Darth Sidious: Character Explained

Darth Sidious: Character Explained
Darth Sidious: Character Explained

credits: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

During the course of the Star Wars franchise, Sheev Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, was perhaps one of the most well-known antagonists in the films. The other antagonist would be Darth Vader, who was more popular and stuck more with the audience after his signature line in Episode V (The Empire Strikes Back).

Today, we will take a break from all of our Star Wars recaps by only knowing about this single character. We will know where he came from, what he did during his presence in the films, and what his fate was afterward. We will also attempt to explain some of his actions that were of great significance in the series.

Early Life

The fandom of the Star Wars franchise stated that he was born on the planet Naboo 82 years before the Battle of Yavin.

During his beginning years in the Order of the Sith, he was trained by Darth Plagueis to the dark side of the Force. Through his training, he obtained all the necessary Dark skills to survive on his own. He even managed to craft his lightsaber. Sometimes, he would travel independently, and in the places he visited, he learned techniques outside of what his master Plagueis had taught him.

One day, Darth Plagueis revealed the possibility of a ten-millennium immortality using the full power of the Force. However, it required two Sith lords, as prescribed in Darth Bane’s Rule of Two, for it to work. This has been Plagueis’ infatuation all along and was obsessed with the thought of obtaining immortality.

Darth Sidious: Character Explained

credits: Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith

Political Life as Palpatine

In Episode I (The Phantom Menace), he was elected as the new Chancellor of the Republic after the old one was taken down by the Republic’s forces. In the same episode as well, Obi-Wan was pondering upon the Rule of Two, as it stated that, for the Sith order to survive, there should only be two Sith lords at any given time. The first one being the master, the second one being the former’s apprentice.

After Darth Maul was incapacitated (and died) in the battle that also killed Qui-Gon, there was for sure one Sith left. As the apprentice was dead, the master was still alive. He was also the phantom menace that the episode’s name was referring to, as he was the Sith lord who menaced (threatened) to destroy the Jedi order from within now that he was among their ranks.

His cover would only be blown on Episode III (Revenge of the Sith). Eager to seduce and train Anakin Skywalker to the ways of the dark side of the Force, he appointed Skywalker as his representative to the Jedi Council. This appointment was approved, but Skywalker wasn’t promoted because the Council was suspicious of Palpatine. The representative was asked to spy on Palpatine.

Needing another Sith Lord so that the Sith Order would survive, Palpatine revealed to Skywalker that he had the power to save Padmé, Skywalker’s wife, from death, to entice him to join him. He had much more to offer apart from that when he agreed that he train him with the dark side of the Force. This made the apprentice suspect that Palpatine was a Sith, and he reported it to the authorities. Palpatine was, in fact, Darth Sidious.

The Jedi Council fought the Sith, but Skywalker pondered upon Palpatine’s promise of saving his wife from death. He saved the Sith Lord and vowed to turn to the Dark Side. Anakin was renamed Darth Vader.

Darth Sidious: Character Explained

Star Wars: Episode VI – The Return of the Jedi


After christening Anakin to his side, he invoked Order 66 and caused a near-extinction of the Jedis. He declared himself the Emperor before the Council after that.

The Emperor and his new apprentice, Darth Vader, oversaw the construction of two Death Stars. The first one was destroyed in A New Hope.

In Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker, Anakin’s son, surrendered himself to the Sith forces so that he would be brought into Darth Vader. The son attempted to convince his father to renounce the Dark Side, but he refused, and a lightsaber duel followed, wherein Luke emerged victorious.

With Vader defeated, the Emperor (Sidious) asked Luke to replace his incapacitated father. He refused, proclaiming himself a Jedi. This made Sidious angry, and he decided to electrocute him to death. Vader redeemed himself by saving his son by kicking Sidious down a reactor shaft, causing his “death.”

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