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. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    I think every single Sith other than Palpatine is a freak in some way or the other... they are deformed, rabidly crazy, consumed with lust for power or revenge, or some other negative that an author can concieve to divorce them from their humanity.

    That's funny, because on that front I am the exact opposite from you.

    Because Palpy himself tells us, in RotS, that one of the things he detests most about the Jedi Order is that they take personal choice over the course of their own lives away from Force-users at a very young age, and because over 1000 years we're talking at least 50 Sith masters, all powerful, all headstrong, and none of whom had anyone who could make them do or not do anything, I tend to think of the Sith Order as a jumble of individuals with their own takes on their own missions in life. I'm sure there were some real Warrior Sith, who were as murderous as Darth Bane, but I'm sure that there may have been at least a few "Scholar Sith," who were content to study the Dark Side of the Force and leave the Jedi alone as long as the Jedi left them alone.

    Palpatine, on the other hand. *sighs* Palpatine, Palpatine, Palpatine.

    Anyone who can long his whole life for the chance to fulfill his dream by winning high public office, only to murder the very people who lay that chance in his hands, has a serious defect in his conscience. I think Palpatine is probably the most, not the least, criminal-minded of the Sith.

    However, barring a biochemical organic brain disorder, I do believe that anyone has the potential to change ... anyone including Palpatine.

    What's usually required for the change, however, is that that person hit real rock bottom, as far down as they can possibly go, as horrible and hellacious as things can possibly get for them, as a result of what they've been doing.

    When things get that terrible, a person may (not necessarily will, but may) develop the capacity to say, "I cannot stand this any more. I will do anything for this experience to end."

    And at THAT point, the person is ready to consider change.
  2. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    I just had the following epiphany about Palpatine on the other board:

    So:

    Is he some master Trick of the dark side?

    Or is he a human being?

    Because I believe the power of self-determination is what makes us human, rather than rats, or gerbils, or cats.

    If Palpatine does not possess the *ability* to change course (whether he actually does so or not), then he's just a gerbil, operating on knee-jerk reflexes.

    Sometimes the ability to steer your own ship through life, to observe the course it's on and reflect whether it's still where you want to go, is indeed so far under you've forgotten about it.

    But if you're a human being, and you're not organically ill, you've still got it.

    Otherwise, you'd be a mouse, not a man.

    Just writing that thought down brings me to another one.

    If Palpatine is powerless to be anything but evil, then he is BLAMELESS through this whole thing!!! Seriously.

    If he CAN'T CHOOSE to do other than what he does, we can feel pity over the whole situation, but we can't blame him. He's powerless; under the grip of a terrible compulsion. He CAN'T choose to do otherwise. But we do blame him, and we hate him for what he does.

    The mere fact that we hate him for what he does suggests that we DO believe he CAN choose, and he is therefore responsible! If you hold him responsible, then you believe he can choose; then he's a villian rather than a tragic character. If you truly believe he does not have the power to choose to do differently, then the whole SW saga is a tragedy: the poor sad galaxy has fallen sway to somebody who just happens to be tragically ill, and can't help himself.

    But we're not really reacting to the SW saga that way, are we? So the question really is, Who's in control, the Dark Side or Palpatine? What I keep seeing on these boards is the viewpoint: He can choose this, but he can't choose that.

    The real issue is, can he choose or not? Because my argument is that if you possess the capability to CHOOSE darkness, then the capability to CHOOSE light is the very same thing!



    Please, tell me what you think.
  3. maryaminx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2005
    star 1
    He can choose. Anyone can choose; that's not my argument. I find it unlikely that he would.

    But surely you've heard of going down a path so far you can't turn back. You can want to turn back, and be the reason for being on the path at all, but circumstances say that return is impossible.

    Having been at a theme park today, I'll try an example: You are on a roller coaster, already strapped, buckled, and pulling away from the gate. You put yourself there, but you're having second thoughts. No matter how hard you try to break free though, you're stuck. No going back. And you're not just a powerless pawn.

    For Palpatine: say he's tied by both the Dark side and the Empire, but he a) wants to turn back and b) put himself on that path. Even given those, there's virtually no way he can stop. The very fact of the Empire speaks for that point, but as far as the dark side goes, it's like trying to lay down a snake. It's also very much like a drug. (Who made the comment about the Sith being like crack dealers?)

    He can choose to stop. I doubt he would. And I believe he would have a very hard time putting his decision into action. (my 2¢)
  4. VadersMistress Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 7, 2004
    star 6
    I don't think he was ever stuck. I think he enjoyed the power. He liked the dark side.

