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DarthAnt66
DarthAnt66
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Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Empty Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk

September 17th 2022, 3:39 pm
Message reputation : 100% (2 votes)
In Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Grand Admiral Zaarin instigates a coup to overthrow the Emperor. 

The Emperor's flagship Majestic is "seized" and "boarded" by Zaarin's forces. The Emperor is "abducted" "by some mysterious means" and loaded onto the Haven 3 shuttle to be transported to Zaarin's nearby flagship Glory. Darth Vader and Maarek Stele rush to the scene, disable the on route shuttle, and rescue the Emperor. It is later revealed that Arden Lyn "used her powers to abduct the Emperor" with the help of the Gamorrean Thok and stormtrooper 17786. 

Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown
Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown
Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown
Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown
Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown
Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown
Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown
Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown

This has been taken as evidence that the Emperor's combative powers must have vastly atrophied since Episode III to be defeated by this trio.

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However, note that the exact manner by which the Emperor is abducted is never explained. This is important because:

(1) The New Essential Chronology writes that Grand Admiral Zaarin "enlisted the assistance of Arden Lyn" specifically "to catch Palpatine unaware." That is, the text implies Arden's key contribution is somehow masking the coup with "her powers" rather than outright defeating the Emperor with her powers. 

Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown

(2) Maarek Stele emphasized that the Emperor's flagship was "in bad shape" and "in trouble." The Emperor may have been captured similarly to how Darth Revan and the Dread Masters were captured, with the enemy incapacitating them by inflicting critical damage on their ship in an ambush. 

Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown
Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown

Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic wrote:

Colonel Flechan, Star Wars The Old Republic - Cut Content wrote:Four of us boarded the Dread Masters' cruiser: me, Corporal Kelestei, Private Goste and Master Kaedan. Our orders were to overload the ship's reactors. 

(3) Grand Admiral Zaarin's forces may have used Ysalamir to abduct the Emperor, similar to how the New Republic subdued Kueller. Or they may have used a stasis field, like Grievous does to capture Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. Point being, given the lack of commentary, anything is possible, and any half-decent strategist would try to grab Force-nullifying devices to pull this stunt off. A lightsaber duel is not the only way to capture someone.

Star Wars: New Rebellion wrote:Kueller felt as if he were moving through mud. The swift grace that had come with his lightsaber training faded as if it had never been. The strength that had flowed through him since he killed the Je'har had suddenly disappeared.

He could no longer feel Skywalker's anger. Or his sister's fear.

Or even that strange new wrinkle in the Force he had felt a moment earlier.

Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith wrote:

(4) Abel Pena, who introduced Arden Lyn into this event, proposed that the Emperor may have "allowed himself to be captured" to serve a larger objective.

Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown

(Note that Pena says his inclusion of Arden and company merely provides a "modicum of plausibility" whereas thinking that the Emperor let it happen is a "simple suggestion" and not something you can "put past." That is, believing this is clearly not a violation of Pena's intent whatsoever.) 

The Emperor allowing the events to happen are even implied in the game proper and its TIE Fighter: Official Strategy Game Guide.

The Emperor is "alerted" of "danger" by the Secret Order just days or weeks before the attack and even tells Darth Vader to be "on guard." The Emperor proceeding to then hastily leave Coruscant after this news in a single Star Destroyer without escort is unlikely unless intended to draw out the threat. 

Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown

Further, it is suspicious that Grand Admiral Zaarin's forces did not immediately kill the Emperor and instead tried to board him onto Haven 3, and even afterwards still did not kill him while the Haven 3 was immobilized and being boarded. Keep in mind that killing the Emperor is Zaarin's ultimate goal. Moreover, Arden Lyn and company must not have been present on the Haven 3 or else they would have been captured or killed. Thus, somehow, the Emperor was able to be subdued while still preventing his own death, and he remained subdued on the shuttle without a single Force user present. This is best explained by the Emperor allowing himself to get captured but not be killed. The Emperor may have pulled this off through Jedi mind tricks, like he utilized during his "capture" in Episode III.

Grievous, Star Wars: Labyrinth of Evil wrote:Palpatine's voice was sinister when he spoke. "You can display me, but I won't speak."

Grievous nodded at what seemed an obvious statement. "I'll display you, but you won't speak. Is that understood?"

"You will do all the talking."

"That's correct. I will do all the talking."

"Very good."

For no apparent reason, Grievous felt uncertain. "Lord Tyranus will soon be here to take charge of you."

