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This Pure Evil was Headlined on December, 2020.

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This Article Contains Spoilers - WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.

Once more the Sith will rule the galaxy... and we shall have... peace.
~ Darth Sidious before rising to power, and one of his most famous quotes.
Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen.
~ Emperor Palpatine to Darth Vader, and one of his most famous quote.
Use your aggressive feelings, boy! Let the hate flow through you!
~ Emperor Palpatine to Luke Skywalker.

Sheev Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious or simply the Emperor, is the main antagonist of the Star Wars franchise.

He is an immensely powerful Sith Lord and the ruler of the Galactic Empire, which he formed from the Galactic Republic, who was also the de facto ruler of the Separatists, which he used to give himself autocratic powers as Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. As the Dark Lord of the Sith, he plotted to overthrow the Jedi by manipulating the events of the Clone Wars to bring himself to rule the whole galaxy; thus posing as the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic throughout these events. He is the Jedi's archenemy expressly Yoda, and they were suspicious of him even just after Count Dooku's death when they were unaware that he was Darth Sidous. He is also later revealed to be the secret benefactor and de facto leader of the First Order, and he is the paternal grandfather of Rey.

He was famously portrayed by Ian McDiarmid in the films and by Clive Revill and the late Marjorie Eaton in the original version of The Empire Strikes Back. In The Clone Wars, he was voiced by the late Ian Abercrombie and then Tim Curry, who also played It in the 1990s miniseries of the same name, Taurus Bulba in Darkwing Duck, Hexxus in FernGully: The Last Rainforest, Skullmaster in Mighty Max, Kileem in Aladdin: The Series, Slagar the Cruel in Redwall and Von Talon in Valiant. In Rebels, he was voiced by Sam Witwer and McDiarmid later reprised the role for its fourth season.

What Makes Him Pure Evil?

Canon Material

Background

  • Even though he had an extremely poor relationship with his family (especially his father) and was the most hated member, therefore, being treated as an outcast by them, this doesn’t serve as a motivator for his crimes as he was already a spoiled, ambitious and malicious since he was a kid even before he developed any kind of relationship with his family (hence the estranged relationship). It serves as deteriorating instead, since his personality becomes worse through time, which further cements him as antisocial since early childhood. Because of this, he didn’t care about them and his actions went far past it as he murdered his own parents and siblings, including his family's two guards. His father did tell him that he should’ve killed him, but he is still far past it.
  • Killed Senator Pax Teem by burning him alive, but not before killing his family, friends, and guests at the Embassy he was at in front of him by burning them all alive.
  • Even for a Sith (who can have some degree of humanity, redeeming traits, honor, values, and loyalty to their masters), he is utterly and irredeemably evil and has none of those. Although he is sophisticated and polite, this is nothing more than a manipulation tactic to control those to further his ends.
  • He had no true loyalty to anyone, including his own minions if they serve him well. He used his master Darth Plaguéis to become a Sith Lord and killed him in his sleep right after he became a Chancellor, even though Plagueis completely trusted him just because he wasn’t useful for his plans anymore.
  • Corrupted Count Dooku into becoming a Sith by using his anger against the Republic to turn him.

The Phantom Menace

  • Mercilessly tortured and abused Darth Maul into becoming his ruthless apprentice.
  • Had his homeworld, Naboo, invaded by the Trade Federation as part of his plan to become Chancellor.
  • Manipulated Padmé Amidala into asking the Senate for a vote of no confidence, which leads to Chancellor Valorum getting removed from office and replacing him with Palpatine.
  • Tried to have Maul take out a 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker before deciding he would be of more use to him alive.

Attack of the Clones

  • Orchestrated the Clone Wars, which results in countless deaths.
  • He had Count Dooku, his new apprentice, create the clone army with chips in their brains, making them turn on the Jedi.

