“POWAAAAH!!!! UNLIMITED POWERRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
Sheev Thys'enitt Palpatine (also known as Darth Sidious or The Emperor) is the main antagonist in the Star Wars franchise, portrayed by deliciously campy Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid. He is a Sith Lord, Emperor of the Galactic Empire, and a part-time magician, hence the cape and lightning tricks. He had considerable influence within the right-wing Imperial Party, until they found out he drove a solar-powered vehicle (despite it being a big, mean, blow-planets-out-of-existence machine).
Palpatine was known for known for being ugly as a freight train; his bad skin, yellow teeth, and bad breath forced him to engage in a reclusive lifestyle. He has gotten a bad rap through the ages; even his autobiographer decided he didn't like him, halfway through writing about him. Sheev died in an ironic fashion at age 88 by getting thrown down some kind of evil wishing well he installed in the Death Star II. His life was "punctuated" by many occurrences, like evil commas in some kind of very long, evil sentence.
“Oh shoot, and I thought this face cream would get rid of the acne...”
Palpatine was born very poor on Naboo to Oliver and Susan Palpatine. Susan was a sweet-hearted housewife, and Oliver was a dentist who barely managed to keep food on the table, the lights on, his kids dressed, or the water running. Y'know, cuz they were poor and so forth. There must have been something wrong with these parents (must be genetic) because they had the bright idea of naming him "Rupert G. Palpatine". However, he soon realized that this name caused him to be beaten up on a regular basis. He eventually changed his name to Sheev, though not before the trauma of his experiences with his cruel schoolmates caused deep psychological scars. As a result, he later developed multiple personality disorder.
Palpatine had a difficult time in childhood. He was angry because there weren't any gangs he could join to express his anger, and because the cool kids wouldn't let him sit with them at lunch. Like many a misunderstood, confused teenager, the young Sheev took solace in the music of such artists as Evar Orbus and His Galactic Jizz-Wailers, Max Rebo, Meco, Jefferson Starship, and Axl Rose. There weren't any gangs he could join, that is, until his parents were forced to move to the suburbs of Coruscant. There, he got a job at Dex's Diner, where he worked eleven hours a day and was paid in Hovis bread, receiving one loaf for every two weeks of work; some say this is how he started down his horrible path.
Jedi Apprenticeship and Hovis Breakdown
Once Palpatine saved up enough to make it to "the big city", he joined the Jedi Temple. Within the temple's walls he learned the ways of the force and the art of seducation. Sheev had to snack on his Hovis in private in the deep dark chamber of darkness within the hallway of dulllight in the west wing. All was going well until he was caught by his Masters Tim and Jim. Master Tim scolded him and told him "Boy, you know there ain't no personal possessions allowed within the god damn Jedi community, wat wrong wit you boy?"
After having all the Hovis taken from him, Palpatine's mind was twisted. He could not concentrate on his tasks and yearned for a bite of the deliciously soft and chewy crusted loaf of Hovis; his masters sensed this in him and cautioned him to remain strong. One day, he was sent on an assignment to order takeout from Dex's Diner. On the return journey, Sheev felt a disturbance in the force; it was his Hovis. He followed his senses and found a humble little bakery. Using the Force and the art of seduction, he managed to nick all the Hovis and return to the temple.
Once Palpatine returned he was focused again; the Masters noticed this too and praised the young boy for his seeming maturity. Sheev found an empty room, but before he could take one bite, Master Jim called out to him, "STOP FOOL! Told yo ass before there ain't no personal belongings allowed in da temple, god damn you ass is stupid." At this, Sheev turned to the Dark Side and struck his master down with a blunt chair, thus beginning his villainous ways, and soon after he would join the Dark Side under Sith Lord Darth Plagueis.
Palpatine's first meeting with Plagueis was shortly after he ran away from the Jedi Temple. The reasons for his flight remain mysterious although it is rumored that he had learned that his masters were planning to sit down and have an earnest heart to heart with him. This outraged young Sheev greatly, as these calming, honest, and touching moments were in his eyes robbing teenagers of their right to be stroppy, self-pitying, and angry. Not only did it make young Palpy very angry indeed, but also pushed him into leaving to find a way to generate his anger so that he could vent it.
