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Suspect Hero | Level Four
Suspect Hero | Level Four

SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin) Empty SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin)

April 1st 2023, 5:04 am
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin) Exar_v10

- Exar Kun as of the Battle of Yavin IV
- Darth Sidious as of the Senate duel

- No character limit
- Two months to respond between posts

Mutually agreed upon rule:
- The case 'Exar Kun's Mightiest Incarnation' in the SI Discord server is taken as insurmountable and the validity of the incarnation purported cannot be called into question.
Suspect Hero | Level Four
Suspect Hero | Level Four

SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin) Empty Re: SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin)

April 2nd 2023, 6:07 am
Message reputation : 100% (2 votes)
SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin) _exar_13

Exar Kun's prominence has been, almost quite literally, ever-present in the Expanded Universe. Exar Kun was the first officially named Dark Lord of the Sith outside of the characters in the movies, all the way back in 1994. Exar Kun was first in a trend of villains to be compared to the Emperor of the original trilogy. Whilst all of those villains eventually became the characters of yesteryear with sparse references in guide books and for use as prop villains in RPG campaigns, this was never true for Exar Kun. Exar Kun has been a constantly evolving character with more and more of his story revealed over the decades, as his character evolved, so did his power. Thus he has maintained his relevance in the top tier for twenty-nine years, something no other character who is purely Expanded Universe has done. To truly understand how much Exar Kun has changed across generations and eras, we have to focus on the new, not the old.

Part One: Gethzerion

Gethzerion is the leader of the Nightsisters, and through her immense power, the entire world of Dathomir was blockaded on the orders of Emperor Palpatine. But before we get into that, Gethzerion was far from the only Nightsister to require being dealt with.

Asajj Ventress was, alongside Dooku, a legitimate threat to Darth Sidious himself, and her potential was great enough that she may have surpassed him:

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SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin) Img_3411 - Count Dooku Encyclopedia Entry wrote:However, when Darth Sidious grew wary of Asajj's abilities and feared that Dooku might be plotting a move against him, Sidious ordered Asajj eliminated. - Asajj Ventress Encyclopedia Entry wrote:However, when Darth Sidious grew wary of Asajj's abilities and feared that Dooku might be plotting a move against him, Sidious ordered Asajj eliminated. - Nightsisters Episode Gallery wrote:In his palace on Serenno, Count Dooku receives a holographic transmission from Darth Sidious. Sidious warns that Dooku’s assassin, Asajj Ventress, has become too powerful, and cautions Dooku to think twice before training an apprentice to kill him.
Star Wars Insider Magazine #122 wrote:Cunning, devious, and more powerful with the force than her Sith Masters could have foreseen, Asajj Ventress’ time has come with an epic storyline in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
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(Credit to Ethan for the above)

However Asajj Ventress is merely secondary to Mother Talzin,  who is strong enough to equate the Force lightning of Darth Sidious:

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She's explicitly capable of going 'toe-to-toe' with the Dark Lord:

Star Wars Insider 149 wrote:She’s a powerhouse that could go toe-to-toe with Darth Sidious.

Yet Gethzerion is evidently superior to Mother Talzin:

Firstly, she's able to cast her spells without chants or rituals, something Talzin had to do:

Cracken's Threat Dossier wrote:She discovered that she was able to cast spells without the aid of chanting and other more primitive rituals.

The Essential Guide to Characters wrote:The Nightsisters were Force wielders whose genes had been developed via selective breeding to assure power. The majority of them believed they had to chant, sing, or perform rituals and spells to use their magic.

Only Gethzerion realized they could use their Force talents without rituals; she used her "powerful" solo magic to intimidate and force her will on others.

Being able to do this, is explicitly grounded in how powerful she was:

Cracken's Threat Dossier wrote:Of the three sisters, Gethzerion was by far the most powerful of the siblings; she could even cast some spells silently.

Secondly, and rather simply, Talzin is very reliant on Dathomir for her power, where Gethzerion as you'll see by her goal in the next point, is not:

Restraint wrote:“Our magicks don’t work in this sterile place,” Talzin said with abhorrence. “That’s why I could not sustain the illusion.”

Blaster bolts were ricocheting from the container. The two Nightsisters were returning fire.

“The illusion that nearly got all of us killed,” Maul said.

Talzin took her hand from the deep black-edged groove in her outer thigh and winced. Maul regarded the wound in stony silence. Black against red, like the zigzag markings on his face and head.

On Dathomir I would be able to heal myself.

Thirdly, unlike with Talzin, who Darth Sidious dealt with personally, the moment he senses Gethzerion's power, he blockaded Dathomir entirely to prevent Gethzerion from leaving at all:

The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia wrote:Her powers grew through devotion to the dark side, and she was determined that her clan would rule, and eventually, escape the planet on which she had been stranded by Emperor Palpatine, who had been disturbed by Gethzerion's growing power.

The Essential Reader's Companion wrote:The newcomers to Dathomir promptly encounter the Witches of the planet. The warriors of the Singing Mountain Clan are noble and fearless females who enslave males as breeding stock and ride atop trained rancor beasts. The Witch named Teneniel Djo at first wants to enslave Luke and Isolder, but she later comes to respect them. Such is not the case with the wicked Nightsister clan ruled by Gethzerion. They are cruel and evil magic wielders who long to escape the blockaded world. Years earlier, Palpatine was alarmed by their growing power and purposely stranded them on Dathomir.

The Essential Guide To Planets And Moons wrote:When the Nightsisters made contact, the Emperor was stunned by the depth of their leader Gethzerion's power. Wanting to keep her abilities safely bottled up, Palpatine ordered the prison's ships destroyed from orbit; the stranded guards were enslaved by Gethzerion and her twisted followers.

The Dark Side Sourcebook wrote:But the Emperor, who sensed Gethzerion's power through the Force, realized that once Gethzerion mastered the controls of a shuttle, she could reach the orbiting docking facility, and from there spread her influence to the rest of the galaxy, one day perhaps even challenging him.

The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia wrote:But after Emperor Palpatine learned the power of the Nightsister's leader, Gethzerion, he ordered all prison's ships destroyed to prevent her from leaving the planet.

Star Wars Encyclopedia wrote:Imperial forces constructed orbital shipyards and a penal colony on Dathomir's surface. But after Emperor Palpatine learned the power of the Nightsisters' leader, Gethzerion, he ordered all the prison's ships destroyed to prevent her from leaving the planet.
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Leia Organa, The Courtship of Princess Leia wrote:"I believe the Emperor himself was afraid of the Nightsisters. That's why he interdicted this planet. Years ago, he started a nice little penal colony here, not knowing about the Nightsisters. When he learned about them, he blew the planet's airfield from orbit and stranded hundreds of his own people here, along with the prisoners, rather than risk letting Gethzerion escape. That's how frightened he was of Gethzerion."

Jedi Academy Training Manual wrote:A recently established prison colony on Dathomir brings the Nightsisters to the attention of Emperor Palpatine, who gauges the possibility of them being a threat to his reign.

The Essential Guide to Characters wrote:When he was alive, Emperor Palpatine had known of Gethzerion. He allowed her twisted usage of the dark side of the Force as long as she was trapped on Dathomir, where an Imperial penal colony housed political prisoners.
Knowing the extent of her powers, though, he decided it would be dangerous to let her get off planet, so Palpatine ordered the orbiting airfield destroyed, in the process stranding many of his own people.

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Cracken Threat Dossier wrote:`Gethzerion used her newfound knowledge to gather the other outcasts. While the clan looked on, Gethzerion used her "Shadow Magic" to form the Nightsisters. They found their power grew quickly.

The growing "Dark Energy" emerging from Dathomir did not go unnoticed. Emperor Palpatine felt the Nightsister's presence and realized if they were to escape Dathomir, they could become a threat to his power. He closed off all contact to the world, using atmospheric bombardment to destroy any space-going vessels on the planet.`

Emperor Palpatine in the first year of the Galactic Civil War is 'stunned by', 'afraid', 'wary', 'frightened', and 'alarmed' by Gethzerion's power.

