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Emperor Palpatine
Real-world information
Portrayed by
First appearance

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

Fictional information
  • Sith Order
  • Galactic Republic
  • Galactic Empire
  • Dark Lord of the Sith
  • Senator of Naboo
  • Supreme Chancellor
  • Galactic Emperor






"Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design."
―Emperor Palpatine[src]

Emperor Palpatine (portrayed by Ian McDiarmid) is the primary antagonist of the Star Wars Saga, having appeared in five of the films as the main villain. He was first introduced in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, and has since appeared in all subsequent Star Wars films. Palpatine has been the subject of rumors suggesting that he will appear as a ghost in Star Wars Episode VII, possibly communing with the main villain of the sequel trilogy.

Chronologically, Palpatine is introduced as the Senator of Naboo, and secretly Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith. He manipulates the Trade Federation in its occupation of Naboo, allowing for his election as Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. Over the next ten years, he manipulates the Confederacy of Independent Systems, a group of separatists, into sparking the Clone Wars between the Confederacy and the Republic. Using his wartime emergency powers, Palpatine reforms the Republic into the Galactic Empire and tasks Anakin Skywalker, who had become Darth Vader, into eliminating the Jedi Order. Palpatine spends the next few decades consolidating his rule over the galaxy. During the Battle of Endor, the Emperor attempts to manipulate Luke Skywalker, Vader's son, into killing Vader and becoming Palpatine's new apprentice, and eventually tries to kill Skywalker when he doesn't. Vader, however, sacrifices himself to save his son, killing Palpatine in the process.

Involvement in upcoming projectsEdit

Official booksEdit

Emperor Palpatine is set to appear in the upcoming book Star Wars: Lords of the Sith, to be released in March 2015. The novel was written in conjunction with the Lucasfilm story department. As such, it is considered an official canon story and part of the unified canonical universe.[1]

Star Wars Episode VII (rumored)Edit

On August 11, 2013, Jedi News reported that Ian McDiarmid would be reprising the role of Emperor Palpatine for Star Wars Episode VII. The site noted that "the specifics of the role are unclear."[2] Three days later, on August 14th, Latino Review independently reported on the rumor and said that their own source told them that "Palpatine comes back as a Force Obi-Wan [in the original trilogy]). The source further alleged that Palpatine had another apprentice, other than Darth Vader, before being killed, meaning that the ghost would presumably interact with that apprentice turned villain.[3]

For his part, McDiarmid said he knows "nothing, because there are no facts yet" and he understands "they're still working on the script." He also denied being approached for the role, saying "No conversations have been had, and no deals have been struck... But until I get that phone call, like the one I had before, I won't believe I'm in it." McDiarmid also believes that the film will feature "the adventures of the descendants of the first characters and new villains" rather than relying on old ones.[4]

Official canon appearancesEdit

Notes and referencesEdit

External linksEdit

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