Villain Overview
Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.
~ Emperor Palpatine's most famous and most memorable line.

Sheev Palpatine, secretly known as Darth Sidious, and later known simply as Emperor Palpatine or The Emperor, is one of the primary antagonists of the Star Wars saga.

He is the main antagonist of the original and prequel trilogies, as well as the television franchise (set between the events of Attack of the Clones and A New Hope), and he serves as a recurring antagonist in several novels within both the Star Wars Legends continuity and the current mainstream continuity.

He was an immensely powerful Sith Master who was also Darth Plagueis's former apprentice and the founder of the Galactic Empire. A dark soul, a power hungry Dark Lord of the Sith and evil incarnate, Sidious plans to overthrow the Jedi by manipulating many of the events of the Clone Wars to bring himself to rule the whole galaxy. He is easily one of the most successful villains, as he managed to rule the galaxy, and had been unstoppable for years until his apprentice Darth Vader defeated him.

He was most famously portrayed in the movies by Ian McDiarmid. In Star Wars: The Clone Wars, he was voiced by the late Ian Abercrombie and later the legendary actor, Tim Curry.


Early Life


Darth Plagueis oversees the training of his young apprentice.

Sheev Palpatine was born on Naboo and very early on showed himself to be a violent, spoiled, and misanthropic sociopath who used his rich family's connections to get him out of trouble even when he indulged in reckless driving that hurt others and killed two people. Palpatine was expelled from one of the highest education institutions in Naboo and possibly the entire galaxy. Palpatine also despised his father, Cosinga Palpatine, whom he viewed as a weakling and a coward. This resentment would come to a head when the younger Palpatine, now under the name Darth Sidious killed everyone he's ever known in his own family, including his parents, his two younger brothers and his two sisters, and in his later master's words "baptized himself in the dark side." In his thirties, he was the senator of Naboo. As Darth Sidious, he subsequently became the apprentice to Darth Plagueis but betrayed him and killed him after he "became unnecessary" due to teaching Sidious too much too quickly. It was during his apprenticeship to Plagueis that Darth Sidious took on his first apprentice Darth Maul, who he decided to kidnap, treat as a tool and mercilessly abused and tortured in the name of turning him into the ultimate living weapon with one purpose, kill the Jedi.

Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Darth Sidious

Darth Sidious, as he appears in The Phantom Menace.

Wipe them out. All of them!
~ Darth Sidious authorizing the Battle of Naboo.

In Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Darth Sidious is the main antagonist (although his apprentice Darth Maul serves as the Heavy). To carry out his 2,000-year-old plan to wipe out the Jedi for good, he sets up a war against the Republic as the leader of the Trade Federation with the name of Darth Sidious. When Palpatine eventually leads the Republic, he becomes a leader on both sides, ensuring that neither side gains enough upper hand to win the war. This, in turn, causes countless deaths of fighters in the Galactic War, including Jedi.

Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn and his Padawan Obi-Wan Kenobi arrive on the Trade Federation Control ship in order to negotiate, as requested from the Queen of Naboo. After their arrival, Darth Sidious interrupts their mission by ordering Viceroy Gunray to assassinate the ambassadors. When the Jedi escape, the Dark Lord has the viceroy end all communication in the Senate building.
Plagueis' Murder

Darth Sidious after killing his master.

As part of Emperor Palpatine's plan to become the new Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, he promises Queen Amidala that he will "end the corruption," as her people were suffering while the Trade Federation's control on the Naboo system increased. Delegates and other members of the Senate continued to argue, and even the Chancellor, failed to make any decisive action. During a Senate meeting, Amidala finally agrees with the senator to "call for a vote of no confidence" in Chancellor Valorum's leadership, and elect a new, stronger chancellor, to stop the tragedy.

Following Darth Maul's supposed death, Palpatine successfully becomes the new Chancellor of the Republic and also murdered his master Darth Plagueis shortly after, noting as he did that Plagueis was only his teacher, never his master. His future apprentice Anakin Skywalker was a child at the time and the decision was made that he would be trained to become a Jedi. At that point, he officially controlled both sides of the war.

Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Count Dooku: I have good news for you, my Lord. The war has begun.
Darth Sidious: Excellent. Everything is going as planned.
~ Count Dooku and Darth Sidious

Palpatine serves again as the Bigger Bad in the second episode of the prequel trilogy. He plays a large role in starting a larger-scale war (known as the Clone Wars) by having his new apprentice Count Dooku (the main antagonist of the film) unify the groups of Separatists to create the largest battle droid army of the galaxy. After Obi-Wan's discovery of the planet Kamino, an ocean-planet with a cloning facility holding thousands of trained human clones, Chancellor Palpatine is given immediate emergency powers in order to use the clone army against the Trade Federation.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Sidious Asajj

Asajj Ventress before Darth Sidious.

During the Clone Wars, Darth Sidious plotted and masterminded many events and acts that led to him gaining more power. Darth Sidious first recruited the Dark Assassin Asajj Ventress to find Anakin and eliminate him but saw that she would fail and was only an instrument that would lead to the downfall of the Jedi.

