Palpatine: Reverts to true form OR damaged because of Mace

Discussion in 'Revenge of the Sith' started by imajkt, May 19, 2005.

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  1. Violetsaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 3
    I would say that, since George Lucas did not come directly forward in the commentary and say: "THIS IS THE WAY IT IS!" (as he did with the Mace vs. Sidious debate), that this issue is never going to be 100% resolved. There are too many quotes from too many offical sources...and many of them contradict each other. Producers, effects specialists, actors...all of them have thier opinions and quote Lucas as saying a variety of things. However, no single unified concencous has been shown.

    It would seem that even the people who worked on the movie are slightly unsure. Therefore, this is one debate that should be chalked up to: "Go with the option you like."

    Violetsaber
  2. Greedo_forever Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Yeah, the whole thing is entirely subjective.

    Here's MY take on it:

    Palpatine lost, despite the odds being pretty equal (say what you will, he killed 3 masters in a few seconds).

    Palpatine was depending on Anakin showing up.

    He was UNMASKED by the overflow of redirected lightning. His true ugliness inside came out, a la Dorian Grey.

    The true moment of fateful decision was at that moment. Had Anakin made the RIGHT and UNSELFISH choice, Mace would have killed Palpatine. But Anakin made the WRONG CHOICE.

    Palpatine, victorious at last, becomes uglier (pulls up the hood, his eyes glow red, his voice is all creepy).

    There! [face_peace]
  3. Leias_love_slave Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2003
    star 5
    I think that like many other details in the Saga, it's open to interpretation. This particular issue has been discussed and debated since before the film was even released.

    My own take on it is that it is Palpatine's true self. For one, notice that his voice changes BEFORE he uses the force lightning:

    Mace: "The opression of the Sith will never return. You have lost!"

    Palpatine (in distorted voice):"NO, NO, NOOOO! IT"S YOU..." etc.

    I would assume that his distorted voice is directly tied to his distorted face.
  4. BlackRook Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2005
    star 2
    Well, it's not necessarily the same voice. In ROTS, whenever Palpatine (pre-face-off [ha!]) gets angry enough, he'll force out this nasty voice ("Do it!" "I am the senate!" "No! No! No!"), but it's not the same as the Emperor voice he uses for the rest of the movie, which sounds more tired and raspy, like the voice of an old man.

    Anyway, John Knoll claims it was because of some kind of strain. Lucas didn't correct him, but then I've heard that McCallum says it's a mask on the commentary (I haven't heard all of it yet), and Lucas probably doesn't correct him either.

    At the very least, though, Lucas confirmed that Mace had him beat, and Palpatine's lightning was meant to kill him (I had thought that Palpatine was faking and his lightning was meant to coax Mace into attempting an assassination). From that, we can at least infer that whatever the lightning did, unmask or damage, it wasn't intentional.
  5. dontkillyoda Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 14, 2003
    star 2
    I 'd like to think that Palpatine released so much anger while trying to stop Mace from killing him. That he tore his body and face up. He was afraid too. Fear and Anger at the highest possible levels took the skin and ripped it about. Palps was thinking "I'm gonna die and I really want to kill you"
    at the same time, and he was sending it out to stop his own demise
    and getting it right back in his face

    Those feelings combined with the effects of his force power mucked him up from the inside out. This whole it was a visual deception ideal is really weak I mean how would
    anakin know so quickly that that bounty hunter chick was a changling in AOTC. Huh..
  6. lrdmonarch Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Dec 14, 2001
    star 3
    Cause he saw her change in the speeder?


    Edit: I like the strain of the Dark Side explanation rather then the mask or being burnt by the lightning. This fits with why no one elses face was damaged either by using it or being hit by it. Palpatine was using so much power that he caused damage to himself.
  7. windu25 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2005
    star 1
    Of course, we have this as well now...

    "...These close up shots where Palpatine is getting the Force lightning reflected back, and he's getting zapped, and the strain of all of this exertion is what's transforming him into the Emperor that we see later in Return of the Jedi, is a computer generated shot..." - John Knoll, ROTS Audio Commentary


    One thing this comment shows is that Sidious was not holding back anything in his battle with Mace for all those still hanging on to that unfounded idea.

