SW, Darth Sidious and Palpatine: what the heck?

I’ve been wondering if anyone else had any sort of clue as to why Lucas is maintaining the mystery about Darth Sidious and Palpatine and if they are one in the same. The real problem is that a) it’s far too obvious to viewers (via tons of simplistic clues) that they are the same dude b) even if they weren’t, it would be stupid, because a) there’s no clue or suggestion that they are not, and b) we already know that Palpatine becomes emperor Palpatine, mightest of the Sith, so who cares what random dork Sidious is anyway?

So what’s with all the mystery? Why do they have two different pages on the official encyclopedia? Why does the second movie persist in separating them as characters? What’s the deal here?

Do Darth Vader and Anakin Skywalker have two different pages?

My bet would be that they are just differentiating the two personas (for want of a better term).

Perhaps you haven’t heard, but there’ll be a movie coming out next May that may go towards explaining this.

But just so you know, nobody else really knows what the truth is behind the double identity situation either. It has been deliberately kept mysterious.

This isn’t the pit, so I’ll just say that I think you missed the point here. The problem is, the “answer” to the mystery is either going to be too obvious or two dumb, so why make it a mystery to the audience at all?

Actually, you’d be surprised. Go to any of the fan forums, like the one at starwars.com or theforce.net and there are tons of people who don’t think that Sidious and Palpatine are one in the same.

Apparently them being played by the same actor (stated in the credits) and the fact that Lucas himself has said numerous times that they ARE the same, still whole legions of fans think “hey, maybe Palpatine is really good but Sidious is a clone of him and he takes over.”

I don’t understand how they can be so stupid. They make the rest of us Star Wars geeks look bad! :frowning:

Sure, we as the audience know it’s the same guy but the characters don’t know so the two different personas are kept separate at this point in the story because that’s how it is seen through the eyes of the other characters.

I don’t think we as the audience are expected to be surprised at the big reveal in the third movie.

Well, the big surprise in Episode III is going to be that Annakin Skywalker goes over to the dark side and becomes Darth Vader! … gosh, who’da thunk it??

You know, I wouldn’t put it past Lucas to NOT make them the same person in the end, and contradict his previous statements. Does anything actually think he would never do that?

Hell, I might even approve of it. It would probably be better than the obvious.

I’ve been saying since ‘99 (on the SDMB) that it was too obvious that Palp and Sid were the same character, and therefore one of them has to be a clone. But judging from Lucas’ recent track record, that might be too clever for him.

Well, the clone idea is not that crazy, because Palpatine basically exists normally by moving from body to body. But the problem is that it just so pointless as a reveal. Everyone know that Palpatine is the bad guy just like everyone knows that Anakin is Darth Vader. Even if Palpatine isnt’ Sidious already, he’ still acting and doing exactly what evil Palpatine would anyway.

I don’t know about that. Palpatine might be greasy, but judging from just his scenes, he’s acting no worse than any other politician with his manipulations and backstabbing. Of course you could always take him at face value (ala Jar Jar) and he’s a pretty decent guy then. He got a weak Chancellor voted out that was not willing to protect his own people. He ok’d a defensive against the violent Separatists. He took a young Jedi under his wing.

Yeah it all looks bad if you “know” that he’s also a Sith Lord, but if he’s not, he’s an ok guy.

Obviously we won’t know for sure all of the details until GL kicks the bucked and his estate puts out the 6[sup]th[/sup] Postumous Über-edition.

Please don’t bring that EU shit into this.

I find it mind boggling that you can watch Episodes 1 and 2, ESPECIALLY the Anakin & Palpatine scene from 2 and not KNOW that Palp and Sidious are one in the same.


I just mentioned it as being an idea that Lucas has obviously pre-approved, whether or not for canon.

That doesn’t mean anything. In EU Boba Fett is a mysterious former senator from some far off system, not the clone of an already notorious bounty hunter.

The movies are the only thing that are canon.

Luckily my mind isn’t so easily boggled. Until, Palp says “Aha! I’m Darth Sidious!” or we see him put on a cloak and start doing his Tesla coil imitation, you don’t “know”, you assume it to be true. Sure, it’s most likely true, but since “only the films are canon” and it’s not been on film yet, it’s not the gospel.

Damn you, Dex! I’ve been waiting for this movie for years, and you go and spoil it for me! Damn you to hell!


But in ep 6 (Return of the Jedi) he looks like a Sith but he’s just called The Emperor. So why would he use then drop the Sidious monikor?

Actually this is a perfect example of Lucas’ clumsy backfilling canon. The name ‘Palpatine’ never appears in ROTJ (unless he stuck it in the re-released, batardized version!) It only began appear before TPM came out.

Something that I was a little surprised to discover is that the same actor who played him in ROTJ (Ian McDiarmid) plays him in the prequels!

The emperor is named Palpatine in the novelization of the original Star Wars. Here’s the introductory prologue.