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Darth Sidious tells Dooku that the war continues

Later Palpatine arranged a plot to recruit Jabba the Hutt to join the Separatists by kidnapping his son Rotta and framing the Jedi as the culprits. The plan eventually failed but the tide still turned in Sidious' favor as Jabba allowed the Republic to use the Hutt hyperspace lanes.

Sidious with Dooku

Darth Sidious tells Dooku to retrieve Gunray.

At another time Nute Gunray was captured by Senator Amidala and taken into custody to face trial on Coruscant for his war crimes. Palpatine praised the senator, but this angered the Dark Lord. Communicating with Darth Tyranus via hologram, Darth Sidious told him how dangerous this situation was as the weak-minded viceroy would likely slip vital information and ordered him to be retrieved fast. Dooku told his master that he will send his apprentice Ventress who Sidious saw as useless but allowed him to proceed. Ventress successfully rescued Gunray without him telling the Jedi about his existence.
Sidious hires

Darth Sidious hires Bane for a mission.

Darth Sidious' next plan would make a huge impact on the galaxy. Darth Sidious plotted to steal a Jedi holocron that contained a list of the galaxy's Force-sensitive children that he planned to kidnap and turn into his loyal spies. First the Sith Lord hired bounty hunter Cad Bane via hologram to steal a holocron from the Jedi Temple vaults with plans that he provided that allowed Bane to successfully steal the holocron. Next he required Bane to retrieve a memory crystal that would activate the information hidden in the holocron from a Jedi Master named Bolla Ropal in the Mid Rim. Cad Bane captured and tortured Ropal who eventually gave Bane the crystal and had Anakin open the holocron by threatening his Padawan Ahsoka who used the Force to open it.

Sidious and Bane

Darth Sidious tells Bane he needs test subjects.

Escaping from the Jedi, Cad Bane retreated to his hideout and contacted Sidious through holographic transmission and told the Sith Lord of his success. Darth Sidious next told Bane to kidnap four children from the list and bring them to Mustafar. Cad Bane only managed to kidnap two children before he was captured by the Jedi. The Jedi later reported to Chancellor Palpatine who discussed with Anakin if they found who was behind the plot. Anakin stated that a far more powerful being other than Bane or Dooku was behind the event and not suspecting Palpatine at all which satisfied the Chancellor.

Sidious watches children

Darth Sidious looks over the children.

On Mustafar, Darth Sidious observed the children through hologram using an astromech droid. Sidious told the nanny droids of the children's natural talent and how he would harness that power for his own needs. Looking into the future Sidious saw a vision of Force spies trained in the dark side that would appear in every corner of the galaxy doing his bidding. The nanny droid told the Dark Lord that the surgery would possibly kill them but Sidious cared nothing for the children and said that if the procedure failed he would lose nothing. As the surgery was about to happen, an alert from a nanny droid told the Sith Lord of an incoming shuttle that was approaching and it did not belong to the bounty hunter. This surprised Sidious as he did not foresee this and ordered the droids to evacuate the children and destroy the facility to protect his identity and ended the transmission quickly. The Jedi rescued the children and thwarted Sidious' plans.

Sidious confers

Sidious listens to Dooku's report.

During the Republic occupation of the neutral world of Mandalore, the Death Watch hoped to reclaim the planet from pacifists and join the Separatists cause once the planet was secured. Aboard a Separatist ship, Count Dooku contacted his Master that Death Watch was prepared to fight off the Republic forces when they arrive, and the splinter group will be viewed as saviors by the people. Darth Sidious expressed concern about possible interference by the Duchess Satine, but was assured by Dooku that a Death Watch assassin would take care of her, causing the Sith Lord to smirk.

Darth Sidious orders eliminate

Darth Sidious tells Tyranus to eliminate Ventress.

Later in the war, Asajj Ventress grew stronger in the ways of the dark side of the Force. Through a hologram Darth Sidious accused Tyranus of wanting to overthrow him as Dark Lord which shocked his apprentice who stated his loyalty belonged only to his Master. Sidious then demanded proof and ordered him to eliminate Ventress which the Count sadly obliged to. After assuming success in the death of his former disciple, Dooku contacted Sidious of his apparent success. Satisfied, Darth Sidious praised his apprentice for once again proving his loyalty.

Darth Sidious lair

Sidious tells Dooku what to do next.

In a second attempt to invade Naboo, the Separatist launched an assault to conquer the planet. The Gungan Army fought against the droid army and Captain Tarpals battled General Grievous and subdued him at the cost of his life. From a secret headquarters hidden inside an ancient Naboo structure, Count Dooku received orders from Darth Sidious. The Sith Lord stated that Grievous is an integral part of his plan for the Clone Wars and told his apprentice to lure Anakin into a trap, capture him and arrange a prisoner exchange. Sidious assured Tyranus that Senator Amidala will agree to the terms.

Sidious lectures

Sidious lectures of slaves and Sith Empires.

Darth Sidious later had his apprentice kidnap an entire colony of people from the planet Kiros and sell them into slavery that would rebuild his Sith Empire. Aligning with the Zygerrians to resurrect the slave empire, the captured people were brought to the prison planet Kadavo to await processing. En route to Zygerria aboard his solar sailor, Count Dooku communicated with his Master. Darth Sidious lectured of how long Sith Empires have been built upon the backs of slaves and told his apprentice that to carry on this tradition millions of slaves will be required. Darth Sidious ordered Dooku to gain the Zygerrian Queen Miraj Scintel's cooperation or to end her rule if she fails to comply.

