Characters Palpatine characterization thread: UP FOR ADOPTION!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by LLL, Mar 1, 2005.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
  1. Healer_Leona Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 7, 2000
    star 9
    Glad to see a thread for the horrible, terrible villian that caused the death of my all time fave character.... not that I have an opinion of him. :D ;)

    Seriously, this can only help people to write a even better Palpatine/Sidious! :)
  2. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    Is it because he reached the stage where he doesn't have to wait, or because he can't afford to?

    I'd say that he's showing the effects of being so deep into the darkside for so long that he's lost some of his patience. Remember the darkside is quicker, easier amd more seductive.
  3. Opal Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2003
    star 4

    Sorry for not adding anything consructive to the conversation after reading all the thoughtful comments made before, but I just had to say that this is truly a fantastic topic for a thread.
  4. Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2003
    star 4
    Great idea for a discussion! I have to admit, I've never really thought to much about Palpatine's background, about the things that might have made him the way he is. Does any information exist about who his master might have been and how long he was an apprentice, etc? It would be interesting to find out.

    And something else I've wondered -- are the plans for the fall of the Republic and the Jedi etc his alone, or are they plans that have long been in operation through the generations of Sith and are just coming to fruition? Obviously all the Anakin stuff is Palpatine's doing, but as for the rest... The decay of the Republic and so on isn't something that happens overnight. I wonder whether Sith plans for a Darkside Empire go back centuries, or whether Palpatine was just taking advantage of an inevitable weakening in the government of the Republic?

    Just some random musings, feel free to completely ignore them. :p
  5. dianethx Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 1, 2002
    star 6
    Well, since the Sith have been around for a 1000 years, it wouldn't be difficult to come up with something that, over time, would bring about the downfall of the Republic. On the other hand, governments rise and fall with time, anyway. Perhaps they just waited for the right moment...
  6. Katana_Geldar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 3, 2003
    star 8
    I believe his Master was Darth Bane but I could be wrong.

    Brilliant character, Ian McDiarmand OWNS the role.

    What I like is in Shatterpoint how Yoda and Mace discuss what kinda Jedi Palps would be if he was Force-sensitive
  7. pokey1984 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 2
    So we think the plan to bring down the Republic (and the Jedi) has been brewing with the Sith for a long time and it was just ready to implement when Palpatine came along? (I mean the specific plan that happened during the movies, of course the Sith have always wanted to destroy the Jedi) That works, I suppose, but it doesn't tell us anything about Palpatine, really.

    Maybe I'm just being dense, but why Palpatine specifically? What brought Palpatine into the position where he could even start this whole mess rolling?

    Edit: I can't type tonight.
  8. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    Maybe Yoda peed in his Cheerioes and he's just out for revenge?

    ROTFLMAO, Arin!!!

    I'm going to try to make coherent sense out of my answers.

    Once when I was searching out the character of Palpatine, I came across a book called Inside the Criminal Mind by Samuel Samenow, who is a psychologist whose life work has been rehabilitating hardened criminals. Dr. Samenow describes working with people who do the kinds of things Palpatine routinely does, and says it stems from an incompletely developed conscience. These people DO have morals, can love, and can exhibit empathy for others: BUT. The instant these scruples conflict with something they themselves want ... suddenly the scruples, love, and empathy for the fellow being are no longer there.

    He writes that it has nothing to do with brain chemicals or what the parents did. (What DOES cause it, he doesn't seem to have an answer for.) But some ppl DO grow up like this, without an inciting cause identifiable in their background (we can see plenty of inciting causes in Anakin's background, at least.) Samenow writes that under the right conditions these people can be reached, and can "turn back to the light side" as Anakin does.