In the same year, the Nightsister Kyrisa challenges Gethzerion for the position of Clan Mother:

Star Wars Galaxies: Trading Card Game - The Nightsister's Revenge wrote:Following a fierce battle for leadership, the Nightsister clan of witches on Dathomir has banished one of their own, an extremely powerful Force sensitive named Kyrisa who has developed the ability to control the minds of beasts with the Force. At the orders of Clan Mother Gethzerion, Kyrisa was exiled from Dathomir and crash-landed on the planet Hoth. Enraged at her banishment, Kyrisa vowed revenge against Clan Mother Gethzerion and the Nightsisters. Taking refuge deep within the icy caverns on Hoth, she quickly took control of wampas creating a new pack of minions that she used to wreak havoc on both the Rebel and Imperial military forces on the surface of Hoth, stealing supplies necessary to help her return home to enact her revenge. Her abilities to manipulate the beasts is so complete that both Jedi and Sith want this knowledge, or at the very least to remove the Force-user as a threat to their objectives on the surface.

Kyrisa battled Gethzerion for leadership of the Nightsister Clan, and as is stated above, said battle was 'fierce':

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But Kyrisa experienced a rebirth after being exiled to Hoth, fueled by a desire for revenge:
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Star Wars Galaxies: Trading Card Game - The Nightsister's Revenge wrote:This latest set tells the tale of Kyrisa, an extremely powerful Force sensitive who can control the minds of beasts with the Force. Exiled by her own clan to the frozen planet of Hoth, Kyrisa's formidable mind and will is bent on revenge. Any who stand in her way will feel her fury in the teeth and claws of her Beast minions.

She's stated to be possibly more dangerous now than Gethzerion by Augywnne:

Star Wars Galaxies: Trading Card Game - The Nightsister's Revenge wrote:'This one is Kyrisa,' says Augwynne. 'She became such a threat to her own clan that they exiled her. She is perhaps the most dangerous of all.'

Kyrisa is defeated by the Hero and flees:

Star Wars Galaxies: Trading Card Game - The Nightsister's Revenge wrote:Players can pit their skills against Kyrisa, an exiled Nightsister witch who has been using her Force sensitivity to control the minds of wampas and wreak havoc on the Imperial and Rebel forces stationed on the icy planet of Hoth.

Star Wars Galaxies: Trading Card Game - The Nightsister's Revenge wrote:'My Maraki is gone,' says a woman's voice from behind you. You turn to look up the hill and see Kyrisa, the exiled Nightsister, standing on top. 'You have slain one of my children,' she says. Her red eyes flash and the tattooed streaks on her face contort with anger.
'I took shelter from the storm,' you say. 'The beasts attacked and I defended myself.'
'Enough of your lies!' she screams. At her side now are two fierce wampas. 'You invaded their home and murdered them!'
It's obvious she's going to attack any second. You ready your weapon as she says, 'You will die like all the humans on this planet! Hoth belongs to Kyrisa!' She throws her arms forward and her deadly menagerie attacks.
Kyrisa's beasts are well trained and fight to the death to defend her. Still, the battle turns against the exiled Nightsister and she jumps on the back of a hog to make her escape.
'Your fate is sealed!' she cries. 'I will find you again to exact my revenge!' Then she rides away into the swirling snow.

It takes four of these Heroes to defeat Exar Kun's spirit:

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Yet Exar Kun is not yet at full power:

Chapter 9: The Fury of Exar Kun announcement wrote:Hidden below the Temple of Exar Kun on Yavin 4 lays the tomb of this legendary Sith Lord. Exar Kun's spirit is so strong and malevolence so great, that he has withstood death for 4,000 years, waiting for an opportunity to finally obtain the godhood he so desires.

Domain of Evil, Star Wars Galaxies wrote:Exar Kun's essence remains trapped in his temple on Yavin 4. The Dark Lord of the Sith is far from powerless, and he bides his time in his domain, waiting for just the right opportunity to return.

His only hosts are archaeologists with no Force power:

Chapter 9: The Fury of Exar Kun' announcement, Star Wars Galaxies, LucasArts wrote:A group of archeologists excavating nearby have discovered the tomb's crumbled antechamber, and as they explored deeper, have succumbed to Exar Kun's powerful will. Players must eliminate each of the now twisted but powerful archeologists on their way to finally put the spirit of Exar Kun to rest.

In Jedi Academy however, Exar Kun has three Force users to draw strength from, two of whom are great Force prodigies:

Jedi Academy Sourcebook wrote:Over a number of weeks, Kun slowly bends Kyp to his will, and begins to augment his power. He grows very powerful on Kyp's hate, and soon his hold on Kyp is so complete that he can send Kyp beyond the planet to do his will and still retain control over his subject.

Jedi Academy Sourcebook wrote:Exar Kun himself possessed a great many other dark powers that he was unable to harness without the energy he needed to fuel his disembodied will. Some of these powers he was able to channel through Kyp, Gantoris, and Streen to achieve his ends.

Furthermore, Exar Kun is directly stated to be stronger than prime Gethzerion, who is seven years of power growth that Palpatine found 'disturbing' stronger than the one Palpatine was already scared of, as well:

New Rebellion wrote:She wished she had the same certainty. This Kueller had more Force capability than anyone she had encountered in years. Except Exar Kun, and he had been a spirit. Kueller was alive. He was using these deaths to replenish his own well of hatred. The dark side ate people from within, but while it did so, it gave them much too much power. He appeared to have more power than she had. More power than Luke.

When the Jedi students with the spirit of Luke Skywalker joined their power to defeat Exar Kun, they were well aware of both each other's power and their united imagination:
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Note specifically:
Darksaber wrote:"We pooled our strengths, we joined as one, as champions of the Force-and, united, we unlocked a greater reservoir of strength than any of us could have imagined."`

Darksaber wrote:He drew more energy from the others. He could feel the determination and controlled anger of Kyp Durron, the clean fighting prowess of Kirani Ti, the powerful deep knowledge of Tionne, the grim pain of Kam Solusar, the childlike wonder of Streen-and more. . . more. He took all of the Jedi trainees within himself, braiding the threads together, becoming a vast and complex set of memories, strengths, and skills.

Luke himself remembers this joining as 'one':

Children of the Jedi wrote:"Yes,” said Luke, remembering the power of the Force flowing into him as he’d battled Exar Kun for the final time,

This would undoubtedly include the 'luminous beings' power that Luke Skywalker unlocked when he cut off Reborn Emperor Palpatine from the Force, who 'cannot stand' against such power:

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Indeed, there is no reason to believe Luke didn't, as he's stated to have used the power to become a spirit against Kun just as he intended to do against Kueller:

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Despite this, the power that they had whilst joined together was nothing compared to the power unleashed when Dorsk 81 channelled even more to throw a fleet of seventeen star destroyers out of a solar system:
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Indeed, the feat is quite clearly even more overshadowed by the wall of light that was summoned to destroy Exar Kun, four millennia earlier:

I, Jedi wrote:Twelve half-trained apprentices and two toddlers planning to annihilate someone who had survived an onslaught by the combined might of the Jedi of his age sounded ridiculous on the surface of it.
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In fact, Exar Kun's performance against the combined Jedi Order was nothing short of excellent, as an 'all-powerful' being:

I, Jedi wrote:I let Streen fill Kun with our resolve to unite and defeat him, but Kun's contempt for us came rolling back along the line like an echo. He had faced fleets of ships and all the known Jedi. He had slain his own master. His power was unrivaled. He had defeated our Master and beyond our resolve to fight, we had no operative plans and nothing with which to challenge him. We were snacks he would devour at his leisure, not morsels that might choke him.
Gnost-Dural, Timeline: The Exar Kun War wrote:The Republic drove Kun back to Yavin 4, where the Dark Lord enacted a ritual, sacrificing his armies to keep his spirit alive. Though unable to defeat him entirely, the Jedi were able to imprison Exar Kun's spirit in the temples on Yavin 4. From what we know, it remains there to this day.
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Simply put, Exar Kun's spirit is shown to wield powers far beyond Nightsisters who are all clearly on the scale of power of a great variety of Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine, and in his prime state he is shown to be able to almost match power unimaginably greater than power that Reborn Palpatine 'cannot stand' against. Darth Sidious in Episode III, doesn't even remotely stand a chance.
Darth Durin's Baneling
Darth Durin's Baneling

SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin) Empty Darth Sidious opener - chain debunk

May 22nd 2023, 1:20 am
Not sure you're around anymore, so just going to post what I have now. Will finish up/go into more detail in the event of your return, may post a more complete overview on the Palpatine stuff as an independent blog if not.