During the Banking Clan crisis, the banks had become bankrupt and Palpatine sent Padme to Scipio to deal with the matters. As the Dark Lord, Sidious hired bounty hunter Embo to originally assassinate the Banking Clan representative Rush Clovis but he managed to escape the planet with the aid of Padme and Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker. Embo contacted Sidious and was pleased to hear of the success and assured the bounty hunter that he would deal with them himself.

Sidious Serreno

Sidious forms a plan with Dooku.

Later the Muun Nix Card contacted Darth Sidious and reported that Clovis had managed to escape with the evidence of the bank records. Sidious stated that Nix would be protected in the scandal. The Sith Lord later contacted Dooku on Serreno and devised a plan that would place Clovis in command of the Banking Clan as a puppet leader but first Tyranus had to entrap the senator.

Sidious treachery

Darth Sidious gains more power.

After placing Clovis in office and framing him by aligning Scipio with the Separatists and massacring the Republic forces, the Senate called for an emergency session and the Chancellor launched a mercy mission. As Dooku was leaving the planet, Sidious contacted him with an update and told him that Republic forces were on their way. Tyranus informed his Master that the deception was complete. The Dark Lord stated because of the treachery, control of the banks would be placed in the hands of the Supreme Chancellor as Sidious cackled with delight.


Sidious learns of Maul's survival.

In an unexpected turn of events, the long forgotten Sith Lord Darth Maul was discovered to be alive by the Jedi which reported back to the Chancellor startling Palpatine at this revelation. After the briefing, the Chancellor told the Jedi to ignore the Sith brothers and their focus should be on finding Dooku and bring the Clone Wars to an end then dismissed the Jedi from his office. As the Jedi left, Palpatine sat in his chair and smirked as he had plans for the rogue Sith in the future.

Palpatine sensing

Palpatines senses a disturbance in the Force.

Later in the Chancellor's Office, Palpatine mediated and sensed the increasing power of the Nightbrothers on the planet Mandalore. Mas Amedda entered and was told to prepare the Chancellor's shuttle which Palpatine took to Mandalore in order to confront the brothers in his secret persona Darth Sidious. Upon arriving, a robed and hooded Sidious Force chokes two Shadow Collective members and rode a speeder to the royal palace where he confronted the brothers in the throne room. Sidious enters the throne room easily choking two guards to death and exchanges a few words with his former apprentice and looks at his brother, Savage Opress. Darth Sidious declared Maul a rival and Force pushed Maul and his brother into the wall windows cackling.

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Maul and Opress fighting Sidious.

After releasing the brothers from his telekinetic grip, Maul and Savage ignited their lightsabers while Sidious summoned two from the sleeves of his robe to duel them. The battle moved from the throne room to the balcony where Savage pushed him off while Sidious Forced pulled Maul and Savage to the ground below. The Dark Lord Force pushed Maul to a wall briefly knocking him out while Sidious dueled Savage alone and in mere seconds impaled the Nightbrother in the chest, killing him. As Maul rushed to his dying brother, the magicks left his body and Sidious cackled and told Maul the Rule of Two and leaped to the plaza below continuing their duel. Maul charged at Sidious with both his saber and the darksaber and after a brief duel, Sidious disarmed Maul and brutally battered him against the wall and ground. Broken and exhausted Maul begged for mercy and the Dark Lord replied there was no mercy and launched a barrage of Force lightning on his former apprentice. Darth Sidious cackled with glee as he tells the defeated Nightbrother that his plans don't involve killing him, but has other uses for him.

Darth Sidious worried

Darth Sidious learns of a renegade clone.

Near the end of the war, Darth Sidious faced some unexpected events. During a battle of the Ringo Vinda system, a clone seemed to have a mental breakdown and shot and killed a Jedi Knight for no apparent reason. The Separatist Admiral Trench saw the event and reported the betrayal to Count Dooku. On Serenno, Lord Tyranus made contact with his Master via hologram to report the clone incident. Sidious worried that it would expose evidence of the Sith Lord's secret programming and ordered Tyranus to seize the clone for examination.

Sidious and Tyranus

Darth Sidious cackles with delight as protocol 66 remains unknown to the Jedi.

As the Supreme Chancellor, Palpatine learned the clone trooper Tup died and another clone named Fives may have discovered the conspiracy. The Chancellor than suggested the clone be brought to Coruscant for medical attention which the Jedi reluctantly agreed to. Arriving at the medical station, the Jedi and the Chancellor met with the clone and asked if he could speak with Fives in private. Palpatine then framed Fives for an assassination attempt and issued a manhunt for the clone. Fives eventually was killed and died without spilling a word of the conspiracy. Later in his office, Palpatine told the Jedi that his personal doctors discovered a virus that Tup and Fives had inside of them from Ringo Vinda as the source of their mental breakdowns which the Jedi believed. Darth Sidious later made contact with his apprentice that protocol 66 has been undiscovered and the Jedi will soon learn of it as Sidious cackled.

