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"There is only one plan—one great design which shall govern the universe—mine."
―Darth Sidious[19]

Darth Sidious, born Sheev Palpatine and also simply known as The Emperor, was a male human Dark Lord of the Sith and Emperor of the Galactic Empire, with his reign lasting from 19 BBY to 4 ABY. Rising to power in the Galactic Senate as the senator of Naboo, the secretive Sith Lord cultivated two identities, Sidious and Palpatine, using both to further his political career and deceive his way into accomplishing his goal. He orchestrated the fall of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order through the Clone Wars, and then established his reign over the galaxy which lasted until his death at the Battle of Endor. However, the dark side of the Force gave rise to powers which allowed him to escape death, seeking further immortality until the Emperor was eventually permanently destroyed and killed during the Battle of Exegol by Rey, his granddaughter born from his Strand-Cast clone son Dathan and his daughter-in-law Miramir.

Born on the Mid Rim planet Naboo in 84 BBY as the High Republic Era ended, Sidious possessed a strong connection to the Force, and was secretly trained in the ways of the Sith by Darth Plagueis. He eventually betrayed and killed his Sith Master, in order to train his own Sith apprentice, Darth Maul, for the Rule of Two limited their ranks to two Sith Lords at any given time. As a result of the Invasion of Naboo, a crisis orchestrated by Sidious, the Senate elected Palpatine as Supreme Chancellor. The Separatist Crisis and the Clone Wars were masterminded by Sidious and his new apprentice, Darth Tyranus, in an effort to achieve galactic dominance. Following an attempt to arrest the chancellor, the Great Jedi Purge commenced with Sidious enacting Order 66.

With the Jedi all but extinct, Sidious installed the New Order in the Republic's place, declaring himself Galactic Emperor and bringing an end to the millennia of democracy. Shortly after betraying and causing the death of Tyranus, he took on a new apprentice, having lured the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker to the dark side and transforming him into Darth Vader. Their reign was virtually unchallenged for a generation until the formation of the Alliance to Restore the Republic. During the Galactic Civil War, the Emperor sought to betray Vader, by replacing him with the latter's son, Luke Skywalker. However, Sidious' plan backfired when Vader ultimately renounced the dark side and killed Sidious to protect Luke. Thus, with the Sith's destruction, the Force was brought back into balance, fulfilling Anakin's destiny as the prophesied Chosen One.

Through his master's teachings, however, Sidious transferred his essence to an imperfect clone vessel that had been modeled on his original body. Anticipating the possibility of defeat, he created the Contingency to destroy the Galactic Empire and replace it with a new Sith Empire, in the event of such a setback. His plans culminated in the destruction of the New Republic and the emergence of the First Order, the creation of Supreme Leader Snoke, who turned Ben Solo—heir to the Skywalker bloodline—to the dark side, and the establishment of the Final Order. When the Emperor announced his return to the galaxy in 35 ABY, the Resistance invaded the planet Exegol, Sidious' hidden stronghold in the Unknown Regions. During the battle, the resurrected Emperor discovered a dyad in the Force in the form of the bond between Solo and Rey, a Jedi apprentice sired from the Palpatine bloodline. His lifelong dream of eternal rule was finally quashed when Rey called upon the strength of past Jedi to vanquish her grandfather by turning his own power against him, destroying Sidious and his Sith Eternal cultists.


Early life and apprenticeship

"My mentor taught me everything about the Force, even the nature of the dark side."
―Darth Sidious, to Anakin Skywalker[20]

Sheev Palpatine was secretly trained as a Sith Lord, taking the name of Darth Sidious.

The origins of Darth Sidious were closely guarded secrets that he took to his grave more than once. He[10] was born on the Mid Rim planet Naboo as Sheev Palpatine,[8] eighty-four years before the Battle of Yavin.[2] The dynastic,[21] noble Palpatine family belonged to the affluent class in Naboo society,[8] although by the time of the Imperial Era, Palpatine did not have a family as far as the public was aware,[18] marking him as the last of his ancient family bloodline.[22] Palpatine was raised in the cultured city of Theed, his homeworld's capital; he formed connections with a reputable host of credible politicians produced over the centuries, all the while acquiring a great amount of knowledge on governance and the subtleties of power during his youth.[23] As such, Palpatine had been skilled in manipulation since boyhood.[24]

The details about how Sidious came to study under the Sith were known by very few,[13] with it not even being known of when he did,[8] but he became the Sith apprentice to[14] Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Plagueis and took on the name Darth Sidious. As a Sith Lord, Sidious learned all his Sith Master knew about the dark side of the Force,[20] following the tradition first set by the ancient Darth Bane.[25] While apprenticed to Plagueis, Sidious constructed his own Sith lightsabers.[26] At the same time, little by little, he began to secure political power.[27] In 65 BBY,[28] the Theed power generator was built[29] and an opening ceremony was held. Palpatine attended and much noted an interest in its deep pit design.[23]

As a young man, Palpatine had traveled throughout the galaxy, collecting art, at least some of which was connected to the dark side, while doing so. Unaware docents would have written off his collection as junk, but Palpatine knew better.[30] He learned new tactics for how to spread his power during his travels that he kept secret for years to come.[24] While training with Plagueis, Sidious was taught that two Sith were required for their perilous machinations. So, if they worked together in accordance to Darth Bane's Rule of Two, with one of them serving as bait for the dark side of the Force and the other as a vessel, they would succeed in acquiring the ability to harness the full power of the dark side and rule immortal for ten thousand years.[14]

Darth Sidious and Darth Plagueis worked together for years, trying to unlock the secrets to immortality, which was the obsession and longtime lust of Plagueis.[14] Sidious was eventually made aware of Plagueis' ability to manipulate the midi-chlorians to create life, which his master employed to prevent the people he cared for from dying.[20] Plagueis believed the secret to immortality laid within science, and so conducted "unnatural" experiments with his rare ability to manipulate the midi-chlorians, as part of the pair's in depth studies into the biological underpinnings of life itself. Though they were incomplete, they were encouraging to Sidious.[8] According to Darth Sidious' book, The Secrets of the Sith, written later on his life, Plagueis discovered a form of "immortality" through transference, a Force power that allowed the user to transfer their spirit and consciousness to another body, essentially using bodies as vessels.[5][31] This obsession with extending one's own life later passed onto Sidious[7] from his time as[32] Galactic Emperor.[33] Plagueis also attempted to create a Force dyad with Sidious, a unique Force-bond as strong as life itself and which was predecessor to the Rule of Two. However, Plagueis was unable to form the dyad.[5]

Political career and double life

Senator of Naboo

"As a dark apprentice, I sensed that the Galactic Republic was in disarray. Its delegates held no interest in the common good. They would be easy targets for my influence. Serving as a senator, I manipulated their greed in my favor. With each new act of legislation, I rose through their ranks. Total control of the galaxy's governing body drew ever closer."
―Darth Sidious[31]

Senator Palpatine represented his homeworld Naboo in the Galactic Senate while keeping his Sith identity a secret.

In his public persona as Sheev Palpatine, Sidious took a great interest in politics and the public life of Naboo.[34] In 65 BBY[35] he was part of the officials attending the opening ceremony of the Theed power generator, with attendees noting his interest in the complex's deep-pit design.[34] His embarkment on a career in politics was further aided by his master, who arranged for him to be raised[27] to to the position of senator for his homeworld in the Galactic Republic Senate[14] as part of the Naboo delegation,[30] being elected in 52 BBY.[2] His role also made him the senator for the rest of the Chommell sector,[30] meaning he represented a total of thirty-six planets.[36] Once elected, Palpatine quickly joined incumbent Supreme Chancellor Skor Kalpana's ruling party. He was followed by a grouping of aides who loyally followed him since his days on Naboo. He noticed the fervent bickering and corruption that mired the Republic. He began to establish relations with those who would become his future collaborators, such as Wilhuff Tarkin. The duo met for the first time when Tarkin was still a cadet of the Sullust Sector Spacefarers Academy, and while Palpatine was still apprenticed to Plagueis.[14]

Taking an interest in the younger man, Senator Palpatine resolved to help him to join the Judicial Department, according to Tarkin's desire but advised him to also consider a political career. In the following years, their relationship became more and more confidential. Palpatine often lauded Tarkin for his talents and skills and remarked they were very similar: they both came from planets at the edge of the galaxy but were destined to have great repercussions on the history of the galaxy itself. Tarkin eventually became one of the few people who called Palpatine by his first name.[14]

Keeping his Sith identity a secret from the public eye, Sidious took it upon himself to execute the Sith's long-percolating plan of supplanting the Republic with a new Sith Empire, as well as destroying the Jedi Order. In the process, he would deceive the Senate, Republic and Jedi.[37] In his days as a senator, Palpatine was known to have the backing of mysterious friends and allies who he might reference but never name; for example, even Tarkin did not know who specifically worked with Palpatine in the shadows, even if Palpatine often referenced them. Trying to speculate as to who his secret supporters were, Palpatine's political enemies knew he had secret contacts aside from his loyal Naboo followers and the senatorial cabal he was often grouped within. Rumors swirled that shadowy organizations and figures who worked out of the public eye—including industrialists, financiers and bankers from the galaxy's most major sectors—were linked to the senator of Naboo.[14]

Training a Sith apprentice

"For many years, Darth Maul trained in secrecy. But as my plans for galactic dominance began to unfold, the time came to make his presence known."
―Darth Sidious[31]

Seeking a Sith apprentice, Sidious traveled to the planet Dathomir and met with the Dathomirian Nightsister Mother Talzin. Intermingling his knowledge of the dark side of the Force with Talzin's knowledge of Nightsister magicks, Sidious had considered to make Talzin his apprentice and right hand. However, Sidious chose her infant son, the Zabrak Nightbrother who would become his true Sith apprentice, Darth Maul.[38] When Sidious visited Talzin, Maul always hid in his room, afraid of the man and worried about Talzin's increasing bond with him.[39] Sidious was drawn to Maul for his inability to control his anger.[30] Eventually, Sidious ordered Talzin to give up Maul to a keeper, threatening to not follow through on his promise to make her his apprentice. She reluctantly agreed, and Maul ran into the forest angrily, overhearing the conversation from behind his door. When he returned the next morning, a Nightbrother took him and threw him in a pit, not allowing him to say goodbye to his own mother.[39]

Sidious Maul

Sidious killed his Sith Master Darth Plagueis, and under the Rule of Two, trained Darth Maul as his Sith apprentice.

Over the course of months, Maul was put through relentless domestic abuse, all orchestrated by Sidious as a test. With the influence of his keeper's sons beating him and the abuse, Sidious' wish for Maul came true; Maul's perceptions, and his love for his mother eventually turned into resentment and hatred for abandoning him. Maul's hatred started manifesting through the Dark Side, and he would practice using the dark side of the Force every chance he got; eventually, the two brothers stopped beating him after seeing that their provocations were no longer affecting him. Sidious eventually orchestrated a selection to gain himself an apprentice. At the Selection Arena, Sidious witnessed Maul after he was initially prevented from participating. In a sudden burst of anger, he used the dark side of the Force to Force choke the two brothers, and then the keeper, all in front of Sidious and Talzin. Beyond pleased at Maul's progress and potential, Sidious declared Maul the winner and his new apprentice, much to Talzin's dismay.[39]

As such, instead of following through on his promise of giving the apprenticeship to Talzin, Sidious stole her son from her and left Dathomir, leaving the Nightsister longing for revenge against the Sith Lord.[38] Following the traditions set forth by the Rule of Two[8] as it demanded only two Sith,[40] and deciding that Plagueis had outlived his usefulness, Sidious betrayed his master by breaking into his apartment and murdering him in his sleep.[41] Sidious remembered with fondness the moment he realized he was more powerful than Plagueis and could kill the man who had trained him. He later reflected that "Master" was the first title of power he claimed for himself.[42] Now the Sith Master himself, Sidious brutally trained Maul to be a weapon of the Sith,[38] viewing Maul's prowess and combat abilities as an invaluable asset to his Grand Plan.[43]

At some point while training Maul, Sidious took his apprentice to Malachor to bear witness to a great battle that occurred there between the Jedi and the Sith. He forced Maul to breathe in the ashes of Sith warriors, slain when an ancient weapon was activated in the Sith temple on the planet. While breathing in this ash, Maul had visions of members of the Sith order being struck down by the Jedi. He felt the slash of saber after saber as he felt the death of his Sith brethren.[44] These visions, in tandem with his training, made Maul long for revenge against the Jedi Order,[43] which had defeated the Sith a millennium earlier.[45] Thus motivated, Darth Maul would serve as a powerful weapon in Sidious's plans to destroy the Jedi and restore the Sith to galactic power.[43]

Preparations and manipulation

"Because something dangerous is brewing in our little corner of the Outer Rim. Discontent is on the rise, as are criminal enterprises and mercenary groups in the employ of self-serving corporations. In the Seswenna sector, several lommite mining concerns are vying for the attention of the Trade Federation, which is determined to forge a monopoly in the free trade zones. Even on my own Naboo, the king finds himself embroiled with the Trade Federation and off world bankers with regard to our plasma exports. Ours are remote worlds, but what transpires in those sectors of the Outer Rim could very well have galactic repercussions."
―Senator Sheev Palpatine, to Governor-to-be Wilhuff Tarkin[14]
Senator palpatine

Darth Sidious lived a double life as Sheev Palpatine, using both identities to further his plans of galactic domination.

In 42 BBY,[46] Palpatine was introduced to Dooku, a Jedi, by the latter's former Padawan Rael Averross, after the former Jedi Master delivered an address to the Galactic Senate on Coruscant. Following the invasion of Serenno, Dooku left the Jedi Order to claim the title of planetary count,[47] but Sidious eventually recruited Dooku to the Sith[48] by exploiting his anger with the Republic[49] despite also having Maul under his wing.[48] Indeed, Dooku would not yet become a Sith apprentice.[31] To fulfill Sidious's plans, Dooku betrayed and orchestrated the death of Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas and took over his clientele for the commission of a clone army produced on Kamino; the event was subsequently covered up when Dooku erased all records of Kamino from the Jedi Archives.[50]

All the while, Palpatine maintained a faithful correspondence with Wilhuff Tarkin—whose service in the Judicial Department kept them from meeting face-to-face often—and supported bills in the Senate that would aid Eriadu and the Seswenna sector, Tarkin's homeworld and its sector, respectively. After Valorum's re-election, something Palpatine attributed to senatorial special interest groups who needed a weak chancellor, whispers began to swirl Valorum would be unable to hold onto power, with Palpatine's name emerging as a possible successor to the Chancellery. Around that time, Palpatine also met with Tarkin—who had grown disillusioned with the Judicial force—in his Coruscant office in one of their rare person-to-person meetings, where Palpatine urged Tarkin to enter planetary politics as Eriadu's new governor. Warning him something dark was brewing in their corner of the galaxy and promising Tarkin the support of himself and his shadowy allies, Palpatine convinced Tarkin, who promised to do whatever was best for Eriadu and the Republic in any manner Palpatine wished it to be done.[14]

In need of pawns for his plans[51] but preferring a mysterious, hooded presence through holographic transmissions[52] rather than direct communication,[37] Sidious contacted the galaxy's most powerful beings and convinced them to do his bidding with promises and threats.[52] To that end, Sidious was also able to manipulate Nute Gunray's rise to the position of Viceroy of the Trade Federation.[53] Gunray was able to arise to that position thanks to the Eriadu Conference, where an effort to end the squabbles between the Trade Federation and Republic ended in disaster; the Nebula Front attacked the conference and successfully wiped out the Federation directorate, creating a power vacuum for Gunray to step into, while Valorum escaped and was able to secure a brief boost in popularity, with which he pushed through taxation legislation.[49] Convincing the Trade Federation to obey him by promising wealth, Sidious odered the Federation to construct a droid army,[51] Sidious also helped the Geonosian Poggle the Lesser rise to the position of Archduke of Geonosis and controller of their droid foundries.[54] With Sidious's backing, Poggle produced millions of B1-series battle droids for the Trade Federation military.[26]

Holding back Maul

"Remember that your anger is a tool. It is not your master."
"No. You are.
―Darth Sidious and Darth Maul[55]

Darth Sidious worked to curb Darth Maul's overenthusiasm to fight the Jedi lest his apprentice unwittingly ruin his carefully-laid plans and destroy them both.

In 33 BBY,[56] Sidious met with Maul in his hideout, the old LiMerge Power Building in the Works industrial zone of Coruscant, to chide him on allowing Jedi to sense his presence. Sidious told his apprentice he did not care about his impatience, warning Maul that ruining his master's long-term plans would have severe consequences. Sidious then sent Maul to deal with a group of pirates harassing their secret mining facilities in the Kellux system.[57] Sidious was secretly testing Maul's loyalty by setting him up with the opportunity to face a Jedi Padawan. Maul proceeded to unwittingly follow the path laid out for him and slew the Jedi. After his apprentice's return to Coruscant, Sidious revealed his knowledge of all of Maul's actions, asking if his apprentice was satisfied with having killed a Jedi. Sidious was pleased when Maul replied that he was not.[58]

Not long after, during the course of activities in the Coruscant underworld, Maul killed a Force-sensitive thief in an attempt to assuage his thirst to fight Jedi. Sidious called attention to the foolishness of such behavior, but Maul insisted that he had been careful enough to avoid leaving evidence that could alert the Jedi to the continued existence of the Sith. Sidious complimented Maul's anger but warned him that he needed to temper it with patience, which Maul responded to with frustration at still being held in check. Sidious reminded him that his training was not as complete as he assumed, taking him back to Malachor to revisit the site where years before Maul had undergone visions of the Sith being wiped out by the Jedi. Sidious instructed Maul to once again instigate another vision by breathing in the ashes of dead Sith warriors. Through the vision, Maul learned the value of patience since rage alone was not enough for he and and his master to defeat the combined might of the Jedi Order. Pleased, Sidious pointed out that a combination of patient planning with the power granted by the dark side would, in time, see them successfully destroy the Jedi.[55]

Meeting with the Jedi

"Why this shade of blue?"
"There's no accounting for taste. I sometimes wonder what it would look like in red.
―Adi Gallia and Sheev Palpatine[59]

Around this time,[60] Palpatine met, as he frequently did, with Chancellor Valorum and Jedi Masters Yoda and Adi Gallia to discuss diplomatic matters of relevance to the Republic and the Jedi Order. One item of interest were the labor strikes on Garqi and Chamble; for the latter, Palpatine suggested that the Jedi stage a training mission there. Another topic was how to handle a shipment of garish boots sent by the new member world Hafernia as a gift for the Order. Gallia was uncomfortable at the idea of accepting them, stating that Jedi did not endorse products. Palpatine replied that they did endorse the Republic and good governance. Ultimately, the group decided that the Order would accept the boots in name only.[59]

Gallia was then briefly called away to speak with Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn. When she returned, Palpatine handed her a datapad outlining the actions he and Valorum had proposed thus far. Before rejoining the main conversation, the two covertly discussed their aesthetic disagreement with the deep shade of blue that Valorum had chosen post-reelection, with Palpatine wondering what the room would look like in red. Shortly after, Palpatine and Valorum became aware of the Jedi Council's plan to visit Kwenn and contacted Master Mace Windu to discuss the matter.[59]

Eliminating a pawn

"You are old. Too old, to be of much further service to the Jedi—or me. And besides, my interests have changed."
"What do you mean?"
"The pieces are almost in place for the grand game. The Republic, the Trade Federation, the rest—all are poised to play their roles. It serves me to have the Jedi Order constantly moving around, following the whims of commerce and the Senate. Shuffling forces and dividing their attention.
―Darth Sidious and Voh[59]

After the Jedi Council's defense of Kwenn from pirate forces commanded by the Riftwalker leader Zilastra and the destruction of the Order's Sanctuary Mount outpost, Sidious contacted the installation's former Seneschal, an elderly Bimm named Voh, by holocomm. Sidious had, in the guise of Senator Palpatine, made an arrangement with Voh to maintain the Senate's interest in Kwenn, such that the Jedi kept the outpost open, in exchange for Jedi texts from its library that Sidious considered important. They had also agreed that anything Palpatine was not interested in would be destroyed to help obscure the fact that they were missing. However, Sidious discovered that Voh had instead sold off the remaining material, unable to bring himself to eradicate historical documents; and that during the Council's time on Kwenn, Master Eeth Koth had discovered items were missing from the library and located some of the minor ones in a local shop. When presented with this, Voh argued that the evidence of the theft was gone with the outpost and that he could finagle his way into a position at another outpost and continue supplying Palpatine with Jedi works.[59]

However, Sidious was not interested in continuing to deal with Voh and stated as much. The Sith Lord explained to the confused Bimm that he was no longer interested in Kwenn, in fact that he was pleased to see the Jedi closing outposts and moving around the galaxy in a reactionary manner, all of which would benefit plans he would soon put into effect involving the Republic and the Trade Federation. Sidious stated that Zilastra's scheme had impressed him and that she would be of further interest, although he was not surprised that she had ultimately failed in her endeavor against the Jedi. The Sith Lord also pointed out that Voh was too old to be of much further use to himself or the Jedi. When the bewildered Bimm asked why Palpatine had so radically changed his attitude and why he was telling him all of this, Sidious replied that it was for another being's ears, indicating his apprentice Darth Maul, who had entered the room and proceeded to deal with the former Seneschal.[59]

War on Naboo

Invasion of Naboo

"Orchestrating a conflict on my homeworld of Naboo, I sowed the seeds of civil unrest. Chaos erupted within the Senate—a chaos I controlled on every front."
―Darth Sidious[31]
Tey How Gunray Haako and Sidious

Sidious orchestrated the Invasion of Naboo by the Trade Federation, which was under his influence.

Sidious, as Palpatine, moved to seize power from Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, who had virtually no political power and counted Palpatine as a close friend and ally, allowing for Sidious to easily manipulate him.[61] In the Senate, Sidious secretly ensured that the Senate repeatedly battled over bills concerning taxation, bringing about voting sessions that ended in both Federation defeats and victories, while Gunray falsely believed Sidious was working towards Federation victories all the time. Following a discussion in his office about the latest version of the bill, Valorum requested Palpatine to stay behind and confided in him that he was considering having a Jedi step in to serve as an independent moderator, which Palpatine appeared to be surprised by before requesting he hold off on that option for the time being. Moving up his plans upon being told of the Chommell sector summit that threatened to strengthen the sector,[30] Sidious used holographic communication to order Gunray to blockade the planet Naboo, making it seem as though it was in protest of the Senate's taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems. Eventually, driven to desperation by the inactivity of the Senate, Valorum secretly dispatched two Jedi Knights—Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi—as ambassadors to negotiate with the Trade Federation's Neimoidian leaders.[1]

With Sidious pleasantly surprised at the ingenuity the Geonosians had shown in creating the Federation's battle droid army,[30] the Trade Federation initiated the Invasion of Naboo on the orders of Sidious, who also instructed Gunray to kill Chancellor Valorum's Jedi ambassadors. When Gunray questioned the legality of the invasion, Sidious simply stated that he would make it legal. The Neimoidians acted accordingly, but the Jedi survived the assassination attempt and escaped the Federation ship. After Sidious terminated his communication with Gunray, Queen Padmé Amidala contacted him concerning the Federation's denial that the Chancellor had sent ambassadors to speak with them as promised. Sidious, as Palpatine, feigned concern at this supposed revelation, but was cut off mid-sentence by the Trade Federation's communication blackout, notifying the Naboo to their invasion.[1]

The Queen's escape

"At last, we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last, we will have revenge."
―Darth Maul, to Darth Sidious — (audio) Listen (file info)[1]

The Federation's droid army proceeded with their assault. Within a day, the army occupied the planet's capital city and its surrounding regions. Additionally, Amidala and her retinue were captured and presented with a treaty that would bring an air of legitimacy to their invasion. However, the Jedi arrived to rescue them, and they successfully evaded the blockade aboard the queen's starship.[1]

Sith Lords Trade Federation

Queen Padmé Amidala escaped from the Trade Federation, causing Sidious to send Maul after her.

When Gunray informed Sidious of Amidala's failure to sign the treaty, the livid Sith Lord introduced them to Darth Maul, whom he dispatched to find and recapture Amidala. Due to Amidala's ship sustaining damage in the escape, the queen opted to land on Tatooine, an obscure desert world in the Outer Rim Territories, to repair the ship. Maul managed to ascertain the queen's location, and assured his master that his search on the sparsely populated world would be a short one. Sidious told him to move against the Jedi first, and then take the queen once they were dead. Maul left for Tatooine, but he failed to kill the Jedi or retrieve Amidala. Sidious knew she would come to Coruscant if Maul failed.[1]

The Senate

"Enter the bureaucrats, the true rulers of the Republic, and on the payroll of the Trade Federation, I might add. This is where Chancellor Valorum's strength will disappear."
―Sheev Palpatine, to Padmé Amidala[1]

While waiting for Amidala to reach Coruscant, Sidious found he had little to do, although he made sure to go to the Senate to vote on its current matters, even though he did not care for them. With nothing else to do, Palpatine took to looking through his catalogue of art, having run out of space in his office to store the rest of his collection. He stopped his scrolling when he saw a black statue known as the Yonta Prime, which, despite being one of his favorite pieces, he found he could not fit into his office without looking careless. He resolved to take it out of storage, ordering it to be taken to his apartment, so he could place it into the Supreme Chancellor's office when his current plan had finished.[30]

Amidala arrives on Coruscant

Senator Palpatine personally welcomed Queen Amidala to Coruscant, the capital world of the Galactic Republic.

Despite these setbacks, Palpatine was able to convene with Amidala on Coruscant, where she intended to plead her case to Chancellor Valorum before the Galactic Senate. Bringing Amidala to his apartment for an audience, Palpatine told the queen that the senate was long past caring about the common good, while Valorum was essentially powerless against them. With both the Senate and Valorum closed off to her as options, Palpatine offered her two choices: she could move for a Vote of No Confidence in Chancellor Valorum, and push for the election of a more effective leader; or she could take the matter to the courts, which would take even longer. Hoping still to reach some resolution to the matter in the Senate, Amidala opted to attend the special session of the body the next day.[1]


Faced with a growing crisis on Naboo, Amidala heeded Palpatine's advice, calling for stronger leadership in the Senate.

During the awaited Senate session, Amidala attempted to make her case for Republic intervention to stop the Trade Federation's occupation of her world. However, the Federation representative Lott Dod fervently objected to the "accusations" levied against the Federation, citing that there was no proof that an invasion or occupation had even occurred. He recommended that a commission be sent to Naboo to ascertain the truth of the situation, a motion that was seconded by the senator from Malastare, Aks Moe. Vice Chair Mas Amedda conferred quietly with Valorum for a few moments, and Palpatine took the opportunity to predict that the Chancellor, shackled to Senatorial procedure at the behest of bureaucrats who were more than likely on the payroll of the Federation, would fail to help Naboo. When Valorum reluctantly admitted that the Federation was within their rights to request a commission, an outraged Amidala realized that Palpatine was right; Valorum was too weak and ineffectual to provide her world with the help it needed. As such, she took Palpatine's advice and publicly moved for a Vote of No Confidence in the Chancellor. Within moments, hundreds of Senators began demanding for an immediate vote, leaving Valorum thunderstruck.[1]

The sudden power vacuum led to Palpatine's nomination as Supreme Chancellor alongside Bail Antilles of Alderaan and Ainlee Teem of Malastare. When he announced his nomination to Amidala, however, the queen declared her intention to return to Naboo and reclaim it from the Trade Federation by whatever means she could. Palpatine made a show of concern and tried halfheartedly to convince her to stay on Coruscant. She left regardless, taking both Jinn and Kenobi with her for protection and wishing Palpatine success in the election.[1]

Battle of Naboo

"Wipe them out. All of them."
―Darth Sidious, to Nute Gunray[1]
Sidious hologram

Sidious ordered the Trade Federation to eradicate the Gungan army upon learning of their alliance with Queen Amidala.

Sidious contacted the Neimoidians on Naboo, instructing them to kill Amidala upon arrival, and sent Maul to accompany them with orders to make certain the Neimoidians killed the queen, and that the Jedi fell by his own hand. Even while he managed the election on Coruscant, he made time to go over the Neimoidians' progress. Against his expectations, he learned that Amidala not only managed to escape Gunray's reach but also forged an alliance with the Gungans and assembled an army in the planet swamp in preparation for a strike against the Federation occupation force. He doubted she would last even five minutes in such a contest, and gave his approval to Gunray's plan to meet the Gungans head-on.[1]

Confrontation in the LiMerge Power building

"Sifo-Dyas, Kamino, the clones. I have betrayed everyone and everything I know."
"No, you have been loyal to a greater cause."
"How many have died because of my actions?"
"Such is the price of freedom."
―Dooku and Darth Sidious[62]

However, the Federation army was defeated, Gunray was captured by Amidala's forces, and Maul met his presumed death at the hands of the Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi, though not before striking down Qui-Gon Jinn. Darth Sidious showed no remorse towards the Zabrak warrior, and was prepared to take on a new Sith apprentice, to advance in his plans. Due to the death of Jinn, Count Dooku to traveled to their meeting place, the LiMerge Power Building in the Works, to confront Sidious, infuriated that his ally's schemes had resulted in the death of his former apprentice.[62]

Sidious Watches Dooku Yaddle Duel

Count Dooku met with Darth Sidious on Coruscant, where his alliance with the Sith Lord would be discovered by Jedi Master Yaddle.

As Dooku accused Sidious of making him betray everything and everyone he had known, Sidious affirmed that Dooku's actions had been in the service of a greater good, and the galaxy required sacrifices in order to be remade. Dooku pondered that Qui-Gon Jinn could have been a powerful ally, in which Sidious acknowledged the truth, conceding that it would have indeed been advantageous for Dooku. Despite everything Dooku has done for him, Sidious admitted that he always questioned his loyalty, much to Dooku's disturbance. Defending his commitment, Dooku pointed out that he had carried out every task entrusted to him. Sidious then revealed that even greater demands lay ahead if they were to achieve their goals.[62]

Unbeknownst to them, Yaddle had followed Dooku in secret, and urged Dooku to surrender and help her defeat Sidious. Dooku hesitated initially but then, on Sidious' orders, engaged Yaddle in a lightsaber duel as a final test of loyalty. In spite of Yaddle's great effort, Dooku's unrivaled dueling capabilities quickly began to overwhelm her. Yaddle called out to Dooku, admitting that the Jedi High Council had been wrong and informing him that as a result, she had stepped down from her position on the Council. Her last attempt at persuading Dooku failed, and they dueled once more, as Sidious watched and cackled manically.[62]


Sidious took Dooku as his new Sith apprentice after the fallen Jedi killed Yaddle.

