You might know from the movies that Emperor Palpatine was one of the most vindictive and despicable villains to ever exist on film, but not surprisingly there are plenty of things you probably didn’t know about him. This is largely because while he’s considered to be one of the worst villains out there in terms of his lack of morals and his justification of evil, he’s also a very secretive character. The fact that he’s a Sith lord in a galaxy where the Jedi still held sway was a very big reason why he concealed himself for so long, as he’d learned quite well throughout his time and ascendance that despite their pacifistic views, the Jedi would seek to snuff out the spark of the Sith as a part of their duty to the Force, never seeming to realize that balance is a two-way street when it comes to true evil and absolute good.
Here are a few things you might not have known about Palpatine.
10. According to history he was the most powerful Sith lord to ever exist.
At one point and time the Sith were many. In fact if you look at the histories of Star Wars the Sith were originally a race that were subjugated by those that would become to be known as the Sith order. After thousands of years however Darth Bane made the Rule of Two, insuring that the apprentice would always seek to overcome the master. In this way the Sith would remain strong and the weak would be weeded out. Thanks to this Palpatine became one of the most dedicated and learned Sith lords of all time.
9. Did you know his name was Sheev?
In the Legends continuity he goes by Emperor, Palpatine, or by the combination of the two. In fact it wasn’t until many years after the prequels that his name would finally be brought up in a book and thereby given mixed reactions by fans. It kind of sounds like a name you’d expect a dock worker to have to be honest.
8. He massacred his family.
Palpatine had desired a role in politics and a place of power for quite some time before he ever became emperor, but when he attempted to bring his family into the political circle they refused. Had it stopped there they might have survived, but his father openly stated that he wished Sheev was dead. As a way of payback Sheev killed his entire family before pledging himself to the dark side of the Force.
7. His first appearance was portrayed by a woman.
A woman wearing a latex mask was his first actual appearance on the big screen when the movies first came out, while the voice was dubbed by a man. It was only later that Ian McDiarmid was added in to make it fit properly.
6. He banned lightsabers.
His disdain for the Jedi and their ways was so great that while he did keep several lightsabers and was a master duelist, he still made it illegal to have or use a lightsaber. Even Vader had to have special permission to carry his weapon, since Palpatine figured that a true Sith should be powerful enough to not need such an implement.
5. He was a big fan of torture.
If you didn’t see this in the way that he was absolutely loving the fact of torturing Luke Skywalker then maybe you should watch the film again, since there’s no doubt that Palpatine was into telling others how he was going to torture them before he killed them. And the scary thing was that most of the time he would back his words up without fail.
4. He had a Sith master.
Darth Plagueis was his master and taught Palpatine a great many things that he took in stride and used to his advantage. However, using the Rule of Two, Palpatine eventually grew stronger and much more crafty than his master, and killed him after finding no other reason to keep him alive.
3. He was the driving force behind the clone army.
This should be easy to deduce since at the command he issued in Episode III the clones turned on the Jedi without hesitation, snuffing them out quickly and with extreme prejudice as the Jedi Purge wiped out just about everyone.
2. There’s a theory that he created Anakin Skywalker.
Darth Plagueis passed on the secrets of how to manipulate midi-chlorians, the microscopic things that give a Jedi their power, to Palpatine, thereby insuring that he would be able to influence the Force on a molecular level and perhaps even create someone like Anakin. It’s just a theory, but it would explain a lot.
1. Luke Skywalker was his apprentice once in the expanded universe.
This occurred when it was discovered that Palpatine had transferred his consciousness to a series of clone bodies that he’d had stored for such a use. Luke became his apprentice for a while until he saw his chance to finally eradicate Palpatine for good.
The problem with Palpatine is that he’s not just intelligent, he’s vindictive and chaotic as it gets.