Darth Sidious Force choke

Darth Sidious Force chokes Tyranus.

Some time later, the Jedi discovered a shipwreck on the planet Oba Diah belonging to the Jedi Master who was killed long ago, Sifo-Dyas. Darth Sidious later learned the Jedi were looking into the investigation of Dyas and worried they would uncover secrets not meant to be discovered. Sidious appeared to his apprentice as a large hologram and demanded to know why the Jedi were sniffing around the loose end that is Sifo-Dyas. The Dark Lord demanded that Tyranus and the Separatists clean up the affairs lest their plans be threatened. Sidious made sure his apprentice understood what it meant if he failed by Force choking him through the hologram then ended the transmission.

During the conflict, Darth Sidious looked into the Force and saw Master Yoda was on Moraband, the ancient homeworld of the Sith, and summoned his apprentice back to Coruscant. In the LiMerge Building on the industrial side of the planet, Tyranus met with his Master and plotted to strike a devastating blow on the Jedi Order. In a ceremonial chamber with statues lining the room, Darth Sidious told his apprentice of Yoda's location and since Dooku was his apprentice, they have a strong bond through the Force that could be exploited. Sidious cut Dooku's hand and blood spilled into the altar filled with water as both zapped the water with Sith lightning while Sidious recited an ancient Sith incantation creating an illusion for Yoda on Moraband that would lead the Jedi into a trap.

Yoda v Sidious Season 6

Darth Sidious duels Master Yoda.

In the illusion, Sidious appeared to Yoda as Sifo-Dyas in disguise and tempted the Jedi with the knowledge of Sidious' identity. Yoda refused and suddenly Sifo-Dyas transformed into a cackling Sidious and surrounded him with chains of energy. Forced into a deeper illusion, Yoda and Anakin Skywalker along with a squad of clones arrived at the LiMerge Building and confronted the Sith Lords. Anakin engages Dooku while Yoda confronts the hooded Dark Lord who escapes and Anakin kills Dooku by severing his head. Darth Sidious ignites his lightsaber and Yoda his and engage in fierce whirling duel. Anakin attempts to enter the duel but is blasted unconscious by Sidious' lightning. Sidious taunted Yoda stating if he lets Anakin die it thwart his plans of eliminating the Jedi Order yet the Jedi Master sacrificed himself saving Skywalker.

Sidious snarls

Darth Sidious' illusion fails.

Yoda hurled his saber at Sidious and both plummeted to the ground below while Sidious cackled and when Yoda attempted to remove his hood, he found the robes to be empty.

Back on Coruscant, Darth Sidious emerged from the glowing sacrificial altar. The illusion had ended and failed to break the Jedi Master's spirit and the Dark Lord told Tyranus they would need more time to defeat Yoda and destroy the Jedi Order.

Darth Sidious finale

Darth Sidious announces the final operation.

Towards the end of the Clone Wars, Darth Sidious watched through hologram a sparring session between Lord Tyranus and General Grievous. Tyranus lectured Grievous of the importance of mastering his lightsaber skills and to ensure victory not be reckless. Appearing before them on a mechno-chair, Sidious praised Dooku's counsel and asked Grievous for the report from the front. The general told the Sith Lord that the Jedi forces are stretched thin across the Outer Rim which Sidious seemed pleased with. Darth Sidious then told both that the time to strike was now and to launch their final operation and asked Grievous if everything was ready for his "special mission" and Grievous affirmed the Dark Lord that everything is in place.


Grievous having captured Palpatine.

Striking a devastating attack on the Republic capital, General Grievous entered with the Droid Army and launched a full scale invasion of the planet. Grievous' mission was to capture the Supreme Chancellor who was protected by a squad of clone troopers and Jedi protectors. Through the whole pursuit Palpatine seemed calm and at times sarcastic. After disposing of the clones, Grievous chased the Jedi and Chancellor all through the city-planet until finally disarming the Jedi. Grievous captured Palpatine and seemed annoyed at his charismatic nature. The Chancellor later boarded a ship that took him to the Separatist flagship The Invisible Hand and was transported to the tall spire tower of the ship and placed on a throne with shackles on the arm rests, setting the events of the third film.

Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Once more the Sith will rule the galaxy and we shall have... peace.
~ Darth Sidious to Darth Vader.

Palpatine serves as the main antagonist of Revenge of the Sith. He first appeared when Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker arrived to rescue him just before Dooku intervenes. In the ensuing lightsaber battle, Palpatine watched as Dooku subdued Obi-Wan before getting himself defeated by Anakin, who was now corning Dooku with their lightsabers. Palpatine was impressed and ordered Anakin to kill Dooku at his own request, which he momentarily hesitated before complying. After getting rescued, Palpatine began to form an interactive friendship with Anakin and would later go on to reveal his true identity to him. Anakin responded by reporting him to the Jedi, but he alas realized that he could not lose the Sith Lord as he thought he needed to learn the dark side power to "save" his wife Padmé. After Anakin betrayed the Jedi, the evil Sith Lord took Anakin as his own apprentice and gave him the title "Darth Vader". Sidious, knowing the time had come, executed Order 66, which ordered his clone army to kill their Jedi commanders. Only a handful of a handful survived, one of which was Master Yoda. Yoda entered the Emperor's office, and the two began a battle. It ended with Yoda being forced to flee and Sidious leaving for the planet, Mustafar, where Anakin was battling his former master, Obi-Wan. When Darth Sidious arrived, he found Anakin's wounded charred body lying next to a river of lava. The Emperor ordered his soldiers to transport Anakin to Coruscant so that he could be repaired. On the large, city planet of Coruscant, Sidious oversaw the operation as Anakin was placed in the famous black armor of Darth Vader. Sidious then tells Anakin, now Darth Vader, that Anakin accidentally killed Padmé in his anger, causing the new Sith Lord to scream in heartbreaking despair. With the Galactic Empire now in control, the two dark lords watched their super weapon, the Death Star, being constructed.