    Sorry if I misunderstood your message. It's been a very bad and very long week and I am tired. LOL! More later when I have had sleep. :D
  5. cka3ka Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2003
    star 1
    LLL,

    I think you make a very good arguement that if he had no choice then he is a tragic character.

    I think he did have a choice, and he conciously chose the path of power from either good intentions or self-interest.

    It's kind of like this. You go to your local grocery store and buy some breyer's ice-cream. It's good and what not. Then you find Ben and Jerry's and realize that there is better ice-cream out there! Now, you have a choice to have better ice-cream or mediocore ice-cream. Which do you choose? I'd personally choose the better ice-cream.

    How does it relate? Well once you get use to something better, it's rare you want to step back to what's worse. Palp's the same way. He's use to be in charge and he doesn't want to give it up. Therefore, he goes and keeps on trying to hold power :).

    Did this make any sense? Lol.

    CK
  6. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    I think Mary was just giving a for-instance. For the sake of argument.

    Although: Once you're Emperor, you have more free choice than any other being in the entire galaxy. If you want to unchoose darkness, who's gonna stop you?

    But good point, that what it really revolves around is what the individual in question sees as better. And WHY.
  7. cka3ka Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2003
    star 1
    I was doing some work for my palp centric fic and was wondering... Does anyone see him having a 'ship with someone? and if so who?

    CK
  8. maryaminx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2005
    star 1
    Not really. He is really old, so all of his 'ships would occur further back than the books go. But hey, OC challenge. Maybe Padmé's grandmother or something, to tie it all together.
  9. cka3ka Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 9, 2003
    star 1
    He is a bit old in the movies, but...

    What about when he was younger? Or via one of his multiple clones. I had this idea of pairing him up with Callista Ming... lol.. wierd idea but she is an old order Jedi and uhh she's still alive. :)

    CK
  10. maryaminx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2005
    star 1
    Have at it. If you can make it work, the more power to you. Oh, and post a link here so I can look at it. :)
  11. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    EDIT: Sorry, LLL, but you still need to wait until tomorrow for spoilers. That rule still applies to all forums.

    I apologize if I suggested otherwise in my PM to you.


    Herman
  12. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Generic semi-spoiler warning.








    So am I the only one left with the impression that Palp-ster is a little less superhuman that previously hinted at?


    With the ability to hide from the Jedi as well as what we saw from ROTJ, it was easy to assume that Palpy was near invincible, barring the ability to levitate.

    Yet, Mace handled him fairly easily and Yoda took him to a stand-off?

    How does this change Palp/Sidious in the eyes of the fans?
  13. maryaminx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2005
    star 1
    Not at all. I mean, he was thrown down a shaft by a cripple at the end of RotJ. And Yoda was the greatest Jedi Master to have ever lived, so it would make sense...

    EDIT: And as far as Mace was concerned, I don't think he ever really had the upper hand. Palpatine just needed to keep the fight going until Anakin got there so Anakin could finish his descent. *cough*and mace still goes out like a punk...*cough*
  14. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Yeah, but that was a sneak attack that Palpy didn't expect.


    If Anakin doesn't step in, do you think Mace would have struck down Palpatine, or did the old boy have one more trick up his sleeve?
  15. maryaminx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2005
    star 1
    Heh. Remember, you're talking about Palpatine here. He always has one last trick up his sleeve.

    However, had Anakin chosen to help Mace, instead of kill him, Palpatine would have had problems.
  16. Kynstar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 2, 2004
    star 5
    Spoiler warning....










    I believe Mace would have killed Palps. The man on the ground at his feet was a direct threat to his 'beloved' Republic. If you have read the book it is stated that Mace loved the Republic. And the fact that Mace had dove into the Vapaad a lil too deeply prob to pull himself out of it. Yes I do believe Mace would have killed him.

    I thought it ironic that Anakin was telling a Master...let a lone a Councilor about what was right - He should be put on trial for his crimes. But then again... Mace was correct. The man 'owned' the senate and the courts. [face_laugh] It would have been juz that... a laughing stock.

    Palpatine was juz allowing Mace the upperhand. When you see the movie again watch Palps eyes (specially when he's all wrinkly and stating he's too weak) when Mace and Anakin are arguing, his eyes keep focusing on Anakin. He knows he has Anakin twisted around his fingers all ready. Poor kid... that scene where he is looking out of the Council Room and that tear... he made his decision there. Juz he didn't realize how fully until Mace tried to kill Palps. And once more the 'Sithly' way sneaks out of Anakin. "I need him!" (meaning Palps for Padme...) and the ole "I can't live without her." The ole greed and selfishness there. Ripe for the picking Anakin had been for quite a while... :( sad to say. And the statement of "I'm not the Jedi I should be. I want more...but I know it is not right." [face_laugh] The boy is juz aching to become a Sith! Sad... misguided and twisted around Palps finger all too well.