However, despite insisting constantly that, "I know all about life you pricks! Leave me alone why don't cha?", Palpatine quickly found out that he had no job experience outside of fast food, and was soon desperately begging on the sidewalks of Galactic City. However, fate or the will of the dark side took a hand as one day Darth Plagueis was strolling by. Plagueis's comically tiny ears couldn't help but leach onto Sheev's braying rants on how the self-serving working man was keeping the downtrodden slacker demographic in the ground. Having recently beheaded his latest apprentice, Darth Bludayrists, for such prattling, Plagueis stormed over to the young boy and reprimanded him for his deranged moaning.
Unfortunately, Plagueis's quivering Muun weakling voice only infuriated Palpatine more and before long they entered into an ever-escelating barrage of bitching, during which Sheev let loose many of his personal greviences, such as the crippling theft of his beloved piggy bank at the hands of his six year old sister. Plagueis was intrigued by Sheev's surgeing anger, feeling that a student to whom being pissed off and stroppy were a goal rather than a burden would be a useful trait in a student of the Dark Side. As a result, he offered him a place on his HoloNet show The Sith Lord's Apprentice; Sheev had little interest in whatever the strange bumpy-skinned man's intentions were, but seeing an opportunity to bitch and moan to the whole galaxy, he eagerly accepted.
The newly-dubbed Darth Sidious made it through to the very end, outwitting many other competitors such as Darth Phelps and Darth Norris — not that the latter was mutch of a challenge. Once the competition was wiped out, Plagueis had Sidious go through three final trials to prove that he was worthy of being a Dark Lord of the Sith: best him a lightsaber duel, kill a Jedi, and best him in a rapping competition. Sidious succeeded; ecstatic at this turn of events, Plagueis eagerly announced "You're hired!", though from his mouth it came out sounding a little more like "Goody goody! You're... h-h-hired, b-b-b-oy... Palpy."
Sidious moved into Plagueis's secret headquarters deep beneath the Coruscant Underlevels. There Plagueis had Sidious help him build up his gang, The Siths, and put him in charge of membership fee collection. Over the decades, Sidious's opinion of his master eventually reached something resembling contentment, as Plagueis's weakling antics and quivering grasp of the English language gave him just the source of anger and resentment he was so sorely missing in his horrifically happy and wholesome life before. Sidious and Plagueis had a falling out, and Sidious murdered him in some nasty way that some future editor will elaborate on. And so the galaxy's greatest nightmare began.
Rise to Unlimited Powah
“I must be Frank with you, Your Majesty.”
Sidious became the new leader of the Siths gang and began training new apprentices. His was first apprentice Darth Maul was, in spite of his girly makeup, one of the more badass trainees. I mean seriously, those Devil horns had that Woot Woot. They had that Bling Blang. They were all nimbly-bimbly. It was around this time that Sidious also launched his teen clothing line, Insidious House of Sheev, in an attempt to lure young minds into his movement. This however proved to be a massive commercial failure, as the only items on offer were overpriced swirling black capes and hoods. These items, nonetheless, proved to be of great value to Sidious's next business venture as a producer of interplanetary adult films, including the award-winning Hutts and Butts: Tatooine Gone Wild.
By this time Palpatine had been elected Senator of Naboo, luring in young voters with his fashionable black robes which he gave away in sweepstakes. Eventually decided that being Senator was a dead-end job with no prospects and that becoming the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic was really where it's at. In 32 BBY, his Sith personality, Darth Sidious, orchestrated a blockade of the planet led by the Trade Federation of cowardly Asian amphibians. Naboo's Queen Padmé Amidala, unaware that Sheev was the one trying to kill her, was persuaded by Sheev to call for a vote of no confidence against ineffectual milquetoast centrist Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum. When Amidala returned to liberate Naboo, Sidious dispatched Maul to dispose of her Jedi helpers Qui-Gon Jinn and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Sadly, Maul, and his sexy horns, disappeared after Obi-Wan cut him in half and he fell down a shaft. Palpatine used the media hysteria surrounding the crisis to usurp the unmemorable Valorum and be minted the new Supreme Chancellor.