Star Wars Rebels

Be patient, my old friend. For now, dispatch another Inquisitor to hunt them down.
~ The Emperor orders Darth Vader to pursue the Rebellion

The Emperor continued to strengthen his hold over the galaxy. Informed of a rebel cell on the planet Lothal, Palpatine had the Grand Inquisitor deal with the growing resurgent. The rebels managed to destroy a portion of the Imperial Fleet and killed the Grand Inquisitor in the process led by the renegade Jedi Kanan Jarrus and Ezra Bridger. The Emperor sent his apprentice to handle the growing rebel threat. After the Siege of Lothal the Emperor was contacted by Darth Vader after he struck a critical blow on the rebel cell, and informed his Master that the apprentice of Anakin Skywalker, Ahsoka Tano, lived and was helping the rebels. This pleased the Emperor as he saw this an opportunity to locate more surviving Jedi. Vader stated to his Master that he rather search for Obi-Wan but was told to have patience and ordered his apprentice to dispatch another Inquisitor to hunt down the rebels, Tano, and other undiscovered Jedi.

Episode IV: A New Hope

The Imperial Senate will no longer be of any concern to us. I have just received word that the Emperor has dissolved the council permanently. The last remnants of the Old Republic have been swept away.
~ Governor Tarkin reporting Palpatine's dissolution of the Senate.

The Emperor made no appearance in the film, but is mentioned by Governor Wilhuff Tarkin, who explains to the Death Star staff that the Emperor has dissolved the Imperial Senate (due to their secret support for the Rebel Alliance) and has given direct control to all regional governors of the systems controlled by the Empire.

Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.
~ The Emperor to Darth Vader.

The Emperor made a very short but first appearance in a hologram projection while communicating with Lord Vader. He told Vader to prevent the son of Anakin Skywalker, Luke, from becoming a Jedi, as he could become a serious threat. When Vader suggest turning him to the Dark Side of the Force, the Emperor agrees and orders Vader to capture Luke and bring the young Jedi before him.

Episode VI: Return of the Jedi


Emperor Palpatine seated on his throne aboard the Death Star II.

Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. Your friends, up there on the sanctuary moon, are walking into a trap, as is your Rebel fleet. It was I who allowed the Alliance to know the location of the shield generator. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them. Oh, I'm afraid the deflector shield will be quite operational when your friends arrive.
~ Emperor Palpatine to Luke Skywalker.

The Emperor reappears as the main antagonist. In the original trilogy, he didn't appear in person until the final film, Return of the Jedi, although at that time, he talked to Vader about a new enemy who was strong in the Force, Luke Skywalker, who was Vader's own son. In Return of the Jedi, Sidious appears aboard the Death Star II where he has a short talk with Darth Vader about the whereabouts of Luke and their plan to make him leave his Jedi path to join the dark side. The Emperor then ordered Darth Vader to capture Luke Skywalker and bring him before him.

Aboard the Death Star II, Luke meets for first time the Emperor face to face. Sidious attempts to make Luke succumb to the dark side and join him as his new apprentice alongside his father, but Luke turns down the offer several times and keeps resisting to the attempts of both Sidious and his father of corrupting him. Afterwards, Sidious gives Luke a view of the rebel fleets hardly battling the empire fleets but in trouble against the Death Star II. When Luke has no choice than killing the Emperor, he uses the force to take his lightsaber back from him and engages in a battle with Vader at trying to end with the Emperor's reign of terror for good.

After Luke defeated Vader in the duel, Sidious encouraged him to kill Vader and become his new apprentice, (ironically the same when Sidious made Vader kill Dooku). When Luke refused, Darth Sidious became enraged and responded by attacking Luke with Force Lightning, causing him to suffer the Emperor's wrath. Darth Vader, now the reborn Anakin Skywalker could not stand to see his son in so much pain, so he grabbed the Emperor from behind and hurled him down to his death at the bottom of the main reactor shaft, causing the Sith Lord to explode in a burst of force energy that ultimately destroyed him and ended his reign of terror once and for all. Unfortunately the wild lightning coming from the Emperor's hands while Anakin carried him eventually proved fatal to the cyborg and damaged Vader's life support. Fortunately, Anakin himself fulfilled the ancient prophecy of the Chosen One at killing the Emperor and saving his son from suffering the same destiny like him.


At first, Palpatine appeared to be a compassionate, well-meaning, and harmless individual.

