Lit Do you like the young Palpatine in Darth Plagueis?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Slowpokeking, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Slowpokeking Force Ghost

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    Sep 21, 2012
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    Well I have to say he was quite different than what I had expected, I thought the young Palpatine should be intelligent, ambitious and knew to hide his ambition among people, a good young politician before he became a Sith. But in Darth Plagueis he was revealed as a troubled young man or even a psychopath, had serious issues with his family, highly power hungry and had a hobby on speed racing.
  2. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I sort of liked this.

    However, I think I wanted Palpatine to be slightly pathetic and evil.
  3. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    Oh, I loved how Palpatine wasn't cackling right out of the womb. Luceno does a fantastic job, in my opinion, of illustrating that there really was very little hope for Palpatine ever turning out well, but presenting him as a person, as well. And frankly, I did get a strong impression that young Palpatine was quite intelligent, and though he did a good job of hiding it, ambitious enough for ten men (just listen to the way he speaks to Plagueis, once he begins to earn his trust; that kid wants to rule the galaxy).

    There were also two great scenes/implications involving young Palpatine, that I can recall from my one read through back in January. I loved the scene where the flowers involuntarily close themselves from Palpatine's anger, and Plagueis is utterly stunned at how terrifyingly strong the young man is, and thinks that the he may have unconsciously hidden himself from the Jedi. The other, of course, was the murder of his family. Palpatine was quite scary in that scene.

    Also, if the implication that Palpatine was manipulating Plagueis (whether it's true or not is debatable, but regardless, it's a possibility that's presented), that's quite a feat as well. Ultimately, I protest some of the criticism that Darth Plagueis diminishes Palpatine: it doesn't have him creating Force storms or hurling buildings, but there are some really subtle hints of greatness there, hints that Plagueis had no idea what he was dealing with.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Oct 25, 2012
  4. Slowpokeking Force Ghost

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    Sep 21, 2012
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    My impression is: He was too evil before he became a Sith, murdered his family in anger and didn't regret much.
  5. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Well I think it would have been wrong to portray Palpatine as a fallen hero and not a psychopath. I was surprised how long his apprenticeship lasted, though.
    Jedi Merkurian likes this.
  6. Slowpokeking Force Ghost

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    Sep 21, 2012
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    No but I think before he became a Sith he should still retain some humanity to his relatives.
  7. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

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    Jul 30, 2000
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    Well, that's the difference between him and Anakin, though. Vader loved his wife.

    Palpatine loved no one.
  8. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    I definitely wouldn't classify him as a fallen hero; nothing about him was traditionally heroic before his fall, he was simply laid out as human. When we meet him, he has quite a few of his later flaws, such as supreme arrogance (he has nothing but disdain for his father right from the start). He's a kid who's really started down the wrong path. Ultimately, I feel that if Palpatine had been introduced pulling the legs of insects and kicking puppies for fun, it would have solidified him as a cartoon villain.

    I may be wrong about this, but I seem to remember Palpatine not actually remembering the murder of his family in clear detail, that the dark side almost grabbed hold of him. I love the implication that Palpatine is a vehicle for the dark side, perhaps even the dark side incarnate (would make sense, considering he was able to naturally hide himself from the Jedi).

    Come to think of it, I remember one of my absolute favorite parts of the novel being Palpatine so quickly accepting what he had done to his parents. Cold, man.

    I seem to remember Luceno describing the murder of his family as almost an epiphany for Palpatine. He did panic somewhat when he called Plagueis, yet very quickly, and very coldly, decided how he would profit from their deaths. That was the moment the Emperor that we know was born, I'd say.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Oct 25, 2012
  9. RC-1991 Force Ghost

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    Dec 2, 2009
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    I'd say that Plagueis enhances Palpatine, rather than diminishing him. He really is this master manipulator who was able to play one of the most powerful Sith Lords of all time like John Bonham played a drum.

    Chuck, I'd argue that while Plagy stuck around until Episode 1, Palpatine's apprenticeship functionally ended years before that. At that point he was already a fully-fledged Sith Lord, and he was simply keeping the previous guy around as a useful tool. Aside from that, I agree with what you said.
  10. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

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    Not a terrible fan, to be honest. I liked his "mask" -- and I thought he should have been more of it. To see him as this unleashed monster that was barely controlled made the DE sort of madness seem pre-determined, which bothered me a lot. I would prefer it if the monster and the mask were both equally parts of him, both constantly in conflict.

    Also the business with his family greatly upset me.
    The_Phantom_Calamari likes this.
  11. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    To be honest, I got the impression that he spent the majority of the novel with the "mask" on. I only really recall three instances where the "mask" comes off, and the "monster" comes out: when he murders his family, when he murders that Senator halfway through the book (was it a Senator? Can't remember exactly), and of course, when he murders Plagueis.
  12. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    I expected Palpatine to be a bit of a nutcase in Darth Plagueis and wasn't disappointed. Before he met Plagueis he had potential but no real means to focus it. With Plagueis he had the means to focus that potential and he did. I was kind of shocked at first when it was revealed Plagueis was alive in Episode 1 but I got a Lion King 1 1/2 vibe from those chapters.
  13. Gorefiend Chosen One

