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Villain Overview

Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.
~ Emperor Palpatine's most famous quote.
It is unavoidable. It is your destiny. You, like your father, are now... mine!
~ Emperor Palpatine to Luke Skywalker.
Use your aggressive feelings, boy! Let the hate flow through you!
~ Emperor Palpatine to Luke Skywalker.

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

He serves as the main antagonist of the Skywalker Saga, as the overarching antagonist of the 2008 animated stand-alone film Star Wars: The Clone Wars, its 2008-2020 animated TV series of the same name, and the 2014-2018 animated TV series Star Wars Rebels; and as the unseen overarching antagonist of both the 2016 stand-alone film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the 2019 video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

He also appears as the main antagonist, as the overarching antagonist, and/or as a posthumous antagonist in several novels and comic books within both the Star Wars Legends continuity and the Canon continuity.

He is an immensely powerful Sith Lord and the ruler of the Galactic Empire, which he formed from the Galactic Republic, who was also the de-facto ruler of the CIS, which he used to give himself autocratic powers as Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. As the Dark Lord of the Sith, Sidious plotted to overthrow the Jedi by manipulating the events of the Clone Wars to bring himself to rule the whole galaxy; thus posing as the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic throughout these events. He is the Jedi's archenemy and they were suspicious of him even just after Count Dooku's death when they were unaware that he was Darth Sidious.

Palpatine is also later revealed to be the secret benefactor and true leader of the First Order, and that he is the paternal grandfather of Rey.

In the saga films, he was most famously portrayed by Ian McDiarmid in the original, prequel, and sequel Star Wars trilogies, after previously being voiced by Clive Revill and portrayed by the late Marjorie Eaton in the original version of The Empire Strikes Back; McDiarmid returned to voice Palpatine in the final season of Star Wars Rebels. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, he was voiced by the late Ian Abercrombie, and later Tim Curry, who also played Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hexxus in FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Pennywise the Clown in It, Lord of Darkness in Legend, Wadsworth in Clue, Ben Ravencroft in Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost, Drake in The Pebble and the Penguin, King Chicken in Duckman, Billy Flynn in Criminal Minds, Kilokahn in Superhuman Samurai SyberSquad, Farley Claymore in The Shadow, Big Bayou in Courage the Cowardly Dog, Cardinal Richelieu in The Three Musketeers, Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island, Evil Manta in The Little Mermaid, The Goblin King in Scooby-Doo and the Goblin King, Professor Calamitous in Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, Belial in The Legend of Atlantis, Slagar the Cruel in Redwall, Big Brother in Johnny Bravo, Dr. Slicer in Recess, Thaddeus E. Klang in TaleSpin, Maestro Forte in Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas, El Malefico in Mucha Lucha: The Return of El Malefico, and Mouse King in Barbie and the Nutcracker.


Emperor Sheev Palpatine

At first, Palpatine appeared to be a compassionate, well-meaning public servant. However, this was nothing more a public facade that he made up to hide his true nature as Darth Sidious, and as the Sith Lord he exposes it all. He is actually a murderous, power-hungry psychopath whose only true goal is to take total control of the galaxy. Cold and dominant, those who weren't obedient to Sidious were destroyed as Sidious never held true kindness to anyone.

Despite his arrogance, Sidious was highly intelligent, patient and manipulative, possessing some sense of humor as shown by his laughter. He was also known to be treacherous and deceptive, as he would kill his allies or have them killed such as Count Dooku and Viceroy Gunray, as he had no desire to share his power with anyone, especially his apprentices. This was evident once more in Star Wars: Battlefront II, when he secretly engineered Operation Cinder, a top-secret scorched-earth policy directed against his own empire should he die - which happened at the hands of Anakin Skywalker - an ultimate treachery to planets who remained loyal to the empire and made great sacrifices for his cause. It did not matter to Palpatine. In his eyes, Empire without him leading it was not worth existing. Unlike most of the other Sith Lords, he prefers using mental breaking and the Force over physical strength and he dislikes fighting with lightsabers, preferring this option only as a last resort or when he clearly had the upper hand. During the early parts of his plan, Darth Sidious preferred to speak to servants such as Dooku by hologram. He gave orders for the Separatists' next move and then disappeared as quickly as he appeared.

After he had successfully gained full control of it, Darth Sidious turned the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire to restore the Sith Empire. He abandoned his public persona and openly became a tyrannical dark lord; despite this, he never revealed that he was the Dark Lord of the Sith to the public; as only his most trusted followers were (which were a few) aware of his Sith identity. Darth Sidious was 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.

Sidious also greatly desired to become immortal; his master had once had the ability to keep others from dying using the dark side of the Force. Palpatine/Sidious learned this same ability and desired to use a similar power, if one did exist, to increase his lifespan so that he could rule the galaxy forever, with one such scheme involving the creation of a Force-made virus, called Project Blackwing.

