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Rise of the Empire era

Darth Sidious, born as Sheev Palpatine, was a Dark Lord of the Sith who was also the Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, hiding his true nature from the Jedi Order for many years. Sidious was trained by Darth Plagueis and had three apprentices of his own, Darth Maul, Darth Tyranus and Darth Vader. Possessing incredible patience and intelligence, Sidious was responsible for the outbreak of the Clone Wars which he used to gain more power in the Senate, in order to make way for his ultimate ambition; to rule the Galaxy.

Biography

Early life

Palpatine was born on Naboo but much of his life before he joined the Sith is unknown; it is not even known if Palpatine is his true name. At a young age, Palpatine was discovered by the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis who realized that he possessed an incredibly strong connection to the Force and therefore decided to train him in the ways of the Sith.

Young Palpatine training under Darth Plagueis.

Palpatine was a talented and ambitious student who always wanted to increase his own power. He spent hours every day studying the Force, Sith holocrons and lightsaber combat. Palpatine was a fast learner, quickly adapting to weilding a lightsaber and the ways of the Force and also finding time to study politics. Even from a young age he dreamed of ruling the Galaxy and destroying the Jedi Order though it was many years before he thought of the master plan that would allow him to do these things. Darth Plagueis was impressed by his talents and taught him some of the least well known secrets of the Force as well as giving him the name Darth Sidious. However one of the few things Plagueis didn't teach him was how to create life by manipulating the midi-chlorians, keeping this secret to himself.

Finding Darth Maul

At some point before he killed Darth Plagueis in accordance to Darth Bane's Rule of Two, Sidious kidnapped a young Zabrak from Iridonia who would later become known as Darth Maul. Sidious broke the Rule of Two by training Maul in the ways of the Sith before killing his master. He was a brutal and harsh teacher but nevertheless Maul felt a degree of genuine attachment towards him though it is unlikely that Sidious felt any attachment to him in return.

When Darth Maul was very young—so young that he would remember few memories prior to this—Darth Sidious took him to the Jedi Temple, both of them disguised as tourists. Sidious's command of the dark side was sufficient to keep both himself and Maul from being sensed by the Jedi, as long as they did not enter the Temple itself. As the building was not open to tourists in any event, there was very little risk of discovery. For the better part of a day, they stood there, and Sidious pointed out to Maul the various faces of individual Jedi as they entered and left the Temple, whispering into his apprentice's ear of the Jedi Order's ultimate destruction. Maul would long remember the thrill of seeing his foes, standing in their presence, hearing about their downfall, as they walked past, not one of them aware of the fate that ultimately awaited them.

The death of Darth Plagueis

Darth Plagueis was obsessed with immortality. He delved into forbidden teachings, and possessed—or sought to possess—knowledge that could sustain those who were dying, or even return them from death. Both the Jedi and the Sith had sought ways to survive death for thousands of years, without success. The most powerful of the ancient Sith Lords, particularly Darth Sion and Darth Andeddu, supposedly knew such secrets, but they had been lost or misplaced. Plagueis then began taking his research to its greatest extreme, to create new life from nothing. Eventually Plagueis told Sidious of an experiment to influence the midi-chlorians to draw life directly from the Force itself. The child that resulted, Plagueis insisted, would potentially possess incredible Force powers.

Sidious at once suspected that Plagueis's real intention was to "create" a new apprentice to replace him. His position threatened, Sidious decided that he had learned all he could from Plagueis, and he already had his own secret apprentice in the form of Darth Maul. Soon after, Sidious challenged Plagueis to a duel to the death, also revealing that he had been training his own apprentice by bringing Maul to their secret home on Naboo to watch the duel, thinking it would be "an eye opening experience" for the young Zabrak. Plagueis was angry that Sidious had broken the rule of two and told him that by breaking the rule he had weakened the Sith's power—though only slightly—as it had to be shared out between three people. Palpatine retaliated by saying that the rule wouldn't be broken for much longer as once he killed Plagueis there would be two Sith again. The elder Sith Lord had no choice but to engage his former apprentice in a ferocious duel.

Plagueis matched Sidious' mastery of Juyo and Jar'Kai with his own Juyo and Jar'Kai swordplay and neither Sith was able to gain advantage over the other, since both of them had mastered both Juyo and Jar'Kai. Realising that Juyo alone wasn't going to win this duel, Sidious began to switch from one fighting style to another, successfully managing to confuse the elder Sith and disarm him by slicing one of Plagueis two lightsabers in half with a precise Makashi technique. After Plagueis lost his first lightsaber, Sidious quickly deprived him of the second by knocking it out of his hand.

However as Sidious attempted to kill his former Master, Plagueis hurled him away with Telekinesis and then used the Spell of Concealment to disappear from veiw. Sidious tried to sense Plagueis' presence with the Force but was hit from behind by the Bolt of Hatred which knocked him to the ground, also knocking his lightsaber out of his hand. Enraged Sidious used the pain he felt from the attack to augment his own power, releasing a Force Repulse so powerful that Darth Maul was forced to shelter behind a pillar, which barely held against the power of the Force Repulse. Plagueis reappeared and summoned a Force Barrier to deflect the attack. Plagueis then fired another Bolt of Hatred towards Sidious, who formed his own Force Barrier to block it. The two Sith then started to telekinetically hurl debis at each other, seeking to crush each other with pillars or rocks.

After evading and telekinetically deflecting a barrage of debris from his former Master, Sidious expertly weilded a large pillar telekinetically, forcing Plagueis to break off his barrage of debris in order to stop himself from being crushed under the pillar. As Sidious swung the pillar like a battering ram, Plagueis once more cast the Spell of Concealment before once again attempting to blast Sidious with the Bolt of Hatred. Sidious used Force Absorb to catch and absorb the bolt before sending it straight back at Plagueis blasting him into a pillar. Sidious then telekinetically summoned his lightsaber then lifted Plagueis into the air and used the "Draw Closer" technique to pull Plagueis onto his lightsaber killing the Dark Lord.

However even in death Plagueis still kept fighting, attempting to use "Transfer essence" to enter Sidious' body. After a vicious battle of wills, Sidious proved victorious and Darth Plagueis' spirit was destroyed. Sidious later claimed to Maul—who was in awe of his masters power—that by entering his body, Plagueis had increased Sidious' power by adding his own power to Sidious'.

Maul becomes a Sith Lord

Eventually, the time came for Maul's final test. Sidious sent him out to a remote and isolated world, where he was hunted by assassin droids for a month. At the end of the month, Maul found Sidious waiting at the mouth of a cave. Maul had not eaten for days, and was exhausted. Regardless, Sidious challenged Maul to a duel, in which Maul was easily defeated. Sidious stood over the broken man, and told him that he had been preparing another apprentice, should Maul fail as he had. Enraged, Maul flew at Sidious with murderous intent. Sidious was caught off guard, but was able to disarm Maul. Even without a weapon, Maul continued to attack, even going so far as to bite Sidious's hand before being ultimately defeated. Pleased, Sidious announced that Maul's training was complete, and that he was now a true Sith Lord.

The rise of Palpatine

Palpatine joins the Senate

Palpatine eventually entered local Naboo politics, carefully hiding his true nature as Darth Sidious, and began working his way upward. He lost more elections than he won, missing out on a string of political appointments.