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Evolving Intent

Supremacy Quotes

As I’m sure you’re aware, there’s quite the array of Palpatine supremacy statements. SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin) 4233314142

With the sheer number of supremacy quotes for Palpatine, it becomes increasingly less likely that someone like Exar Kun (with only one or two supremacy statements of his own, if that) is more powerful. I know that these quotes alone are not enough to convince you. Instead, I’d like you to pay special attention to the dating of each of these statements.

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-Attack of the Clones Visual Dictionary (2002, David West Reynolds)
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-Attack of the Clones Data File Facts (2002)

Revenge of the Sith novelization (2005, Matthew Stover) wrote:And his apprentice kills him in his sleep," Palpatine said with a careless shrug. "Plagueis never sees it coming. That's the tragic irony, you see: he can save anyone in the galaxy from death - except himself."

"What about the apprentice? What happens to him?"

"Oh, him. He goes on to become the greatest Dark Lord the Sith have ever known…”

The New Essential Chronology (2005, Daniel Wallace, Kevin J. Anderson) wrote:Yoda went after Palpatine in the empty Senate chamber, but could not defeat the most powerful Sith Lord in history.

Vader: The Ultimate Guide (2005, Daniel Wallace, Abel G. Pena) wrote:Vader imagined the power that could be his if he crushed Palpatine and established his own rule over the Empire. But first, he would need his own apprentice. By himself, he could not hope to defeat the most powerful Sith Lord the galaxy had ever known.

Insider #86: Yoda’s Right Arm (2006, Daniel Wallace) wrote:When Yoda crosses sabers with the movie's arch-villain, he doesn't launch into a pinwheeling display of acrobatics, as he did against Count Dooku in Episode II. Instead, Yoda faces the dark side's fury, channeled by the most powerful Sith Lord in history

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-The Official Figurine Collection #15 (2006, De Agostini)

The Clone Wars - Wild Space (2008, Karen Miller) wrote:"Master Yoda..." He steepled his fingers. "Are you quite certain young Anakin is ready for such a task?"

"Yes," said Yoda flatly.

And that was a lie. Yoda was a master at masking his emotions, but not even he could hide them from the greatest Sith Lord ever known. He was worried...and backed into a corner.

Clone Wars Gambit - Siege (2010, Karen Miller) wrote:Only his brutally rigorous self-discipline, the discipline of the greatest Sith Lord ever to live, saved Sidious from revealing the depth of his fury as Yoda explained the mission to Lanteeb.

Darth Plagueis (2012, James Luceno) wrote:Sidious paused, then, in derision, added, "Plagueis the Wise, who in his time truly was, except at the end, trusting that the Rule of Two had been superseded, and failed to realize that he would not be excused from it. Plagueis the Wise, who forged the most powerful Sith Lord the galaxy has ever known, and yet who forgot to leave a place for himself; whose pride never allowed him to question that he would no longer be needed."

Legends Epic Collection: The Empire Volume 1 (2017) wrote:With the galaxy now ripe for conquest, the Emperor has become the most powerful Sith Lord of all and a master of the Dark Side of the Force, ordering the extermination of the Jedi Order with the aid of his apprentice, the deadly Darth Vader.

Quite a few, and you’ll notice that they start in 2002, around the time the Prequels are coming out, and roll on through with no real signs of slowing down, right until the Disney purchase (and at least one after that).
When Palpatine was introduced to us in the Original Trilogy, he was left vague. He was neither “Darth Sidious” nor a Sith Lord at all until the Prequels. He was a Dark Jedi, just like the many to come after him in the 90s, such as Joruus C’baoth, Sedriss, Hethrir, Kueller, and Brakiss. As the most prominent of these characters, in and out of universe, he was afforded some respect, though even that was largely up to author discretion at the time. Palpatine, beyond “evil” and “a lot more powerful than Vader” was left essentially an enigma in the original films. How he was compared to author OCs was essentially up to the individual writers’ discretion. Want to establish your character as a threat? Great, give them favorable comparisons to Vader and Palpatine, the most well-known “powerful” baddies.
Then, when the Prequels released, and the character and his role got explored more by George Lucas, all of a sudden Palpatine being the pinnacle of the Sith Order becomes all but axiomatic truth. As Lucas became more involved with the character, the character rose above past limitations.

To clarify, under the current meta, none of Palpatine’s quotes “bind” Kun per se. That is not my intention of bringing them up. Instead, I bring them up to show when Palpatine supremacy really came into being in the eyes of the writers, and its incredible staying power (notably, not remotely stopping for 2010/2011 when Emperor Vitiate was introduced and Ritual Kun was further explored).

What we have here are around a dozen quotes, all from after Ritual Kun’s introduction in TotJ, with several after his clearer establishment as a physical being by SWTOR and SWG related content, a couple from extremely high profile, G-Canon-peripheral content, and one from a book co-written by Kevin J. Anderson, certainly one of Kun’s greatest contributors and advocates. None has any hangups on declaring Palpatine the unconditional greatest of all time. If any iteration of Kun is meant to be stronger, particularly a physical form of him with a permanent, legitimate boost, the writers have a funny way of showing it.

What is Palpatine?

So, narratively, what exactly is Palpatine such that, starting with Lucas’s further exploration and explanation of him, so many writers seemingly got together and agreed that he was the most powerful Sith Lord in history?

Lucas’s take on Palpatine, has been very consistent on Palpatine’s standing from day one of his conception as a Dark Jedi.

George Lucas / Story Conference / November 28 - December 2, 1977 (Star Wars Archives 1977-1983) wrote:Maybe something in the Force tells him to go (to Gas Planet) to save his friends, but the creature asks how he knows it's the good side of the Force that's telling him to go there? He's getting the feeling about where to go from the Force, but you don't know whether it's his desire to find his friends or whether it's Vader feeding him information. If we set up something earlier, after the first act with the Emperor, one dialogue scene, where he says, "You get Luke." It's better to have somebody worse than Vader. The dark side of the Force has to be personified and the best way is to personify the Emperor, making him the ultimate bad guy.


The Emperor is even more powerful than Vader. He is also an agent of the Force and he's the classic devil character. Hooded, dark figure - you don't even see who he is. Vader walks down the hall of the Imperial planet. There are these huge, narrow, steel corridors, very gray. Have Vader walking down this gray corridor and then he goes into a gray room. It's all steel and there at the end of the room on a throne is a gray, macabre, cold steel box and it's the Emperor. Really sterile and gray, cold interior. The Emperor tells Vader to stop Luke - to get Luke - he is the last of the Jedi and must be stopped. Vader is saying he's not a Jedi yet. Question is how quickly do we dole out things about the Emperor. The Emperor is even more powerful than Vader. The Emperor has to go for another three more episodes after Vader - he's got to last a lot longer. If you get rid of Vader you've got a worse Vader behind him. Not as dramatic as Vader, but at the same time more sinister. Vader is just one of his lap dogs. Do we show the Emperor this time or wait until the next one where we finally confront the Emperor. Once you've seen the Emperor, you're locked in on him. Decision now is not to see him - just hear about him - we don't see his face. Just a hooded figure - it's reminiscent of Ben. In the end, the Emperor does exactly what Ben did - he can also transform himself. As Ben becomes the personification of the good side of the Force, the Emperor is the bad. Another way to treat the Emperor would be as a bureaucrat, Nixonian in his outlook, sort of a Wizard of Oz type person. Maybe good this time to talk about the Emperor as this terrible force and that Vader is really afraid of the Emperor. That's the only thing Vader is afraid of. Best way to set up a super-villain is to take the biggest villain you've got and make him afraid of the super-villain. We'll set up something where Vader is afraid of the Emperor.