    Having said that: How I explain Palpy to myself goes as follows. First of all, he is just one of these born hoods. For some reason, he is without a fully developed conscience from childhood. He CAN, however, feel for the underprivileged of his galaxy unless and until their interests collide with his. Therefore, fueling his drive for power is his observation that those he is stepping on to get there are corrupt, that they are harming the innocents, and they are failing to see that the actions they take in doing so are leaving themselves wide open for someone like him to come in and crush them all. Which, as we can see, he in fact does with pleasure.

    Second: In my Palpy background, yes, the Sith order does indeed have a mandate from the earliest Sith to retake the galaxy from the Jedi. It has, however, been many generations since Lord Bane, and the Sith order isn't just about that. It isn't just "we're evil, and we hate!" The Sith consider the spirit of their order to be about freedom to be, do, have, and think what one chooses, and to pursue one's fullest potential. (They have some screwed-up ideas about what it means to pursue their fullest potential, but they at least started out with a lofty ideal.) The Sith have made a practical and scientific study of the dark side, and of other ways of living than the narrow life and the narrow modes of thinking that the Jedi are constrained by their code to follow. Therefore, the succeeding generations of Sith have been all over the map in terms of how they lived their lives, what they believed in, and how they pursued their destiny as Sith. They all were honor bound to teach the history of the Sith, which included the philosophies of Lord Bane, and they all saw fit to actually do so in training their apprentices, so every apprentice was indeed taught what Lord Bane's original plan for their order was.

    Palpatine happens to have been raised by an exceptionally weak Sith, one who was so unconventional as to study Jedi writings and teachings as well as his own. This Sith's master was so disappointed in him she would have fired him as a Sith and trained someone else, but she was too old and there wasn't enough time left to her to do so. So Palpatine was raised and trained by an uncommonly gentle and tolerant Sith ... who also happened to be his genetic grandfather.

    Being of the criminal mindset that he is, Palpatine was terribly impatient with his grandsire as he grew up, even as he deferred to the older man in order to learn all he could from him. The old man's greatest downfall was that he had to admit that he loved Palpatine, and as Sith are not supposed to love, he wondered about his fitness to be a Sith and to teach and lead his protegee. Palpatine in turn had his own bind: As frustrating as it was to have such a hesitant Sith as master, he lo
  9. JalendaviLady Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 4
    I suppose I should explain my Palpy, too. (and yes, the extended background is necessary for me to do this)

    At some point in the history of the galaxy, human civilization was mostly literally underground, connected by some weird form of teleportation device powered by technology that taps into the Force. Civilization started drifting back towards the surfaces of worlds and humans started interacting more with the native species of their worlds. At some point, two events happened in quick sucession: someone was born with strong weather-related Force-ablitities and an abnormally long lifespan, and some century later a first invasion of the Yuuzhan Vong occurred. By then, there was a growing clan of these humans, who called themselves the Nijiks, with weather-based abilities and the abilities had come to include many elements of weather: lightning, rain, ice, clear skies. Each only had affinity for one, but together they were able to cast the invaders beyond the galactic edge and those closest to the more destructive storm elements set up the hyperspace storm referred in the NJO books, building on an encircling disturbance that had always existed.

    Time passed and the surface dwelling humans slowly separated from their underground cousins. There was contact, but barely. The undergrounders tended towards Force-strength, the surface-dwellers tended towards Force-blindness. And within a few centuries, while the youngest of those Nijiks who had fought in the war was still alive, the invasion, and the defense from it, was nearly forgotten. The Nijiks went from being celebrated as heroes to scratching out an existance at the edge of human society whereever they could. They arranged themselves in matriarchal clans which likewise followed a single "Grand Matriarch", who was recognized and listened to by the leader of the underground humans as an advisor.

    The only changes in this situation for thousands of years were the creation of the Republic (when a branch of the underground humans volunteered to leave the tunnels and became the nucleus of what would later be the Jedi), the creation of reliable fast spaceflight, and the development of the Sith. The Nijiks continued to live on the edge, silent resentment brewing. For most, this resentment was met with a sad sense of inevitablity. Some, however, chose to take back what they believed the galaxy owed them. This became most pronounced in some of those with affinities for lightning. Palpatine's grandfather Fiargo was one of these; he managed to take and hold a large stretch of the unknown regions before an alliance of the underground humans and Nijiks took him out. A few years later, Fiargo's daughter Ela gained the Grand Matriarchy.

