Palpatine
Overview
Palpatine is a fictional character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 and the main antagonist of the Star Wars saga, portrayed by Ian McDiarmid
Ian McDiarmid
Ian McDiarmid is a Scottish theatre actor and director, who has also made sporadic appearances on film and television.McDiarmid has had a successful career in theatre; he has been cast in many plays, while occasionally directing others and although he has appeared mostly in theatrical productions,...

 in the feature films
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

.

Palpatine first appeared as the unnamed Emperor of the Galactic Empire
Galactic Empire (Star Wars)
The Galactic Empire is one of the main factions in the fictional universe of Star Wars. It is a galaxy-spanning regime established by the series' lead villain, Palpatine, to replace the Galactic Republic in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The Galactic Empire is introduced in Star Wars...

 in the 1980 film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. The screenplay, based on a story by George Lucas, was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan...

. In this film and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand and written by George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan. It is the third film released in the Star Wars saga, and the sixth in terms of the series' internal chronology...

, he is an aged, pale-faced figure who wears dark robes.

In the prequel trilogy, Palpatine is a middle-aged politician of the Republic
Galactic Republic (Star Wars)
The Galactic Republic is the name of the interplanetary State used in the fictional Star Wars universe prior to the establishment of the Galactic Empire. The form of this government, created by the Senate, was introduced in the Prequel Trilogy. By the time of the original Star Wars trilogy, it is...

 who rises to power through deception and treachery.
Encyclopedia
Palpatine is a fictional character
Fictional character
A character is the representation of a person in a narrative work of art . Derived from the ancient Greek word kharaktêr , the earliest use in English, in this sense, dates from the Restoration, although it became widely used after its appearance in Tom Jones in 1749. From this, the sense of...

 and the main antagonist of the Star Wars saga, portrayed by Ian McDiarmid
Ian McDiarmid
Ian McDiarmid is a Scottish theatre actor and director, who has also made sporadic appearances on film and television.McDiarmid has had a successful career in theatre; he has been cast in many plays, while occasionally directing others and although he has appeared mostly in theatrical productions,...

 in the feature films
Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera film series created by George Lucas. The first film in the series was originally released on May 25, 1977, under the title Star Wars, by 20th Century Fox, and became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon, followed by two sequels, released at three-year...

.

Palpatine first appeared as the unnamed Emperor of the Galactic Empire
Galactic Empire (Star Wars)
The Galactic Empire is one of the main factions in the fictional universe of Star Wars. It is a galaxy-spanning regime established by the series' lead villain, Palpatine, to replace the Galactic Republic in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The Galactic Empire is introduced in Star Wars...

 in the 1980 film Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. The screenplay, based on a story by George Lucas, was written by Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan...

. In this film and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand and written by George Lucas and Lawrence Kasdan. It is the third film released in the Star Wars saga, and the sixth in terms of the series' internal chronology...

, he is an aged, pale-faced figure who wears dark robes.

In the prequel trilogy, Palpatine is a middle-aged politician of the Republic
Galactic Republic (Star Wars)
The Galactic Republic is the name of the interplanetary State used in the fictional Star Wars universe prior to the establishment of the Galactic Empire. The form of this government, created by the Senate, was introduced in the Prequel Trilogy. By the time of the original Star Wars trilogy, it is...

 who rises to power through deception and treachery. As the Senator of Naboo
Naboo
Naboo is a fictitious planet in the fictional Star Wars universe with a mostly green terrain and which is the homeworld of two societies: the Gungans who dwell in underwater cities and the humans who live in colonies on the surface...

 and later the Supreme Chancellor, he outwardly behaves like a well-intentioned and loyal public servant, yet underneath his affable public persona lurks his true identity: Darth Sidious, a Dark Lord of the Sith
Sith
-Sith:The Sith is a name applied to certain characters in the Star Wars universe. In the films they are the central antagonists. They are capable of using the dark side of the Force.-The Invention of the Sith:...

. As both Palpatine and Sidious, he sets into motion a series of events—including the Clone Wars
Clone Wars (Star Wars)
The Clone Wars are a series of fictional intragalactic battles in George Lucas's science fiction saga Star Wars. The conflict is first mentioned in the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope , but no details are given , and the wars themselves are not featured until the series' fifth and sixth...

—which ultimately destroys the Jedi Knights
Jedi
The Jedi are characters in the Star Wars universe and the series's main protagonists. The Jedi use a power called the Force and weapons called lightsabers, which emit a controlled energy flow in the shape of a sword, in order to serve and protect the Republic and the galaxy at large from conflict...

 and the Republic, allowing him to usher in the Galactic Empire
Galactic Empire (Star Wars)
The Galactic Empire is one of the main factions in the fictional universe of Star Wars. It is a galaxy-spanning regime established by the series' lead villain, Palpatine, to replace the Galactic Republic in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The Galactic Empire is introduced in Star Wars...

, a brutal authoritarian regime.

Since the initial theatrical run of Return of the Jedi, Palpatine has become a symbol of evil and sinister deception in popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

.

Original trilogy

In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the...

, several characters mention that The Emperor is the ruler of the Empire, but he is neither named nor seen in the film.

In Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Emperor Palpatine appears for the first time as the Sith master of Darth Vader
Darth Vader
Darth Vader is a central character in the Star Wars saga, appearing as one of the main antagonists in the original trilogy and as the main protagonist in the prequel trilogy....

 (David Prowse
David Prowse
David Prowse, MBE is an English former bodybuilder, weightlifter and actor, most widely known for playing the role of Darth Vader in physical form. In Britain, he is also remembered as having played the Green Cross Code man...

/James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones
James Earl Jones is an American actor. He is well-known for his distinctive bass voice and for his portrayal of characters of substance, gravitas and leadership...

). The Emperor contacts Vader via holographic
Holography
Holography is a technique that allows the light scattered from an object to be recorded and later reconstructed so that when an imaging system is placed in the reconstructed beam, an image of the object will be seen even when the object is no longer present...

 communication to tell him of a "great disturbance in the Force
Force (Star Wars)
The Force is a binding, metaphysical and ubiquitous power in the fictional universe of the Star Wars galaxy created by George Lucas. Mentioned in the first film in the series, it is integral to all subsequent incarnations of Star Wars, including the expanded universe of comic books, novels, and...

," and warns him that Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker
Luke Skywalker is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the original film trilogy of the Star Wars franchise, where he is portrayed by Mark Hamill. He is introduced in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, in which he is forced to leave home, and finds himself apprenticed to the Jedi master...

 (Mark Hamill
Mark Hamill
Mark Richard Hamill is an American actor, voice artist, producer, director, and writer, best known for his role as Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy of Star Wars. More recently, he has received acclaim for his voice work, in such roles as the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series, Firelord...

) is becoming a threat. Vader convinces the Emperor that Luke would be an asset if he could be turned to the dark side of the Force
Dark side (Star Wars)
The dark side of the Force is a prominent moral, philosophical, and psychic concept in the Star Wars universe. It is introduced in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, and appears in all subsequent Star Wars fiction...

.
In Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, Palpatine arrives on the second Death Star
Death Star
The Death Star is a fictional moon-sized space station and superweapon appearing in the Star Wars movies and expanded universe. It is capable of destroying a planet with a single destructive super charged energy beam.-Origin and design:...

 to oversee the last stages of its construction. When Darth Vader delivers his son, Luke Skywalker, to Palpatine, the Emperor—intent on replacing Vader with a younger, more powerful apprentice—tempts the young Jedi to the dark side by appealing to his fear for his friends. This leads to a lightsaber
Lightsaber
A lightsaber is a fictional weapon in the Star Wars universe, a "laser sword." It consists of a polished metal hilt which projects a blade of light about 1.33 metres long. The lightsaber is the signature weapon of the Jedi order and their Sith counterparts, both of whom can use them for close...

 duel in which Luke defeats and nearly kills Vader. Luke ultimately refuses to turn to the dark side, however, and an enraged Palpatine attacks him with Force lightning. Moved by the sight of his son's suffering, Vader turns on his master and redeems himself by throwing the evil Emperor into the Death Star's reactor shaft, killing him.

Prequel trilogy

In Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is a 1999 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the fourth film to be released in the Star Wars saga, as the first of a three-part prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy, as well as the first film in the saga in terms...

, set 32 years before A New Hope, Palpatine is introduced as the senior Galactic Senator from the planet Naboo
Naboo
Naboo is a fictitious planet in the fictional Star Wars universe with a mostly green terrain and which is the homeworld of two societies: the Gungans who dwell in underwater cities and the humans who live in colonies on the surface...

. The corrupt Trade Federation
Trade Federation
The Trade Federation is a fictional organization in the Star Wars universe at the time of the Galactic Republic. It appears in the franchise's three prequel movies and the Star Wars Expanded Universe...

 blockades and invades Naboo under the influence of Palpatine's Sith alter ego, Darth Sidious. Queen Padmé Amidala
Padmé Amidala
Padmé Amidala is a fictional character in the Star Wars science fiction franchise. She first appeared on film in the 1999 feature film, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, as the young queen of the planet Naboo. In subsequent prequel trilogy films, Padmé represents Naboo in the Galactic Senate...

