Lit Was Palpatine A Coward?

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Chewbacca89, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. Jedifirefly5 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 5, 2012
    star 2
    The Deathticle?
  2. thesevegetables Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 11, 2012
    star 4
    A successful one. So he got what he wanted.
  3. Roberto Calrissian Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 26, 2012
    star 4
    He's not a coward. He admitted to Anakin he was a sith and gave Anakin a clean shot to kill him. He waited for the Jedi to come arrest him and was ready to fight the 4 Jedi that came. He's a typical bad guy looks for the easy way out and when necessary he'll fight you only when there's no easy way out. He's a slickster
  4. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2012
    star 5
    So I guess the question is why he avoids facing danger? Is it because of a lack of courage? Or because of practicality?
  5. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    Well, Palpatine certainly isn't easily intimidated, considering you can count on one hand the amount of people in the GFFA that would be able to intimidate him to an even slight degree.
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  6. The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost

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    Nov 10, 2011
    star 4
    Palpatine....he's--like--kinda just this guy, you know what I mean?
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  7. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

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    Oct 25, 2012
    star 5
    So why not be totally dominating and just take out Plagueis head on? Why all the deceit even after he took control of the Republic?
  8. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

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    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    Because he's not a moron.
    instantdeath likes this.
  9. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 2012
    star 5
    So he was afraid of the consequences of those actions?
  10. AusStig Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2010
    star 3
    here, here!

    Is Indiana Jones a coward for shooting that guy who had sword?

    Fighting when you don't have to is the fastest road to defeat.
  11. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

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    Oct 25, 2012
    star 5
    So what would running away from Yoda have resulted in? How is that not cowardice?
  12. instantdeath Force Ghost

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    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I gave my opinion on that earlier.

    So, not a sure thing is definitely one aspect. I imagine he also wanted to taunt Plagueis. Much easier to do that while he's lying helpless on a couch then after a battle. Plus, like I said, I believe Palpatine only became the demi-god we know after killing Plagueis, much as Plagueis' own powers increased after killing Tenebrous. It would have been too close of a match to call.

    That said, I do want to stress that I believe many of Palpatine's actions are cowardly. As I said earlier, the guy is absolutely terrified of his own mortality, and will do anything to avoid facing it. I just don't think cowardice defines him. Cowardice and craftiness are often two sides of the same coin. I'd argue that this is just another trait that makes him, if not anything resembling a good human being, an effective villain. I don't think there's such a thing as a meatheaded chessmaster villain that takes unnecessary risks.
    Last edited by instantdeath, Mar 18, 2013
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  13. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    Obviously he thought there was a good chance that Yoda could do some damage or even defeat him.
    In such a case, staying and fighting when you have the option of attempting to escape so your clones can try to take him out would be completely idiotic.
  14. Mechalich Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2010
    star 4
    I do not see any evidence that this applies to Palpatine. Yes he often avoided confrontation, yes he engaged in backstabbing, underhanded machinations designed to achieve goals with ease. He avoided danger when he felt it was a viable option. However, he did not shrink from violent and indeed risky encounters when forced to face them. He fought Galen Marek at full strength on the Death Star, he hunted down Darth Maul and Savage Oppress in person, and, most importantly of all - when Mace Windu came for him, he fought despite te considerable lack of guaranteed outcome when it comes to facing down four Jedi Masters.

    If anything the ultimate evidence of Palpatine's lack of cowardice is this: when Mace Windu has him pinned and he needs Anakin to save him his begging and pleading is so obvoiusly an act that in other circumstances it could win a Razzie. So even in a situation where he was effectively powerless and completely dependent upon the actions of another, he was not afraid.
  15. Chewbacca89 Force Ghost

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    Oct 25, 2012
    star 5
    This is debatable...
  16. FatSmel Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 23, 2012
    star 3
    oh great, so we're acknowledging that as canon now?
  17. instantdeath Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 22, 2010
    star 5
    I don't think Palpatine gets quite enough credit in that ending sequence; he's obviously toying with him. The dark side ending is proof. He almost contemptuously bats him aside, shocks him, and crushes him with a ship. In the light side ending, the all mighty Starkiller has to blow himself up to have any hope of killing him, and even that fails spectacularly.

