game. During the war, he continues to set up several events to his advantage. The war goes on for three years.

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Near the end of the Clone Wars, Palpatine fakes kidnapping in order to test Anakin. Hoping to save who he thought was Chancellor Palpatine, Anakin, and Obi-Wan engage Dooku in combat. Although he knocks out Obi-Wan, Dooku is soon at Anakin's mercy. The Jedi is quick to kill him in cold blood, courtesy of Sidious' goading.

Darth Sidious now declares all Jedi enemies of the Republic.

After some additional tension, Obi-Wan and Anakin bring him home safely. Soon after, he has the Separatists moved to Mustafar through General Grievous. He then attends the opera with his soon to be apprentice Anakin and tells him about Darth Plageuis. He keeps his cover by not telling him that he was the sith apprentice that murdered Lord Plageuis. To which he follows his master plan by learning of Anakin's fear for his wife, and plays on it by lying that the dark side can save her life. From there, he deliberately blows his cover, knowing Anakin will report him. Still devoted to the Jedi, Anakin tells Mace Windu of Palpatine's double identity as Darth Sidious, and Mace leads a strike team of four Jedi Masters to arrest him after the destruction of General Grievous. Though, Sidious calculates their arrival and is ready to fight. He quickly cuts down the three Jedi Mace brought along, but had to revert to Force lightning (most of which deflected against himself) manipulates Anakin so he can kill Mace.

After the fight, Sidious prompts Anakin to join him, and Anakin pledges himself to the ways of the Sith and is christened as Darth Vader. He then convinces Vader that the Jedi are plotting to take over the Republic, and sends him to eliminate the Jedi in their headquarters, the Jedi Temple. To take care of the others fighting against the Droid Army, Sidious initiates the sinister Order 66 to the clone troopers which was quickly revealed to turn the clones against the Jedi; this ultimately destroys most of the Jedi and the Republic. On Kashyyyk, the clones not only turned on the Jedi but also betrayed the Wookiees on their home planet which nearly lead to their destruction. With Darth Vader on his way to kill the Separatist leaders, Sidious, as Palpatine, officially ushers in and restores the Sith Empire in the transformation of the Republic into the First Galactic Empire, a brutal authoritarian regime, at a special Senate meeting to thunderous applause.

Sidious goes to his private quarters downstairs to check on Vader via hologram, but is then confronted by Yoda, who survived the Great Jedi Purge. As the duel moves to the Senate chamber, Sidious uses both his lightsaber and Force lightning against Yoda, who is ultimately forced to retreat. He begins a search for Yoda, but turns away when he senses Darth Vader is in severe danger. He flies to Mustafar himself to rescue him, and rebuilds him in a life support suit on Coruscant. To seal his victory over Vader, Sidious tells him he killed Padmé in anger, as she was already dead, which ironically was the truth. Neither knew she gave birth to twins moments before she died. He is last seen overlooking construction of the Death Star.

Rogue One

Although he does not make an appearance, Palpatine is mentioned in this film as "the Emperor" by various members of the Galactic Empire.

Star Wars: A New Hope

Palpatine is first referred to as the unnamed "Emperor" of the Galactic Empire in the events of this film by several Imperial officers including Grand Moff Tarkin. Tarkin explains to the fellow Imperials on the Death Star that the Emperor has dissolved the Imperial Senate. The Emperor himself does not make an appearance, leaving Tarkin and Darth Vader as the film's main villains.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

"There is a great disturbance in the Force."

As the unnamed Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Palpatine first appears voiced by Clive Revill. He contacts Darth Vader via holographic communication, informing him of a "great disturbance in the Force" and that Luke Skywalker ("the offspring of Anakin Skywalker") is becoming a threat and could destroy them. Vader insists he is just a boy and his mentor, Obi-Wan Kenobi, can no longer help him (neither of them know that Yoda has replaced Obi-Wan as Luke's teacher), but the Emperor insists Luke is still strong with the Force. However, Vader convinces the Emperor that Luke would be a perfect asset if he could be turned to the dark side of the Force. Taking an interest in Vader's suggestion, the Emperor asks if Vader thinks it can be done, and Vader replies that Luke would join them or die.