When Senator Vidar Kim, Naboo's representative in the Galactic Senate, was assassinated by a never-identified gunman on a passing airspeeder, the thirty five year old Palpatine stood for election to succeed him. The people of Naboo elected him as their sectorial Senator, to represent Naboo and the thirty-five other affiliated worlds of the Chommell Sector. It is not known if Sidious, Maul, or any of their allies had anything to do with the murder, but whoever ordered it, only Sidious stood to gain from it.

When Palpatine first came to Coruscant to begin his service in the Senate, a number of his personal effects came with him from Naboo, accompanied by a manifest. The manifest was submitted to Republic officials as part of a standard security scan. This procedure was mandatory for all equipment and furniture to enter the Senate building. One of these items was an abstract sculpture of Sistros, one of the Four Sages of Dwartii (these were controversial philosopher-lawgivers who lived during the early days of the Republic—the others were Faya, Yanjon, and Braata).

Sidious' manifest clearly stated that this sculpture was a single piece of solid-forged neuranium with a bronzium finish. But the sculpture was not solid; it contained a small cylindrical cavity, in which rested one of his Sith lightsabers, sealed within the sculpture at the time of its forging. The security scan did not detect this cavity; neuranium was so dense that any piece more than a millimeter in thickness was impervious to sensors, and since nothing unusual was found in the scan, no one questioned it further. An advanced gravimetric detector would have revealed that one small section of the sculpture massed slightly less than it should have, but no one thought to use one at the time. The sculpture was admitted and placed in Palpatine's Senate offices (the floor had to be specially reinforced to bear its weight), and when Palpatine was elected Chancellor it was moved into the anteroom of his Suite in the Executive Office Building.

"Befriending" a Jedi

The new representative of Chommell Sector wasted no time in forming relationships that could help him in the future. The first was the son of the man whose death ensured his own election. Ronhar Kim was a Jedi who had forsworn his family ties but had also been present to witness his father's murder. Sidious approached the younger Kim even as he stood before his father's body, lying in state. Under his mask of sorrow and condolence, he studied Kim carefully. But he said little; instead, he demonstrated an art that would serve him well, and give him access to the powerful: his ability to listen, to serve as a confidant for others.

During their conversation, it quickly became clear that, rather than finding whoever struck down the father he had barely known, Kim was more concerned about himself and his own choices in life: Vidar Kim, lacking any other living family, had wanted his son to honor his bloodline again, perhaps follow him into politics. But Sidious suggested that for a Jedi to become a politician would be a waste. Instead, perhaps the best course would be an alliance between a Jedi and a politician.

Kim agreed, and struck up a "friendship" that would last many years. Ronhar Kim would be the first of Sidious' "alliances" with individual Jedi, but this particular alliance would be of great use: Kim would eventually be used as a pawn in a scheme that resulted in the creation of the feared Red Guards, and his eventual death in battle on Merson would be used as propaganda fuel to further Sidious' war aims. For these reasons, it can be said that a significant portion of the machinery that would destroy the Jedi would be created, unknowingly, with the help of Ronhar Kim.

A slow rise to power

By the time Palpatine stepped onto the Senate floor for the first time, he already knew that the prominent power-brokers in the Senate looked down their noses at the more provincial delegates, expecting little to nothing of importance from them. He knew that he, too, was lumped in with the other hopefuls from Rimward worlds, those who, having never ventured far from their homeworlds before, would in short order be overwhelmed by Coruscanti politics.

Rather than do anything to prove the elites wrong, Palpatine encouraged them to keep thinking this way. Again, he failed to take advantage of opportunities that could have landed him on important advisory boards and powerful committees, and unless pressed, he never shared his observations with his colleagues. He purposely sought to keep his advancement slow, knowing that the more he did so, the more harmless he seemed to potential rivals. The performance evidently worked; the powerful Senators, wrapped up in their own petty power struggles, simply laughed at the small and quiet provincial, and otherwise paid him no mind.

Palpatine surprised everyone as he became increasingly popular. He wrote extensively, his notes on power becoming popular texts among political and military science students, his theories even taught at leading universities throughout the galaxy. Despite this growing influence, Palpatine remained unassuming, and would spend many hours alone reflecting in his modest, yet well-appointed quarters. People remarked on how he remained a private man, rarely attending social functions, devoting all his time to his work. In fact, he spent much of his time with Darth Maul and furthering his private Sith agendas; it was left to his senatorial aides and to droids, such as TC-4 to do much of the day-to-day work and maintain his guise as the mild-mannered representative of Naboo.

Destabilization

In 11 BBG, Sidious's shadow ally, Governor Wilhuff Tarkin, helped Sidious to engineer the murder of the Trade Federation Directorate, which were on Tarkin's homeworld of Eriadu for a trade summit. The pirate raids on the Trade Federation that had led to the summit had also been orchestrated by Sidious, as was Nute Gunray's rise to power as Viceroy.

Shortly afterward, Sidious secretly funneled several million credits, believed to have been stolen by the Nebula Front, through the Bank of Aargau, and into the accounts of House Valorum. One of Palpatine's aides ensured that the exchange was uncovered by Valorum's political enemy, Senator Orn Free Taa, who revealed it to the Internal Activities Committee, thus critically weakening Chancellor Finis Valorum's already flimsy hold on power.

In 10 BBG, Sidious convinced the Neimoidian leaders of the Trade Federation to blockade the planet Naboo, in protest of Senate resolution BR-0371, a measure that levied a tax on the major Rim trade routes. Sidious kept his identity of Palpatine unknown to the Neimoidians, although he revealed that he was a Sith Lord and made it quite clear that he held some power in the Senate.

Over the past year, Sidious had moved the major pieces into position. The Trade Federation was now angered, threatened, and led by weak individuals controlled by him. Chancellor Valorum could also be controlled by him, a huge advantage. And, finally, the monarch of Naboo had been replaced by a new one, as malleable as the rest. Sidious now had control of every side of the board. It was time for the next round of the game. This was the Naboo crisis, the point where all the other plots intersected and dealt the first crippling blows to the Republic.

The Naboo crisis

"At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last we will have revenge."
"You have been well trained my young apprentice. They will be no match for you."
―Darth Maul and Darth Sidious

The blockade of Naboo

Senator Palpatine during the Naboo crisis.

The Trade Federation rapidly built up its forces in the Naboo system, assembling enough battleships to ensure a tight blockade. At Sidious's command, they closed the planet off and strangled its formerly thriving trade business. No supply ships could land or take off. Then the Federation secured the outer gate to the system by stationing a battleship at Station TFP-9, its own outpost at the outer edge of the system, to ward off the curious and advertise the act to all who would listen. The last free entrance was closed off, and all incoming ships were informed that the Federation was acting in protest of the illegal taxes that the Republic had levied against them. The blockade of Naboo was an accomplished fact.

For the next month, the Senate debated fiercely, but did nothing to help the Naboo. The Federation's representative, Lott Dod, successfully argued that they had not yet violated any Republic laws; they had attacked no ships, nor had they moved against Naboo itself. And if no outright crime had been committed, the Judicial Department could not act. The stalling further weakened the Valorum government; their defiance of his measures was in itself damaging, but the longer it went on, the more impotent Valorum appeared. Partly to allow this perception to widen, Palpatine kept his monarch, Queen Amidala, from disrupting his plans, urging her to be patient and wait until the Senate reached a decision.