    Resentment simmered in the then-young Palpatine at the low status of his family in the galaxy even as they were the highest family of his people. Several underground women were interested in him, but he wanted no part of the life the future held for him if he stayed and felt the galaxy owed him much, so he left to seek his fortune. He eventually ended up on Naboo, used the knowledge of politics he had gained watching his mother, and gained minor and then major positions in the Naboo and Republic governments. At first he just had a general resentment of everyone, but over time this focused on two groups: the aliens who had forgotten what the humans and his people in particular had done for them long ago, and the Jedi who so resembled the underground humans he had dealt with as a child.

    This was who he was when the Sith Lord Name-Unknown-at-this-Time found him. Force-strong, slightly trained, and already primed for revenge against the Jedi, Palpatine was the perfect apprentice prospect. Unwilling to live under anyone unless necessary, Palpatine slew his master the first chance he had. Secure in Naboo's senatorship, he sat back to await his chance to make everyone pay.
  10. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    So we think the plan to bring down the Republic (and the Jedi) has been brewing with the Sith for a long time and it was just ready to implement when Palpatine came along?


    Have the Sith dreamed of destroying the Republic or the Jedi? Or are the two so interwoven that to get rid of one they'd have to take out the other as well.

    I don't doubt that the Sith dreamed for centuries about a return to power, but lacked the abilities/resources/power to make it happen.

    Palpy seems to be the "golden boy" of the Sith who finally steps up to make things happen.
  11. Knight_Aragorn Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 15, 2003
    star 4
    Obviously destroying the Jedi is a major goal for the Sith, but the lust for power is a fundamental part of their teachings. And I have difficulty believing that they could survive as long as they did without a strong purpose. So the plan to bring down the Republic and decimate the Jedi could easily be something that?s been in the works for a long time. Not necessarily in the specific detail that it occurs ? that?s obviously all Palpatine?s doing. But on a larger scale, the things that make his plans possible ? the corruption of the Senate, the decay of the fabric of society within the Republic ? these are things that happen very gradually over a very long period, and I can see the Sith having a hand in them with a view to a future Sith being in position to take advantage at the right time.

    Whether Palpatine was even that Sith, or whether he just decided to use the decay of the Republic for his own advantage? I don?t know. I can?t really see him being content just to work away silently for the benefit of some nameless Sith in the future, though. Maybe he acted too early and that was why he eventually failed. Plus there?s always the additional element of the Chosen One and his mandate to bring balance to the Force?

    :D This is all just a theory, mind you. I just like to think that the Sith have been doing something through all those centuries they've been waiting in the wings.
  12. Layren Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2003
    star 5

    Brilliant character, Ian McDiarmand OWNS the role.



    Well spoken! I agree completely.

    Excellent topic for discussion! I've really been interested in reading all the comments. I've never written Palpatine at all before and I find his character fascinating as the epitome of evil.

    There's a lot of mythological symbolism in star wars and I wonder if he is one them. A Satan of Star Wars so to speak, planting lies and deceit in characters heads trying to get them to do evil.
  13. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    So it seems that one requirement for writing a good Palpatine is a convincing explanation for why he wants absolute power so badly that he will do what we see him do to get it.

    What other ones are needed?

    I want to know how one goes about making a Palpatine index. What is your favorite Palpatine fan fic and what makes it your favorite??
  14. JalendaviLady Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 4
    One of the problems with doing a Palpatine index is that a bunch of the best depictions of him aren't in stories where he is the main focus.