Years later, during production of Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas decided to shoot new footage for The Empire Strikes Back to create continuity between the prequels and original trilogy. Thus, in the 2004 DVD release of the films, the original version of the Emperor was replaced by actor Ian McDiarmid, who portrayed Palpatine in the other films. The dialogue between the Emperor and Darth Vader was revised, such as "the offspring of Anakin Skywalker" rather than saying Luke's name.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

The Emperor first appears in person (now portrayed by Ian McDiarmid) arriving on the second Death Star to oversee the final stages of the war between his Empire and the Rebel Alliance. He is seen again speaking with Darth Vader. Later, when Vader returns, he immediately scolds him to remain in the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor before his apprentice informs him of Luke's arrival on Endor, a development that genuinely surprised him. When Vader delivers his son to the Emperor - intent on replacing Vader with a younger, more powerful apprentice - tempts the young Jedi to the dark side by appealing to his fear for his friends, having revealed that he was leading the Rebel Alliance into a trap to wipe them out once and for all.

This leads to a lightsaber duel in which Luke defeats and nearly kills Vader, in a reversal of the duel from the previous film. Luke ultimately refuses to turn to the dark side, intending to resurrect the Jedi Order that the Emperor destroyed at the end of the Clone Wars. This angers the Emperor, who attacks him with Force lightning, ignoring the danger as the shield generator protecting the second Death Star has been destroyed by the Rebel strike team, allowing Lando Calrissian, Nien Nunb, and Wedge Antilles to prepare to attack it.

Witnessing the suffering of his son, Vader turns on his master, who was really the true traitor and enemy of the Galactic Republic that he was warned of back in the Clone Wars, and redeems himself by throwing the evil Emperor into the second Death Star's reactor shaft to his death, fulfilling the Prophecy as the Chosen One, which the Emperor spent a lifetime trying to prevent. With the Emperor's first death, as well as that of Darth Vader, the Sith were destroyed, and with the loss of the Emperor and his right-hand, the Empire was finished as well.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

In the second lesson Luke teaches Rey about the Force, he claims that the legacy of the Jedi is failure because they allowed Darth Sidious to rise, create the Empire, and wipe them out.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Darth Sidious has sent a threatening broadcast to the galaxy and promised revenge. Kylo Ren finds Sidious on Exegol in his badly damaged and broken body attached to a life support system. Sidious reveals that while he did indeed die on the second Death Star, he has since come back to life (citing the phrase "the dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural" that he used to lure Anakin to the dark side) and has been hiding in the shadows, saying that he was always the one behind the First Order. In the film's novelization, Sidious is revealed to have used a cloned, undead body of himself to transfer his consciousness into in order to revive himself. He reveals that he is the one that has been manipulating Kylo Ren all along by imitating Snoke and his deceased grandfather Darth Vader, whom Ren had thought he was able to communicate with.

Sidious was also the puppet master behind the late Supreme Leader Snoke's reign until his demise. He promises to give Kylo control of the Final Order, the largest starfleet in the history of the galaxy, which he has spent the past several years amassing. He is later revealed to be the grandfather of Rey, and wants her to give into the dark side and kill him so they can become one and she can rule a new Sith Empire as Empress Palpatine. When a redeemed Ben Solo stops her from reluctantly submitting to his wishes, Sidious uses the power of their Force dyad to revitalize himself and regenerate his damaged body before trying to wipe out the Resistance with his Force lightning.

Upon gaining help of the Jedi from the past, she defies the Sith Lord, blocking his Force lightning with the Skywalker and Leia's lightsabers. Using the full might of his power, Sidious declares her to be no match for him, stating that he is all of the Sith. Rey, defiant declares herself as all of the Jedi, and overwhelms her grandfather, deflecting his own power back at him. Unable to withstand his own power and hers being returned at him, Sidious can only watch as he is reduced to ash by his own lightning, finally killing him. Completely disintegrated, Sidious' final death ultimately destroys the Sith forever, and restores true peace to the galaxy.

