The Clone Wars
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"Isn't it remarkable that one can have all the power in the galaxy and yet, the words of a single senator can sway the thoughts of millions? [...] For now, we must adhere to the principles of our democracy. We must let the wheels of the Senate turn."
―Palpatine to Mas Amedda[src]

Darth Sidious, publicly known as Sheev Palpatine, was the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic during the Clone Wars who was secretly the Dark Lord of the Sith who orchestrated the fall of the Jedi Order and the rise of the Galactic Empire.

Quick Answers

Who is Darth Sidious? toggle section
Darth Sidious, also known as Sheev Palpatine or Emperor Palpatine, was a human male Dark Lord of the Sith and Emperor of the Galactic Empire. He was a powerful Sith Lord, trained by Darth Plagueis in the Dark Side of the Force, and was even able to influence midi-chlorians to create life. His weapons of choice were two identical lightsabers, crafted during his apprenticeship to Darth Plagueis and used by him during battles against Darth Maul and Savage Opress. He reigned as the last Supreme Chancellor of the Republic before becoming Emperor.
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Is Darth Sidious more powerful than Vader? toggle section
Yes, Darth Sidious is more powerful than Vader. As the Chosen One, Vader had the potential to become the most powerful Jedi in the galaxy, but this does not guarantee anything. Darth Sidious was considered by many, including Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, to be the most powerful Sith Lord in history, and Sidious mastered much more Force powers than Vader ever did. Additionally, Sidious was faster in lightsaber duels than Vader, and he recalled fondly the moment he realized he was more powerful than Plagueis. Furthermore, Sidious was class G with telekinesis, which is far more powerful than Darth Vader and Galen Marek, and it was shown that Sidious was much more powerful than Vader ever was. Finally, Emperor Palpatine is regarded as the most powerful Sith to exist, and Vader even imagined the power that could be his if he crushed Palpatine.
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Who is more powerful than Darth Sidious? toggle section
Emperor Sheev Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, is the most powerful Sith to exist. No one is more powerful than Darth Sidious as he was able to kill his teacher, Darth Plagueis. Even though some characters like Mace Windu and Vitiate have impressive abilities, they are still not capable of matching Sidious' immense power.
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How did Palpatine turn into Darth Sidious? toggle section
Sheev Palpatine, born on the planet Naboo, was trained in the Dark Side of the Force by Darth Plagueis and eventually took on the name Darth Sidious. He learnt everything he needed to become a Dark Lord of the Sith and, having achieved his goal of restoring the Sith to dominance, dispensed with the persona of Palpatine and chose to live as Darth Sidious only. He fooled the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order as an unassuming Senator before becoming the final Chancellor of the Galactic Republic and the first Emperor of the Galactic Empire.
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Who was Darth Sidious before he became Sith? toggle section
Before he became a Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious was Sheev Palpatine, a human male trained in the Dark Side of the Force by Darth Plagueis. He was manipulated by Plagueis to become the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, hiding his true identity as a Sith apprentice. Before that, he was a financial corporation leader known as the leader of Damask Holdings.
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As The Chancellor[]

As Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, Palpatine was head of the Galactic Senate and Commander in Chief of the Republic's Grand Army. Originally the Senate Representative for the Mid Rim planet of Naboo, Palpatine used his connections and charisma to depose his predecessor Finis Valorum and assume the mantle of Chancellor. Using his leadership qualities and powers of manipulation, Palpatine restructured much of the Republic government, even before his Declaration of a New Order, by concentrating executive and emergency powers into his own hands. Nonetheless, many of his colleagues in the Senate saw him as a brilliant visionary leader.

As The Dark Lord[]

Palpatine Order 66 hologram

As the Dark Lord of the Sith, Sidious was the secret leader of the Separatists and the Sith Master of Darth Tyranus. With Tyranus' help, Sidious aptly and excellently controlled every move of the war and his Droid Army. As the Commander in Chief of the Republic's Clone Army, Sidious also used the military to destabilize the galaxy, preparing it for his takeover. By manipulating a series of dark side acolytes like Sev'rance Tann, Asajj Ventress, Sora Bulq, and bounty hunters and mercenaries like the Gen'dai warrior known as Durge, Jango Fett, and Grievous, Sidious also succeeded in challenging the power of the Jedi Order. As a further testament to his dark side mastery, Sidious also cloaked all his activities and plans through the force so much that not a single member of the Jedi Council ever suspected that he was the reigning Dark Lord until it was far too late.