    Palpatine's a manipulator. He never intended to let Starkiller win.
  18. AusStig Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 3, 2010
    star 3
    Why fight? He has won, why have a fair fight when he DOES NOT NEED TO. He may be lazy, you could argue that, but not a coward. He won with out fighting, every time you fight there is a risk you could LOOSE and DIE, Palpatine does not take risks or at least as few as he can, he may not have wanted to fight Yoda, but he did. They fought and YODA ran away at the end, is Yoda a coward? or is he smart?
  19. TheRedBlade Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 17, 2007
    star 3
    To the Sith "coward" is just a label to make the clever and cautious submit to the the dumb and bulky. To them, there is no moral advantage to a toe-to-toe lightsaber duel over, say, poisoning their foe from a distance. Palpatine outsmarted Plagueis, had the opportunity to kill him, and, most importantly, wanted to kill him. As such, killing him however he so chose was the right and proper thing to do.
  20. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    To expand on this point - he was clearly having the time of his life fighting them, in spite of the fact they were both powerful opponents.

    I also get that feeling when he fought Yoda and the four masters before that - I think he absolutely loves fighting, he is just smart enough to know that most of the time it is better not to fight.
    Sable_Hart likes this.
  21. SkywalkerSquadron Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2013
    star 4
    I have to agree with other people on here who have said a coward would not have the courage to take over the galaxy.
  22. Starkeiller Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2004
    star 4
    RE: Ep. III Yoda fight scene. I don't believe it's accurate to label Palpatine a "coward" on account of that action. The point of Palpatine fleeing from Yoda is a simple storytelling ploy to signal the fact that Yoda is badass and can fight the Emperor on equal terms. The scene is just a series of demonstrations of immense Force powers. First, Yoda comes in and dispatches the guards without so much as a look in their direction. Then, Palpatine blasts Yoda halfway across the room with comparable ease. Then, it is revealed that Yoda is still conscious, and surprises Palpatine by giving him a taste of his own medicine and blasting him away. Now we know Yoda can take on the Emperor, and that's why Palpatine's next action is to run away. When Yoda blocks his way, Palpatine says that Vader will become more powerful than either of them, repeating the Chosen One theme by telling the audience that, if even this unfathomably powerful old master (and unfathomably selfish piece of $#!*) acknowledges Anakin's importance, then the latter must really be the most important person ever in terms of the Force. It's a well-written scene, really. Mr. Lucas may not be the best at dialogue, but his visual approach allows actions to speak for the characters louder than (and sometimes despite) their dialogue. That's why he has said that he wants his movies to work with the sound turned off.
  23. VadersLaMent Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 3, 2002
    star 9
    This label of coward is also misused by Windu when talking about General Grievous.
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  24. Sable_Hart Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2009
    star 4
    It's abused in general for Star Wars, merely an adjective to make villains more despicable. If Grievous were a true coward, he wouldn't have the brass pair to make himself Public Enemy No. 1 to the Jedi frickin' Order.
    VadersLaMent likes this.
  25. Something_Exile Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2012
    That was one of my favorite things about that fight with Maul and Savage, just how much Palpatine was loving every second of it. Finally, for the first time in years, he can let loose with his power instead of having to hide it. In that sense, it gives his relationship with Maul an extra layer, as Maul is the only person in the galaxy he can be truly open with (I'm not counting Dooku, since in the RotS novel it's clear how much Palpatine has BSed Dooku), even if in this case being "open with him" involves beating the utter hell out of him.

    So no, Palps ain't a coward. Rather, he is smart and practical. He couldn't fight Plagueis head on since that would bring the whole Jedi Order down on their head (imagine how immense that duel would have been) and he's much smarter than that. It's not cowardice, it's knowing the right time to act for the best result.