The Clone Wars

  • Ordered the Zillo Beast killed when he found out its armor was unbreakable. Furthermore, he risked the destruction of the Senate building when he brought it to Coruscant.
  • Hired Cad Bane to kidnap sensitive infants so he can conduct illegal fatal experiments on them. When Ahsoka and Anakin went to save them on Mustafar, Palpatine ordered the droids to erase all evidence and kill all the infants.
  • Forced Dooku to kill his own apprentice Asajj Ventress out of fear that she was growing too powerful, threatening to kill him if he didn’t comply.
  • Murdering a total of 4 of Maul's Death Watch Guards, 2 of which simply for telling him to halt, and the other 2 for no reason whatsoever.
  • Betrayed his former apprentice, Darth Maul, upon learning of his return and growing power which threatened to interfere with his long-term plans. In the process, he murdered Maul's brother, Savage Opress, right in front of him before sadistically torturing him with his Force-lightning, while taunting him that he has other plans just for him other than death.
  • After betraying Maul, he forced him to help him in a scheme to kill his mother, Mother Talzin.
  • Slowly corrupted Anakin Skywalker to turn against the Jedi and made the Jedi Council expel his apprentice Ahsoka after she was framed for bombing the Jedi Temple. He even managed to persuade Anakin to try to kill Obi Wan Kenobi, a man who considered Anakin to be his honorary younger brother.
  • Once Fives, a clone trooper, learned of Order 66, Palpatine had him drugged to the point of insanity and has him murdered in order to keep Order 66 a secret from the Jedi (who would be the victims of Order 66). He even revealed the truth about Order 66 just to mock Fives and provoke the trooper to attack him in order to make him appear insane.
  • Force-choked Dooku from far away after he failed to keep further details of Sifo-Dyas' death from the Jedi.
  • Attempted to corrupt Yoda by interfering with his trials on Dagobah.
  • Taunts Maul over the death of his mother.

Son of Dathomir

  • He makes it very clear to Darth Maul that once he's established his rule over the galaxy, he would move on to conquer all of the universe.

Revenge of the Sith

  • When General Grievous showed concern over Dooku's death (only because he was wondering who would led the Separatists), Palpatine mocked him and proudly told Grievous that Dooku was a necessary loss.
  • Adhering to the rule of two, he instructs Anakin to kill Dooku once his role was finished (even though Dooku was nothing but loyal to Palpatine), later renaming the former Darth Vader after Anakin was forced to join him due to betraying Windu in said Master's attempt to avenge the other Masters, all of whom were killed by Palpatine as well and having him murder all of the Separatist leaders after he'd taken control of the Senate. He also would've more than likely taken Padmé's life if Vader hadn't.
  • Killed Kolar, Tiin and Fisto when they arrived to apprehend Palpatine.
  • Blasted Mace Windu away with his force lightning and expressed his uncontrolled and excited enjoyment in his power hurting him.
  • Ordering the Clonetroopers to execute almost all the Jedi killed through Order 66.
  • His announcement to the galaxy on making propaganda of the Jedi being evil was a manipulation tactic to make the public side with him in making a ruling dictatorship being the Galactic Empire.
  • Attempted to kill Yoda at the Senate so that he could take out one of the most powerful Jedi before he managed to stop him.
  • Although he saved Vader's life in Mustafar, he did so because of his sheer potential with the Force and not wanting to look for another apprentice.

Dark Lord of the Sith

  • Configuring Vader's suit to be extremely vulnerable to force lightning to ensure that he could easily kill Vader if he tried to defy him.
    • When Darth Vader used the Force on him in anger over Padme's death and the promise that Palpatine would save her, he brutally attacks Vader with Force-lightning.
    • He then held his lightsaber to Vader's throat, threatening to kill him if he ever touched him with the Force again.
  • Had the Inquisitors hunt down and murder every Jedi that survived Order 66.
  • Enslaved almost all non-human species in the galaxy.