The Emperor may be the one who is saved for the end. When you get rid of the Emperor, the whole thing is over with. The final episode is the restoration of the Republic.

Star Wars Episode III: Becoming Sidious Webisode (2005) wrote:[George Lucas:] “Now you've created the archvillain of all time, but I guess it's all in a day's work.”

Palpatine, in Lucas’s eyes, is always to be the end boss of Star Wars.

Palpatine, put simply, was brought into being by the Force as the Jedi Order’s reckoning.

Just as Anakin, the Chosen One, was a tool to bring balance to the Force, so, too, was Palpatine, the Sith’ari.

Darth Plagueis (2012, James Luceno) wrote:"The truth is that I haven't changed. As we have clouded the minds of the Jedi, I clouded yours. Never once did I have any intention of sharing power with you. I needed to learn from you; no more, no less. To learn all of your secrets, which I trusted you would eventually reveal. But what made you think that I would need you after that? Vanity, perhaps; your sense of self-importance. You've been nothing more than a pawn in a game played by a genuine Master.

"The Sith'ari."

(It should be noted that this chapter of Darth Plagueis is titled Sith’ari, further reinforcing the interpretation that Palpatine’s assessment of himself as Sith’ari is accurate.)

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-Book of Sith (2012, Daniel Wallace)

(The Sith’ari is regarded as the Sith equivalent of the Chosen One. Palpatine is associated with “unlimited power” in the films as well as on this page, he leads the Sith as the Dark Lord and destroys them by betraying his apprentices one by one and declaring himself the last Dark Lord, and he is the Dark Lord to return the Sith from hiding and successfully instate their reign over the galaxy.)

Out of all previous Sith Lords and other antagonists to the Jedi Order, Palpatine is the one to bring an end to the Jedi Order and the Republic itself.

Revenge of the Sith novelization (2005, Matthew Stover) wrote:This is how twenty-five millennia come to a close. Corruption and treachery have crushed a thousand years of peace. This is not just the end of a republic; night is falling on civilization itself.

This is the twilight of the Jedi.

The end starts now.

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This is directly attributed to his power in the Dark Side.

The Force Unleashed novelization (2008, Sean Williams) wrote:Then, putting her out of his mind-as much as he was able- he chose between east and west at random and began looking for a way into the station. He could feel Master Kota and the others somewhere in the massive superstructure, but their Force-signatures were obscured by the presence of so much suffering. If the Emperor was there, too, that would further cloud the issue. The apprentice had never met his Master's Master in person, but the Sith Lord who had single-handedly wiped out nearly every Jedi in the galaxy would cast a shadow deep enough to hide anything.

In order to understand Palpatine’s role in Lucas’s eyes, it’s important to look at how Star Wars has been informed Lucas’s religious and mythological inspirations, notably Hinduism, Christianity, and the writings of Carlos Castaneda, and to compare those ideas with themes and patterns shown in the films and other content.

The Jedi of the Prequels were at the tail end of a millennium of peace brought on by the “good karma” of past ages (active defense of the people of the Republic, and serving the will of the Force). Because of this, they were at their zenith in terms of power, in the Force, in combat, and politically.

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However, unlike those past eras, the Jedi had become complacent and bound by rules. Those Jedi who prioritized following the will of the Force (e.g. Qui-Gon Jinn, Zao) over procedure and tradition were few and far between.

The Jedi followed dogmatic rules on age and marriage. They rejected revelations and signs of change out of hand because they did not follow tradition. They followed an explicitly corrupt Senate, leading to tragedies such as the Battle of Galidraan and the neglect of the Outer Rim. They were hypocrites regarding battle. These failings, though of course not deliberately evil on the Jedi’s part, accumulated “negative karma” for the Order and led directly to the creation of the deliberately evil.

The Clones are also a huge indicator of this – a millions-strong testament to the overconfidence of the Jedi and the moral decline of the Republic.

-The Clone Wars: Wild Space (2008, Karen Miller) wrote:Remembering the Kaminoan cloning facility, its bright white sterility, its impersonal care for the creatures it created so efficiently, so remarkably, so wholly without compunction, he repressed a shudder.

Deep questions of morality and ethics do these clones raise. But answers are there? Know that I do not. Override ethics our desperate need for them might.

General Grievous, the greatest Jedi killer of the age, became vulnerable to the Sith’s manipulations in large part due to the corruption in the Republic that led to the despoilment of his homeworld.

Insider #86: Unknown Soldier (2006, Abel G. Pena) wrote:The Yam'rii. in league with the Trade Federation,
pleaded with the Republic to intercede on their behalf, and
the Republic Judicial Department sent a Jedi team, led by
Masters T'chooka D'oon and Jmmaar. to adjudicate the
conflict. With Senate pressure, both Masters ruled in favor
of the Yam'rii and imposed sanctions and reparations on the
Kalee was economically decimated, and the Kaleesh died in
droves. Grievous simmered with hatred for the galactic
government and the Jedi who served it as he watched his
wives die of starvation and saw his children kidnapped and
subjected to the worst acts of depravity.

Into this madness came InterGalactic Banking Clan
Chairman San Hill, an emaciated Muun who looked as
thought he. too. were half-starved. He conspired to employ
Kalee's greatest champion as a "collections agent." In
exchange, the Banking Clan would share the burden of
Kalee's enormous debt. Grievous was disgusted at the idea
of serving the megacorporation, deeming it nothing more
than the work of a glorified leg-breaker. Still, the innate
fighter could not resist the promise of renewed conflict.

Grievous began his new occupation by aggressively
collecting from such worlds as Ord Mantell and seizing
Muunilinst's Phlut Design Systems. Because the Banking
Clan would not hire Grievous' Kaleesh warriors, he
demanded more intelligent battle droids to serve him. With
Count Dooku's permission. Chairman Hill complied, putting
the IG-100 MagnaDroids into production. Hill also upheld
his promise to help alleviate Kalee's deficit and reinstate
trade. But when Grievous learned that the Republic did
nothing to the Yam'rii for vandalizing hallowed Kaleesh
burial grounds on the colony worlds, he abandoned his
contract and returned to Kalee to avenge the desecration.

This can also be shown through Jedi to turn to the dark side during this time such as Depa Billaba, Asajj Ventress, Dooku, and Anakin Skywalker.

Depa Billaba is driven to the darkness because of the toll that the war, going against everything the Jedi stand for, takes on her spirit. Sora Bulq and Barriss Offee fell for similar reasons, and other Jedi such as K’Kruhk and Jeisel temporarily left the Order.

An Oral History of Star Wars (2019) wrote:[George Lucas:] The thing is, in IV, V, and VI, you didn’t really get to see real Jedi in action. To me, that was something that a lot of people would want to see. And of course, the other part is, where are the Jedi at this point? What are they? We’ve never seen one, really, except for Obi-Wan.

The idea was to establish Jedi as what they were, which is sort of peacekeepers who moved through the galaxy to settle disputes. They aren’t policemen, they aren’t soldiers; they’re mafia dons. They come in and sit down with the two different sides and say, “Okay, now we’re going to settle this.”

A lot of people say, “What good is a lightsaber against a tank?” The Jedi weren’t meant to fight wars. That’s the big issue in the prequels. They got drafted into service, which is exactly what Palpatine wanted.

