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Palpatine facts for kids

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Darth Sidious
Palpatine as Darth Sidious

Palpatine (also known as the Emperor and Darth Sidious) is a character from the Star Wars universe. He is the main villain of the Star Wars movies.

His most famous and once only seen force ability is force lightning seen in the last episode Return of the Jedi which is forked to spread the damage even further and is blueish purple. He is played by Ian McDiarmid. He is seen in Episode V for the first time. Palpatine is believed to be the true villain of the Star Wars films because he was the one who caused Anakin Skywalker to join the Dark Side of the Force.

In Episode I, The Phantom Menace, he is a Senator from the planet of Naboo. He is also secretly a Sith Lord, Darth Sidious. Sidious pulls the strings behind the scenes to cause unrest and dispute in the corrupt Galactic Senate, hence the films's title. His apprentice during this time is Darth Maul, who is slain in battle by Obi-Wan Kenobi. At the end of Episode I, he has risen to the office of Supreme Chancellor and begins his rise to power.

In Episode II, Attack of the Clones, Palpatine secretly continues to bring the galaxy to civil war. He has a new apprentice, Count Dooku, who leads the Separtist Droid Army and goes by the name Darth Tyrannus. Dooku is slain by Anakin Skywalker on a rescue mission to free the Chancellor in Episode III, Revenge of the Sith.

Palpatine rose to complete power in Episode III, when he sent Anakin to lead an attack on the Jedi Temple and ordered the Clone Troopers to execute Order 66. Palpatine battled Yoda in a duel which would decide the fate of the Galaxy. He narrowly defeated Yoda, and was able to form a new order upon the fallen Republic; he created the first Galactic Empire. In the time frame from his creation of the Empire and his death, Palpatine was a cold, merciless ruler. He ruled through fear. His evil was staggering as he dominated the galaxy with his ruthless enforcer, Darth Vader.

Palpatine ruled the galaxy for 23 years, when in the end he was killed by his own apprentice (assistant being trained), Darth Vader.


When the Emperor first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, he was portrayed by Marjorie Eaton under heavy makeup. Chimpanzee eyes were superimposed into darkened eye sockets during post-production. The character was voiced by Clive Revill. The makeup was sculpted by Phil Tippett and applied by Rick Baker, who initially used his own wife, Elaine, for the makeup tests.

Star Wars and the Power of Costume July 2018 34 (Chancellor Palpatine's Trade Federation robes from Episode III)
Chancellor Palpatine's robes from Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Transforming McDiarmid into Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi required extensive makeup. McDiarmid remarked in an interview with Star Wars Insider, "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 here and there, a little bit of skin-scrunching."

Palpatine's wardrobe in the prequels, tailored by costume designer Trisha Biggar, played an important part in the development of the character. 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." On Revenge of the Sith, McDiarmid said that "To wear the costumes as the character I play is wonderfully empowering." McDiarmid's favorite costume in the film was a high-collared jacket that resembles snake or lizard skin. He stated that "it just feels reptilian, which is exactly right for [Palpatine]." According to Biggar, the character'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."

In The Rise of Skywalker, Palpatine is unable to move without the aid of a large machine, to which he is attached. He is depicted as having eyes without pupils and rotting hands. Costume designer Michael Kaplan opted to dress Palpatine in a utilitarian black robe, which he wears for the majority of the film. At the end of the film, Palpatine rejuvenates himself using the Force and becomes physically mobile. He dons a new costume — a formal robe with red velvet — which Kaplan refers to as "his true Emperor's garb".


In the 2008 animated film Star Wars: The Clone Wars and the subsequent animated series (set between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith), Palpatine continues to serve as Supreme Chancellor while his Sith identity orchestrates the Clone Wars behind the scenes. Palpatine was voiced by Ian Abercrombie (from 2008 to his death in 2012), and by Tim Curry (from 2012 to 2014). In the film, Sidious engineers a Separatist plot in which Count Dooku (voiced by Corey Burton) turns Jabba the Hutt (voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson) against the Republic by kidnapping his son Rotta and framing the Jedi for it. Meanwhile, Palpatine suggests that the Republic ally itself with the Hutts. Although Anakin Skywalker and his Padawan Ahsoka Tano (voiced by Ashley Eckstein) foil the plot, the outcome suits Palpatine's ends: Jabba places Hutt hyperspace routes at the Republic's disposal.