As Dooku knocked Yaddle into the frame of the large doorway, he used the Force to flip the lever controlling the door, which came crashing down onto his former friend. Collapsing in sorrow over what he had just done, Dooku was reassured by Sidious, who congratulated his "friend" and apprentice. To their shock, Yaddle suddenly lifted the doorway off in one final display of her immense Force power. Lying defenseless and exhausted at Dooku's feet, Dooku impaled her with his lightsaber.[62] As Sidious' new Sith apprentice, Dooku adopted the secret name of Darth Tyranus.[63]

Ultimately, Palpatine won the election for Supreme Chancellor, and later attended at the funeral of Jinn. Palpatine also learned that the Naboo owed their victory to the unexpected intervention of Anakin Skywalker, a young, freed slave from Tatooine who was highly attuned to the Force, fueling the belief that he was the Chosen One of Jedi prophecy who would bring balance to the Force. After much debate, the Jedi Council decided that Skywalker would be apprenticed to Kenobi as a Jedi. Palpatine personally congratulated the two Jedi during the celebration on Naboo, telling young Skywalker that his career would be watched with "great interest."[1]

Further preparations

Preparing for war

"They said Master Sifo-Dyas placed an order for a clone army at the request of the Senate almost ten years ago. I was under the impression that he was killed before that."
―Obi-Wan Kenobi, to Mace Windu and Yoda regarding the Kaminoans[12]
Sidious Tyranus

Sidious orchestrated the Separatist Crisis to destabilize the Republic, all the while training Darth Tyranus as his new apprentice.

Over the next ten years,[64] Supreme Chancellor Palpatine amassed a favorable reputation as a mild-mannered servant of the common good, and the public remained oblivious to his true, insidious persona.[9][12] He kept one of his lightsabers hidden in a statue of[65] Sistros Nevet,[66] which was coated in neuranium and thus protected from scans, while the other was kept in an unknown hiding place.[65] As Anakin Skywalker grew older, his relationship with Palpatine deepened; on many occasions, Palpatine lauded Skywalker as the most gifted Jedi he had ever encountered, one who would surpass even Yoda, the Grand Master of the Jedi Council. Skywalker, who grew increasingly frustrated with the strict lifestyle of the Jedi under his master Kenobi's guidance, appreciated Palpatine's praise and greatly took to his counsel. In truth, this was all part of Sidious' plan to gain Skywalker's trust and groom him into his eventual Sith apprentice.[9][12]

However, Sidious was well aware that his plan to turn Skywalker to the dark side could not bear fruit for many years to come, and with Maul presumed dead, Sidious needed an apprentice in the interim. As such, he turned to Dooku to fill that role,[67] making the former Jedi his interim apprentice under the name Darth Tyranus.[31] Sidious and Tyranus gained control of a behavioral modification biochip that Sifo-Dyas wanted instilled in each clone as a safeguard against rogue Jedi,[68] and the two then retooled the chip for Sidious's purpose.[31] Subsequently, bounty hunter Jango Fett was hired as the genetic template for the clone army on Kamino,[12] and the clones were fitted with the Sith's retooled biochip, the latter containing a protocol that would ensure their total obedience to Sidious when the time came for it.[31]

In 26 BBY,[69] Sidious sent Tyranus to Sullust to negotiate with the SoroSuub Corporation. Tyranus soon reported back that a Jedi Knight was present on the planet. Uncertain as to what the Jedi's purpose there was, Sidious told his apprentice to uncover the reason for his presence and to keep the Jedi from discovering the alliances Count Dooku was forging on behalf of the Sith, ostensibly for Serenno. Tyranus was successful in this endeavor and also covertly eliminated the Jedi, under the guise of helping him investigate the Kaldana Syndicate.[70]

Galli and the Contingency

"You will go back to Jakku. The spot there in the dirt where my droids were operating is precious. Not just to me, but to the galaxy at large. It is significant… You will go back there and you will monitor my droids excavating the ground. Then I will send more droids and they will build something there below the ground. I want you to guard this space. Can you do that?"
―Darth Sidious, to Galli[18]
Jakku view

Sidious discovered Galli, an orphan who grew up to become Gallius Rax, while visiting the frontier world of Jakku.

In 25 BBY,[71] Sidious and his Adviser Yupe Tashu traveled to the barren Inner Rim planet of Jakku, which lay at the edge of the Unknown Regions. After landing his yacht Imperialis in the Plaintive Hand plateau, Tashu ordered a detachment of six droids to begin excavating. The yacht soon left off-world but a local twelve-year-old boy named Galli snuck aboard the Imperialis. Sidious sensed his presence and gave the boy the choice of dying or serving him. Sidious then instructed Galli to return to the excavation site and guard it against any intruders. He stressed that intruders should not be allowed to taint the site and ordered Galli to kill them. Sidious then introduced himself on a first-name basis as Sheev.[18]

For the next ten years, Galli guarded the Plaintive Hand excavation site. In 15 BBY, Sidious returned and invited the boy aboard the Imperialis this time as a guest of honor. By that stage, work on the Jakku Observatory had been completed. Using a game of Shah-tezh as an illustration, Sidious explained that his future Galactic Empire could not be allowed to outlive its Emperor should he die prematurely. To demonstrate his seriousness, Sidious Force choked Galli. He tasked Galli with executing his secret Contingency plan and inducted the boy into Imperial service.[72] Galli subsequently joined the Naval Intelligence Agency as a commander[18] and adopted the name Gallius Rax.[72]

Laying the foundations

"You don't need guidance, Anakin. In time, you will learn to trust your feelings. Then, you will be invincible. I have said it many times, you are the most gifted Jedi I have ever met."
"Thank you, Your Excellency."
"I see you becoming the greatest of all the Jedi, Anakin. Even more powerful than Master Yoda."
―Sheev Palpatine and Anakin Skywalker[12]
Darth Sidious and his future apprentice

Sidious, as Palpatine, befriended Anakin Skywalker, knowing the young Jedi had the potential to become a powerful Sith.

As Anakin Skywalker grew older, the relationship between Palpatine and the young Jedi greatly deepened. On many occasions, the Chancellor attended the boy's training at the Jedi Temple, expressing appreciation for the progress reached by the young Padawan in lightsaber combat. Seeing that the boy was deeply conditioned by his emotions, Palpatine asked Master Mace Windu to send Skywalker to him, saying he could help with the boy's formation.[73] When Skywalker arrived in the company of his Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, Palpatine asked to be accompanied by Skywalker for an errand in the lower levels of Coruscant. Dismissing Master Kenobi's reminder that Skywalker was not yet a Jedi and dangers could lie ahead, the Chancellor brought Skywalker to Level 2685. Both disguised as travellers, Palpatine told the youth that he himself frequented the area when his duties permitted it—to try to do some good. Eventually, the duo arrived at Club Kasakar.[74]

There, Palpatine expressed some form of envy in the life of young Jedi Padawans, that was already decided from an early age, in difference with his political life, one of troubling choices and difficult decisions. He also explained that the Club was full of Senators. In particular, he pointed out Senator Colandrus, a Tarsunt who often went there for gambling. While the Tarsunt senator was betting at a game table, Palpatine said that Colandrus was corrupt, but there were no proofs of it. Inspired by the unflattering description, Anakin used Jedi telekinesis to rig Colandrus' last die, making him lose large sums of money. Hearing the disguised Palpatine laugh at his misfortune, Colandrus sicced his bodyguard on him, but the Chancellor defused the situation by explaining that "his son" had just made a joke, and promised that they would leave at once. Still unconvinced, Colandrus nevertheless allowed the cloaked nuisances to go freely.[75]

Sith to be

Skywalker's potential convinced Palpatine that the young Padawan could become the greatest of all the Jedi.

Once the duo returned back to the Chancellor's office, Palpatine "apologized" to Anakin for involving him in a Senate matter. Anakin said the Jedi could arrest Senator Colandrus, but Palpatine replied that the Jedi were not required to obey him because if they did, he would be like a dictator and that wasn't his wish. He also told the boy not to talk about what had happened to them with his masters and further asked if Anakin was happy in the temple. When the Padawan answered positively, Palpatine felt the truth of it through the Force. Eventually, Palpatine thanked him for his decisive role in the Battle of Naboo, and said there would always be a place for Anakin near him, and that he could make extraordinary use of a young man like Anakin.[76]

Palpatine continued to act as a confidant to Skywalker, providing guidance to the young Padawan who trained to become a true Jedi.[12] Skywalker was grateful to Palpatine, and viewed the chancellor as a mentor as well as a friend.[20] In private, Palpatine expressed to Skywalker his confidence in him, including his belief that Skywalker's power would eventually eclipse the combined strength of the Jedi Order, including Grand Master Yoda.[12]

The Clone Wars

Separatist crisis

"I love democracy. I love the Republic. The power you give me I will lay down when this crisis has abated. And as my first act with this new authority, I will create a grand army of the Republic to counter the increasing threats of the separatists."
―Sheev Palpatine[12]
Chancellors Office

Sidious' public façade required him to work with the leaders of the Jedi Order, the ancient enemies of the Sith.

Under Sidious' direction, Tyranus rallied several thousand solar systems into declaring independence from the Galactic Republic, instead joining the Confederacy of Independent Systems with himself as its leader.[12] Two years after the Confederacy was founded,[49] civil war seemed to be imminent and the Jedi's numbers were too few to maintain galactic peace. The Senate pushed for a vote to create a Grand Army of the Republic. Keeping his true motives a secret,[12] Palpatine resisted all of the Senate's attempts to create an army and the push to go to war with the Confederacy.[77]

At some point, Darth Sidious and his Sith apprentice, Count Dooku, realized the promise of Kaleesh warlord Grievous,[78] formerly known as Qymaen jai Sheelal,[79] as Grievous led his fellow Kaleesh warriors in the war against[78] a neighboring[78] and technologically superior insectoid species,[80] the Yam'rii from the planet Huk.[78]After the Republic[49] and the Jedi intervened[78] to support the Yam'rii,[49] the Kaleesh were punished, with hundreds of thousands dying of starvation. Sidious and Dooku, who had important plans for Grievous, took notice of his exploits as he became one of IGBC's most valuable resources.[80] Dooku then orchestrated a shuttle crash[78] to recruit Grievous to command the droid armies.[8] Extensive surgery was required to save Grievous's life,[81] performed by cybernetics experts and Geonosian biotechnicians,[78] with assistance from medical droids, including the FX-9 surgical assistant FX-6.[82] The operation resulted in Grievous physically being drastic changed.[81]

After arriving on Coruscant to vote on the matter, Palpatine's successor as Senator of Naboo, former Queen Padmé Amidala, narrowly avoided an assassination attempt carried out by Zam Wesell on behalf of the vengeful Nute Gunray. Palpatine had the vote delayed and placed the senator under the protection of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, her old allies from the Battle of Naboo. After a second attempt on the senator's life was made, Skywalker was assigned to protect her back on her homeworld of Naboo. There the two secretly started to fall in love which, coupled with Skywalker's later discovery of his mother Shmi's death at the hands of Tusken Raiders on the planet Tatooine, would bring the young Jedi ever closer to the dark side of the force, and even more vulnerable to Sidious' deceptive machinations.[12]


Secession gave way to the Clone Wars, allowing Palpatine to create the Grand Army of the Republic with his emergency powers.

However, when it was revealed that the Separatists were secretly building a battle droid army with the support of many commercial organizations, including the Trade Federation. Palpatine used the situation to have himself granted emergency powers from the Senate by Representative Jar Jar Binks. Palpatine feigned reluctance to accept this authority, promising to return it to the Senate once the crisis ended. His first act was to allow the use of the clone army, which had been discovered by Kenobi on Kamino, to counter the Separatist threat; this resulted in the First Battle of Geonosis, which served as the opening salvo of the Clone Wars. After clone template Jango Fett was killed and his Separatist partners escaped the battle, Tyranus met with Sidious at the Coruscant tower in the Works with good news that the war the Sith had been orchestrating had begun, as well as preliminary blueprints for a Geonosian superweapon that could be of use to their future Sith-led regime. Sidious was pleased with the turn of events, and he later, with the leaders of the Senate, oversaw the new Republic army marching towards war, while Palpatine additionally would be able to deceive both sides from the start of the war. Skywalker and Amidala secretly wed on Naboo. The sole witnesses[12] to the clandestine ceremony were their two droids, C-3PO and R2-D2, other than a local holy man who officiated the rite.[23] He unknowingly passed on the secret to Sidious, which the Sith Lord would later use during his quest to lure Skywalker into becoming his next apprentice.[20]

Converting future servants

"I enjoyed our talk, Iskat Akaris, and I will take your thoughts into consideration. I feel certain you have a bright future ahead of you."
―Sheev Palpatine, to Iskat Akaris[83]

At some point, Sidious infiltrated the Jedi Temple with a number of agents, including the former Padawan Heezo, ordering them to identify Jedi dissatisfied with the Order and covertly nudge them towards the dark side. Shortly after the mission to Thule, he met with the Jedi High Council. On his way to their chamber, he was escorted by one such Jedi, the Knight Iskat Akaris. Sidious took advantage of the opportunity by getting her to voice her secretly-held opinions of the Order to him while subtly encouraging her darker impulses.[83]

Negotiations with the Hutts

"Soon, the Jedi will not only be at war with you, Count, but the Hutt Clan as well."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Tyranus — (audio) Listen (file info)[84]
Count Dooku speaks with Darth Sidious

Sidious and Tyranus controlled both sides in the galactic conflict as Chancellor Palpatine and Count Dooku.

After the Confederacy's Droid Army seized control of the major hyperspace lanes, Sidious had Tyranus and his assassin Asajj Ventress kidnap the Hutt Clans' Council leader, Jabba's son, Rotta. After he was taken to Teth, Sidious contacted both Ventress and Tyranus. He assured them that the Jedi would be at war with the Hutts as well the Confederacy.[84]

Palpatine then received a message from Jabba, asking for help in rescuing his son. Despite Master Windu's reservations about allying the Republic with the Hutt, Palpatine knew they need the Hutt's space lanes to move their troops. Despite General Grievous spreading the Republic forces thin, Windu told Palpatine that Skywalker and Kenobi could carry out the rescue. During the rescue, Palpatine learned that Jabba believed that the Jedi were behind his son's kidnapping and told Senator Amidala of this. Jabba refused to speak with him, so Amidala decided to speak with Jabba's uncle Ziro at his palace, despite Palpatine's warning. Kenobi, Skywalker, and his new Padawan, Ahsoka Tano were able to return Rotta to his father and secure a treaty with the Hutts. Following the events, Sidious spoke with his apprentice about this setback. He assured Tyranus that the war was turning in their favor.[84]

Gunray's capture

"Gunray's capture could be a serious threat to us, my friend."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Tyranus[85]

Palpatine learned that Senator Amidala moved through enemy territory into the Outer Rim, causing him to contact her aboard her H-type Nubian yacht. Amidala explained that an old family friend, Senator Farr of Rodia, had asked for her personally, as his people were starving. Palpatine claimed to understand, although he argued that she should have a clone trooper escort. However, Amidala had trust in diplomacy. After Representative Binks tried to talk to Palpatine, he caused C-3PO's chair to move, knocking the Gungan down and causing the ship to veer off course. Amidala was able to regain control, but Palpatine discreetly urged her to keep Binks out of the negotiations, which she agreed to.[86]

Sidious Dooku Talk 2

Sidious ordered Tyranus to retrieve Nute Gunray, not wanting the Jedi to learn of what he knew.

Yet once Amidala was planet-side, she learned Farr had joined the Separatists to help his people, and she was captured by Nute Gunray's battle droids. However, Binks helped disrupt the Separatist's plans and Farr decided to side with the Republic. Thanks to a message sent by C-3PO, the 41st Elite Corps arrived on the planet and captured Gunray. Palpatine contacted them via hologram, stating that Amidala had brought Rodia's needs to his attention. The Chancellor had deployed a convoy of supply ships and stated that Gunray's capture was a major Republic victory.[86]

However, the secret Sith Lord saw the danger Nute Gunray's capture posed, as the viceroy would not last under the Jedi's questioning. Contacting Darth Tyranus, Sidious was informed by his apprentice that Asajj Ventress could infiltrate the Republic warship, allowing her to rescue or kill Gunray. While Sidious was apprehensive about using an agent who had previously failed them in the past, Tyranus argued that she was a skilled assassin. Ultimately, the master allowed his pupil to proceed in this plan; Ventress successfully rescued Nute Gunray, denying the Jedi and the Republic the opportunity to extract secret information from the Separatist leader, whilst also demonstrating her ability to handle a Star Destroyer's contingent of clone troopers, a Jedi Padawan, and a Jedi Master all at once.[85]

Chancellor at war

"With the final votes tallied, let it be known that the motion to stop the creation of more clone troops has failed, and the continued manufacturing of clone troopers shall proceed as scheduled."
―Sheev Palpatine[87]

As a result of the Clone Wars, the Republic became a militarized state under Chancellor Palpatine.

As the war got underway, Dooku crash-landed his ship on Vanqor and was captured by the Ohnaka Gang. Kenobi and Skywalker were sent to verify their leader Hondo Ohnaka's demand for a reward,[88] and then sent Senator Kharrus and Representative Binks to deliver it. Ultimately, Dooku escaped from the pirates.[89]

Sidious paid Cad Bane to steal a Holocron from the Jedi Temple's Holocron Vault,[90] which when used in conjunction with the kyber memory crystal would reveal the location of Force-sensitive infants across the galaxy.[91] He had Bane kidnap these children to his facility on Mustafar to commence the creation of an army of Force-sensitive spies, Sidious told the nanny droids of the children's natural talent and how he would harness that power for his own needs. Looking into the future, Sidious saw a vision of Force talented spies trained in the dark side that would appear in every corner of the galaxy doing his bidding. The nanny droid told the Dark Lord that subjects rarely survive the procedure at a young age but Sidious said the risk was necessary and that if the procedure failed he would lose nothing. As the surgery was about to happen, an alert from a nanny droid told the Sith Lord of an incoming shuttle that was approaching and it did not belong to the bounty hunter. This surprised Sidious as he did not foresee this and ordered the droids to evacuate the children and destroy the facility to protect his identity and ended the transmission quickly. the Jedi foiled Bane and rescued the younglings.[92]

Dr Boll confers with Palpatine

Working with Doctor Sionver Boll, Palpatine ordered the termination of the Zillo Beast for purposes of scientific research.

During the Battle of Malastare, the Zillo Beast was inadvertently awakened and Palpatine wanted the creature killed, but changed his mind when Doctor Sionver Boll and Skywalker pointed out the beast's indestructible hide could prove fruitful if analyzed. The Zillo Beast was instead rendered unconscious, and transported to Coruscant. It broke out of its restraints and rampaged through the Senate District before being killed with poison gas. Palpatine ordered Boll to clone the animal.[93][94]

During the Senate hostage crisis, Cad Bane demanded Ziro the Hutt be released from prison in exchange for the hostages' release. Palpatine reluctantly complied after Skywalker was subdued by Bane's gang.[95]

The following year,[96] while the Senate was considering deregulating the banks to increase funding for the war. Palpatine was soon informed by Amidala that the Separatist Senate, led by Mina Bonteri, was considering peace negotiations. Dooku had the central power distribution grid bombed, and then staged another attack on the Confederacy, which killed Bonteri and was blamed on the Republic, dashing any hope of peace.[97]

Palpatine Pursuite of Peace

Palpatine reflected on Amidala's speech against the escalation of the Clone Wars, noting her ability to sway public opinion.

Desperate, Amidala attempted to rally support for opposing a new bill but found few willing to do so. Upon further investigation, Amidala found that many of the senators who voted in support have actually been blackmailed to do so. She also discovered that supporting the bill would mean bankrupting certain segments of the Republic such as their social programs, due to the Banking Clan's high interest rates. Pursued by assassins, Bail Organa, Onacondo Farr and Amidala continued attempting to oppose the bill with Amidala stepping up in front of the Senate. In her speech, she pointed out that passing the bill would harm the citizens it was supposedly attempting to protect. Her speech marshals loud respect and support from the Senate audience. Later, Palpatine expressed his displeasure to Mas Amedda, noting how the success of one individual's passionate voice can have over his power. Palpatine resolved to wait until fate and the Senate once more turn to favor him.[98]


Palpatine attended the funeral of Senator Onaconda Farr, whose murder undermined Amidala's plans for a peaceful resolution of the Clone Wars.

When the military enhancement bill for more clone troopers was introduced, Palpatine claimed to be opposed to it. The bill encountered minor but effective resistance, although one of its greatest critics, Onaconda Farr, seemingly died of a heart failure before it could be voted on. Palpatine attended the funeral, but, in the Chancellor's office, he and others met with inspector Tanivos Exantor Divo, who revealed a poison had actually killed the senator. As the inspector left, the Chancellor claimed that murder in the Senate was unthinkable. Later, Palpatine and the others reunited in his office, where Divo nearly arrested the false suspect, the Kaminoan Senator Halle Burtoni. However, Amidala realized Farr's aide, Lolo Purs, was the true culprit, and the Rodian was arrested. Soon afterward, the military enhancement bill was passed; Palpatine claimed to a disappointed Amidala that he too was disappointed, but that democracy needed to be respected, and stated that, with more troops, the war could possibly end more quickly.[87]

During the Battle of Sullust, Sidious felt Asajj Ventress growing stronger in the ways of the dark side of the Force. Through a hologram, Darth Sidious accused Tyranus of wanting to overthrow him as Dark Lord which shocked his apprentice who stated his loyalty belonged only to his Master. Sidious then demanded proof and ordered him to eliminate Ventress which the Count sadly obliged to. After assuming success in the death of his former disciple, Dooku contacted Sidious of his apparent success. Satisfied, Darth Sidious praised his apprentice for once again proving his loyalty. The two were unaware that Ventress survived.[99]

Sidious ordered Tyranus to ally with the resurgent Zygerrian Slave Empire, explaining past Sith Empires were built on the backs of slaves and theirs would be no exception.[100] They soon plotted for bounty hunters such as Cad Bane and Rako Hardeen to "kidnap" Palpatine during the Festival of Light on Naboo. Kenobi infiltrated the plot and helped the Jedi to prevent it, lulling them into a false sense of security. Dooku showed up the evening after the festival but was defeated and forced to flee.[101]

Return of Darth Maul

"Have mercy. Please. Please!"
"There is no mercy."
―Maul and Darth Sidious[102]

Sensing a disturbance in the Force, Sidious traveled to Mandalore to confront Maul, his first apprentice.

The next year,[103] Maul returned to the galaxy after a decade of hiding, with his brother Savage Opress now acting as his apprentice. The Jedi were concerned but Palpatine disagreed, convincing Yoda that the Separatists should be their concern and that Maul's vendetta was a private matter for Kenobi to resolve.[104] When Maul seized control of Mandalore, the most powerful planet in the Council of Neutral Systems, Sidious realized that Maul had grown too dangerous and was a threat to his future conquest of the galaxy. Deciding to end the threat personally, Sidious had his shuttle flown to Sundari, where he confronted Maul and Opress.[102]


Sidious defeated Maul and killed Savage Opress, putting an end to their challenge to the reigning Sith Lords.

Not fooled by Maul's attempts to become his apprentice once again, Sidious engaged the rival Sith Lords in combat. Sidious proved himself to be not only a match for their combined strength but also superior, as after a prolonged duel, he separated the brothers by first bypassing Savage's defense and knocking him away with a kick and then force-pushed Maul, briefly knocking him out. Sidious then briefly toyed with Savage, not even bothering to engage, before he then began battling him again and soundly slayed Opress in single combat. Not bothering to prevent Maul from going to his brother, knowing it was too late for him to do anything to save Savage after Opress finally succumbed, Sidious taunted Maul again, reminding him of the ancient rules of the Sith and how Maul had been replaced before he then once again engaged his former apprentice. Although Sidious found Maul to be far more ferocious than Savage, he ultimately won the final blade lock and brought Maul to his knees, but chose not to kill him, foreseeing that his fallen apprentice could be useful to him in the near future.[102]

Trial of Ahsoka Tano

"I'm sure many of you look at this former Jedi and think, 'Surely she cannot be this murderer or saboteur that they speak of.' And yet think of all the times we have been fooled by the Separatists and how they have infiltrated the Republic, and ask yourself, 'Is this yet another Separatist scheme?' Another way to rip the Jedi, and subsequently all of us, apart."
―Sheev Palpatine[105]

Palpatine presided over the trial of Ahsoka Tano, a Jedi framed for treason.

Chancellor Palpatine served as the judge of the trial of Ahsoka Tano, who was accused of masterminding a bombing at the Jedi Temple. Flanked by two crimson-robed guards, he listened while Senator Amidala and Admiral Tarkin made their arguments as the defense and the prosecutor, respectively. When they had finished, the Chancellor delivered a speech warning the court to beware of Separatist schemes that aimed to undermine the Jedi Order, and by extension, the Galactic Republic, from within. Before he could announce the verdict, however, Skywalker interrupted with Barriss Offee, who confessed to the crime. Palpatine ordered Offee taken away, and Tano was acquitted.[105]

Manipulating two sides

"Each day, we grow closer and closer to victory."
―Sheev Palpatine[106]
Informing Palpatine of Tups death

Faced with a conspiracy involving the clone army, Palpatine ordered that the evidence be brought to him on Coruscant.

During the Battle of Ringo Vinda, the clone trooper CT-5385 "Tup" suddenly faltered, becoming confused, betraying and killing the Jedi Master Tiplar, before ultimately succumbing to insanity and dying himself. This incident was instigated by a faulty biochip, inserted into clones for the purpose of enforcing loyalty to the Supreme Chancellor and which laid the groundwork for their execution of Protocol 66. With his plans threatened, Sidious, as Chancellor Palpatine, had Tup's body taken to the Grand Republic Medical Facility for autopsy.[68] Shaak Ti and Nala Se brought the rebellious clone CT-5555 "Fives" to Palpatine, who had uncovered the inhibitor chips implanted in each clone trooper, and believed them to be part of a Separatist conspiracy. The Chancellor informed Fives of his involvement with the chips and had his guards stage an attack, making Fives look dangerous to the Republic and discrediting him. Following Fives' death, he informed the Jedi that a parasite native to Ringo Vinda was responsible for Tup and Fives's behavior, for which all of the clone troopers would be inoculated against.[106] Sidious furthered the beneficiary opportunities from this series of events as he transferred the bulk of his Sith artifact collection to the Medical Facility from an abandoned store-house in the Works district, where the elusive Sith feared the Jedi may discover.[23]

During a diplomatic mission to Scipio, Senator Padmé Amidala learned from Rush Clovis that the InterGalactic Banking Clan had gone bankrupt. Palpatine told her to trust Clovis while hiring the bounty hunter Embo to target them on the Clan's apparent behalf.[107] Sidious and Tyranus agreed to make Clovis the new head of the Banking Clan: the Muun government arrested the Core Five, and Clovis was elected by a Senate majority to replace them.[108] Dooku blackmailed Clovis into raising the Republic's interest rates and sent a fleet to blockade Scipio, to which Palpatine responded by sending a fleet commanded by Skywalker. As Scipio fell under the Republic's control and Clovis committed suicide, the Muuns ceded control of the banks to the Office of the Chancellor.[109]

Queen Julia's request

"Queen Julia, the Republic is honored that you have come to us for aid. We are always happy to support the neutral systems in a time of crisis."
―Sheev Palpatine[110]

When Queen Julia of Bardotta requested assistance from the Senate regarding the disappearance of several Dagoyan Masters, Palpatine offered to send Bail Organa and Senator Amidala, but she insisted the aid of Representative Binks. Palpatine informed the Jedi Council, who deemed it unwise, so Master Windu volunteered to accompany him.[110]

Sifo-Dyas' secret

"Master Sifo-Dyas? Forgive me. I'm afraid I am not familiar with that name."
―Sheev Palpatine, to Yoda[50]
Sid puts the squeeze on Tyranus

Sidious ordered Tyranus to prevent the Jedi from discovering the Sith's plans.

Palpatine was visited by Yoda when the Jedi discovered Sifo-Dyas's lightsaber at the location of a distress beacon: apparently, Sifo-Dyas had died on a mission to Felucia, but details were sealed by the Office of the Chancellor. Palpatine told Yoda to consult former Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, since he was still a Senator at the time. Sidious then went to berate Tyranus via hologram over this loose end, ordering him to sort it out. Vexed by Tyranus' carelessness, Sidious Force choked his apprentice, warning him to remember the price for failure. Dooku prevented Kenobi and Skywalker from learning who killed Sifo-Dyas, but they still deduced the Sith were responsible for the creation of the clone army.[50]

Yoda's journey to Moraband

"Save him, Jedi? Can you save him? Why not let him go? Let him die, and you can stop all that I will do."
―Darth Sidious, to Yoda, about Anakin Skywalker[40]
Dark side ritual

Sidious and Tyranus used Sith sorcery while attempting to undermine the resolve of Grand Master Yoda.