    I would say that another requirement is not simply to know why he wants power but what his plan at the moment to get and keep it is. Granted, some of the most fun possible is letting a character drive a fic and then later realizing that yes, everything was moving towards a sensible resolution, but Palpatine's a bit too powerful to give too much free motion to without mayhem.
  15. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    How do these other indexers do it? Just hunt through the forums and check out every single story? Oh, man, I don't have the time to do that!

  16. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    I don't have a lot of time to be online tonight, so I'm going to dump a lot of poorly related thoughts and then log off.

    1.) Another challenge I have when writing Palpatine: Introducing character traits he might well have, but we haven't seen, trying to broaden the character out, and still have ppl buy them. For instance, in the audio drama I'm working on: I picture Dooku as the type who probably joined Palpatine as a way to best him at his own game. One who perhaps joined the dark side as a way to defeat it from within. He's almost Palpatine's age -- actually, probably OLDER -- and has designs, I'm sure, on his seniority. As such, he is much more Palpatine's peer than most any other apprentices have been to their masters in the Sith order. So they relate to one another more as peers, with an awareness that Dooku wants to knock Palpatine off that they continually dance around, chiding each other, being sarcastic, and perhaps with occasional humor over a situation they might face, that a much older master-much younger apprentice pair wouldn't share due to the sheer weight of age and respect. It will be interesting to see if it comes out "buyable," or if ppl will read/hear it and go, "Nahhh."

    2.) I want to put out a Palpatine challenge thread: Everybody write down their version of the origins of Palpatine.

    3.) Everybody, if you've written a fic with Palpatine as a character, post it up here so we can start making a list. Is Palpy a main character in your fic or a supporting one??
  17. JalendaviLady Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 4
    Usually indexes are by personal submission. The index-runner just keeps the list put together properly.
  18. tangled_sphere Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 28, 2003
    star 4
    I'm looking forward to hearing your take on Palpatine and Dooku's relationship LLL.

    I need to go back and find the links but my favorite renditions of Palpatine in the canon books was the one written by the author who did Return of the Jedi He did a great job with Palpatine at the end with his thoughts on Luke and Vader's confrontation and how Luke was circling the darkness.

    In the Archives, I really like Brandon Wahlberg's rendition of Palpatine's origins and training.

    Also there is one that I found recently by Mina called About Turn. The most sadistic Palpatine I have read and very captivating as he moves to break Luke completely.

    In the stories here my favorite has been Kynstar's The First. Love seeing Palpatine alternating outwardly being the perfect politician and inwardly hear his thoughts as he tries to bring a troubled Jedi over to the darkness.

    Also Gina's Absolution. Deliciously malicious Palpatine, scheming to find a new apprentice. Also liked the alternating of the politician and you just cringe as he is talking to Anakin and Obi-Wan's son and you just know what is going through his mind.

    I need to find these links :p
  19. lazykbys_left Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2005
    star 4
    My brain is too slow to add to the discussion right now, so I think I'll just post the links to the fics tangled_sphere mentioned, plus a few more.

    Dark Emperor by Brendon Wahlberg
    The Apprentice Sidious (prelude to Dark Emperor) by Brendon Wahlberg
    The First by Kynstar
    Absolution by Gina
    Jedi Tales: The Origin of Palpatine by Jedi_Sharoes
    Trapped by lazykbys

    The next one has Palpatine in it, but only as a cameo at the end where he explains everything (bad storytelling, I know [face_grimace]):
    Madness by lazykbys

    I found About Turn by Mina1 on ffn, but I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post a link to it and I couldn't find a fanfic mod who's logged in at the moment. What is the policy for linking to a PG fic in a site with PG+ material?