However, Sidious' searches for such secrets of the Sith were ultimately fruitless (as the Blackwing virus turned its hosts into undead zombies and had to be eradicated), and he never found a way to become immortal. Despite his desire for immortality, Sidious would anticipate the possibility of facing death, and in some cases, he is willing to forsake his own life by provoking any person to kill him in order to convert that person into the dark side and carry on his evil legacy.

Like most practitioners of the dark side of the Force, Darth Sidious was susceptible to fear to the point of being paranoid. This paranoia was extensive to the point where he feared the power of other Force-users and had them hunted down and either killed or turned to his side as loyal servants. However, his paranoia was never extended to the point of being cowardly and pusillanimous, as he felt little fear and was more than willing to get into confrontations with exceptionally powerful opponents like Mace Windu and Yoda if necessary. Sidious' greatness weaknesses was his inability to understand good completely and his enormous self-confidence, as Vader betrayed the tyrant at the cost of all power over love for his son and galaxy peace.

Despite his evil nature, he was a known patron of the arts; this was evidenced in the craftsmanship of his lightsabers, and the many statue and sculptures present in his office during his time as chancellor. However, he abandoned most of his love of the arts when he became emperor in favor of expanding his power. In addition, although Sidious openly acknowledged his being a Dark Sider he also did not consider himself evil, but rather thought of himself as a savior. Thus, one could argue that he considers him a being above good or evil. This consideration is implied when he tells Anakin that "good" is only a point of view. A socially darwinistic person, Palpatine believes evil is not actually maleable and is instead an abstract concept the weak use to label those stronger than themselves when threatened by them. Palpatine also has a strange relationship with Anakin, presenting himself as a grandfatherly figure to him and appearing to admire his endurance and killing power. This may be the only thing in Palpatine's emotional repertoire that even comes close to love.

Following his revival, Sidious' mind became more sharper as he was able to arrange the creation of Supreme Leader Snoke and the First Order as a means of restoring the Galactic Empire, and to convert Vader's grandson Ben Solo into the dark side as Kylo Ren and manipulate him into doing his bidding, all behind the shadows. Upon learning that he had a granddaughter named Rey who would become very powerful with the Force, Sidious was determined to have her brought over and turned into the dark side; even ordering the deaths of Rey's parents when they refused to give Rey to him, killing his own biological son, as well as goading Rey into killing him so that she will continue his Sith legacy. Also this time, Palpatine made no efforts to hide his true identity, openly proclaiming himself a Sith. When it became clear to Palpatine that Rey refused to embrace his legacy as a Sith, Sidious was determined to kill his own granddaughter for her defiance, proving that even after experiencing death, he still selfishly desired for ultimate power to the point of destroying his own family bloodline. It was those very same traits of arrogance and selfishness that eventually led to Sidious' final downfall, as he underestimated Rey's true potential when she uses the combined strength of the deceased Jedi spirits (including Vader's) to finally destroy the evil emperor for good. This proves once and for all that Palpatine is nothing more than a purely evil madman who only cares about himself. It also shows that he might even have little regard for others skills seeing as even after seeing Rey's skills Palpatine most likely thought he was better than everyone else in the galaxy.

Powers and Abilities

The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be... unnatural.
~ Darth Sidious describing the dark side of the Force

The Force

Despite his old age, Darth Sidious was immensely powerful and had an amazingly strong connection to the dark side of the Force, considered to be the most powerful Sith ever. His power and skill in the usage of the Force exceed that of Darth Vader after he was badly burned in Mustafar and Darth Tyranus and can only be matched, if not slightly surpassed, by Yoda.

He was extremely skilled in using Force lightning and was known to use this power both as a deadly attack and as a means of torture. On several occasions on Ryloth, he used bursts of lightning which not only killed numerous Twi'leks but badly charred and scorched their carapaces, which were tough enough to repel heavy blaster fire. On another occasion, he used the ability to damage a Twi'lek freighter's engines badly enough to pull it out of the sky with telekinesis. Sidious could use Force lightning in a number of creative ways, including striking multiple enemies at once, with the bolts jumping from one victim to the other, like a chain and imbuing the ground around a victim's feet with energy, effectively electrocuting them.

His Force lighting is powerful enough that even someone of Yoda's caliber had noticeable difficulty deflecting it using the Force. Another more obscure ability that he possessed was the power to produce a dark aura, a miniature storm of force energy that slowed the movement of, and tortured all caught within its radius. He was also highly 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. Likewise, he was skilled enough with telekinesis that he was also able to remove Luke Skywalker's handcuffs while barely lifting his finger when meeting face to face on the second Death Star.

On Mandalore, he casually telekinetically strangled two Mandalorians at once killing them, and easily pinned both Darth Maul and Savage Opress against a wall without them being able to break free before deliberately releasing them and later easily threw around Maul after disarming him telekinetically. He once also telekinetically choked Count Dooku from hundreds of light years away during a holo-transmission.