    Mace kicked his butt.
  8. Leias_love_slave Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2003
    star 5
    Although you don't agree with me...

    ...pointing out that long before he uses Sith lightning, Palpatine has moments where his "nasty voice" slips out only convinces me even more that it's his 'true' self slipping out. I still associate the 'nasty voice' with the 'nasty face'.

    I know it might seem arrogant to contradict the creater, but I'm a bit shocked that Lucas would say that Mace literally had Palpatine beat. It seems awfully convenient for Palpatine in setting Anakin up to take that next big step towards the dark side.

    For the sake of argument, suppose Palpatine had Mace beat when Anakin arrived. How would Anakin then be manipulated into crossing that line from which there would seem to be no going back?:confused:
  9. AAMD11 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2002
    star 4
    I agree with "dontkillyoda"
  10. BlackRook Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 18, 2005
    star 2
    What I'm saying that the first "nasty voice" and the second "nasty voice" are similar, but aren't the same. The first one sounds more like some kind of evil lizard is hiding in Palpatine's throat, while the second one sounds like an old man. Both are nasty and evil, but the first one is forced out while the second one is more of a tired rasp that comes out more naturally.

    In that instance, maybe Palpatine would've allowed Mace to suddenly gain the upper hand. Or, if he was dead, then he'd just fill Anakin's head with more "assassination attempt" garbage and tell him that they needed to act quickly and so on. If Palpatine dangled the Padme carrot enough, he probably could've gotten him to march on the temple even without having helped kill Mace, and raiding the temple would've been his "turning point" instead.
  11. wcleere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 12, 2002
    star 3
    Exactly, and the commentary does not contradict that.
  12. EwokThatCried Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 4
    The underlying question of the thread is not so much if it is a direct injury or simply his "true" form, but whether or not he intended for this to happen and allowed it to happen on purpose.

    I say he did not purposefully "drop" his mask to reveal himself. This is definitely something that happens to him because he is under immense strain and it translates into a physical transformation triggered by the lightning.

    Then he uses the transformation to his advantage claiming it is battle damage brought about during the Jedi insurrection - which is true to the degree that Mace had a hand in it indirectly, but the Jedi were not trying to take over.
  13. lorn_zahl Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 19, 2002
    star 4


    I've probably posted in here like a million times though I just got done watching it and its obvious that the lightning is arching into his face. You can see it damaging his skin, go ahead, watch very closely.


    I'm sure the lightning had nothing to do with it. [face_whistling]






  14. darthvaderv Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2005
    star 4
    It's clear after watching the commentary that the lightning done the damage to Sids face.

  15. Mav23 Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    I can't accept that it's lightning damage simply because I can't imagine someones face being zapped with lightning coming out like that.
  16. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    I've always been a steadfast supporter of the unmaksed theory, and that Palpatine did it on purpose, because it provided the most sensical flow to the scene: Palps has Mace on his heels early, but Mace gains the upper hand, finally disarming and knocking down Pals legitimately, Palps tries the force lightning, Mace is able to block it with his saber and redirect it back at Palps, Palps changes strategy, makes it look like the lightning is doing more damage than it really is by dropping the 'mask' as part of the whiny 'help me Ani' ruse so as to get Anakin to help him, and turn Ani to the dark side in the process. To me this is confirmed by the fact that Palps is clearly not in any pain thereafter.

    My understanding is that in the dvd commentary, Lucas makes it clear that Mace had disarmed and knocked down Palps legitimately, from which point on Palps starts faking, just as I had suspected. My question: if Palps face is in fact damaged, why would he be faking at that point? I think he really would be in excrutiating pain, and legitimately be begging Anakin, or anyone else for help.