    - lazykbys


    Here are the markups for copy & pasting if anyone needs them:

    [link=http://fanfic.theforce.net/fanfic.asp?action=view&ID=84]Dark Emperor[/link] by [b]Brendon Wahlberg[/b]
    [link=http://fanfic.theforce.net/fanfic.asp?action=view&ID=506]The Apprentice Sidious[/link] (prelude to [i]Dark Emperor[/i]) by [b]Brendon Wahlberg[/b]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Before_the_Saga/b10475/15531708/]The First[/link] by [b]Kynstar[/b]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/The_Saga/b10476/15493779/]Absolution[/link] by [b]Gina[/b]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Before_the_Saga/b10475/17450167/]Jedi Tales: The Origin of Palpatine[/link] by [b]Jedi_Sharoes[/b]
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=16917186&start=17642812]Trapped[/link] by [b]lazykbys[/b]

    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=17727375]Madness[/link] by [b]lazykbys[/b]
  20. pokey1984 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2004
    star 2
    The problem I have with Palpatine is creating plots and plans that he would create. I'm assuming that the reason I can't think of plots is because I don't know what he would want or why. I mean, what does the guy who controls the galaxy want?
  21. MariahJade2 Former Fan Fiction Archive Editor

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2001
    star 5
    Gandolf aka Raven has a Palpy fic called In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower. It's probably buried someplace in the classic board but he might be able to give you a link. It's pretty good and even has a love story of sorts.
  22. lazykbys_left Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 17, 2005
    star 4
    The link:
    In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower by Gandalf the Grey

    Markup:
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/message.asp?topic=5112308]In the Shadow of the Ivory Tower[/link] by [b]Gandalf the Grey[/b]

    Three cheers for Google! :)

    - lazy
  23. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Oh boy! Stories I haven't read yet! [face_mischief] Can't wait to dig into those!

    He's almost Palpatine's age -- actually, probably OLDER

    Believe it or not... according to the official SW site and info on Dooku and Palps. Yep Dooku is like 20 something years older than Palps. Shoot Qui was like 10 yrs older I do believe in TPM. Qui was 60ish while Palps was 50ish. So stating that Dooku of course was older since he had been Qui's Master. :D

    [Though the Dark Empire comics tell of essance transference (sp) of Palps...so that kind'a throws it off as well. Was Palps actually 70/80s in ANH/ESB/RotJ or was that just a body he transferred too? [face_thinking]

    And the thing that gets me... I've always thought Dooku as somewhat arrogant and having to call a YOUNGER man Master... he was desperate to learn the knowledge of the Dark Side to get into that predicament (IMO that is). The Sith Holocon wasn't enough [face_laugh] But gotta admit... to learn about one's enemy (to either defeat or surpass) joining them is the best option! [face_devil]

    As such, he is much more Palpatine's peer than most any other apprentices have been to their masters in the Sith order.

    Palps prob is impressed at the Count's 'charisma' and used the man's skills as such. As for other means of 'impressed'...perhaps the fact of just leaving the Order as well!

    So they relate to one another more as peers, with an awareness that Dooku wants to knock Palpatine off that they continually dance around, chiding each other, being sarcastic, and perhaps with occasional humor over a situation they might face, that a much older master-much younger apprentice pair wouldn't share due to the sheer weight of age and respect.

    I see them holding philosophical talks. Dunno why but for some reason I can picture the two exchanging information and then launching into those type of talks. As for knocking off Palps, yes I can see Dooku eventually wanting to do that. We will truly never know (unless more comes out in books) the exact reason for Dooku leaving. In Dark Rendezvous we learn that he felt 'pressed down' (so to speak) at the Temple and saw through the continuing corruption of the Senate. But the fact that those two prob did have spats...*shudders* I surely wouldn't want to be in the Count's shoes when he actually ticked Palps off. Palps knows many of torturing skills I'm sure and since the Sith thrive on the 'pain and suffering' of others...*shudders* who can tell what all he did to Dooku. Did he ever punish the Count to curve the older man's rebellious nature? One can only imagine.

    (edit: opps forgot the other questions/input ideas)
  24. JalendaviLady Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2002
    star 4
  25. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.