Attack of the Clones (2002) wrote:[Mace Windu:] “We are keepers of the peace, not soldiers.”

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-also Attack of the Clones (2002)

Shatterpoint (2003, Matthew Stover) wrote:She told me: "The Jedi will lose."

There in the cave, as fever wasp larvae snapped and crackled in the tyruun flames, I countered with numbers: there are still ten times as many Loyalist systems as Separatist, the Republic has a titanic manufacturing base, and huge advantages in resources... the beginnings of a whole list of reasons the Republic will inevitably win.

"Oh, I know," was her response. "The Republic may very well win. But the Jedi will lose."

I said I did not understand, but I now believe that is not true. The truth, I think, is what the Force said to me in the image of Depa back at the outpost: that I already understand all there is to understand.

I just don't want to believe it.

She said that I had foreshadowed the defeat of the Jedi myself. "The reason you freed the Balawai, Mace," she said, "is the same reason that the Jedi will be destroyed."

War is a horror, she said. Her words: "A horror. But what you don't understand is that it must be a horror. That's how wars are won: by inflicting such terrible suffering upon the enemy that they can no longer bear to fight. You cannot treat war like law enforcement, Mace. You can't fight to protect the innocent-because no one is innocent."

She said something similar to what Nick had said about the jungle prospectors: that there are no civilians.

"The innocent citizens of the Confederacy are the ones who make it possible for their leaders to wage war on us: they build the ships, they grow the food, mine the metals, purify the water. And only they can stop the war: only their suffering will bring it to a close."

"But you can't expect Jedi to stand by while ordinary people are hurt and killed-" I began.

"Exactly. That is why we cannot win: to win this war, we must no longer be Jedi." She speaks of this in the future tense, though I suspect that in her heart-in her conscience-the Jedi are dead already. "Like dropping a bomb into the arena on Geonosis: we can save the Republic, Mace. We can. But the cost will be our principles. In the end, isn't that what Jedi are for? We sacrifice everything for the Republic: our families, our homeworlds, our wealth, even our lives. Now the Republic needs us to sacrifice our consciences as well. Can we refuse? Are Jedi traditions more important than the lives of billions?"

-The Clone Wars Season 5 Episode 20: The Wrong Jedi (2013)

Asajj Ventress was driven to the dark side because of the Jedi’s neglect of the Outer Rim, mostly at the behest of the Inner Rim-biased Senate. This led to her master’s death and her abandonment, leaving her vulnerable to Dooku’s manipulations.

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-The Clone Wars Season 3 Episode 12: Nightsisters (2011)

Dooku was driven to the dark out of his disgust for the Jedi’s unquestioning servitude of a corrupt government.

Darth Plagueis (2012, James Luceno) wrote:"The Order's place in this is a matter Sifo-Dyas and I have discussed endlessly," Dooku snapped. "But the members of the Council are not similarly inclined. They are entrenched in archaic thinking, and slow to embrace change." He paused, and adopted a sinister look. "Don't let yourself be fooled, Palpatine. They see dark times ahead. In fact, they think of little else. That's why they have allowed the Jedi to become involved in parochial conflicts like those at Galidraan, Yinchorr, and Baltizaar, which are like brush fires born of windblown embers from a massive blaze just beyond the horizon. But instead of actually rising up against the corruption in the Republic, perhaps disbanding the Senate entirely for a period of time, they have become fixated on prophecy. They await the coming of a prophesized redeemer who will bring balance to the Force and restore order."

"A redeemer?" Palpatine stared at him in authentic surprise. "You've never alluded to this prophecy."

"Nor would I now if I still thought of myself as loyal to the Order."

"I never considered that the Force needed to be balanced."

Dooku's lip curled. "The Order interprets the prophecy to mean that the dark tide needs to be stemmed."

"You don't accept it?"

Dooku had an answer ready. "Here is the truth of it: the Jedi could fulfill the prophecy on their own, if they were willing to unleash the full powers of the Force."

"The full powers of the Force," Palpatine said. "I'm afraid you've lost me."

Dooku blew out his breath. "Perhaps it's something we can discuss in the future."

"You've made your decision, then?"

Dooku nodded. "If one more Jedi dies because of indolence on the part of the Republic and moral equivocation on the part of the Council, I will leave the Temple and refuse to look back."

That “one more Jedi”, of course, proves to be Dooku’s own beloved student, Qui-Gon Jinn, who was killed due to the Council’s refusal to accept the Sith’s return.

The Phantom Menace (1999) wrote:[Qui-Gon Jinn:] “He was trained in the Jedi arts. My only conclusion can be that it was a Sith Lord.”

[Ki-Adi-Mundi:] “Impossible. The Sith have been extinct for a millennium!”

[Mace Windu:] “I do not believe the Sith could have returned without us knowing.”

With Anakin Skywalker, his fall was caused due a combination of all these factors, along with the Jedi manipulating him to their ends, not out of evil, but because they saw no alternative.

Similarly to Dooku, Qui-Gon’s death at the hands of Darth Maul led him further down the path to the Dark Side (the Duel of the Fates is given its name for that reason).

Similarly to Asajj Ventress, the Jedi’s neglect of the Outer Rim led to the continued enslavement and eventual death of a loved one, Shmi Skywalker, driving him to take revenge in a violent and cruel manner, and opening him further to Sith manipulation.

The Phantom Menace (1999) wrote:[Padme Amidala:] “I can’t believe there’s still slavery in the galaxy. The Republic’s anti-slavery laws are…”

[Shmi Skywalker:] “The Republic doesn’t exist out here. We must survive on our own.”
-Attack of the Clones (2002)

The Jedi’s largely arbitrary restrictions on age, marriage, and other traditions (notably absent in previous and subsequent eras, during which Jedi prove to be far more capable of reaching the ultimate enlightened state of becoming a Force ghost, e.g. Andur Sunrider, a weak late-joiner with a family who still easily becomes a full Force ghost) prove to be in themselves what draw Anakin closer to the dark side, as they condemn his relationships and deny him progression due to his joining at a later age.

The Phantom Menace (1999) wrote: [Ki-Adi-Mundi:] “The Force is strong with him.”

[Qui-Gon Jinn:] “He is to be trained then?”

[Mace Windu:] “No. He will not be trained.”

[Qui-Gon Jinn:] “‘No’?”

[Mace Windu:] “He is too old.”

[Qui-Gon Jinn:] “He is the Chosen One. You must see it.”

Clone Wars Chapter 21 (2005) wrote: [Even Piell:] “Our numbers were dwindling before, and now this!”

[Shaak Ti:] “Yes. We need more Knights.”

[Obi-Wan Kenobi:] “I know this will generate debate, but I suggest that in this time of war, we forgo the trials and promote my Padawan Anakin to Jedi Knight.”

[Oppo Rancisis:] “This is preposterous! We can’t set aside our most hallowed traditions.”

Legacy of the Force: Bloodlines (2006, Karen Traviss) wrote:"You are on this Council, but we do not grant you the rank of Master."

"What? How can you do this? This is outrageous! It's unfair! I'm more powerful than any of you. How can you be on the Council and not be a Master?"

It was a boy's expression of anger, but it was true. And, as history repeated itself because it had no other choice, Jacen was more powerful than any of them except Luke. And he was growing closer to Luke's strength by the day.

The Clone Wars: No Prisoners (2009, Karen Traviss) wrote:Anakin felt the resentment, doubt, and bewilderment start to bubble up again. He stretched out on the sofa, his head resting on Padmé’s lap, and thought of one member of the Jedi Council.

Ki-Adi-Mundi’s got wives. Not just one. Five. And lots of daughters. Usual for a Cerean. But a Jedi?

The Cerean didn’t look as if he’d been corrupted by attachment. Nobody mentioned it; Jedi did marry, then, and the galaxy didn’t implode. This fact was the bantha in the dining room, the huge, silent, looming thing that everyone could see but nobody talked about, as if it wasn’t there at all, and had to be ignored at all costs.