 (Natalie Portman
Natalie Portman
Natalie Hershlag , better known by her stage name Natalie Portman, is an actress with dual American and Israeli citizenship. Her first role was as an orphan taken in by a hitman in the 1994 French action film Léon, but major success came when she was cast as Padmé Amidala in the Star Wars prequel...

) flees to the planet Coruscant
Coruscant
Coruscant is a planet in the fictional Star Wars universe. It first appeared onscreen in the 1997 Special Edition of Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi, but was first mentioned in Timothy Zahn's 1991 novel Heir to the Empire...

 to receive counsel from the senator. After a plea for help from the senate results in bureaucratic
Bureaucracy
A bureaucracy is an organization of non-elected officials of a governmental or organization who implement the rules, laws, and functions of their institution, and are occasionally characterized by officialism and red tape.-Weberian bureaucracy:...

 delays, Palpatine persuades her to make a motion
Motion (democracy)
A motion is a formal step to introduce a matter for consideration by a group. It is a common concept in the procedure of trade unions, students' unions, corporations, and other deliberative assemblies...

 to have Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum (Terence Stamp
Terence Stamp
Terence Henry Stamp is an English actor. Since starting his career in 1962 he has appeared in over 60 films. His title role as Billy Budd in his film debut earned Stamp an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor and a BAFTA nomination for Best Newcomer.His other major roles include...

) removed from office. Palpatine, as Sidious, sends his apprentice Darth Maul
Darth Maul
Darth Maul is a fictional character in the science fiction saga Star Wars. He is one of the main antagonists of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, portrayed by martial artist Ray Park and voiced by Peter Serafinowicz....

 (Ray Park
Ray Park
Raymond Park is a Scottish actor, stuntman and martial artist, best known for his playing the physical part of Darth Maul in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Toad in X-Men, Snake-Eyes in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, and Edgar on Heroes.-Early life:Park was born in Glasgow, Scotland...

/Peter Serafinowicz
Peter Serafinowicz
Peter Szymon Serafinowicz is an English actor, comedian, writer, composer, voice artist and occasional director.-Early life:Serafinowicz was born in Liverpool, England. He attended Our Lady of the Assumption Roman Catholic Primary School and St Francis Xavier Secondary School...

) to Naboo to oversee the invasion and find the queen. The invasion, however, is thwarted by Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn
Qui-Gon Jinn
Qui-Gon Jinn is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, and a main protagonist of the 1999 film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, portrayed by Liam Neeson. He also appears in the Star Wars Expanded Universe of comic books, video games, and novels...

 (Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson
Liam John Neeson, OBE is an Irish actor who has been nominated for an Oscar, a BAFTA and three Golden Globe Awards.He has starred in a number of notable roles including Oskar Schindler in Schindler's List, Michael Collins in Michael Collins, Peyton Westlake in Darkman, Jean Valjean in Les...

) and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He is one of several primary characters in the Star Wars series. Along with Darth Vader, R2-D2, and C-3PO, he is one of the few major characters to appear in all six Star Wars films...

 (Ewan McGregor
Ewan McGregor
Ewan Gordon McGregor is a Scottish actor. He has had success in mainstream, indie, and art house films. McGregor is perhaps best known for his roles as heroin addict Mark Renton in the drama Trainspotting , young Jedi Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Star Wars prequel trilogy , and poet Christian in the...

); in the ensuing lightsaber duel, both Maul and Jinn are killed. Palpatine returns to Naboo, having been elected the new Supreme Chancellor. He tells nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd
Jake Lloyd
Jake Lloyd is a former American actor , who gained worldwide fame when he was chosen by George Lucas to play the young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the first film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy and currently resides in Chicago. He reprised this role in five...

), newly accepted as Obi-Wan's Jedi apprentice, that "we will watch your career with great interest".

In Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones is a 2002 American epic space opera film directed by George Lucas and written by Lucas and Jonathan Hales. It is the fifth film to be released in the Star Wars saga and the second in terms of the series' internal chronology...

, set 10 years later, the galaxy is on the verge of civil war
Civil war
A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

, as a growing Separatist movement of planets seeks to secede
Secession
Secession is the act of withdrawing from an organization, union, or especially a political entity. Threats of secession also can be a strategy for achieving more limited goals.-Secession theory:...

 from the Republic to form the Confederacy of Independent Systems. They are led by Count Dooku
Count Dooku
Count Dooku is a fictional character from the Star Wars universe. Dooku is one of the main antagonists of both Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and the events of the Clone Wars and is a supporting villain in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Count Dooku plays a substantial role...

 (Christopher Lee
Christopher Lee
Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee, CBE, CStJ is an English actor and musician. Lee initially portrayed villains and became famous for his role as Count Dracula in a string of Hammer Horror films...

), a former Jedi and Darth Sidious' new apprentice. Dooku hires a bounty hunter
Bounty hunter
A bounty hunter captures fugitives for a monetary reward . Other names, mainly used in the United States, include bail enforcement agent and fugitive recovery agent.-Laws in the U.S.:...

 named Jango Fett
Jango Fett
Jango Fett is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He first appeared as one of the main antagonists in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and later served as the protagonist of the LucasArts video game Star Wars: Bounty Hunter, played by Temuera Morrison.Jango Fett serves as...

 (Temuera Morrison
Temuera Morrison
Temuera Derek Morrison is a New Zealand-born actor. He has become one of the country's most famous stars for his roles as the abusive Jake "the Muss" Heke in 1994's Once Were Warriors and as bounty hunter Jango Fett and the Clone Troopers in the Star Wars series...

) to assassinate Padmé, leading to a wild goose chase for Obi-Wan to kill Fett and find Dooku. Palpatine tells Anakin (Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen
Hayden Christensen is a Canadian actor. He appeared in Canadian television programs when he was young, then diversified into American television in the late 1990s. He moved on to minor acting roles before being praised for his role of Sam in Life as a House, for which he was nominated for a Golden...

) to bring Padmé to her home planet of Naboo and guard her; Anakin and Padmé soon fall in love. After Obi-Wan discovers that the Separatists are building a secret battle droid
Battle droid
Battle Droids are a fictional, robotic combat unit used in the Star Wars Universe. Though developed earlier, battle droids served as frontline units in the Trade Federation Army and for the Confederacy of Independent Systems during the Clone Wars era. They were mass produced on Confederate planets...

 army, Palpatine uses the situation to have himself granted emergency powers. Palpatine feigns reluctance to accept this authority, promising to return it to the Senate once the crisis has ended. His first act is to create an army of cloned human warriors
Clone trooper
The clone troopers of the Army of the Republic are soldiers in the fictional Star Wars universe, cloned from Jango Fett, a Mandalorian bounty hunter. They first appeared in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and returned in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith where they were played...

 to counter the Separatist threat. The clones had recently been discovered by Obi-Wan as having been secretly ordered by deceased Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas many years earlier. When Anakin, Obi-Wan, Padmé, and the other Jedi go to the planet Geonosis, they engage in an epic battle that serves as the opening salvo of the Clone Wars, but Dooku and the Separatists escape. Dooku then meets with Sidious, bringing with him plans for a Geonosian superweapon
Death Star
The Death Star is a fictional moon-sized space station and superweapon appearing in the Star Wars movies and expanded universe. It is capable of destroying a planet with a single destructive super charged energy beam.-Origin and design:...

.

In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is a 2005 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the sixth and final film released in the Star Wars saga and the third in terms of the series' internal chronology....

, set three years later, Palpatine is captured by Separatist leader General Grievous
General Grievous
General Grievous is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, an antagonist in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He was voiced by Matthew Wood...

 (Matthew Wood) as part of Darth Sidious' elaborate plan. Palpatine is rescued by Anakin and Obi-Wan, but not before the Jedi confront Count Dooku. A short duel ensues, in which Dooku knocks Obi-Wan unconscious, and goes after Anakin; the younger Jedi eventually overpowers Dooku, and then kills him in cold blood at Palpatine's urging. Palpatine then escapes with his Jedi rescuers and returns to Coruscant.

By this point, Palpatine has become a virtual dictator, able to take any action in the Senate. The Jedi Council
Jedi Council
The Jedi High Council is a fictional institution from the Star Wars film series. The Jedi Council are the strongest members of the Jedi Order, and are elected to lead the Jedi.-History:...

 is troubled by Palpatine's power and fears he will not relinquish it when the Clone Wars end — suspicions which only grow when the Senate grants Palpatine a vote on the Jedi Council. He appoints Anakin as his representative on the Jedi Council, but they refuse to grant Anakin the rank of Jedi Master. The Council then orders Anakin to spy on Palpatine, but he instead reveals the Jedi's plan to him. Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise, a powerful Sith Lord who was able to manipulate life and death, but was killed by his apprentice. Eventually, Palpatine reveals his secret identity to Anakin, and tempts him with promises of the power to prevent death. Palpatine knows that Anakin has been having visions of Padmé, who is now pregnant with Anakin's children, dying in childbirth, and offers to teach him Plagueis' secrets to save her life.