Amidala proved harder to rein in than expected: her patience spent, she contacted Valorum and told him that she held him personally responsible for her world's suffering. Shocked, pushed into a corner by his own conscience, and desperate to shore up his crumbling support, Valorum decided to act. He would call for a special session of the Senate to discuss the blockade, but to give him a strong bargaining position, he needed the battleships sent away from Naboo. He decided to send the Jedi to Naboo as ambassadors, hoping they would shake the Neimoidians' confidence and show them he meant business.

The invasion of Naboo

Palpatine may not have known Valorum's full plans, since the Chancellor went directly to the Jedi Council without informing the Senate as the law required. Eventually he learned about the ambassadors, but not that those ambassadors were Jedi. The presence of a Jedi Master, Qui-Gon Jinn, and his Padawan, Obi-Wan Kenobi, took him by surprise. When the panicked Neimoidians told him, he fought hard both to manage his own anger and to get the Neimoidians under control, to focus them on the next task. The Jedi had been brought into the picture sooner than he would have liked, and Sidious ordered the Neimoidians to begin landing their troops. As for the Jedi, he had plans for them also, and he ordered them to be killed. The Neimoidians acted accordingly, destroying the cruiser that had delivered the Jedi and immediately jamming all communications. Then, the conference room the Jedi were in was flooded with dioxis. The Jedi however, survived.

The invasion went splendidly. Within a day, most of the major cities, including the capital, were in Federation hands. Amidala was captured with her entire retinue, and the Neimoidians presented her with a treaty that would bring an air of legitimacy to the invasion. But she never signed it; instead, the Jedi, far from being dead, had escaped, rescued Amidala and her retinue, and commandeered a ship bound for Coruscant, successfully evading dozens of heavily-armed battleships in the escape. Sidious was livid, or seemed so. He took the opportunity to introduce them to Maul. But despite the anger Sidious showed to his Neimoidian agents, Amidala's escape did not inconvenience him. Had he been anyone other than the Senator from Naboo, his plans would have been greatly harmed. But it was the very fact of his public identity that ensured that, come what may, he would have little trouble in finding her, no matter where she fled. He had an inside source: Amidala herself.

The search for Amidala

After Amidala's ship was damaged in the escape, Jinn and Kenobi recommended that they land on Tatooine, an obscure desert world in the Arkanis Sector, to repair the ship before going on. Amidala agreed, and they made for Tatooine, bringing this backwater planet into the spotlight for the first time. She signaled Palpatine, informing him that the ship had been damaged, was waylaid (she did not say where, in case the Federation was monitoring her communications) and that they would arrive after making repairs.[30] Sidious could now trace the signal to find out exactly where she landed. He handed the signal data over to Maul, giving him what he needed to find his prey. In a very short time they had narrowed the search to Tatooine.

The Neimoidians too tried to track Amidala, crafting a desperate-sounding message from Sio Bibble to be sent to her ship. They failed to get anything of use, but, desperate to stay in Sidious's good graces, they reported their scant findings. Maul knew the arid world had a small population, so it would not take long to find them. Sidious told him to move against the Jedi first and then take the queen. But Sidious also knew that Plagueis's "experiment" was on Tatooine. If the Jedi interfered, the child could be tainted, less susceptible to Sith teachings. Sending Maul to kill the Jedi under the cover of retrieving Amidala would prevent that. This was one reason why Maul was instructed to move against them first. But Sidious may not have told this to Maul; there is no mention of the boy in Maul's journals prior to his visit to Tatooine. As far as Maul knew, he was going to kill the Jedi and bring Amidala back to Naboo by any means necessary.

Maul left for Tatooine, but he failed to kill the Jedi or retrieve Amidala. Soon after, Palpatine was surprised to find the queen arriving on Coruscant, determined to rouse the Senate to her cause. One of Sidious's more trusted non-Sith agents, Kinman Doriana, who was present for these events, indicated—or at least believed—that the original plan was to use the occupation of Naboo, which they expected to last for months or even years, to create turmoil and paralysis in the Senate, which Sidious and his agents could have used to devastating effect. The eventual goal, to lever Sidious into the position of Chancellor, would likely have been achieved nonetheless, but more gradually. But Sidious was as capable at improvisation as he was at careful planning. He saw a new plan, one that would work far better than the first one.

The fall of Chancellor Valorum

"Enter the bureaucrats, the true rulers of the Republic and on the payroll of the Trade Federation, I might add. This is where Chancellor Valorum's strength will disappear."
―Palpatine to Queen Amidala

Palpatine requested an audience with Queen Amidala in his apartments at 500 Republica to go over strategy. He had spent the last six months cultivating the queen's trust, knowing she would heed him better than Veruna would have. It was all for this moment, when, in a crisis, she had to rely on him. She came believing the Senate would help her, but Palpatine slammed the door in her face by announcing, with mock disgust, that the Senate was long past caring about the common good. Worse, the corruption scandal had weakened Chancellor Finis Valorum more than she had thought. Both the Senate and Valorum were closed off to her as options. That left her with nothing but the options Palpatine offered.

He gave her two: she could move for a Vote of No Confidence in Chancellor Valorum, and push for the election of a more effective leader, or she could take the matter to the courts. In offering her this choice, Palpatine risked nothing. Amidala had pinned her hopes on a quick resolution of the crisis. The longer Naboo starved under Federation occupation, the more of her people would die. If there was to be a solution, it had to be now. And the courts took even longer to decide things than the Senate. He had given her an option he knew she would never choose, could never choose.

So Amidala had to decide between working in the courts, while the death toll on Naboo rose to unimaginable numbers, or heeding her trusted Senator's advice. More specifically, she had to choose between Valorum or her homeworld. As expected, she chose Naboo. Only fourteen and still new to the throne, she had all the qualities of the great leader she would eventually become, but little experience. If Palpatine, who knew the Senate in ways she did not, said that Valorum had become an obstacle, that was enough for her.

The long-anticipated special session of the Senate—the last under the Valorum government—had only two items on its agenda: a hearing of the Naboo delegation's case, and a debate on the Trade Federation's continued opposition to BR-0371. Few expected it to be anything other than routine. Palpatine alone knew what was coming. He knew that the Federation's representative, Lott Dod, would stall the proceedings with every procedural tool at his command. He also knew that the vice chair, Mas Amedda, would keep Valorum shackled by procedure no matter what. And he knew that, in the face of an attempt to stall, Amidala would have no choice but to act as he had suggested.

During the session, Dod and his allies threw up objection after objection; Amidala, unable to even finish her plea, grew more and more frustrated. Finally, Dod moved that a Senate committee be created to determine if her "accusations" were valid, citing senatorial procedures that Amidala had no hope of understanding. Then, Amedda pulled Valorum aside, subtly forcing him to concede that Dod was within his rights. When Valorum then asked Amidala to defer her motion to allow the committee to do its work, it was the last straw. She saw with her own eyes that Palpatine was right—Valorum was ineffective—and she had nowhere left to go. Palpatine hid his satisfaction as, next to him, Amidala delivered the words that sealed Finis Valorum's fate.

Valorum was thunderstruck, but by the time he could recover, events had moved past him. Senator Edcel Bar Gane of Roona seconded Amidala's motion, and the vote was on the floor. The Senate had waited for this for months, perhaps years, and so unpopular was Valorum that they fell on him with abandon, demanding a vote. It was all the Chancellor could do to postpone the vote until the following day. Palpatine already knew it would be a vote the Valorum government would not survive. It now remained only for him to ensure that he would be the one filling Valorum's shoes.