    The solution, I think, is to realize that Logic and Lucas have nothing in common but the letter 'L', and that this scene is just a total mess, and uglier than Palps's face.
  17. Get_in_Gear Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 29, 2004
    star 5
    You watched the commentary. :eek:

    That explains a lot, because when you listen to it, Knoll clearly explains that the change in Palpatine's face is due to the exertion of sustaining the lightning on Mace.
    It's been said before.
    Most notably in the script.

    So with that in mind, for me, it's pretty much a mixture of everything, and it's not a mess.

    It's his true face... in a figurative sense - he becomes a grotesque reflection of the evil he has always carried inside.
    It is because the lightning is reflected at him... in the sense that usually he would be in control of the lightning but now he is having to just unleash it constantly and consistantly just to fend Mace's saber off. The exertion is draining him.
    It is an injury... in that something happens to him that physically disfigures him.

    Everyone's right... to a degree...
  18. Starwars_1977-1983 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2004
    star 4
    In the second age of Middle-Earth, Sauron humbled himself and let the Numenoreans to take him captive to the island of Numenor. There he was put in jail, but through sublte manipulation and seduction he finally became the King's most trusted advisor. He plotted to turn the island into a tyranny, where he was a semi-god, and managed to make the King attack the undying lands, lands of the gods.

    The gods' anger was so great that they destroyed the king's armada and drowned the island of Numenor. Sauron drowned too. But, being a maia (angel),he survived.

    Until then, Sauron had taken the fair guise of a noble man, though he had taken many shapes in the first age of the world. But after his body was destroyed in the drowning of Numenor by the anger of the gods (valar), he could never again look fair, and would look forever like what he really was : taller than men, with burnt black skin, and the eye of Sauron very few could endure. He could never again mask his true intentions.

    I think that Palpatine's transformation is very similar.

  19. Enshu-Atsukau Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2005
    star 1
    Come on ! You can't believe that this would have worked ! Anakin was on the verge of falling, but to really fall, he needed to have to act without thinking. If Anakin had the time to think about it, the risk that he would choose the other side (Mace instead of Palpatine) would be too high.

    Why did Anakin come, by the way ? To save Windu ? To assist him ? None of them. He came to be sure that Palpatine would stay alive, because he needed him. And that was the most important think. That's why he urges Mace to put him before the courts rather than kill him. However, when Mace explains why this is not possible, Anakin cannot argue, because he knows Mace is right. Nevertheless, he still refuse absolutely to let Palpatine die and thus he commit his fault.

    Without this threat on Palpatine's head, he would have let Mace do what he was there for. After all, it's Anakin who told Mace the truth. Anakin sent Mace to arrest Palpatine ! If he would have time to think, after that, I think he would have seen how dangerous Palpatine was and wouldn't have turned to the Dark side.

    So Palpatine had to avoid at all cost that Anakin had the time to think. Beating (and most probably killing) Windu would have let Anakin time to think and realise the evil in Palpatine, while now, OK, Palpatine killed Windu, but because of Anakin, and that puts him in a very different situation ! He cannot come back any more, unless allowing the Jedis to condemn him for what he did. Without completely realising it while cutting Mace's arm, he engaged himself on a path he could not come back from any more. Then he realised what he had done, and also that he couldn't change his choice, and that's why he confirms his submission to Palpatine.
  20. Starwars_1977-1983 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2004
    star 4
    Spot on Enshu-Atsukau !!

    That's the only way this scene makes sense.

    Lucas himself says it in the "Making of" book : Mace changes his mind after Palps does the lightning.
    The point is to make sure Anakin doesn't have time to think before it's too late. Just be afraid. Afraid to lose Padme. Afraid to lose his only chance to save her. The other thing is that jedi must appear as traitors with not so good intentions.

    Palpatine has to be put in jeopardy for Anakin to take the last step.

    "If the jedi destroy me ..." There is a good reason why Palpatine says that to Anakin. He knows he will soon put Anakin in a position to chose : either the jedi destroy Palpatine, or Anakin saves Palpatine (and Padme) from the jedi.

    The thing is that Anakin has to make the most terrible choice, because in the end it all comes down to chose between the Jedi or Padme. If Sidious sliced and diced all four jedi masters and appear the victor, it wouldn't work.