Confused and torn over his loyalty to both Palpatine and the Jedi, Anakin informs Jedi Master Mace Windu
Mace Windu
Mace Windu is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, most famously portrayed by actor Samuel L. Jackson in the prequel films. However, Windu has also been voiced by other actors in assorted video game and animated projects....

 (Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel Leroy Jackson is an American film and television actor and film producer. After becoming involved with the Civil Rights Movement, he moved on to acting in theater at Morehouse College, and then films. He had several small roles such as in the film Goodfellas before meeting his mentor,...

) that Palpatine is the Sith Lord Darth Sidious. Windu and fellow Council members Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin go to arrest Palpatine, but the Chancellor surprises them with a lightsaber and quickly dispatches Kolar and Tiin by means of a stab in the chest and a slash in the gut, respectively. It was only a matter of seconds before Fisto was killed by a slash in the gut as well. In the ensuing duel, Windu disarms his opponent. Palpatine unleashes Force lightning at Windu, who deflects it back with his lightsaber at Palpatine, deforming Palpatine's face into the wizened, yellow-eyed visage seen in the original films. Anakin appears and intercedes on Palpatine's behalf and cuts off Windu's hand, allowing Palpatine to shoot Windu with another blast of lightning, hurtling him through the window to his death. Palpatine then accepts Anakin as his new apprentice, Darth Vader
Darth Vader
Darth Vader is a central character in the Star Wars saga, appearing as one of the main antagonists in the original trilogy and as the main protagonist in the prequel trilogy....

.

Palpatine then sets the destruction of the Jedi
Great Jedi Purge
The Great Jedi Purge, or Order 66, is a major event in the Star Wars storyline. It is officially documented as a plot element in the 2005 film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, and is further referenced in the Star Wars Expanded Universe...

 in motion: He sends Vader to destroy the Jedi Temple with a battalion of troops, and instructs all of the clone troopers to kill their Jedi generals under a secret command known as Order 66. He then sends Vader to Mustafar
Mustafar
Mustafar is a fictional planet in the Star Wars universe. It is depicted in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.The planet is covered by hundreds of volcanic caldera, most of which are in a state of constant eruption...

 to assassinate the Separatist leaders. He announces to the Senate that the Jedi were planning to overthrow the Republic, and that the Republic will be reorganized into the Galactic Empire, with himself as Emperor for life. Jedi Master Yoda
Yoda
Yoda is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, appearing in the second and third original films, as well as all three prequel trilogy films. A renowned Jedi master, Yoda made his first on-screen appearance in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back where he is responsible for...

 (Frank Oz
Frank Oz
Frank Oz is a British-born American film director, actor, voice actor and puppeteer who is known for creating and performing the characters Miss Piggy and Fozzie Bear in The Muppet Show, Cookie Monster, Bert and Grover in Sesame Street, and for directing films, including the 1986 Little Shop of...

) survives the attempt on his life and confronts Palpatine in his Senate office. A lightsaber duel erupts between them which ends in stalemate when Yoda flees into exile. Sensing his apprentice is in danger, Palpatine travels to Mustafar, where he finds Vader maimed and burned almost to the point of death following a duel with Obi-Wan. Palpatine returns to Coruscant with Vader and provides him with the black armor suit first seen in the original trilogy. When Vader regains consciousness, Palpatine tells him that Padmé died in the heat of Vader's anger, breaking what remains of his apprentice's spirit. Palpatine is last seen watching the first Death Star under construction, with Vader and Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin
Governor Wilhuff Tarkin or Grand Moff Wilhuff Tarkin is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe, appearing as the main antagonist of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, played by British actor Peter Cushing. A younger version of the character makes a brief cameo in the prequel film Star Wars...

 (Wayne Pygram
Wayne Pygram
Wayne Pigram , better known by his stage name Wayne Pygram, is an Australian actor, known for his role as Scorpius in the science fiction series Farscape and the miniseries that followed, Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars .Pygram was born in Cootamundra, New South Wales and raised in Wagga Wagga,...

) at his side.

Clone Wars

2003 Animated Series

Palpatine is a central character in Genndy Tartakovsky
Genndy Tartakovsky
Genndy Borisovich Tartakovsky is a Russian-American television animator, director and producer. His best-known creations are Dexter's Laboratory, Samurai Jack, Star Wars: Clone Wars, and Sym-Bionic Titan...

's Star Wars: Clone Wars, an animated miniseries set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The character is based on McDiarmid's likeness in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. In the first chapter, Obi-Wan Kenobi informs Palpatine that the Jedi have discovered that the InterGalactic Banking Clan has established battle droid factories on the planet Muunilinst. Palpatine agrees to send a strike force that includes Obi-Wan and Anakin, but Palpatine suggests that Anakin be given "special command" of Obi-Wan's fighters. Yoda and Obi-Wan initially speak against it, but reluctantly concede to the Chancellor. In another chapter, Darth Sidious appears to Count Dooku as a holographic image shortly after Dooku trains Asajj Ventress
Asajj Ventress
Asajj Ventress is a fictional character from the Star Wars Expanded Universe. She is best known for her appearances in the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series, in which she is played by voice-actress Grey DeLisle and serves as Anakin Skywalker's arch nemesis during the first season...

, a Force-sensitive female warrior adept in the dark side. Sidious orders her to track down and kill Anakin Skywalker; he remarks to Count Dooku that her failure is certain, but the point of her mission is to test Anakin. Chapter 22 features the training of General Grievous by Count Dooku. Darth Sidious appears as a hologram and orders Grievous to begin the special mission: an assault on the galactic capital. The Separatist invasion of Coruscant begins in the next episode, and Palpatine watches from the window in his private residence. He is protected by Jedi Shaak Ti, Roron Corobb, and Foul Moudama. Grievous breaks through the Chancellor's window and kidnaps him. Grievous kills Roron and Foul and captures Shaak Ti as Palpatine is taken to the Invisible Hand, Grievous' flagship, setting the stage for Revenge of the Sith.

2008 Animated Series

In the 2008 animated film The Clone Wars
Star Wars: The Clone Wars (film)
Star Wars: The Clone Wars is a 2008 CGI animated science fiction/action film that takes place within the Star Wars saga, leading into the TV series of the same name. The film is set in the same time period as the 2003 Clone Wars television series...

, also set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, Darth Sidious engineers a Separatist plot to turn Jabba the Hutt
Jabba the Hutt
Jabba the Hutt is a fictional character in George Lucas's space opera film saga Star Wars. Designed as a large, slug-like alien, his appearance has been described by film critic Roger Ebert as "Dickensian," a cross between a toad and the Cheshire Cat....

 against the Republic by kidnapping his son, Rotta, and framing the Jedi for it. Anakin and his apprentice, Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka Tano
Ahsoka "Snips" Tano is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe and is the primary protagonist in the 2008 animated film: Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the following series. When the series began she was depicted as a 14-year-old Togruta female...

, foil the plot, but the outcome also suits Sidious' ends, since Jabba places Hutt hyperspace
Hyperspace (science fiction)
Hyperspace is a plot device sometimes used in science fiction. It is typically described as an alternative region of space co-existing with our own universe which may be entered using an energy field or other device...

 routes at the Republic's disposal.

In the spinoff animated series, Darth Sidious hires Cad Bane, the galaxy's deadliest bounty hunter
Bounty hunter
A bounty hunter captures fugitives for a monetary reward . Other names, mainly used in the United States, include bail enforcement agent and fugitive recovery agent.-Laws in the U.S.:...

, to infiltrate the Jedi Temple and steal a holocron. He then takes a valuable Kyber memory crystal, held by Bolla Ropal. The crystal contains the names of thousands of Force-sensitive younglings around the galaxy, and thus the future of the Jedi Order. The final stage of the plot: to retrieve four children to bring to Sidious' secret facility on the planet Mustafar. Bane kidnaps Zinn Toa and Wee Dunn and brings them there. Anakin and Ahsoka again foil the plot, but Bane escapes and any evidence of whoever was behind the scheme is lost.

Star Wars literature

Star Wars Expanded Universe
Star Wars Expanded Universe
The Star Wars Expanded Universe encompasses all of the officially licensed, fictional background of the Star Wars universe, outside of the six feature films produced by George Lucas. The expanded universe includes books, comic books, video games, spin-off films like Star Wars: The Clone Wars,...

 literature elaborates on Palpatine's role in Star Wars fiction outside of the films. The first appearance of Palpatine in Star Wars literature was in Alan Dean Foster
Alan Dean Foster
Alan Dean Foster is an American author of fantasy and science fiction. He currently resides in Prescott, Arizona, with his wife, and is also known for his novelizations of film scripts...

