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"The Sith grew past the use of lightsabers. But we continue to use them, if only to humiliate the Jedi."
―Darth Sidious[src]

Palpatine's lightsabers were two Sith lightsabers created by Palpatine, also known as the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious.


Palpatine wielding the lightsaber during his training under Darth Plagueis.

Being a patron of the arts, Darth Sidious designed his original weapon with a high level of craftsmanship, clearly influenced by the Sith Lord's love of antiquity. The body of the lightsaber was fashioned from nigh-indestructible phrik alloy while the flat emitter was composed of aurodium.[1] The whole of the weapon possessed a refined and elegant electrum finish. The weapon utilized a synth-crystal as the focusing crystal.[4]

Ever the pragmatist, Sidious already had prepared a backup lightsaber. This weapon was initially identical to his first lightsaber with the electrum and phrik finish of his original weapon,[5] but it was later retrofitted with an unknown black alloy.[3]

In truth, the Sith normally wielded enough powers to fight without a lightsaber, but every apprentice still learned to use one as part of his or her training.[6] Sidious himself felt that he and his peers had outgrown the use of lightsabers, and only continued carrying them to mock the Jedi. He ultimately viewed his own lightsabers as little more than an affectation, and rarely wielded them in combat.[7]


Creation and early usage[]

"Within a long, slim, rod-shaped cavity around which the sculpture had been forged rested a device that had lain, waiting, in absolute darkness - darkness beyond darkness - for decades."
―Palpatine's thoughts while retrieving his lightsaber.[src]

Palpatine concealed his lightsaber in a statue of Sistros.

Darth Sidious created his lightsaber during his apprenticeship, and used this weapon throughout his Sith training under Darth Plagueis. When he began his political career, he concealed his lightsaber within a neuranium statue of Sistros, having the piece fabricated around his lightsaber. The weapon remained hidden within the statue for at least two decades, waiting until Palpatine needed it. During this period, the Sith Lord was forced to use back-up weapons when he needed to wield a lightsaber. On one occasion, he even needed to wield his Master's lightsaber in lieu of his own weapon.[2][8][9]

Clone Wars[]

In 20 BBY, Darth Sidious used his lightsabers during two separate occasions during the Clone Wars.


When Darth Sidious learned that his former apprentice Darth Maul was alive following a twelve year exile and was on Mandalore with his brother Savage Opress having conquered the planet, Sidious took his two lightsabers with him and traveled to the Sundari Royal Palace in his personal shuttle and confronted the two Zabrak brothers. After exchanging brief words with Maul, he pulled out and used two lightsabers to combat the two. He used erratic, however fluent, movements during the duel, even going out of his way to cut up the floor of the palace.

Sidious proved to be too strong for them and although he was unable to defeat the brothers quickly, he was ultimately able to separate them from each other. When Opress recovered from a kick he received from Sidious, Sidious at first sidestepped Opress's movements with little effort without his lightsaber active before he activated his lightsabers and engaged Maul's brother. He proceeded to completely outmatch Opress and soon impaled the Nightbrother with his lightsabers, killing him.[10] Sidious - again exchanging brief words - leapt down with both lightsabers and continued to duel Maul with fearsome ferocity. Although Maul put up a far more ferocious fight, Sidious ultimately disarmed the Zabrak Sith Lord and then he put his lightsabers away in the folds of his robes having won the duel and incapacitating Maul.[5]


On Coruscant, Darth Sidious planned to attack Jedi Master Yoda (who was then on Korriban) with Sith sorcery; he used his second apprentice Darth Tyranus's relationship to the elderly Jedi Master to his advantage in order to do so. With a drop of Tyranus's blood, Sidious created an illusion fed by Force lightning of both Sith Lords. After failing to fool Yoda with an illusion of Sifo-Dyas, Sidious formed a second illusion where Yoda was aboard a Republic gunship bound for The Works district of Coruscant. After Anakin Skywalker engaged Tyranus in a lightsaber duel in which the elderly Sith apprentice fell (foreshadowing his actual demise at Skywalker's hands), Yoda and Sidious dueled on an outdoor walkway, each brandishing a lightsaber. Although Sidious fought Yoda evenly, he used Force lightning to incapacitate Anakin. Sidious continued to fight Yoda as things took a turn for the worse when Anakin's unconscious body began to fall off the walkway destroyed by Sidious. Despite Sidious's taunting use of Dun Moch, Yoda used the Force to prevent the young Jedi Knight from falling (despite being an eventual threat), willing to sacrifice everything, including himself, in order to save his friend. Yoda and Sidious fell to the ground below and the former found himself holding nothing but the Sith Lord's empty robes. His final trial complete, Yoda awoke from his nightmarish vision and returned to Coruscant.[11]

The Galactic Empire's rise[]

Showdown on Coruscant[]

Darth Sidious brandishing his original lightsaber against the Jedi.