Rebels

  • Uses planet-destroying weapons such as the Death Star to spread fear in the galaxy.
  • Having multiple cities and populations razed or killed off out of paranoia that they might conspire against him.
  • Tried to kill Ahsoka and Ezra when they were in the World Between Worlds, trying to use them to get in so he could use the power to have control of time and reality.
  • Tried to prey off Ezra Bridger's desire to be with his family. When Ezra refused to join him, Palpatine ordered his guards to kill him so he can join his dead parents in death.

Darth Vader

  • After Vader refused to kill both Luke and Padmé's body double, Sabé, Palpatine punished him by attacking with him with Force-lightning. After, he took Vader's lightsaber to fight his two Royal Guards by himself, then proceeded to force choke Vader and dismembered three of his limbs. Palpatine worsened his punishment by taking Vader back to Mustafar to relive the painful memories of his defeat against Obi-Wan, ordering him to rebuild himself without using the Force.
  • When Vader arrived on Exegol, he had his members of the Sith Eternal attack his broken apprentice, openly saying that any of them could potentially replace Vader and showing no care if his apprentice was defeated.

Return of the Jedi

  • Lured the Rebel fleet to Endor as part of his plan to destroy the Alliance.
  • Used the Death Star II to destroy some rebel ships
  • Attempts to have Luke kill his father to seduce him towards the dark side. When Luke refuses, Palpatine sadistically tortures him to near death with Force-lightning which causes Vader to turn on him and kill them both.

Battlefront 2

  • Ordered that all life on Vardos and Naboo be eliminated if he ever died.

The Force Awakens & The Last Jedi

  • Orchestrated most of the events that happened in the sequel trilogy, being behind the First Order and Supreme Leader Snoke.
  • Besides creating Snoke to corrupt young Ben Solo, Palpatine himself whispered voices in Ben's mind during his childhood to corrupt him further.
  • Creates the massive Sith fleet, the Final Order, to reclaim his rule over the galaxy by having them destroy any planet that refuses to bow before him.
  • Has Ochi kill his own son and his daughter-in-law once they refused to hand Rey over to him.

The Rise of Skywalker

  • Tries to use the Final Order to enslave the universe once the galaxy has been re-conquered.
  • Orders the destruction of the planet Kijimi to demonstrate the Final Order's power.
  • Attempts to have his granddaughter kill him to force his spirit into her and take control of her body.
  • Drains the Force energy out of Rey and Ben Solo's dyad to restore his body, then attempts to kill him by sending him plummeting into a ravine.
  • Uses his Force lightning to attack and disable the enemy fighters, killing many of them in the process.
  • In his true final moments, he attempted to kill his own granddaughter while sadistically mocking her weakness and telling her how she is "weak" like her parents.
  • Causes Rey to die to destroy him, because he had drained almost all of her and Ben's life energy.
  • Is responsible for Ben Solo's death, as Ben sacrificed himself to revive Rey after she died to kill the Emperor.
  • Succeeds in destroying the Skywalker bloodline.
  • While he treats his men better in the movie, avoiding harming them and telling them not to fear the Resistance, he doesn't mourn their deaths when they're killed by Ben and Rey, showing that he just continues to manipulate people and only doesn't hurt them because he needs an army.

Legends Exclusive

The Force Unleashed

  • Encouraged Vader to continue betraying Galen, by nearly painfully killing him.
  • He had the Empire do many heinous things to the environment on Kashyyk and Felucia, such as having Ozzik Sturn enslave the Wookies and installing a device into the Sarlacc on Felucia, the latter of which leaving Juno audibly horrified
  • When he captured the politicians who were planning to form a rebellion, he was about to interrogate, torture, get information on more of their allies, and execute them.
  • Tried to convince Galen Marek to fall to the dark side by killing Vader and when Kota attempted to stop him, he tortured him with his force lightning.
    • In the dark side ending where Palpatine succeeds in convincing Galen to mercilessly kill Vader, he asks Galen to strike down Kota, when Galen refuses by attacking Palpatine instead, he proceeds to electrocute Galen, uses the force to throw the Rogue Shadow (Which has Juno, Galen's lover as the pilot in there) onto him, and kills the rest of his allies.
    • After Galen survives the crash of the Rogue Shadow, he ends up in a bad harmful physical state similar to how his former master Darth Vader was in, where Palpatine controls him to do his bidding until he finds a new apprentice that will likely kill him.
    • The aftermath of this was Galen killing Obi-Wan and corrupting Luke to the Dark Side.
  • When Galen rescues Kota in the Light Side ending, Palpatine insists on him to give into to his hatred in killing him, when Galen doesn't give in, Palpatine attempts to kill him and his allies with his force lightning that lead to Galen sacrificing his life in making he wasn't successful in killing his allies.
  • In the sequel's alternate Battle of Endor timeline, when he finds out about the cloning program, he kills Vader with force lightning all while laughing sadistically.
    • To make matters worse, right after he does this, he has Captain Sarkli kill the Galen clone despite the fact that he helped bring the fall of the Rebellion.