Ten years later in 22 BBY, Palpatine had exploited constitutional loopholes to forever remain Chancellor even after his term expired. Meanwhile, as Sidious, he continued to manipulate events from behind the scenes by having his new Sith apprentice, unmemorable old guy Count Dooku, lead a movement of planets to all secede from the Republic at the exact same time, forming the Confederacy of Independent Systems. Sidious ordered the Separatists to build a battle droid army to make the Republic their bitch, while his Palpatine persona seized the opportunity to be granted emergency powers by Darth Darth Binks and authorizes a massive Maori clone army to defend the Republic; begin, the Clone Wars did. As the war waged on, Sheev Force-brainwashed the Senate to pass increasingly ridiculous laws as stepping stones for him to achieve unlimited powah.
“The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities, some considered to be unnatural.”
By 19 BBY, Palpatine had become great friends with whiny teen Jedi Anakin Skywalker, having watched his career with great interest over the decades. Sheev began seducing Anakin to the Dark side and foretold a power so great that nobody could possibly imagine. At this time, Palpatine was feeling very frustrated by his constraint to not reveal his other identity, lest it damage his political career. He would occasionally hint that he was forced to pretend to be Sheev Palpatine, though no one ever caught on, even though it was common sense. Anakin shared his concerns with Sheev over his now-secret wife Padmé dying in childbirth, and suddenly Anakin figured out that Palpatine was Sidious. Sheev reassured Anakin that he would save Padmé's life if he joined the Dark Side, but Anakin initially declined and snitched on Sheev to Motherfucking Jedi Master Mace Windu.
“I am the Senate.”
Palpatine was charged by Mace of being SuperEvil™, and engaged the black Jedi in a lightsaber duel. Sheev used Force-lighting at Mace but he deflected it back at the old man which scarred and disfigured him, causing his skin to turn pale and rubbery and his eyes to turn yellow. Sheev was let off because he charmed Windu with the ol' lift your skirt so they can see your legs trick. Windu, seeing what appeared to be shriveled tree limbs protruding from Sheev's black skirt, assumed that he had polio and dismissed the case, stating that an old man with polio couldn't possibly be SuperEvil™. Anakin, having second thoughts about the Dark Side, then arrived and cut off Mace's hand, and Palpatine Force-electrocuted Windu and threw him out the office window while shouting "UNLIMITED POWAH!!!". Sheev then knighted Anakin as his Sith apprentice, Darth Vader, and trained him to be SuperEvil™ and go kill some Youngling Jedi and cowardly Asian amphibian Separatists.
Galactic Emperor and death...
“Flowers! Unlimited flowers!”
“Unlimited dark side!”
“Credits! Unlimited credits!”
“Unlimited power, but it's all gone! Who has stolen it?!”
Sheev then converted the Republic into a Galactic Empire and declared himself Emperor, having tricked the Senate into believing that a guy with a serious facial condition and a penchant for flowing black robes could possibly be a good guy. Vader got the shit burned out of him and donned a slick black cyborg suit, ruling the galaxy side-by-side with Sheev as his Vice President, and led a purge of all Jedi. Sheev also oversaw construction of his planet-destroying space station, the Death Star, with Grand Moff Tarkin. In his old age Sheev could still think normally, though he had a habit of being very rude and neglecting to fulfill basic hygienic needs. He was in great need of a toothbrush, face lift, and hair plugs. In order to impress the ladies (which was difficult after Diane's beating scarred him) he applied for plastic surgery. Unfortunately, he used it a little too much and his nose fell off once, which made him look... umm, not pretty.
The original Declaration of a New Order allowed for Palpatine to retain his Emperor seat until the day he died. However, he grew bored of overseeing and controlling the entire galaxy, and relinquished power to his restless, power-hungry assistants and boot-lickers who ruled the massive organs of commerce. Sheev claimed that he was going to rule the entire galaxy again right after he "got his", but sadly, he never managed to achieve this goal. Strangely enough, every woman he encountered, gold diggers included, couldn't get see past his diseased-looking skin and halitosis to consider his immense power and wealth. This is the only recorded instance of such a thing happening. Sheev lived out his remaining years wanting to forget this short yet brief encounter into romance, never speaking of it again.
The Empire's governmental arrangement worked out very well until nearly two decades later, when the scrappy Rebel Alliance realized that the Old Republic no controlled the galaxy and attempted to take it back by force. This marked the first major conflict that Palpatine had ever engaged in, and was truly a test of his military prowess. Wanting to impress the ladies, Palpatine's stormtrooper forces were responsible for bloodshed of the likes of which this world, or galaxy for that matter, had never seen. Unfortunately for Palpatine and his loins, women were more disturbed than aroused by the slaughters.