Sam Witwer by Gage Skidmore
Sam Witwer originally provided the voice for Palpatine in Rebels

In Star Wars Rebels, set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Palpatine is portrayed as the Emperor of the Galactic Empire. He briefly appears off-screen at the end of season two's premiere "The Siege of Lothal" (originally voiced by Sam Witwer and later Ian McDiarmid from 2019). Darth Vader informs Palpatine that the Rebel Alliance cell on Lothal has been broken and that Ahsoka Tano is alive and is now helping the Rebels. Palpatine sees this as an opportunity to seek out other remaining Jedi, ordering Vader to dispatch an Inquisitor to hunt down Ahsoka.

Palpatine returns physically in season four (voiced again by McDiarmid) and in the series finale "Family Reunion - and Farewell".

Palpatine appears in the first season of the 2021 animated series Star Wars: The Bad Batch. The series is set during (and immediately following) the events of the 2005 film Revenge of the Sith. The series' first episode depicts Palpatine's senate speech from the film in animated form, using the archive sound of McDiarmid's dialogue. As in the film, Palpatine orders the extermination of the Jedi and declares himself emperor.

Palpatine also appears in the sixth episode of the 2022 series Obi-Wan Kenobi. The series is set ten years after Revenge of the Sith. After Darth Vader is defeated by Obi-Wan Kenobi following their second duel, Palpatine contacts Vader in his Mustafar castle via hologram, questioning Vader's motives and loyalty when Vader reports that he will not rest until Obi-Wan is found. Vader reassures Palpatine that Obi-Wan does not mean anything, reaffirms his commitment to Palpatine and abandons his search.

Darth Sidous appears in the fourth episode of the Tales of the Jedi TV series talking with Darth Tyrranus.

Books and comics

The first appearance of Palpatine in Star Wars literature was in the prologue of Alan Dean Foster's ghostwritten novelization of the script of A New Hope, published as Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker (1976). His background as a senator of the Republic was explored in James Kahn's novelization of Return of the Jedi.

Palpatine also appears in Rae Carson's novelization of The Rise of Skywalker, which expands upon the film's story. In the book, Palpatine is revealed to have discovered the "secret to immortality" from his former master, Darth Plagueis, using this knowledge to survive after his death in Return of the Jedi. The novelization also describes Palpatine's son as a failed clone of himself. However, the 2021 book Skywalker: A Family at War describes Palpatine's son as an "offshoot of [his] genetic research, not precisely a clone but made of cloned tissue and donated cells."

Star Wars: Lords of the Sith (2015) was one of the first canon spin-off novels to be released in the Disney canon begun in 2014. In it, Vader and Palpatine find themselves hunted by revolutionaries on the Twi'lek home planet Ryloth. In Thrawn (2017), the titular character warns Palpatine of "threats lurking in the Unknown Regions." Chuck Wendig's Aftermath book trilogy reveals that, prior to his death, Palpatine enacted a plan for the remnants of the Empire, intended to be led by his adoptive son Gallius Rax, to retreat to the Unknown Regions, where they formed into the First Order. The dark side was thought to be concentrated in this region, where one Sith cultist believed that Palpatine would be found alive. The upcoming illustrated book Star Wars: The Secrets of the Sith is told from Palpatine's perspective.

Palpatine appears frequently in the comic book series Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith (2017–2018), written by Kieron Gillen and Charles Soule.

The character also appears in the final chapter of the comic book Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren (2020), which illustrates Palpatine's manipulation of the young Ben Solo into becoming Kylo Ren.

Video games

Star Wars Battlefront II adds a canonical tale spanning the destruction of the second Death Star through the events of The Force Awakens. The story takes an Imperial perspective, following an elite squadron known as Inferno Squad, led by protagonist Iden Versio, as they help execute Operation: Cinder following the Emperor's death. Operation: Cinder was carried out by the Galactic Empire as a means of devastating several Imperial planets a few weeks after the Battle of Endor. The operation was part of the "Contingency", a plan devised by Emperor Palpatine to ensure that the Empire and its enemies would not outlive him should he perish. The plan was put into action following the Emperor's death during the Battle of Endor.

Palpatine's threat of revenge referenced in the opening crawl of The Rise of Skywalker was included in the finale of the Fortnite: Battle Royale X Star Wars event. The character has appeared in every Lego Star Wars video game to date, including Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga.

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See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Palpatine para niños

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