Empire: Betrayal

  • Used Dark Side to go into Shreeftuts dreams to make trading deals for the Ssi-ruuvi invasion of Bakura
  • Trained Mara Jade to serve the Empire and assassinate Luke.
  • He had Bevel Lemelisk, one of the designers of the Death Star, tortured to death to punish him for giving the Death Star a design flaw. He brought him back to life multiple times just to torture him to death again. This included having him fed to flesh-eating insects.

Dark Empire Trilogy

  • Brought himself back as a clone to rebuild his empire and continue his conquer of the galaxy.
  • Drove Jeng Droga to madness while possessing him.
  • Him being devastated by Thrawn's death was him losing some of the most effective war soldiers on his side to take down those who oppose him, not actual care.
  • Corrupted Luke Skywalker to the dark side of the force.
  • Attempted to corrupt Leia to the dark side.
  • Tried to make sure Luke stayed corrupted.
  • Summoned a force storm on a republic fleet, killing many people once again.
  • Used the Galaxy Gun and Star Dreadnaught to bring most of the New Republic under his rule.
  • Tried using "World Devastators" to destroy Mon Calamari's homeworld as a punishment for their support of the New Republic.
  • Destroyed the Pinnacle Moon to wipe out the Rebel base there.
  • Arrived at Korriban to meet the Sith spirits as a means to be healed and was informed that he needed to use Han and Leia's third child Anakin Solo to do that. As predicted, he attempted to possess Han and Leia's child, of course, a team would try to team to stop him being Luke, Ysanna, and Brand with Ysanna getting killed, and Brand being wounded to near-death by Palpatine, ultimately Brand did die as a means to sacrifice himself in ending his tyranny once and for all.