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. His accuracy with this power can only be rivaled by that of Yoda. The Dark Lord was also adept in the use of Force persuade, to the extent that he was able to take complete control of a subject's mind and force them to obey his commands. He was also capable of telepathically communicating with Darth Vader over a distance of hundreds of light-years. Palpatine also had a remarkably keen ability to sense the thoughts and feelings of others, including those of incredibly powerful Force adepts such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. On a related note, he was also capable of hiding his thoughts and feelings from even such individuals as Yoda and managed to conceal his true dark nature from the entire Jedi Council for decades before deliberately revealing himself.

Surprisingly, following his supposed death during the battle at Endor. Using his mastery over the dark side of the Force, Palpatine was able to bring himself back from the dead by transferring his spirit into a cloned body. Though it came with a price: His cloned body were unable to function as his original body, rendered him blind, being frail and he could only move with the help of machinery. With the ability of Force drain, he was able to drain the Force from both Rey and Ben, restoring his cloned body and becoming more powerful than ever; enough so that he was able to use force lightning to nearly destroy the entire combined fleet of resistance-allied ships that rallied in Exegol.

Lightsaber Skills

Darth Sidious during his duel with Yoda.

Despite his old age, Darth Sidious was incredibly skilled in lightsaber combat and an extremely gifted duelist. He was one of the greatest lightsaber duelists in the history of the galaxy. Sidious' lightsaber skills were such that he had mastered all the forms of lightsaber combat and could shift from one combat form to another fluidly and without effort. Sidious' technique and fighting style was a combination of brutal aggression and lethal precision, making him an almost unstoppable opponent.

Sidious' skills in Lightsaber combat allowed him to effortlessly kill Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin with a single blow, who was among the best duelists of their time. He then swiftly overpowered and killed the formidable Kit Fitso while also engaged with Mace Windu. He proved capable of matching Windu in their duel and even initially seemed to have the upper hand, although he was defeated by the latter ultimately and loses one of 2 Lightsabers. He succeeds to kill Windu only because Anakin Skywalker intervenes. Sidious even managed to stalemate Yoda himself for an extended period before resorting to the force.

Although Sidious usually used only one lightsaber, he was also extremely skilled in the art of Jar'Kai, evidenced when he used both of his lightsabers against Darth Maul and Savage Opress with tremendous skill and efficiency and using a ferocious, but fluid, fighting style, managed to duel both of them at once on equal grounds and ultimately managed to separate them. He then effortlessly killed Opress, who used a double-bladed lightsaber, in mere seconds and proceeded to duel Maul also using two lightsabers. Almost effortlessly, Sidious ultimately overpowered Maul and disarmed him of his two Lightsabers by forcing his blades down toward the hilts of Maul's 2 blades and then forcing them apart.

  • Genius-Level Intellect/Master Tactician/Leader/Manipulator: Darth Sidious was amazingly intelligent; his intelligence and wisdom were rivaled only by Yoda, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. As the leader of the Sith Order, he was a highly skilled tactician and a very capable leader. He was very manipulative, as he was able to easily manipulate individuals directly or indirectly to achieve his goals. Sidious even managed to manipulate and deceive Anakin Skywalker, a genius in his own right, into becoming his apprentice and turning him against the Jedi Order. As mentioned above, his respect for the arts resulted in him becoming an expert craftsman. He designed his lightsabers with little if any help from others. He was also smart enough to create Snoke, have him create The First Order, and trick everyone before showing himself. This is despite him still recovering from the injures sustained after Vader's betrayal.


Darth Sidious' valued weapon and possession were his two red-bladed lightsabers, whose hilts were inlaid with gold-colored Electrum metal and made of Phrik alloy, making them indestructible, even to other lightsabers. The weapons bore the same appearance to one another save for one being coated in an unknown black alloy. Being a patron of the arts, the lightsabers were elegantly crafted with an artisan's skill and were small enough that they could be easily hidden up his sleeves. While in office as Supreme Chancellor, Palpatine/Sidious 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.

  • First Lightsaber: Darth Sidious built his first red-bladed lightsaber during his apprenticeship under Darth Plagueis. It would remain in his possession until his death, but what happened to it after Sidious' death is unknown.
  • Second Lightsaber: At some point, Darth Sidious had built a second red-bladed lightsaber. It would remain in his possession until his duel against Mace Windu when it was kicked out of Palpatine's office window and lost on Coruscant. Since Sidious viewed the Sith's lightsabers as only existing to mock the Jedi's weapons, following Order 66, Sidious carried no lightsaber (including his remaining lightsaber) and preferred to use the Force as his weapon.