When Yoda entered the Valley of the Dark Lords on Moraband during a quest to uncover immortality, Sidious and Tyranus sensed his presence and convened at the Works on Coruscant. Greeting his apprentice once he arrived, Sidious led Tyranus to the tower's ceremonial chamber. Exploiting Tyranus and Yoda's Force-bond, Sidious used a Balc incantation to cast a dark illusion to ensnare the Jedi Master. Using Sifo-Dyas' visage, he offered to reveal his identity if he would join him, but Yoda refused. The illusion then made it seem that they were in the Works pursuing the Sith Lords with Anakin Skywalker and the 501st Legion. Sidious dueled Yoda on the catwalks outside the tower, with Skywalker arriving outside shortly after. Sidious rendered Skywalker unconscious with Force lightning while he continued fighting Yoda. As the illusion unfolded, Yoda refused to sacrifice Skywalker to pursue Sidious, and instead demonstrated he was willing to sacrifice himself to save the Chosen One. Sidious's illusion faltered: the Jedi Master won. Defeated, Sidious stated that they would need more time to defeat the Jedi.[40]

Business on Utapau

When he learned the otherwise unremarkable planet Utapau had produced a massive kyber crystal, the world became of interest to Sidious, as he wanted the large crystal for his battle station project.[111] With the crystal in the hands of a Sugi arms dealing group, Dooku agreed to a sale, claiming he wanted the crystal for the Separatist Alliance.[112] Grievous himself arrived to oversee the deal, ultimately killing the Sugi leader, Endente, and taking the crystal to his Separatist fleet.[113] However, after they had arrived on Utapau to investigate the death of Jedi Master Tu-Anh,[114] Kenobi and Skywalker fought to stop the Separatist operation, pursuing the crystal into space and destroying it aboard Grievous's Dual Hemisphere-Omni Support Vessel. Nevertheless, Yoda feared that Sidious was planning to create a superweapon,[115] and Sidious remained interested in Utapau. Thus, the planet was targeted to be occupied, which would allow a crystal search to begin.[111] Within months,[116] the Separatists invaded the world.[117]

Battle with Maul and Talzin

"At last. The great deceiver comes to rescue his pawn."
"I come to end this farce once and for all."
―Maul and Darth Sidious[19]

Meanwhile, Sidious wanted to use Maul to draw out Mother Talzin, the Nightsister witch who could pose a threat to his plans. His operations against Talzin began when Mandalorian super commandos broke Maul out of his imprisonment in the Spire on Stygeon Prime.[118] Maul called on Mother Talzin for help after General Grievous defeated his forces at Zanbar, precisely what Sidious and Dooku wanted. Talzin foresaw this and ordered her son to draw the Separatists to Ord Mantell, where he defeated and captured Dooku.[119] Maul contacted Sidious and informed him of their capture: the Sith Lord responded he should execute them, saying there were of no more use to him. Maul informed Dooku, goading him into allying with him.[38]


Sidious secured his plan for the galaxy by defeating his rivals Maul and Mother Talzin.

Maul and Dooku flew to Dathomir, where Talzin intended to siphon Dooku's lifeforce to regain her physical body. Sidious and Grievous also arrived on the planet and attacked Maul and the Talzin-possessed Dooku. Talzin regained her physical body and fended off Sidious's lightning, sacrificing herself to allow her son to escape. Taking the opportunity, Grievous plunged two lightsabers into her body, eliminating the foe of Sidious. Despite Maul's escape, Sidious was satisfied that the Shadow Collective had been destroyed.[19]

A Jedi renegade

"Darth Tyranus found his final apprentice in the unconventional Jedi Knight Quinlan Vos."
―Darth Sidious[31]

Later, the Jedi sent Quinlan Vos to work with Ventress to kill Count Dooku. This mission was deemed Jedi business, so Palpatine was not informed. However, Skywalker was unsure if that was the correct decision, and he felt that the Jedi keeping secrets from the Chancellor was wrong. Eventually, aboard the Republic's Venator-class Star Destroyer Vigilance in orbit of Christophsis, Vos, who had fallen to the dark side and tasked himself with becoming Dooku's apprentice so as to discover Darth Sidious' identity, and Dooku, held in captivity of several clone troopers and Jedi, including Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, had enlisted the assistance of Asajj Ventress in their escape.[120]

The trio, however, crash-landed onto Christophsis under Republic pursuit, with the Count of Serenno suffering grievous injuries. Having sought shelter in a hidden Confederacy fortress, Tyranus contacted a long-awaiting Darth Sidious within a hologram communications chamber in seek of help, yet not before Vos and Ventress slipped in. Tyranus was thus forced to introduce Quinlan Vos, presenting the former Jedi as his "new assassin" to Sidious, who had customarily hidden his facial features behind his dark cowl, whilst Ventress remained hidden in the shadows. After expressing disapproval with his apprentice's new employ, Darth Sidious listened to Tyranus' plea for an evacuation ship as a second battle of Christophsis ensued with Skywalker leading the ruthless Republic onslaught. Giving only a vague answer, Sidious ended the holo-communication as the Christophsis Separatist tower fell to Republic gunship fire. The battle resulted in an inevitable Separatist loss, and with Ventress' redemption through[120] appearing to[121] sacrificing herself for her lover, Quinlan Vos, Tyranus' "new assassin" chose to allow Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi take him back to the Jedi Temple on Coruscant for reassessment. Meanwhile, as the Jedi took Vos, a ship sent by Darth Sidious arrived to retrieve Tyranus, letting the Separatist leader return to safety.[120]

Subverting the Republic

Most powerful chancellor in centuries

As per his plans to use the Clone Wars as an excuse to consolidate[122] and centralize[123] his political power[122] to make way for his reign as Emperor,[20] Palpatine had become the most powerful Supreme Chancellor since the days of the Ruusan Reformations by the end of the conflict.[123] Using the war effort as his excuse, Palpatine had the Galactic Constitution amended multiple times during the conflict.[124] One constitutional amendment known as the Reflex Amendment granted him near-absolute power over military affairs, thereby allowing him to bypass the Senate in such decisions.[123] Towards the end of the war,[125] Palpatine passed[124] a constitutional amendment[125] known as the Sector Governance Decree.[124]

Under the Sector Governance Decree, Palpatine created a new structure of regional governance[124] by naming certain individuals governors. In theory, the decree was designed to shore up the war effort by uniting star systems into singular blocs and transforming their production centers into war-focused installations.[125] In reality, however, regional governors could become leaders of the systems they oversaw, allowing Palpatine to circumvent and one day disband the Senate by creating a new bureaucracy[126] composed of individuals he sent out.[125] The decree, however, proved to be too much for senators who formed the Delegation of 2,000, which quietly assembled the Petition of 2,000[123] in the name of protesting Palpatine's conduct[127] and growing powers. Led by Amidala, Mothma, and Organa,[123] the Delegation hoped to make Palpatine give up his emergency powers[124] and intended to present their petition to Palpatine once it was signed by two thousand[123] of their fellow legislators.[124]

The Battle of Coruscant

"You did well, Anakin. He was too dangerous to be kept alive."
―Sheev Palpatine, to Anakin Skywalker, on the execution of Dooku[20]

Sidious moved forward with his plans to replace Tyranus with Skywalker as the Clone Wars entered its last phase.

Deciding that it was time to make Skywalker his next apprentice, Sidious devised a plan for Palpatine to be captured in order for Skywalker to rescue him. The plan included sacrificing Darth Tyranus, who was to be killed by Skywalker, which would tempt Skywalker to the dark side and eventually lead to the young Jedi replacing Dooku as the Dark Lord's new apprentice.[20] Likely through the Nexus Route,[128] Sidious had obtained the coordinates to Coruscant[41] and gave them to Grievous and his fleet to jump from the Outer Rim directly to Coruscant.[80] Sidious also had a plan to kidnap the Supreme Chancellor,[41] which was tasked to Grievous. Sidious ordered Grievous to capture Palpatine and for Dooku to hold him hostage. Grievous and Dooku, however, were unaware of Sidious' true intentions.[20]

During the Outer Rim Sieges, Grievous commanded a massive invasion of Coruscant, accompanied by Dooku.[129][129] Dooku, who had earlier relocated his command post to Grievous's flagship, the Invisible Hand, stayed close to Grievous to ensure he was carrying out his orders; even though the cyborg general posed no threat to Sidious, he did not want any setback to his plans.[41] While the Republic and Separatist fleets clashed above the planet, Grievous went to the ground in order to capture Palpatine, Shaak Ti and Roron Corobb, along with a clone task force were sent to protect him. Corrob and the clones fell to Grievous, while Ti managed to fight further. Grievous took the upper hand by electrifying the Jedi Master with cables, knocking her unconscious in the process. Grievous took her lightsaber and fled with the captive Palpatine to the Separatist flagship Invisible Hand.[129]


Skywalker executed Tyranus on the orders of Chancellor Palpatine during the Battle of Coruscant.

Kenobi and Skywalker, who at the time were in the middle of making preparations to take Mandalore, were called upon to rescue him.[130][131] After landing in the Invisible Hand's hangar, the two found Palpatine bound to a chair on the bridge. They were confronted by Dooku, who they entered a duel with. Dooku took out Kenobi with ease and then focused on Skywalker. They continued the duel until Skywalker cut off his hands. Disarmed and on his knees, Dooku was bested. Palpatine commended Skywalker on his accomplishment. However, he then betrayed Dooku by urging Anakin to kill him, due to Dooku having served his purpose. A horrified Dooku looked to Palpatine pleadingly, only to be met with another, more sinister urging. With one swift move, Count Dooku was beheaded. Anakin was conflicted on his actions but was comforted by Palpatine, who told him that it was a simple act of revenge in return for Dooku cutting off his arm. Beyond luring Skywalker closer to the dark side,[20] the act also served to tie up the loose end Dooku would be if he lived, robbing the Jedi of the chance to question him to learn more about Sidious.[132]

Skywalker went to pick up the unconscious Kenobi, to which Palpatine pleaded with the Jedi to leave his master. His plea was denied, and the three began their descent to the hangar. Meanwhile, the Invisible Hand was attacked by the Guarlara, with the former taking extensive damage and losing its position, momentarily falling towards that planet's surface. With the ship on its side, the three began running down an elevator shaft, only to lose their footing as the Invisible Hand regained its position. They managed to get out and to a hallway, where they were then captured in a ray shield. They were brought before Grievous in the control room, where R2-D2, who was also a captive, gave a distraction that allowed Kenobi and Skywalker to take control. With nowhere to run, Grievous broke open a window and found his way to the escape pods, which he activated as he fled. The ship then became caught in Coruscant's gravity well and began barreling towards the surface. Skywalker and Kenobi attempted to land it, but only managed to ease the crash. Following the crash, Palpatine and the Jedi were escorted to the Senate Building.[20]

The seduction of Anakin Skywalker

"Soon I will have a new apprentice, one far younger and more powerful."
―Darth Sidious, to Grievous[20]
Palp trustme

With the death of Tyranus, Sidious anticipated Skywalker's imminent conversion to the dark side and the ways of the Sith.

Sidious now directed Grievous to return to Utapau on the pretence[133] of ensuring the safety of the increasingly irrelevant Separatist Council,[80] but in reality, he had other intentions for the general[133] who did not know that he was being set up again.[80] Grievous's usefulness to Sidious,[134] as the cyborg had played his role[20] and whose entire campaigns had served to distract the Jedi Order from the Sith conspiracy unfolding around them on Coruscant,[82] has come to an end.[134] By this time, the Sith Lord's schemes had advanced to the point where Grievous had only one role left to play: he had to serve as bait to lure Kenobi away from Coruscant and from Anakin. Sidious didn't care if Grievous or Kenobi lived or died; his plan would bring down the Republic and the Jedi.[133]

Sidious soon began preparing for the war's end. Sidious instructed Grievous to move the Separatists to Mustafar.[20] He also told him to remain on Utapau until the new apprentice had joined their cause since he didn't want to waste any time before finding a replacement.[135] Skywalker, who had just been hailed as a hero for killing Count Dooku and rescuing the Chancellor, began having visions of his wife dying in childbirth. Sidious decided to use that to his advantage. Throughout the next few rotations, their relationship kept growing. Ultimately, Palpatine appointed Skywalker to be his representative to the Jedi Council.[20] During what ended up becoming the last full session of the Republic Senate, the Petition of 2,000 was officially unveiled.[124] However, Palpatine still managed to find an advantage in the current political atmosphere, telling and convincing Skywalker that Amidala could have ulterior motives she was keeping secret from them both.[136]

Meanwhile, the Jedi began to distrust and resent the Chancellor's accumulating power and control. The Council, who was not happy with Skywalker's appointment by one not of their order, denied him the rank of "Jedi Master." This turn of events simply furthered Sidious' plans. The Council, however, decided to use this appointment as a chance to spy on Palpatine. Skywalker, who felt insulted by that demand, regretfully agreed and began to devote his time to getting to know the Chancellor better. Some Jedi, such as Mace Windu, were concerned about their relationship, seeing that it could be dangerous putting the two together. Windu ultimately noted that the dark side of the Force surrounded the Chancellor.[20]


Sidious recounted the history of his late master as a Sith legend, leading Skywalker to drift ever closer to the dark side of the Force.

At an opera show, Palpatine and Skywalker discussed the situation with Palpatine revealing to know that the Council wanted Skywalker to spy on him. At the same time, Skywalker, who was dealing with the fear of his wife's loss was beginning to distrust the Jedi Council. This allowed Sidious to orchestrate Skywalker's downfall; he claimed that the Jedi and the Sith were alike in nearly every way,[20] setting the stage for the young Jedi to switch sides while playing to his devotion to the Jedi ideology.[137] Next, Palpatine told him the story of his master, "Darth Plagueis the Wise." According to the story, Plagueis possessed such strength in the Force that he could use it to prevent the ones closest to him from dying. Skywalker asked what happened to him, to which Palpatine said that he was afraid of losing his power, but had taught his apprentice everything, and then his apprentice killed him in his sleep. Skywalker, enthralled by the story, wished to know more about this power, asking him if he himself could learn it with Palpatine stating that, though possible, such things could not be taught by members of the Order.[20] Skywalker, however, was unware that Palpatine was really talking about how he killed his mentor Plagueis, in order to lure him to the dark side.

As the situation grew worse, Skywalker went to speak with the Chancellor regarding the Battle of Utapau. Anakin expressed his disappointment that he was not chosen for the assignment. Palpatine told Skywalker that the Council did not trust him and that the Jedi Council were plotting to take control of the Republic. He then revealed that he was trained in the ways of the Force, "even the nature of the dark side," the power that could save his wife Amidala from certain death. This led to Skywalker concluding that Palpatine himself was the Sith Lord the Jedi were hunting down, and drew his lightsaber. Although Skywalker considered killing Palpatine, the young Jedi was deeply conflicted realizing that he could not lose the Sith Lord as he thought he needed to learn the dark side power to "save" his wife. Stunned by the revelation, Skywalker responded by reporting Palpatine to the Jedi and went to the Jedi Council with this information.[20]

The fate of the galaxy

"In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you are under arrest, Chancellor."
"Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?"
"The Senate will decide your fate."
"I am the Senate."
"Not yet."
―Mace Windu and Darth Sidious[20]

The fate of the galaxy was decided in the battle between the Sith Lord Darth Sidious and Jedi Master Mace Windu.

Mace Windu, realizing that the Jedi had been deceived by Sidious, after learning about the Chancellor's double identity from Skywalker, went to confront the Chancellor along with fellow Jedi Council Masters Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, as well as Saesee Tiin. Windu and the three other Jedi boldly ignited their lightsabers and declared that he was under arrest. Igniting his own crimson lightsaber, Sidious declared the four Jedi as traitors to the Republic. Letting out an inhuman wail of fury, he then lunged forward and slew Kolar and Tiin in mere seconds, and Fisto slightly later, leaving Windu to face the Dark Lord alone. Sidious and Windu then engaged in a ferocious one-on-one duel. While the fight appeared to be even, Windu eventually disarmed him, knocked him to the floor and held him at blade point.[20]

Skywalker soon arrived after this and both sides tried to persuade him that the other was a traitor. Windu taunted Sidious in his defeat which prompted the Sith Lord to attempt to kill Windu with Force lightning, but Windu managed to deflect it back at Sidious, causing the Sith Lord's face to take on a hideously disfigured appearance in the process, due to the dark side energy emanating from the lightning. As a result of this, Sidious then switched his strategy to pretending to be a defenseless old man, dropping his lightning attack and proclaiming that he was too weak to carry on. Skywalker told Windu that Sidious had to stand trial, though Windu claimed that Sidious possessed far too much influence to be left alive, as he controlled both the courts and the senate. Deciding that his wife's survival was more important than his loyalty to the Jedi Order, Skywalker betrayed Windu by cutting off his lightsaber hand, giving Sidious the opening to drop his feigned weakness and throw Windu out the office window with a full barrage of Force lightning.[20]


Darth Sidious bestowed the name Darth Vader on his new apprentice.

Skywalker, although initially stunned by what he had done, ultimately viewed Windu's transgressions as the final act of Jedi hypocrisy that he would not tolerate, and knelt before the now-scarred Chancellor, agreeing to join the dark side on the condition that he was be shown how to save Amidala's life, thus betraying the Jedi. Sidious bestowed on the young man the Sith name of Darth Vader, promising the young apprentice that together they would discover the hidden art of preventing death. Sidious informed Vader of his intention to purge the galaxy of all Jedi, claiming that the Order was a threat to the Senate as well as the security of the Republic. Sidious ordered Vader to attack the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, and then execute the Separatist leaders on Mustafar. He declared that the galaxy would then return to a state of peace under the rule of the Sith.[20]

Execute Order 66

"Commander Cody, the time has come. Execute Order 66."
"Yes, my Lord."
―Darth Sidious and CC-2224[20]
Execute Order 66

Sidious ordered the Grand Army to execute Order 66, declaring every Jedi an enemy of the Republic.

While Vader led the 501st Legion's attack on the Jedi Temple, Sidious ordered the rest of the clone troopers to execute Order 66, declaring every Jedi an enemy of the Republic.[20] However, to the select few of the Jedi he had secretly groomed, he offered their lives in exchange for service to him.[83] Order 66 activated the biochips within the clones, who were programmed to kill the Jedi for treason against the state.[138] Despite serving and forming deep relationships with the Jedi,[8] the activation of their biochips by Sidious, immediately and forcibly brainwashed them into believing that the Jedi were traitors to the Republic that needed to be executed,[139] resulting in the start of the Great Jedi Purge. The Jedi were consequently betrayed and gunned down by their soldiers, although some managed to survive such as Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda,[20] and Caleb Dume.[140] Sidious also used Order 66 to compel Clone Commander CT-7567 "Rex" to eliminate the former Jedi Ahsoka Tano, along with his former apprentice Maul who had been captured and brought to Coruscant by the 501st Legion. However, both attempts were unsuccessful as Tano freed Maul, and then subsequently freed Rex of the mind control by removing his biochip.[139]

Age of the Empire

Rise of the New Order

"In order to ensure the security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire! For a safe and secure society!"
―Darth Sidious — (audio) Listen (file info)[20]

Darth Sidious began his reign as the Emperor when he officially reformed the Galactic Republic into the Galactic Empire.

After the Jedi Temple fell, Sidious congratulated his new apprentice, Vader, who killed several Jedi during the siege including Padawans and younglings. Sidious then contacted the Separatist Council to inform them that Vader would arrive and take care of them, though none of them were aware that Sidious had betrayed them, and had really sent Vader to kill them. Sidious, as Palpatine, then addressed the Senate and accused the Jedi of attempting to assassinate him and overthrow the Republic, using his newly scarred face as evidence. He ultimately announced the Republic's reorganization into the first Galactic Empire while declaring himself Emperor of the new regime, with little if any resistance from the majority of the senators present.[20]

Battle in the Senate Chamber

"I have waited a long time for this moment, my little green friend."
―Darth Sidious, to Yoda[20]
Clash of Titans

Grand Master Yoda confronted Darth Sidious in a final effort to prevent the return of the Sith to galactic dominance.

With Kenobi and Yoda realizing what had happened upon witnessing a recording within the Jedi Temple, Yoda went to face the Emperor personally, while a reluctant Obi-Wan stowed away onboard Amidala's yacht, en route to Mustafar to kill Vader. Upon arriving at the working office of the Chancellery Secretariat, Yoda disposed of the pair of guardsmen by the entryway, surprising Sidious. Within moments, however, the Sith Lord had recollected himself, unleashing a barrage of Force lightning at the Jedi Master after a brief exchange of acknowledgement between the two. Yoda quickly recovered and Force pushed Sidious backwards. Yoda then engaged him in a duel when he refused to allow Sidious to escape. Sidious declared that Vader would become more powerful than both of them, while Yoda told Sidious that his faith in his nascent apprentice was a mistake, along with his faith in the dark side.[20]

The two then dueled in the Senate hall. No longer having his lightsaber shortly after, Sidious utilized the use of his Force powers by sending numerous Senate pods at the Jedi Master, which he closely dodged. Yoda eventually managed to redirect one of Sidious's pods at him, which the Sith Lord dodged. Sidious then unleashed a torrent of Force lightning at Yoda, which he was able to redirect back on him, giving the Jedi master the upper hand. However, the build up of energy led to an explosion that caused Sidious to fall back and Yoda to take a huge fall to the ground. Luckily, Sidious managed to hang on to the pod and get back up. While neither conquered the other, Yoda believed he lost for being unable to stop Sidious, and then fled and decided to go into exile.[20]

Rescuing Vader

"I sense Lord Vader is in danger."
―Darth Sidious[20]

As Imperial shock troopers of the Coruscant Guard arrived in the Senate Chamber following the battle, the Emperor stood with Mas Amedda on a Senatorial pod as they searched for the Jedi Master. However, they could not find any trace of a body. The Emperor had more pressing concerns however: he had sensed that Vader, far away on Mustafar, was in danger of being destroyed. He ordered the clones to double their search for Yoda, and that his shuttle be prepared to depart.[20]

Let The Hate Flow AtG

Sidious traveled to Mustafar to retrieve his new apprentice, Darth Vader, who was defeated by Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi.

The Emperor made haste to Mustafar, accompanied by[20] a squad of the best shock troopers under the authority of Commander CC-4477 "Thire."[141] On planet, he found that Vader had been dismembered, horrifically burned, and left for dead by Obi-Wan Kenobi after the conclusion of their duel. He ordered the clones accompanying him to prepare a medical capsule for his apprentice. As they left to obey his instructions, the Emperor crouched beside his fallen apprentice, determined to find a way to keep him alive.[20]

The Emperor was keenly aware that, without Vader, the foundations of his newfound power would be badly shaken; he needed an apprentice capable of ensuring that his Empire would survive the inevitable challenges that would rise up against it. To make certain that Vader would be capable of remaining a powerful apprentice, the Emperor contacted the boldest scientists he could, those whose practices would have been frowned on by the Jedi and the Republic. Among these scientists was an expert in cybernetics named Doctor Cylo.[142]

The Emperor brought Vader to the Grand Medical Facility, far above Coruscant's surface as a storm raged across the capital. A strenuous night, followed during which the scientists, their droids and their technology worked to save the critically-injured Vader before he died. The new Sith apprentice was kept awake for the whole procedure, feeling the pain that came with saving his life. Cylo and the other scientists designed a suit of armor that would protect his weakened body and allow his scorched lungs to breathe. Cybernetic limbs were added to replace the legs and the arm that Kenobi had taken.[20]


Returning to Coruscant, Sidious had Vader rebuilt with cybernetic and life support technology.

After what the Emperor would call a "long night," Skywalker was surgically reconstructed as a cyborg and encased in the armor and mask that would forever hide away who he had once been from the galaxy. As the procedure ended and the Sith apprentice rose, the Emperor approached him. Vader's first query was to know whether or not his wife was safe. The Emperor told him that he had killed Amidala in his anger. This final loss sent Vader over the edge of pure wrath and anguish, completing his transition into the apprentice Sidious had spent decades grooming. In his rage, Vader used his new limbs to tear away the restraints that held him to the operating table and the Force to destroy the droids who had just saved his life, before stepping unsteadily onto his new legs and screaming his despair to the galaxy as a satisfied Sidious looked on with a devilish smile.[20]

Vader then turned his rage onto the Emperor, throwing him into the wall of the operating room with the Force. He angrily berated his master for promising that he could save his wife from death. The Emperor conceded that he had failed him in that regard but countered that, with her death, Amidala had given him something so much stronger: pain. This pain would fuel his power for decades and make him the dreaded Sith apprentice that Sidious had always coveted. It would also allow him to live. After a tense few moments, Vader released his master and proclaimed that he would live. Satisfied, the Emperor then assaulted Vader with Force lightning, pointing out his apprentice's lack of a lightsaber. Afterward, Sidious warned Vader never to use the Force against him in such a way again, or he would finish what Kenobi would not.[143]

Kirak Vader duel

Sidious sent Vader to obtain a new lightsaber, which he did by killing Kirak Infil'a and bleeding the Jedi's kyber crystal.

Having demonstrated his apprentice's need for a new lightsaber, Sidious showed Vader a ceremony during which many of the weapons looted from the Jedi Temple were incinerated. Sidious also explained the red color of Sith lightsabers, obtained through the process of bleeding a kyber crystal taken from a slain Jedi. He then dispatched Vader to obtain one for himself. Vader proceeded to hunt down and kill Jedi Master Kirak Infil'a on Al'doleem, taking his lightsaber. At Sidious's direction, he returned to Mustafar, bleeding his new crystal there in a dark side cave. Sidious was in the middle of a meeting with Wilhuff Tarkin when a battle-damaged Vader returned, bursting into the room and presenting the new weapon to his master.[143][144][145]

Search for ultimate power

"For a Sith Lord craves absolute power, and nothing will stop me from attaining it. Not even death itself."
―Darth Sidious[31]

Sidious converted the Jedi Temple into the Imperial Palace, his official residence on Coruscant.

After the creation of his Sith Empire, Sidious established himself in the old Jedi Temple on Coruscant,[14] transforming the most famous of the Jedi Order's temples[146] into his Imperial Palace. The Jedi had built the palace atop an ancient Sith shrine, in order to neutralize and cap the dark power that sprang from its depths. Sidious entrusted the reopening and restoration of the ancient temple to droids under the supervision of 11-4D, a protocol droid inherited from Darth Plagueis.[14]

Secure in power as Emperor of the galaxy, Sidious pursued his obsession with immortality; he mostly withdrew from the public eye to probe the secrets of the dark side and study his Sith arcana extensively to unlock the ability to live forever. He prepared the ancient Sith world of Exegol, constructing a base of power within the Sith Citadel located on the surface, planning to claim the ancient throne of the Sith as his permanent seat of power. His loyal cult following, the Sith Eternal, began to experiment with technology and genetic cloning science to expand his lifespan. Exegol was also home to his most promising experimentations within a vergence of the Force.[8]


With the Empire established, Sidious concentrated on achieving his goal of immortality through the power of the dark side.

The planet Byss in the Deep Core was of great importance to Palpatine.[147] Ultimately, Palpatine's true goal was for the Death Star to take over as the symbol of fear that would keep the galaxy in line, giving himself and Vader the freedom to pursue the deepest secrets of the dark side. Beyond simple immortality, Sidious sought the power to alter reality itself and bring every living being under his dark control.[14] As such, he was searching for immortality only as a way to prevent anything, even death itself, from standing between himself and ultimate power.[31]

Over many years, Sidious sent explorers to unmapped regions of space to search for the source of the dark side, believing it lay there. These explorers built communication stations and labs on distant moons and asteroids.[148] As part of his planned Contingency, Sidious had Imperial scouts explore the Unknown Regions while also utilizing extensive resources to seed laboratories, shipyards, and observatories within that same region. This arrangement would continue over a period of decades and would be known solely by him and the elect.[148][149]

Unnatural fatherhood

"Using a technique known as Strand-Casting, countless modified clone bodies were produced from my genetic template. All but one of them were utter failures. The lone subject that survived the cloning process lacked any connection to the Force. I rejected this useless creature, but I chose to let it live. Even if this 'son' was undeserving of my legacy, I surmised that the Palpatine blood rushing through its veins might someday become useful."
―Darth Sidious[31]

Born through his genetic experiments on Exegol, Palpatine's "son" was a strandcast cloned from his genetic template, who failed to inherit the force-sensitivity of his "father."

The Sith Eternal utilized a method of cloning known as Strand-Casting[31] in addition to modified Kaminoan cloning technology,[21] producing countless modified cloned bodies of Sidious' original in the attempt to give him a vessel worthy of containing and preserving his essence, so he could ultimately obtain immortality.[31] In 12 BBY,[150] the only survivor of this process,[31] that grew and aged normally, was created.[151] Designed and assembled from Sidious' clone tissue samples and other donated blood cells,[21] the artificial construct[8] was thriving in health[5] and had the Palpatine bloodline rushing through his veins.[31] The unnamed strandcast[151] was Sidious' "son."[5] The strandcast, not a direct cloned replicate of Sidious,[151] so nor entirely identical in appearance,[5] was ultimately be a source of disappointment for Sidious. Sidious was disgusted with the son he sired through science;[21] the boy possessed no force-sensitivity like his father,[31] and Sidious, who relished the powers of the Force,[21] immediately rejected the "useless creature" that was his son.[31] Sidious deemed the boy an example of such "disappointing ordinariness," unable to bare even looking upon him,[5] the inferior child spawned from his flesh undeserving of his legacy.[31]

But the Sith Lord surmised, that because the boy possessed his blood, he might still produce some usefulness at some point.[31] Therefore, Sidious chose to permit his son to continue living, the clone's health providing Sidious the means to continue on his bloodline and possibly yield more promising results for producing a vessel for his spirit through more natural means.[5] For this reason, Sidious granted his cloned progeny protection from the Sith Eternal cultists, them being unable to "recycle" him as a failed experiment, and allowing him to live on Exegol.[151] Sidious neglected his son,[21] ignoring him like the cultists, never naming him, and hardly acknowledging his existence. However, Sidious made his son aware of the Force and its nature as the mystical energy of the galaxy that surrounded all life, especially the its dark side, and the Sith that wielded them.[151]

The Tarkin Initiative

Moff Tarkin

Sidious had long supported the career of Wilhuff Tarkin, who became a Grand Moff in the Galactic Empire.

In his early days as Senator Palpatine, Sidious had closely associated with Wilhuff Tarkin, whom he encouraged to pursue a career in politics after his training with the Judicials was completed. Tarkin went on to become Governor of Eriadu and one of the Republic's foremost military leaders during the Clone Wars. Sidious had learned of Tarkin's upbringing on Eriadu, where he had been trained in harsh conditions through a brutal initiation in the wild Carrion Plateau of his homeworld. Tarkin had been taught to hunt savage creatures and emerged from his training with the belief that only the brutal application of the law and the fear of force could keep beings in line with a central galactic government. Although Tarkin lacked Force-sensitivity, Sidious identified him as one whose mindset was very close to that of the Sith.[14]

During the early days of the Empire, making a rare public address, Sidious claimed the Empire would do whatever was needed to ensure a lasting reconciliation now that the Clone Wars had ended.[77] At some point during the Imperial Era, Sidious created an Imperial hunter droid named M-OC; additionally the B1 battle droid R0-GR of the Freemakers later claimed to have fought Sidious.[152] The Ehllo family was an influential political dynasty during the Imperial Era, with Palpatine personally knowing Captain Cerasus Ehllo's father. As such, Captain Ehllo was able to make a Raider-class corvette, the King's Ransom, into his flagship.[153]

The Inquisitorius

"My Lord, am I to be Sith?"
"Oh, no, my child. But you will serve the greater cause."
―Iskat Akaris and Darth Sidious[83]
Inquisitorius Vader Comic

Darth Vader and the Grand Inquisitor led a unit of Jedi hunters, known as the Inquisitorius, in the Emperor's name.