However, this was nothing more a public facade that Palpatine made up to hide his true nature as Darth Sidious, and while as the Sith Lord he exposes it all: that of a very murderous, selfish, ambitious, power-hungry, and unpredictable individual. And as such, there was only one goal he had in mind to accomplish: total control of the entire galaxy. Cold and dominant, it is either obeyed or be obliterated with him.

Despite his arrogance, he was highly intelligent and manipulative, possessing some sense of humor. Darth Sidious was also known to be treacherous and deceptive, as he would kill his allies or have them killed, as he had no desire to share his power with anyone, especially his own apprentices. And unlike most of the other Sith Lords, he prefer using mentally breaking and the Force over physical strength.

After he had successively gain full control of the Galactic Republic and turned it into the Galactic Empire, he abandoned his public persona and openly became a tyrannical ruler; despite this, he never revealed that he was the Dark Lord of the Sith to the public; as only his most trusted followers were aware of his Sith identity.

Darth Sidious was the only Sith Master/Dark Lord of the Sith in the history of the galaxy to achieve the ultimate goal of the Sith Order: to eradicate the Jedi Order and bring the galaxy under the rule of the Sith.

Palpatine zaps Luke

Palpatine electrocuting Luke Skywalker after he refuses to join the Dark Side.

Sidious also greatly desired to become immortal; his master had once had the ability to keep others from dying using the Dark side of the Force. Palpatine/Sidious learned this same ability and desired to use a similar power, if one did exist, to increase his lifespan so that he could rule the galaxy forever, with one such scheme involving the creation of a Force-made virus, called Project Blackwing. However Sidious' searches for such secrets of the Sith were ultimately fruitless (as the Blackwing virus turned its hosts into undead zombies and had to be eradicated), and he never found a way to become immortal. Despite his desire for immortality, Sidious would anticipate the possibility of facing death, and in some cases, he is willing to forsake his own life by provoking any person to kill him in order to convert that person into the Dark Side and carry on his evil legacy.

Like most practitioners of the Dark side of the Force, Darth Sidious was susceptible to fear to the point of being paranoid. This paranoia was extensive to the point where he feared the power of other Force-users, and had them hunted down and either killed or turned to his side as loyal servants. However, his paranoia was never extensive to the point of being cowardly and pusillanimous, as he felt little fear and was more than willing to get into direct confrontations with exceptionally powerful opponents like Mace Windu and Yoda if necessary. Fear ultimately proved to be his weakness as it caused him to constantly plot and devise schemes against his enemies, which ultimately lead to the unexpected creation of the Rebel Alliance and the eventual downfall of his Empire.

Despite his evil nature, he was a known patron of the arts; this was evidenced in the craftsmanship of his lightsabers, and in the many statue and sculptures present in his office during his time as chancellor. However, he abandoned most of his love of the arts when he became emperor in favor of expanding his power. In addition, although Sidious openly acknowledged his being a Dark Sider he also did not consider himself evil, but rather thought of himself as a savior.

At one point in an interview, his actor, Ian McDiarmid, claimed that Darth Sidious was "even more evil than Satan".

Powers and Abilities


  • The Force: Despite his old age, Darth Sidious was immensely powerful and had an amazingly strong connection to the Force. Sidious was one of the most powerful Force-users in the history of the galaxy. Sidious' Force potential was rivaled only by Yoda.
    • Telekinesis: Darth Sidious was very proficient in Telekinesis, utilizing it either as an offensive attack or simply as a means of displaying his power, the latter being most prevalent when he used the ability to remove Luke Skywalker's binders aboard the second Death Star while barely lifting a finger.
    • Force Push: Sidious utilized Force push to send his opponents flying through the air, causing them serious injury or temporarily incapacitating them/knocked them unconscious.
    • Force Pull: Sidious utilized Force pull to pull his opponents or objects towards him.
    • Force Choke: Like Darth Vader, Sidious utilized Force choke to either weaken, kill or intimidate his opponents.
    • Force Throw: Sidious utilized Force Throw to cause objects, and even individuals, to be hurled toward a target at an astounding velocity.
    • Mind Trick: Sidious utilized Mind trick to control the minds of other sentient beings, however, it did not work on individuals who have very strong wills.
    • Force vision: Sidious utilized Force vision, to have visions of the past, the present and the future; however, like all Force users, his visions were not always clear or sometimes has visions even when he was not utilizing this power at will.
    • Force Sense: Sidious utilized Force sense to sense another sentient being's emotions, the future, ripples in the Force caused by momentous or traumatic events, impending danger and the presence of the Light side. However, in Return of the Jedi, for unknown reasons, he was unable to sense the presence of Luke Skywalker, who was on Endor, unlike Darth Vader, who was able to easily sense the presence of his son.
    • Force Lightning: Sidious was a master of Force lightning, which he used to torture or kill his opponents. It was most likely his favorite move.
    • Force Jump: Sidious utilized Force jump to jump or leap at great distances.
    • Force Dash: Sidious utilized Force Dash to move at amazing speeds.