Television Appearances

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

As both Chancellor Palpatine and Darth Sidious, he is one of the recurring characters as well as the hidden main antagonist in the animated series. Palpatine continues to serve as Supreme Chancellor while his Sith identity orchestrates the Clone Wars behind the scenes. Under his Chancellor Palpatine persona, he oversees the Senate, senators like Padmé Amidala, and the various activities of the Jedi and their clone army. As Darth Sidious, he usually speaks with Separatists allies like Dooku via hologram and would usually assign them a number of sinister tasks. Sidious hires bounty hunter Cad Bane to infiltrate the Jedi Temple and steal a holocron which contains a valuable Kyber memory crystal that contains the names of thousands of Force-sensitive younglings – the future of the Jedi Order – from around the galaxy. The final stage of the plot: to bring four Force-sensitive children to Sidious' secret facility on Mustafar.

In season three, Sidious senses Dooku's minion Asajj Ventress becoming powerful in the dark side and orders Dooku to eliminate her, suspecting that Dooku plans to have Ventress assassinate him. However, Ventress survives and her revenge against Dooku sets off a chain of events including the return of Sidious' former apprentice and Dooku's predecessor, Darth Maul.

In season five, Sidious discovers that his former apprentice is still alive and leads Death Watch. Traveling to Mandalore, Sidious ends up clashing with Maul and his brother Savage Oppress when he realizes that they had become an obstacle for the Sith, killing Savage Opress before torturing Maul with the intent to make use of his former apprentice. In "The Wrong Jedi", Chancellor Palpatine oversaw Ahsoka Tano's trial, which ultimately led to the former Jedi to have a "not-guilty" verdict.

In season six, as both Palpatine and Sidious, he goes to lengths to conceal his plan's full nature from the Jedi by silencing Clone Trooper Fives from learning of Order 66, and having Dooku wipe out anything tied to the former Jedi Master's connection to the conspiracy. In the season 7 episode "Shattered", both Ahsoka and Maul have visions of Palpatine, Anakin Skywalker, and Mace Windu, shortly before Rex receives a hologram from Sidious telling the clones to "Execute Order 66" in order to take out Ahsoka as an enemy of the Republic.

Star Wars Rebels

In the first season, Emperor Palpatine makes a brief appearance on the Holonet broadcast in the episode "Empire Day", but makes a vocal appearance in the second season premiere episode and television movie "The Siege of Lothal". In the latter, the Emperor is voiced by Sam Witwer, who originally provided both the voices of Emperor Palpatine and Galen Marek/Starkiller (Darth Vader's apprentice) in the 2008 video game Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and its sequel. For the fourth and final season of Rebels, McDiarmid returned to provide the Emperor's voice instead, as well as subsequently re-recorded Witwer's dialogue from the second season premiere.

In the episodes "Wolves and a Door", Emperor Palpatine appears as a hologram overseeing the excavation of the Lothal Jedi Temple, which contains a portal to a separate dimension of the Force outside of space and time, which Palpatine considers a 'conduit between the living and the dead' that could give him unrivaled power of the Force itself if he can access it. In "A World Between Worlds", shortly after Ezra Bridger reaches through time and space to rescue Ahsoka Tano from Vader, Palpatine sets up a portal through the ceremonial chamber in the tower at the Works in Coruscant that he use the Sith Alchemy to open the portal to the world between worlds where Ezra and Ahsoka are. Using the fire energy power against them, Palpatine caught Ezra's leg and pulling him while trying to get through the portal but stopped by Ahsoka cut the fiery lasso. He then tried again but failed to catch Ahsoka and Ezra that they made it through the portal back to their world, thus denying the Emperor full power.

Palpatine later appeared in the series finale "Family Reunion - and Farewell" via hologram that presented his old self, where he tried to trick Ezra, but failed. As his hologram flickered to show his true self, Palpatine commands his Royal Guards to kill Ezra, though Ezra manages to defeat them and escape.

Video Games

Star Wars: Force Arena

Emperor Palpatine is a playable character in Star Wars: Force Arena as a Legendary squad leader card.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Emperor Palpatine appears in the Prologue, which narrates the events of the Battle of Endor.[1]

Other Appearances

Star Wars Weekends

Darth Sidious was a meetable character during the Star Wars Weekends event in Disney's Hollywood Studios at The Walt Disney World.

Relationships

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The Disney Wiki has an article focusing on the relationships of Palpatine.

Gallery

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The Disney Wiki has a collection of images and media related to Palpatine.