Killed Victims

Other Appearances

Darth Sidious made several other appearances in other TV shows. Some examples are Family Guy (when Cleveland tried to kill Quagmire), and the Mad Scientist once played as Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious in the Star Wars Robot Chicken special. When the developers made Family Guy episodes based on the original trilogy, Carter Pewterschmidt portrayed The Emperor, but he was instead known as "Emperor Carter".


Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

What is it? (Daultay Dofine: This scheme of yours has failed, Lord Sidious. The blockade is finished. We dare not go against the Jedi.) Viceroy, I don't want this stunted slime in my sight again! This turn of events is unfortunate. We must accelerate our plans. Begin landing your troops. (Nute Gunray: My Lord, is that legal?) I will make it legal. (Gunray: And the Jedi?) The Chancellor should never have brought them into this. Kill them, immediately. (Gunray: Yes-yes, my Lord, as you wish.)
~ Sidious ordering Viceroy Gunray to execute Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

You don't need guidance Anakin, in time you will learn to trust your feelings. Then you will be invincible. I've said it many times, you are the most gifted Jedi I've ever met. I see you becoming the greatest of all the Jedi. Even more powerful than Master Yoda.
~ Palpatine pretending to be Anakin's friend.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Allow the Jedi their small victory, my friend. For the edges of this war, turn in our favor.
~ Palpatine to Dooku, that the war will turn to their benefit.
Long have Sith Empires been built upon the backs of slaves. To carry on this tradition, we will require millions.
~ Darth Sidious plots with his apprentice Dooku to use slaves.
Good. Destroy all evidence. when the time comes, no one will be able to stop our plan to execute Order 66.
~ Palpatine about Order 66.
How unfortunate that you are attempting to deceive me. (Maul: Master?) You have become a rival!
~ Palpatine upon seeing that Maul was training Savage Opress as his Sith apprentice, indicating that Maul has become a rival as Dark Lord of the Sith.
Remember, the first and only reality of the Sith... there can only be two. And you are no longer my apprentice. You have been replaced.
~ Palpatine reminding Maul of the Rule of Two and that he was replaced as his apprentice by Count Dooku.
(Darth Maul: Have mercy… please!) There is no mercy. (strikes him with Force lightning) Do not worry. I'm not going to kill you. I have… other uses for you. (cackles with laughter as he strikes Maul once more)
~ Palpatine torturing Darth Maul after killing Savage Opress.
No matter how many times you fail, you never learn this lesson, Maul... There is only one plan--one great design which shall govern the universe--mine.
~ Palpatine to Maul, Son of Dathomir.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Good, Anakin, good. Kill him. Kill him now. (Anakin: I shouldn't.) Do it.
~ Palpatine as Sidious ordering Anakin to murder Dooku who Anakin beheads.
General Grievous, I suggest you move the Separatist leaders to Mustafar. (Grievous: It will be done, my Lord.) The end of the war is near, general. (Grievous: But the loss of Count Dooku?) His death was a necessary loss. Soon, I will have a new apprentice; one far younger and more powerful.
~ Sidious through hologram explaining to General Grievous that Count Dooku's death was necessary and that he will soon have a new apprentice.
Remember back to your earlier teachings. All who gain power are afraid to lose it. Even the Jedi.
~ Palpatine speaking of the Jedi to Anakin
Good is a point of view, Anakin. The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power.
~ Palpatine on the Jedi and the Sith.
Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? I thought not. It's not a story the Jedi would tell you. It's a Sith legend.
~ Palpatine begins to tell Anakin about the legendary Sith Lord, Darth Plagueis.
Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.
~ Palpatine talking about the tragedy of Darth Plagueis.
The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.
~ Palpatine on the dark side of the Force.
He became so powerful. The only thing he was afraid was losing his power which eventually of course he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep.
~ Palpatine on the fate of Darth Plagueis
Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself. (Anakin: Is it possible to learn this power?) Not from a Jedi.
~ Palpatine and Anakin about Plagueis' powers and how to learn them.
They don't trust you Anakin. They see your future they know your power will be too strong to control. You must break through the fog of lies the Jedi have created around you.
~ Palpatine to Anakin on the Jedi Council.
Let me help you to know the subtleties of the Force. (Anakin: How do you know the ways of the Force?) My mentor taught me everything about the Force, even the nature of the dark side. (Anakin: You know the dark side?) Anakin, if one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects not just the dogmatic view of the Jedi. If you wish to become a complete and wise leader, you must embrace a larger view of the Force. Be careful of the Jedi, Anakin. Only through me can you achieve a power greater than any Jedi. Learn to know the dark side of the Force, and you will be able to save your wife from certain death.
~ Palpatine reveals himself as the Sith Lord.
I know what's been troubling you. Listen to me. Don't continue to be a pawn of the Jedi Council! Ever since I've known you, you have been searching for a life greater than that of an ordinary Jedi, a life of significance, of conscience.
~ Palpatine trying to manipulate Anakin.
Are you going to kill me? (Anakin: I would certainly like to!) I know you would. I can feel your anger. It give you focus… makes you stronger.
~ Palpatine to Anakin.
You have great wisdom, Anakin. Know the power of the dark side, the power to save Padmé.
~ Palpatine further manipulating Anakin.
(Mace Windu: The Senate will decide your fate.) I am the Senate! (Mace Windu: Not yet!) It's treason then.
~ Palpatine before engaging Mace Windu and his team in battle and simultaneously murdering Kolar and Tiin.
~ Palpatine before attacking Windu with Force lightning.
~ Darth Sidious murdering Windu.
The time has come... execute Order 66!
~ Emperor Palpatine orders Commander Cody and the rest of the clone army to execute Order 66, which is to kill every Jedi in the galaxy (except for Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda).
It is finished then. You have restored peace and justice to the galaxy, Lord Vader.
~ Palpatine congratulating Anakin on murdering Gunray and the other Separatists.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

