- "He's like two people living inside the same body—part of him good and well-intentioned; the other part an evil and dangerous genius inventor."
Triclops was a Human mutant slave who claimed to be the son of Emperor Palpatine. It is possible that this relation may not have been in a strict biological sense, and that Triclops was the implementation of Darth Plagueis's experiments in the influence of midi-chlorians, with the goal of creating a zygote solely through the use of the Force in a fertile humanoid female.
Triclops was a white-haired mutant with three eyes, one being on the back of his head, and sported scars on his temples from electroshocks administered by the Galactic Empire. He was trained to be an Emperor's Eye but Palpatine considered him one of his greatest failures, and had him imprisoned. He languished for years in an Imperial prison on Kessel, fathering a son, Ken, with a former Jedi named Kendalina.
- "Triclops is the deepest, darkest secret of the Empire. The only Imperials who know of his existence are the most powerful members of the Imperial ruling class, such as the Grand Moffs."
According to rumors, the three-eyed mutant known as Triclops was born to Sly Moore, an Umbaran female who had been a close adviser of the Supreme Chancellor and then Galactic Emperor Palpatine. Moore, who had taken great interest in the genetic experiments of the late Dark Lord of the Sith Darth Plagueis, had come into the possession of Force-sensitive DNA from an undisclosed source. If rumors could be relied on, she died in her native Ghost Nebula while giving birth to Triclops, and the child was immediately spirited away by her former confederate, Sarcev Quest. Since Moore was still alive in 18 BBY, one year after the establishment of the Galactic Empire, Triclops would have to be born after that point. Regardless of the veracity of that report, Triclops was regarded as the true son of Palpatine, both by himself and the few high-ranking officials who knew of him.
Triclops' education was entrusted to the Prophets of the Dark Side, an ancient cult who had pledged allegiance to Palpatine's Galactic Empire. He was trained to become an Emperor's Eye, a Dark Side Adept with a particular propensity for seeing into the Force. However, the three-eyed prophet in training proved to be a disappointment, and the Emperor himself regarded him as a personal failure. According to the Bimm con artist Rajah Ubooki, who posed as the false Supreme Prophet Kadann, Palpatine had sensed that Triclops could grow more powerful than him in the Force, and was also a pacifist who believed in disarmament instead of war. Rather than killing him, the Emperor made his own son a common slave in the spice mines of Kessel.
- "The Grand Moffs refuse to admit officially that Triclops exists. They believe he's insane, and they're terrified that if he's ever set free, he might take over as ruler of the Empire, and destroy everything in the galaxy, including them!"
While imprisoned in the Kessel mines asylum, Triclops was often whipped by the Supreme Slavelord himself, another three-eyed man named Trioculus. While the Supreme Slaver was also a byproduct of Palpatine's machinations, albeit via experimentation, he was jealous of Triclops' position as the Emperor's true son. While whipping him, Trioculus used to swear that he would one day assume Triclops' identity and take over as ruler of the Empire. In 7 BBY, Triclops fell in love with Kendalina, a gray-eyed "Jedi Princess" who had been forced to pledge allegiance to the Empire and assigned to work as a nurse in the asylum. The two produced a child, a boy whom they named Ken. When the Empire discovered their relationship, they killed Kendalina, an event that was burned into Triclops' memory forever. In secret, the infant Ken was taken to the Lost City of the Jedi on Yavin 4, where he would remain for twelve years, while Triclops remained in the Empire's firm grip. In addition to being regularly tortured, Palpatine' son was unwittingly outfitted with a HoloNet transceiver implant in his right upper molar. That device could not only broadcast Triclops's thoughts to the Imperial probe droids, but also duplicate the mind-controlling effects of Nihil smokestone, sending electromagnetic signals into his brain while he was soundly asleep.
When Palpatine died, rumors abounded that the Emperor had a three-eyed son. However, the Imperial Grand Moffs considered Triclops both insane and dangerous, due in part to his pacifistic views and calls for disarmament. Grand Moff Bertroff Hissa took advantage of this, setting up Supreme Slavelord Trioculus as Palpatine's heir.