Trivia

  • Emperor Palpatine is, alongside Grand Moff Tarkin and Orson Krennic, one of the three Star Wars Pure Evils to qualify as Pure Evils based on their actions in the films alone, as all the other Star Wars Pure Evils either do not appear in any of the films or do not qualify as Pure Evil based on their actions in the films, instead being of ranked up to Pure Evil because of their actions in the novel spin-offs or television series.
  • He is also the second Pure Evil villain of a film released by Disney in Winter 2019 that is the grandfather of the protagonist, the first being King Runeard.
  • Palpatine ordering Count Dooku to have Jango Fett, the same mercenary who served as a model for an army of secret clones (at the time) assassinate a senator who would vote against an act that would allow the creation of this same army and that mercenary, who is recognized as the best in the galaxy, quickly neglects the job by giving it to a less qualified killer, and fails to cover his tracks, leading to the discovery of the army of clones by the Jedi was all planned by the Dark Lord of the Sith. The Jedi proposed to use the army and for that, they are described as thriving for war. The Separatist's War was the reason Palpatine created to force the Jedi to use an army of slaves. Slavery is also against the principles of the Jedi and breaking that rule has broken the Jedi laws.
  • Throughout the expanded works, Palpatine often tries to justify his more heinous actions, such as the destruction of Alderaan to the rest of the galaxy or slavery to Darth Vader. This is, of course, all fake manipulation and a way to keep a good public image of himself in the mind of others.
  • His Angry Birds: Star Wars version who is portrayed by King Pig cannot qualify as it is a parody that isn't taken seriously, is lighthearted, and is played for laughs.
  • His LEGO version doesn't qualify, as it's also a parody that's played for laughs and even has some (if few) redeeming qualities.
  • His Family Guy version who is portrayed by Carter Pewterschmidt doesn't count, as it's an adult sitcom parody that isn't taken seriously and is played for laughs.
  • He has arguably the highest kill count of any Star Wars villain and character, due to orchestrating the Clone Wars and causing mass casualties across the galaxy, as well as causing Order 66 and vast other war crimes.
  • He is considered to be one of the two most evil Star Wars characters, with only Vitiate being his competitor.
  • While unambiguously Pure Evil as presented in both Canon and Legends works themselves, being considered the epitome of Pure Evil by nearly everyone, and never having demonstrated even subverted redeeming qualities, Palpatine, or his Legends version to be more precise, had one or two redeeming qualities and a mitigating factor through word of god and an unproduced work, which would've prevented Palpatine from qualifying as Pure Evil:
    • According to The Clone Wars Campaign Guide, Sidious eventually grew to care for Sly Moore despite previously kidnapping her, bonding with her and eventually revealing himself to be a Sith, though he didn't reveal he kidnapped her. It was even speculated they fell in love and that Sly Moore gave Palpatine a son, even if he didn't love him. In-universe, however, Palpatine and Moore are never truly shown interacting, with their relationship being professional, and his care for Moore doesn't count due to being from a sourcebook, and thus Word of God.
    • In the unproduced Star Wars: Underworld, a planned 100-400 episode TV Series that was due to air in 2009 but was delayed and eventually put on hold indefinitely due to budgetary concerns, according to Cory Barlog, Palpatine was somehow wronged by a heartless gangster woman, which destroyed him as a person and seemed to be portrayed as sympathetic. In addition, this implies he loved her, though its never confirmed and he likely stopped due to her wronging him. Though the backstory did seemingly inspire Kratos in God of War, the series was never produced due to the aforementioned reasons and Disney buying Lucasfilm. In addition, the novel Plagueis showing Palpatine was evil as a child, and Darth Plagueis himself being recanonized later, throw heavy doubt the backstory would be included if Underworld is made (as it was never cancelled), cumultively preventing the backstory from being mitigating.
    • McDiarmid once said that he considers Palpatine more evil than the Devil himself. Funny enough, McDiarmid once played the Devil in a stage adaptation of Paradise Lost, where the Devil was portrayed as a tragic villain with sympathetic and even redeemable qualities... which Palpatine does not possess.

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Disney Canon
Emperor Palpatine

Confederacy of Independent Systems
General Grievous | Wat Tambor | Dr. Nuvo Vindi | Keeper Agruss

Galactic Empire
Grand Moff Tarkin | Orson Krennic

First Order
Captain Phasma

Others
Pong Krell

Legends Canon
Durge | Cronal | Demagol | Haazen | Aleema Keto | Darth Krayt | Exar Kun | Vitiate | Onimi | Kul Teska

Other Continuities
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Animated Features
Blackwolf | Lord Nekron | Hexxus | Rasputin | Drej Queen Susquehana | Zeebad | Black Wolf | Drago Bludvist

Live-Action Films
Grand Moff Tarkin | Ben Childress | Emperor Palpatine | The Entity | Carter J. Burke | Hans Gruber | Anton Bartok | Colonel William Stuart | Screwface | Shredder | Lothos | Henry Evans | Karl Hochman | Howard Payne | King Edward I of England | Vic Deakins | Abigail Williams | Mason Wren | Colonel Ives | Patrick Koster | Wat Tambor | Madison Bell | Kingpin | Bullseye | James Moriarty | Guy of Lusignan | Raynald of Châtillon | General Grievous | Doctor Doom | Benjamin Juma | King Piccolo | Nikolai Wolf | Carlos Chavez | Medusa | Sebastian Shaw | Koba | Adam | Apocalypse | Charlie Hesketh | Doom | Ajax | Mr. Barron | Dr. Zander Rice | Donald Pierce | Poppy Adams | Janson | Clancy Gray | Billy Lee | Jatemme Manning | Vector | Nova | Skynet | Solomon Goode | Nick Goode | Captain Morton | Grigori Rasputin

