Allies and Subordinates
Palpatine met Darth Plageius, the Dark Lord of the Sith and leader of the Sith Order, by unknown means, and became his apprentice. Palpatine was renamed Darth Sidious, and trained in the ways of the dark side of the Force by his master. Eventually, Palpatine murdered his master in his sleep and became the official leader of the Sith Order.
- “You have been well trained, my young apprentice.”
- ―Palpatine to Maul
Palpatine kidnapped Maul from his mother when he was an infant. After Plagieus gave him permission, Palpatine took the Nightbrother on as his apprentice and trained the Dathormirian in the ways of the Sith. He mistreated him, however, merely seeing him as a tool that will obey his every command. When Maul was defeated and seemingly killed by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Palpatine felt no real loss and simply replaced Maul with another apprentice. His final act of service to Sidious was helping him become Surpreme Chancellor and helping him discover Anakin Skywalker.
When Maul resurfaced with his brother Savage Opress, Palpatine saw the pair as a rival splinter faction and took Maul prisoner after murdering Opress. The Nightbrother later escaped and fled to Malachor to obtain the Sith Holocron in the Sith Temple there. Sidious later had Darth Vader dispatch the Eighth Brother to hunt him and the Holocron down.
After Maul's defeat on Naboo, Palpatine took Dooku in as his second apprentice. Together, the pair created the Separatist Crisis which enabled him to remain in office after his term expired and the Clone Wars which forced the Senate to vote him emergency powers. Tyranus's allies also created the plans for the First Death Star. He also allowed Tyranus to train both General Grievous and Asajj Ventress. Tyranus's clumsiness however lead to the Jedi discovering Dooku is Darth Tyranus and about the bio-chips ensuring some of the Clones had theirs removed and enable themselves to disobey Order 66. When Anakin finally defeated Dooku, Palpatine ordered Anakin to kill him and Anakin complied. In the end, Dooku was merely a tool Palpatine used to convert Anakin into a Sith Lord.
- “What is thy bidding, my master?”
- ―Darth Vader whenever in Palpatine's presence
Palpatine desired to have Anakin Skywalker as his apprentice since day one both due to the fact that Anakin's Force potential was high and because he saw a lot of his younger-self in the boy thus enabling him to realize that the boy was half-Sith already and didn't even know it. Anakin idolized Palpatine from the start. When Anakin finally became Darth Vader, Palpatine finally unleashed the final phase of Darth Bane's grand plan and told Yoda, Vader would be more powerful than either of them. After Vader became a cyborg, Palpatine's faith in Vader was temporarily shaken due to sensing Vader was still between worlds. He sent Vader on many errands to help him complete his transformation starting with a mission to Murkana to execute Clone Troopers who disobeyed Order 66. His faith in Vader was restored when Vader proved that becoming a cyborg had strengthened him instead of weakening him during the Subjugation of Kashyyyk. His faith in Vader was also strong to the point where he allowed Vader to found and train the entire Imperial Inquisition. Such was the faith in his apprentice's loyalty and ability that Palpatine ultimately told Vader the reasons for his remaking into a cyborg after the events on Mustafar that left him crippled; in order for the Empire to survive, Vader himself had to also survive. Where Maul was but a loss and Darth Tyranus a tool to serve his purpose and be discarded, Vader was the true candidate to rule at Palpatine's side. But when he was disfigured, the plan to create the Galactic Empire was nearly ruined. However, by rebuilding him as the cyborg he would become, Palpatine saved both Vader and his plans for creating his Empire, therefore remolding him into what he considered to be the ultimate embodiment of strength and loyalty. This trust in Vader made him underestimate Luke Skywalker's positive influence on Vader and made him not take the matter seriously until it was too late.
Grevious was the only Separatist besides Dooku and the Separatist Council who knew about Sidious's involvment in the Clone Wars. However he didn't know that Sidious and Palpatine were the same person.
Like Vader, Tarkin was one of Palpatine's most trusted followers. When Palpatine used his emergency powers to pass the Sector Governance Decree, a law that created the position of Moff and Planetary Governor, Tarkin became the first Moff. After Palpatine declared himself Emperor, Tarkin became the first Grand Moff and Palpatine placed him in charge of the entire Outer Rim and the construction of the Death Star.
Like Vader and Tarkin, Thrawn was one of the Emperor's most loyal and deadly followers.
Palpatine met Gallius Rax on Jakku during the events Star Wars: Aftermath, where the orphaned boy had grown up. Upon meeting Rax, Palpatine offered him a choice; let Palpatine kill him quickly or accept the destiny Palpatine had foreseen for him. Choosing the latter, Rax became Palpatine's protege and was given the task of guarding the archaeological dig site Palpatine had commissioned there. Before leaving, Palpatine stated that he and Rax would be on a first-name basis with one another, as Palpatine stated that even an emperor must have friends. As such, Gallius Rax had the marked distinction of becoming one of the few if not the only person in the galaxy to truly be considered Palpatine's friend. Their friendship was such that it also eventually led to Rax's promotion to Admiral in the Imperial Navy.
At first, Mace respected Palpatine due to not succumbing to the corruption in the Senate. However, after the existence of Darth Sidious was revealed to the Jedi Order, Mace resolved to keep a closer eye on the Senate and by the final days of the Clone Wars, he began to realize that Palpatine was not what he seemed. After Palpatine was revealed to be the Dark Lord of the Sith, Mace tried to kill him only to be stopped and literally disarmed by Anakin, which enabled Palpatine to kill him.