Just because Cereans had a low birthrate, and too few males, they had to take wives. So Ki-Adi-Mundi could remain a Jedi, serve on the Council, and have a family. Suddenly none of this made sense to Anakin. The needs of Cerea had no bearing on it. Either attachment was a bad idea for Jedi, or it wasn’t.

Fine. Have it your way, Master Yoda. I feel no guilt about bending the rules to fit my heart if you bend the rules on the basis of species. Or expedience. Or whatever.

“They say love turns a Jedi to the dark side,” he said at last. “I can’t see how love can do that. But being forced to skulk around and lie—that’s a recipe for trouble. Now, look at Ki-Adi—”

The Jedi feel that manipulating Anakin has become their only option.

Revenge of the Sith novelization (2005, Matthew Stover) wrote:Conflicting currents of energy swirled and clashed in the Council Chamber. Traditionally, decisions of the Council were reached by quiet, mutual contemplation of the flow of the Force, until all the Council was of a single mind on the matter. But Obi-Wan knew of this tradition only by reputation, from tales in the archives and stories told by Masters whose tenure on the Council predated the return of the Sith. In the all-too-short years since Obi-Wan's own elevation, argument in this Chamber was more the rule than the exception.

"An unintentional opportunity, the Chancellor has given us," Yoda said gravely. "A window he has opened into the operations of his office. Fools we would be, to close our eyes."

"Then we should use someone else's eyes," Obi-Wan said "Forgive me, Master Yoda, but you just don't know him the way I do. None of you does. He is fiercely loyal, and there is not a gram of deception in him. You've all seen it; it's one of the arguments that some of you, here in this room, have used against elevating him to Master: he lacks true Jedi reserve, that's what you've said. And by that we all mean that he wears his emotions like a HoloNet banner. How can you ask him to lie to a friend to spy upon him?"

"That is why we must call upon a friend to ask him," said Agen Kolar in his gentle Zabrak baritone.

"You don't understand. Don't make him choose between me and Palpatine-"

"Why not?" asked the holopresence of Plo Koon from the bridge of Courageous, where he directed the Republic Navy strike force against the Separatist choke point in the Ywllandr system. "Do you fear you would lose such a contest?"

"You don't know how much Palpatine's friendship has meant to him over the years. You're asking him to use that friendship as a weapon! To stab his friend in the back. Don't you understand what this will cost him, even if Palpatine is entirely innocent? Especially if he's innocent. Their relationship will never be the same-"

"And that," Mace Windu said, "may be the best argument in favor of this plan. I have told you all what I have seen of the energy between Skywalker and the Supreme Chancellor. Anything that might distance young Skywalker from Palpatine's influence is worth the attempt."

Obi-Wan didn't need to reach into the Force to know that he would lose this argument. He inclined his head. "I will, of course, abide by the ruling of this Council."

"Doubt of that, none of us has." Yoda turned his green gaze on the other councilors. "But if to be done this is, decide we must how best to use him."

The holopresence of Ki-Adi-Mundi flickered in and out of focus as the Cerean Master leaned forward, folding his hands. "I, too have reservations on this matter, but it seems that in these desperate times, only desperate plans have hope of success. We have seen that young Skywalker has the power to battle a Sith Lord alone, if need be; he has proven that with Dooku. If he is indeed the chosen one, we must keep him in play against the Sith-keep him in a position to fulfill his destiny."

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When Palpatine’s accusations of the Jedi prove to have some truth in them, that is what finally drives Anakin over to the dark side.

-Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Revenge of the Sith (2005) wrote:[Palpatine, on Dooku:] “He was too dangerous to be left alive.”
Revenge of the Sith (2005) wrote:[Mace Windu, on Palpatine:] “He’s too dangerous to be left alive!”

With all of these characters, the road to hell, theirs and the Jedi who ultimately suffer from their evil actions, was paved with good intentions.

The Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia (2008, Pablo Hidalgo, Steven J. Sansweet) wrote:This was the name used by the ancient Sith to describe a perfect being who would rise to power and bring balance to the Force. According to prophecy, the Sith'ari would rise up and destroy the Sith, but in the process would return to lead the Sith and make them stronger than ever before.

Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (2004) wrote:[Kreia:] “Because I hate the Force. I hate that it seems to have a will, that it would control us to achieve some measure of balance, when countless lives are lost.”

The Clone Wars: Wild Space (2008, Karen Miller) wrote:Yoda nodded, his gnarled fingers tight about his ancient gimer stick.”The truth you speak, Master Windu. Nothing gained, there is, without some loss also to balance the scales.”

Star Wars has long established a pattern of failing to do the right thing being met with punishment in the form of evil born from those failings, based on the philosophies that we know to have played an immense role informing Lucas’s mythology. Then, Lucas goes well out of his way in the films and the Clone Wars to establish that the Jedi, while starting with good intentions, were not doing the right thing.

That “negative karma” the Jedi would naturally accumulate under that philosophy has to come back to bite them sometime… and it does, in the form of Palpatine.

Palpatine is referred to as the devil on many occasions by Lucas himself, an idea that he passed on to Ian McDiarmid as fundamental in his conception of Palpatine’s existence.

-George Lucas on the Force Interview (2010)

Revenge of the Sith Q&A (2005) wrote:[Ian McDiarmid:] It always helps. It helps to be a monster in monster’s makeup. George was very interesting when we started Phantom Menace. He said you should think of your eyes as his contact lenses. It's a great thing to say to an actor. Then my face becomes his mask. Then when I put on the mask, I become him. So that kind of character is always fun to play. In this film, one explodes into the other and he is who he is. Worse than the devil and worse than Darth Vader, who in this movie comes across as more sympathetic than people might have expected.


[Interviewer:] What was the best thing about being bad? Palpatine is the baddest of the bad.

[Ian McDiarmid:] He is. The darkest of the dark and blackest of the black. Worse than Satan. You're not going to get a part like that every day. I like the fact that he did not have any psychological workings. He was spawned in hell. Siths are apparently. They can't get better.

And is used as a stand-in for the dark side and the Sith Order themselves in the Lucas-vetted-and-approved novelization of Revenge of the Sith, often referred to as “the shadow” or “the Dark”.

Revenge of the Sith (2005, Matthew Stover) wrote:"Have you never noticed that the Jedi way," Palpatine said, invisible now within the stark shadow of the General's Chair, "is not always the right way?"

Anakin looked toward the shadow. "You don't understand. You're not a Jedi. You can't understand."

"Anakin, listen to me. How many lives have you just saved with this stroke of a lightsaber? Can you count them?"


"It wasn't wrong, Anakin. It may be not the Jedi way, but it was right. Perfectly natural-he took your hand; you wanted revenge. And your revenge was justice."

"Revenge is never just. It can't be-"

"Don't be childish, Anakin. Revenge is the foundation of justice. Justice began with revenge, and revenge is still the only jusice some beings can ever hope for. After all, this is hardly your first time, is it? Did Dooku deserve mercy more than did the and People who tortured your mother to death?"

"That was different.'"

In the Tusken camp he had lost his mind; he had become a force of nature, indiscriminate, killing with no more thought or intention than a sand gale. The Tuskens had been killed, slaughtered, massacred-but that had been beyond his control, and now it seemed to him as if it had been done by someone else: like a story he had heard that had little to do with him at all. But Dooku-Dooku had been murdered. By him. On purpose.

Here in the General's Quarters, he had looked into the eyes of a living being and coldly decided to end that life. He could have chosen the right way. He could have chosen the Jedi way. But instead-He stared down at Dooku's severed head. He could never unchoose this choice. He could never take it back. As Master Windu liked to say, there is no such thing as a second chance.

And he wasn't even sure he wanted one. He couldn't let himself think about this. Just as he didn't let himself think about the dead on Tatooine. He put his hand to his eyes, trying to rub away the memory. "You promised we would never talk about that again."