The election of Palpatine

The sudden power vacuum left a choice for the two major factions in the Senate. The loyal Senators saw the danger of an unstable government and sought to elect a strong leader to truly clean up the corruption in the Senate. The corrupt Senators wanted stability too, if only so they could continue plundering the system, and sought a figurehead who would provide the appearance of stability and just look the other way while they fattened themselves. Bail Antilles, representative of Alderaan, was the choice of the loyal Senators, while Ainlee Teem, representative of Malastare, was the choice of the corrupt Senators. These two nominations came as no surprise; both had been campaigning for months, even before the corruption scandal.

Much of the back-room politicking that led to Sidious' nomination has been lost to history. What is known is that he had been working for months to catch the attention of an influential clique in the Senate, led by Senator Orn Free Taa of Ryloth. Taa was not satisfied with Teem or Antilles. As early as the breaking of the corruption scandal, Sidious had caught Taa's eye as a potential compromise candidate. From Taa's point of view, it made sense: Sidious had few enemies in the Senate, and many friends, ensuring that all factions could work well with him. Thus, it can be assumed either Taa or one of those Senators in his circle nominated Sidious.

Palpatine returned to 500 Republica certain that the tide was with him. He declared to Amidala that he would become the next Chancellor, and meant it. In fact, he had already made certain of it. Even in the midst of all his preparations for the Naboo crisis, Sidious had availed himself of his connection to the Thyrsian Sun Guard. Before Valorum's recall ever came to a vote, Sidious had made use of these Sith mercenaries to assassinate a discreet, though pivotal, number of Senators whose votes could have endangered his scheme. Exactly which Senators were killed is not known, but they would have been the ones most likely to tip the balance of votes decisively in favor of his competition.

When the Senate convened the following day to vote on the no confidence motion, the outcome was a foregone conclusion. Valorum had few friends left, and the Senate so wanted him gone that they did not hesitate. Finis Valorum was swiftly voted out in a humiliating defeat. His political career in ruins, he spent years in seclusion, waiting for the public's distaste for him to wear off. When he finally realized just what role his removal had played in Sidious' grander scheme, Valorum made one last small but brave attempt to hold back the avalanche, but by then it would be too little, too late. Future generations, however, would look more kindly on him.

In his absence, the Senate voted for a successor. Probably, neither Antilles nor Teem could garner enough votes to achieve an effective majority, especially when the recent murder of certain delegates had removed some decisive votes from the equation. Rather than face a voting deadlock, the Senate eagerly embraced the third option. Antilles's supporters could take heart that Palpatine had seemingly kept his distance from the corrupt Senators during his tenure. Teem's supporters were encouraged by his apparent docility. Almost every faction in the Senate had become convinced that while he was incorruptible, he would work nonetheless to further their specific interests.

But the ultimate deciding factor, as Sidious intended, was the groundswell of sympathy for the representative of besieged Naboo. Palpatine could rightfully claim that Valorum had promised to do all he could for Naboo in a time of crisis, and failed. Perhaps it was proper, many believed, that Palpatine himself should be given the chance to make things right. With such weight behind him, Palpatine received the most votes by far, becoming Chancellor by an overwhelming margin. He promised to reunite the disaffected among the people and restore the remembered glories of the Republic. No one could have realized that they had elected the leader of an order dedicated to destroying the Republic.

The liberation of Naboo

"Lord Maul, be mindful. Let them make the first move."
"Yes my Master."
—Darth Sidious and Darth Maul

Darth Sidious contacts Darth Maul and the Niemoidians via hologram.

Even before Palpatine's election, Amidala declared her intention to reclaim Naboo from the Trade Federation. He made a show of concern and tried half-heartedly to keep her from going. She left anyway, taking both Jinn and Kenobi with her for protection. Thus she had taken all his enemies along with her into what could only be a death trap. He and Darth Maul contacted the Neimoidians on Naboo, instructing them to kill Amidala, and notified them that Maul would be joining them to deal with the Jedi personally. Then he sent his apprentice off, with orders to make certain the Neimoidians killed the Queen, and that the Jedi fell by his own hand.

Even while Sidious managed the election on Coruscant, he made time to go over the progress reports from Naboo that Maul was frequently sending to him. As they came in, Amidala's behavior seemed more and more baffling: not only did she manage to escape Gunray's reach, but she had forged an alliance with the Gungans and assembled an army in the Lianorm Swamp, possibly in preparation for a strike against the Federation occupation force. If true, she was acting far more aggressively than her tactical position suggested; he doubted she would last even five minutes in such a contest. He gave his approval to Gunray's plan to meet the Gungans head-on.

In truth, the outcome of what would be called the Battle of Grassy Plains mattered little to him. He had only sent Maul to Naboo, and ordered Gunray to destroy the Gungan army, to keep up the facade that he had an interest in Naboo, to keep the Neimoidians from seeing his true motives. Regardless of who won the battle, Palpatine would benefit: if Amidala and her defenders fell, she would become a martyr he could use to justify further and more decisive action against the Trade Federation, and if they succeeded, he could use her victory as a symbol of the new take-charge attitude the Republic would be showing under his guidance. Either way, he would be seen as a decisive leader, and validate his election.

Loss of Darth Maul

Palpatine was soon informed that Amidala had triumphed. Against all odds, she had retaken her throne, and taken Gunray and Haako into custody. Of all the possibilities, he had not expected this one to come to pass, but in the end it did not matter. The occupation had already served its purpose. And his state visit to Naboo after the battle tied himself firmly with that victory. However Darth Maul had been slain which was an unfortunate loss for Sidious who expressed some regret at the loss of a valuable tool, but that was all; for all the childlike loyalty Maul had shown him, it was never returned.

In the end Sidious had gained far more than he had lost. He had also learned the role that Anakin Skywalker, a former slave boy from Tatooine, had played in the liberation. Though barely large enough to reach the controls, he had piloted a fighter straight into the Federation control ship and destroyed it. He had caught the eye of the Jedi Council itself; suspicion was growing that he might even be the Chosen One of ancient Jedi prophecy, and after much debate the Masters decided he would be apprenticed to Kenobi. Palpatine made a promise to Anakin in the celebration, telling him his career would be watched with "great interest." He would keep this promise.

Returning to Coruscant after the victory celebrations, he had much to celebrate himself. True, the Jedi now knew of the Sith's return and their involvement in the crisis, and for more than a century the Jedi had been aware of rumblings that there were neither more nor less than two Sith at a time. They might search for that "second Sith," but such searches never could lead to him. They had claimed his apprentice, but he already had his eyes on the charismatic Count Dooku, whom would serve him as a powerful replacement until the young Skywalker was ready to be turned. The Jedi were now afraid, and that gladdened him. The greatest prize had been won. The Republic that the Jedi sought to defend was already in Sith hands.

Ruling the Republic

The new Chancellor kept himself busy during the next ten years. Much of this work was an intrigue that would eventually cause the catastrophic Clone Wars. But he had other projects, smaller but effective, that further undermined the Jedi and the Republic they served. Many (such as the Outbound Flight Project) were designed to whittle away the Jedi ranks, a few at a time, to make his task easier when the time came to purge them entirely. And as he carried out these murderous intrigues, always he cloaked himself in the image of a responsible leader. This was the Republic under Palpatine.