You've done well, Lord Vader. And now I sense you wish to continue your search for young Skywalker. (Vader: Yes my Master.) Patience, my friend. In time, he will seek you out and when he does, you must bring him before me. He has grown strong. Only together can we turn him to the dark side of the Force.
~ The Emperor to Darth Vader on Luke.
Welcome, young Skywalker, I have been expecting you. You no longer need those. Guards, leave us. I'm looking forward to completing your training. In time, you will call me "Master". (Luke Skywalker: You're gravely mistaken. You won't convert me as you did my father.) Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken... about a GREAT many things.
~ The Emperor upon meeting Luke Skywalker.
(Darth Vader: His lightsaber) Ah, yes, a Jedi's weapon, much like your father's. By now you must know that your father can never be turned from the dark side. So will it be with you. (Luke: You're wrong. Soon I'll be dead, and you with me.) Perhaps you refer to the imminent attack on your Rebel fleet? Yes, I assure you, we are quite safe from your friends here. (Luke: Your overconfidence is your weakness.) Your faith in your friends is yours. (Darth Vader: It is pointless to resist, my son.)
~ Sidious hinting Luke of a possible trap set for the Rebel fleet.
With each passing moment, you make yourself more my servant!
~ The Emperor to Luke.
As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!
~ Palpatine.
Fire at will, Commander!
~ Palpatine as he demonstrates his second Death Star.
Your fleet is lost. And your friends on the Endor moon will not survive. There is no escape, my young apprentice. The Alliance… will die, as will your friends. Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!
~ Palpatine manipulating Luke.
If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed. Young fool, only now at the end do you understand. Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side! You have paid the price for your lack of vision! (Luke: Father, please!) Now, young Skywalker, you will die.
~ Palpatine before Darth Vader throws him into the shaft.