Within his first year as Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Sidious brought to fruition an old idea[92] with the formation of the Inquisitorius, an organization composed of dark side adepts and tasked with hunting down surviving Jedi. The Inquisitors were primarily captured Jedi who had been tortured until they turned to the dark side. However, a few, such as the the Grand Inquisitor and the Fifth Brother, joined the Inquisitorius of their own accord.[82][154] Another was the former Jedi Knight Iskat Akaris, who Sidious spoke to in the Inquisitorius Headquarters on Coruscant, not long after she had received her uniform. He tested her willingness to continue her training in the dark side and made sure she understood that she and her fellow Inquisitors were substantially inferior to him. Sidious was impressed by Akaris' wits, as she had quickly realized that he was a Sith Lord and had by now identified the agent he had assigned to help nudge her away from the Jedi over the course of the Clone Wars. He then told her to choose her path carefully before turning her over to the Fifth Brother.[83]

The hunt for Jocasta Nu

"She is ancient. Middling in the Force. Barely competent with a lightsaber. And yet, that crone could end everything we are trying to do. For you see, Jocasta Nu knows everything."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[155]

Darth Sidious feared the repository of knowledge kept by the Jedi Chief Librarian Jocasta Nu could be used against him.

Sometime after his duel with Kirak Infil'a, Vader reported to Sidious on the ongoing training of the Inquisitors while also asking why Master Jocasta Nu was considered a priority among the list of surviving Jedi. Sidious explained that the threat she posed was that of knowledgeable scholar, one with access to a library of secrets and Force artifacts to rival any other. Additionally, Nu possessed the Jedi catalogue of Force-sensitive children in the galaxy. Sidious emphasized to his apprentice the need to capture her alive, insisting that they could use Nu's knowledge but could not afford to let her fall into the hands of others. Thus, he ordered Vader to utilize the Inquisitors in his search but to keep the true nature of Nu's threat hidden from them.[155] In a later meeting, Vader Force choked an officer for giving a poor report until Sidious commanded him to release the man. While he could sympathize with his apprentice's frustration at the lack of Jedi to eliminate, Sidious warned Vader to avoid unnecessary killing of their inferiors.[156] Not long after, Vader contacted Sidious to report that Nu had died while attempting to escape his custody, a development Sidious considered regrettable.[157]

Establishing the hierarchy

"This is Lord Vader. He speaks with my voice. A command from him is as a command from me. Pass this information down to your men. All must understand."
―Emperor Palpatine[158]

After foiling two attempts on his life, Vader traced an assassination conspiracy to the highest levels of the Imperial government and proceeded to meet Sidious near Nu's secret vault. Despite his apprentice's failure to capture Nu alive, Sidious was pleased with the artifacts recovered from her hoard. In response to Vader's suspicion of him, Sidious took a moment to examine his apprentice's rebuilt lightsaber, nodding in approval over the change from Kirak Infil'a's original hilt. He then pointed out that he had no need to hire mercenaries to eliminate Vader if he had wanted him dead. Sidious told Vader that dealing with the plot was his own responsibility, warning him that with great power come infinite enemies to destroy.[158]

Vader soon identified one of the conspirators, an Imperial officer, and sought the Emperor's permission to make an example to solidify his role in the Empire's hierarchy. Sidious agreed, telling him that he could kill any officer but Tarkin. Later, the Emperor gathered the Imperial Officer Corps, presenting his apprentice to them and telling them that they were to treat Vader as they would him. Vader then called for the known conspirator and four random officers to step forward, before Force choking them to death in front of the assembly.[158]

Replacing the clone army

"Perhaps, it is time for a change. Now more than ever, building a strong galaxy requires protection and security. Due to the nefarious actions of Admiral Rampart, and the immediacy of the bill on the floor today, it is my opinion that this legislation is our future. With this momentous act, we shall usher in a new era. Heralded by the Imperial stormtrooper."
―Emperor Palpatine, to the Imperial Senate[159]

Around the same time, Sidious saw fit to finally replace the outdated Clone Army with a new conscripted military that would be loyal to him. However, in spite of his power in reality being absolute, he continued using the Senate as a puppet to make it seem that his role as Emperor was not particularly different from when he was Chancellor. Therefore, Sidious relied on people interested in sharing in his power like Admiral Rampart, idealistic followers that could serve as scapegoats while furthering the Sith's plans. Tarkin had perceived the clones to be twice as expensive as a proposed new militaristic force and deemed them less capable as tools to keep the order. By 18 BBY, the stage was secretly being set to replace the clones with an army of volunteers and conscripts from across the galaxy. The Kaminoans clung to the fact that their skills as cloners was the only thing of relevance to the Empire. However, their overall use was terminated when Admiral Rampart ordered the destruction of Tipoca City after clearing out it of valuables.[160]

Following the successful orbital bombardment of Tipoca City, the Empire's official explanation was that the cloning facilities had been sunk down to the oceans by a harsh storm, despite the structures having been built to endure Kamino's extreme climate. Now there was new legislation which was of great interest to the Emperor: Imperial Defense Recruitment Bill, a formalization of decommissioning the Clone Army and the shift to an Imperial Military. However, Rampart's poorly fabricated story about Tipoca City's fall served as a huge risk if the truth were to be recovered. Though he did not attend the Senate in person, Mas Amedda informed his master of how the bill had been rejected twice before preliminary hearings and the harsh critique voiced by Senators Chuchi, Organa, and Pamlo. The actual vote was also postponed much to the Emperor's frustration. He made sure the Vice Chair inform the admiral that further failure would lead to great consequences.[160][159]

Vote commenced in the Senate Chamber later that day, where Rampart managed to appease Senator Chuchi's demands for fair retirement to the Clones and the voting was about to commence until the Senator of Pantora intervened. In spite of his efforts, Rampart failed in covering his tracks as the former Senator of Kamino, Halle Burtoni, voiced how he had taken the funds from the Senate Defense Committee's directly into financing his own projects and recruitments. The final move however came when Senator Bail Organo played a hologram taken from Rampart's own Venator showing the entire Senate how Tipoca City really fell.[159]

Faced with a drastic situation, the Emperor saw fit to finally attend a Senate hearing in person and arose in his Chancellor's podium, which caused the entire Senate hall to fall silent as their leader made one of his few appearances since the Empire's foundation. Fraught with overwhelming evidence, the Emperor decided that Rampart's value had ceased and had Mas Amedda arrest him. Not allowing this to stop his plans to remove the Clones, the Emperor spoke out with the same mannerisms as when he was Chancellor and voiced his surprise at Admiral Rampart's acts of transgression against the Kaminoans. He promised the admiral would be punished for his treachery.[159]


With the Emperor's support, the Imperial Senate voted to pass the recruitment bill after learning that clones destroyed the facilities on Kamino.

Now faced with a golden opportunity, the Emperor masterfully manipulated the situation to benefit his own position by reminding the Senators that Rampart did not act alone; that the clones aboard the Venators willingly unleashed carnage upon their own home without hesitation. Providing sound argument that security in the galaxy was needed more than ever and recognizing the bill's immediate necessity, the Emperor believed in his view the Imperial Defense Recruitment Bill was their future. Despite framing this as more of a suggestion than an order, the Emperor displayed how supreme his authority was as the bill was immediately passed.[159]

Although he had presented a compelling narrative, many senators remained skeptical. Nonetheless, Palpatine had made a crucial step in further facilitating his power in the Empire and control over the galaxy, finally removing the clone army, eliminating another crucial remnant of the Republic: now only the Senate remained. The age of the Imperial Stormtrooper had now begun.[159]

Invasion of Mon Cala

"Mon Cala. They may serve well as an example--the price of defiance. The military power of the Empire has grown significantly in these past months. It is time to reveal that strength."
―Darth Sidious[161]

Sidious sent the Imperial fleet under Tarkin and the Inquisitorius under Vader to subjugate the planet of Mon Cala.

Sidious soon chose to demonstrate the power of the revamped Imperial Military by invading Mon Cala. Since Project Stardust was far from complete, he opted to send a task force commanded by Tarkin to occupy the planet. Suspecting that a surviving Jedi had been advising King Lee-Char, Sidious sent Vader and the Inquisitorius along to root out and eliminate the threat.[161] The ensuing battle ended in an Imperial victory after Tarkin ordered an orbital bombardment which compelled Lee-Char to surrender. At the same time, the Jedi Ferren Barr confronted Vader, revealing that he had helped orchestrate the genocide after having foreseen the role the Mon Calamari would later play in defeating the Empire, before being slain by the Sith Lord in a lightsaber duel.[162]

Sabotage of Project Stardust

That same year, Tarkin contacted Sidious when Vader entered the Scarif vault without authorization to learn more for himself about Project Stardust. Sidious ordered Vader to help Tarkin by rooting out saboteurs whose work was slowing down the project's progress, sending him to Geonosis. He also put Vader under the Governor's command.[163]

Visit to Mount Tantiss

"It is imperative that this facility remain hidden and secure. There are many, even within our own ranks, who would consider much of your work an abomination. But they lack the vision we possess. Your brilliance is a great asset to this Empire."
―Emperor Palpatine, to Doctor Hemlock[161]

Sidious was pleased with the progress Royce Hemlock had made on Project Necromancer.

Six months after the Senate voted to replace the clone army,[164] the Emperor made a surprise visit to the secret Mount Tantiss facility on Wayland to review the progress Doctors Royce Hemlock and Nala Se had made on Project Necromancer. Hemlock gave him a tour of the site, ending with a tightly guarded chamber containing specimens crucial to the project. The doctor stated that with more time and resources, he was confident that they would be able to successfully replicate M-counts. Considering their work of paramount importance, the Emperor assured Hemlock that he would have whatever he required for the project.[165]

On the landing pad, en route to his shuttle, the Emperor stressed to Hemlock the need to keep the existence of the base a secret, warning that many beings, even other Imperials, would not look kindly upon the research being performed there. Palpatine then complimented the doctor on his brilliance, with Hemlock responding that, with an appointment to scientific minister, he would be able to bring his abilities to bear upon the entire scientific corps. The Emperor warned him to be patient before departing.[165]

The Chiss from the Unknown Regions

Emperors throne room Imperial Palace

Sidious gained a talented servant in Mitth'raw'nuruodo "Thrawn," a Chiss officer from the Unknown Regions.

During the Empire's reign, Sidious' interest in the Unknown Regions continued. This came to a head when the crew of the Venator-class Star Destroyer Strikefast, under the command of Captain Voss Parck, encountered the Chiss known as Thrawn in Wild Space. Many years earlier, Anakin Skywalker told Palpatine of this alien and how they worked together. This alien claimed to have a great deal of knowledge on the Unknown Regions. Thrawn was then brought before the Emperor on Coruscant in order to be questioned. Thrawn told the Emperor of threats lurking within the Unknown Regions and how they might one day find the Empire and offered his military skills. The Emperor then deduced that Thrawn's intentions were to help protect his people from these threats. Thrawn assured the Emperor that his allegiance would be to the Empire. Thrawn then revealed that he had known Anakin Skywalker during the Clone Wars, thus proving who he was to the Emperor.[166]

For their service, the Emperor promised Captain Parck and his crew rewards. Thrawn however, requested that his translator Eli Vanto stay with him. The Emperor then asked Thrawn to walk with him outside. In his personal garden, the Emperor told the Chiss of his interest in the Unknown Regions. Thrawn then warned that there was great danger to be found there, however, he assured the Emperor that he would share his knowledge of the Unknown Regions. The Emperor ordered that Eli Vanto would be transferred to Thrawn's side and that they would both undergo training at the Royal Imperial Academy.[166]

Mission to Ryloth

An official visit

Sidious and Vader visited Ryloth, the Twi'lek homeworld that the Empire occupied after the Clone Wars.

Five years after the end of the Clone Wars, Cham Syndulla, a war hero who liberated Ryloth from the Separatist forces during the war, organized and led the Free Ryloth Movement in order to liberate his homeworld once again, this time from an Imperial military occupation. Sidious summoned the Senator of Ryloth, Orn Free Taa, in order to incorporate the senator into his plan to eradicate the "terrorists." He ordered the Twi'lek to accompany him and his right-hand man, Darth Vader, for an official visit to Ryloth. Once Sidious dismissed Taa, Vader asked him why he couldn't simply wipe out the Senator along with his entire staff, in which the two Sith suspected there were one or more traitors, who provided aid to the terrorist movement. But the Emperor wished to find the roots of the treachery, eliminate them and make of it an example for the entire galaxy. Eventually, he ordered Vader to inform the Moff of Ryloth, Delian Mors, of the arrival of Senator Orn Free Taa, but not of the two of them.[167]

Assassination attempt on the Defiance

Sidious was the target of assassination plots throughout his reign.

While on the way to Ryloth aboard the Star Destroyer Perilous, Sidious instructed the ship to stop at the Denon system for a meeting on the training cruiser Defiance with several Imperial Navy chiefs to discuss a realignment of the Imperial Naval Academy. Sidious ordered Darth Vader to oversee training exercises conducted by Commandant Pell Baylo while the Emperor was in his meeting with the naval chiefs. During one such exercise, Baylo set a hyperspace route that would have crashed the Defiance into Christophsis' sun. Cadet Rae Sloane and Darth Vader uncovered this assassination attempt and redirected the Defiance. Baylo confronted the Emperor, accusing the Galactic Empire of being a hostile force that had taken over the Galactic Republic. Vader killed Baylo, which upset Sidious, who wanted Baylo to suffer as the Navy becomes something he hated and watch as the Defiance was decommissioned and turned into "cafeteria trays." Instead, the Defiance was renamed Obedience as a final jab at Baylo and a not-so-subtle reminder toward Vader to remember his place, and Sidious and Vader re-boarded the Perilous and continued on their way to Ryloth.[168]

The fall of the Perilous

Vader thwarted the assassination attempt against his master.

The two Sith and Senator Taa came to the Ryloth system aboard Perilous. When the ship exited from the hyperspace, they found themselves in the middle of a minefield: Syndulla was waiting for them. The Twi'lek wished to eliminate them to strike at the heart of the Empire. However, Sidious was unperturbed by the ambush, having evidently foreseen such an occurrence. When the shields were overwhelmed, Sidious remained on the bridge, while Vader took off with his fighter leading a squadron to deal with a swarm of vulture droids. The former Separatist fighters released thousands of explosive buzz droids which further damaged the Star Destroyer. Vader returned aboard the Perilous where he met the Emperor and Senator Taa after finding that the Emperor's personal shuttle had been destroyed in the attack. Because he suspected there was a traitor in the Senator's staff, Sidious ordered to isolate them in their own quarters and deny them access to any communications equipment.[167]

In the meantime, a Twi'lek task force reached the ship disguised as a repair team and placed explosive charges in the hyperdrive chamber, to trigger a chain reaction. After discovering the sabotage and realizing that the ship was doomed, Vader contacted the Emperor. The Emperor informed Vader that he had prepared a second shuttle either as a contingency or because he had foreseen the destruction of the first shuttle and told Vader to meet him there. However, Vader delayed his arrival by a few minutes in an attempt to find and eliminate the saboteurs. The Twi'lek rebels just barely managed to escape, and so Vader hurried to the Emperor's shuttle, which departed as soon as Vader was aboard. A few minutes later, the Perilous exploded. Once in space, the fugitive task force searched for the Imperial shuttle and caught up with it. Vader Force choked the resistance pilot of the pursuing ship through the shuttle viewport. In a desperate attempt to get free from Vader's grasp and to kill both him and the Emperor, the Twi'leks rammed the stolen starship into the Imperial shuttle, critically damaging the latter. Vader attempted to regain control of the shuttle while Sidious remembered they had already been in situations like this. Thanks to the piloting skills of Vader the shuttle crash-landed on Ryloth's surface, in the middle of a forest.[167]

Isolated on the planet
"We are all of us, always being tested, my friend. Tests make us stronger, and strength is power, and power is the point. We must pass all the tests we face… Or die in the effort."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[167]
Imperial Royal Guards Unit Expansion art

Sidious and Vader were stranded on Ryloth with only a few Royal Guards.

Once on the planet surface, Sidious noted with mild annoyance that the landing had been far beneath what he knew Vader to be capable of and that Vader's lapse had left four corpses in the rear compartment of the shuttle. Vader admitted to having been distracted by thoughts of his past and attempted to dismiss it as nothing. Sidious however, was unconvinced, though he shelved the matter and proceeded with Vader into the rear compartment. There, three of the shuttle's occupants, Sergeant Erstin Deez, his captain, and another member of the Imperial Guard had survived the crash, though one was badly injured and unconscious. Vader noted with mild surprise that the Emperor appeared to have been wrong; there were only three corpses in the compartment. One of the conscious guards noted that his injured comrade had not strapped himself in during the landing, and as a result had been thrown about the compartment when the ship had crashed. However the Emperor, seemingly having known about the guard, had the semi-conscious guard executed for his stupidity, leaving the fourth corpse.[167]

The survivors exited in the night, and while the two guards who survived were checking the survival kits, Vader asked his master if he was testing him. Sidious answered they were always being tested, and they must pass all tests to gain strength and power. Meanwhile, the guards had activated the generator and the communication array to call for help. At that moment the Sith sensed that two Twi'lek ships were approaching and prepared themselves for a confrontation. The Twi'lek rebel's ships fired upon them, while Vader, immersed in the Force, deflected the laser beams with his lightsaber.[167]

The captain suggested to take cover in the woods, but the Emperor refused and instead, removed his cloak, and ignited his lightsaber. The two Sith spun their red blades, turning every shot back at the ships. When the enemy ships engines were hit and began to explode in flames and smoke, Sidious unleashed a bolt of Force lightning on their hulls and then, with the Force, drove one of the ships to the ground, while Vader did the same with the other. The two freighters exploded, and Vader sent Deez to check for survivors. They realized the rebels had jammed the communication network and that they were hunting for them.[167]


Sidious fended off a horde of lyleks with Vader's help.

They walked for a long time into the depths of the forest. Sidious went forward in the darkness seeing through the Force while testing Vader's loyalty once again until he decided to stop for a while. While the guards were eating, the two Sith began to meditate. The Emperor sensed his apprentice's murderous feelings towards him. When Vader ended his meditation, Sidious told him what he had sensed, but the former Jedi pledged his loyalty to his Sith Master. At that moment, the guards, whom the Emperor had sent away, had returned, pursued by a horde of lyleks. The Emperor remained calm, sending torrents of Force lightning against the predators, and began to advance back-to-back with Vader, their lightsabers ignited.[167]

While Vader and the guardsmen held back the advancing lyleks with their weapons, Sidious used the Force to topple trees over the advancing lylek horde. Through the Force, Sidious sensed a tunnel a hundred meters away. The four retreated into the tunnel with the lyleks in pursuit. This tunnel turned out to be the home of the lylek horde, and the four Imperials were forced to fight through hundreds of the creatures. The guards used their blasters and grenades while the two Sith Lords used the Force and their lightsabers to fight through the horde.[167]

As they waded deeper into the cave, Sidious realized that the lyleks were herding the intruders towards their queen. At Vader's instigation, the four resolved to kill all their opponents with the Emperor activating his red blade. After a fierce battle with the lyleks, Sidious and Vader found themselves back to back. When Sidious asked his apprentice whether he had ever toyed with the idea of letting his Emperor die to fulfill his own ambitions, Vader admitted he had entertained such thoughts but reassured his master it was only for a moment. Sidious accepted Vader's loyalty and the two joined forces to tackle the lylek queen.[167]

Following a savage battle, Vader managed to kill the queen; scattering the remaining lyleks. However, the royal guard captain was killed, leaving only Sidious, Vader, and Sergeant Deez. Based on their battle with the lyleks, master and apprentice quickly surmised that Cham and his rebels were trying to kill them to bring about the Empire's destruction. Having triumphed over the lylek horde, the three Imperials found an opening at the end of the tunnel which led back to the forest.[167]

Death and fate
Drua s village

On Sidious' order, Vader slaughtered a village of Twi'leks that provided them with shelter.

While Sidious and his companions were traveling through the forest, they encountered a young Twi'lek girl named Drua. Sidious made a move to kill her, but Vader blocked his master's death blow and convinced Sidious that she could lead them to a settlement where they could contact reinforcements. Drua led them to her village, which was home to escaped Twi'lek slaves. When the village head Narmn asked for their identities, Sidious introduced himself, Vader, and Deez as "Krataa," "Irluuk," and the Sergeant. Sidious and Vader alone knew that their pseudonyms stood for "death" and "fate."[167]

Sidious warned Vader that his act of mercy towards Drua would cost both her and her fellow villagers their lives. Vader then managed to win over the villagers by offering to repair an ancient communications device. Once Vader had fixed the machine, Sidious ordered Deez to contact Moff Mors; whom he knew to be loyal. After re-establishing contact with the two Sith Lords, Mors took steps to eliminate the Imperial traitor Colonel Belkor Dray, who was secretly aiding Cham's rebels. She foiled Belkor's plot to order V-wing fighters to strike Drua's Village and the massed Free Ryloth forces in a nearby quarry. After executing Belkor, Moff Mors sent her forces to rendezvous with Sidious and Vader at the Twi'lek village.[167]

Lords of the Sith art

The Empire crushed the Ryloth insurgency under the leadership of the Sith.

Cham's forces, unwilling to harm the villagers, fired warning shots so that the villagers would flee the scene of the upcoming battle. The villagers reacted by fleeing to a nearby mine shaft, a sanctuary in time of danger. However, Sidious, Vader, and Deez stood their ground at the center of the village. Before Cham's forces could launch their attack, Moff Mors' forces arrived in two transport vessels and trapped the rebel fighters. With many of the Free Ryloth fighters killed, Cham narrowly managed to avoid capture at the hands of Vader. Under the orders of Sidious, Mors's Imperial forces massacred the surviving Free Ryloth fighters. Following a brief exchange with Cham's lieutenant Isval, Sidious ordered Vader to execute her and then afterward, the surviving Twi'lek villagers hiding in the mine shaft as well, in order not to leave any witnesses. After a brief moment of hesitation, Vader complied with his master's orders and massacred the villagers.[167]

Berch Teller's campaign

By 14 BBY,[169] Sidious had placed Moff Wilhuff Tarkin in charge of the secret Death Star project. The battle moon was being constructed above Geonosis and was supplied by a series of marshaling stations. The Empire faced a new threat in the form of Berch Teller, a former Republic Intelligence agent who opposed the Empire. He led a rebel cell consisting of survivors and witnesses of the Antar Atrocity, a mass crackdown on Antar 4 following the Clone Wars that had seen the killing of innocent Gotal and Koorivar loyalists. Teller had a special animus for Tarkin, the architect of the Antar Atrocity. He was secretly aided and equipped by Vice Admiral Dodd Rancit, the Director of the Naval Intelligence Agency and a rival of Tarkin.[14]

Mission to Murkhana

Tarkin and Vader worked together in service to the Emperor.

Following Teller's attack on Sentinel Base, the Emperor convened a meeting of his Ruling Council to discuss the discovery of a cache of communications jammers on the planet Murkhana. The Imperial Security Bureau had purportedly discovered the cache and feared that dissidents were planning to disrupt the Imperial HoloNet; echoing the Separatist Shadowfeed broadcasts during the Clone Wars. The Emperor dispatched both Moff Tarkin and Lord Vader to investigate the matter. However, this played into Teller's hands and allowed the insurgents to steal Tarkin's corvette Carrion Spike, which they intended to turn into a symbol of resistance against the Empire.[14]

After being briefed about the theft of the Carrion Spike, Vice Admiral Rancit suggested that the ship's thieves were the same people who attacked Sentinel Base earlier. In response, the Emperor ordered Rancit to divert Imperial forces in the Belderone system to aid Tarkin and Lord Vader. While Tarkin and Vader pursued the insurgents, the Emperor chaired another meeting of the Ruling Council. During the meeting, Rancit advocated diverting more Imperial forces to reinforcing Imperial facilities across the Perlemian Trade Route and Hydian Way. The Council also learned that Teller' insurgents had attacked the TaggeCo mining facilities on Lucazec and were transmitting holovids of their attacks on the HoloNet.[14]

Grand Vizier Amedda

Having supported Sidious' rise to power, Mas Amedda secured his position in the New Order as the Emperor's Grand Vizier.

Following a skirmish in the Phindar system between Imperial forces and the stolen Carrion Spike, Rancit convinced the Emperor to deploy interdictor vessels against the insurgents. Grand Vizier Amedda then informed the Emperor that the Murkhana communications jammers had been discovered by an ISB asset tasked with investigating the find by his case officer. Acting on this information, Sidious interrogated the Koorivar ISB asset Bracchia and his case officer Stellan, who revealed that they had been tipped about the discovery by Naval Intelligence. After viewing the holovid, the Emperor determined that the communications cache had been planted by a high–level Imperial official who was aiding the insurgents.[14]

Meanwhile, Lord Vader discovered that Rancit was the Imperial traitor and executed him. While Tarkin led Imperial forces against Teller's insurgents in a space battle near the Gulf of Tatooine, Darth Sidious mediated on his quest for galactic dominance. Following the defeat of Teller's insurgency, Tarkin and Vader spent the next three weeks hunting down Teller's collaborators and contacts in a ruthless crackdown. The two briefed the Emperor, who appointed Tarkin as Grand Moff and Governor of the Outer Rim Territories. The Emperor also reshuffled the Ruling Council in the wake of Rancit's execution. He also folded Naval Intelligence back into Imperial Intelligence.[14]

By 14 BBY,[170] Sidious had also ordered for Project Auger to begin on the planet Zeffo, which had been home to the Zeffonian before their hubris nearly destroyed them. The project saw Imperial mining begin on Zeffo to locate artifacts. The commanding officer, Krane, kept one uncovered artifact secret in order to win support from Sidious by giving it to him personally. However, she died when the cave she chose to hide it in collapsed.[171]

A reward for Vader

"I think, one way or another, you will learn a great deal. That is good. After all, your power is my power."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[172]

Shortly after he killed Eeth Koth,[173] Vader attacked the Thirteenth Sister for committing treason. Confused, her partner tried to defend her before they both fled Inquisitorius Headquarters across Coruscant. The Sith Lord eventually caught up with the couple and slew them. However, the destruction caused by the chase and resultant death of Senator Maklooq, who was important to one of Sidious' schemes, led the Emperor to order the Inquisitorius to be relocated. Their new base was built on Nur.[174][83] Pleased with the death of Koth, Sidious gifted Vader the former royal vessel of Queen Amidala. With few Jedi left to deal with, Sidious was about to send his apprentice on other missions when Vader asked for a world of his own: Mustafar.[174] Sidious granted the request but demanded to know why his apprentice had chosen the site of his greatest defeat. Vader explained that he believed that the dark side locus there could give him access to the dead Amidala. Sidious encouraged him, satisfied that whatever knowledge or power his apprentice gained there would ultimately be his. He gave Vader one final gift, the mask of Darth Momin, before sending him to Mustafar with the architect Colonel Brenne to design a fortress for him.[172]

By 12 BBY[175], the construction of Fortress Vader was complete, the eight previous versions all having failed in some manner.[176] Vader contacted Sidious, who was surprised to hear from him after so long, but eager to send him out on more missions for the Empire. When Sidious asked him if he had learned what he needed, Vader confirmed as much with a simple "yes" and no elaboration.[177]

New threats

Continued hunts and new campaigns
"I wonder if your thoughts are clear on this, Lord Vader. Perhaps your feelings for your old master have left you weakened. If your past cannot be overcome…"
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[178]

Following Darth Vader's defeat by Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Sidious counseled his apprentice against allowing his emotions to weaken him.

In 9 BBY,[179] Darth Vader[180] and the Inquisitorius engaged in a hunt for Obi-Wan Kenobi, who had been engineered to come out of hiding in order to rescue Princess Leia Organa of Alderaan.[181] Though the search had been fabricated by the Third Sister to kill Vader, her attempts failed,[182] and Vader and Kenobi engaged in a lightsaber duel on a barren moon as a result. Kenobi bested Vader, damaging his armor in the process, and he managed to evade the Imperials on his tail. Not long after, Vader, whose armor was since repaired, reached out to his master via a hologram at Fortress Vader,[178] his castle on Mustafar.[183] He informed Sidious he had dispatched probe droids to continue the search for Kenobi, adding that he would not evade him once again. Picking up on Vader's agitation, Sidious questioned if Vader's thoughts on the matter were clear, continuing that perhaps has feelings for his former master had left him weakened. As Sidious asked if Vader could not overcome his past, Vader declared that Kenobi meant nothing, for he only served Sidious.[178]

With the Jedi mostly defeated, Sidious felt secure behind his huge galactic military and dominion over most of the known galaxy. Despite this, remaining Separatist holdouts and surviving Jedi would gnaw at his confidence of the longevity of his new Empire. Seeking to secure the center, the Emperor supported mass military excursions into the Outer Rim Territories in an effort to bring more systems under his fold. With his ultimate goal of bending reality into something of his own creation, an omnipotent Empire would allow all the galaxy's inhabitants to be held in his dark embrace.[14] Despite the Jedi being all but extinct, Force-sensitive children were still being born across the galaxy. In an effort to combat this threat, Sidious commanded his apprentice, Lord Vader, to contact the Grand Inquisitor to hunt them down and destroy them if they did not serve the Empire.[184]

During Vader's hunt for the Hidden Hand, the Emperor contacted his apprentice through a hologram, expressing his disappointment in his failure to track down the criminal syndicate. He stated that they must be crushed at once, as they stole weapons from the Empire and supplied them to the Rebellion.[185]

Following the raid on the Imperial garrison on Aldhani[186] in 5 BBY,[187] Palpatine spoke with Colonel Yularen, giving the ISB direct control of operations going forward and the authority to arrest anyone who was considered a disrupter to the Empire. The next day, the Emperor convened an emergency session of the Senate in order to propose a legislative package of bills and amendments and to officially invoke the Public Order Resentencing Directive.[188]

Ahsoka Tano hero profile

Darth Sidious believed that capturing Ahsoka Tano would give the Empire the opportunity to eliminate more surviving Jedi.