One of Palpatine's first decisions as Chancellor was to maintain Mas Amedda as his vice chair and Speaker of the Senate. He had gone to great lengths to persuade Senator Taa's clique to nominate Amedda in the first place, and the Chagrian had performed exactly as expected. Amedda had been Valorum's friend, but he was loyal to his ideal of the Republic first, and to the Republic's laws and regulations. That strict adherence to the law had hamstrung Valorum as Palpatine had expected, and Palpatine saw that Amedda had the potential to remain useful in the long run. Amedda, like so many others, mistook Palpatine's mild temperament for malleability, and saw a unique opportunity to manipulate Palpatine into bringing the Republic back to what he had envisioned it had been, and Palpatine encouraged this naïveté: in his first years in office the new Chancellor made himself appear open to suggestion, enacting some legislation that Amedda brought to his desk.

But while he kept his mask on in Amedda's presence, Palpatine was also gathering information on the Chagrian to use as leverage. Shortly after the destruction of Outbound Flight, a project for which Amedda had passionately lobbied, Palpatine revealed to Amedda that he had ordered the mission's destruction and, furthermore, that he was actually a Sith Lord, Darth Sidious, sworn enemy of the Republic and the Jedi Order. At this point it was far too late for Amedda to tell anyone; Sidious had enough incriminating material on him to keep him muzzled for life. Sidious explained that he had known all along that Amedda and others had tried to manipulate him, but in truth, he had manipulated them, pitting them against each other. With little choice, Amedda became a member of the conspiracy. With the coming of the New Order, he would continue to serve Sidious and keep his secrets, not paying too much heed to the thought that, eventually, his knowledge would make him more a liability than an asset.

The seduction of Count Dooku

After the untimely death of Darth Maul, Sidious was faced with an urgent task. Before he could continue in his plans to divide and conquer the Republic, he needed an apprentice who could be counted on to make the necessary preparations, to sow dissension among the Republic's member worlds. Maul clearly had not had the kind of political acumen needed; of the many skills he had possessed, subtlety and oratory were not among them.

Obviously, the ideal method would have been to locate another Force-sensitive youth to mold according to his desires, but that was impossible now. As a Senator from a less-than-prominent world, he could afford the time to train Darth Maul from infancy, but now the daily schedule of a sitting Chancellor precluded any attempt to do the same for Maul's successor. He could not risk his political career for his Sith duties, nor could he neglect his Sith duties for his political career.

But fortune played a part in giving him the perfect candidate, in the form of a disaffected Jedi Master named Dooku. As befitting his needs, this Jedi was already well trained in the ways of the Force and was a superbly accomplished swordsman, though not exactly in the same ferocious style as Maul's. He was also patient, intelligent, and charismatic. All of these were qualities Sidious would need for the next phase of the plan. And, most importantly, there were other qualities in him, weaknesses that Sidious could exploit to make a Sith out of him.

Sidious speaks to his new apprentice, Darth Tyranus.

Dooku, always a maverick, had been appealing to the Jedi High Council to take the threat of the Sith more seriously. If there were always two Sith, he asked them, and one was believed to have been killed on Naboo, why were the Jedi not devoting their best efforts to finding the second Sith? Their apparent shortsightedness repelled Dooku, thus leading him to consider that his ideals and theirs might not necessarily be the same. He may even have been arrogant enough to believe that he, rather than some untrained child named Skywalker, might be the Chosen One.

Dooku set out to find the missing Sith himself. Instead, Sidious approached him. It became clear that Dooku was fascinated by the Sith, or at least believed that the Jedi could not save the galaxy from itself. After much discussion, Sidious gradually persuaded Dooku that he too believed that the Republic was collapsing under its own weight, that a new order was needed to improve things. Dooku became convinced that their separate visions of improving things were actually quite similar. It was not long before he decided to accept Sidious's offer: in exchange for Dooku's services, Sidious promised to teach him about the dark side and how to use it to achieve the positive changes they envisioned.

Dooku chose to believe what he had with Sidious was a partnership. It is clear, however, that from the very beginning of their relationship, Sidious was leading him on. Dooku was a necessary tool, as Maul had been. Sidious neither needed nor wanted a "partner," someone on an equal footing with himself. It was not the Sith way; it was certainly not his way. Dooku would be a useful placeholder, until Skywalker was ready for conversion.

The Outbound Flight project

Among the more well-known of Sidious' lesser intrigues was the funding, and then destruction, of the Outbound Flight Project, the brainchild of Master Jorus C'baoth. Sidious had worked with C'baoth before, and for years the two of them had discussed the possibility of life outside the galaxy. That possibility never truly left C'baoth's imagination, and eventually it blossomed into a new proposal, the Outbound Flight Project, which C'baoth presented to Sidious. Six Dreadnaught-class heavy cruisers would be linked to a central storage core, becoming a single vessel, and then launched on a course through the fringes of the Republic, then the Unknown Regions, then off into the void, eventually to reach a nearby galaxy, and back again.

Extra-galactic travel had long been dismissed as impossible because of intersecting ripples formed in hyperspace by galactic masses. Sidious may have suspected otherwise, if the reports from Zonama Sekot of possible extragalactic invaders were true. In any case, C'baoth believed the Jedi could use the Force to calm this turbulence, and tests in the briar patch border of the Unknown Regions seemed to bear him out, so C'baoth recommended that he and as many other Jedi as possible join the expedition. Though other reasons surely factored into his supporting the project—the possibility of learning more about the so-called "Far Outsiders," for instance—its greatest value for Sidious was to provide a single target, far from prying eyes, where a number of prominent Jedi could be disposed of easily, without being traced to him. So, while outwardly appearing cool toward the concept, he allowed C'baoth to move forward and worked behind the scenes to see the project through to completion.

But the Senate still hesitated to fund such an expensive expedition, so Sidious sent his spy, Kinman Doriana, to make sure C'baoth would gain enough credibility to sway the Senate to his cause. C'baoth had been dispatched to negotiate an agreement between the Corporate Alliance and a regional government on Barlok over mining rights. Doriana beat C'baoth there, inflaming militant Brolfi miners into making an assassination attempt, one that was meant to fail. As expected, C'baoth himself foiled the assassination and hammered out a deal both sides had little choice but to accept. With such a triumph under his belt, it was simple for C'baoth to convince the Senate to pass Measure 4213.0410, which provided full funding for Outbound Flight. Even the Jedi Council caved in to pressure and agreed—grudgingly—to assign six Jedi Masters, including C'baoth, and eleven Knights agreed to go as well. This was more than even Sidious could have hoped for, and, eventually, would be a loss the Jedi Order would be hard-pressed to recover from.

Outbound Flight was launched in 5 BBG; now its Jedi passengers had to die. To that end, Sidious sent Doriana to oversee handpicked units from the private armies of his commercial allies. Against that, even six new Dreadnaughts should have been overwhelmed without fuss. But Sidious had not anticipated that his task force would be discovered by a young Chiss officer named Thrawn. Doriana sought peaceful contact—there was always the possibility that the Chiss could become allies—but the Neimoidian commander, Siv Kav, foolishly launched an attack without any discussion. Within minutes, all but one of Doriana's ships was destroyed, and that only because Thrawn wanted someone left alive to interrogate.

Doriana feared the punishment he would receive when Sidious learned of this debacle. But he found a way to turn a short-term defeat into a long-term victory. Skillfully using the scant intelligence from Tarkin and Sienar's expedition to Zonama Sekot, he evoked the threat of an invasion by the Far Outsiders, already establishing footholds at the edge of the galaxy, already sending scouting parties to plan the route of conquest. If Outbound Flight met their bridgehead, Doriana insisted, the galaxy would face a massive onslaught long before it was ready. Thrawn (who, as it turned out, already knew of incursions on the far edge of Chiss space) was convinced, especially after Doriana opened a holochannel to Sidious so Thrawn could discuss the matter with him personally.