's (writing as George Lucas) novelization of the script of A New Hope, published as Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker
Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker
Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker is the title of a science fiction novel credited to George Lucas, but actually ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster and first published on November 12, 1976 by Ballantine Books....

 (1976). Foster characterizes Palpatine as a cunning Senator who "caused himself" to be elected president of the Republic, and then declared himself Emperor and isolated himself from his subjects, eventually becoming a pawn of his advisors.

Palpatine made his first major appearance in the Expanded Universe in 1991 and 1992 with the Dark Empire
Dark Empire I
Dark Empire was a series of comic books written by Tom Veitch and illustrated by Cam Kennedy. They were originally released by Dark Horse Comics in 1991 and 1992 as a 6-issue bi-monthly series, which were later compiled and sold in trade paperback form. The name also covers the trilogy which...

 series of comic books written by Tom Veitch
Tom Veitch
Tom Veitch is an American writer, best known for his contributions to the Dark Horse Comics line of Star Wars comic books, primarily Dark Empire and Tales of the Jedi. For DC Comics Veitch wrote Animal Man, along with two Elseworlds series featuring Kamandi and an elder Superman...

 and illustrated by Cam Kennedy
Cam Kennedy
Campbell Kennedy is a Scottish comics artist. He is best known for his work on 2000 AD, especially the flagship titles Judge Dredd and Rogue Trooper.-Biography:...

. In the series, set six years after Return of the Jedi, Palpatine is resurrected as the Emperor Reborn or Palpatine the Undying. His spirit returns from the underworld of the Force with the aid of Sith ghosts on Korriban and possesses
Spiritual possession
Spirit possession is a paranormal or supernatural event in which it is said that spirits, gods, demons, animas, extraterrestrials, or other disincarnate or extraterrestrial entities take control of a human body, resulting in noticeable changes in health and behaviour...

 the body of Jeng Droga, one of Palpatine's elite spies and assassins known as the Emperor's Hands. Droga flees to a secret Imperial base on the planet Byss, where the Emperor's advisor Sate Pestage exorcises
Exorcism
Exorcism is the religious practice of evicting demons or other spiritual entities from a person or place which they are believed to have possessed...

 Palpatine's spirit and channels it into one of many clones
Cloning
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

 created by Palpatine before his death. Palpatine attempts to resume control of the galaxy, but Luke Skywalker, who is now a Jedi Master, sabotages his plans. Luke destroys most of Palpatine's cloning tanks, but is only able to defeat the Emperor with help from his sister, Princess Leia, who is now herself a Jedi. The two repel a Force storm Palpatine had created and turn it back onto him, once again destroying his physical form.

Palpatine's ultimate fate is further chronicled in the Dark Empire II
Dark Empire II
Dark Empire II is the second trade paperback collecting a series of comic books written by Tom Veitch and illustrated by Cam Kennedy. It is preceded by Dark Empire I and followed by Empire's End.-Synopsis:...

 and Empire's End
Empire's End
Empire's End is a trade paperback collecting a series of comic books written by Tom Veitch and illustrated by Jim Baikie, published in 1997...

 series of comics. The Dark Empire II series, published from 1994 to 1995, details how the Emperor is once again reborn on Byss into a clone body. Palpatine tries to rebuild the Empire as the Rebel Alliance grows weak. In Empire's End (1995), a traitorous Imperial guard bribes Palpatine's cloning supervisor to tamper with the Emperor's stored DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 samples. This causes the clones to deteriorate at a rapid rate. Palpatine attempts to possess the body of Anakin Solo, the infant son of Princess Leia and Han Solo
Han Solo
Han Solo is a fictional character in the Star Wars franchise played by Harrison Ford. Introduced in the film Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope , Solo and his Wookiee co-pilot, Chewbacca , become involved in the Rebel Alliance against the Galactic Empire...

, before the clone body dies, but is thwarted once again by Luke Skywalker. Palpatine is killed by a blaster shot fired by Han, and his spirit is captured by a wounded Jedi named Empatojayos Brand, who uses his remaining strength to dissipate Palpatine's spirit, destroying the Sith Lord once and for all.

Novels and comics published before 1999 focus on Palpatine's role as Galactic Emperor. Shadows of the Empire (1996) by Steve Perry
Steve Perry (author)
Steve Perry is an American television writer and science fiction author.-Biography:Perry is a native of the Deep South. His residences have included Louisiana, California, Washington and Oregon...

 and The Mandalorian Armor
The Mandalorian Armor
The Mandalorian Armor is a Star Wars Expanded Universe novel.-Plot:The book mainly talks about the web in which Boba Fett is trapped. The book is set shortly after Jabba the Hutt's barge is destroyed and flashes back to when the Bounty Hunters Guild still existed.This book is set during the events...

 (1998) by K. W. Jeter
K. W. Jeter
Kevin Wayne Jeter is an American science fiction and horror author known for his literary writing style, dark themes, and paranoid, unsympathetic characters...

—all set between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi—show how Palpatine uses crime lords such as Prince Xizor and bounty hunter
Bounty hunter
A bounty hunter captures fugitives for a monetary reward . Other names, mainly used in the United States, include bail enforcement agent and fugitive recovery agent.-Laws in the U.S.:...

s like Boba Fett
Boba Fett
Boba Fett is a character in Star Wars. A bounty hunter hired by Darth Vader to find the Millennium Falcon, he is a minor villain in both Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi....

 to fight his enemies. Barbara Hambly
Barbara Hambly
Barbara Hambly is an award-winning and prolific American novelist and screenwriter within the genres of fantasy, science fiction, mystery, and historical fiction...

's novel Children of the Jedi
Children of the Jedi
Children of the Jedi is a 1995 bestselling fictional Star Wars novel written by Barbara Hambly. The novel is set several months after the Jedi Academy Trilogy in the Star Wars Expanded Universe timeline. Moreover, it serves as book one in a three book cycle involving Callista, an ex-Jedi Knight....

 (1995), set eight years after Return of the Jedi, features a woman named Roganda Ismaren who claims that Palpatine fathered her son Irek. The Jedi Prince
Jedi Prince
The Jedi Prince series is a series of science fiction novels set in the Star Wars galaxy, written by Paul Davids and Hollace Davids. They were published by Bantam Skylark...

 series of novels introduces an insane, three-eyed mutant
Mutant
In biology and especially genetics, a mutant is an individual, organism, or new genetic character, arising or resulting from an instance of mutation, which is a base-pair sequence change within the DNA of a gene or chromosome of an organism resulting in the creation of a new character or trait not...

 named Triclops who is revealed to be Palpatine's illegitimate son. Created from DNA
DNA
Deoxyribonucleic acid is a nucleic acid that contains the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms . The DNA segments that carry this genetic information are called genes, but other DNA sequences have structural purposes, or are involved in...

 extracted from Palpatine and placed into a woman, he was born mutated, cast away and forgotten. Triclops had a son named Ken who became known as the Jedi Prince but also as Palpatine's grandson.

Beginning in 1999 with Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks
Terence Dean "Terry" Brooks is an American writer of fantasy fiction. He writes mainly epic fantasy, and has also written two movie novelizations. He has written 23 New York Times bestsellers during his writing career, and has over 21 million copies of his books in print...

' novelization of The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (novel)
The Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace novelization was written by Terry Brooks and published on 21 April 1999 by Del Rey. It is based on the script of the film of the same name and released with multiple covers, including Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Queen Amidala.-...

, Star Wars writers chronicled the role of Palpatine prior to A New Hope as a politician and Sith Lord. The comic "Marked" by Rob Williams, printed in Star Wars Tales 24 (2005), and Michael Reaves
Michael Reaves
James Michael Reaves is an American writer, known for his contributions as producer and story editor to a number of 1990s animated television series, including Disney's Gargoyles and Batman: The Animated Series. He has also written media tie-in novels, children's books, and original fiction...

's novel Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter
Darth Maul: Shadow Hunter is a 2001 novel set in the Star Wars galaxy. It is a prequel novel occurring before the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The book was written by Michael Reaves. The cover art was by David Stevenson...

 (2001) explain Darth Sidious' relationship with his apprentice Darth Maul. Cloak of Deception
Cloak of Deception
Cloak of Deception is a 2002 novel set in the Star Wars galaxy. It is a prequel novel occurring before the events of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The book was written by James Luceno. The cover art was by Steven Anderson...

 (2001) by James Luceno
James Luceno
James Luceno is The New York Times bestselling author of three Star Wars: The New Jedi Order novels, Agents of Chaos: Hero's Trial, Agents of Chaos: Jedi Eclipse and The Unifying Force....

 follows Reaves's novel and details how Darth Sidious encourages the Trade Federation to build an army of battle droids in preparation for the invasion of Naboo. Cloak of Deception also focuses on Palpatine's early political career, revealing how he becomes a confidante of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum and acquainted with Padmé Amidala, newly elected queen of Naboo. Palpatine's role during the Clone Wars as Supreme Chancellor and Darth Sidious is explained in novels such as Matthew Stover
Matthew Stover
Matthew Woodring Stover is an American fantasy and science fiction novelist. He is perhaps best known for his four Star Wars novels, including the novelization of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He has also written several fantasy novels, including Iron Dawn and Jericho Moon...