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    Oct 23, 2004
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    As much as I like the novel, I would actually have favored it never having been made and the Emperor youth kept an utter mystery, the Emperor is supposed to be mysterious beyond compression. He is the living Dark Side, the central villain of Star Wars, the thing around which everything rotates, so much that his deeds are still galaxy shaping more than 150 years after his rise to power. Him having been a semi mistreated and impulsive youth takes away some of his menace, just like Young Vaders whining destroyed a lot of coolness of OT Vader.
  14. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
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    Well, that gets in the debate of execution vs concept. Obviously, leaving something a mystery has its use. However, if something, in this case Palpatine's use absolutely had to be depicted (and I do believe it did; finding Sidious is perhaps the pivotal moment of Plagueis's life, besides inadvertently creating Anakin), than frankly I don't think Luceno could have done it much better. Funny enough, the top review on Amazon makes a point about how, unlike Anakin to Vader, the reveal of Palpatine's youth only strengthened the image of Palpatine, rather than significantly demystifying it, like what Anakin with Vader. That's something I absolutely agree on; like I said, I would have hated it if Palpatine had been pure evil from the moment we met him, and I wouldn't have liked it if he was a great kid that simply got caught in Plagueis' schemes.

    But of course, your mileage may vary.
  15. marmkid Force Ghost

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    Apr 29, 2001
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    I found it odd that Plagueis was around basically all of TPM and dont necessarily like that. But i do agree that Palpatine's apprenticeship was over a long time before, and pretty much when he was making his rise to power in the Senate, he and Plagueis were more partners, than master-apprentice.


    I liked how he wasnt called Darth Sidious all the time. I never liked in the PT we are introduced to his Sith name that we never hear in the OT.
  16. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Worked just fine for me, what were people expecting exactly?
  17. Zeta1127 Force Ghost

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    I haven't actually read Darth Plagueis yet, but the impression I am getting is that many people interpreted The Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise as a legend that happened a long time before the PT, and even when it was established that Darth Sidious was indeed the apprentice of Darth Plagueis, people immediately assumed he had died a long time before the PT.
  18. Force Smuggler Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    I fall in that category @Zeta1127. I freely admit that. I just couldn't imagine Palpatine letting Plagueis hang on as long as he did unless it would benefit Palpatine in any way. I just couldn't figure out a way that it would benefit Palpatine to have Plagueis around. I figured that the latest Plagueis was killed was shortly after Anakin's birth
  19. Valin__Kenobi Author: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Praji

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    Dittoing instantdeath. I was on the fence whether or not we ought to see Palpatine: The Teen Years, but given that it was going to happen this fit my impression of his youth almost perfectly.

    Palpatine wasn't yet another good-hearted kid that was taken in and corrupted by a Sith--it's been clear for a while that he was destined to be irredeemable from the day he was born. But he wasn't depicted at the opposite extreme of a Damien-child that was an evil old man in a child's body--which would have been all too easy to do.

    To my mind Luceno struck the absolute perfect balance. He depicted a clearly troubled teenager who wrestled with a monstrous evil inside him that even he feared and didn't understand, but at the same time shows just enough glimpses of a truly psychopathic side to make it clear that something was very, very wrong and was only going to get worse. Even if he hadn't fallen in with Plagueis, Palpatine's evil nature would have manifested itself: he could have become a genocidal secular dictator, a galaxy-spanning crime lord like the head of Black Sun, or a planet-hopping Hannibal Lecter who used the Force to drain his victims' life essences. There was no way he was going to turn out well.
    Last edited by Valin__Kenobi, Oct 25, 2012
  20. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

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    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    Initially, I liked it. Ultimately, I didn't.

    Palpatine came off far too unpleasant as a teenager; knowing what we do of the character in the films, young!Palpatine would have been a politician in nature if not profession, camouflaging his wickedness behind a mask of joviality and kindness.

    Instead, he came off like a dick.
  21. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    Eh, I'd have liked it if Luceno had eased off the psychopath thing a bit more. I'd prefer he be a little more controlled -- not an evil mastermind already, but also not just breaking out into psychopathic slaughterfests. Had he, say, coldly decided to poison his entire family, that would have been a little more in line with the Palpatine I'd like to see. Or even, say, snapping at his father not with "WAAAUUUGHHHH MURDER!" but just sort of grabbing him by the throat, calmly explaining all his problems with the man, and then Force-choking him to death. Then stalking off through the rest of the ship to put down everybody else. Or something like that, something that shows a little control and sophistication in his very-messed-up teenager. Not just a run-of-the-mill, unrestrainedly violent psychotic break.
  22. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Jul 19, 1999
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    How much of his true character do we see in the films? There's those key moments in both ROTJ and ROTS, where we see Sidious clearly having a ball running riot and inflicting pain. I'd argue the sophistication you think was in his nature was but another facade, another layer of disguise to hide? A pure psychopath in every respect.
  23. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

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    Nov 28, 2009
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    I agree he's pure evil, but as a teenager, he was more Draco Malfoy than Tom Riddle (which is a problem). Which is to say that he exudes arrogance and indifference from the very first time we see him, the very first time he meets Damask, which is inconsistent with the polished actor we see in the films. What guy tries to ingratiate himself with an influential power broker by thinly-veiled threats?
    Last edited by Sable_Hart, Oct 26, 2012
  24. Jedi Ben Chosen One

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    Jul 19, 1999
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    One who perhaps understands exactly how that particular game is played?
  25. marmkid Force Ghost

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    Apr 29, 2001
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    i thought that Palpatine as a teen before he met Plagueis was about right, in that was pretty much who he was. After he meets Plagueis, he understands his own power (that he didnt realize before) and understands the value of having his own "mask" on. And after that, we essentially see him with a mask on at all times, even with Plagueis.

    The only times we dont are when he kills his family, when he kills Plagueis, when he fights Mace (alone, prior to Anakin entering), and when he is frying Luke.
    Valin__Kenobi likes this.