"And we won't. Just as we need never speak of what has happened here today." It was as though the shadow itself spoke kindly. "I have always kept your secrets, have I not?"

"Yes-yes, of course, Chancellor, but-" Anakin wanted to crawl away into a corner somewhere; he felt sure that if things would just stop for a while-an hour, a minute-he could pull himself together and find some way to keep moving forward. He had to keep moving forward. Moving forward was all he could do.
Revenge of the Sith (2005, Matthew Stover) wrote:"I'm sorry," he said. "I'm sorry, but-but as much as I want those things-as much as I care for you, sir-I can't. I just can't. Not yet. Because there's only one thing I really want, right now. Everything else will just have to wait."

"I know what you truly want," the shadow said. "I have only been waiting for you to admit it to yourself." A hand-a human hand, warm with compassion-settled onto his shoulder. "Listen to me: I can help you save her?'' "You-"

Anakin blinked blindly. "How can you help?"

"Do you remember that myth I told you of, The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise?" the shadow whispered. The myth–directly influence the midi-chlorians to create life; with such knowledge, to maintain life in someone already living would seem a small matter…

"Yes," Anakin said. "Yes, I remember."

The shadow leaned so close that it seemed to fill the world.

"Anakin, it's no mere myth."

Anakin swallowed.

"Darth Plagueis was real."

Anakin could force out only a strangled whisper. "Real . . . ?"

"Darth Plagueis was my Master. He taught me the key to his power," the shadow said, dryly matter-of-fact, "before I killed him."

Revenge of the Sith (2005, Matthew Stover) wrote:The Face of the Dark

Depowered lampdisks were rings of ghostly gray floating in the gloom. The shimmering jewelscape of Coruscant haloed the knife-edged shadow of the chair.

This was the office of the Chancellor.

Within the chair's shadow sat another shadow: deeper, darker, formless and impenetrable, an abyssal umbra so profound that it drained light from the room around it.

And from the city. And the planet.

And the galaxy.

The shadow waited. It had told the boy it would. It was looking forward to keeping its word.

For a change.

Revenge of the Sith (2005, Matthew Stover) wrote:It is in this blazing moment that you finally understand the trap of the dark side, the final cruelty of the Sith-Because now your self is all you will ever have.

And you rage and scream and reach through the Force to crush the shadow who has destroyed you, but you are so far less now than what you were, you are more than half machine, you are like a painter gone blind, a composer gone deaf, you can remember where the power was but the power you can touch is only a memory, and so with all your world-destroying fury it is only droids around you that implode, and equipment, and the table on which you were strapped shatters, and in the end, you cannot touch the shadow.

In the end, you do not even want to.

In the end, the shadow is all you have left. Because the shadow understands you, the shadow forgives you, the shadow gathers you unto itself-And within your furnace heart, you burn in your own flame. This is how it feels to be Anakin Skywalker. Forever…

Darth Plagueis (2012, James Luceno) wrote:Palpatine is the dark embodiment of this principle, a millennium of the Jedi’s vices rolled into one being and sent back at them. He was the Sith’ari, created by the Force to eradicate the Jedi, before being eradicated in turn by the Chosen One, Anakin Skywalker, so the galaxy could start anew. He was the necessary evil to return the galaxy to balance.

Palpatine cut his eyes to Plagueis. "The Sith are considered to be evil."

"Evil?" Plagueis repeated. "What is that? Moments ago you defined yourself as a storm. You said you were death itself. Are you evil, then, or are you simply stronger and more awake than others? Who gives more shape to sentient history: the good, who adhere to the tried and true, or those who seek to rouse beings from their stupor and lead them to glory? A storm you are, but a much-needed one, to wash away the old and complacent and prune the galaxy of deadweight."

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Palpatine as the ultimate dark being is deeply ingrained in every level of the Star Wars story and its underlying mythology. Palpatine is the end to twenty-five millennia of history, the devil, the Sith’ari, and the archvillain of all time.

Revenge of the Sith (2005, Matthew Stover) wrote:The dark is generous, and it is patient, and it always wins.

It always wins because it is everywhere.

It is in the wood that burns in your hearth, and in the kettle on the fire; it is under your chair and under your table and under the sheets on your bed. Walk in the midday sun and the dark is with you, attached to the soles of your feet.

The brightest light casts the darkest shadow.


I know I spent a lot of time on the tangent (writing it I realized it would be better suited as its own blog), but I really do believe that the importance of Palpatine's role in the Star Wars mythological narrative to how his character is viewed in "versus" debates can't be overstated.

It is important for two reasons.

Firstly, it brings credence to the many supremacy statements Palpatine has.

Secondly, it gives us a reason as to why Palpatine is all but unbeatable.

As the closest there is to a mortal manifestation of the Dark Side, he is able to draw on the dark side's strengths. The act of fighting Palpatine is to lose. Yoda never stood a chance of beating Palpatine, not because he was so much less powerful. Palpatine is fueled by combat itself. Fighting him that way doesn't work. That's why Exar Kun can't win.

Where should Ritual Kun be?

Yavin IV vs Nathema

As previously established, Palpatine has every reason to be above every previous Sith Lord, including the Emperor Vitiate. If, for whatever reason, you take issue with Palpatine’s categorical supremacy being not-quite-categorical in regards to Ritual Kun, it certainly would apply to the Sith Emperor Vitiate, a well-known figure who is, unfortunately for him, caught wide net of Palpatine’s supremacy statements.

Exar Kun drains thousands of Massassi. Vitiate drains an entire planet, along with thousands of Sith Lords. The scale of Vitiate’s ritual is far greater, so it would stand to reason that Vitiate’s own amplification would be greater than Exar’s. Exar has no reason to be above the other Sith that Palpatine represents the ultimate version of.

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What does Ritual Kun actually accomplish?

Even in his ritual form, Kun knows that he cannot fight the entire Jedi Order. It’s not on the table. His objective of becoming a spirit is to survive, and to survive alone.

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-Tales of the Jedi: The Sith War #6 (Kevin J. Anderson, Dario Carrasco Jr.)

In the images that you asserted to be of Ritual Kun in your unassailable blog fleshing out the concept of Ritual Kun as a usable character, Kun is being driven back into his temple by a handful of Republic troops, and he is backed into the asylum of his inner chambers by a couple unnamed, featless Jedi that, shockingly, miraculously, have been able to survive long enough against the Ritual Kun who was active in that battle to back him up that far and live.

Unassailable Blog wrote:Exhibit A: not only is the ritual stated to happen per Gnost-Dural but we know it must have occurred prior to him engaging the Jedi forces.
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SS - EXAR KUN (AncientPower) VS. DARTH SIDIOUS (Durin) Dea1mm10

Really, what Kun does is not in keeping with anywhere close to a literal interpretation of "omnipotence." The term is applied here in the same way it is thrown to Darth Bane in other text.

Asajj Ventress versus Palpatine

AncientPower wrote:Asajj Ventress was, alongside Dooku, a legitimate threat to Darth Sidious himself, and her potential was great enough that she may have surpassed him:

Palpatine, in all those quotes, is frightened of her potential, not the level Asajj actually reaches. Asajj, throughout the Clone Wars, is able to semi-match the growth rates of Anakin and Obi-Wan, which would be a pretty terrifying trajectory if you know that your apprentice, Dooku, is likely trying to train her up to help him betray you. The quotes don't betray parity with Sidious in any way.