Sidious too was occupied. He had learned that C'baoth had added Anakin Skywalker to the crew roster without anyone's knowledge; nothing could be allowed to happen to his prized to-be-apprentice. Sidious traveled all the way out to Roxuli, the last stop of Outbound Flight before it left Republic space. Officially, he was there to secure C'baoth's services as a negotiator between the Roxuli government and its asteroid mining colonies, but he was really there to save Skywalker from the coming trap. That meant he would have to save Kenobi as well, since he could not yet separate Master and Padawan, so he secured Kenobi's services as a replacement negotiator, and Kenobi brought Skywalker with him. In their absence, Outbound Flight continued toward the Unknown Regions, and its fate.

The Red Guard

It was at this time the controversial and crimson-robed Chancellor's Guard, or simply Red Guard, first appeared. The original impetus for the Guard was a Captain Prid Shan of the Senate Guard. As potential threats to the Chancellor's person increased, Shan began rocking the boat, demanding that the Senate provide additional funding to upgrade the equipment and training of the Guards and assign a Guard detachment strictly to the protection of the Chancellor. Publicly, Palpatine feigned embarrassment at the notion of trained soldiers specifically protecting his person—he wanted just such a bodyguard unit, but could not afford to be seen as directly advocating one. A personal guard for a chief of state was seen as a violation of the Republic's principles, and some in the Senate objected. The solution was to create a situation where one could be forced on him, so he devised a means to make it clear that Shan's concerns were valid.

Palpatine arranged for his "friend," the Jedi Ronhar Kim—son of his late predecessor as Naboo's representative, and one of his first allies in the government—to be present for a terrified warning from Senator Viento, concerned that Palpatine's proposed reforms had angered some enough to want him dead. At that moment, the Senate Guards flanking him raised their rifles. As Palpatine expected, Kim quickly neutralized them, but they killed themselves with a fast-acting poison before they could be properly questioned. The Senate Guard was seen to have failed at a crucial moment, and Captain Shan's words, backed by the voices of Viento and other Senators, now had enough weight to carry the argument.

The Red Guards were quickly formed and placed under Palpatine's personal authority. Throughout the years both leading up to and during the New Order, he was rarely seen outside their company. As he would do many times, he saw to it that their design inspired fear in any who saw them. Their distinctive crimson robes and armor were based not only on those of the Senate Guard, but on two other, far more ferocious units: the Death Watch of the Mandalore system and the Thyrsus Sun Guards he had long ago consolidated under his own authority (in fact, by the time Sidious was inaugurated as Emperor, more than a few of the fanatical Sun Guards—those he had not by then eliminated—had found their way into the ranks of the Red Guards.) As expected, there was some criticism, but as the years passed, the gradual passage of new security laws and the rise of the Separatist threat kept that criticism to a minimum.

The Clone army

Certain details about the creation of a clone army, which would be commissioned as the Grand Army of the Republic and would later become the nucleus of the Imperial Stormtrooper Corps, remain clouded. It is generally accepted that the impetus lay with Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas, a former member of the Jedi Council and a close friend of Dooku's. Out of all the Jedi, Dooku had confided the most with Sifo-Dyas. But as Dooku grew disenchanted, Sifo-Dyas grew concerned. He became convinced that very dark times were ahead, but the Jedi Council paid little heed. Desperate, Sifo-Dyas spoke to Palpatine, who likely convinced him that if the Jedi refused to see the approaching darkness, and the fate of the Republic was at stake, they themselves would have to act. It would have to be done in secret, so as not to alarm a galaxy accustomed to peace. Even the Jedi Order could not be told. So Palpatine sent Sifo-Dyas to the Kaminoans, a species that specialized in genetic engineering, to commission a massive army of cloned soldiers, an army that would defend the Republic in the future.

Sidious could not count on Sifo-Dyas to keep silent, so Sidious sent Dooku to eliminate him. Without hesitation, Dooku murdered the man who had been his closest friend. In doing so, he fulfilled the ancient covenant that prescribed the murder of one who was close as a measure of commitment to the Sith cause. Seeing that Dooku had embraced the dark side, Sidious awarded him the Sith name and title of Darth Tyranus. But the cloning project still stood, so Tyranus carried on where Sifo-Dyas left off. The first task was to make sure the Jedi never learned about it. Until he had been silenced, Sifo-Dyas had kept the project a secret. To ensure that it stayed one, Tyranus erased all records of the planet Kamino from the Jedi Archives, along with thirty-seven additional systems (including Dagobah and Dromund Kaas) that Sidious had judged to be of potential value to the Sith—his last act before leaving the Order.

Tyranus's second task was to find a source of DNA for this clone army. To ensure that the clones could challenge the Sith's enemies when the time was right, their template had to have exceptional combat instincts, supplemented by superb training and experience. Sidious ordered his new apprentice to find someone who fit this criteria. After much consideration and a brutal trial, Tyranus determined that Jango Fett, the last survivor of the old Mandalorian shock troopers, would be the perfect candidate. Tyranus offered Fett a generous payment for serving as the Kaminoans' prime clone. Fett accepted, on the condition that, in addition to the credits, he received an unaltered clone of himself, whom he would make his own son and apprentice. Tyranus agreed, and the foundation was laid for Sidious' legions of stormtroopers, the force that would help Sidious build an Empire out of a tattered Republic.

The Separatist crisis

Rise of the Separatists

Palpatine had now completed his two four-year terms as Chancellor, and his army was nearly at the ready. Now he needed a full-scale galactic war to overthrow the Republic, eliminate the Jedi, and restore a long-vanished golden age where the Sith would rule the galaxy once again. The Clone Wars would do just that.

Under Sidious' direction, Tyranus united several commercial organizations—foremost among them the Trade Federation that had been Sidious's tool for seizing the Chancellorship—into the Confederacy of Independent Systems, thus forging the Separatist movement in 2 BBG. These organizations pledged the massive armies they had used to protect their profits to Tyranus, thus making the Confederacy capable of overthrowing the Republic, and a threat in the eyes of the Senate.

Sidious arranged for Tyranus to construct the revolutionary government at the end of his term limit as Chancellor. Due to this, the oblivious Senate granted him an indefinite extra term in office—canceling the 2 BBG Galactic Republic Chancery election—to settle the Separatist Crisis. But the movement continued to strengthen, despite Palpatine's "attempts" at peaceful negotiations, including the formation of the Loyalist Committee, an organization of Senators that wanted to keep the Republic together and preserve its principles.

As the crisis expanded, Palpatine staged yet another "public relations" drama in which he could perform his favored role of the hurt innocent, offering from a position of strength the hand of peace. In 13:3:21, trillions upon trillions of HoloNet viewers across the galaxy found their regular programming interrupted by a signal that overrode all government channels and 90% of the private feeds. In a brief twelve-minute address, Palpatine offered an open invitation to Tyranus to parley. As he spoke, he did everything he could to keep up the appearance of the wronged party, assuming the moral high ground by forgiving his enemy. Even at this late hour, he said, he was willing to discuss a diplomatic solution. Little plays like this would be useful later; when the time for war came, he could say that he had done his best to prevent it, putting his own credibility as Chancellor at risk for it.