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

At last... Snoke trained you well. (Kylo: I killed Snoke... I'll kill you.) My boy... I made Snoke. I have been every voice [Take Snoke's voice] you have ever heard [Take Darth Vader's voice] inside your head!! The First Order was just the beginning, I will give you so much more. (Kylo: You'll die first.) I have died before. The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities, some considered to be... unnatural.
~ Palpatine meeting Kylo in person before confessing that he revived himself through unnatural means of the dark side of the Force, and that he was the one responsible for the creation of Snoke and the First Order, and Kylo's conversion to the dark side.
(Kylo: What could you give me?) Everything... a new empire. The might of the Final Order will soon be ready. It will be yours if you do what I ask: kill the girl, end the Jedi, and become what your grandfather Vader could not. You will rule all the galaxy as the new emperor, but beware... she is not who you think she is.
~ Palpatine ordering Kylo to track down and kill Rey by revealing a powerful massive fleet of Star Destroyers called the Final Order that will destroy planets, right before revealing that he himself is Rey's grandfather.
The Jedi apprentice still lives. Perhaps you have betrayed me. Do not make me turn my fleet against you. (Kylo: I know where she's going, she'll never be a Jedi.) Make sure of it. Kill her!
~ Palpatine warning Kylo not to fail him or he will be disposed of.
The Princess of Alderaan has disrupted my plan at the cost of her own life, but even in death, her foolish act will be in vain. Come to me on Exogol, General Pryde. (Pryde: As I served you in the old wars, I serve you now.) Send a ship to a world they know... let it burn. The Final Order begins. She will come... her friends will follow.
~ Palpatine to General Pryde while assuming full control of the First Order by ordering the destruction of the planet Kijimi to intimidate the Resistance and lure them into a trap.
Long have I waited... for my grandchild to come home. I never wanted you dead, I wanted you here... Empress Palpatine. You will take the throne. It is your birthright to rule here... it is in your blood... our blood. (Rey: I haven't come to lead the Sith, I've come to end them.) As a Jedi? (Rey: Yes.) No... your hatred, your anger, you want to kill me... that is what I want. Kill me, and my spirit will pass into you, as all the Sith live in me. You will be empress... we will be one.
~ Palpatine meeting Rey before revealing that he actually intends for her to kill him so that he can possess her body, stating that all the Sith live within him.
The time has COME!! With your hatred, you will take my life, and you will ascend! (Rey: All you want is for me to hate, but I won't... not even you.) Weak... like your parents! (Rey: My parents were strong... they saved me from you.) Your master Luke Skywalker was saved by his father. The only family you have here... is me. They don't have long, no one is coming to help them, and you are the one who led them here. Strike me down, take the throne, reign of a new empire, and the fleet will be yours! Only you have the power to save them. Refuse, and your new family dies. (Rey reluctantly obliges) Good.
~ Palpatine goading Rey to kill him by taunting of her parents' deaths and revealing that he tricked her into leading the Resistance into a trap in Exegol, knowing that they will perish by the power of the Final Order.
The ritual begins!! She will strike me down and pledge herself as a Sith!! She will draw her weapon... she will come to me... she will take her revenge... and with a stroke of her saber... the Sith are reborn!! THE JEDI ARE DEAD!!
~ Palpatine preparing himself to be killed by Rey so that his spirit will pass onto her, only to learn that she refuses to do so thanks to the arrival of a redeemed Ben Solo.
Stand together... die together!! The life force of your bond... a dyad in the Force. A power with life itself... unseen for generations. And now, the power of two restores the one... true... Emperor.
~ Palpatine using his Force skills to drain the Force dyad out from both Rey and Ben, rejuvenating himself in the process.
Look at what you have made. As once I fell, so falls the last Skywalker! (to his cultists) Do not fear their feeble attack, my faithful. NOTHING WILL STOP THE RETURN OF THE SITH!!!
~ Palpatine casting Ben into a bottomless pit before using his full power of Force Lightning to attack the Resistance armada.
Let your death be the final word in the story of rebellion!
~ Palpatine preparing to kill Rey after sensing that the spirits of the deceased Jedi have gave her their strength for one last stand.
~ Palpatine's last words before he is finally killed by Rey with the aid of all the Jedi spirits that came before her.