In 19 BBY, Palpatine revealed to Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker that he was a Sith Lord. As Mace Windu and his Jedi entourage rushed to the Senate Office Building to confront him, Palpatine retrieved his lightsaber in advance, so as not to be unarmed when they arrived. He retrieved it telekinetically by igniting it within the statue and seizing it once it burned its way out. Hiding the weapon within his sleeve, Palpatine awaited the Jedi. After a quick dialogue for the benefit of an audio recording device hidden in his office, the Supreme Chancellor brandished the weapon. With a cry the Sith Lord leapt at the Jedi, cutting down Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin. After killing Nautolan Kit Fisto it was a duel only between Palpatine and Windu.[3]

Gaining the early advantage, Palpatine gained ground on Windu. However, Windu's Vaapad technique allowed him to counter the Sith Lord's rage-fueled frenzy. The Jedi guided the battle towards the bay window of Palpatine's office and out onto the wind-blown ledge outside. The precarious position of the battle prompted Palpatine to channel some of his power into a Force-grip on the permacrete, marginally decreasing his speed. Windu briskly disarmed the Sith Lord with a surgically precise kick to the face, throwing Palpatine off-balance and causing the Sith Lord to drop his lightsaber as he flailed for purchase. The lightsaber fell out the window into the bottomless streets and alleyways of Coruscant below just before Skywalker showed up.[3] Consequentially, it also forced him to only rely on one lightsaber.[12]

Showdown within the Senate[]

Palpatine wielding his backup lightsaber against Yoda.

"From the shadow of a black wing, a small weapon - a hold-out, an easily concealed backup, a tiny bit of treachery expressing the core of Sith mastery - slid into a withered hand and spat a flame-colored blade of its own."
―Palpatine brandishing his backup lightsaber.[src]

Like his first weapon, Palpatine concealed this lightsaber up his sleeve. When the Jedi Grand Master Yoda confronted him in the aftermath of Order 66, Palpatine brandished the weapon. During their lightsaber duel, they were seemingly matched in combat, until Yoda dislodged Sidious's lightsaber out of his grip. Outmatched, the Galactic Emperor assaulted Yoda telekinetically. Leaping onto one of the delegation pods in the Senate arena, Palpatine attempted to inundate the Jedi Master by hurling several pods with the Force. Ultimately, the ferocious duel ended when Yoda was able to counter Sidious's telekenetic assault and force him to close range, causing the Sith Lord to use Force Lightning to disarm Yoda of his lightsaber only for Yoda to ultimately redirect it back after a tremendous struggle. The resulting blast separated Sidious from Yoda and the diminutive master chose to retreat.[3]

Later uses[]

When his third apprentice Darth Vader went about constructing his own lightsaber, Palpatine provided his elegant weapon as a model, as well as the synth-crystal that powered Vader's weapon. Vader regarded Palpatine's lightsaber as little more than an antique, and while respectful of its high level of craftsmanship, he preferred a weapon with more ballast. Vader's resulting weapon was little more than an enlarged version of his first Jedi lightsaber, machined out of a black alloy.[7]

Palpatine carried the lightsaber for a great deal of his life afterward, though he only rarely wielded it in combat, as his position as Emperor made battles with other Force-users few and far between, and he preferred to rely on his raw ability with the Force in any case.[13] Notably, he did brandish his lightsaber during the rebellion of the Sa Cuis clones, though he never actually used it, as Vader dealt with the uprising himself.[14]


Rahm Kota wielding the lightsaber against Palpatine.

When Galen Marek confronted him and Darth Vader in 2 BBY with the intention of rescuing the recently captured Rebel leaders, Palpatine sat back and allowed Vader to confront the Force-adept. When Marek bested the cyborg, Palpatine began appealing to him to slay Vader and replace him as his apprentice. As Marek mulled over the idea, captured Jedi and Rebel leader Rahm Kota sprang into action. Telekinetically seizing Palpatine's lightsaber, Kota killed the guards holding him and leapt at Palpatine.[15]

Palpatine brought Kota down with a blast of Force lightning. However, Kota's actions prompted Marek to attack the Emperor rather than Vader, during which Palpatine fought his assailant with both the force and his recently recovered lightsaber at hand.[15]

By 10 ABY, Palpatine was using a different, blue-bladed lightsaber, which he carried with him on Byss.[13]


Non-canon appearances[]


Notes and references[]

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