's Shatterpoint
Shatterpoint
Shatterpoint is a science fiction novel by Matthew Stover set in the Star Wars universe. Star Wars creator George Lucas wrote the prologue to the novel. Its main character is Jedi Master Mace Windu. Stover based Shatterpoint on both Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, and the film Apocalypse...

 (2003), Steven Barnes
Steven Barnes
Steven Barnes is an African American science fiction writer, lecturer, creative consultant, and human performance technician....

' The Cestus Deception
The Cestus Deception
The Cestus Deception is a science fiction novel by Steven Barnes set in the Star Wars galaxy during the Clone Wars. The book takes place one year after the Battle of Geonosis in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones, and 21 years before the Battle of Yavin in Episode IV: A New...

 (2004), Sean Stewart
Sean Stewart
Sean Stewart is a U.S.-Canadian science fiction and fantasy author.Born in Lubbock, Texas, Sean Stewart moved to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada in 1968...

's Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
Yoda: Dark Rendezvous
Yoda: Dark Rendezvous is a 2004 Star Wars novel written by Sean Stewart and published by Del Rey. It is set in the Expanded Universe during the Clone Wars conflict between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.-Plot:...

 (2004), and Luceno's Labyrinth of Evil
Labyrinth of Evil
Labyrinth of Evil is a 2005 novel by James Luceno set in the fictional Star Wars universe. The events of this novel occur just before Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, overlapping with the events of the second season of Star Wars: Clone Wars.-Summary:On the planet Cato Neimoidia, Jedi...

 (2005).

Following the theatrical release of Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars literature focused on Palpatine's role after the creation of the Empire. John Ostrander
John Ostrander
John Ostrander is an American writer of comic books. He is best known for his work on Suicide Squad, Grimjack and Star Wars: Legacy, series he helped create.-Career:...

's comic Star Wars Republic 78: Loyalties (2005) chronicles how, shortly after seizing power, Emperor Palpatine sends Darth Vader to assassinate Sagoro Autem, an Imperial captain who wants nothing to do with the new government and plans to defect. In Luceno's novel Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader
Dark Lord: The Rise of Darth Vader is a novel set in the Star Wars universe, written by James Luceno, that was published by Del Rey on November 22, 2005...

 (2005), set shortly after Revenge of the Sith, the Emperor sends Darth Vader to the planet Murkhana to discover why clone troopers there refused to carry out Order 66 against their Jedi generals. Palpatine hopes these early missions will teach Vader what it means to be a Sith and crush any remnants of Anakin Skywalker.

Characteristics

In Star Wars fiction, Palpatine is a manipulative
Psychological manipulation
Psychological manipulation is a type of social influence that aims to change the perception or behavior of others through underhanded, deceptive, or even abusive tactics. By advancing the interests of the manipulator, often at the other's expense, such methods could be considered exploitative,...

 politician, a ruthless emperor, and an evil Sith Lord. The Star Wars Databank
Star Wars Databank
The Star Wars Databank is the official Star Wars site's reference on characters, locations and technology. Entries are checked when they are posted but may not be kept up to date...

 describes him as "the supreme ruler of the most powerful tyrannical regime the galaxy had ever witnessed" and Stephen J. Sansweet's Star Wars Encyclopedia
Star Wars Encyclopedia
Star Wars Encyclopedia is a 1998 reference book written by Stephen J. Sansweet, the director of content management at Lucasfilm and science fiction author. The book defines, explains, and illustrates the characters, creatures, settings, objects, events, and concepts that appear in the science...

 calls him "evil incarnate."

As a Senator, Palpatine is "unassuming yet ambitious". In Cloak of Deception, James Luceno writes that Palpatine carefully guards his privacy and "others found his reclusiveness intriguing, as if he led a secret life". Despite this, he has many allies in the government. Luceno writes, "What Palpatine lacked in charisma, he made up for in candor, and it was that directness that had led to his widespread appeal in the senate. ... For in his heart he judged the universe on his own terms, with a clear sense of right and wrong." In Terry Brooks
Terry Brooks
Terence Dean "Terry" Brooks is an American writer of fantasy fiction. He writes mainly epic fantasy, and has also written two movie novelizations. He has written 23 New York Times bestsellers during his writing career, and has over 21 million copies of his books in print...

' novelization of The Phantom Menace
Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (novel)
The Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace novelization was written by Terry Brooks and published on 21 April 1999 by Del Rey. It is based on the script of the film of the same name and released with multiple covers, including Darth Maul, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker and Queen Amidala.-...

, Senator Palpatine claims to embrace democratic principles. He tells Queen Amidala, "I promise, Your Majesty, if I am elected [Supreme Chancellor], I will restore democracy to the Republic. I will put an end to the corruption that has plagued the Senate." A Visual Dictionary states that he is a self-proclaimed savior.

As Emperor, however, Palpatine abandons any semblance of democracy, as noted in A New Hope, when he abolishes the Imperial Senate. Sansweet states, "His Empire ... is based on tyranny, hatred of nonhumans, brutal and lethal force, and, above all else, constant fear." In Matthew Stover
Matthew Stover
Matthew Woodring Stover is an American fantasy and science fiction novelist. He is perhaps best known for his four Star Wars novels, including the novelization of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. He has also written several fantasy novels, including Iron Dawn and Jericho Moon...

's novelization of Revenge of the Sith
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (novel)
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith is a novelization of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith written by Matthew Stover and published on April 2, 2005 by Del Rey Books....

, Count Dooku anticipates the coming of the new government: "A government clean, pure, direct: none of the messy scramble for the favor of ignorant rabble and subhuman creatures that made up the Republic he so despised. The government he would serve would be Authority personified. Human authority."

The apprentice of Darth Plagueis, Palpatine is "the most powerful practitioner of the Sith ways in modern times." Palpatine is so powerful that he is able to mask his true identity from the Jedi. In the novel Shatterpoint
Shatterpoint
Shatterpoint is a science fiction novel by Matthew Stover set in the Star Wars universe. Star Wars creator George Lucas wrote the prologue to the novel. Its main character is Jedi Master Mace Windu. Stover based Shatterpoint on both Joseph Conrad's novel Heart of Darkness, and the film Apocalypse...

, Mace Windu remarks to Yoda, "A shame [Palpatine] can't touch the Force. He might have been a fine Jedi."

The Star Wars Databank moreover explains that the Force "granted him inhuman dexterity and speed, agility enough to quickly kill three Jedi Masters" (as depicted in Revenge of the Sith). Stover describes the duel between Yoda and Palpatine in his novelization of Revenge of the Sith thus: "From the shadow of a black wing, a small weapon ... slid into a withered hand and spat a flame-colored blade[.] When the blades met it was more than Yoda against Palpatine, more the millennia of Sith against the legions of Jedi; this was the expression of the fundamental conflict of the universe itself. Light against dark. Winner take all." During the duel, Yoda realizes that Palpatine is in fact a superior warrior, and that he represents a small but powerful Sith Order that had changed and evolved over the years, while the Jedi had not: "He had lost before he started."

According to the Databank and New Essential Guide to Characters, Palpatine possesses great patience and his maneuverings are as a dejarik
Star Wars Expanded Universe
The Star Wars Expanded Universe encompasses all of the officially licensed, fictional background of the Star Wars universe, outside of the six feature films produced by George Lucas. The expanded universe includes books, comic books, video games, spin-off films like Star Wars: The Clone Wars,...

 grandmaster moves pieces on a board. He is depicted as a diabolical genius
Genius
Genius is something or someone embodying exceptional intellectual ability, creativity, or originality, typically to a degree that is associated with the achievement of unprecedented insight....

.

Character creation

Lucas' conceptualization of Palpatine and the role the character plays in Star Wars changed over time. From Return of the Jedi onwards, Palpatine became the ultimate personification of evil in Star Wars, replacing Darth Vader as the central villain.

When the original Star Wars trilogy was filmed, the Emperor was unnamed and his throne-world unidentified. Though it would not be used in film until the prequel trilogy, the first mention of the name Palpatine came from the prologue of Alan Dean Foster
Alan Dean Foster
Alan Dean Foster is an American author of fantasy and science fiction. He currently resides in Prescott, Arizona, with his wife, and is also known for his novelizations of film scripts...

's 1976 A New Hope novelization, which detailed the Emperor's rise to power. Foster writes,
However, it is unclear whether Lucas intended Palpatine to be the reigning Emperor or just the first of a succession of Emperors. Michael Kaminski, author of The Secret History of Star Wars, claims that Lucas' initial notes discuss a line of corrupt Emperors, not just one. If Palpatine was the first, Kaminski infers, he would therefore not be the current. Later Lucas would abandon this idea, opting instead to focus on a sole villainous ruler.