During the fifteenth Empire Day, celebrating the anniversary of the Empire's rise to power, the Emperor presided over the Imperial Senate on Coruscant with his Royal Guards, and invited Lothal governor Arihnda Pryce to celebrate with him.[189] After the Inquisitor's death, at the hands of Kanan Jarrus and his Padawan Ezra Bridger, the Emperor dispatched his apprentice to Lothal as an "alternative solution" to the growing rebel problem.[190] The Emperor was contacted by Darth Vader after he had defeated the Rebel fleet in the Lothal system. Vader informed his master that he had discovered that his former Jedi apprentice, Ahsoka Tano, still lived. The Emperor was pleased with the news that Tano possibly knew the location of other hidden Jedi, and capturing her would allow the Empire to find them and destroy them before they became threats. Although Vader was more interested in finding his former Master Obi-Wan Kenobi, the Emperor told his apprentice to have patience and to send an Inquisitor to hunt down Tano and the other Jedi discovered on Lothal.[191]

Thrawn's campaign against the rebellion

In 2 BBY,[192] the Emperor promoted the Chiss Imperial Navy officer Thrawn to the position of Grand Admiral for his role in suppressing the rebel insurgency in the Batonn sector.[193] During the promotion however, Thrawn questioned Sidious on the practicality of the Death Star. The Emperor questioned if the reason for Thrawn's worries were because of the threat the station posed to the Chiss species. However, because Thrawn had fulfilled his end of the bargain by sharing his information on the Unknown Regions, he let the issue go. The Emperor then introduced Thrawn to his personal enforcer, Darth Vader. Later, Thrawn would be dispatched to deal with the growing rebel threat.[166]

Mon Mothma's treason
Secret Cargo

After a generation in power, Sidious' rule was challenged by the Alliance to Restore the Republic.

Later, the rogue Senator Mon Mothma incurred the Emperor's wrath when she denounced him as a liar and condemned his complicity in the Ghorman Massacre. As a result, Mon Mothma was designated a traitor and Imperial forces were dispatched to hunt her down. Despite the efforts of Grand Admiral Thrawn to trap Mon Mothma and the Spectres in the Archeon Nebula, Hera Syndulla managed to deliver Mon Mothma safely to Dantooine where she gave a speech urging the galaxy to rise up against the Empire.[194]

Disturbance in the Unknown Regions

After Thrawn's defeat at Atollon, Sidious sensed a great disturbance in the Force somewhere on the edge of the galaxy. Therefore, the Emperor summoned Thrawn and Vader to Coruscant for a meeting. During the meeting, the Emperor ordered the two to the planet Batuu to locate a disturbance in the Force that he had sensed, testing Vader on his vulnerability to his past and Thrawn on his loyalty.[195]

Machinations on Lothal

A World Between Worlds
"I can't go with you."
"Perhaps I can. Ezra Bridger and Ahsoka Tano— Mine at last!"
―Ahsoka Tano and Darth Sidious, to Ezra Bridger[196]
Wolves-and-a-door-06 321d4477

The Emperor consulted with Minister Hydan regarding the ancient runes of the Mortis Gods.

After the discovery of a Jedi temple on Lothal, the Emperor directed Minister Veris Hydan to excavate the ruins and uncover its secrets. Sometime thereafter, the Emperor was contacted by Hydan, who informed him that they had reached the roots of the temple and uncovered a mural of the Mortis gods, which was reminiscent of art and iconography found at the former temple on Coruscant. The Emperor told Hydan that he had sensed that the death of Jarrus had altered the fate of Lothal. Vowing to control the conduit between the living and the dead, the Emperor urged his minister to quicken the pace of his work.[197]

Later, the Emperor used Sith alchemy in an attempt to open a portal to the World Between Worlds where Bridger and Tano were. The Emperor taunted them through the portal and unleashed his power against them, which they were able to hold back. He then caught Bridger's leg and pulled him so that he could get through the portal. However, before he could get through the portal to enter the realm, Tano cut the fiery lasso. The Emperor then tried again but failed as Bridger and Tano made it back to their world much to his fury. In the process, the Lothal Jedi Temple was destroyed.[196]

Deception on Lothal
"My dear boy, it's you who chose to destroy the Temple. The actions of your Rebel friends require a firm hand to ensure that there is order on Lothal. As for your parents, allow me to offer what might have been, and what yet may be."
―Darth Sidious, to Ezra Bridger[198]

Following the defeat of the treasonous Grand Admiral Balanhai Savit and Thrawn losing the funding for his TIE defender program to the Death Star, Sidious spoke with his Chiss Grand Admiral over his private communications display to determine if his loyalties truly lied with the Empire, as Thrawn had worked with members of the Chiss Ascendancy to combat a Grysk Hegemony force that had infiltrated Imperial space. After confirming with Thrawn that Savit had in fact been a traitor, the Emperor turned the topic of discussion to the Chiss officer's loyalties, though Thrawn insisted that his work with the Ascendancy was not treason. Thrawn admitted that the Grysks were primarily a threat to his own people, but he argued that they had taken an interest in the Empire and could want control of the Death Star, which Sidious instantly denied, telling Thrawn that neither the Grysks nor the Chiss would control his station.[199]

While Thrawn denied seeking the battle station for his people and promised to fight against such a situation, Sidious clearly saw the Chiss's divided loyalties. Pondering Thrawn's true allegiances and the other factors at play, Sidious wondered if an alliance between the Empire and the Ascendancy could be useful if Thrawn was correct. However, in such a case, Sidious wanted control of both governments and pondered if Thrawn could be manipulated or persuaded into betraying his kind. Deciding such a possibility required additional meditation and turning his attention to the more urgent matter of the Lothal rebels, Sidious informed Thrawn that he was sending instructions for a chamber to be built aboard the Chimaera. He ordered Thrawn to put down the rebel insurgency on Lothal and bring Bridger to the chamber,[199] which was a portion of the Lothal Jedi Temple he wanted brought aboard "stone by stone."[198] Leaving Thrawn to carry out his duties, he gave the Grand Admiral one last order: once the battle at Lothal was over, he was to return to Coruscant so they could have a "long long talk."[199]

Palpatine family-reunion

A disguised Darth Sidious sought to use the Jedi Ezra Bridger to gain access to the World Between Worlds.

Fulfilling his orders,[199] Thrawn brought Bridger aboard the Chimaera when, in order to stop the Chiss officer from bombarding Lothal's Capital City, the young Jedi surrendered himself to the Empire. After the officer and the Padawan talked about the fate of the Jedi and Lothal, Thrawn brought Ezra to the room that contained the temple portion, bringing Bridger face-to-face with the Galactic Emperor. Since the Emperor was off-world, he used a hologram projection to present himself in his more benevolent, pre-scarred form. Sidious then ordered Thrawn to leave the room, leaving him alone with Bridger and the temple fragment.[198]

In an attempt to get Ezra to unlock the portal to the World Between Worlds, Sidious tried to tempt Ezra with the opportunity of reuniting with his deceased parents. Ezra, however, recalling his earlier lesson in the World Between Worlds, decided to reject this offer, knowing he had a family and then proceeded to pull down the Temple into rubble. This caused the Emperor's hologram projection to shift from his benevolent persona to his true form. With his plan in tatters, the Emperor ordered three members of the Royal Guard and three stormtroopers to enter the room and execute Ezra. However, after Sidious deactivated his hologram, Bridger was able to use the Force to crush the soldiers with rubble and escaped. Ultimately making his way to the bridge of the Chimaera, Bridger, having previously ordered his ally Mart Mattin to summon a pod of Purrgil with Frequency Zero, successfully liberated his homeworld from the Empire, as the creatures defeated the blockade in orbit and proceeded to take hold of the Chimaera, dragging it, Thrawn, the rest of the crew, and him into hyperspace. Thus, Bridger unknowingly also stopped[198] Sidious' future plans for Thrawn[199] from becoming a reality.[198]

Galactic Civil War

The dissolution of the Senate

"The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away."
"That's impossible! How will the Emperor maintain control without the bureaucracy?"
"The regional governors now have direct control over their territories. Fear will keep the local systems in line. Fear of this battle station."
―Wilhuff Tarkin and Cassio Tagge[126]
Emperor Sidious

Sidious further tightened his grip on the galaxy, confident that control could be maintained by fear.

Later that year, having deliberately placed a trap inside the Death Star, scientist Galen Walton Erso dispatched pilot Bodhi Rook to Jedha to meet with Saw Gerrera's Partisans and inform the Rebel Alliance of the existence of the planet-killing superweapon. Fearing that the Imperial Senate would learn of the Death Star's existence, Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin decided to test the Death Star's superlaser on Jedha City, killing the traitorous pilot and proving that the station worked. Tarkin relayed his decision to the Emperor, who would await for the Governor's report. Director Orson Callan Krennic, however, expressed disappointment that neither the Emperor nor his favored emissary, Darth Vader, would be present for the occasion. This prompted Tarkin to explain that their absence served as a protection for Krennic should another failure occur during the testing of the weapon. Despite the animosity between the commanders, the Death Star fired on Jedha City, destroying it within moments. Soon after, Krennic asked Tarkin if he would report to the Emperor that his efforts had paid off, only for Tarkin to reveal that he would instead inform the Emperor that he would be taking executive control of the Death Star.[200]

Not long after, Rogue One squad, led by Jyn Erso and Captain Cassian Jeron Andor, as well as a large portion of the Alliance's fleet managed to steal a complete technological readout of the Death Star from an Imperial Research Facility on Scarif. This loss, as the space station neared completion, was a bitter, and potentially fatal, blow to the Emperor's long-term plans. In order to deal with the problem, Sidious sent Vader to retrieve the Death Star plans.[200]

Vader destroyed the rebel flagship and much of the rebel fleet. However, the plans were retrieved by Toshma Jefkin and had escaped aboard the Tantive IV, a CR90 corvette, in the hands of Princess Leia, the Imperial Senator for Alderaan and a suspected Rebel sympathizer.[200] Vader soon trapped the corvette over Tatooine, boarding the ship and taking the Princess as a hostage. Although Vader failed to acquire the plans, he arrested Organa as a traitor and, as such, provided Sidious with the excuse he needed to dissolve the Imperial Senate. One of the last remnants of the Galactic Republic, Sidious had always planned to remove it but he needed to wait for the Death Star to be completed so that order could be maintained through fear instead of representation in the Senate. With the space station nearly completed and a Senator accused of supporting the rebellion, Sidious ordered the dissolution of the Senate. Legislative power was transferred to regional governors and select members of the Imperial military, such as Sidious' ally, Grand Moff Tarkin, allowing the Emperor to gain complete control over the Empire with no checks to his power.[126][201]

The New Order in peril

"We kept the skeleton of the Republic for nearly twenty years while the Death Star was constructed. Twenty years, my apprentice. All that planning is now a layer of dust orbiting around Yavin… Now, we no longer have the Senate to hold order. We do not have the Death Star to force it. Our greatest weapon is gone. Our production is in ashes. We are besieged. In all these years, we have never skirted closer to disaster."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[201]

The Emperor's ultimate weapon, the Death Star, was destroyed by Luke Skywalker during the Battle of Yavin.

After Vader's duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, Vader reported to Sidious the death of Kenobi, to Sidious' surprised glee. However, he was still troubled by Kenobi's last words, his body's disappearance upon death, and the still-mysterious whereabouts of Yoda. Sidious resolved to keep the Empire strong and to destroy the Rebellion.[202]

Despite Sidious's careful planning for seizing complete power over the Empire, his plans were jeopardized when the Rebel Alliance launched an attack on the Death Star during the Battle of Yavin. As the Death Star was about to fire, Sidious sensed a disturbance in the Force, merely a blink from his point of view. In that moment, the Rebel pilot Luke Skywalker launched his proton torpedoes, succeeding in destroying the Death Star, killing Tarkin and most of the Empire's high-ranking officers, while also leaving Sidious concerned of the pilot's connection to the Force even though he wasn't as powerful as Maul or Dooku but just a simple boy.[203]

The only survivors were Sidious's apprentice, Darth Vader, who had failed to defend the space station and General Cassio Tagge, who had been sent to investigate Princess Leia Organa's claims about an active Rebel base on Dantooine. The Rebels' victory at Yavin was followed by another victory on Cymoon 1, where a Rebel team destroyed the Empire's main production facility, Weapons Factory Alpha. Several other assaults by Rebel forces, such as the bombing of a supply base on Imdaar and the shipyards at Kuat, harassed the Empire in the weeks following the Death Star's destruction. In addition, the aftermath of the Death Star's destruction saw a rise in pirate activity against Imperial supply convoys as the galactic government was no longer seen as invulnerable. The Empire's hold over vital worlds also began to slip; one of the worlds which began to question Imperial domination was the mining world of Shu-Torun. Ruled by a mercantile nobility called the ore-dukes, Shu-Torun provided important materials the Empire required for its construction projects, including the development of the second Death Star, and the Emperor constantly demanded higher tithes, especially in the aftermath of the Battle of Yavin. Opposing this unsustainable increase, the Ore-dukes convinced their aged King to rebel against the Empire.[201][204][205][206]

Palpatine Vader agent

In the wake of Darth Vader's failures, Sidious opted to test his apprentice, withholding information about an elusive ally of the Empire.

Determined to prevent the destruction of his Empire, Sidious reorganized Imperial High Command by appointing General Tagge as Grand General with command of all military matters. Tagge had argued against the strategy of having the Death Star as the Imperial military's sole weapon, believing that the military was all that was needed to safeguard the Empire and that depending on a single weapon was inviting catastrophe. Vader, who had failed to protect either the Death Star or Cymoon 1, was demoted and ordered to serve under Tagge as the Grand General saw fit. The Emperor gave orders that the military was to focus its attention on the conquest of the Outer Rim until the time when the second Death Star was completed. Tagge and Vader begun targeting the pirates for destruction as well as cracking down on criminal elements which had gone unchecked in the past, such as the Son-tuul Pride.[201][205][207]

The only ones spared the Empire's wrath were the Hutts, who had entered into an alliance with the Empire. Needing raw materials for Imperial military production and knowing that the Hutts could provide them for the right price, Sidious sent Vader to Tatooine to negotiate an agreement with Jabba for their support in exchange for the Hutts being allowed to maintain their power base in the Outer Rim and the underworld. The destruction of competitors, such as the Son-tuul Pride, also allowed the Hutts to profit from the alliance as their position in the underworld fell to them.[207]

When Shu-Torun rose up in open rebellion against the Empire following Darth Vader's brutal suppression of an assassination attempt made against him by the King, Sidious sent his apprentice back to the mining world with a large military force at his command. His orders were to end the Ore-dukes' rebellion and preserve the Imperial-backed government led by Queen Trios, whom Vader had placed on the throne after her father's treason.[206][208]

At some point following the Battle of Yavin, the Emperor's luxury yacht Imperialis was stolen by the gambler Lando Calrissian and his associates while it was undergoing repairs at Sienar Fleet Systems' Orbital Shipyard CC-24 above the planet Castell. Grand Vizier Amedda informed the Emperor of this loss within a Coruscant throne room.[209] In response, the Emperor dispatched three Star Destroyers commanded by Commodore Idel, Captain Shan, and Captain Conro to recover his ship. These Star Destroyers destroyed CC-24 to punish the base's Commander Pasqual for failing to protect the Emperor's property. After the Star Destroyers failed to recover the ship, the Emperor dispatched the bounty hunter Chanath Cha to recover the vessel. Should she fail to recover it, he instructed her to destroy the Imperialis to avoid letting its secrets fall into the hands of others.[210] Unwilling to harm her former friends Lando and Lobot, Chanath opted to destroy the vessel instead.[211] The wreckage of the Imperialis eventually ended up on Quantxi, the junk moon of Ord Mantell.[18]

Eliminating the competition

"I was intrigued by the scientists. What could they achieve if unfettered by the hypocritical morality of the Old Republic? We would see. For is it not my duty to chart the possibilities? […] Cylo grew powerful. His tendrils were deep in Tarkin's Initiative. His cancer was one with its flesh. If I simply tore him free, I would risk a schism of the Empire's great minds. While the Death Star was being constructed, that was unthinkable. After its destruction, it was even more so. I had to make him overplay his hand."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[142]

In the aftermath of Darth Vader's failure to prevent the Death Star's destruction, Sidious was approached by one of the scientists involved in the Tarkin Initiative: Doctor Cylo. One of the specialists who had saved Vader's life after sustaining his fatal injuries on Mustafar, Sidious had kept him on and funded his research into upgrading organic species into cybernetically-enhanced subjects. Cylo believed that organisms could only survive by adapting with technology, and eliminating weaknesses. He also believed that in the new world he foresaw, the Force would be rendered obsolete. Although Sidious dismissed these thoughts by saying that everything was of the Force, he was curious to see what these scientists could do unconstrained by the presence of the Old Republic or the Jedi.[142][212][213]


More tests laid for Vader in the tumultuous time of the Galactic Civil War, as he struggled under his manipulative Sith Master, Darth Sidious.

During the twenty years which had passed since the end of the Clone Wars, Cylo had worked to create several subjects which possessed the best genetic and cybernetic upgrades that he could provide, preparing them as potential enforcers for the Empire. With Vader's disgrace clear and the Emperor's need for strong elements to prevent further damage being done to the Empire, Cylo suggested that he replace his apprentice with one of his subjects. Vader's role would be reduced to a ceremonial one, while the doctor's subjects would enforce Sidious's will throughout the galaxy. Intrigued by Cylo's proposition, Sidious agreed to provide his subjects with a chance to impress him.[212][213]

However, unbeknownst to the scientist, the Emperor had come to believe that Cylo had grown too powerful as a result of his involvement with the Tarkin Initiative. He could do nothing about it because of the doctor's connection with several of the Empire's greatest scientific minds, and removing him could cause a splint among them. When Cylo presented him his plan, however, Sidious knew that he could cause him to overplay his hand which would make him a traitor to the Empire. Knowing that Vader would be the perfect foil to Cylo's subjects, the Emperor made sure the two men met. The day he informed Vader of his punishment for his failure at the Imperial Palace on Coruscant, he also summoned Cylo for a private meeting. When his apprentice asked who the scientist was, Sidious refused to answer him, leading Vader to conduct his own investigation into the Emperor's secrets.[142][201]

After Vader's hired bounty hunter Krrsantan successfully apprehended Cylo in his fourth body, he revealed under torture the location of his secret research base. The Sith Lord made his way to the base where he began an assault to find his potential rivals and destroy them. However, Cylo-IV's death at the hands of Vader's torture droid 0-0-0 had not killed the scientist: having recreated himself as an immortal system, whenever one of Cylo's bodies died, another was activated on board his research base. Cylo-V had guessed that Vader had discovered the location of his base and that he would be coming when he was activated. As such, he contacted the Emperor so that he could give him a demonstration of his subjects. Sidious arrived as Vader was about to kill the scientist. Only his intervention saved Cylo-V from suffering his predecessor's fate. With all the elements for his plan to begin, the Emperor demanded Cylo start the presentation.[214][212]

Blasphemy to the force itself

Darth Sidious turns to Cylo and his experiments in a bid to test his apprentice.

As they fought with Vader, Cylo presented to him the subjects that he had been working on over the past twenty years: Aiolin Astarte and Morit Astarte, twins born to a family which had supported the Separatists during the Clone Wars, who had been upgraded genetically and cybernetically to possess abilities similar to the Jedi and Sith of old without having to use the Force; Tulon Voidgazer, a genius scientist involved with high-level R&D development before she was upgraded with a cloud of drone-droids, connected directly to her brain, who allowed her to see and fight through them; Commander Karbin, a Mon Calamari veteran of the Clone Wars who had spent eighteen years on life support after his ship crashed, and who had been upgraded into a model resembling the late General Grievous and trained in lightsaber combat. Finally, Cylo had created a system which could possess various hosts, tested on a Trandoshan, and remove any traits the Emperor would not desire, such as pain and emotions. Sufficiently impressed, Sidious demanded a real demonstration of their abilities. Vader and the subjects began to fight to the death against one another, and the Trandoshan was killed by Morit before the Emperor called a stop to the fight. He announced that he would find a use for every one of them, but that only one would win a place as his enforcer. The sole rule he established was that they not kill each other; or make sure if they did that he not find out. As he made to leave, the Emperor called Vader to speak to him privately.[213]

A worthy apprentice

"Do not underestimate how much you disappointed me on Mustafar. I saved you, but you showed how much off the mark you fell. […] The dark side is strength. If they defeat you, they are stronger. If you defeat them, you prove you are. This is the way of the Sith. I named you "Vader" after you pledged yourself to the Sith. You proved yourself worthy of it then. I am certain you will prove yourself worthy now."
―Darth Sidious[213]
Subjects of the Emperor

Relations were tense between Sidious' subjects.

When they were alone, Sidious complimented Vader on his ability to discover Cylo's project. He was also impressed with his apprentice's ability to act beyond his knowledge, and how he had been able to acquire a private army of Separatist-era commando droids to use for his own ends. Vader was displeased with being forced to prove himself against Cylo's subjects, especially as he considered them blasphemous to the ways of the Force. Sidious chastised him for reprimanding him, reminding him that he was the teacher while Vader remained the apprentice: his task was to learn what Sidious knew, and Sidious's was to discover what there was to teach. The Emperor also revealed that he needed Vader to overcome the disappointment he had caused in him when he almost fell on Mustafar, and prove himself worthy of carrying the name Sidious had given him when he had pledged himself to the Sith. With his business concluded, the Emperor left Cylo's base and returned to Coruscant.[213]

At the Emperor's directive, Cylo's subjects were placed at Grand General Tagge's disposal, while the doctor acted as a consultant for the military. The rivalry between them and Vader eventually led to the confrontation with the Rebel Alliance on Vrogas Vas. As a result of Karbin's manipulation, Vader crashed on Vrogas Vas when he confronted three Rebel squadrons. One pilot chose to crash his X-Wing into Vader's TIE fighter to bring him down. On the surface, Vader confronted a large force or Rebel soldiers assembled by Leia Organa to eliminate his threat. The confrontation culminated in a battle between the Sith Lord and Karbin, which resulted in the latter's death. The Rebellion suffered important losses on Vrogas Vas, and Karbin's disappearance led the Emperor to search for him. Vader eventually made his way to Coruscant where he presented his master with Karbin's corpse. Although Sidious was annoyed that his apprentice had violated his rule, he was impressed when Vader challenged him to provide him with another way to prove himself worthy of his trust. The Emperor gave his apprentice command of the military force he was sending to Shu-Torun to preserve Queen Trios's hold on the throne. However, he also sent Cylo and his remaining subjects, apparently on Grand General Tagge's request. Before Vader left the Imperial Palace, Sidious warned him not to disappoint him, as he relied on him more than he let on.[208]

Vader's campaign on Shu-Torun was a success, and the rebellious Ore-dukes were brought down. In the middle of the battle, Cylo attempted to have his rival killed by forming an alliance with Baron Rubix, the leader of the Shu-Torun rebels. Vader evaded the trap and, with the help of a dying Aiolin Astarte who had been betrayed by her brother, secured the proof needed to prove the doctor's treachery from her memory circuit. Once Vader's business was concluded on Shu-Torun, he informed the Emperor of Cylo's betrayal and told him that he had fled with his remaining subjects. Pleased that his plan had worked, Sidious summoned Vader to him on the shipyard where the Executor-class Star Dreadnought Executor was being built.[215][216][217][142]

End of Games

"The fleet will be yours. The Executor will be yours. I leave you to educate your subordinates about this brave new era."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[218]
Vader and the Emperor Executor meeting

Vader destroyed Doctor Cylo and his creations in order to safeguard his position as Darth Sidious' apprentice.

At Kuat, the Emperor revealed his fear of Cylo's growing influence to his apprentice, the doctor's role in rebuilding him, and the purpose of the contest for his position as an enforcer. Vader recognized that, should one of his rivals had been the last one standing, the Emperor would be having the same conversation with them. However, he declared that he had succeeded and that he represented the strength of the dark side. Sidious was pleased with his apprentice's success and ordered him to find Cylo and destroy him.[142]

While the Executor was still under construction, Cylo's fleet attacked the dreadnought. During the assault, one of his creations, Tulon Voidgazer sabotaged the vessel. Sidious contacted Tagge, demanding to know what was happening, however the general and his crew were knocked unconscious by toxic gas. The Emperor was then informed by one of his guards that they were trapped.[219]

After Vader killed Cylo's minions and destroyed his current body, he informed the Emperor of his success. Pleased with his apprentice, Sidious told him to finish his mission then return. At that moment, the archaeologist Doctor Aphra entered his private chambers. She then claimed they had a "mutual friend" and that she had things the Emperor needed to know.[220]

After Vader finished off Cylo for good, he returned to his master. It was then that Sidious told Vader that Aphra had informed him of all of his secret endeavors, many of which had been technically treasonous. However, rather than chastise or punish Vader, the Emperor told his apprentice that he was impressed with his ambitions and that he was everything he could have hoped for. He then left Vader to deal with Aphra as he pleased. Due to Tagge's failure, the Emperor demoted him and transferred command of the Executor and its fleet to Vader. Pleased with his apprentice, he left him to "educate" his subordinates of the future.[218]

Meeting Kreel

"It is an honor to kneel in your presence, sir."
"Yes, I'm sure it is. Carry on, trooper. The Empire needs more men like you. Whoever you are.
―Kreel and Emperor Palpatine[221]

Sometime later, Sidious sought out Vader to speak with him and found his apprentice in a training room with Sergeant Kreel of Task Force 99. The trooper bowed and expressed his honor at meeting the Emperor, who said he expected as such and urged Vader to join him elsewhere.[221]

The Eternal Rur

"Put it with the rest of my collection. I'm sure we'll find some use for it."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[222]

Around 1 ABY,[223] Vader successfully obtained a kyber crystal containing the copied consciousness of an ancient Jedi named Rur. While reporting to Sidious on a successful raid against the criminal syndicates, he presented the artifact to a pleased Sidious, who added it to his collection, certain that the crystal and its occupant would be of value to him.[222]

Eliminating the Rebellion

"The loss of the Death Star made the galaxy think they could rebel. This has shown that the Rebellion can never win."
Hmph. It is...satisfactory."
―Darth Vader and Darth Sidious[224]

Later that year, Vader led Imperial forces to a decisive victory at the Mako-Ta Space Docks, virtually crippling the Rebel fleet. While Sidious pointed out that the enemy had not been completely destroyed, Vader contended that the Rebellion had been weakened such that it could not pose a major threat to the Empire anymore. He added that the Alliance could be wiped out at their convenience, which satisfied Sidious.[224]

Voor's Assassination Plot

The next year,[225] Pitina Mar-Mas Voor, the head of the Coalition for Progress was exposed by Doctor Aphra as the architect of a scheme to assassinate the Emperor with the ancient Farkiller weapon. While Palpatine was evacuated to safety, Vader confronted Voor and executed her.[226]

"A great disturbance in the Force"

"There is a great disturbance in the Force."
"I have felt it."
"We have a new enemy: the young rebel who destroyed the Death Star. I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker."
―Darth Sidious and Darth Vader, about Luke Skywalker[16]

The Sith discovered a new threat to their reign in the form of Luke Skywalker, son of Anakin Skywalker and Jedi-to-be.

Three years after the Battle of Yavin, the Empire had managed to gain a major victory by capturing the Rebel base on the ice planet of Hoth. However, something bigger was growing. Sitting within his Imperial Office, Sidious sensed a great disturbance in the Force. It was not unlike that which he had sensed within the moments before the Death Star's destruction. Sidious sought to see within the disturbance, which brought him to a vision of a boy holding a crimson lightsaber, having seemingly decapitated the Emperor's Royal Guards within his very own Imperial Office. As he watched, the boy approached a seated Sidious within the vision, calling to the Force to choke Sidious' doppelganger. The doppelganger attempted to electrocute the boy with Force Lightning, but failed to stop him. Following this, the doppelganger tried to call upon his lightsaber but instead the boy commanded it and turned the saber on midflight, eventually overpowering the doppelganger when the Sith Lord's own saber struck him down.[203]

A familiar voice then called to the boy, who proceeded to walk to the same spot the real Sidious now occupied. The boy knelt in front of the hidden figure as the voice noted that the boy had done well. Sidious then realized who the voice belonged to: That of Anakin Skywalker. Sidious concluded that this must be a dream of Anakin's. Probing deeper within the vision, Sidious witnessed the scene of the unmasked and unburnt Anakin Skywalker walking beneath the sight of endless Star Destroyers, walking together with a figure that seemingly resembled him as well as the looming figure of the long deceased Senator Padme Amidala, now alive once more. The figure referred to Anakin as Father and to Padme as Mother. Anakin then motioned to the fleet, referring to the boy as Luke, stating that the fleet that flew above them was now the most powerful in the galaxy. Having witnessed this, Sidious was thrown out of the vision, but he had witnessed enough. From these pieces he deduced that Vader's prior actions made supposedly under the guise of destroying the Alliance leadership were actually motivated by a desire to find his son and shape him to his vision.[203]

Sidious then resolved to give Vader the resources to do just that while waiting for Vader to make a mistake. When he made that mistake, Sidious would be ready to take advantage of it for his own purposes and ensuring Vader's simultaneous downfall.[203] With Darth Vader aboard his[16] command ship,[4] Executor,[227] the Emperor ultimately contacted the commanding officer of the vessel, Admiral Piett, telling him to have Lord Vader contact him immediately. Vader did as he was instructed and was told of his son, Luke Skywalker,[16] fully aware that Vader was knowledgeable of this information.[203] The Emperor then proceeded to state his desire for the elimination of this threat, yet Vader suggested that young Skywalker could become an ally. With calculated words of approval, the Emperor allowed his enforcer to pursue this possible "asset." The cloaked master then left Vader to find Luke Skywalker after his apprentice pledged to confront the offspring of Anakin Skywalker and either bring him to the Emperor or have his son destroyed.[16]

Vader's departure

"Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and together, we can rule the galaxy as father and son!"
―Darth Vader, to Luke Skywalker[16]

Darth Vader eventually lured Luke Skywalker to Cloud City on Bespin, where the Sith Lord attempted to capture Skywalker in carbonite and transport the Jedi-aspirant to the Emperor. However, Skywalker evaded capture and was confronted by Vader in a duel on Cloud City. There, with the Jedi-aspirant beaten by a precarious ledge, Vader divulged knowledge of his relationship with Skywalker, his son, and gave an ultimatum for the youth: to join forces—as said to be destiny—with his father, Darth Vader, or die. However, Luke Skywalker rejected his newfound father, and allowed himself to fall into the abyss.[16]

Having failed in recruiting or destroying Skywalker, Vader returned to the Executor, only to be interrupted by its crew, which reported the Millennium Falcon's escape from Cloud City. Upon the Executor's bridge, Vader sensed the presence of his son aboard the Falcon. Calling out for the young Skywalker to join himself in vain, the father of Skywalker watched as the Falcon slipped past Imperial forces with its fully functional hyperdrive.[16]

Throne Room Darth Vader 1

Following Vader's encounter with Skywalker, Sidious learned from Admiral Piett that Lord Vader had abruptly departed his fleet.