After the battle, the Emperor "spares" Maarek Stele's father out of appreciation for Maarek's actions. As the Emperor does not know actual generosity or compassion, he must believe helping Maarek will benefit him, and so may have allowed his capture as pretense to strengthen his relationship with Maarek. The end goal may be for Maarek to become a fiercely loyal member of the Prophets of the Dark Side. Notice this scheme has parallels with his "capture" in Episode III. 

Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown

(5) Darth Vader's belief that killing the Emperor is extraordinarily difficult seems unaffected by the capture, and shortly thereafter he believes the Emperor to be outright "omniscient," indicating the circumstances around the capture must not have cast an actual negative light on the Emperor.

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To summarize and take everything together:

Arden Lyn didn't necessarily use her "powers" to literally defeat the Emperor -- she may have used it so that the ambush could catch the Emperor unaware. The Emperor's terribly damaged flagship hints at how the Emperor may have been defeated instead, as powerful Sith Lords have been captured by explosions on their ships before. Or perhaps they used other Force-nullifying devices, like those that downed Kueller and the greatest Jedi duo in history. However, Abel Pena proposes the Emperor may have let himself be captured, and ample evidence suggests this is the case. Regardless, Darth Vader's opinion of the Emperor does not waver due to this event, so however the Emperor managed to be captured, it must have not tarnished his aura of invincibility.
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Last edited by DarthAnt66 on September 17th 2022, 6:16 pm; edited 2 times in total
Master Azronger
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Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Empty Re: Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk

September 17th 2022, 6:01 pm
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk You-have

Personally, I would hammer home the quote stating the Emperor was abducted ”by some mysterious means.” It is explicitly emphasized that the Emperor’s capture happened under circumstances that are “difficult or impossible to understand, explain, or identify.” If the Emperor was defeated in a straightforward lightsaber or Force duel, there would be nothing mysterious about it. To assume such is utterly baseless; the context is, plain and simple, unknown.

DarthAnt66 wrote:(4) Abel Pena, who introduced Arden Lyn into this event, proposed that the Emperor may have "allowed himself to be captured" to serve a larger objective.

As an addendum to this point, it wouldn’t be the first time Palpatine has hatched an elaborate scheme to appear more vulnerable than in reality: the starwars.com article Barely Tolerable: Alien Henchmen of the Galactic Empire, Part 2 consciously draws parallels between his capture by Demetrius Zaarin to his capture by General Grievous in the Battle of Coruscant (scan provided in your blog). Later in Revenge of the Sith, he feigns to be at the mercy of Mace Windu to test Anakin Skywalker’s commitment.

These trials of loyalty by Palpatine would continue into Skywalker’s career as a Sith Lord. Darth Vader and the Ninth Assassin features an assassination attempt on the Emperor wherein Vader Force-pushes his Master out of his chair upon sensing a concealed bomb about to detonate. Vader is bewildered as to why he or the Emperor were seemingly unable to foresee the plot beforehand, with the Emperor telling him that an unknown dark force is encroaching on his powers. Vader then is dispatched to find and eliminate their clandestine enemies ([1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]). However, at the end of the comic, everything is revealed to be but a ruse to test the extent of Vader’s allegiance to his Master, whether he’d allow the Emperor to perish should he know his life was in peril. Palpatine privately muses that obscuring Vader’s senses and letting him believe he was in danger was ”too easy” ([1][2][3][4][5][6]).

One might then wonder why the Emperor would set up another test of Vader’s loyalty by allowing himself to be apprehended by Zaarin - which is my suggestion here, for those who haven’t caught on by now - if he believed Vader was his for all time. Context is key: The New Essential Chronology dates the Treachery at Ottega after The Empire Strikes Back. This is significant because the Emperor had previously sensed Vader’s rebellious thoughts on Bespin regarding a union with Luke Skywalker to depose him, as well as potential plans to do so with a clone of Luke, which was only the latest in a series of plots to destroy his Master, previous ones having included Galen Marek and his clone. The Emperor was therefore well aware of Vader’s murderous intent, and it would not at all be out of character for him to devise a game to ensure his apprentice belonged to him, to once again pretend vulnerability to determine how Vader would act in a situation where his Master might seemingly die.

Rise of the Emperor #1: Zaarin Insurrection Debunk Unknown

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I still have more to say on this topic, but I’ll reserve that for another time.
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