Despite usually acting through others, he would execute his plans on occasion. The first noteworthy involvement of Sidious was hiring Cad Bane to kidnap Force-sensitive children, so he could condition them to be his servants. The plan nearly succeeded, but Anakin Skywalker and Ahsoka Tano rescued the younglings just in time. However, all evidence of Sidious's presence was destroyed, allowing him to slip back into the shadows.

Powers, Privileges and Abilities[]

  • Commander in Chief- As the Supreme Commander of the Republic's Grand Army, Palpatine was aware of all military actions taken by the clone troopers and their Jedi commanders. Furthermore, as Chancellor, all clones were engineered to answer him above all others, which he used to his advantage.
  • Separatist Leader- While his apprentice Darth Tyranus was the official Head of State for the Confederacy of Independent Systems, Sidious was truly in command of the Separatists. After manipulating massive interplanetary corporations like the Trade Federation, Commerce Guild, InterGalactic Banking Clan, and the Techno Union into backing a movement to secede from the Republic, he goaded their leaders into every maneuver against the Jedi and the Clone Army, eventually betraying Viceroy Gunray.
  • Cloaking of the Dark Side/Masking Presence- Using the powers and the techniques of the Sith, Darth Sidious was able to infiltrate the Senate and become its elected leader, all while planning its destruction. Sidious was able to fool even senior Jedi Masters like Windu, Plo Koon, Ki-Adi-Mundi, Shaak Ti, Grandmaster Yoda, and every other High Council member using the dark side of the Force, even though he met with them regularly. No one ever suspected that he was the Dark Lord of the Sith Order or even a Force user at all.
  • Force Lightning- Darth Sidious was one of the most talented individuals in the galaxy's history in the use of Force lightning. Sidious could use it to torture or kill nearly any enemy.
  • Lightsaber Skill- Unbeknownst to many of his colleagues, Darth Sidious was an expert lightsaber duelist who kept his lightsaber hidden in one of the many statues and artifacts in his office. With his skills, he managed to defeat both Darth Maul and Savage Opress with little effort. Although he usually wielded only one lightsaber, he wielded two while confronting the Zabrak brothers, exhibiting mastery of the Jar'Kai technique.
  • Personal Security Force- Traditionally, the Senate Guard was responsible for protecting the Republic's lawmakers; however, Palpatine himself would form a new security force out of the most loyal Senate Commandos during the Clone Wars. This new force, designed exclusively to protect him alone, would be known as the "Red Guard," referencing the unique red cloaks of their uniforms.


  • Electrum-finish Sith lightsaber


War with the Hutts[]

After the Confederacy's Droid Army seized control of the major hyperspace lanes, Sidious had Count Dooku and his assassin Asajj Ventress kidnap the Hutt Clans' Council leader, Jabba's son Rotta. After he was taken to Teth, Sidious contacted both Ventress and Dooku. He assured them that the Jedi would be at war with the Hutts as well as the Confederacy.

Palpatine then received a message from Jabba, asking for help in rescuing his son. Despite Master Mace Windu's reservations about allying the Republic with the Hutt, Palpatine knew they needed the Hutt's space lanes to move their troops. Despite General Grievous spreading the Republic forces thin, Windu told Palpatine that Skywalker and Kenobi could carry out the rescue. During the rescue, Palpatine learned that Jabba believed that the Jedi were behind his son's kidnapping and told Senator Amidala of this. Jabba refused to speak with him, so Amidala decided to speak with Jabba's uncle Ziro at his palace, despite Palpatine's warning. Kenobi, Skywalker, and his new Padawan, Ahsoka Tano, returned Rotta to his father and secured a treaty with the Hutts. Sidious spoke with his apprentice about this setback. He assured Tyranus that the war was turning in their favor.

Children of the Force[]

As Sidious, he paid bounty hunter Cad Bane to steal a Holocron from the Jedi Temple's Holocron Vault, which, when used in conjunction with the kyber memory crystal, would reveal the location of Force-sensitive infants across the galaxy. He had Bane kidnap these children to his facility on Mustafar to commence creating an army of Force-sensitive spies, but the Jedi foiled Bane and rescued the younglings.

The Zillo Beast[]


Palpatine eye to eye with the Zillo Beast

During the Battle of Malastare, the Zillo Beast was inadvertently awakened, and Palpatine wanted the creature killed, but he changed his mind when Doctor Sionver Boll and Skywalker pointed out the beast's indestructible hide could prove fruitful if analyzed. The Zillo Beast was instead rendered unconscious and transported to Coruscant. It broke out of its restraints and rampaged through the Senate District before being killed with poison gas. Palpatine ordered Boll to clone the animal.