The Emperor's laugh

The Emperor's theme


  • Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine is often considered one of the most evil villains in television and film history - as his reign of terror in addition to his tyrannies have led to billions of casualties and the destruction of countless planets, thus devastating the galaxy altogether. Watchmojo ranked Palpatine as number 1 in Top 20 Evil Characters.
  • Historical leaders such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Napoleon Bonaparte, Julius Caesar, Richard Nixon and Alberto Fujimori served as the main influences for his character.
  • In the original script of The Empire Strikes Back, Palpatine was named Cos Dashit, a puppet leader who was controlled by the Moffs. He had no connection to the Force at all. The novelization of A New Hope even hinted at this plot point. However, George Lucas had replaced him as the main mastermind of the Star Wars saga.
  • According to Cory Barlog, a former LucasArts developer, George Lucas originally intended to reveal what exactly happened in Palpatine's life that turned him into the monster he later became in an unproduced live-action television show which never got ahead due budgetary concerns. Reportedly, Lucas wrote an episode that featured a once sympathetic Palpatine falling in love with a heartless woman who wronged him, which caused him to become the ruthless tyrant he is shown to be in the films. Unfortunately, this story, as well its details, hasn't been released as of yet, and thus it isn't currently considered canon.
  • Since the first release of the films, Darth Sidious has become an iconic villain, along with Darth Vader. He's the most recurring villain of the Star Wars franchise behind Darth Vader.
  • In general, he serves as the titular main antagonist of The Phantom Menace, the main antagonist of Revenge of the Sith, Return of the Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker, and the overarching antagonist of Attack of the Clones, A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, The Force Awakens, and The Last Jedi.
  • Even though Darth Sidious is the overarching antagonist of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, his Sith persona was only seen in 17 episodes out of 121 episodes total. Sidious was only seen in hologram in 1 episode of Season 1 (Cloak of Darkness), 3 episodes of Season 2 (Holocron Heist, Children of the Force and Duchess of Mandalore), 2 episodes of Season 3 (Nightsisters and Ghost of Mortis, the latter as a future vision to Anakin), 2 episodes of Season 4 (Escape from Kadavo and Shadow Warrior), 2 episodes of Season 5, including Revival where he smiles after learning Maul's survival, implying his identity (and the other one being The Lawless), and 7 episodes of Season 6 (The Unknown, Orders, An Old Friend, The Rise of Clovis, Crisis at the Heart, Voices and Sacrifice,) the last one that served the series finale until new episodes were announced.
  • In the PS2 and Xbox version of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, in an alternate ending of level 17, after murdering Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader takes over the galaxy by stabbing Sidious, who unlike the films, apparently succeeds in killing Yoda who can't threaten the empire if alive. In the vs mode in said game, Windu fighting Vader on the Death Star implies Windu lived in place of Kenobi and ultimately takes Vader's life. Of course, this version of the events is not canonical either for the Legends and Canon continuities.
  • In an ironic way, Darth Sidious has a better relationship with his apprentice (at least before his betrayal) in the new Canon continuity unlike in the Legends continuity. In the Legends continuity, Sidious didn't continue Vader's training following his defeat on Mustafar, took any opportunity to torture him physically and physiologically and made sure Vader's armor was made with painful outdated technology to punish him for his failure to kill Obi Wan; whereas in the Canon continuity, Sidious often provided Vader with advice and details about the Sith he didn't understand, didn't belittle him too much and allowed him to modify his armor if he wanted. That being said, his crimes and level of heinousness remain mostly the same anyway and Palpatine in Revenge Of The Sith is seen enjoying Vader's pain.
  • While Emperor Palpatine was brought back to life both in the Legends and Canon continuities, his return in both universes of the Star Wars franchise was met with controversial reactions. In regards to his return in the Legends continuity on the Dark Empire comic book series, many authors of the Expanded Universe criticized his return as they deemed that it make it look that Anakin Skywalker's sacrifice pointless and was further criticized by fans after the prequel trilogy stated that Anakin was destined to destroy the Sith as the Chosen One, even though Dark Empire was published long before the prequels were made and George Lucas himself proposed the idea. That said, Lucas initially loved the series and considered it the closest thing that resembled the then unplanned sequel trilogy, but he later stated that the saga's story ends in Return of the Jedi for him. In regards to his return in the Canon continuity on The Rise of Skywalker, some fans dismissed his return as a way to "save" the sequel trilogy after the polarizing reception of The Last Jedi and also for being a contradiction to the eighth film's message of letting the past behind and to the sequels' theme that is more focused on the character development of Kylo Ren.
    • George Lucas also didn't approve the Emperor's return as he always said that the Emperor died for good in Return of the Jedi, aside from that Lucas disliked the sequel trilogy for not following his ideas.
  • Palpatine's return in The Rise of Skywalker was not the original plan for the Sequel Trilogy, despite claims by J.J. Abrams otherwise, as according to Colin Trevorrow his original script for Episode IX did not include Palpatine coming back.
    • It is likely that the reason why J.J. Abrams brought him back is because of the controversial death of Snoke. If Snoke had not died, it could be likely that he would have played the role that Palpatine played in the film.
  • From a certain point of view, Darth Sidious did win at the end of The Rise of Skywalker by destroying the Skywalker family, given that Rey had to sacrifice her life to destroy Sidious and thus Ben Solo sacrificed himself to revive her, vanishing into the Force as a consequence. As Ben was the last member of the Skywalker bloodline, if he was killed for good, Sidious was successful in destroying Anakin Skywalker's lineage. However, as Rey ultimately disowns her birth surname and adopts that of the Skywalkers, it can be argued that the Skywalker family's legacy will live through Rey and the actions of their members will always be remembered by all in the galaxy, whereas no one will remember Palpatine in a positive way and all will repudiate him and his legacy for his heinous actions.
  • Although Palpatine never succeeded in becoming immortal, it should be noted that while he didn't live for long like Yoda or Maz Kanata, he did live long for "human" standards. He is confirmed to have been born eighty four years before A New Hope, so Palpatine was at least 120 years old when he was finally killed in The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Some have speculated Palpatine created Anakin Skywalker given that the final issue of the Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith comic book series seemed to suggest that Palpatine was behind Anakin's mysterious conception. Indeed, George Lucas originally intended to reveal in Revenge of the Sith that Palpatine or Darth Plagueis manipulated the midi-chlorians to conceive Anakin, so in some ways, Palpatine could be considered Anakin's father. The idea was dropped from the final cut, and Lucasfilm has affirmed since then that this isn't the case.
  • Ian McDiarmid, Palpatine's actor has claimed Palpatine is worse than Satan, seeing as moral agency issues prevent Satan from fitting pure evil Palpatine's probably worse.
  • Darth Sidious is portrayed by King Pig in Angry Birds: Star Wars and its prequel, where he retains his Force lightning from before, and when it is activated, he targets the area you tap. Also, as Darth Vader kills the latter quickly when they find that Sidious was the man called Palpatine, he and Mace Windu don't get a chance to duel at all.
    • Darth Sidious is also called "Darth Swindles" when he reincarnates in Angry Birds: Star Wars games. Ironically, he is still more sadistic in the game than King Pig himself is in his universe.
    • In an ad for Angry Birds: Star Wars II, Ian McDirmand actually reprised his role as Palpatine.
  • Despite being the main antagonist of the Star Wars saga, the only trilogy in which Emperor Palpatine interacted with all three protagonists was the prequel trilogy, whose protagonists were Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Padmé Amidala. In the original trilogy, Palpatine just interacted with Luke Skywalker but not with Leia Organa and Han Solo, while in the sequel trilogy, Palpatine just interacted with Rey but not with Finn and Poe Dameron. In both cases, however, his actions would have ended with the lives of the protagonists whom he didn't interact had he not been stopped.
    • The prequel trilogy is also the only trilogy where Palpatine appeared in all three movies. In the original trilogy, he first appears in The Empire Strikes Back and later returns in Return Of The Jedi. In the sequel trilogy, he is not seen until The Rise Of Skywalker.
  • Much of Palpatine's return in The Rise of Skywalker carries elements from Legend stories such as Dark Empire, in regards to Palpatine resurrecting himself via cloning and Jedi Prince, in regards to Palpatine having a child and grandchild.
    • In the case with Legends, a character named Triclops claimed to be the son of Palpatine and his son, Ken, was Palpatine's grandson. It is not clear whether the relationship is between them is strictly biological or something else entirely, however.
    • In addition to this, it is believed that Palpatine was in a sexual relationship with one of his loyal followers, Sly Moore and that she may be in fact the biological mother of Triclops.