  • Lightsaber Skills: Despite his old age, Darth Sidious was incredibly skilled in lightsaber combat and an extremely gifted duelist. He was one of the greatest lightsaber duelists in the history of the galaxy. In fact, the only person known to have apparently defeated Sidious in lightsaber combat was Mace Windu (however, in truth, he threw the fight in order to further corrupt Anakin into killing Mace; as he could have defeated or kill the latter at any time). He was one of the few known individuals who could fight Yoda as an equal. Sidious' lightsaber skills were such that he had mastered all the forms of lightsaber combat and could shift from one combat form to another fluidly and without effort. Sidious' technique and fighting style was a combination of brutal aggression and lethal precision, making him an almost unstoppable opponent. Ironically, despite Sidious' masterful dueling skills, he was fairly disdainful of lightsaber combat in general, believing the Sith to have grown beyond the need for lightsabers. He also rarely used his lightsabers unless absolutely necessary as they would identify him instantly as a Sith. He still proceeded to carry the weapons however, as a way of mocking the Jedi.
    • Form I: Sidious was highly skilled in Shii Cho.
    • Form II: Sidious highly skilled in in Makashi.
    • Form III: Sidious was highly skilled in Soresu.
    • Form IV: Sidious was highly skilled in Ataru.
    • Form V: Sidious was highly skilled in Shien/Djem So.
    • Form VI: Sidious was highly skilled in Niman.
    • Form VII: Sidious was extremely skilled in Juyo/Vaapad.
    • Jar'Kai: Sidious was a master of Jar'Kai.
  • Genius-Level Intellect/Master Tactician/Leader/Manipulator: Darth Sidious was amazingly intelligent; his intelligence and wisdom was rivaled only by Yoda, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. As the leader of the Sith Order, he was a highly skilled tactician and a very capable leader. He was very manipulative, as he was able to easily manipulate individuals directly or indirectly to achieve his goals. Sidious even managed to manipulate and deceive Anakin Skywalker, a genius in his own right, into becoming his apprentice and turning him against the Jedi Order.

Weapons and Equipment


Darth Sidious' valued weapon and possession were his two red-bladed lightsabers, whose hilts were inlaid with gold-colored Electrum metal and made of Phrik alloy, making them indestructible, even to other lightsabers. The weapons bore the same appearance to one another save for one being coated in an unknown black alloy. Being a patron of the arts, the lightsabers were elegantly crafted with an artisan's skill and were small enough that they could be easily hidden up his sleeves. While in office as Supreme Chancellor, Palpatine/Sidious always kept one of his lightsabers hidden inside a neuranium statue on his desk in his office in case of emergencys. Both lightsabers were utilized together once in his duel on Mandalore against his former apprentice, Darth Maul, and Maul's brother, Savage Oppress.

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

Other Appearances

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


All who gain power are afraid to lose it. Even the Jedi.
~ Palpatine on the Jedi to Anakin.
Good is a point of view, Anakin. The Sith and the Jedi are similar in almost every way, including their quest for greater power.
~ Palpatine on the Jedi and the Sith.
Did you ever hear the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise? I thought not. It's not a story the Jedi would tell you. It's a Sith legend.
~ Palpatine begins to tell Anakin about the legendary Sith Lord, Darth Plagueis.
Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.
~ Palpatine talking about the tragedy of Darth Plagueis.
The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.
~ Palpatine on the Dark Side of the Force.
He became so powerful. The only thing he was afraid was losing his power which eventually of course he did. Unfortunately he taught his apprentice everything he knew, then his apprentice killed him in his sleep.
~ Palpatine on the fate of Darth Plagueis
Ironic. He could save others from death, but not himself. (Anakin: Is it possible to learn this power?) Not from a Jedi.
~ Palpatine and Anakin about Plagueis's powers and how to learn them.
They don't trust you Anakin. They see your future they know your power will be too strong to control. You must break through the fog of lies the Jedi have created around you.
~ Palpatine to Anakin on the Jedi Council.
Let me help you to know the subtleties of the Force. My mentor taught me everything about the Force, even the nature of the dark side. Anakin, if one is to understand the great mystery, one must study all its aspects not just the dogmatic view of the Jedi. If you wish to become a complete and wise leader, you must embrace a larger view of the Force. Be careful of the Jedi, Anakin. Only through me can you achieve a power greater than any Jedi. Learn to know the dark side of the Force, and you will be able to save your wife from certain death.
~ Palpatine reveals himself as the Sith Lord
I know what's been troubling you. Listen to me. Don't continue to a be a pawn of the Jedi Council! Ever since I've known you, you have been searching for a life greater than that of an ordinary Jedi, a life of significance, of conscience.
~ Palpatine trying to manipulate Anakin.
Are you going to kill me? I know you would. I can feel your anger. It give you focus... makes you stronger.
~ Palpatine to Anakin.
I am the Senate!
~ Palpatine to Mace Windu as the Jedi come to arrest him.
~ Darth Sidious killing Mace Windu.
You've done well, Lord Vader. And now I sense you wish to continue your search for young Skywalker. Patience, my friend. In time, he will seek you out and when he does, you must bring him before me. He has grown strong. Only together can we turn him to the dark side of the Force.
~ The Emperor to Darth Vader on Luke.
With each passing moment, you make yourself more my servant!
~ The Emperor to Luke.
As you can see, my young apprentice, your friends have failed. Now witness the firepower of this fully ARMED and OPERATIONAL battle station!
~ Palpatine
Your fleet is lost. And your friends on the Endor moon will not survive. There is no escape, my young apprentice. The Alliance... will die, as will your friends. Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenceless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!
~ Palpatine manipulating Luke.
If you will not be turned, you will be destroyed.
~ The Emperor to Luke preparing to kill him
Young fool, only now at the end do you understand. Your feeble skills are no match for the power of the dark side! You have paid the price for your lack of vision!
~ Emperor Palpatine taunting Luke Skywalker.
Now, young Skywalker, you will die.
~ Palpatine's last words before Darth Vader throws him down into the shaft and kills him.