Angered, Lord Vader left his flagship aboard an Imperial shuttle with a forensics droid and a unit of death troopers for revenge against those responsible for withholding the knowledge of his offspring's survival, altering the droid's systems that would force its motivator to trigger a self-destruct sequence should the droid reveal any information to anyone—including Imperials and the Emperor himself—regarding their quest.[228]

Meanwhile, the Emperor had Grand Vizier Mas Amedda contact Admiral Piett by hologram. After Piett's confirmation on the escape of the Millennium Falcon, the Grand Vizier relayed the Emperor's demand for Vader to contact him immediately, yet an officer alerted Piett of the departure of Lord Vader's shuttle as the admiral reached for his comlink to Vader. Cautiously wording his response, Piett told Vizier Amedda of Vader's unavailability. Hearing word of Vader's failure and his leave from Imperial command, the Emperor began to laugh before the holo-transmission of Piett while he sat on his throne in his palace on Coruscant as Amedda stood next to him.[228]

At some point, Vader arrived at the Imperial Palace to meet with his master in the throne room, where Palpatine learned from his apprentice that the Rebel Navy was scattered but likely to regroup in the future. Unwilling to let the opportunity before them slip away, Sidious ordered his apprentice to lead the hunt to crush the Rebellion while it was scared and disorganized, believing that, without the likes of Thrawn nor Tarkin in the Empire, his apprentice would be one of the few who could lead the campaign. However, he himself admitted such a campaign would prevent Vader from carrying out the search for Skywalker, which both were eager to see continue. Vader thus suggested they give the mission to Tarkin's student Ellian Zahra, which Palpatine agreed to.[229]

Punishment on Mustafar

"I have turned his pain into fear…and his fear into anger. But he has learned and forgotten these lessons before…so this time I will send him a reminder. Through Ochi of Bestoon…assassin of the Sith…I will turn his anger back to fear…and his fear back to pain…as many times as it takes."
―Darth Sidious[230]

With the assistance of Sabé and her Amidalans, Vader eventually discovered the true fate of his deceased wife, traveling to Polis Massa and viewing a recording of her final moments, during which she said there was still good in her husband. After uncovering this, Vader returned to his master on Coruscant. Upon his arrival, Sidious chastised his apprentice for wallowing in his grief. He then told Vader that he would have to start again with fear before attacking his apprentice with Force lightning.[231] In the ensuing struggle, Amedda revealed the Emperor's knowledge of Vader's failure to turn his son and collusion with the Amidalans. Vader was then attacked by the Emperor's guards before subduing them and Amedda with a Force choke. While impressed by Vader's strength, Sidious used the Force to crush Vader's limbs, telling him to forget everything but his master. With only his right arm remaining, Vader was told by Sidious that he would have to find himself again or die.[230]

Accompanied by a pair of death troopers, Sidious returned Vader to Mustafar and left him on the very shore where he had found him. He then told his apprentice that he would have to rebuild himself without using the Force before leaving him to do so. Back on his shuttle, Sidious was informed by Amedda that Vader was heading for the ruins of the Techno Union installation, which was filled with machinery that he would most likely use to rebuild himself and kill Sidious. To this, Sidious revealed his own plan; to remind Vader of his pain in order for him to build himself back up to power. For this purpose, he would send Ochi of Bestoon, a Sith huntsman to hunt down his apprentice for sport, saying he would turn Vader's anger back to pain as many times as it took.[230]

Confrontation on Exegol

"Unlimited power. Beyond anything you have ever experienced. All in my hands. You feel it burning your flesh and mind. Ready to incinerate you in an instant. And you know you cannot fight it. So how…how can you claim it?"
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[232]

However, much to Sidious' dismay, Vader fought off his assassin and discovered a Sith wayfinder which led the way to the hidden Sith world of Exegol in the Unknown Regions, where much of Sidious' spare power and resources were kept in reserve. Defeating an Imperial fleet and a Summa-verminoth guarding the planet, Vader reached Exegol with Ochi in tow. Stepping outside of his Sith Citadel, the Emperor was met by Ochi, who warned him of Vader's arrival. Looking up at his apprentice as he rode on the back of the Summa-verminoth, Sidious asked Vader what this experience had taught him, to which Vader replied that he would teach his master what it was to fear. Vader then rode the Summa-verminoth into battle, to which Sidious sent out two crustaceous creatures to attack the monster. Though the creatures were defeated, Sidious then used the Force to crush the Summa-verminoth himself, forcing Vader to return to ground level as Sidious went back inside the Citadel. As Vader and Ochi followed him inside, Sidious taunted his apprentice through the Force, explaining to him the horrors that he would find.[232]

Within the Citadel were large vats containing bioengineered organisms strong in the dark side of the Force, along with countless Sith statues, beings known as Tankers, Sith cultists and a jar containing the severed hand of Vader's son. Though these creations were not Sith, Sidious claimed that any one of them could replace Vader if he were to fall. After fighting his way through his master's monsters, Vader was followed by Ochi to one of the Citadel's lower levels. There, they discovered an entire fleet of star destroyers, each armed with a planet-destroying cannon. Just beyond this fleet was a massive dome filled with red light and piercing screams. Despite Ochi's attempts to dissuade him, Vader entered the dome and came upon his master's greatest secret; a subterranean mountain of kyber crystal, bled red by the Sith cultists who kept it in constant pain. Sidious explained that he did this in order to power the cannons of his fleet. When the crystal was cut, it screamed in pain and sent out a wave of power, knocking off Ochi's helmet and burning his unprotected eyes. Vader suffered as well as Sidious mocked him for attempting to claim his power. Sidious then told his apprentice that if he continued to walk with him, he would never escape his pain. But only by walking with him would he be able to share his master's power. When Sidious asked his apprentice if he had chosen, Vader replied "Yes, my master" before departing from Exegol along with Sidious, Ochi, Amedda and Sly Moore.[232]

Among the chaos of these events, Sidious and the cultists were unaware that his son, by then known as "The Abomination," who had been wandering the Citadel and watching from afar, had escaped with the help his symeong slave friend Dathan aboard the ship Vader had arrived with Ochi aboard,[151] escaping from Exegol to live a life away from the dark side of the Force and to shun his cruel Sith father, ultimately rejecting the ways of the Sith.[31]

War with Crimson Dawn

"Crimson Dawn has barely shown its strength. To get this far, it must have agents at every level throughout the Empire. Find these infiltrators, Lord Vader…and show them who is stronger."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[233]

Returning to Coruscant, Sidious brought Vader to the very facility where he had first been restored. As Vader was repaired once again, Amedda warned Sidious of his intentions to kill him. Sidious replied that with Vader now knowing the limits of his role, he would find a more appropriate target for his hate, assuring both Amedda and Moore that he was beyond Vader's reach and they were beneath his notice. Once Vader was repaired, he asked Sidious his will, to which Sidious told him to decide that for himself. Vader then called over Ochi, who had just been given a cybernetic visor so he could continue to see. After gaining the Emperor's approval, Ochi departed with Vader in a Lambda-class shuttle to begin their next assignment; killing Luke Skywalker.[234] Meanwhile Sidious asked Moore how she felt about Vader's restoration. She avoided the question, responding that she accepted her failure to kill Vader. Sidious laughed, never having expected her to succeed.[235]

Vader and Ochi's quest for Skywalker eventually led them to the Auction for Han Solo held by Lady Qi'ra of the newly reemerged crime syndicate Crimson Dawn. Vader retrieved the stolen smuggler from the auction on Jekara in order to lure Luke Skywalker to him. However, this move drew the ire of the Grand Hutt Council, who attacked the Executor to reclaim Jabba's prize from the Empire. While Vader engaged his son in a dogfight over the planet, Admiral Piett called Vader for assistance against the Hutt attack, to which Vader replied that the attack was not his concern. In turn, Piett contacted the Emperor himself to appraise him of the situation. Sidious then told the Admiral to inform Vader that eliminating the Hutt Council was his new priority. Vader conceded and allowed his son to escape before slaughtering the Hutt Council, ending their attack while Boba Fett retrieved his bounty from the Executor and brought him to Jabba's Palace on Tatooine.[236] As Vader choked Moore on the Executor for betraying him, he was contacted by Sidious, to which he released his grip on the Umbaran and knelt before the Emperor. After restating his loyalty to his master, Vader was instructed by Sidious to hunt down and eliminate Crimson Dawn's agents within the Empire.[233]

Sometime later, Vader and his followers returned to Coruscant and struck down all of the Royal Guards and aides in the Emperor's throne room. Unfazed by this, Sidious pointed out Vader should have kept one of them alive for questioning. When Vader asked him if they were loyal, Sidious said they were loyal to strength, which Vader showed them. However, only one of them was Crimson Dawn, meaning that Vader's list was flawed. When Sidious questioned if his apprentice already knew that, Vader hesitated before assuring his master that he would bring him order.[237] Stoked by attacks from Crimson Dawn, the most powerful syndicates in the criminal underworld, except for the Hutts, began to fight amongst themselves. Displeased with the growing Syndicate War, Sidious ordered Amedda to contact his apprentice and inform him that his intervention was required.[238] As he returned to his throne room, the Emperor was informed by Amedda that the syndicates were allegedly vying for his favor. Sidious then decided to use his own fleet to quell their exuberance. But as he ordered Amedda to inform Piett and Veers, his entire Royal Guard suddenly fell over dead before him.[239]

The Queen's Shadow

"You did well to bring her to me, Lord Vader. She could be quite an asset. [...] With every moment she spends in your service you are molding her. Go, then. And teach the Queen's Shadow how to serve the Empire."
―Darth Sidious, to Darth Vader[240]

In the course of his mission to wipe out Crimson Dawn, Vader joined Sabé on Gabredor III in order to save his childhood friends Kitster and Wald from Governor Tauntaza, who was aligned with the criminal syndicate. After learning of this, Sidious was amused that, after failing to save his mother and wife, Vader would attempt the same for others from his early life.[241] Wearing a battlesuit, Tauntaza engaged in combat with Vader, damaging his suit and fleeing the planet. After his recovery, Vader made Sabé his advisor and she determined that Tauntaza's actions had been at the command of the Emperor.[240]

Thus, Vader returned to Coruscant with Sabé, bursting into the Emperor's throne room uninvited. Sidious stated that Vader had been listening to his heart and asked him what it had told him. In response, Vader levitated Sabé, ignoring her calling him by his original name. Sidious told her that referring to Vader as Anakin did the opposite of what she intended: instead of breaking through to him, she reminded him of his weakness. Despite her failure to turn his apprentice against him, Sidious was intrigued by her boldness, sending his Royal Guards to attack her. After she outfought them, even sending their fire towards him, Sidious killed them with Force lightning.[240]

Impressed by her combat skills, Sidious spoke to Sabé about the darkness he sensed in her heart. When he asked why she wanted to kill him, she replied that he represented chaos, while Vader represented order. Sidious retorted that she brought chaos in her quest for order, telling her to be proud of it, saying that it was her strength. Pleased, Sidious told Vader not to let his history with Sabé and her resemblance to his dead wife trouble him, particularly since she could not hope to defeat him. Instead, Vader was to continue molding her as a servant of the Empire.[240]

The Hidden Empire

"Considering recent events Lord Vader...something has become clear to me. We have...an enemy."
Empire has many enemies, my master."
"Not the
Empire, my apprentice. The Sith. [...] It is no coincidence that these events are happening at once, Lord Vader. They are part of a coordinated campaign of diversion. Of distraction."
―Darth Sidious and Darth Vader[242]

Sometime later, Sidious summoned Vader back to his palace to discuss what he believed was a threat not to the Empire, but to the Sith themselves. He cited the Hutt attack on the Executor, the Syndicate War, Commander Zahra's failure to eradicate the Rebel Alliance, the assassination of ten of his Royal Guards, and the theft of the Screaming Key from Fortress Vader by the Knights of Ren as evidence of a converted conspiracy against them. When Vader asked who was behind the plot, the Emperor called in ISB Director Barsha to lay out what intelligence he had uncovered about the Syndicate War and name their enemy to Vader. After explaining that the syndicates were fighting for the Emperor's favor after hearing a rumor that the Hutts were losing their arrangement with the Empire. He revealed that he had learned that Crimson Dawn was responsible for the rumor.[242]

Later, as the two Sith walked down a hallway, Sidious stated to Vader his belief that Crimson Dawn was also behind the other incidents. Sidious asked Vader to confirm that he had met and dueled the syndicate's leader, Lady Qi'ra. Vader acquiesced, remembering that it had taken place at the auction for Han Solo, which Sidious reminded him was another of his failures. As they discussed her combat skills, which Vader said went beyond Teräs Käsi and involved techniques that reminded him of Sidious, they both came to the conclusion that Qi'ra had been trained by Maul, with Sidious concerned that she may have learned more about the Sith than simply fighting forms.[242]

The Spark Eternal

After the destruction of Crimson Dawn, Sidious sent an Imperial party to recover the Spark Eternal from the Amaxine Space Station. However, it had merged with a droid disc and the resultant intelligence proceeded to possess the droids of the accompanying Star Destroyer and use them to kill everyone aboard.[243]

Downfall of the Sith

"I wonder if your feelings on this matter are clear, Lord Vader."
"They are clear, my master."
"Then you must go to the sanctuary moon and wait for him."
"He will come to me?"
"I have foreseen it. His compassion for you will be his undoing. He will come to you... and then you will bring him before me."
"As you wish."
―Darth Sidious and Darth Vader[4]

The Emperor tricked the Alliance into attacking the second Death Star, using himself as bait.

In the months after the events on Bespin, Luke Skywalker would continue to hone his skills in the light side of the Force; nonetheless, Sidious still believed Skywalker liable to turn to the dark side.[4]

In an attempt to gain a new Sith apprentice as well as end the Galactic Civil War, Sidious purposely allowed the Rebels to obtain the plans of the new Death Star under construction over the forest moon of Endor.[4] Following the presumed destruction of a vast majority of the Rebellion in a doomed confrontation against an unknowingly armed and operational Death Star, Sidious planned on commencing the deployment of some of the largest invasion fleets known in galactic history to blockade the known rebel strongholds of Mon Cala and Chandrila until the Death Star II could destroy them, permanently ending the Rebellion and all those that would oppose his rule through sheer terror.[244]

The Emperor went to the second Death Star intending to oversee the ultimate defeat of the Rebellion and the Jedi, using himself as additional bait to draw the Alliance out. A massive amount of Imperial personnel,[4] including two astromech droids, witnessed their Emperor's momentous arrival[245] in Hangar 272.[246] Shortly before his meeting with Luke Skywalker, the Emperor sensed the existence of a mysterious, malevolent force in the farthest reaches of the unexplored regions; he suspected it to be the possible source of the dark side of the Force, but even the Emperor wasn't sure who or what he was sensing.[72] He also sensed the death of Yoda, who appeared to him as a Force spirit, much to Sidious's surprise. All the same, he began to gloat about his coming victory until Yoda suddenly vanished.[247]

Meeting Luke Skywalker

"I'm looking forward to completing your training. In time, you will call me master."
―Darth Sidious, to Luke Skywalker[4]

Sidious and Vader made plans to crush the Rebellion at Endor, and to ensure that Skywalker turned to the dark side.

Whilst on the Death Star, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca managed to sneak past the shield and land on the Sanctuary Moon. Vader, who had been told to dispatch the fleet to the moon and to remain on a command ship, sensed his son's arrival. Because of this, he journeyed to the Death Star, where he told the Emperor that he sensed Luke's arrival. Surprised that he himself was unable to sense it, the Emperor commanded Vader to go and wait for him, saying that he had foreseen Luke seeking Vader out and surrendering to him personally out of compassion for his father.[4]

Shortly after Skywalker and the rebel strike team landed on Endor, the Emperor summoned his secret protégé, Admiral Gallius Rax, for a secret meeting aboard his throne room on the second Death Star. Sensing a shatterpoint approaching, Darth Sidious warned Rax that it may soon be time to implement the Contingency. He then ordered Rax to take[72] the Executor-class Star Dreadnought[124] Ravager into the Vulpinus Nebula and hide until the events of this shatter point had resolved. He also told Rax that there would be others he had to call to his side.[72]

Once Luke surrendered, Darth Vader brought his son to the space station and his master's throne room. The Emperor greeted Luke, dismissed the guardsmen and removed his chains. Luke was told that the Emperor planned to turn Luke to the dark side and that all that has happened on the Moon was all his plan. The Emperor also managed to explain that his father was irredeemable and could never be turned from the dark side. Sidious also had a surprise in store for the Rebels. When the Alliance Fleet arrived, the Death Star's superlaser was operational, contrary to what the Rebels had been led to believe. The Death Star was able to destroy several of the command ships, but the Rebels both on the surface and in space managed to press forward with their attack, as Lando was counting on Han to destroy the Shield Generator.[4]

Palpatine saber clash

Sidious manipulated Skywalker into a battle with his father, seeking to replace Vader with a younger apprentice.

Luke was then manipulated by the Emperor, who told him of his friends' impending doom and Luke was told that he would soon become his apprentice. Luke at first resisted, but as the Emperor continued to taunt him, Luke grew angrier and then grabbed his lightsaber to strike the old man down. Darth Vader intercepted Luke's strike and the two began to engage in a duel much to the Emperor's delight.[4]

Luke was first able to calm himself, refusing several times to continue fighting his father. Luke attempted to hide from Vader as their fight became more intense but Vader was able to sense his son's thoughts and learned that Luke had a sister. With this knowledge, Vader told Luke that if he did not turn to the dark side, perhaps Leia would. The threat of losing his sister enraged Luke and drove him to angrily attack Vader.[4]

After Luke cut off Vader's mechanical hand, Sidious betrayed Vader by instructing Luke to take Vader's place by his side, much like how he betrayed Dooku and had him replaced with Vader. However, Luke began to see what had happened and that he was dangerously close to becoming like his father was now; a slave to the dark side of the Force. Luke threw away his lightsaber and turned to face the Emperor. He told the Emperor that he would never turn to the dark side and that he was a Jedi, like his father before him.[4]


"If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed!"
―Darth Sidious, to Luke Skywalker[4]

Sidious punished the defiant Jedi while Vader could only watch as his son was slowly tortured to death.

Angered by Skywalker's defiance, the Emperor unleashed a torrent of Force lightning upon him, forcing him onto the floor. The Emperor then proceeded to torment Luke, remarking that his rudimentary skills were no match for the power of the dark side. Meanwhile, Darth Vader watched his son struggle and plead for him to intervene, with Sidious threatening to kill the defenseless, young Skywalker; unbeknownst to Sidious, this was troubling Vader. Ultimately his concern and compassion for his son, caused the former Anakin Skywalker to wake up and save Luke. The redeemed Anakin grabbed the Emperor, and threw him off a ledge down the Death Star's reactor shaft to his imminent death. Firing his lightning upward as he fell, the Emperor apparently could do nothing but scream as he went the long way down towards the second Death Star's reactor, causing a great explosion upon hitting it and releasing a light blue wind which encompassed the throne room before falling back down the shaft.[4]


Balance was restored to the Force through the deaths of Sidious and Vader, the last Sith Lords in the lineage of Darth Bane.

The Reborn Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker had killed Sidious and destroyed the Sith. With his armor badly damaged by the Emperor's lightning, Anakin's decision to save his son's life would cost him his own. Before passing away into the Force, a dying Anakin requested Luke to remove the helmet Sidious forced him to wear all those years so he could finally see his son's face with his own eyes. Luke tried to convince Anakin to let him be saved by him, but Anakin told Luke that he already did and that he was right about there still being good in him, despite all that he had done, before dying peacefully.[4] By destroying Sidious and the Sith, Anakin brought balance to the Force, ultimately fulfilling the ancient prophecy of the Chosen One as Qui-Gon Jinn had believed he would thirty-five years earlier.[1] With this his nightmarish era of tyranny died with him. Or so the galaxy believed, as Sidious was not so easily destroyed.[248]

While he died in every natural sense of the word,[21] even death wasn't the end for Sidious.[7] When betrayed by Anakin Skywalker aboard the second Death Star, Sidious had little time to realize that his apprentice had turned on him much like he once did with Darth Plagueis, but unlike his former master, he had prepared himself for Skywalker's betrayal. Calling on all the power of the dark side of the Force, and utilizing the secret to immortality he pilfered from Plagueis, the Emperor transferred his consciousness[5] and spirit[31] far, far away as his empty body kept falling towards the battle station's reactor to his death.[5]


"Admiral Versio, Operation: Cinder is to begin at once. Resistance, rebellion, defiance. These are concepts that cannot be allowed to persist. You are but one of many tools by which these ideas shall be burned away. Heed my messenger. He shall relay you to your target."
―Darth Sidious' posthumous message, to Garrick Versio[249]
Endor is A Lie

Imperial propaganda initially denied reports of the Emperor's death in the Battle of Endor.

Following the Emperor's demise, the Empire attempted to suppress the true outcome of the Battle of Endor. In the Anoat sector, which was cut off from the rest of the galaxy by an Imperial blockade in the days following the attack, Imperial propaganda claimed that the attack on the second Death Star had failed and the rebellion was no longer a threat. Rumors of the Emperor's death were dismissed as treasonous fabrications by Governor Ubrik Adelhard.[250] Although several holovids were circulated to show that the second Death Star had been destroyed, both rebels and Imperials around the galaxy discussed whether the Emperor or Darth Vader had really died or not, as no one was sure what exactly happened.[148] Many Imperial messages surrounding the Emperor's death contradicted each other; some Imperials like Grand Moff Lozen Tolruck suggested that the Emperor had escaped the second Death Star through miraculous means, others wildly claimed that the Emperor was still leading the Empire from beyond the grave and some simply refused to acknowledge for months the Emperor's demise.[18]


Operation: Cinder went into effect when Sidious died, initiating a covert plan to destroy the Empire.

The Emperor also posthumously issued Operation: Cinder to a select group of Imperial officers, including Admiral Garrick Versio and Captain Lerr Duvat, which called for the scouring of multiple worlds, including his own homeworld of Naboo.[251] The days following the Emperor's death were chaotic, as massive uprisings, which the Empire tried to cease, took place on thousands of planets to prove that the rebels had been right all along about public sentiment toward the Empire.[252] Months after Endor, dark side adherents such as the Acolytes of the Beyond came to worship Vader and the dark side of the Force on planets across the galaxy such as the planet Taris.[148]

As several New Republic soldiers were discussing what they would do if Sidious' body had been recovered, a Mon Calamari soldier of the 61st Mobile Infantry expressed his wish that the Emperor had survived Endor, as that would have allowed him to face trial for every crime.[253] While searching the Hall of Imperial Register on Coruscant[18] in 5 ABY,[254] Grand Admiral Rae Sloane discovered that the Emperor's personal Super Star Destroyer Eclipse had mysteriously disappeared instead of being destroyed by the New Republic as reported in the Imperial charts. She also found an image crystal showing a still image of Sidious and several Imperial Guards, stormtroopers, and officials including Wullf Yularen, Dodd Rancit, Terrinald Screed, Grand Vizier Mas Amedda, and Gallius Rax. Rax had since risen to the rank of Fleet Admiral and was Sloane's secret puppet-master. Following the Attack on Chandrila, Rax brought the Empire to Jakku.[18]

Though Rax claimed that he was testing the resolve of the Empire before a showdown with the New Republic, Rax secretly intended to carry out the Contingency. The Contingency involved orchestrating a battle between the Imperial and the New Republic fleets and destroying the two belligerents by detonating Jakku's core. The Jakku Observatory contained a deep borehole which led to the planet's core. Rax planned to pour various Sith artifacts into the borehole in order to activate the planet's self-destruction. In secret, Rax had arranged for himself and several "worthy" Imperials including Brendol Hux, his son Armitage Hux, and a contingent of child soldiers to flee into the Unknown Regions. Sloane managed to stop Rax's plan to destroy Jakku with the help of the rebels Norra Wexley and Brentin Lore Wexley. Despite perishing on Jakku, Rax succeeded in fulfilling his master's orders to bring about the collapse of the "Old Empire."[72]


Through the Contingency, Sidious destroyed his Empire and ensured its rebirth as the First Order.

Palpatine's great power as Chancellor and then Emperor left an impact on the New Republic Senate, which feared ever giving an executive similiar authority. As such, the Chancellor of the New Republic was given greatly reduced power compared to the office under the Galactic Republic,[255] with the word "Supreme" even being dropped from the title.[256] However, the Chancellor's reduced influence complicated politics in the opposite way as Palpatine's authority; instead of having a head of state with too much power, the Chancellor had too little influence to make change.[255] Eventually, the Contingency[149] and overall legacy Darth Sidious left behind ended up becoming the basis of the regime that developed into the First Order, the Empire's successor, led by the mysterious Snoke, who took over the position of Supreme Leader of the Order.[257] After wiping out most of what remained of the Imperial leadership, with several exceptions such as Armitage Hux, Snoke went to discover several truths about Sidious, such as the fact that Sidious' Contingency had always been a two-fold plan, one that involved ensuring the Empire's rebirth among the survivors of the Old Empire.[149]

In 34 ABY,[3] thirty years after the Battle of Endor, Sidious's voice was heard during a Force vision experienced by the Jakku Force-sensitive scavenger Rey at Takodana Castle.[258] Sometime afterward, while teaching Rey on Ahch-To, Luke Skywalker cited the rise of Darth Sidious and the Empire he created along with his father as a failure of the Jedi Order.[259]

Cheating death

"I have died before. The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be… unnatural."
―Darth Sidious, to Kylo Ren[7]

Darth Sidious was reborn through the science of cloning and the power of the dark side.

Sending his consciousness[5] and spirit[31] towards a cloned body[5] of his own creation[21] designed with Clone Wars era technology by the Sith Eternal,[5] a secret cult of Sith loyalists who continued to follow the religious traditions of the Sith and sought to resurrect their order,[32] Sidious took his first breath as he jolted to a new awareness, but it was one of pain, as he realized the vessel he settled in was temporary.[5] This was at Sidious' Sith Citadel on Exegol, which he had planned and prepared to make his permanent seat of power during his reign as Emperor,[8] and he took possession of the ancient Throne of the Sith.[5] Sidious however did not return unscathed. Because of his timely intervention, Sidious was able to prevent his demise unlike his own master Plagueis,[5] but while he was able to stave off death with the cloning technology and concentration of dark side energy on the planet, true immortality still eluded the Dark Lord.[8] Additionally, his new body was insufficient for containing his spirit, due to his power in the dark side of the Force being so immense, and consequently began to decay.[5]


Sidious' new body was an imperfect clone of his original form that suffered from rapid deterioration.

Buoyed by the faith of the Sith Eternal cultists on Exegol,[260] Sidious fought to survive in his rotting, weak, and temporary vessel. His body soon was unable to move on its own, and he took on a ghoulish, undead appearance with missing appendages and eyes clouded over with cataracts.[261] Sidious was mobilized through the use of an Ommin harness, a mechanical spine once worn by Ommin, an ancient Sith king, and the decay of his body was slowed by vials of restorative fluid.[5]

Due to his immobility, Sidious was unable to leave the planet[8] and forced to live in exile for years,[262] but while his body was broken his mind was sharper than ever and his spirit unbound, and the fallen Emperor[52] over the ensuing decades[8] patiently plotted his return to power as Emperor and a Sith Lord,[263] forging a sinister plan to take ultimate revenge on the Skywalker family, halt the restoration of the Jedi Order, and decimate the New Republic.[264]

From the shadows

The foundations of a new empire

"With the Empire erased from existence, something new could rise in its place. And from beyond the grave, I would control its every move…"
―Darth Sidious[31]
Unidentified Star Destroyer fleet

Sidious envisioned the Final Order as the largest fleet in galactic history; an armada capable of imposing eternal domination upon the entire galaxy.

On Exegol, other Sith cultists had gathered to venerate the ancient Sith Order and swear fealty to the last Sith Lord, Sidious.[262] These followers[7] venerated his efforts to bring about a new Sith Empire[32] and labored to rebuild the Empire from Exegol as a true Sith Empire. To this end, Sidious' underlings crafted a vast armada of planet-killing warships,[5] the Final Order. From the shadows,[7] Sidious plotted his return to power, and forged the remnants of the Empire into the First Order while he manipulated the New Republic.[260] Once deployed from Exegol, the Final Order would bolster the forces of the First Order military, allowing the regime to finalize its subjugation of the galaxy. The Sith Eternal labored for a generation,[5] raising children in secret military camps, while building war machines in secret factories and shipyards.[262]

Sith loyalists served on the executive boards of corporations such as Kuat-Entralla Engineering and Sienar-Jaemus Fleet Systems, which allowed them to funnel assets critical to their domineering machinations through subsidiaries to Exegol. Under Sidious, the children of the Sith Eternal were raised to covet the religion of the Sith, while being ingrained with the utmost loyalty to their Emperor. Their efforts yielded legions of Sith troopers, soldiers trained to be fanatically loyal to the Sith via flash imprinting technologies built upon the Kaminoan techniques in the training of clone troopers. The efforts of the Sith Eternal led to the creation of a fleet and army which would spell the end of freedom in the galaxy were they to escape into hyperspace.[32]

Building the First Order

"Through my manipulation of Snoke, I began gathering forces, building an army capable of opposing the New Republic that had risen in my absence. Through Snoke, I would make certain that the First Order would be mine to control."
―Darth Sidious[31]

Sidious ruled the First Order by proxy through his genetic creation, Snoke, who rose to become Supreme Leader with his powerful connection to the dark side.