Palpatine, after he had everything going for him (besides the women of course), was stuck down in the prime of his oldness: at the ripe age of 88, only a week before his highly anticipated spread in Vogue. Vader saw Sheev tasering his son Luke and didn't take too kindly to it, so he threw Sheev down a shaft. Palpatine's legacy was to have been a shining beacon for evil assholes everywhere. This is what makes Star Wars a tragedy: Sheev was just trying to be popular and "gain unlimited powah". That's all he wanted, guys: that's all he wanted.
...or is it? Nope, dead again
In the Expanded Universe comic Dark Empire, after his apparent death during the Battle of Endor from being thrown down a shaft, Palpatine's space-drifting vaporized soul had accumulated massive amounts of Force energy, allowing him to rise again in a clone body he dubbed "Phineas Q. Palpatine". Phineas began drifting into Coruscant's atmosphere and phoned his blue alien Grand Admiral Thrawn to catch him in his TIE fighter before he got burned up. Arriving at his old Senate office, Palpatine found the place full of dust, stormtroopers sleeping on the floor with beer bottles next to them, and an officer enjoying a blowjob. When they asked him who he was, he killed them all using the Force. Then, Palpatine went to his office's balcony and shouted: "I AM THE EMPEROR!!! I RULE THIS UNIVERSE!!!"; everyone was so afraid that they bowed before him. The Emperor then started planning his revenge for rebuilding the Empire. Luke Skywalker went undercover by turning to the Dark Side and becoming Palpatine's apprentice, but was later pulled back into the Light Side by Leia and defeated his master.
Later, Palpatine, not one to give up a fight easily, returned as another clone, this one named "Cos Dashit", emerging from his unholy Force-tomb to prevent what many considered an assault against the sacred office of the Emperor. It's unknown how exactly he was resurrected this time; some believe that woodland critters performed a Sith ritual to retrieve his soul from the bowels of Hell, while others claim that he thought he had a real shot with his Director of Intelligence Ysanne Isard. Cos attempted to use the Force on Luke, but was shot in the back by Han Solo and degenerated. He then become one with the Force, and had the
Cos Dashit beaten out of him by the millions of Force Ghost Jedi he had killed over the course of his life.
While making a gravestone for the former elected Chancellor and Emperor, one chiseler was reported to have said, "This guy's got more names than a Chinese phone book!" His joke was generally found to be in bad taste and not especially funny.
Personality and traits
“More like Darth Hideous, if you ask me.”
In his time, Palpatine was the evilest, smartest, campiest, and most bad-assed Sith Lord/old dude around since Jar Jar Binks. He totally owned all with his Death Star that could never be destroyed (or so was though). Palpy was known for the amount of names attributed to his body parts by his obsessive fans (see Palpatine's mole, Palpatine's scabs, Palpatine's nosehairs, and lastly Palpo the Clown).
Palpatine's "Sheev" personality was generally benevolent, while his "Darth Sidious" personality was completely evil. Eventually they merged to form "Sid E. Palpatine," who was defeated by Luke Skywalker during the Battle of Endor. That's when Phineas Q. Palpatine and Cos Dashit arrived on the scene in the EU, but they were subsequently defeated by Luke Skywalker too.
Palpatine has the unique ability to vibrate his voicebox and speak at the same time. He is very good at making barbecue with Force-lightning. He enjoys the company of hideously scarred, traitorous, murderous, masked villains. Sheev also has the ability to be kickass for five movies, then get chucked off a bridge in the sixth. Lame.
Behind the scenes
In The Empire Strikes Back, Palpatine was portrayed by chimpanzee-faced woman Marjorie Eaton and voiced by cartoon supervillain Clive Reville. In the later movies, he was instead played by gloriously campy Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid, who's way better than those other guys.
One thing that annoys everyone about Palpy was that he came back like 50 times in clone bodies in the EU, which kinda defeats the purpose of the Star Wars saga. Six movies all about destroying the most powerful Sith ever, and he comes back to harass everyone again with his ugliness? Give me a freakin' break! It's totally obvious that some Sheev fanboy wanted him to do more than sit and watch Jedi and Sith fight.