Yoda got along well with Palpatine. However, by the final days of the Clone Wars, Yoda began to realize that the Chancellor was not what he seemed. After the Execution of Order 66, Yoda learned that Palpatine was Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith who was behind all the trouble the Sith Order had been causing for thirteen years. He decided to kill the new Emperor. He failed but managed to gain an insight about the Banite Sith and escape. Palpatine never bothered to look for him. His not looking for Yoda proved to be the mistake that would destroy him because Yoda would go on to train Luke Skywalker, who brought about the event that would undo Darth Bane's grand plan; the return of the Jedi Knights.
Obi-Wan did not think much of Palpatine even after the existence of Darth Sidious was revealed, being the first to realize that the Chancellor was too good to be true. However, Obi-Wan began to become alarmed by Palpatine's increasingly dictatorial authority. These insights later saved his life. After the Execution of Order 66 and the Declaration of a New Order, Obi-Wan discovered that Palpatine was the Dark Lord of the Sith. After Obi-Wan went into exile, Palpatine, unlike Vader, made no attempt to find him due to regarding him as not worth it. This proved to be a mistake that would become his undoing.
Like her husband, Padmé saw Palpatine as a mentor and respected him for not succumbing to the corruption in the Senate. However, during the final days of the Clone Wars, Padmé began to realize that the Supreme Chancellor was too good to be true, and joined the Delegation of two thousand, a group that opposed the Chancellor's growing dictatorial authority. During one such meeting, Padmé reminded the others that Palpatine had a supermajority in the Senate on his side and even went so far as to suggest turning to the Jedi Order for support. The others, however, felt that that was too extreme and, naively, believed that the Petition of two thousand would convince him to moderate his police state tactics and seek a diplomatic solution to the Clone Wars since it would show him that opposition to his methods was growing. When Palpatine declared the Birth of the Galactic Empire and proclaimed himself Emperor, Padmé realized with horror that Palpatine had used the war to establish a monarchy with himself as the monarch and warned Bail not to speak out against him because she knew it was too soon. She was horrified when Obi-Wan revealed to her that the new emperor was Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith. Her twins would go on to bring Palpatine down.
Bail Organa initially supported Palpatine. But as the Supreme Chancellor increasingly used his emergency powers to amass dictatorial powers, Bail realized that the Chancellor was not what he seemed. When Palpatine declared himself Emperor, Bail wanted to protest but was stopped by Padmé. Padmé advised him to be patient, telling him that Palpatine had the government in his hands and the people on his side which doomed any rebellion at this stage to failure and would just be used by the new emperor to destroy the Senate and what remained of the bureaucracy he had been forced to preserve in order to retain control of the galaxy. Bail knew she was right. Afterwards, he laern from Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi that Palpatine was a Sith Lord. When the pair's attempts to destroy the Sith failed, he helped them escape into exile. After Padme died, he took in Leia and raised her as his own. Bail later recruited Ahsoka Tano and had her establish the Rebel Network, a collection of Rebel cells, to undermine Palpatine until it was time for open rebellion.
Like her then-mentor Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka initially respected Palpatine, but the two became enemies after she left the Jedi Order; after Palpatine declared himself emperor, Ahsoka helped Bail Organa create the Rebel Network.
They eventually met when Palpatine was intending to gain access to the World Between Worlds. Palpatine, underestimating Ahsoka and believing she and Ezra were his, with the intention to kill Ahsoka and take Ezra for his ability to access the dimension, attacked her with blue flames but Ahsoka was much more powerful than Palpatine expected and though unable to repel Palpatine's attacks effectively, she was still able to save herself and Ezra and help him escape while Palpatine failed to kill her.
Like Padme and Bail, Mon initiallly respected Palpatine for not succombing to the corruption that plagued the Galactic Senate and the Republic bureaucracy. However this respect was shattered as the Surpreme Chancellor used the emergency powers granted to him during the Clone Wars to obtain increasingly dictitorial powers. Mon joined the Delegation of two thousand to draft a petition to demand an end to the Clone Wars and his police state tactics. When the Chancellor declared himself Emperor, Mon, like Bail, pledged to dedicate her life to restoring the Republic and democracy that the new emperor destroyed. When the Rebel Network Bail created became the Rebel Alliance, Mon became it's leader. When she learned about the Death Star II and how Palpatine would be onboard during it's completion, Mon approved orders to attack due to seeing it as a chance to finally overthrow him. When the Rebel Alliance won the Battle of Endor and became the New Galactic Republic, Mon became it's first Chancellor. Chancellor Mon dedicated herself to ensureing that the New Republic never succumbed to the same incredible corruption and dangerous complacency that made the Birth of the Galactic Empire possible and after the Galactic Concordance was signed, she relinquished the emergency powers she was granted and passed the Military Disarmenat Act. She also allowed Leia Organa to create and lead the Resistance to keep the First Order in check.
Unlike her father, Anakin Skywalker, Leia hated Palpatine from an early age; Bail raised her to be dedicated to overthrowing the Emperor and restoring the Republic he had destroyed. He also taught her to keep these sentiments to herself so Alderaan would not get in trouble. When Leia was discovered to be a Rebel, Palpatine used her allegiance as a pretext to do what he always intended; to dissolve the Imperial Senate permanently and destroy what was left of the Old Republic's bureaucracy and make himself an absolute monarch.
- “Your overconfidence is your weakness.”
- ―Luke Skywalker to Palpatine
Unlike his father Anakin Skywalker, Luke hated Palpatine from an early age; when Luke's existence was discovered, Palpatine supported Vader's decision to convert him into a Sith Lord. Palpatine tried to bring Luke over to his side the same way he brought Anakin to it, but Luke saw through it and refused. Angered, Palpatine tried to kill him, but Vader became Anakin again and killed him.