Sidious utilized one of the Sith Eternal's and his genetic experiments to spread his influence across the galaxy through indirect means while he was forced to remain on Exegol due to his condition.[31] This being was Snoke,[264] a humanoid genetic strandcast that,[8] like the Emperor's cloned body,[31] originated from the Sith Eternal's experimentation in attempts of extending Sidious' lifespan and produce him a vessel worthy of housing the dark essence that was his spirit, during the reign of the Galactic Empire.[8] Though Snoke was naturally force-sensitive, Sidious deemed his body an unworthy vessel for housing his dark essence, but still found use for him as puppet for his plans of restoring himself to power.[31]

Snoke became Sidious' proxy in power over the First Order,[8] a hermit state that began as the remnants of the Galactic Empire that escaped under the Contingency,[32] and by extension, helped ensure the faction would be his to control.[31] Snoke rose to become Supreme Leader over the faction,[149] and through manipulating his puppet, Sidious gathered the forces that would go on to form the First Order's military,[31] while under Snoke's guidance, the militia developed into a technologically superior war machine over the one under the Galactic Empire.[149] In addition, while the First Order served as the military arm of the Contingency, the Sith Eternal secretly served as its hidden spiritual heart,[32] while none were aware they were secretly controlled by the Sith.[8]

Many were confused to some of Snoke's motives upon his rise to power, such as making no effort to claim the old title of Emperor held by Palpatine during the reign of the Empire, while he also delegated main control and building of the First Order to his subordinates and focused on spiritual matter instead. Nevertheless he possessed the knowledge and power to rule them, which made him the undisputed heir to the Contingency.[32] However, even though the highest echelons of the First Order, remained unaware of Snoke's true origins[8] and their ultimate purpose in the form of the Contingency, some in the Order, such as Enric Pryde, came to suspect that Snoke was subservient to some greater power.[32]

The Skywalker heir

"Young Ben Solo possessed what all masters live to see: raw, untamed power. But a great conflict raged within the boy as well. Not only did his inner turmoil make him heir apparent to his grandfather, Lord Vader, it also made him the perfect pawn."
―Darth Sidious[31]

Sidious conspired to turn Ben Solo, the heir to the Skywalker bloodline, to the dark side as he did with Anakin Skywalker.

In addition to restoring himself to power as Galactic Emperor, Sidious endeavored to convert the next generation of the Skywalker bloodline to the dark side of the Force.[21] The Sith Lord targeted Ben Solo,[8] the son of Han Solo and grandson of Anakin Skywalker through his mother, princess Leia Organa, and nephew of the last Jedi Luke Skywalker,[32] for his prodigious strength in the Force inherited from his family's bloodline.[8] Through the Force, Sidious watched over Solo throughout his life,[265] using telepathy to communicate with him as a variety of dark voices.[7] The voice Solo would hear in his mind told him secrets and provided warnings of danger, comforting and guiding him, but also deceiving him with false promise that he could not survive on his own without its help,[265] effectively play on his insecurities and using his fears against him.[32]

Furthermore, Sidious, in addition to using him as a placeholder for the First Order, utilized Snoke as his proxy for luring Solo to the dark side.[31] In addition to Sidious,[32] Snoke whispered to the young Jedi telepathically, cultivating a friendship with the boy as he manipulated him with deceit, encouraging his negative thoughts about his family and his impulsive tendencies,[21] while utilizing his desperate need for a teacher and fascination with his family's legacy to influence him.[264] When Palpatine and Snoke constantly whispered to Solo,[21] the Phantom Emperor also utilized this when Solo joined the new Jedi Order as a Padawan under his maternal uncle, Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, during his attempt to restore the religious faction of peacekeepers, and partially engineer the failures that would lead to its eventual destruction.[52]

A perfect vessel

"There is no vessel in the galaxy more worthy of my infinite might than a child of my own flesh. With a slash of her lightsaber, my spirit will pass into her. We two will be reborn as one… and once more, the Sith will rule the galaxy. Eternally."
―Darth Sidious, referring to his granddaughter Rey[31]
Rey mum and dad-TROS

The strandcast sired a daughter, Rey, who inherited her grandfather's power in the Force.

Sidious never anticipated his son's union,[5] now going by the name Dathan, but the clone met a woman named Miramir[151] and became intimately involved, and eventually with whom he sired a Force-sensitive daughter, Rey,[5] in 15 ABY.[266] To the Emperor, Rey was regarded as an ideal vessel to contain his spirit and all the power of the Sith,[5] and he was determined to capture his granddaughter at any cost.[8] However, his son and his wife went into hiding to protect their daughter from the Sith Lord, living as junk traders on the desert planet of Jakku.[5]

Sidious dispatched Ochi,[7] now a cultist of the Sith Eternal,[32] to track down and retrieve Rey from her parents and bring her to Exegol[7] in 21 ABY.[267] Ochi was close to discovering the location of Rey and her parents[7] when, wanting to protect their daughter, Rey's parents gave her to Jakku junk boss Unkar Plutt, who was paid with a songsteel hex charm[151] to keep her in his care. As Rey watched on, her parents fled Jakku on the Bestoon Legacy, Ochi's starship,[257] to lead the assassin away.[151] After refusing to reveal the location of their daughter, on the Emperor's order, Ochi stabbed Dathan and his wife to death[7] aboard his ship.[265] Despite their deaths, their sacrifice[5] allowed Rey to elude capture,[248] and she would remain hidden on Jakku for the next thirteen years, until 34 ABY.[257]

The Rise of Kylo Ren

Whispering in Solo's ear
"Now you will be who you are. Who you were always meant to be."
―Darth Sidious, to Kylo Ren[268]
Zombie Sidious

Sidious whispered encouragement to Solo as he fell to the dark side of the Force and became Kylo Ren.

Sidious' followers had designed Snoke to groom Solo, serving as the one who molded him into a master of attack and cunning, while also testing his capacity to inherit not only the legacy of his grandfather, Darth Vader, but of the entire Sith Order.[32] Snoke came to believe that Ben Solo had the right balance of the light and dark sides of the Force in him due to his heritage as Anakin Skywalker's grandson.[269] Snoke manipulated Solo for more than a decade, his influence proving crucial as the fledgling Jedi learned that Darth Vader was his grandfather, having been kept from such a truth by his family.[21]

When Luke Skywalker sensed Solo's growing darkness, the Jedi Master approached his student as he slept and, in a brief moment of instinct, activated his lightsaber with the intention of killing his nephew. Skywalker immediately hesitated and regretted his actions, but it was too late. Solo awoke confused and scared, seeing no other recourse than to ignite his own saber and intercept Skywalker's. Though his master attempted to assuage the situation, Solo immediately used the Force to topple his room and trap his uncle beneath the rubble.[259] Shortly thereafter, a violent storm[270] caused by Solo[32] suddenly set Skywalker's Jedi temple ablaze, destroying it and killing all the students inside.[270]


From the shadows, Sidious manipulated affairs, his foes, and his pawns to lure Ben Solo to the dark side, bringing about the rise of the dark warrior Kylo Ren.

Solo fled the temple after he burned and destroyed it.[32] At the insistence of Snoke, Solo sought to join the Knights of Ren. After being tested by the Knights, he was reluctantly accepted into the mysterious group. Although their leader Ren saw potential in Solo's raw power, he doubted the boy's hatred and ability to kill. Ren's suspicions were confirmed on a mission to the Minemoon after Ben hesitated to kill his former friend and fellow student of Luke Skywalker, Tai. Enraged and disappointed in Solo, Ren engaged him in a duel. Across the galaxy, Sidious sensed Ben's every move and emotion. Prompting the fallen Jedi through the Force, the Dark Lord of the Sith called for Ben to claim his birthright and strike down the leader of the Knights of Ren. Giving in to Sidious' manipulation, in a fit of rage Ben overpowered and stabbed Ren. Taking up the mantle of master of the Knights of Ren, Solo dubbed himself "Kylo Ren."[268] To ensure Kylo remained on the dark side, Sidious would communicate with Ren from afar, impersonating the spirit of his grandfather and idol, Darth Vader.[7]

A cunning test
"Snoke. He was nothing but your test. You did well to destroy him."
―Darth Sidious, to Kylo Ren[5]
Death of the Supreme Leader

Sidious regarded Snoke as nothing more than a test to determine Kylo Ren's worthiness of inheriting the Sith legacy.

Through Snoke, Sidious was able to indirectly oversee the young Ben Solo's training,[5] thinking the humanoid taught their mutual apprentice well.[7] Though he considered himself to be Ren's true master the whole time,[5] through the dark side adept, the Emperor also planned to sidestep the tradition of a dark apprentice slaying their dark master to ascend to ultimate power,[8] which Snoke's entire existence was built for in the first place.[32]

Snoke's training of Kylo Ren proved effective, warping his understanding of his grandfather' history,[32] conditioning him to believe the worst in people and that they would reject him and redemption would be impossible after his actions,[5] while instructing him to pursue his impulses as a shortcut for power in the dark side when he chased his desires.[5]

Long Live The Supreme Leader

With Snoke's death, Ren completed his final test set out by the Sith Eternal and became the new Supreme Leader of the First Order.

In 34 ABY, Rey confronted the Supreme Leader and his dark apprentice aboard the Supremacy, believing she could turn the former Ben Solo back to the light. Snoke overpowered Rey, and having gauged her resolve, he saw that she had the spirit of a true Jedi. Determined to see every trace of the Jedi Order eradicated, he ordered her death, but left the deed to Kylo Ren. Sensing his apprentice's newfound resolve, Snoke urged Ren to complete his training and fulfill his destiny by executing Rey. Instead, Ren outmaneuvered his master by assassinating him with the Skywalker lightsaber. With Snoke dead, Ren asserted his claim to the title of Supreme Leader, seizing political and military control of the First Order.[259] By murdering his master in the name of obtaining greater power, Ren had unknowingly completed the Sith Eternal's final test and proved himself as an individual worthy of inheriting the legacy of the Sith.[32]

Despite Snoke's unexpected death, and failure to bring Rey to Palpatine, the zombified Sith Lord continued to pull the strings from afar, manipulating both Kylo Ren and Rey, in order to lure them toward him. His granddaughter coming to Exegol was a key and vital part of his plan.[271]


Phantom Ascendant

"At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The day of revenge. The day of the Sith."
―Darth Sidious' message — (audio) Listen (file info)[5]

Sidious entreated Ren to succeed where Vader failed, destroying the last Jedi and becoming the new Emperor.

In 35 ABY,[6] a mysterious audio broadcast using the voice of Emperor Palpatine, the public identity of Darth Sidious, who was still thought to be dead by the galaxy at large, was released to the galaxy, threatening revenge. Upon this, Supreme Leader Kylo Ren began a search for the broadcast's source, deeming it a challenge to his rule. After acquiring a Sith wayfinder on Mustafar that led him to Exegol, Ren entered the Sith Citadel on the planet's surface and confronted the decrepit Emperor, who admitted that he had created Snoke and impersonated Vader.[32]

When the Supreme Leader threatened the decaying Emperor with death, the Dark Lord merely stated that he had already died before, and that the dark side of the Force was pathway to many abilities some considered to be unnatural, mirroring his conversation with Anakin at the opera ages ago. Sidious then revealed his creation of the Final Order, a Sith armada comprised of numerous Xyston-class Star Destroyers, TIE/dg starfighters, and an army of loyal Sith troopers. The purpose of this new military was to restore Sith rule across the galaxy in the form of a new Sith Empire, which Sidious offered to Ren along with the title of Emperor,[32] but only if he killed the Jedi apprentice Rey. To Ren's surprise, Sidious revealed that he was Rey's "grandfather."[5]


After Ren renounced the dark side, Sidious gave command of the Final Order to Allegiant General Enric Pryde.

Ren shared this revelation with Rey, believing the truth of her heritage would turn her to the dark side. Rather than killing her, Ren hoped that Rey would aid him in the usurpation of her grandfather, allowing the pair to rule the galaxy as Emperor and Empress. Rey's continued survival caused Sidious to suspect treachery from Ren and as such he threatened to turn the Sith fleet against the Supreme Leader unless he killed her. Having been warned, Kylo went to the Endor system where he dueled Rey on the remains of the second Death Star in the sea of the moon of Kef Bir until Rey fatally wounded him. However, upon sensing the death of Leia Organa at Ajan Kloss, Rey saved Kylo's life using Force healing and left him behind to mourn his mother. Ben would finally turn back to the light side after reflecting on Rey's act of compassion and his parents' sacrifice.[7] Having felt Organa's passing, Sidious cursed the former Princess of Alderaan for disrupting his plans one last time by costing him Kylo Ren's loyalty.[5]

Still, the Emperor remained confident that victory was at hand and asserted that Anakin Skywalker's daughter had died in vain.[5] Sidious then communicated via hologram with Allegiant General Enric Pryde, who had previously served him during the Galactic Civil War.[7] With the Supreme Leader gone, the First Order's command defaulted on Pryde, whose allegiance to Sidious was secured, officially combining the First Order's forces with those of the Sith Eternal's Final Order.[5] Realizing that the time had come to make his return, Sidious ordered Pryde to send one of his Star Destroyers, named the Derriphan, to Kijimi and destroy it in order to send a clear message to the Resistance.[7]


The clone suffered from rapid deterioration, forcing Sidious to seek out Rey as a new host for his spirit.

While initially intending to live out the rest of her days in exile like Luke Skywalker due to the fear of becoming a Sith herself, Rey was convinced to desist doing so by the Force spirit of Luke Skywalker himself, who encouraged her to not let her bloodline define her legacy and actions by gifting her a lightsaber which once belonged to Leia. After coming to terms with her past, Rey traveled to Exegol alone to face Sidious and transmitted the route to the Resistance. Upon finding her grandfather surrounded by the Sith Eternal in his throne room, Rey was welcomed by Sidious, who rejected the notion that he wanted her dead, rather brought to him to succeed him as "Empress Palpatine."[7]

Sidious triumphant

Sidious rejuvenated his body by drawing power from the dyad of Ben Solo and Rey.

Sidious attempted to goad his granddaughter into striking him down, much like he had done to Luke Skywalker thirty-one years before, remarking that while Skywalker had his father to save him that day, he was the only family she had.[7] In actuality, Sidious wished for Rey to strike him down in order to initiate a Sith ritual that would transfer his spirit from the decaying clone body into the youthful Rey's, where he hoped to possess her body.[5] In an attempt to increase her anger and hatred of him, Sidious told Rey that by transmitting the route to Exegol to her friends, she had led the Resistance into a trap that would see all of them wiped out by the Sith Eternal forces.[7]

End of the Sith Eternal

"Let your death be the final word in the story of rebellion!"
―Darth Sidious, to Rey[7]

No longer needing his granddaughter, Sidious declared himself Emperor once more.

However, a glimpse of hope for Rey came when a redeemed Ben Solo, no longer Kylo Ren, arrived on Exegol to help her in her fight against Sidious.[7] Unknown to Sidious, his granddaughter had been stalling for time upon feeling that Solo had arrived on Exegol, precluding her from succumbing to the temptations of absolute power and the dark side of the Force.[5] Feigning that she was going to strike him down with the Skywalker lightsaber, Rey transferred the lightsaber to Solo through their Force-bond, allowing Solo to promptly destroy the Knights of Ren while Rey used the lightsaber of her master, Leia Organa, to defend herself against the Emperor's Sovereign Protectors.[7]

Astonished that his granddaughter didn't kill him like he had gleefully anticipated, Sidious realized with horror the mistake in allowing Rey and Solo to come together: their Force-bond had been forged in the fire of mutual searching, shared grief, rage, and hate, but what Sidious hadn't anticipated was that it also encompassed compassion and empathy.[5]


Sidious unleashed all the power of the Sith against Rey, and declared that her death would mark the end of rebellion.

With all the Knights and Sovereign Protectors dead, Solo joined Rey and dropped into a fighting stance against Sidious, who decreed that they would perish together for their insolence, before raising his rotting hand[7] and impaling them with the Force, pulling the two helpless warriors towards him. However, as an unforeseen consequence, their combined life force began to heal the clone vessel that was serving Sidious as his new body. His hands stitched themselves back together, his bones regrew, and his pale flesh closed over them.[5] Sidious realized at once what was before him: a dyad in the Force, a prophesied phenomenon stronger than life itself, one which had not been seen for generations.[7]

Realizing that their power would allow him to fully return to life, Sidious used the Force to drain the life energy of both Force-users in order to restore himself to full strength.[7] As triumphant thoughts invaded his mind, Sidious harnessed the power of both the dark side and all the Sith who preceded him, continuing to pull more life energy from the dyad as if he was drawing on a flowing river of light so only he, the one true Emperor, would be restored.[5] With his body and mobility fully restored and his powers amplified beyond measure, the Dark Lord released himself from the Ommin harness and declared himself the immortal Emperor of the Sith before his Sith loyalists, who praised their master's return. Having no further use of Solo and exclaiming revenge for his first death, the Emperor flung him into a pit as reinforcements brought by Lando Calrissian arrived to aid the Resistance.[7]

The death of Sidious

Rey destroyed Darth Sidious with the aid of the Jedi who came before, preventing the return of the Sith.

Intending to dispose of the Resistance as well and with his powers now stronger than ever before, the Emperor claimed that nothing would stop the resurgence of the Sith before he shot an immense amount of Force lightning into the atmosphere of Exegol, thereby disabling every Resistance ship for the time being. His attention soon returned to Rey, who was now empowered by the ghosts of the past Jedi. The Emperor, unfazed by Rey's defiance, declared her death to be the ultimate end of rebellion throughout the galaxy, during which he then unleashed a barrage of Force lightning on his granddaughter, which she blocked with the lightsaber of Leia Organa. Approaching his granddaughter, Sidious redoubled the intensity of his Force lightning to kill Rey, insisting her that she was no match to his power while declaring himself as all of the Sith. However, Rey called on the power of the Jedi of the past, ignited the Skywalker lightsaber as well as Organa's and deflected the Force lightning back onto the surprised Emperor, while declaring herself as all of the Jedi embodied. Horrified, Sidious kept unleashing his Force lightning, but Rey kept deflecting the energy and returned it to her grandfather, severely damaging him. As a result, Darth Sidious—the former Senator of Naboo, the last Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, Emperor of the galaxy, the Phantom Menace, and final Dark Lord of the Sith–was destroyed after well over a century by his very own power[7] once and for all[272] both in body and soul,[8] vaporizing his entire body and releasing a great Force wave that decimated the entire arena, along with killing all of the Sith Eternal loyalists.[7] With the demise of Darth Sidious and the destruction of his cult, the rebirth of the Sith and establishment of the new Sith Empire was prevented.[7]


"You are nothing! A scavenger girl is no match for the power in me! I am all the Sith!"
"And I… am all the Jedi."
―Darth Sidious and Rey[7]
The Uprising on Jakku

The destruction of Darth Sidious and the Sith Eternal galvanized galactic opposition against the First Order.

Given the amount of power required to forever destroy Sidious, Rey died after vanquishing the Emperor. However, Solo emerged from the pit where the Emperor had previously flung him and gave his remaining life energy to revive Rey, whom he shared a kiss with before he vanished into the Force as the last of the Skywalker bloodline. Despite her Sith lineage as Sidious' descendant,[7] Rey renamed herself "Rey Skywalker" to honor the family of her masters.[249]

Following the Battle of Exegol, the galaxy celebrated Sidious' death and the destruction of the Sith Eternal, with uprisings against the weakened First Order taking place on several planets.[7] Bespin, Jakku, Corellia, Lothal, Thyferra, Endor, Coruscant and even Sidious' native Naboo were amongst the systems reported to be openly rebelling against his forces.[265]

During the victory celebration at the Ajan Kloss Resistance base, Finn and Poe Dameron discussed the possibility of Sidious coming back once more, given that he came back more powerful than ever following his defeat at Endor. They concluded that while Sidious could perhaps return yet again, some other evil would arise as evil always rises, though not for a long time.[5]

Personality and traits

"If the vast and powerful forces I had gathered could not perform their sworn duty and protect their own Emperor, they did not deserve to lay claim to this galaxy in my absence. For their failures, I would see them burn. And the galaxy along with them."
―Darth Sidious[31]
Sheev Palpatine

Darth Sidious cultivated the image of Sheev Palpatine, an honest and trustworthy politician prior to his ascension as Emperor.

Prior to the Galactic Empire, Darth Sidious was careful to put on a charade, presenting himself as a grandfatherly gentleman and a servant of the public good. When in character, he often spoke of himself with great modesty and maintained only as much luxury as was expected of someone of his stature.[273] However, Sidious was, in fact, a skilled manipulator and strategist, having orchestrated countless events in the galaxy, from the Invasion of Naboo to the Clone Wars, while deceiving the Jedi, Senate, Republic, and even the Separatists, with the sole aim of increasing his own power.[9] Even when something occurred that he did not initially plan for, the Sith Lord demonstrated that he was as adept at improvisation as he was at plotting,[1] continuing to play his long game—a smart game—for power.[30] Sometimes he indugled in a simple fantasy by imagining lighting the Senate Building aflame, which he enjoyed thinking about because it would force everyone inside to run in panic while he watched. Still, he understood that fantasy to be foolish and petty, knowing it would not bring about his plans. Almost as satisfying to the Sith Lord was watching the Senate grapple with the Clone Wars and his new political powers.[24]

Palpatine was someone who enjoyed the finer things of life.[65] During the Republic Era, Sidious did not feel the need to hide in the lower levels of Coruscant, which he developed a personal dislike of. Instead, he preferred to remain amongst those who thought they were safe from the dark side. He would find the "weak points" of these places, ensuring the dark side took the light's place where-ever it was fading. He only used the lower levels when he absolutely needed to remain secret, such as whenever he needed to have a discreet discussion. Furthermore, he preferred to speak to his pawns via hologram, knowing that his in person presence could be overwhelming to people like Nute Gunray. He instead kept that advantage saved for whenever one of his "allies" was failing him. In public, as Senator of Naboo, he portrayed himself in a perfect state of blandness, looking interested in whatever was said nearby but never showing his true face. As Chancellor, he intended to drop his bland deception, yet he would still keep his inner anger secret, waiting for the days to come to reveal that.[30]

After his ascension to Galactic Emperor,[33] he essentially dropped his public persona and started living as Sidious full-time.[37] Despite this, very few people other than Vader and some Royal Guard members knew that the Emperor was a Sith, as he took great pains to hide his capabilities.[167] Even Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin, perhaps Sidious's most trusted servant besides Vader, only suspected that Sidious was a Sith.[14] Sidious also regarded Gallius Rax as a confidante and allowed Rax to address him as "Sheev."[18] Freed from having to portray his gentle alter-ego, Sidious allowed his true personality, one of great cruelty and sadism, to occasionally shine through in ways that were obvious even to the most sycophantic of his servants. This caused many of those who worked closely with him, such as Senator Orn Free Taa and some of the Empire's intelligence chiefs, to greatly fear him.[167] Sidious was also known to loath ostentation and luxury.[14]


Sidious concealed his nature as a Sith by cultivating the facade of a politician devoted to the ideals of the Republic.

Among Sidious' most effective traits was his deeply manipulative nature, manipulating and deceiving both the Jedi and Separatists, seducing many parties with promises of power, prize, or even salvation to further his agenda.[20] He enjoyed the rush manipulating others to his will gave him.[24] Even so, he was annoyed by when his pawns, such as Nute Gunray, failed to understand the grand scope of his plans.[30] Nevertheless, he successfully coerced Anakin Skywalker into becoming Darth Vader by promising to save his beloved, Padmé Amidala,[20] attempted to sweet talk Bridger with being able to reunite with his deceased parents by altering fate[198] and also tried to push Luke Skywalker into murdering his father so they could rule the galaxy together.[4] While trying to steer Bridger, he displayed himself in his public personality via hologram, showing himself as benign and polite. Once Bridger frustrated his plans, his true malignant self was revealed as he had underestimated the boy's hatred for the Empire and devotion to the Rebellion and new-found rebel family.[198] Likewise, when Sidious tried to motivate Luke into killing his father upon momentarily embracing the dark side of the Force, the young Skywalker desisted due to his compassion for his father; his Jedi teachings.[4]

Sidious saw his allies as pawns that he could use for his grand plan, and was more than willing to dispose them if they no longer served a purpose. He kept his allies as long as they served his purpose, but cut them loose when their purpose was over. He never actually cared for any one of his allies. He betrayed countless allies, including Darth Plagueis,[20] Maul,[1] Dooku, the Separatist Council, and Vader.[20] The way he betrayed Dooku, not only showed that he never really cared for him, but also showed how he was always one step ahead. While acknowledging to Vader that he was the ideal apprentice,[20] that didn't stop him from later trying to replace him with Luke.[4] At the end of the day, Sidious was only out for himself.[20]

He considered his manipulation to be a sharp knife that, when stabbed into another, took time for that individual to notice, only realizing they had spread what he deemed to be the infection of his manipulation when it was too late. Even if the way his manipulation spread surpised him, it always gave him joy. Manipulation was ultimately his favorite way to grow his power.[24] Sidious was known for being hypocritical and arrogant; whilst he told Yoda that his arrogance had blinded him when the Jedi Master confronted him, he had previously declared himself to be the Senate when Windu tried to arrest him.[20] Even shortly before his second death years later, Sidious declared himself to be all the Sith while trying to finish off with his Jedi granddaughter.[7]


Darth Sidious was an ambitious Sith Lord who sought to destroy the Jedi Order and the Galactic Republic they served.

After toppling the Republic and shedding his benevolent persona, Sidious essentially disappeared from public life and left most of the day-to-day affairs of the Empire in the hands of the Imperial Ruling Council. His absence did not go unnoticed by the citizenry of the Empire, and rumors began to circulate that the Jedi assassination attempt had not only resulted in his disfigurement but in the death of the sanguine politician that he had once been. In order to quash the gossip and rumor-mongering, the Ruling Council took to dispatching skycar processions in Imperial Center in an effort to make it appear as though Sidious still moved about in public.[14]

From his secured position[32] as Emperor, Sidious devoted most of his time to study and meditation, often in the ancient Sith shrine situated beneath the Imperial Palace. Wishing to rule his Empire for eternity, Sidious launched numerous inquiries into the topic of immortality. One of the most notorious of these was Project Blackwing; an attempt to unlock the secrets of immortality through Sith alchemy, but the project ended in failure.[274] However, Sidious's true goal was ultimately to discover a way to use the dark side to manipulate reality itself, and with that power, not only achieve what he termed "mere immortality" but acquire the ability to reshape the galaxy and its people to his satisfaction. Whether or not Sidious made any significant progress in obtaining this goal is not known however, as he would have needed Vader's assistance to perform the sorts of rituals he had in mind.[14] During the Imperial Era, Darth Sidious sought to gain access to the World between Worlds in order to control time as well as the universe.[196] Following his first death, Sidious still sought ways to achieve immortality and the preservation of the Sith, as was seen by his attempt to perform a ritual on his granddaughter Rey in order to transfer his spirit into her body, which would allow Sidious to continue the Sith's legacy.[7]

Although Sidious' reign saw a rise in alien prejudice across the Empire, with humans being the masters of the galaxy while the other species were enslaved by the Empire,[275] Sidious was more than willing to work with aliens. During his rise to power alone, he relied on a number of them, such as the Separatist Council whom he controlled during the Clone Wars, and his political right hand, the Chagrian Mass Amedda. In addition, Sidious was trained by[20] a Muun,[276] Darth Plagueis,[20] and his first apprentice was a Zabrak, Darth Maul.[1] He also used General Grevious as the official commander of the Separatists once Dooku perished.[20]


As the Emperor, Sidious no longer needed to maintain two identities, and fully embraced his Sith persona in thought and action.

To those who had been at his nonexistent mercy, Sidious was known to be exceptionally sadistic, and he often took visible pleasure in torturing others.[102] He was similarly quite bloodthirsty as well, and frequently reveled in combat to the point of laughing while he fought or killed.[20][102][14] He was also noted for his lack of forgiveness, as even Darth Vader, who was well known for summarily executing officers who failed him, considered Sidious to be even less clement than himself.[4] According to Sosha Soruna, the reason Sidious left his homeworld of Naboo relatively untouched during his reign was because he enjoyed tormenting the populace with the fact that he could destroy the serene beauty of the planet at anytime.[251] In spite of his exceptional mastery of the dark arts, he was no less susceptible to fear, one of the primary emotions of the dark side, than any other Sith: after being attacked by a powerful Force push from Yoda, he displayed visible panic, attempted to flee rather than fight, and only confronted his opponent when he appeared to have no other choice.[20] Despite this, his passion to inflict pain on others and his hate were a priority to him over his own well-being: while he could have used his own powers to save himself from Darth Vader during the Battle of Endor, Sidious' hate was so strong that his only thought was to harm Vader as his apprentice carried him to his first death.[277]

Unlike Darth Vader, his more conservative apprentice, Sidious believed that progress was in no way contrary to the ways of the Sith. When Vader was presented to the cyborgs created by Doctor Cylo, he denounced them as abominations and heresy to the ways of the Force. However, Sidious claimed that he was merely an apprentice and was meant to learn what he knew and that Sidious was meant to discover what there was to teach. He also dismissed Vader's hatred of technological superiority by replying that everything was of the Force.[213]

Sentinel BFII

Sidious orchestrated the Galactic Empire's destruction, believing it needed to fall in order to rise as a true Sith Empire.

Sidious saw the fall of the Galactic Empire as a necessary consequence of his demise; he believed that the Empire had failed to protect its Emperor, despite the vast military at its disposal, and was therefore undeserving of a future without him. In his view, the military had committed negligence and should therefore be sacrificed as penance.[31] Using a game of Shah-tezh as an illustration, Sidious believed that the sole purpose for the Empire's existence was to protect his own life and well-being. He believed that the Empire was a failure if it failed to ensure the survival of its Emperor. Even before the formation of the Empire, Sidious had prepared for this fate by formulating a contingency plan. The Contingency involved luring the Empire to the barren Inner Rim planet Jakku and detonating the planet's core. The explosion would destroy both the planet and the orbiting Imperial and enemy fleets,[72] an outcome which Sidious regarded as retribution for the Empire's failures.[31] The key to the Contingency was the Jakku Observatory, which concealed a borehole that penetrated the planet's core, and Counselor to the Empire Gallius Rax.[72] Decades after his death, however, Supreme Leader Snoke discovered that the Contingency planned for the Empire's rebirth, secretly constructing shipyards and laboratories in the Unknown Regions in pursuit of this goal.[149]


Though confined within a flawed clone, Sidious continued to pursue his plans for power and revenge.

Following his demise on Endor and resurrection, in spite of his physical frailness, Sidious' mind was sharper than ever before.[261] Upon realizing that the Jakku scavenger Rey was his granddaughter, Sidious manipulated Kylo Ren into bringing the young woman to him in order to steal her body as a new host. While he tried to sway Rey to his side by claiming that he cared for her, Rey saw through his ruse; by sensing his thoughts, she realized that his motives were fixated purely on his own preservation, indicating that there was no good in it and what was left was pure evil. When it became clear that Rey would not submit to his ritual, Sidious unleashed his fury, trying to kill both her and a redeemed Ben Solo. 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 all the Jedi from the past (including Vader's) to finally destroy the Sith Emperor for good. Even after experiencing death, Sidious's beliefs and way of being remained largely unchanged; his sole overriding ambitions were the attainment of unlimited power, a grand empire under his legacy and the perpetuation of a Sith Order embodied through him. He would go to any lengths to realize these goals, including harm his own progeny.[7]


Sidious' scarred and deformed visage served as a reminder of the price that he paid for unlimited power.