Trivia

  • Palpatine/Darth Sidious is often considered as one of the most evil movie villains ever created as he is mostly known for being the most ruthless or sinister in the Star Wars universe, being the mastermind behind most of the series' events.
    • Since the initial theatrical run of Return of the Jedi, Sidious has become a symbol of evil and sinister deception in popular culture. People have compared Palpatine's corrupt leadership to many dictators throughout history and his appearance to that of Benedict Arnold.
  • The film historian Robin Wood has compared Sidious' appearance to that of the Evil Queen's witch form in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Coincidentally, both of their disfigured appearances had some relation to lightning that they summoned (the Queen added lightning to a potion as part of an ingredient to fashion a disguise for herself and Sidious' body ended up disfigured as a direct result of Mace Windu redirecting his Force Lightning back at Sidious when he attempted to blast him with it, although it was heavily implied with the latter, at least in the old Expanded Universe, that the disfigurements were actually his true form being exposed).
  • Contrary to popular belief, neither of the names "Palpatine" or "Sidious" was not referred to by name until The Phantom Menace. His name originated from supplementary materials such as the visual dictionary for the original trilogy, the script, and the novelizations.
  • During production of Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas decided to shoot new footage for The Empire Strikes Back to create continuity between the prequels and original trilogy. Thus, in the 2004 DVD release of the films, the original version of the Emperor was replaced by actor Ian McDiarmid, who portrayed Palpatine in the other films. The dialogue between the Emperor and Darth Vader was revised, such as "the offspring of Anakin Skywalker" rather than saying Luke's name.
  • For the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film and subsequent TV show, Palpatine/Sidious was voiced by veteran actor Ian Abercrombie. Abercrombie passed away on January 26, 2012, leading to the legendary actor Tim Curry replacing him in the final seconds of "The Lawless" as well as the remaining episodes of Star Wars: The Clone Wars series, for which he was credited, beginning the fifth season finale "The Wrong Jedi". In the season 7 episode "Shattered", Ian McDiarmand voices Sidious through an archival recording from Revenge of the Sith telling "Execute Order 66" to Rex.
  • For Star Wars Rebels, while being mentioned in the series, Palpatine debuts in the second season premiere episode "The Siege of Lothal" with the Emperor voiced by Sam Witwer, who had previously voiced the character in Star Wars: The Force Unleashed. In 2019, McDiarmid subsequently re-recorded Witwer's dialogue from the second season premiere.
    • In addition, Ian McDiarmid voiced him for Season 4, marking the first time he's portrayed the character in a Star Wars production since Revenge of the Sith, as well as the first time he's portrayed the character in a non-film appearance. He is also the seventh Star Wars actor to reprise a role they portrayed in the films in Rebels, after Darth Vader, C-3PO, Yoda, Lando Calrissian, Saw Gerrera, and Mon Mothma.
  • According to the series creator of Star Wars Rebels, Dave Filoni, the events of Rogue One and A New Hope happen shortly after the series finale episode "Family Reunion - and Farewell", thus refocusing Palpatine's attention from Ezra and Lothal's liberation to the Rebel Alliance and Luke Skywalker.[2]
  • Sidious' primary inspiration in the Prequels had been former President of the United States Richard Milhous Nixon.
  • The Emperor uses a cane because he pretends to be weak, not because he needs it.
  • While no explicit explanation is given in The Rise of Skywalker to how he managed to cheat death in Return of the Jedi, he quotes the phrase "the dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural" when he appears onscreen for the first time, implying that he used unknown Force powers to resurrect himself at some point before the events of The Force Awakens.
    • It was later revealed by the film's novelization and interviews with Ian McDiarmid himself that Sidious used an undead clone of his own body to transfer his consciousness into using technology and the dark side of the Force.
    • One of the failed clones Sidious created to try and achieve immortality in this way became Rey's father.
    • These aforementioned cloning attempts are similar to the Legends Continuity Star Wars comics Dark Empire, in which Sidious used an endless supply of clones of himself to achieve immortality.
  • In The Rise of Skywalker novelization, it is revealed that Sidious once attempted to create the dyad connection with Anakin Skywalker to gain more power, and before that Sidious' master also had tried to create one with him. However, as it was just a pale imitation of the original one, these attempts failed. Because Sidious spent years searching for this power, he becomes really surprised and triumphant upon finding out that Rey and Ben are a real dyad in the Force.
  • Like his former pawn, the bounty hunter and the original host of clone troopers, Jango Fett, who had an unaltered clone as a "son", Emperor Palpatine also considered his non-force sensitive and non-identical clone as his "son".
  • Sidious' defeat and death at the hands of Vader was referenced in Toy Story 3, where Big Baby picked up Lotso after one abuse too many and threw him in the dumpster. At the time the movie was released, Disney had not acquired the rights to Star Wars yet, though many of the Disney/Pixar films, including all of the Toy Story films, have included references to aspects of the Star Wars franchise.