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Bounty Hunters
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Confederacy of Independent Systems
Leaders: Darth Sidious | Count Dooku
Separatist Council: Nute Gunray | Passel Argente | Po Nudo | Poggle the Lesser | Rune Haako | San Hill | Shu Mai | Tikkes | Wat Tambor | Daultay Dofine | Lott Dod
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Soldiers: Battle Droids | Droidekas | Geonosians | MagnaGuards | Super Battle Droids | Tactical Droids
Affiliates: Trade Federation | Techno Union | InterGalactic Banking Clan | Commerce Guild | Corporate Alliance

Galactic Empire
Leaders: Emperor Palpatine | Darth Vader
Inquisitorius: The Grand Inquisitor | Second Sister | Fifth Brother | Sixth Brother | Seventh Sister | Eighth Brother | Ninth Sister | Tenth Brother
Imperial Officers: Arihnda Pryce | Cassio Tagge | Conan Antonio Motti | Cumberlayne Aresko | Admiral Piett | Garrick Versio | Grand Moff Tarkin | Kassius Konstantine | Kendal Ozzel | General Veers | Moff Jerjerrod | Myles Grint | Thrawn
Other Officials and Operatives: Alexsandr Kallus | Commander Cody | Gar Saxon | Gideon Hask | Iden Versio | Maketh Tua | Mas Amedda | [ Naare | Orson Krennic | Tiber Saxon
Soldiers: Emperor's Royal Guard | Stormtroopers | 501st Legion | Purge Troopers | Death Troopers)
Affiliates: Imperial Navy | COMPNOR

First Order
Benefactor: Darth Sidious
Leaders: Supreme Leader Snoke | Kylo Ren
Imperial Officers: General Hux | General Pryde | Captain Canady | Captain Phasma | Gideon Hask | Datoo | Kaplan | Chesille Sabrond | Elrik Vonreg | Commander Pyre
Knights of Ren: Ren | Kylo Ren
Other Officials and Operatives: Agent Tierny | Agent Terex | BB-9E | Carise Sindian | FN-2199 | Bala-Tik | Tasu Leech | Razoo Qin-Fee
Soldiers: Stormtroopers | Elite Praetorian Guards | Sith Troopers
Affiliates: Sith Eternal | Guavian Death Gang

Leaders: Mother Talzin
Members: Asajj Ventress | Merrin | Old Daka

Shadow Collective
Leaders: Darth Maul | Almec | Savage Opress | Pre Vizsla
Members: Bo-Katan Kryze | Ziton Moj | Lom Pyke | Jabba the Hutt | Gar Saxon | Rook Kast | Mother Talzin | Dryden Vos | Tobias Beckett
Sub-groups: Death Watch | Black Sun | Pyke Syndicate | Hutt Cartel | Mandalorian Super Commandos | Nightbrothers | Crimson Dawn

Sith and Other Dark Force-Users
Barriss Offee | Darth Bane | Darth Plagueis | Pong Krell | Son | Taron Malicos

Hutt Clan
Jabba the Hutt | Ziro the Hutt

0-0-0 | Acklays | Azmorigan | Barada | Bib Fortuna | Cassie Cryar | Chi Cho | Cornelius Evazan | DJ | Garnac | Graxol Kelvyyn | Hondo Ohnaka | Kithaba | Klaatu | Morley | Nexu | Ochi | Ponda Baba | Rancors | Reeks | Salacious B. Crumb | Sarlacc | Saw Gerrera | Sebulba | Teedo | The Client | Tusken Raiders | Unkar Plutt | Vedain | Velken Tezeri | Vizam | Wooof | Zillo Beast

See Also
Star Wars Legends Villains | Star Wars The Old Republic Villains

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