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Emperor Palpatine is a Dark Lord of the Sith in the Order of the Sith Lords. Also known as Darth Sidious, Palpatine served as the last Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic before overthrowing it.
Having destroyed the Galactic Republic, Emperor Palpatine became the first Emperor of the Galactic Empire.
Who is Emperor Palpatine
The man who became Darth Sidious and later Galactic Emperor was born on the planet Naboo and had the given name Sheev Palpatine.
According to the official Star Wars timeline, Emperor Palpatine ruled the Empire from 19 BBY until 4 ABY.
On his way to ultimate power, Palpatine served in the Senate of the Galactic Republic, representing his home planet. At this time, he also used Darth Sidious identity to further his political career.
Palpatine/Sidious brought about the fall of the Republic and the Jedi Order by provoking the Clone Wars. When the time was right, he made himself emperor, a position he held until he died during the Battle of Endor.
This wasn’t the last the galaxy would see of Palpatine, who used powers granted to him by the dark side of the Force to return from the dead and trouble his old enemies decades later.
Where was Darth Sidious born?
The origin of Darth Sidious was a secret he took to the grave more than once. About eighty-four years before the Battle of Yavin, Sheev Palpatine was born on the planet Naboo.
The Palpatines were a noble family on their world, although by the Imperial era the family was believed to have died off long before.
Palpatine was raised in the city of Theed, the cosmopolitan capital of Naboo, where he formed connections with many legitimate politicians over centuries, learning the subtleties of wielding power along the way.
It’s unknown exactly when Palpatine became a Sith, but we do know that he was an apprentice of the Dark Lord Darth Plagueis. Upon pledging himself to his master, he took the name Darth Sidious.
As an apprentice, he constructed his own lightsabers and studied the ways of the Force as handed down by his Sith predecessors, including the ancient Darth Bane.
Is Senator Palpatine the Sith Lord?
As explained in the novel Darth Plagueis, a young Sheev Palpatine was tempted to the dark side of the Force while collecting Sith artefacts.
Soon after he met Hego Damask, a powerful businessman from Muun who led a dual life as the Sith Lord, Darth Plagueis.
Soon after Palpatine killed his own family to dedicate himself to becoming Plagueis’ apprentice. Seeing his resolve, the Sith Lord who became his master gave him the name Darth Sidious.
Like his master before him, Sidious maintained his Sheev Palpatine identity, becoming active in politics on his home planet, Naboo.
After arranging the assassination of his predecessor in the job, Palpatine became the planet’s senator. He would use this powerful perch over many years to accumulate more political sway while mastering the dark side of the Force.
When did Palpatine meet Anakin?
Palpatine orchestrated his own capture by Separatist forces under Count Dooku’s control. As he expected, he was rescued by Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker.
Urged on by Palpatine, Anakin cut down Dooku, who was his own apprentice, Darth Tyranus.
Recognizing the potential power of the young Jedi, Palpatine/Sidious began to try to bring Skywalker to the dark side of the Force and make him his new apprentice.
The future Emperor used the Jedi’s worries over the health of his pregnant wife, Padme Amidala, to manipulate him. Palpatine gave Skywalker the idea that by becoming powerful in the dark side of the Force he could ensure that his love would survive the birth of their child.
Ironically, rather than saving Padme, Anakin’s turn to the dark side led to her death.
Taking on the name Darth Vader, he became the most powerful ally Palpatine ever had, with Vader becoming a central part of his plan to wipe out the Jedi and rule the galaxy.
Who were Palpatine’s Sith apprentices?
At some point prior to the invasion of Naboo, Darth Sidious was trained in the ways of the dark side of the Force by Darth Plagueis.
The latter Sith lord’s plan was that the two would achieve immortality and become equal rulers of a new Sith Empire.
Unhappy with the idea of sharing power, Sideous killed his master after learning everything he could about the Force from him.
Sidious went on to continue the Sith tradition with his own first apprentice, Darth Maul, the son of the Nightsister Mother Talzin.
Despite surviving a battle with the then Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sidious replaced Maul with a new and more politically useful apprentice, Darth Tyranus.
Darth Tyranus / Count Dooku
Dooku was an important part of Palpatine’s evolving plans, forming the Confederacy of Independent Systems.
In the process, Darth Tyranus made a formidable enemy in Maul, who saw him not as a true apprentice but a placeholder and tool for creating instability.
Darth Vader / Anakin Skywalker
Sidious later sacrificed Tyranus to take on a new apprentice, the Jedi knight, Anakin Skywalker, who was also the Chosen One, destined to destroy the Sith.
When Skywalker did become Sidious’ apprentice, he took the name, Darth Vader.
Although the Emporer had seen awesome potential in him, Vader was weakened in a battle with his former Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi.
The former Jedi remained a Sith apprentice in service to Emperor Palpatine for a generation.
How is Palpatine still alive in the sequel trilogy?
In The Return of the Jedi, the Emperor fell into the reactor core of the second Death Star, which was about to be blown up by the Rebels. When a cloud of energy came up the shaft, it seemed to audiences that Palpatine was finally dead.
In the lead up to the release of the Rise of Skywalker in 2019, fans of the franchise wondered how Palpatine, who seemed to meet his end after a fight with his apprentice and Luke Skywalker, was alive and cackling in trailers for a film set long after his supposed demise.
Rather than really explaining the former Darth Sidious’ return, The Rise of Skywalker simply asks the audience to accept it, one of the bigger disappointments of the sequel trilogy.
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