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Live-Action TV
Cigarette-Smoking Man | Angelus | Warren Mears | Nina Myers | Phillip Bauer | Cheng Zhi | Caleb | Abu Fayed | Benjamin Juma | Alan Wilson | Anson Fullerton | Billy Blim

Literature
Prince Humperdinck | Count Rugen

See Also
Buena Vista International Pure Evils | Buffyverse Pure Evils | Disney Pure Evils | DreamWorks Pure Evils | Die Hard Pure Evils | How to Train Your Dragon Pure Evils | Netflix Pure Evils | New Line Cinema Pure Evils | Paramount Pure Evils | Ralph Bakshi Pure Evils | Star Wars Pure Evils | Summit Entertainment Pure Evils | Tim Burton Pure Evils | TMNT Pure Evils | Village Roadshow Pictures Pure Evils | X-Men Movies Pure Evils

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Animated Features
Coachman | Horned King | Judge Doom | Percival C. McLeach | Scar | Judge Claude Frollo | Shan Yu | Commander Rourke | Syndrome | Von Talon | Dr. Facilier | Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear | Sir Miles Axlerod | Professor Zündapp | King Runeard

Live-Action Films
Dr. Dark | Princess Mombi | Judge Doom | Andrei Strasser | Charles "Trout" Walker | Jadis the White Witch | Lord Cutler Beckett | Mr. Mercer | Ilosovic Stayne | Nizam | Blackbeard | Red Skull | Arnim Zola | Butch Cavendish | Malekith the Accursed | Crossbones | Ronan the Accuser | Captain Phasma | Dormammu | Orson Krennic | Grand Moff Tarkin | Ego | Armando Salazar | Hela | Jafar | Scar | Queen Ingrith | Emperor Palpatine | Opal Koboi | General Dreykov

Animated Television
Taurus Bulba (2017) | Mozenrath | Mirage | Kileem | NOS-4-A2 | Evil Buzz Lightyear | The Huntsman | Abomination | Loki | Baron Zemo | Red Skull | Surtur | Bill Cipher | Cahu | Zhan Tiri | General Lunaris | Ponce de Leon | King Aldrich | Bill the Elder | Infinity Ultron

Live-Action TV
Victor Krane | Bob Underwood | John Garrett | Daniel Whitehall | Kilgrave | Amy Hughes | Malphas | Agent Orange | Arthur Walsh | D'Spayre | Foolkiller

Literature
Obadiah Stane | Abomination | Shere Khan | Ursula | Dr. Facilier | Elizabeth Bathory

Video Games
Atticus Thorn | Jolly Roger

Manga
Ansem, Seeker of Darkness

Attractions
Constance Hatchaway

Fanon
Mayor Leonardo Lionheart | Scar | Jafar | Horned King | King Almighty | Mad Ducktor

See Also
20th Century Studios Pure Evils | Aladdin Pure Evils | Avengers Pure Evils | Buena Vista International Pure Evils | DuckTales Pure Evils | Gargoyles Pure Evils | ImageMovers Pure Evils | Marvel Cinematic Universe Pure Evils | Once Upon a Time Pure Evils | Pinocchio Pure Evils | Pirates of the Caribbean Pure Evils | Pixar Pure Evils | Paramount Pure Evils | Star Wars Pure Evils | Tim Burton Pure Evils

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Live-Action Films
Grand Moff Tarkin | Emperor Palpatine | Mola Ram | Queen Bavmorda | General Grievous | Captain Phasma | Orson Krennic

See Also
Star Wars Pure Evils

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