Gethzerion versus Talzin

AncientPower wrote:However Asajj Ventress is merely secondary to Mother Talzin,  who is strong enough to equate the Force lightning of Darth Sidious:

She's explicitly capable of going 'toe-to-toe' with the Dark Lord:

Secondly, and rather simply, Talzin is very reliant on Dathomir for her power, where Gethzerion as you'll see by her goal in the next point, is not:

You seem to be trying to have your cake and eat it too here. Talzin is only capable of challenging Sidious when she’s on Dathomir. Otherwise, her powers are severely weakened. With Gethzerion, we are, as you pointed out, given no indication that her powers are dulled offworld. So while both are offworld, Gethzerion is certainly more powerful than Talzin, but nothing puts Gethzerion above the circumstantially powerful Talzin that is able to challenge Sidious. Dathomir simply impacts their powers differently (everything about the nightsisters is very different from TCW and surrounding material, as previously established.

AncientPower wrote:Yet Gethzerion is evidently superior to Mother Talzin:

Firstly, she's able to cast her spells without chants or rituals, something Talzin had to do:

Being able to do this, is explicitly grounded in how powerful she was:

We see Talzin do magick without incantations though, on several occasions, including the panels you posted of her and Palpatine doing battle.

T-Canon occasions of her doing this:

-The Clone Wars Season 3 Episode 11: Monster (2011)

-The Clone Wars Season 6 Episode 9: The Disappeared, Part II (2014)

While Talzin does do some incantations for complex rituals, it’s noted in one of the statements you provided that Gethzerion can only cast some spells silently. I fail to see the distinction you’re trying to make here.

Cracken's Threat Dossier wrote:Of the three sisters, Gethzerion was by far the most powerful of the siblings; she could even cast some spells silently.

AncientPower wrote:Thirdly, unlike with Talzin, who Darth Sidious dealt with personally, the moment he senses Gethzerion's power, he blockaded Dathomir entirely to prevent Gethzerion from leaving at all:

Convenient for me, then, that you’ve proven that Gethzerion’s power isn’t tied to Dathomir in the same way that Talzin’s is, giving Palpatine a reason to fear Gethzerion leaving but not Talzin even if Talzin may be the stronger of the two on Dathomir.

Gethzerion versus OT Palpatine

AncientPower wrote:Emperor Palpatine in the first year of the Galactic Civil War is 'stunned by', 'afraid', 'wary', 'frightened', and 'alarmed' by Gethzerion's power.

Very nice for Gethzerion, yes. Palpatine is a coward though. If he doesn’t have to take a fight against someone who poses any kind of threat to him, he won’t.

-Revenge of the Sith (2005)

He wins that battle, and was the more powerful of the two. “Why leave”, indeed.

Beyond that, Palpatine was also scared enough of Ventress that he ordered her killed, a fact that you’ve shown quite clearly. Ventress, however, is still quite a ways away from being in Palpatine’s league as a combatant.

The Clone Wars Season 1 Episode 1: Ambush (2008)

Palpatine, physical manifestation of the dark that he is, must also be hateful, angry–and fearful.

-The Return of the Jedi (1983)

-The Phantom Menace (1999)

Palpatine being afraid of someone far less powerful than he is not only has established precedent, but is fully in keeping with the foundation of his character.

Atop this, not only Palpatine, but Vader as well, is stated quite explicitly many times over to be Gethzerion’s superior.

Shadows Of The Empire: Prince Xizor vs. Darth Vader Action Figure (Kenner, 1996) wrote:Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, has instilled terror throughout the galaxy since the beginning of the Empire. His devotion to the Emperor and mastery of the dark side gives him more power than any single individual in the galaxy except for the Emperor himself.

The Complete Original Trilogy Scrapbook (1997, Mark Cotta Vaz) wrote:Darth Vader
The most powerful and feared figure in the galaxy next to his Master, the Emperor.

Death Star (2008, Michael Reaves, Steve Perry) wrote:For the first time he could remember, the dark side had no answer. And a great surge of unfamiliar emotion suddenly washed over him.
Darth Vader, the Dark Lord of the Sith's apprentice, one of the two most powerful beings in the galaxy, was afraid.

This includes a SWG peripheral source that brings up Gethzerion herself in the same article.

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-Insider #65: Who’s Who in Star Wars Galaxies (2003, J.D. Wiker)

Jedi Academy: Champions of the Force (1994, Kevin J. Anderson) wrote:Finally, Jedi Academy further contextualizes the nature of the threat Gethzerion and the Nightsisters pose to the Empire and the galaxy at large, noting that the threat is the darkness that would come over time through Nightsisters’ influence, rather than their direct defeat of Palpatine, that would threaten the galaxy’s stability.
"This is too dangerous," Kirana Ti said, knitting her eyebrows. "On Dathomir I've seen what happens when a large group falls to the dark side. The evil witches on my planet made things terrible for centuries-and the galaxy was saved only because they had no spaceflight. If the witches had managed to spread their dark workings from star system to star system..."

Taking all this into account, we know that Palpatine and Vader are stronger than Gethzerion through the original trilogy, and we have explanations built into both characters explaining why this is permitted to be the case.

Gethzerion versus Exar Kun

AncientPower wrote:Furthermore, Exar Kun is directly stated to be stronger than prime Gethzerion, who is seven years of power growth that Palpatine found 'disturbing' stronger than the one Palpatine was already scared of, as well:
The New Rebellion (1996, Kristine Kathryn Rusch) wrote:She wished she had the same certainty. This Kueller had more Force capability than anyone she had encountered in years. Except Exar Kun, and he had been a spirit. Kueller was alive. He was using these deaths to replenish his own well of hatred. The dark side ate people from within, but while it did so, it gave them much too much power. He appeared to have more power than she had. More power than Luke.

Leia met Exar Kun after Gethzerion though, so there’s easily room for Gethzerion to be outside the span of “in years”, especially if “in years” is only going back to the last person she met with that kind of power, which would be Kun.

The SWG Hero(es) versus OT Palpatine

It is established several times at the G-Canon level, and even in the films themselves, that Luke Skywalker is the only person in the galaxy who can bring down Palpatine, or even Darth Vader.

-The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The Star Wars Archives 1977-1983 (2018, Paul Duncan) wrote:George Lucas Yeah, it’s creeping up on him. You discover that Luke is being guided by Obi-Wan and by Yoda. There is a plan afoot.

Paul Duncan But he doesn’t know what it is.

George Lucas And it’s a little nefarious, because they think he’s the only one who probably has the power to kill Vader. Their agenda is to kill Vader and basically cut off the Emperor’s right hand.

Paul Duncan Obi-Wan knows more than he lets on.

George Lucas He knows that, eventually, Darth Vader is going to come looking for them. He knows this whole thing is going to blow up into a big war. He knows a confrontation is brewing between Luke and his father. Ben hopes Luke will either save his father or kill him, because whatever extra powers Luke’s got in his lineage, he is the one person who can probably fight his father and win.
-The Star Wars Archives 1977-1983 (2018, Paul Duncan)

So if we have four or more videogame PC characters running around during the course of the original trilogy that are not only heroic in nature, but individually have grown to become opponents on Palpatine’s level, then that flies in the face of the Original Trilogy’s narrative.

At the end of the day, the scaling you’ve argued for hits a hard G-Canon wall at its conclusion, preventing it from hitting, or even coming near, its intended target.

Additionally, several links of the chain you’ve outlined are tenuous to begin with, as I’ve addressed, leaving more than enough room for the creator viewpoints you’ve referenced to remain compatible with the films. By necessity, the chain does not hold.


Palpatine is repeatedly and categorically regarded as the GOAT Sith Lord of the Star Wars universe. Far from this being inane or arbitrary, the out-of-universe timeline for these statements allows one to see that this has roots with George’s canon and the underlying ideas of the Star Wars universe.

Exar Kun has no way of defeating Palpatine blow for blow, he would only be adding fuel to Palpatine’s cleansing fire.

Ritual Kun has neither the reason nor the showings to break out from under Palpatine.

The proposed Gethzerion scaling falls flat on several points and is necessarily untrue.

Exar Kun is made into another of Palpatine’s victims.

It is in this blazing moment that you finally understand the trap of the dark side, the final cruelty of the Sith– Because now your self is all you will ever have.

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