At the end of the address, he proposed Bothawui, a neutral world, as a potential site for a conference. For "security reasons," he named no date, but announced that all avenues of communication to his office were open to Tyranus. It did not matter; Sidious and Tyranus had planned in advance that there should be no response, and that, as a result, the Separatists would be seen as implacable, unreasonable. And the next time any violence was blamed on the Separatists, the militarists in the Senate could rightly claim that negotiation with such radicals was impossible, and the call for an army would become louder still.

Putting the Senate on the defensive

The false proposal had its desired effect; the demand for a military to defend the Republic intensified. But it was still not enough to tip the majority of Senators in favor of the Military Creation Act. When it came to a vote, they needed to approve both the Act and the surrendering of their own lawmaking powers to Palpatine, and do so willingly. There was only one thing for it: a round of assassinations that could be blamed on the Separatists, and cause the rest to circle their wagons.

Soon, various Senators, including Aks Moe of Malastare, were murdered. No terrorist organization claimed responsibility in any of these incidents, but with the Separatist threat on the rise, fingers were naturally pointed in their direction first, just as Palpatine had anticipated. And, also as foreseen, the inability of the Jedi to keep up with the wave of violence added to the overall effect. Ainlee Teem rose up in the Senate to criticize the Jedi. The conclusion was obvious: if the Jedi and the Judicials themselves were not enough to maintain order, an army was needed to fill the breach. Publicly undecided on the issue, Palpatine privately observed the debate with pleasure.

The night before the scheduled vote on the Military Creation Act, Palpatine made an address to the member worlds of the Republic. Again, he spun a complete fiction, expressing confidence in a peaceful solution and commitment to negotiations, though even the non-attentive press noticed that he was already "grudgingly" anticipating a Senate yes-vote.

Assassination attempts on Senator Amidala

Palpatine's successor as Senator of Naboo and the world's former Queen, Padmé Amidala, was almost killed by the Clawdite bounty hunter Zam Wesell after arriving on Coruscant to vote on the issue of creating a Grand Army of the Republic. Palpatine had the vote delayed and had the Senator put under the protection of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, her old Jedi allies from the Battle of Naboo a decade ago. After a second assassination attempt was made by using poisonous kouhun worms, Anakin was assigned by the Jedi Council to protect Amidala back on her homeworld of Naboo. The two both secretly started to fall in love with the romantic ambiance of Varykino. Anakin was clearly breaking the Jedi Code, and this guilt and secrecy would only bring him closer to the dark side.

Meanwhile, Kenobi—who had been sent by the Council to solve Amidala's mysterious assassination attempts—found out about Kamino from an old friend in CoCo Town, Dexter Jettster, located the bounty hunter Jango Fett, who was the army's prime clone, and infiltrated the Separatist stronghold at Geonosis to discover that the financial leaders supporting the Confederacy had an army of battle droids in wait and that to insure the Federation's backing was to have Senator Amidala killed. Kenobi contacted the Chancellor and the Jedi Council back on Coruscant, but was taken captive by the local Geonosians.

As for Anakin and Padmé, the duo had secretly voyaged back to the desert planet Tatooine after Anakin had visions of his mother, Shmi, in agony. Anakin met the Lars family, who had freed Shmi from Watto years ago and learned that his mother had married Cliegg Lars. His mother's husband told him that she had been taken captive by a Tusken tribe. Anakin tracked her down to the Tusken camp, where he witnessed her death in captivity. The young Jedi slaughtered the entire tribe, creating a terrible disturbance in the Force that was felt by Yoda and Sidious on Coruscant. The Chancellor was gladdened when sensing Anakin had committed another dark act, and Yoda even heard the spirit of the late Qui-Gon Jinn cry to him from the netherworld. Anakin returned to the Lars homestead to bury Shmi and, after taking his old protocol droid C-3PO back, he journeyed with Padmé to rescue Obi-Wan.

Emergency powers

Though Kenobi had been captured on Geonosis, he had been able—or was permitted—to send out one transmission to the Jedi Council reporting his findings. Though he was cut off by droidekas arriving to take him into Geonosian custody, Kenobi had a great deal to say.

Palpatine had in his hands the "proof" he needed to force the Senate's hand: the testimony of a respected Jedi regarding a massive military buildup. He no longer needed to convince anyone of the Separatists' intentions. Here was proof that, regardless of the Senate's hand-wringing about whether to risk a war with the Separatists, Dooku was already preparing to launch a war against them.

During a tense night-time conference in the Senate Office Building, Palpatine and Mas Amedda met with members of the Jedi Council and the Loyalist Committee, to ponder how best to counter the threat of an imminent Separatist attack. It became clear that even with an immediate threat hanging over their heads, the Senate would still not be able to approve the use of the clone army before the Separatists launched their offensive. Following an interminable session of argument, Amedda (no doubt prompted by Palpatine before the meeting) suggested that if the Senate were to grant Palpatine emergency war powers, he could then approve the use of the army immediately. Jar Jar Binks, representing Naboo in Amidala's absence, volunteered to make the motion in the Senate.

Chancellor Palpatine "reluctantly" accepts emergency powers.

When Binks made the motion in his broken Gunganese variant of Basic, the Senate was shocked. They simply could not believe that Binks, the being they had all derided as a clown, was now possessed of a strength and eloquence they had never seen in him before, and as radical as his proposal was, it seemed the most sensible option, given the circumstances. Binks was advocating a complete about-face on militarization, and this reconciled a great many doubters. As Amidala's chosen proxy, Binks's position was seen as her position. If Binks said it, then by senatorial rules, she had intended for it to be said.

The cheering and the chants of his name from the body of the hall went on, uninterrupted, for minutes, drowning out the few jeers of protest. By the time Palpatine held up his hands, calling for silence, he had, with the help of the unsuspecting Gungan, won the Senate almost completely. The rest of it—the humble speech with which he would soothe their belated fears about the future of the democratic system, and the actual vote on Binks's motion—was merely a formality.

At the conclusion of his "acceptance speech," Palpatine asked only that once the crisis was over, he could retire to Naboo and live out his remaining years in peace—another heinous lie. Only one thing he said could be taken at face value: the clones were a fact, and he quickly legalized them as the Republic's armed forces. He had dealt the Republic a fait accompli, and they had not even imagined that he was even involved.

The Clone Wars

The great project that Sidious had spent more than ten years creating—the first full-scale conflict in a thousand years, and one of the most destructive in history—began on the right foot for him. He had at his command a force of well-trained, well-equipped soldiers answerable ultimately to him, and sweeping discretionary powers to use as he saw fit, which undermined the Constitution to an unprecedented degree. Now he put both of these to work in the long and bloody conflict that history calls the Clone Wars. On the surface, it was seen as the Republic's effort to suppress the militant Separatist movement. In reality it was a war waged against the Republic itself by its own head of state.

During the Clone Wars, Sidious personally slew Jedi Master Ord Enisence on the streets of Coruscant. He toyed with the Jedi and taunted him before disarming him and killing him with Force Lightning. After the murder, Sidious contacted Cad Bane, telling him that he wanted Bane to break into the Jedi Temple and steal a Jedi Holocron. Sidious was genuinely impressed when Bane not only stole the Holocron but also managed to capture Tom Norton without being caught. Sidious' next instructions were for Bane to take a Kyber Crystal from Bolla Ropal. Bane did so and tortured Norton but when the Padawan refused to open the Holocron Bane instead threatened the life of Ahsoka Tano, forcing Norton to open the Holocron. Bane kidnapped several children and took them to Mustifar. However Sidious' plan was thwarted by Tano and her Master, Anakin Skywalker and the enraged Sidious suffered a setback. However no evidence that Sidious was behind the plot was discovered so the Sith Lord was still safe to pull the strings of the Clone Wars.