During story conferences for The Empire Strikes Back, Lucas and Leigh Brackett
Leigh Brackett
Leigh Douglass Brackett was an American author, particularly of science fiction. She was also a screenwriter, known for her work on famous films such as The Big Sleep , Rio Bravo , The Long Goodbye and The Empire Strikes Back .-Life:Leigh Brackett was born and grew up in Los Angeles, California...

 decided that "the Emperor and the Force had to be the two main concerns in the [Empire Strikes Back]; the Emperor had barely been dealt with in the first movie, and the intention in the sequel was to deal with him on a more concrete level." Lucas ultimately decided instead to feature the Emperor in Return of the Jedi.

In that film, the initial conception of Palpatine was superseded by his depiction as a powerful, dictatorial ruler adept in the dark side of the Force. The Emperor was inspired by the villain Ming the Merciless
Ming the Merciless
Ming the Merciless is a fictional character who first appeared in the Flash Gordon comic strip in 1934. He has since been the main villain of the strip and its related movie serials, TV shows and film adaptation.- First appearance :...

 from the Flash Gordon
Flash Gordon
Flash Gordon is the hero of a science fiction adventure comic strip originally drawn by Alex Raymond. First published January 7, 1934, the strip was inspired by and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip. Also inspired by these series were comics such as Dash...

 comic books. Lucas explained in an interview that he also patterned the Emperor after several historical figures, including Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire....

, Joseph Stalin
Joseph Stalin
Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was the Premier of the Soviet Union from 6 May 1941 to 5 March 1953. He was among the Bolshevik revolutionaries who brought about the October Revolution and had held the position of first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union's Central Committee...

, Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler
Adolf Hitler was an Austrian-born German politician and the leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party , commonly referred to as the Nazi Party). He was Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and head of state from 1934 to 1945...

, Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 and Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Marcos
Ferdinand Emmanuel Edralin Marcos, Sr. was a Filipino leader and an authoritarian President of the Philippines from 1965 to 1986. He was a lawyer, member of the Philippine House of Representatives and a member of the Philippine Senate...

. Lucas said, "The whole point of the movies, the underlying element that makes the movies work, is that you, whether you go backwards or forwards, you start out in a democracy, and democracy turns into a dictatorship, and then the rebels make it back into a democracy."

Lucas wanted to establish the Emperor as the true source of evil in Star Wars. Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan
Lawrence Kasdan
Lawrence Edward "Larry" Kasdan is an American film producer, director and screenwriter.-Life and career:Kasdan was born in Miami, Florida, the son of Sylvia Sarah , an employment counselor, and Clarence Norman Kasdan, who managed retail electronics stores.His Brother is the writer/producer Mark...

 noted, "My sense of the relationship [between Darth Vader and the Emperor] is that the Emperor is much more powerful ... and that Vader is very much intimidated by him. Vader has dignity, but the Emperor in Jedi really has all the power." He explained that the climax
Climax (narrative)
The Climax is the point in the story where the main character's point of view changes, or the most exciting/action filled part of the story. It also known has the main turning point in the story...

 of the film is a confrontation between Darth Vader and his master. In the first scene that shows the Emperor, he arrives at the Death Star and is greeted by a host of stormtroopers
Imperial stormtrooper
The Imperial Stormtroopers are fictional soldiers from George Lucas' Star Wars universe. Stormtroopers are the soldiers of the imperial army under the leadership of the evil Sith Lord and Emperor Palpatine and his commanders, most notably Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin.They are shown in...

, technicians, and other personnel. Lucas states he wanted it to look like the military parades on "May Day in Russia
Soviet Union
The Soviet Union , officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics , was a constitutionally socialist state that existed in Eurasia between 1922 and 1991....

."

Lucas fleshed out the Emperor in the prequel films. According to Lucas, Palpatine's role in The Phantom Menace is to explain "how Anakin Skywalker came to be [Palpatine's] apprentice" and the events that lead to his rise to power. The true identity of Darth Sidious — the phantom menace — is left a mystery, and his relationship to Palpatine is not clear, though popular consensus agreed that Darth Sidious and Palpatine were one and the same. Film critic Jonathan L. Bowen remarks, "Debates raged on the Internet
Internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 concerning the relationship between Darth Sidious and Senator Palpatine. Most fans believed the two characters are actually the same person with logic seeming to support their conclusion." Bowen notes that the debate was fueled by the fact that "suspiciously Darth Sidious does not appear in the credits."

Portrayal

When the Emperor first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, he was portrayed by Elaine Baker, the wife of make-up designer Rick Baker. Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee
Chimpanzee, sometimes colloquially chimp, is the common name for the two extant species of ape in the genus Pan. The Congo River forms the boundary between the native habitat of the two species:...

 eyes were superimposed into darkened eye sockets during post-production "in order to create a truly unsettling image". The character was voiced by Clive Revill
Clive Revill
Clive Selsby Revill is a New Zealand-born British character actor best known for his performances in musical theatre and on the London stage.-Early life and stage career:...

.

"With Kershner," Revill said, "you had to keep the reins tight — you couldn't go overboard. It was the perfect example of the old adage 'less is more' — the Emperor doesn't say very much. But when he finally appears, it's at a point in the saga when everyone's waiting to see him. It's the Emperor, the arch villain of all time, and when he says there's a great disturbance in the Force, I mean, that's enough oomph!" Years later, during production of Revenge of the Sith, Lucas decided to shoot new footage for Empire Strikes Back to create continuity
Continuity (fiction)
In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer over some period of time...

 between the prequels and original trilogy. Thus, in the 2004 DVD release of The Empire Strikes Back Special Edition, the original version of the Emperor was replaced by McDiarmid, and the dialogue between the Emperor and Darth Vader was revised.

Lucas and Return of the Jedi director Richard Marquand
Richard Marquand
Richard Marquand was a Welsh film director best known for directing the 1983 blockbuster Star Wars film, Return of the Jedi.-Early life:...

 cast Scottish
Scottish people
The Scottish people , or Scots, are a nation and ethnic group native to Scotland. Historically they emerged from an amalgamation of the Picts and Gaels, incorporating neighbouring Britons to the south as well as invading Germanic peoples such as the Anglo-Saxons and the Norse.In modern use,...

 actor Ian McDiarmid to play Emperor Palpatine. He was in his late-30s and had never played a leading role in a feature film, though he had made minor appearances in films like Dragonslayer
Dragonslayer
Dragonslayer is a 1981 fantasy movie set in a fictional medieval kingdom, following a young wizard who experiences danger and opposition as he attempts to defeat a dragon....

 (1981). After Return of the Jedi, he resumed stage acting in London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. In an interview with BackStage, McDiarmid revealed that he "never had his sights set on a film career and never even auditioned for the role of Palpatine." He elaborated, "I got called in for the interview after a Return of the Jedi casting director saw me perform in the Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard
Sam Shepard is an American playwright, actor, and television and film director. He is the author of several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs, and received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child...

 play Seduced at a studio theatre at the Royal Court
Royal Court Theatre
The Royal Court Theatre is a non-commercial theatre on Sloane Square, in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is noted for its contributions to modern theatre...

. I was playing a dying Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was an American business magnate, investor, aviator, engineer, film producer, director, and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world...

."

McDiarmid was surprised when Lucas approached him 16 years after Return of the Jedi to reprise the role of Palpatine. In an interview, he stated, "When we were doing Return of the Jedi there was a rumor that George Lucas had nine films in his head, and he'd clearly just completed three of them." McDiarmid added, "Someone said that, 'Oh, I think what he might do next is go back in time, and show how Vader came to be.' It never occurred to me in a million years that I would be involved in that, because I thought, 'oh well, then he'll get a much younger actor [to play Palpatine].' That would be obvious." However, "I was the right age, ironically, for the first prequel when it was made. ... So I was in the very strange and rather wonderful paradox of playing myself when young at my own age, having played myself previously when 100-and-I-don't-know-what."

Recalling the initial days of shooting The Phantom Menace, McDiarmid stated, "Stepping onto the set of Episode I for the first time was like going back in time, due to my experience in Jedi. Palpatine's an interesting character; he's conventional on the outside, but demonic on the inside — he's on the edge, trying to go beyond what's possible." McDiarmid added another layer to the character in Attack of the Clones. He noted, "[Palpatine] is a supreme actor. He has to be even more convincing than somebody who isn't behaving in a schizophrenic
Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a disintegration of thought processes and of emotional responsiveness. It most commonly manifests itself as auditory hallucinations, paranoid or bizarre delusions, or disorganized speech and thinking, and it is accompanied by significant social...

 fashion, so he's extra charming, or extra professional — and for those who are looking for clues, that's almost where you can see them." McDiarmid illuminated on the scene where Padmé Amidala is almost assassinated:
In Revenge of the Sith, McDiarmid played a darker interpretation of the character. He explained that "[...]when you're playing a character of solid blackness, that in itself is very interesting, in the sense that you have no other motivation other than the accumulation of power. It's not so much about not having a moral center, it's just that the only thing that mattered is increasing power." He admitted, "I've been trying to find a redeeming feature to Palpatine, and the only one I've got so far is that he's clearly a patron of the arts because he goes to the opera
Opera
Opera is an art form in which singers and musicians perform a dramatic work combining text and musical score, usually in a theatrical setting. Opera incorporates many of the elements of spoken theatre, such as acting, scenery, and costumes and sometimes includes dance...