  • Historical leaders such as Adolf Hitler, Julius Caesar, and Joseph Stalin served as the main influence for his character.
  • Palpatine/Sidious (after his 'disfigurement') shares a strong resemblance to Count Dracula in 1992 Dracula film. He also shares a strong resemblance to the 2008 incarnation of Davros.
  • In the original script of The Empire Strikes Back, Palpatine was named Cos Dashit, a puppet leader who was controlled by the Moffs. He had no connection to the Force at all. However, Lucas had replace him as the main mastermind of the Saga.
  • Darth Sidious is often considered one of the most evil villains ever, as he brought billions of casualties and destroyed planets around his galaxy during his reign.
  • Since the first release of the films, Darth Sidious has became an iconic villain, along with Vader. He is also the second most recurring villain of Star Wars, second only to Vader.
  • Even though Darth Sidious is the main antagonist of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, his Sith persona was only seen in 17 episodes out of 121 episodes total. Sidious was only seen in 1 episode in Season 1 (Cloak of Darkness), 3 episodes in Season 2 (Holocron Heist, Children of the Force and Duchess of Mandalore), 2 episodes in Season 3 (Nightsisters and Ghost of Mortis, the latter as a future vision to Anakin), 2 episodes in Season 4 (Escape from Kadavo and Shadow Warrior), 2 episodes in Season 5, including "Revival" where he smiles after learning Maul's survival, implying his identity (and the other one being The Lawless), and 7 episodes in Season 6 (The Unknown, Orders, An Old Friend, The Rise of Clovis, Crisis at the Heart, Voices and Sacrifice, the last one is also the series finale).
  • Supreme Leader Snoke took Palpatine's place in the new Star Wars trilogy.


           Star Wars Villains

Bounty Hunters
Aurra Sing | Bazine Netal | Boba Fett | Bossk | Cad Bane | Dengar | Embo | Highsinger | Greedo | IG-88 | Jango Fett | Zam Wesell | Moralo Eval

Confederacy of Independent Systems
Leaders: Darth Sidious | Count Dooku | Nute Gunray | Passel Argente | Poggle the Lesser | San Hill | Shu Mai | Wat Tambor | Po Nudo | Tikkes
Military Leaders: Admiral Trench | General Grievous | General Kalani | Lok Durd | Riff Tamson
Other Officials: Asajj Ventress | Durge | EV-A4-D | Gizor Dellso | Jenna Zan Arbor | Keeper Agruss | Miraj Scintel | Osi Sobeck | Sora Bulq
Soldiers: Battle Droids | Super Battle Droids

First Order
Leader: Supreme Leader Snoke
Knights of Ren: Kylo Ren
Officials: Captain Phasma | General Hux
Soldiers: Stormtroopers | FN-2199
Other Officials: Carise Sindian | Unkar Plutt

Galactic Empire
Leader: Emperor Palpatine
Sith Lords: Darth Vader
Inquisitorius: The Grand Inquisitor | Fifth Brother | Seventh Sister | Sixth Brother | Eighth Brother
Imperial Officers: Admiral Garrick Versio | Admiral Ozzel | Admiral Piett | Arihnda Pryce | Commander Moff Jerjerrod | General Veers | Grand Moff Tarkin | C.A. Motti | Grand Admiral Thrawn | Admiral Kassius Konstantine
Other Officials and Operatives: Agent Kallus | Mas Amedda | Orson Krennic | Iden Versio | Gideon Hask | Commander Bacara | Commander Cody | Naare
Soldiers: Death Troopers | Emperor's Royal Guard | Stormtroopers | 501st Legion

Other Sith and Fallen Jedi
Barriss Offee | Darth Maul | Pong Krell | Savage Opress | Son

King Adas | Almec | Cornelius Evazan | Garnac | Gorog | Hondo Ohnaka | Jabba the Hutt | Maketh Tua | Moralo Eval | Ponda Baba | Sarlacc | Sebulba | Slick | Teedo | Zillo Beast | Ziro the Hutt

Other Small Organizations
Black Sun: Ziton Moj
Death Watch: Tor Vizsla | Pre Vizsla | Bo-Katan Kryze
Guavian Death Gang: Bala-Tik
Kanjiklub: Razoo Qin-Fee | Tasu Leech
Nightsisters: Asajj Ventress | Mother Talzin | Old Daka | Zalem
Partisans: Saw Gerrera
Trade Federation: Daultay Dofine | Lott Dod | Nute Gunray | Rune Haako