Kidnapping the Chancellor[]

Sidious ordered Tyranus to ally with the resurgent Zygerrian Slave Empire, explaining past Sith Empires were built on the backs of slaves and their one would be no exception. They soon plotted for bounty hunters such as Cad Bane and Rako Hardeen to "kidnap" Palpatine during the Festival of Light on Naboo. Kenobi infiltrated the plot and helped the Jedi to prevent it, lulling them into a false sense of security. Dooku showed up the evening after the festival but was defeated and forced to flee.

In the Flesh[]


Sidious duels Savage and Maul

During the turning point of the Clone Wars, Palpatine received news from Obi-Wan Kenobi that Darth Maul was not dead as thought, and that he and Savage Opress were spreading havoc and must be stopped. Palpatine assured him that Maul was no threat compared to the Separatists. After Maul and Death Watch conquered the Mandalorians, the fearsome Zabrak became the new leader of Death Watch, as well as the Mandalorians' new Mandalore. Sensing this turn of events, Sidious took his configured Eta-2-class shuttle to Mandalore.

After landing, two Mandalorian guards confronted him, but Sidious slew them with a Force choke and took a speeder to the Sundari Royal Palace. There, he confronted Maul and Opress, stating that Maul had become a rival. A ferocious duel ensued, wherein the Dark Lord engaged both Zabraks simultaneously. In full control of the duel throughout, Sidious fatally impaled Opress and subsequently told Maul that there could only be two Sith at a time. He then dueled his former apprentice, who now wielded the Darksaber. But Maul was no match for Sidious, who promptly disarmed him and telekinetically slammed him against the wall and floor, ending the duel. Maul begged for mercy, but Sidious replied that there was no mercy, after which he tortured Maul with Force lightning. Sidious then stated that he had no intention of killing the Zabrak, explaining that he had other uses.

The Wrong Jedi[]


Palpatine during Ahsoka's trial

Palpatine served as the judge of the trial of Ahsoka Tano, who was accused of masterminding a bombing at the Jedi Temple. Skywalker interrupted with Barriss Offee, who confessed to the crime as he prepared to deliver the verdict. Palpatine then ordered Offee taken away, and Tano was acquitted. However, Tano still left the Jedi Order.

Preventing Exposure of Order 66[]

When the clone trooper "Tup" killed the Jedi Master Tiplee during the Battle of Ringo Vinda, it threatened to expose Order 66. After Tup died, Palpatine asked his body to be taken to the Grand Republic Medical Facility for autopsy. Shaak Ti and Nala Se bought the rebellious clone "Fives" to Palpatine, who had uncovered the inhibitor chips implanted in each clone trooper, and believed them to be part of a Separatist conspiracy. Sheev had his guards stage an attack, making Fives look insane and discrediting him. He then informed the Jedi that a parasite native to Ringo Vida was responsible for Tup and Fives's behavior, for which all of the clone troopers would be inoculated against.

Yoda's Visions[]

Palpatine was visited by Yoda when the Jedi discovered Sifo-Dyas's lightsaber at the location of a distress beacon: apparently, Sifo-Dyas had died on a mission to Felucia, but the Office of the Chancellor sealed details. Palpatine told Yoda to consult Valorum while he went to berate Tyranus via hologram over this loose end, ordering him to sort it out. Dooku prevented Kenobi and Skywalker from learning who killed Sifo-Dyas, but they still deduced the Sith were responsible for creating the clone army.


Sidious fighting Yoda on Moraband

When Yoda entered the Valley of the Dark Lords on Moraband during a quest to uncover immortality, Sidious and Tyranus sensed his presence and convened at The Works on Coruscant. Exploiting Tyranus and Yoda's Force-bond, Sidious used Balc magic to cast a dark illusion to trap the Jedi Master. Using Sifo-Dyas' visage, he offered to reveal his identity if he would join him. But Yoda refused. The illusion then made it seem that they were in the Works pursuing the Sith Lords with Skywalker and the 501st Legion. As the illusion unfolded, Yoda refused to sacrifice Skywalker to pursue Sidious and instead demonstrated he was willing to sacrifice himself to save the Chosen One. Sidious's illusion faltered: the Jedi Master won.



Star Wars: Clone Wars[]

The Clone Wars[]

The Bad Batch[]

Tales of the Jedi[]



  • The voice actor of Darth Sidious, Ian Abercrombie, died on January 26, 2012. His replacement was voice actor Tim Curry. And in Shattered and the Bad Batch, he was voiced by Ian McDiarmid, his actor from the films.