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The History Of Star Wars' Master Manipulator

by Culture Slate 4 days ago in star wars

'Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design.'

Throughout Star Wars media, for better or worse, there has always been one master antagonist either pulling the strings or attempting to prevent our heroes from winning: Sheev Palpatine. Although Palpatine is a universally known character, not all may be familiar with his story and how he came to be the most powerful Sith in the galaxy.

The man who would become Darth Sideous was born on Naboo in 84 BBY to an affluent and well-connected noble family. As a child, Palpatine lived in Naboo’s capital city of Theed, which allowed him access to make the political connections and alliances that would shape the rest of his life. Although now considered part of Legends, the novel Darth Plagueis by James Luceno stated that Palpatine was first exposed to the dark side of the Force when he met Plagueis during trade negotiations between Naboo and Damask Holdings of Muunilinst, the Sith Lord’s home planet.

RELATED: The Dark History Of Darth Maul

Plagueis saw potential in Palpatine as an apprentice and began to tempt him with the ways of the dark side before Palpatine finally turned. Plagueis trained his apprentice for more than a decade. During that time, Palpatine killed his family in one of his first powerful displays of the dark side of the Force. Eventually, Palpatine turned the tables and tricked his master. He killed Plagueis himself, revealing the apprentice was the one pulling the strings all along.

Throughout this entire time, Palpatine was living a double life: publicly as Senator (and later Emperor) Palpatine, and privately as Darth Sidious, the master of the Sith and dark side of the Force. Palpatine leveraged his position within the Galactic Republic Senate to push the powerful and long-term plan of the Sith Empire and destroy the Jedi Order, a plan that ultimately would never be entirely successful. Palpatine knew it would be almost impossible to accomplish this lofty goal on his own and he decided to find an apprentice. While visiting the planet Dathomir, Palpatine chose the child of Mother Talzin, a Zabrak Nightbrother named Maul, to be the one he would train as his student. Although Maul feared Palpatine, the Sith Lord was drawn to him for his inability to control his anger, snatching the child from his mother when she had hesitation about giving up her child. Palpatine’s training of Maul involved physical and psychological abuse, destroying the man he once was, and leaving a trained assassin in his place. After Maul was struck down by Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Phantom Menace, Palpatine showed no remorse for his lost pupil, keeping his eyes only on his goal of power.

It was Palpatine who was behind the fatal flaw in the Clone Wars: Order 66. With his new apprentice, Count Dooku, as the face of the operation, Palpatine ensured that the Jedi Council would not only employ an army of cloned soldiers but that there would be an override, causing them to betray their allies. Using his public position as the Emperor to feign reluctance toward an intergalactic war, Palpatine was able to ensure that his plan would go through without detection. While the Clone Wars raged on, Palpatine noticed young Jedi Anakin Skywalker’s power. Hoping to recruit him to the dark side, he repeatedly manipulated Anakin, using the knowledge of his relationship with Padmé Amidala to his advantage. Plagued with visions of his wife dying, Anakin asked Palpatine for help when the Sith Lord promised the dark side had ways of saving her.

By the time the truth was revealed about Emperor Palpatine, it was already too late. Order 66 was enacted. Countless Jedi were murdered, and Anakin became Darth Vader.

READ NEXT: Ian McDiarmid Teases His Involvement In A Future 'Star Wars’ Project As The Emperor

Written By Elizabeth Reese

Source(s): Wookieepedia

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