Later Sidious, as Palpatine, ordered the Zillo Beast to be brought to Coruscant for experimentation. The Zillo Beast managed to sense that Chancellor Palpatine was evil, although this was mainly because it had a personal grudge against Palpatine for trying to kill it. Palpatine ordered the Clones to exterminate the beast but was genuinely shocked when Tom Norton saved the creatures life almost single handed and formed a Force Bond with it, getting the creature to stop its rampage. Unable to intervene without risking blowing his cover, Palpatine was forced to allow the Jedi to take the Zillo Beast to a safe planet where it could live in peace. This event also caused Jedi Master Mace Windu to become suspicious of Palpatine because of his willingness to murder an innocent life form. The Jedi Council never told Palpatine that the Zillo Beast was being taken to live on Arapia so the Sith Lord was forced to abandon his plan and realised that what he had done had shaken the Jedi Order's trust in him which could be dangerous in the future.

After Captain Tarkin's unforeseen death in the Citadel, Sidious began to get worried that Tom Norton was becoming too powerful in the Force. Since Tom had not only foreseen the destruction of Alderaan, something Sidious had foreseen years ago, but also prevented it from happening by allowing Osi Sobek to kill Tarkin, Sidious manipulated the Senate into voting for his execution. Tom was rescued by his lover Ahsoka Tano and his master Obi-Wan Kenobi and the furious Sidious sent Bounty Hunters after him to finish him off. None of them succeeded, not even Cad Bane.

Sidious later had to risk blowing his cover to break Dooku and Sora Bulq out of prison after they were captured during the battle of Arapia. He broke into and out of the Republic's most well guarded prison all by himself and killed several Clone's in the process, both with a lightsaber and with the Force. Once Dooku and Bulq were free, he tortured them both with Force Lightning, as punishment for not only getting captured but also for failing to kill Tom Norton, whom Sidious was becoming obsessed with murdering. He then sent Dooku and Bulq back into Separatist space and continued acting as the Chancellor of the Republic.

Personality and traits

Darth Sidious was a ruthless, ambitious and evil Sith Lord but he was also incredibly patient, intelligent and an amazing actor, able to play the part of a good and humble politician for the better part of three decades. He was a proficient author; his notes on political and military sciences became popular texts, and his theories were taught at universities throughout the galaxy. As both Senator of Naboo and Chancellor of the Galactic Republic, he appeared as an unassuming, tea-drinking old man, almost grandfatherly, with elegant robes. With his cheery demeanor and trademark smile, he won the hearts of billions before and during the Clone Wars, promising to bring justice to a government mired in corruption and chaos, setting up the perfect facade to gain acceptance for his new Empire. Sidious was a known patron of the arts, attending the opera whenever able and surrounding himself with unique statuary and decorative antiques. Many of these statues served as convenient hiding places to stash Sidious' various Sith artifacts and lightsabers.

Sidious was very manipulative - it was his greatest strength - and he could manipulate beings across the Galaxy, good or evil. He was incredibly patient, willing to wait years for his plans to come to fruition and was also highly intelligent, allowing him to come up with many complicated plans in order to fulfil his ambition of ruling the Galaxy. Sidious was also a harsh teacher as shown by the way he raised Darth Maul.

Darth Sidious was completely evil and had no sense of morality or decency. An incredibly selfish man, Sidious was completely indifferent to the chaos and death that spread across the Galaxy during the Clone Wars, being only interested in making himself the most powerful person in the Galaxy. He was very sadistic taking considerable pleasure in the suffering of others. However Sidious was also a coward and preferred to let everyone else do the hard work for him.

In addition to his evil and cowardly nature, Sidious was an arrogant hypocrite, who sometimes pointed out the overconfidence of others whilst being unaware of his own arrogance. He was convinced that he was the most powerful person in the Galaxy and even thought that the unspeakable evil he planned to unleash upon the galaxy was actually the best thing for it. His arrogance caused him to risk getting his cover blown more than once during the Clone Wars, first during the Holocron crisis and later during the Zillo Beast's rampage.

Powers and abilities

Lightsaber training

Darth Sidious was an incredibly skilled swordsman, having mastered all forms of lightsaber combat except Form VI. His preferred style was Juyo which he had mastered to its highest degree, relying on aggressive swordplay which was augmented by Force Speed to overwhelm his opponents. However though Juyo was his preferred style he would often switch from one lightsaber combat form to another in order to confuse his opponents. He used this strategy successfully during his duel with Darth Plagueis allowing him to slice one of Plagueis' lightsabers in half with a precise Makashi technique and deprive him of the other with a dual bladed variant of the Shii-Cho Disarming Slash. After a fierce battle of Force powers, Sidious slew his master by using the Niman styles Draw Closer technique. Sidious was ambidextrous and could change his lightsaber form whenever he chose keeping his opponents unsure of what his next move would be. However despite his incredible skill, Sidious preferred to leave the fighting to his apprentices while he worked behind the scenes.

Though Sidious preferred to let his apprentices do the fighting he was personally responsible for the death of Ord Enisence. Using his mastery of Makashi, Sidious easily parried the Jedi's blows and claimed he could have killed him with a single blow if he chose to. Considering he did just that to Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin - who were both considerably more powerful than Enisence - he definately wasn't exaggerating. He easily sliced Enisence's lightsaber in half and killed him with Force Lightning.

It is interesting to note that whenever Sidious was fighting Jedi, even really powerful ones such as Yoda and Mace Windu, he would always use only one lightsaber, yet whenever he was facing a fellow user of the Dark side, such as Darth Plagueis, Darth Maul and Savage Opress he would always use Jar'Kai.

Force powers

In addition to his incredible combat abilities, Darth Sidious was exceptionally powerful in the Force, one of the greatest Force users of all time. He was a master of Force Lightning which he could use either as a deadly attack or as a way of torturing his enemies. Sidious' mastery of Force Lightning allowed him to target several opponents simultaniously. Sidious was also a master of Force Barrier, using it to easily deflect one of Plagueis' Bolts of Hatred during their duel.

In addition Sidious' skill with telekinesis allowed him to expertly weild a large pillar like a battering ram, which he used in an attempt to crush his former master. He was also capable of lifting several large and heavy objects simultaniously if he chose. Sidious was also able to use Force Flight.

Darth Sidious was extremely skilled at forseeing the future, frequently using this power to help him carry out his plans. However he genuinely had not expected Tom Norton to save the life of the Zillo Beast and was shocked that he had not forseen the Padawans intervention, showing that he could not predict everything. He was also a master of Force Speed which he used to deadly effect whilst fighting.

Furthermore, Sidious was a master of Force Concealment which he mastered to such a degree that he was able to hide right under the noses of the Jedi Order for nearly three decades. Sidious was so powerful in the dark side of the Force that he was able to use it to cloud the Jedi's vision, making it very hard for them to use Force Sense or Force Vision.

Sidious was also able to use Force Absorb which he used during his duel with Darth Plagueis to absorb one of Plagueis' Bolts of Hatred and then deflect it back at him. In addition he was able to use a very powerful Force Repulse.

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