External links

References


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Media
Main Saga: The Force AwakensThe Last JediThe Rise of Skywalker

Star Wars Stories: Rogue OneSolo
Television: Star Wars: The Clone WarsStar Wars Rebels/VideographyStar Wars: Forces of DestinyStar Wars ResistanceThe MandalorianStar Wars: The Book of Boba FettStar Wars: AndorStar Wars: Obi-Wan KenobiStar Wars: The AcolyteStar Wars: AhsokaStar Wars: LandoStar Wars: Rangers of the New Republic
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Books: Star Wars Rebels: The Visual GuideUltimate Sticker Collection: Star Wars RebelsStar Wars The Adventures of Luke Skywalker, Jedi KnightAhsokaStar Wars: BloodlineThe Art of Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryBattlefront II: Inferno SquadLost Stars Star Wars: The High Republic: Light of the Jedi Star Wars: The High Republic: Into the Dark Star Wars: The High Republic: A Test of Courage
Comics: Marvel ComicsStar Wars AdventuresStar Wars: Forces of Destiny
Soundtrack: The Force AwakensRogue OneSolo

Disney Parks
Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (California, Florida) • Star Wars WeekendsSeason of the ForceCarbon Freeze MeHyperspace MountainMillennium Falcon: Smuggler's RunRock 'n' Roller Coaster Starring AerosmithStar ToursStar Tours: The Adventures ContinueStar Wars: Command PostStar Wars: Path of the JediStar Wars: Rise of the ResistanceStar Wars Launch Bay

Entertainment: Behind the Force: Experience The Clone WarsJedi Training: Trials of the TempleStar Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
Restaurants: BB-8 Snack CartOga's Cantina
Shops: Endor VendorsTatooine TradersThe Star Trader
Parade: Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade
Firework: Ignite the Dream: A Nighttime Spectacular of Magic and LightRemember... Dreams Come TrueStar Wars: A Galactic SpectacularWorld of Color: Celebrate!
Resorts: Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser (Opening in 2021)

Characters
Jedi: Luke SkywalkerAnakin SkywalkerObi-Wan KenobiYodaMace WinduQui-Gon JinnShaak TiKit FistoAhsoka TanoDepa BillabaLuminara UnduliBarriss OffeeAayla SecuraPlo KoonEzra BridgerKanan JarrusRey

Sith/Dark Jedi: Darth VaderPalpatineMaulCount DookuAsajj VentressKylo RenThe Grand InquisitorFifth BrotherSixth BrotherSeventh SisterEighth BrotherProsset Dibs
Clones/Stormtroopers: Clone TroopersRexWolffeGregorCodyStormtroopersScout TroopersDeath TroopersFirst Order StormtroopersJumptroopersPyreCaptain Phasma

Others from films
Prequel Trilogy: Padmé AmidalaGeneral GrievousSebulbaClegg HoldfastBail OrganaJar Jar BinksJango Fett
Original Trilogy: Leia OrganaHan SoloChewbaccaLando CalrissianWilhuff TarkinAdmiral AckbarMon MothmaWedge AntillesWicket W. WarrickOwen LarsBeru Whitesun LarsBib FortunaFigran D'an and the Modal NodesEmperor's Royal GuardSalacious CrumbTIE PilotsAT-AT driversRebel PilotsNien NunbJabba the HuttWullf YularenBoba Fett
Sequel Trilogy: FinnPoe DameronLor San TekkaMaz KanataSupreme Leader SnokeGeneral HuxFirst Order TIE PilotsSidon IthanoTeedoUnkar PluttPraetorian GuardRose TicoVice Admiral Amilyn HoldoDJZorii BlissJannahAllegiant General Pryde
Anthology Series: Jyn ErsoCassian AndorBodhi RookKrennicChirrut ÎmweBaze MalbusGalen ErsoLyra ErsoImperial Hovertank PilotsEdrioWeeteef CyubeeQi'raEnfys Nest