    Awesome movie...I'm sorry Ian stold the show I thought! :D Ewan did pretty well, Hayden definitely better. But Ian... he juz rocked!
  17. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    Palpy and relationships:

    I always see any relationships he would have as problematic and with *something* not working out. Either, as with Dooku (obviously this is a working friendship and not slash), the relationship is good, but the person has to be sacrificed or Palpatine cannot accomplish his goals; or Palpatine, as with Anakin, cares and trusts but is repaid with hate. Before you argue -- yes, Anakin saves Palpatine, but the living instant he learns what Palpatine has done, he hates him and plots against him. Anakin saves his life for Padme only, and Palpatine is clearly aware of this. Yet he seems to truly care for Anakin ... witness the lava scene where this show of compassion is totally unnecessary.

    In my life of Palpatine timeline, I give him two significant relationships with females: one with Gethzarion, and one with an aide of his.

    He absolutely loses his head over Gethzarion, to the point where his fear of losing her causes him to become angry and controlling. She reacts to this badly, and these two powerful Force-users end up battling it out, which he perceives as a betrayal because he doesn't understand how his own actions drove her to what she does.

    In the latter case, the relationship, after many ups and downs, stabilizes and becomes happy, but then it's in his way, and he realizes he can't move forward to rule the whole galaxy and still have this assistant in his life. So he chooses.

    I think Palpatine comes to trust money and power more than love, and is very cynical about any kind of human trust or caring.
  18. Darth_Elu Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 2, 2003
    star 6
    Um, a plug I suppose, but I wanted to help you Palp writers out. :p

    I have a thread in the SWC that talks about how Palpatine fights with the saber so incase you are writing him in action with one, you have an idea?

    Ask me for a link. :p

    Anywho, *sits back and reads through the thread* Palps is a very intriguing character..
  19. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    I know less than nothing about lightsaber fighting and it is always good to have help with action scenes.

    (They're my weakest point anyway.)

    What is SWC??

    (It's not that thread in 3SA where everybody says Palp is crap with a lightsaber, is it?)
  20. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
  21. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    Thanks. I'm gonna go by and check it out.

    NEW QUESTION OF THE WEEK:

    Let's pursue an abstraction.

    Anakin loved and trusted Palpatine for 13 years, placing him second only to Padme, and possibly Obi-Wan. Until Palpatine revealed who he really was. And in that instant, Anakin hated him and turned on him. He didn't save Palpatine for himself or any of the friendship that went before, but only because of Padme. And Palpatine knew it, too.

    But when Anakin did the very same thing, how did his friends treat him?

    Obi-Wan: "He is my brother. I cannot do it." "Don't ask me to kill Anakin." "I loved you."

    Padme: "Anakin, you're a good person." "I love you. Come away with me instead." "There is still good in him, I know there is."

    If, instead of immediately becoming consumed with hatred for Palpatine and relegating him to nothing more than a tool to be used to save the person he really cared about (and then to be murdered afterward), Anakin had been able to feel some of the above feelings instead ...

    What do you think might have happened?
  22. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
  23. maryaminx Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 24, 2005
    star 1
    In a word: Idunno.

    I'm not even sure I understand your question.

    If it's Anakin's loyalty you're questioning, it's rather simple: Anakin is loyal to those who are loyal to him. He does not turn on Palpatine until he learns that he has been lied to. It's the same thing with Padmé; he does not turn on her until he sees Obi-Wan and assumes the worst.

    He decided to keep Palpatine alive because he needed him to keep Padmé alive. However, after he believes he has been betrayed by Padmé, there is nowhere else for him to go.

    (If that isn't what you're looking for, just tell me, and I'll see what i can come up with...)
  24. LLL Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 16, 2000
    star 4
    I guess what I am asking is, What if Anakin was a different person. Someone who could have reacted more like Padme and Luke.

    What then? Would anything have changed? How?
  25. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    What then? Would anything have changed? How?


    Given that Palpy's entire plan hinged on Anakin, I think the Empire would have died before it even began.

    Though I wouldn't doubt Palpatine might have had a back-up plan up his sleeve. What it might have been, who knows?
Moderators: Briannakin, mavjade
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.