Every Star Wars fan knows the story of Palpatine shown on screen. His rise to becoming Chancellor in the Phantom Menace, the inciting of the Clone Wars in Attack of the Clones, his turning of Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader, his rise to power as Emperor in Revenge of the Sith and his eventual downfall and death in Return of the Jedi. Most recently, Palpatine returned to face his granddaughter, Rey, in the Rise of Skywalker, where he once again is defeated.
Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid brought the Emperor to life originally in five of the nine episodic Star Wars films, as well as in the Empire Strikes Back in the DVD special editions.
However, there is a lot more to Palpatine that is not explored in the movies. With a host of new information being introduced in the new Canon about the Emperor, as well as the decades of expanded material from the Legends continuity, there are many facts and secrets about Darth Sidious which many people don’t know.
We have scoured both Canon and Legends to find some of the most interesting facts about the Dark Lord of the Sith that will change your understanding of the Emperor forever. From his original portrayal to the creation of his children, these are ten things you might not know about Emperor Palpatine.
10. He Wasn’t Always A Sith
The version of the Emperor seen in Return of the Jedi, who later went on to be featured in five other Star Wars films is a Dark Lord of the Sith - easily one of the most powerful and skilled Sith to exist in the Star Wars universe. It’s hard to imagine the Emperor any other way, but the original version of the Emperor was a far cry from the Sith Master we got.
A document by George Lucas dating back to 1973 lists some possible names for the Emperor, which included ‘Emperor Ford Xerxes XII,’ ‘Emperor Alexander Xerxes XII’ and ‘the Emperor of Decarte.’ The name Xerxes was taken from the real life Persian king, Xerxes I. Later, in the original draft of Star Wars titled simply ‘The Star Wars’, the Emperor was named ‘Cos Dashit.’
Unlike the document from 1973, Cos Dashit was a more fleshed out character. This original version of the Emperor was described as weak-willed, slow and stupid. Most notably about this version of the Emperor was that he wasn’t a Sith, nor Force-sensitive at all.
While this version of the character ultimately became the Sheev Palpatine we know and love, his existence continued all the way to the release of A New Hope in 1977, with this version of the character being featured in the original novelization of the film. Cos Dashit was also featured in a 2013 comic by Dark Horse, also titled ‘The Star Wars’, which adapts the original 1974 draft of the franchise.