Others from television
Star Wars: The Clone Wars: Hondo OhnakaCham SyndullaCad BaneNumaBo-Katan KryzeSaw Gerrera
Star Wars Rebels: Garazeb OrreliosSabine WrenHera SyndullaAgent KallusCikatro VizagoZare LeonisMaketh TuaValen Rudor Cumberlayne AreskoMyles GrintZare LeonisJai KellTseeboAzmoriganGall TrayvisImperial Combat DriversKassius KonstantineQuarrieKetsu OnyoBrom TitusRyder AzadiEphraim and Mira BridgerThrawnArihnda PryceChavaGronFenn RauThe BenduGar SaxonJun SatoMart MattinGooti TerezJonner JinMorad SumarUrsa WrenTristan WrenYogar LysteVult SkerrisRukh
Star Wars Resistance: Kazuda XionoTam RyvoraJarek YeagerTorra DozaFreya FenrisGriff HalloranElrik VonregImanuel DozaTiernyNeeku Vozo
The Mandalorian: Din DjarinGroguGreef KargaCara Dune

Others from comics: Dok-OndarVi Moradi

Droids
R2-D2C-3PORX-24G2-9TG2-4TAly San SanR2-MKGonk droidsC1-10PROX-NWEG-1618AC-38R5-D2BB-8ID9 Seeker DroidAP-5K-2SOBattle DroidsKalaniDroidekasR3-A3Imperial Sentry DroidEG-86BB-9EL3-37IG-88D-O
Creatures/Races
SarlaccTauntaunBanthaEwoksWookieesGungansTwi'leksJawasTogrutaHuttRodiansTusken RaidersDewbacksKrayt DragonYoda's SpeciesGungansLoth-catFyrnockPurrgilKyuzoConvorRancorKryknaLasatRathtarPuffer PigGeonosianZabraksLoth-WolfPorgVulptexFathierVexis
Episodes
Star Wars Rebels episode listStar Wars: Forces of Destiny episode listStar Wars Resistance episode listThe Mandalorian episode list
Organizations
Rebel AllianceGalactic EmpireJediConfederacy of Independent SystemsSithGalactic RepublicMandalorianFirst OrderResistanceInquisitoriusJedi Temple GuardsChurch of the ForceNew RepublicKnights of RenSith Eternal
Objects/Weapons
LightsaberBlasterEzra's Energy SlingshotHolocronBo-RifleKyber crystalSynthetic kyber crystalDarksaberSacred Jedi textsSith wayfinder
Spacecrafts/Vehicles
StarSpeeder 3000Millennium FalconX-WingY-WingA-WingB-WingU-WingT-70 X-Wing FighterSnowspeederImperial ShuttleImperial Star DestroyerSlave ITIE FighterTIE Advanced x1TIE BomberTIE InterceptorTIE Advanced v1TIE DefenderFirst Order TIE fighterFirst Order Special Forces TIE FighterTIE StrikerTIE SilencerTIE WhisperKylo Ren's command shuttleAT-ATAT-STAT-ACTAT-DPFirst Order AT-STFirst Order AT-ATAT-M6Super Star DestroyerJedi Mickey's StarfighterBlockade RunnerGhostPhantom/Phantom IIImperial Speeder Bike614-AvA Speeder BikeImperial Landing CraftEF76 Nebulon-B escort frigateImperial FreighterFirst Order Star DestroyerImperial InterdictorHammerhead CorvetteSato's HammerNightbrotherZeta-Class Cargo ShuttleSupremacyColossus
Locations
TatooineDeath StarYavin 4HothDagobahYoda's HutCloud CityBespinDeath Star IIEndorRylothNabooCoruscantJedi TempleKaminoGeonosisKashyyykMustafarMandaloreLothalLothal Jedi TempleJakkuStarkiller BaseTakodanaD'QarLuke Skywalker's Jedi TempleAhch-ToFirst Jedi TempleTree LibraryMirror CaveAtollonGarelMalachorMalachor Sith TempleWobaniRing of KafreneEaduScarifJedhaDathomirDantooineCraitBatuuExegol
See Also
The ForceStar Wars: Star Tours (toy line)


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