Triclops was later moved to the new Imperial Reprogramming Institute, a prison and lunatic asylum nestled in the Valley of Royalty of Duro, not far from ancient monuments. In the Institute, the Empire kept its most dangerous prisoners. The son of Palpatine was put in Experimental Section Two, where—according to the false Kadann—even the most insane prisoners ultimately learned obedience to the Empire. Triclops was put under the rule of Defeen, a male Defel who was tasked with reprogramming him.
One day in 5 ABY, Triclops finally escaped Experimental Section Two, with the help of an Imperial assassin droid whose assassination protocols had been deactivated. However, Triclops could not pass over the Great Wall without a spaceship or a floating vehicle, which prompted him to hide somewhere in the Valley of Royalty. With the assistance of the reprogrammed assassin droid, he climbed down the mouth of the monument of Queen Rana Mas Trehalt in hopes of finding his way to freedom. However, he and the droid got trapped in a series of tunnels instead. He remained there until an intervention team sent by the Alliance to Restore the Republic discovered the tunnel and freed him. The team in question was made of Commander Luke Skywalker, his wartime friend Han Solo, the protocol droid C-3PO and a young Human who was none other than Ken, Triclops' long-lost son. Now aligned with his rescuers, Triclops joined the Alliance with the aid of his son and Skywalker, but was held under close supervision by Mon Mothma for fear that he was an Imperial spy.
- "I know what a shock it must have been for you to realize that your grandfather was Emperor Palpatine. And the things I must do in the days ahead will surely shock you just as much."
It was around this time that the Empire's reasons for keeping Triclops alive became clear: while asleep, he would dream designs for deadly new machines of war, which the Empire would later produce. During these dreams he would often enter convulsive fits, and even the mighty Chewbacca could be hard-pressed to restrain him. He would not, however, recall the dreams after awakening, never realizing that he was aiding the Empire he despised.
On Yavin 4, Triclops, after writing an impassioned letter to Ken, escaped into the jungles of the moon. Several months later he became the slave of the false Kadann and helped him escape the Lost City of the Jedi and make his way offworld. He was last seen when he stormed into the Grand Audience Chamber of the Massassi Temple, where the wedding ceremony of Han Solo and Leia Organa was about to start, and attacked the attendants in a fit of madness induced by his mind controlling implant.
Behind the scenes
Triclops was created by Paul and Hollace Davids for their young-readers Jedi Prince series. He was first mentioned in The Glove of Darth Vader, but made his sole appearances in the flesh in the three last books of the series, Mission from Mount Yoda, Queen of the Empire, and Prophets of the Dark Side.
Controversy over ascendancy
In the Jedi Prince series, Triclops was introduced as the son of Emperor Palpatine, which author Paul Davids intended to be the literal in-universe truth. However, in 2007, authors Abel G. Peña and Rich Handley wrote Aliens in the Empire, an online supplement to Star Wars Insider 96 and 97, which cast doubt on the literalness of the phrase "son of Palpatine." The article mentioned a three-eyed mutant who was born from a Bordali woman named Niobi and was the result of Imperial genetic engineering. At the time, Peña hinted on the Jedi Council Forums that the mutant in question was Triclops.
However, in 2013, Peña and Handley wrote a new series of articles for the official Star Wars Blog, entitled Barely Tolerable: Alien Henchmen of the Empire. Part one of that series revealed that the three-eyed son of Niobi was in fact Trioculus, which disproved what had been speculated on the Jedi Council Forums.
In part three of the article series, which was released on September 12, 2013, Handley and Peña tied Triclops with Sly Moore, but did not explicitly reveal the father's identity. Later in the year, Peña and Greg Mitchell co-wrote another blog article titled The Star Wars Spy Game: SPIN Declassified, which explicitly referred to Triclops as Palpatine's true son, not simply an alleged one.
- The Glove of Darth Vader (First mentioned)
- The Lost City of the Jedi (Mentioned only)
- Zorba the Hutt's Revenge (Mentioned only)
- Mission from Mount Yoda (First appearance)
- Queen of the Empire
- Prophets of the Dark Side
- Star Wars Tales 14 intro (Non-canonical appearance)
- The Essential Guide to Characters
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- "Who's Who: Imperial Grand Admirals"—Star Wars Insider 66
- Aliens in the Empire
- The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia
- Book of Sith: Secrets from the Dark Side (Indirect mention only)
- The Essential Reader's Companion