  21. MaceWindu_is_GOD Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 26, 2005
    star 3
    That's the only way this scene makes sense.

    Lucas himself says it in the "Making of" book : Mace changes his mind after Palps does the lightning.
    The point is to make sure Anakin doesn't have time to think before it's too late. Just be afraid. Afraid to lose Padme. Afraid to lose his only chance to save her. The other thing is that jedi must appear as traitors with not so good intentions.

    Palpatine has to be put in jeopardy for Anakin to take the last step.

    "If the jedi destroy me ..." There is a good reason why Palpatine says that to Anakin. He knows he will soon put Anakin in a position to chose : either the jedi destroy Palpatine, or Anakin saves Palpatine (and Padme) from the jedi.

    The thing is that Anakin has to make the most terrible choice, because in the end it all comes down to chose between the Jedi or Padme. If Sidious sliced and diced all four jedi masters and appear the victor, it wouldn't work.

    by SW 1977-1983




    C'mon guys, Obi-Wan and Yoda together still can't defeat Sidious.

    Even at the end, they are pinning all hope on the children of the Chosen One. They could have easily snuck in again and confront the Sith Master while Vader was still recovering.

    Even in the OT, Vader feared Sidious while Yoda and Obi-Wan hid from him.


    Only Mace Windu could defeat Sidious with ease.

    All those rules does not apply to Mace and all of those quotes the Farrellg has listed also does not apply to Mace.


    For Mace is the Super Jedi. Too bad for Mace though, coz he has the worst luck in history.

    Even though Mace is the God of all the Jedi, having Palpatine at his mercy has validated all of Palpatine's lies. Like I said, Mace had the WORST LUCK in HISTORY.

    From having Anakin help Mace in arresting Palpatine TO having Anakin help Palpatine in purging the whole Jedi Order.

    From having no proof to the Senate about doing that TO having a VALID proof.

    From Democracy TO an Empire.


    I guess the reason for the Chosen One is to destroy the most powerful being in the galaxy. Which is Super Mace Windu. And Anakin did his part. Anakin had balance the Force all along in ROTS.


    Mace is too powerful for his own good. And that is why LUCK stepped in Palpatine's favor.

    I mean Yoda who is supposedly the most powerful Jedi FAILED 3 times against Sidious' lightning.

    1. Yoda was knocked out.

    2. Yoda was disarmed.

    3. Yoda put up a better defense but still ended up explopding also.

    While Mace has deflected and accomplished it IN ONE TRY making Palpatine beg for mercy.

    Too bad it lead to Anakin joining, Order 66, support from the Senate, and creation of an Empire.


    If only Yoda and Obi-Wan used the Force to see in the past at how Mace defeated Sidious easily then they would have confronted him after ROTS.

    And if only Vader REMEMBERED how Mace defeated Palpatine with just a lightsaber then he would have not feared the Emperor in the OT and could have killed Sidious with just his lightsaber like Mace did way before the OT.

    If they only knew Vapaad.




  22. EwokThatCried Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 22, 2003
    star 4
    Bitter, bitter. :_|


    Hehe, I love it. :D
  23. Violetsaber Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 6, 2001
    star 3
    So do I!

    [face_laugh] [face_laugh] [face_laugh]
    [face_dancing]

    Violetsaber
  24. Leias_love_slave Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2003
    star 5
    Okay, how about wind burn?

    I just watched it again and it's obvious that with the window broken out, there is a strong wind blowing into his face. You can see it tossing his hair around, go ahead, watch very closely.

    Could this be a play on words that Lucas cooked up?

    Windu - Window - Wind burn?

    No, I'm sure the wind had nothing to do with it either.[face_whistling]

    :p
  25. Darth_Risement Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2003
    I'm sure this must have been asked before, but..

    If the lightening caused the damage to Palpatine, then why did the same thing not happen to Luke who was hit full on by force lightening in ROTJ and for much longer.

    This conclusively ends the debate for me personally. Palpatine revealed his true self in my opinion.
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