Sidious was a human male who stood at 1.73 to 1.78 meters[10] and weighed 75 kilograms.[11] Before his disfigurement, he was a slim man sporting wavy hair, a prominent nose, blue eyes, and a narrow face. By the Invasion of Naboo, his red hair was graying,[1] and it had turned entirely silver ten years later.[12] As he became more embroiled in his plot to control the galaxy, the strain of leading a double life began to show in his face.[278] After his duel with Windu, Sidious' visage was heavily disfigured and withered, with deathly pale, wrinkled skin, flesh sagging from his bulging forehead and around his piercing yellow eyes.[4] Serving as a reminder of his own weakness and mortality,[278] as well as the price that he paid for power according to Luke Skywalker,[146] the change further fueled his hatred of the Jedi.[278] His voice was altered to a degree as well, becoming deeper and taking on an edge that many found to be sinister. Tarkin, however, was of the opinion that Sidious's voice merely sounded strained when compared to that of his pre-war persona.[14]

For most of his reign, the Emperor remained away from public view and crafted holograms or idealized portraiture that depicted him in his prime, as he was in the last years of the Galactic Republic.[279] Even so, as the reign of the Empire solidified, the citizenry of the galaxy largely forgot the name of "Palpatine," and the man was known simply as "the Emperor."[280] When he was discovered on Exegol, Sidious, inhabiting a clone body, appeared to be in a putrid and decaying state. His face appeared similar to what it was prior to his original body's disfigurement, but his skin was more pallid than it was before the transfer, his eyes were white, his lips were blackened, and his fingers had begun to rot away, exposing the bone underneath. Upon draining Rey and Ben Solo of their life energy to restore his own, his appearance more closely resembled what he looked like before his first death.[7]

Powers and abilities

"Do not underestimate the powers of the Emperor, or suffer your father's fate, you will."
―Yoda, to Luke Skywalker[4]

Force abilities

Source of power

"Hate has made you stronger. But I remain… your master. Because I thrive on your hate. The more you hate me… the more any of them hate me… the stronger I become."
―Darth Sidious explains his strength to Darth Vader[281]

As the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious possessed an extremely powerful connection to the Force that allowed him to use various Force powers that were beyond the abilities of even the most powerful Jedi Masters.[33] For this he was considered to be one of the most powerful Force-users in galactic history.[282] According to Sidious, his power in the dark side came from hatred, which he claimed to turn into power instead of suffering.[283] However, his power in the dark side took fuel from more than just personal hatred;[281] Sidious was able to use the fear[284] and hate of others as fuel for his own strength, particularly hate that was directed at himself. As he told Vader during one of his apprentice's rebellions, he thrived off the hatred burning off of Vader. If Vader or anyone else grew in how much they hated the Emperor, those feelings would serve to make Sidious stronger in the dark side: in effect, Vader's efforts to become stronger by increasing his hate for Sidious strengthened his master.[281]

Sidious's advisor Yupe Tashu also stated the Emperor felt the source of his dark side powers coming from "the universe beyond the edges of our maps." In search of what Tashu called "the source of the dark side," Sidious sent people out into the unknown space, where they established communication stations and laboratories, over the course of many years.[148]

Force powers

"Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen."
―Darth Sidious — (audio) Listen (file info)[4]

Sidious was a master practitioner of Force lightning, a dark side power used to torture, disfigure, and kill one's victims.

Among the abilities Sidious would use was Force lightning, which he used as both as a deadly attack[20] and as a means of torture.[4] On several occasions on Ryloth, he utilized blasts of Force lightning powerful enough to not have only killed the lyleks he was attacking on contact, but also badly char and scorch 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 as to be able to easily pull it out of the sky with telekinesis.[167] Sidious could use Force lightning in a number of 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 lightning's raw power was demonstrated to be far greater than that of Dooku's; while Yoda was able to effortlessly absorb and deflect Dooku's lightning, he was only able to partially deflect Sidious's. Another more obscure ability that he possessed was the power to produce a Dark Aura, a miniature storm of malevolent Force energy that slowed the movement of and tortured all that it caught within its radius.[249] The maximum potential of Sidious's Force lightning, however, was achieved before his final death on Exegol; when restored back to his former self, Sidious unleashed an immense wave of Force lightning towards the sky which rapidly expanded enough to disable all the ships of the Resistance and The Galaxy Fleet.[7]


Sidious demonstrated his prowess at telekinesis during his battle with Yoda.

He was also highly skilled with telekinesis; during his duel with Yoda,[20] during which the two were equally matched,[245] Sidious levitated several Senate pods simultaneously, including the one he was standing on, with great dexterity and accuracy.[20] Likewise, he was skilled enough with telekinesis that he was also able to remove Luke Skywalker's handcuffs while barely having to lift even a finger when they met face to face on the second Death Star.[4] Sidious was capable of unleashing a Force push strong enough to easily send Maul and Opress flying and he was able to keep them pinned with little effort. He later effortlessly slammed Maul into the ground and walls, badly wounding him. Sidious was also highly skilled with Force choke. When he arrived on Mandalore, he was effortlessly able to telekinetically throttle two Mandalorians to death at once and used this power on two others while standing on the other side of the room that they were in.[102] He was even able to use his abilities on a target from hundreds of light years away, using only a holo-transmission to show him his target, allowing him to telekinetically choke and pick up Count Dooku and open the handcuffs of Bridger while projecting himself to their respective locations through the use of a hologram.[50][198] Shortly after his new apprentice was reconstructed as a cyborg, Sidious managed to protect himself against Vader’s force choke but Vader threw the Emperor against the wall, but Sidious managed to convince Vader to let him go. After Vader did, Sidious shocked his apprentice with bolts of Force lightning. Sidious then ignited his lightsaber and threatened that if Vader touched him with the Force again, he would finish what Obi-Wan could not.[285]

Among Darth Sidious's most powerful abilities was being able foresee the future, an ability which allowed him to plan for nearly any contingency.[167] He believed that, with enough time and practice, he would eventually have been able to use the dark side to view the future with infallible accuracy.[14]

The Dark Lord also was proficient in Sith magic, as he was able to cast a Dark illusion on Yoda using a ritual that applied Balc speech incantations and managed to access the World between Worlds using an unknown ritual. He was also capable of using Sith magic to generate a blue fiery energy, which he used to attack Ezra Bridger and Ahsoka Tano, that he could use both as a weapon and a tool in order to bind and draw someone closer, as it did with Bridger; the energy wrapping around his leg became akin to a tangible rope.[196] He was also knowledgeable in the ancient Sith tongue, ur-Kittât.[40] The Dark Lord was also adept in the use of Force Persuade to such an extent that he was able to take complete control of a subject's mind and force them to obey his commands.[167]

Force drained by Sidious

Through the dark side, Sidious was able to drain power from the dyad of Ben Solo and Rey, restoring his clone vessel to full strength.

Likewise, Sidious was also capable of using Dark Absorption.[286] He was also capable of telepathically communicating with Darth Vader over a distance of hundreds of light-years. It appeared, however, as though this ability may have been limited to sending and receiving relatively simple messages such as Vader requesting that a starfighter be shipped to him, as the two Sith Lords communicated through holoprojections while discussing more complex matters.[14] Sidious 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.[167][4] On a related note, he was also capable of hiding his own 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.[20] Sidious also used Force Dash and could move as fast as a "lightning strike".[167] He had the ability to drain the life force of other Force-sensitives such as Ben Solo and Rey, a dyad that he overpowered in the Force despite the physically weakened state of his cloned body. After restoring his strength with the dyad's energy, Sidious demonstrated his proficiency in telekinesis by lifting Solo and throwing him into a chasm.[7]

Lightsaber skills

"Despite being highly trained in the art of combat by my master, I rarely used these weapons. I preferred to call upon the infinite power of the dark side to win my battles. Yet when the time came to reveal my true nature, few could survive the fury of my blades."
―Darth Sidious[31]

Sidious possessed considerable skill in the art of lightsaber combat.

Darth Sidious was a highly skilled swordsman, having been well trained in the art of lightsaber combat by his master Darth Plagueis. Although he favored his power in the dark side as his principle form of attack instead of his lightsabers, Sidious attested that only a few individuals were able to survive against his skill with the blade.[31] He had an extremely aggressive, rage-fueled dueling style and augmented his swordplay by using Force-enhanced speed, which allowed him to kill three experienced Jedi Masters at once within seconds.[20] He utilized a violently ferocious yet extremely fluid fighting style during his fight with Maul and Savage Opress, holding off the Sith brothers on equal grounds and ultimately separating them by stunning Maul for a brief time with the Force before toying with and killing Opress.[102] His style was a combination of brutal aggression, extreme speed, and lethal precision.[20] Kit Fisto, a Jedi Master who specialized in combat, was unprepared for the ferocity of Sidious' attack and consequently cut down by the Sith's lightsaber.[287]


Sidious was as deadly with a single lightsaber as he was with dual sabers.

Sidious was able to fight alone against multiple opponents at once, such as the brothers Maul and Opress,[102] as well as several members of the Jedi High Council.[20] Being proficient in the style of Jar'Kai, he wielded two lightsabers during an intense duel in which he killed Opress and disarmed Maul.[102] While skilled in dual-wielding lightsabers, Sidious was also adept with a single blade which he used against four Jedi Masters, and later Grand Master Yoda. Upon revealing his true identity to the Jedi, Sidious dispatched three Jedi Masters with haste, killing Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin with a single blow each, before striking down Kit Fisto only moments later. Unlike the Jedi who fell to Sidious' blade, Mace Windu was able to fight the Dark Lord of the Sith on equal grounds for an extended period of time before ultimately disarming Sidious of his weapon with a kick to the Sith Lord's face.[20] The duel between Sidious and Yoda, both of whom were masters of the Force, was an intense battle in which the Dark Lord ultimately prevailed,[288] albeit with the use of his Force powers rather than a lightsaber.[20]

During a sparring match, Sidious was able to quickly overpower his apprentice Darth Vader and knock Vader's lightsaber out of his hand without much effort.[289] He was also skilled in blaster deflection, as he was able to easily deflect every single blaster shot aimed at him when he fought on Ryloth.[167] Soon before the Battle at Amaxine Station, Sidious used his lightsaber to once again spar with his apprentice while conversing about Qi'ra and her plans to destroy the Sith. In their sparing duel Vader manage to last longer than last time.[290]


"Before I was confined to this imperfect form, I possessed a pair of exquisite lightsabers, constructed from the rare metals phrik and aurodium."
―Darth Sidious[31]

Darth Sidious' lightsabers were made of phrik and aurodium.

During the Naboo Crisis, Sidious wore an elaborate blue cloak. As Supreme Chancellor, he wore golden robes with a velvet overcloak in the days surrounding the Battle of Geonosis and a dark crimson gigot-sleeved robe in the final days of the Clone Wars. As he rose to power he wore cloaks more fitting with Sith traditions, although without lessening his taste in lavish and comfortable fabrics. When declaring himself Emperor, Sidious wore a red robe patterned with emblems reminiscent of the serpents of the planet Moraband. As Galactic Emperor, he later wore a black zeyd cloth robe with a hood to hide his disfigured face. He used two identical lightsabers.[278]

Behind the scenes



Concept art of Darth Sidious by Ralph McQuarrie

From the very beginning of the writing process on the 1977 original Star Wars film Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, director George Lucas had in mind the character that would eventually develop into the currently known Emperor. One of the earliest documents regarding the project is a paper dating to early 1973, which compiled a list of names to potentially use in the story. At the very top of this list appeared the name "Emperor Ford Xerxes XII," as Xerxes was a historical Persian king who was assassinated by his own son, and would be then changed to "Alexander Xerxes XII," then "Emperor of Decarte." None of these mentioned names would be used ultimately.

Palpatine was originally conceived as a weak-willed dullard named Cos Dashit with delusions of grandeur who was elevated first to President of the Republic and then Emperor, controlled by the Imperial bureaucracy, conformed by ministers like Wilhuff Tarkin. However, he was neither a Force user nor a great political strategist. Although this version of Emperor Palpatine appeared in the original film's novelization,[291] it was superseded by every other appearance since which revealed Palpatine as the mastermind of the events of the Star Wars saga. Although The Empire Strikes Back made clear his Force connection,[16] his Sith affiliation was first revealed in The Phantom Menace.[1]

In the original trilogy, specifically 1983's Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, the character was never identified neither by his real name "Palpatine" or his Sith alter ego "Darth Sidious" on-screen, as he was referred just as "The Emperor" by most characters or "Master" by Darth Vader.[16] The Emperor's name was supplied in supplementary materials, including the script for Episode VI. It wasn't until the 1999 film, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, that both his real name and Sith alter ego were first mentioned on-screen.[1]

Throughout the original Star Wars saga films, the character was referred to as either Palpatine or Darth Sidious. The character was not given a full name in any canonical or Star Wars Legends source until 2014, when the character's first name—Sheev—was revealed in the canon novel Tarkin by author James Luceno.[14] However, according to Luceno in an interview with StarWars.com, the name was reportedly created by George Lucas for the Star Wars: Underworld TV show that he planned to make before budget constraints, his semi-retirement, and Lucasfilm Ltd.'s buyout by The Walt Disney Company prevented him to do so.[292] Leland Chee has stated that Darth Sidious' name may have derived from the word "insidious."[293]

Inspiration and creation

George Lucas compared the story of Darth Sidious to real-life individuals such as Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Joseph Stalin, Ferdinand Marcos, and Alberto Fujimori. All of them used methods similar to the Emperor's while turning their respective democracies into personal dictatorships in real life. The Adolf Hitler similarities are particularly evident from Palpatine's position as Chancellor and the use of emergency powers to cement his hold on the waning Republic as well as his passion for art.[294] Palpatine's consolidation of power is also similar to Roman Emperor Augustus, the heir to Casear.[295]

Richard Nixon was used as the primary political model for the Emperor,[296] both because his presidency was known as the Imperial Presidency, plus the constitutional crisis caused by the Watergate Scandal.[297][298] Lucas, in fact, created the first Star Wars film as an anti-Vietnam War message, implying that the Empire was what America could have been, had it won the war ten years before 1973.[299] Lucas opined, however, that Vice President Dick Cheney was actually closer to Darth Sidious.[300]


Death, from The Seventh Seal

In addition, film critic Roger Ebert and film historian Robin Wood noted that Darth Sidious' appearance resembled Death from the 1957 epic historical film, The Seventh Seal[301] and Queen Grimhilde's witch form in the Disney's 1937 animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.[302] George Lucas himself said that where realistically, and originally, Darth Sidious appeared in a dark color, the Dark Lord of the Sith was brightened-up in post-production to the extent where he became a white-faced figure that resembles Death, a fittingly spooky look desired by Lucas himself.[303]

Ian McDiarmid on Palpatine

"There's a moment in one scene of the new film where tears almost appear in his eye. These are crocodile tears, but for all those in the movie, and perhaps watching the movie itself, they'll see he is apparently moved — and of course, he is. He can just do it. He can, as it were, turn it on. And I suppose for him, it's also a bit of a turn-on — the pure exercise of power is what he's all about. That's the only thing he's interested in and the only thing that can satisfy him — which makes him completely fascinating to play, because it is an evil soul. He is more evil than the devil. At least Satan fell — he has a history, and it's one of revenge. But the Emperor — well, I don't know all the details, but who does of the Sith? — is an independent agent who just lives for the exercise of power. He doesn't know what scruples are, let alone have any. The only emotion that manifests itself truly is the one seen just before he meets his end, if that's what he meets, in Jedi — and then that's pure anger, when he realizes that he hasn't succeeded in manipulating young Skywalker. So he has to kill him, and he tries to do that with unadulterated fury."
―Ian McDiarmid on Palpatine in 2002[304]

Darth Sidious, namely the Emperor at that time, was mentioned in A New Hope.[126] The Emperor first appeared in the 1980 sequel Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back, played by the experienced actress Marjorie Eaton.[16] In Return of the Jedi, the Emperor was played by Ian McDiarmid. McDiarmid then reprised the role for the three films of the prequel trilogy, as well as in The Rise of Skywalker in the sequel trilogy.[1][12][20][7]

Speaking about Palpatine in promotion for the prequel film Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, McDiarmid stated Palpatine was more evil than the Abrahamic figure Satan because "at least Satan fell." Whereas the Abrahamic Devil is a figure who fell from grace and thus has a motivation in wanting revenge, McDiarmid—while unsure of the full story behind Palpatine due to the secrecy surrounding the Sith Order—defined Palpatine as an "independent agent" whose only motivation was to exercise power. Whereas Satan could be written as both evil and sympathetic, as he noted writer John Milton accomplished by depicting the Devil as a tormented soul in the epic poem Paradise Lost, McDiarmid believed Palpatine never "fell" and instead thought of the future Galactic Emperor as someone who was "evil from birth." He further defined Palpatine as "an evil soul" and someone who did not have scruples, not that Palpatine knew what scruples were in the first place. In his view, the only thing that could satisfy Palpatine was the "pure exercise of power," and he stated the character's only true emotion was "pure anger." McDiarmid pointed to Palpatine's demise in Return of the Jedi as proof, noting how his character showcased nothing but rage when he fails to turn Luke Skywalker to the dark side of the Force. With that failure, he cited, Palpatine believed the young Jedi had to die and tried to do so with a level of "unadulterated fury."[304]

The Empire Strikes Back

Emperor TESB 1980

Marjorie Eaton as the Emperor in the pre-DVD version of The Empire Strikes Back

For The Empire Strikes Back, the Emperor was portrayed by Eaton as a holographic image with test shots done by actress Elaine Baker.[305] The mask worn by Eaton was sculpted by Phil Tippett and applied by Rick Baker,[306] Elaine's husband. Eaton's face was then composited with an image of a chimpanzee for the eyes[307] and the voice was provided by New Zealand actor Clive Revill.

In the 2004 DVD release of The Empire Strikes Back, Eaton was digitally replaced by McDiarmid, and the scene was re-shot to include new dialogue provided by McDiarmid and James Earl Jones. This re-shoot was shot during the production of the 2005 film, Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, which McDiarmid had a starring role in.[16]

Return of the Jedi and the prequels

In the draft script for Return of the Jedi, when Palpatine fired his Force lightning at Luke Skywalker, the Force spirits of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda would have appeared to protect their disciple by redirecting the lightning.[308]

Palpatine concept

Nilo Rodis-Jamero's costume concept art for the Emperor in Return of the Jedi

For Return of the Jedi, the role of the Emperor was to be played by veteran thespian Alan Webb, who was 75 years old at the time. However, as filming was about to commence, Webb fell ill due to the record cold England was experiencing at the time. He wrote a letter to the director Richard Marquand, saying that he was very sorry, but that he felt the part was too big for him, shortly dying afterward on June 22, 1982. English actor Ben Kingsley read then for the role but was considered "very English" for playing the Emperor. With filming behind schedule, Ian McDiarmid was drafted in as a late substitute.[296]

For the prequel trilogy, McDiarmid reprised the role for all three films, playing a younger Chancellor Palpatine in The Phantom Menace and a middle-aged Palpatine in Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones and in Revenge of the Sith. He became at first surprised that Lucas asked him to reprise the role, as he supposed that Darth Sidious would be played by a young actor, but he accepted the offer and returned for the role once more.[1][12][20] One of the things that George told McDiarmid about playing the young Palpatine was to imagine that his face was a mask that was hiding the monster's face, which made him portray him a seemingly friendly man who was always nice to people.[309] Palpatine and Yoda's duel in Revenge of the Sith is never given a formal resolution in the Star Wars saga, which inspired author Tessa Gratton to write the short story "Masters."[310]

The Rise of Skywalker


Ian McDiarmid

During Celebration Chicago 2019, it was officially confirmed that McDiarmid would be reprising his role as Palpatine in Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker, the final installment of the sequel trilogy and the Star Wars Skywalker saga overall, scheduled to be released on December 20, 2019. Upon the announcement, The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams expressed his delight that McDiarmid's appearance on the film wasn't leaked.[311] Producer Kathleen Kennedy then confirmed that Palpatine's return stemmed from discussions during the development of Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens[312] although original director Colin Trevorrow stated that the Emperor's return wasn't an idea presented in his original script for the film.[313] On hinting Emperor Palpatine's comeback, McDiarmid told Warwick Davis during the panel that over the years, he has had conversations with George Lucas, who affirmed that the Emperor was definitely dead by the end of Return of the Jedi.[314] Although the film doesn't explain how Palpatine survived, editor Maryann Brandon has said that earlier cuts of the film had an explanation.[315]

TV shows

For the Star Wars: The Clone Wars film[84] and subsequent TV show, Darth Sidious was voiced by veteran actor Ian Abercrombie.[86] In the Creative Conservation commentary on the film's Blu-ray and audio commentary on the film's DVD, Director Dave Filoni noted that he found the fact that Palpatine and Jabba the Hutt were talking to each other fascinating. It was a character dynamic that he never thought would be seen.[316] Abercrombie passed away on January 26, 2012, leading to actor Tim Curry replacing him in the final seconds of "The Lawless"[102] as well as the remaining episodes of the series, for which he was credited, beginning the fifth season finale "The Wrong Jedi."[105]

For Star Wars Rebels, Sidious was voiced by Star Wars veteran Sam Witwer in "The Siege of Lothal," the show's second season premiere episode. For the fourth and final season of the show, McDiarmid returned to provide the Emperor's voice instead, as well as subsequently re-recorded Witwer's dialogue from the second season premiere. McDiarmid returned once more to the role for Star Wars: Tales of the Jedi.

Stuart Beattie wrote the script for the first of three Obi-Wan Kenobi feature films. From the beginning of Beattie's story, Emperor Palpatine would tell Vader to forget Kenobi and focus on the present problems. In one scene, Palpatine sent Vader to crush a rebel uprising and he was trying to forget Kenobi. Vader later told Palpatine that Kenobi and Yoda were the two biggest threats, causing Palpatine to get angry and remind Vader of his place.[317] McDiarmid reprised the role for the sixth episode of the television series Obi-Wan Kenobi.[178] David Decio was the double and stand-in for McDiarmid.[318] McDiarmid's scene was filmed against a blue screen. Director Deborah Chow wanted Palpatine to tell Vader that his obsession with Kenobi is a weakness. She told McDiarmid to film his scene between being on an edge and having some lines be more casual. McDiarmid struggled with remembering to use the word "execute" during filming.[319]

Deleted scenes

Palpatine's efforts to centralize power and subvert democracy initially saw a wider discussion in Revenge of the Sith, particularly through the "Rebel Alliance subplot."[320] Firstly, Palpatine and Skywalker would have had a scene in the Chancellor's office where Palpatine reveals the Senate would, that afternoon, ask him to take direct control over the Jedi Council's affairs, defending the choice by saying it was another adjustment to the constitution in the name of security. While Skywalker agreed in taking power over the Council from the unfocused Senate in the name of winning the war, he warns his old friend of the Council's growing upset at constitutional changes. Claiming he had no choice but to take on the additional power, Palpatine quickly changes the conversation to his history with Skywalker before making him question the Council, claiming they see his growing power in the Force as a threat.[321]

The Rebel Alliance subplot began with Organa and Mothma establishing the Delegation of 2,000 in the name of opposing the Chancellor's increased power. In Organa's apartment, it is noted that Palpatine has regularly passed amendments to the constitution, taken personal control over the Jedi Council, and, as of that morning, appointed governors to oversee Republic star systems, effectively subverting the Senate's authority. Although surprised that one of her oldest advisors would act in such a non-democratic manner, Amidala becomes part of the Delegation.[320] After a meeting in Amidala's apartment, where the gathered legislators decide their new alliance would be focused on the Senate instead of going to the Jedi right away,[322] Palpatine and Skywalker were confronted by a gathering of the Delegation in the Chancellor's office, where Amidala speaks on behalf of the gathered against Palpatine's conduct.[323]

Cutting off Fang Zar's attempt at a comment and bidding the group farewell, Palpatine continues to tempt Skywalker to the dark side by claiming the group, even Amidala, has ulterior motives and can not be trusted. Although Skywalker attempts to defend his secret wife, Palpatine pries at the conflicted Jedi's emotional armor by claiming he simply does not want to admit it is possible.[323] The Delegation of the 2,000 and Palpatine's Sector Governance Decree have since been confirmed to be canon.[124] Palpatine's manipulation of Skywalker from[136] the Delegation meeting in Chancellor's office deleted scene[323] was mentioned within "The Long Game," an article about Palpatine's rise to power written by Michael Kogge for Star Wars Insider 188, as a canonical quote.[136]

Another deleted scene sees Windu, Kenobi, and Yoda discuss Palpatine's effort to take control of the Jedi Council and whether they must move against him.[324] In the original story treatment for Revenge of the Sith, Darth Sidious was intended to reveal that he created Anakin Skywalker through the midi-chlorians, thus making him, in some way, Anakin's father,[325] although George Lucas ultimately cut this out of the film.[326] Although Darth Sidious and/or Darth Plagueis's attempts to meddle with medichlorians is noted in the film, the idea that Sidious created Skywalker was dropped from the final cut.[20]

Debates and discrepancies

Visual appearances

"This is not an official answer but I just always assumed there was more going on with Palps and it wasn't just a result of the lightning itself. Maybe he overexerted himself and that caused it? Maybe he had the voltage turned up higher? IDK, but I never saw it as an inconsistency"
―Matt Martin on Twitter[327]

One known debate about Darth Sidious is his real appearance. In Revenge of the Sith, during his duel against Mace Windu, upon being disarmed, Sidious uses Force lightning against the Jedi Master, but he deflects it back to him, causing his face to be disfigured and scarred in the process. Later on, when Anakin cuts Windu's hand to succor Sidious, he electrocuted Windu, knocking him off the window to his death, although the Force lightning doesn't disfigure Windu for the short period of time it is used.[20]

However, previous to the Force lightning's appearance in Revenge of the Sith, when it first appeared in Return of the Jedi, Sidious used it against Luke Skywalker, and it did not disfigure or scar Skywalker.[4] Matt Martin of the Lucasfilm Story Group proposed that Palpatine used a higher voltage count for his lightning when attacking Windu, or there was more going on with Palpatine, such the Sith Lord overexerting himself and causing that appearance.[327] Author Gary M. Sarli proposed in 2005 that Palpatine had been using a Sith alchemy technique known as masking to hide his true appearance, with the Force lightning wiping the mask away. Sarli further theorized that Sidious decided to not save his mask in order to further convince Skywalker he needed to intervene and to claim he was scarred to the Senate.[328]

Other discrepancies

Sidious' height has been stated to either be 1.73 meters,[10][9] or 1.78 meters.[329][37] This article assumes the newer databank entry height on StarWars.com to be the correct height.[10]

In a question and answer session for The Clone Wars: The Lost Missions, Dave Filoni stated that Sidious had Darth Maul and Darth Tyranus as apprentices at the same time.[48] However, Sidious's biography gallery in the Databank claimed that he recruited Dooku into the Sith during his time as Supreme Chancellor after[263] the Invasion of Naboo.[248] Maul was thought to be killed during that event.[1] However, "The Lost One" establishes that Dooku, in some form, must have joined the Sith before The Phantom Menace;[50] Finis Valorum loses his position as Supreme Chancellor within that movie,[1] yet Dooku had Sifo-Dyas killed for the Sith Plan during Valorum's chancellery.[50] The Tales of the Jedi episode "The Sith Lord" would address the issue directly by showing Dooku had joined Sidious by the time of The Phantom Menace, but he had yet to fully fall to the dark side and become Sidious's pupil until the episode's events.[62]

Non-canon appearances

"Why was I so mean about it? In fact, why am I always so mean?— [gasps] It's a Life Day miracle! Oh, that's it! That's it from now on! No more dark side! No more ruling the galaxy! Old Sheevy Palpatine is gonna change his ways—"
―Darth Sidious's final words as he falls into the reactor shaft in The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special[330]
Public enemies

Darth Sidious, in LEGO form

In the non-canon LEGO Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures, Darth Sidious was voiced by Trevor Devall. In the first season, Sidious and Darth Vader learned about the history of a powerful lightsaber called the Kyber Saber, which was made out of several kyber crystals. However, the Jedi Master who crafted the sword had deemed it too dangerous and destroyed the lightsaber before scattering all of the crystals throughout the galaxy. Seeking to destroy the galaxy in one blast, Darth Sidious attempted to collect all of the crystals. He and Vader dispatched the Sith agent Naare to recover the Kyber Saber crystals. However, Naare's mission was complicated by her encounter with the Force-sensitive Rowan Freemaker and his family. In an attempt to gain the crystals, Naare pretended to be a Jedi and offered to train him in the ways of the Force.[331] Despite Sidious' efforts, the Sith Lord failed to take the Kyber Saber from Rowan, who managed to destroy the weapon.[332]

In the second season, Darth Sidious creates an Imperial hunter droid called M-OC, whom he tasks with hunting down Rowan.[333] This arouses the jealousy of Darth Vader, who undermines M-OC's efforts on several occasions. Despite failing to capture the Freemakers on several occasions, M-OC manages to deflect blame by pointing out that Lord Vader obstructed his efforts to obtain an XX-23 S-thread tracker.[334] After Rowan builds a powerful starship called the Arrowhead, Sidious forces Vader and M-OC to work together. M-OC lures Rowan into a trap on Qalydon but Vader outsmarts the droid and brings him to the Emperor.[335]

In Imperial captivity, Rowan reveals that he destroyed the Kyber Saber. Though the Emperor wants to kill Rowan, Vader convinces the Emperor that Rowan can help them find more kyber crystals to power up the second Death Star. After Vader forces Rowan to reveal the location through a mind probe, the Emperor deems that Rowan has outlived his usefulness and orders his execution. However, Rowan is rescued by his siblings. Meanwhile, M-OC rebuilds himself and steals the Arrowhead from the Freemakers, currying the Emperor's favor. The Emperor orders M-OC to hunt down the Freemakers.[336]

Following a skirmish on Shantipole, Rowan convinces M-OC that his programming is flawed.[337] M-OC instead deduces there is a flaw in the second Death Star and rushes to the Endor system. However, M-OC's warnings fall on deaf ears since the Emperor is preoccupied with Luke Skywalker. Later, M-OC is distracted when he watched the Emperor falling to his death, allowing Rowan to defeat him once and for all.[338]


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