." McDiarmid compared the character to Iago
Iago
Iago is a fictional character in Shakespeare's Othello . The character's source is traced to Giovanni Battista Giraldi Cinthio's tale "Un Capitano Moro" in Gli Hecatommithi . There, the character is simply "the ensign". Iago is a soldier and Othello's ancient . He is the husband of Emilia,...

 from Shakespeare's Othello
Othello
The Tragedy of Othello, the Moor of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in approximately 1603, and based on the Italian short story "Un Capitano Moro" by Cinthio, a disciple of Boccaccio, first published in 1565...

:
McDiarmid noticed that the script for Revenge of the Sith demanded more action from his character than in previous films. Lightsaber combat was a challenge to the 60-year-old actor, who, like his costars, took fencing
Fencing
Fencing, which is also known as modern fencing to distinguish it from historical fencing, is a family of combat sports using bladed weapons.Fencing is one of four sports which have been featured at every one of the modern Olympic Games...

 lessons. The close-up shots and non-acrobatic sequences of the duel between Palpatine and Mace Windu were performed by McDiarmid. Advanced fencing and acrobatic stunts were executed by McDiarmid's doubles, Michael Byrne, Sebastian Dickins, and Bob Bowles.

McDiarmid's performance as Palpatine was generally well-received by critics. Todd McCarthy
Todd McCarthy
Todd McCarthy is an American film critic. He wrote for Variety for 31 years as its chief film critic before being fired in 2010. He is currently a critic for The Hollywood Reporter....

 of Variety
Variety (magazine)
Variety is an American weekly entertainment-trade magazine founded in New York City, New York, in 1905 by Sime Silverman. With the rise of the importance of the motion-picture industry, Daily Variety, a daily edition based in Los Angeles, California, was founded by Silverman in 1933. In 1998, the...

 commented, "Entertaining from start to finish and even enthralling at times, 'Sith' has some acting worth writing home about, specifically McDiarmid's dominant turn as the mastermind of the evil empire." A reviewer for The Village Voice
The Village Voice
The Village Voice is a free weekly newspaper and news and features website in New York City that features investigative articles, analysis of current affairs and culture, arts and music coverage, and events listings for New York City...

 wrote that "Ian McDiarmid's unctuous Emperor turns appropriately vampiric
Vampire
Vampires are mythological or folkloric beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of living creatures, regardless of whether they are undead or a living person...

 as he attempts to draw Anakin into the Sith fold with promises of eternal life." Still, his performance was not without detractors; David Edelstein
David Edelstein
David Edelstein is the chief film critic for New York Magazine, as well as the film critic for NPR's Fresh Air and CBS Sunday Morning. He lives in Brooklyn, New York....

 of Slate
Slate (magazine)
Slate is a US-based English language online current affairs and culture magazine created in 1996 by former New Republic editor Michael Kinsley, initially under the ownership of Microsoft as part of MSN. On 21 December 2004 it was purchased by the Washington Post Company...

 critiqued, "McDiarmid isn't the subtlest of satanic tempters. With his lisp and his clammy little leer, he looks like an old queen keen on trading an aging butt-boy (Count Dooku) for fresh meat — which leaves Anakin looking more and more like a 15-watt bulb."

Make-up and costumes

Ian McDiarmid required little make-up in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. He recalled, "I'm ... slightly aged [in Attack of the Clones]. In the last film, I had a fairly standard make-up on, but now, they're starting to crinkle my face." Transforming McDiarmid into Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi and Revenge of the Sith, however, required extensive make-up. McDiarmid remarked in an interview with Star Wars Insider
Star Wars Insider
Star Wars Insider is the official Star Wars magazine. Its contents include stories, articles relating to the Star Wars universe, letters, and the fan newsletter "Bantha Tracks". It began in 1987 as the official magazine of The Lucasfilm Fan Club...

 magazine, "Yes—that was a four-hour job, initially, although we got it down to about two-and-a-half in the end. But this was just a little bit of latex
Latex
Latex is the stable dispersion of polymer microparticles in an aqueous medium. Latexes may be natural or synthetic.Latex as found in nature is a milky fluid found in 10% of all flowering plants . It is a complex emulsion consisting of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, resins,...

 here and there, a little bit of skin-scrunching." He told the Homing Beacon
Homing beacon
A homing beacon is a radio or acoustic device that allows the user to track a ship, aircraft, an animal, or another individual. Depending on the beacon, the range can be as short as a hundred metres, or, in science fiction, allow for tracking a ship through hyperspace....

 newsletter, "When my face changes in the film, my mind went back to the early silent movie
Silent Movie
Silent Movie is a 1976 satirical comedy film co-written, directed by, and starring Mel Brooks, and released by 20th Century Fox on June 17, 1976...

 of The Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera (1925 film)
The Phantom of the Opera is a 1925 American silent horror film adaptation of the Gaston Leroux novel of the same title directed by Rupert Julian. The film featured Lon Chaney in the title role as the deformed Phantom who haunts the Paris Opera House, causing murder and mayhem in an attempt to force...

 with Lon Chaney
Lon Chaney, Sr.
Lon Chaney , nicknamed "The Man of a Thousand Faces," was an American actor during the age of silent films. He was one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema...

." Film critic Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

 wrote that he "looks uncannily like Death
Death (personification)
The concept of death as a sentient entity has existed in many societies since the beginning of history. In English, Death is often given the name Grim Reaper and, from the 15th century onwards, came to be shown as a skeletal figure carrying a large scythe and clothed in a black cloak with a hood...

 in The Seventh Seal
The Seventh Seal
The Seventh Seal is a 1957 Swedish film written and directed by Ingmar Bergman. Set during the Black Death, it tells of the journey of a medieval knight and a game of chess he plays with the personification of Death , who has come to take his life. Bergman developed the film from his own play...

" (1957) and film historian Robin Wood compares him to the witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937 film)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a 1937 American animated film based on Snow White, a German fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. It was the first full-length cel-animated feature in motion picture history, as well as the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full...

.

Palpatine's wardrobe, tailored by costume designer Trisha Biggar, played an important part in the development of the character throughout the films. In Attack of the Clones, explained McDiarmid, "The costumes ... have got much more edge to them, I think, than the mere Senator had [in The Phantom Menace]. So we see the trappings of power." In the next episode, McDiarmid remarked, "To wear the costumes as the character I play is wonderfully empowering." McDiarmid's favorite costume in Revenge of the Sith was a high-collared jacket that resembles snake
Snake
Snakes are elongate, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes that can be distinguished from legless lizards by their lack of eyelids and external ears. Like all squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales...

 or lizard
Lizard
Lizards are a widespread group of squamate reptiles, with nearly 3800 species, ranging across all continents except Antarctica as well as most oceanic island chains...

 skin. He stated that "it just feels reptilian, which is exactly right for [Palpatine]." According to Trisha Biggar, Palpatine's costumes proved the most daunting challenge. She said, "His six costumes get progressively darker and more ornately decorated throughout the movie. He wears greys and browns, almost going to black, taking him toward the dark side."

Popular culture

With the premiere of Return of the Jedi and the prequel films and the accompanying merchandising campaign, Palpatine became an icon in American popular culture
Popular culture
Popular culture is the totality of ideas, perspectives, attitudes, memes, images and other phenomena that are deemed preferred per an informal consensus within the mainstream of a given culture, especially Western culture of the early to mid 20th century and the emerging global mainstream of the...

. Kenner
Kenner
Kenner Products was a toy company founded in 1947 by three brothers, Albert, Phillip, and Joseph L. Steiner, in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, and was named after the street where the original corporate offices were located, which is just north of Cincinnati's Union Terminal.Kenner introduced its...

/Hasbro
Hasbro
Hasbro is a multinational toy and boardgame company from the United States of America. It is one of the largest toy makers in the world. The corporate headquarters is located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, United States...

 produced and marketed a series of action figures of the character from 1983 to 2005. According to John Shelton Lawrence
John Shelton Lawrence
John Shelton Lawrence is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, United States. His initial major publication, The American Monomyth, written with Robert Jewett, was published in 1977.-Career:...

 and Robert Jewett, "These action figures allow children ('4 & up') to handle the symbols of the Force."

Academics have debated the relationship of Palpatine to modern culture. Religion scholars Ross Shepard Kraemer, William Cassidy, and Susan Schwartz compare Palpatine and Star Wars heroes to the theological
Theology
Theology is the systematic and rational study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truths, or the learned profession acquired by completing specialized training in religious studies, usually at a university or school of divinity or seminary.-Definition:Augustine of Hippo...

 concept of dualism. They insist, "One can certainly picture the evil emperor in Star Wars as Satan
Satan
Satan , "the opposer", is the title of various entities, both human and divine, who challenge the faith of humans in the Hebrew Bible...

, complete with his infernal powers, leading his faceless minions such as his red-robed Imperial Guards." Lawrence and Jewett argue that the killing of Palpatine in Return of the Jedi represented "the permanent subduing of evil".

Palpatine's role in popular culture extends beyond the Star Wars universe
Fictional universe
A fictional universe is a self-consistent fictional setting with elements that differ from the real world. It may also be called an imagined, constructed or fictional realm ....

. Since the release of Return of the Jedi, Palpatine has become synonymous in American mass media
Mass media
Mass media refers collectively to all media technologies which are intended to reach a large audience via mass communication. Broadcast media transmit their information electronically and comprise of television, film and radio, movies, CDs, DVDs and some other gadgets like cameras or video consoles...

 with evil, deception, manipulation, and power. The character is used as a literary device—either as a simile
Simile
A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two different things, usually by employing the words "like", "as". Even though both similes and metaphors are forms of comparison, similes indirectly compare the two ideas and allow them to remain distinct in spite of their similarities, whereas...

 or metaphor
Metaphor
A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses an image, story or tangible thing to represent a less tangible thing or some intangible quality or idea; e.g., "Her eyes were glistening jewels." Metaphor may also be used for any rhetorical figures of speech that achieve their effects via...

—to emphasize these traits. For example, one of the characters from Orland Outland's novel Every Man for Himself (1999) is described as "rubbing his hands together in imitation of the emperor in Return of the Jedi." He says, "Everything is happening exactly as I have foreseen!"

In film and television, Palpatine's likeness is similarly used as a parody. Animated television series such as The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

, American Dad!
American Dad!
American Dad! is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane and owned by Underdog Productions and Fuzzy Door Productions. It is produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television...

, South Park
South Park
South Park is an American animated television series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the Comedy Central television network. Intended for mature audiences, the show has become famous for its crude language, surreal, satirical, and dark humor that lampoons a wide range of topics...

, Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken
Robot Chicken is an American stop motion animated television series created and executive produced by Seth Green and Matthew Senreich along with co-head writers Douglas Goldstein and Tom Root. Green provides many voices for the show...

, and Family Guy
Family Guy
Family Guy is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Griffins, a dysfunctional family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog Brian...

 have employed Palpatine's image to satirize characters and public figures. For instance, "Deacon Stan, Jesus Man," an episode of American Dad!
American Dad!
American Dad! is an American animated television series created by Seth MacFarlane and owned by Underdog Productions and Fuzzy Door Productions. It is produced in association with 20th Century Fox Television...

 portrays George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

's then-current senior advisor, Karl Rove
Karl Rove
Karl Christian Rove was Senior Advisor and Deputy Chief of Staff to former President George W. Bush until Rove's resignation on August 31, 2007. He has headed the Office of Political Affairs, the Office of Public Liaison, and the White House Office of Strategic Initiatives...

, as Palpatine from Revenge of the Sith. The main character, Stan Smith
Stan Smith (American Dad!)
Stan Smith is a character from the animated television series American Dad!. Stan is a Central Intelligence Agency officer. Although once a case officer, he is now a weapons expert. Stan is voiced by the series' creator and executive producer, Seth MacFarlane.-Summary:Stan Smith born 12 February,...

, uses Rove to help him become a deacon at his church through deceit. In Fanboy and Chum Chum
Fanboy and Chum Chum
Fanboy and Chum Chum is an American CGI animated television series produced by Frederator Studios. It is based on a first episode/short from Frederator's Random! Cartoons called Fanboy...

, there is a parody of him called Janitor
Janitor
A janitor or custodian is a professional who takes care of buildings, such as hospitals and schools. Janitors are responsible primarily for cleaning, and often some maintenance and security...

 Poopatine. In the Family Guy episode "The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire
The Cleveland-Loretta Quagmire
"The Cleveland–Loretta Quagmire" is a season four episode of the animated series Family Guy. This episode marks the final appearance of Loretta, until the season 7 episode, "Love, Blactually". The storyline of this episode is about Loretta cheating on Cleveland due to his "lack of passion" and...

" just when Cleveland is about to kill Quagmire with a baseball bat he looks at the Griffin family's shocked faces and then at Palpatine who encourages him to let the hate flow through him, however he is pushed to the ground by Lois saying "You're not helping!".

Since Return of the Jedi and the prequel films, Palpatine's name has been invoked as a caricature in politics. The liberal website BuzzFlash remarked in 2004, "When we saw ... [Senator] Zell Miller
Zell Miller
Zell Bryan Miller is an American politician from the US state of Georgia. A Democrat, Miller served as Lieutenant Governor from 1975 to 1991, 79th Governor of Georgia from 1991 to 1999, and as United States Senator from 2000 to 2005....

 [of Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

] giving his invective at the RNC
Republican National Convention
The Republican National Convention is the presidential nominating convention of the Republican Party of the United States. Convened by the Republican National Committee, the stated purpose of the convocation is to nominate an official candidate in an upcoming U.S...

, we knew it reminded us of someone. We just couldn't place it until we realized it was the hate in Zell's eyes, his skin and the way it looks like that hate is eating his soul. Then we remembered: he reminded us of the evil Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars. (We didn't know the Emperor had a name until this morning.)" A Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is an online newspaper and former print newspaper covering Seattle, Washington, United States, and the surrounding metropolitan area...

 editorial noted that anti-pork
Pork barrel
Pork barrel is a derogatory term referring to appropriation of government spending for localized projects secured solely or primarily to bring money to a representative's district...

 blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

gers were caricaturing West Virginia
West Virginia
West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

 senator Robert Byrd
Robert Byrd
Robert Carlyle Byrd was a United States Senator from West Virginia. A member of the Democratic Party, Byrd served as a U.S. Representative from 1953 until 1959 and as a U.S. Senator from 1959 to 2010...

 as "the Emperor Palpatine of pork" with Senator Ted Stevens
Ted Stevens
Theodore Fulton "Ted" Stevens, Sr. was a United States Senator from Alaska, serving from December 24, 1968, until January 3, 2009, and thus the longest-serving Republican senator in history...

 of Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 having "clear aspirations to be his Darth Vader." The charge followed a report that linked a secret hold
Secret hold
In the United States Senate, a hold is a parliamentary procedure permitted by the Standing Rules of the United States Senate which allows one or more Senators to prevent a motion from reaching a vote on the Senate floor....

 on the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006
Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006
The Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 is an Act of Congress that requires the full disclosure to the public of all entities or organizations receiving federal funds beginning in fiscal year 2007. The website opened in December 2007 as a result of the act, and is...

 to the two senators. Politicians have made comparisons as well. In 2005, Democratic Senator Frank Lautenberg
Frank Lautenberg
Frank Raleigh Lautenberg is the senior United States Senator from New Jersey and a member of the Democratic Party. Previously, he was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Automatic Data Processing, Inc.-Early life, career, and family:...

 of New Jersey
New Jersey
New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

 compared Republican Majority Leader
Party leaders of the United States Senate
The Senate Majority and Minority Leaders are two United States Senators who are elected by the party conferences that hold the majority and the minority respectively. These leaders serve as the chief Senate spokespeople for their parties and manage and schedule the legislative and executive...

 Bill Frist
Bill Frist
William Harrison "Bill" Frist, Sr. is an American physician, businessman, and politician. He began his career as an heir and major stockholder to the for-profit hospital chain of Hospital Corporation of America. Frist later served two terms as a Republican United States Senator representing...

 of Tennessee
Tennessee
Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

 to Palpatine in a speech on the Senate floor, complete with a visual aid.

A Fox News
Fox News Channel
Fox News Channel , often called Fox News, is a cable and satellite television news channel owned by the Fox Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of News Corporation...

 editorial stated "no cultural icon can exist without someone trying to stuff it into a political ideology. The Star Wars saga, the greatest pop culture icon of the last three decades, is no exception... Palpatine's dissolution of the Senate in favor of imperial rule has been compared to Julius Caesar's marginalization of the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

, Hitler's power-grab as chancellor, and FDR's
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 court-packing scheme
Judiciary Reorganization Bill of 1937
The Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937, frequently called the court-packing plan, was a legislative initiative proposed by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt to add more justices to the U.S. Supreme Court. Roosevelt's purpose was to obtain favorable rulings regarding New Deal legislation that...

 and creation of the imperial presidency
Imperial Presidency
Imperial Presidency is a term that became popular in the 1960s and that served as the title of a 1973 volume by historian Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. to describe the modern presidency of the United States...

."

Palpatine was ranked third greatest villain by Wizard magazine
Wizard (magazine)
Wizard or Wizard: The Magazine of Comics, Entertainment and Pop Culture was a magazine about comic books, published monthly in the United States by Wizard Entertainment from July 1991 to January 2011...

on its "100 Greatest Villains of All Time" list.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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