Saga Why did everyone believe Palpatine?

Discussion in 'Star Wars Saga In-Depth' started by Darth Liberatus, May 13, 2013.

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  1. Darth Liberatus Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 13, 2013
    According to the Declaration Of A New Order (the speech given by Palpatine in ROTS declaring that the Republic is now an empire), Palpatine led everyone to believe that Dooku was one of the Jedi and that they were using him in attempt to take over the Republic, and perhaps even that the Jedi were behind the CIS movement. (see the full text of Sidious's speech here)

    Sith were also widely seen as evil (though thought to be extinct until shortly before all of this).

    These facts suggest that no one (aside from his apprentices, the Jedi, etc) knew that Palpatine was actually a Sith lord. Pretty much everyone saw him as a hero who defeated the Jedi, and they may have even thought that the Jedi were allied with the Sith (because of Dooku being on the Jedi's side according to Sidious).

    However, in the OT, it is clear that at very least some of the high ranking imperials know that Vader and Sidious are Sith lords. Vader openly uses the Force and his lightsaber.

    How does this all fit together? True, the above was a meeting of high ranking imperials and perhaps the truth was kept from the general public, but the name 'Darth Vader' alone, and the fact that he walks around with a lightsaber, make it more than obvious that he is a Sith Lord. Did the empire simply have too much power by the time the truth got out and people felt like they couldn't do anything about it? Even if that is what happened, why did the imperials (stormtroopers aside since they're 'programmed' to obey) all remain loyal?
  2. SlashMan Jedi Grand Master

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    Feb 5, 2012
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    Leading up to this, Palpatine had gained the trust of the Republic. Afterwards, he simply ruled by fear. It became clear that the people of the Empire were oppressed, but were powerless to stand up to his might.

    So yeah, I'd say it's a good bet that they found out Palpatine was a Sith (therefore evil). Though I assume not many people were aware of his full power (Vader was widely seen as the Emperor's muscle).
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  3. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

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  4. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    Many people couldn't care less; the few who do don't have enough power by themselves to change much.
  5. Minez01 Force Ghost

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    Nov 12, 2005
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    I was thinking something along these lines. A lot of people not in the core systems probably didn't care who was in power, Sith, Jedi or otherwise. But I was also confused as to why the senate simply accepted an emperor - surely more than simply Padme realised something was suspicious. Especially given that Palpatine essentially had no evidence to support the claim that the Jedi plotted to take control of the republic. However I guess it's easy to judge when you have the full story - perhaps many people didn't even know or care about senate proceedings, as long as their interests were seemingly maintained.
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  6. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    The original conception of the Sith was that they were mercenaries trained in the use of the Dark Side of the Force - to a certain extent, this remained through until SW/ANH, where Vader is portrayed more as an outside enforcer (non-military) brought in to do the Emperor's dirty work. This was even referred to specifically in the shooting script & the novelisation:

    I'm not sure what current LFL canon says about just how public Vader's existence was between the events of ROTS & SW/ANH, but I don't think there's any contradiction here. Even though Vader may have been rather unknown to the public, people in the know (Senators, military leaders) may well have been perfectly well aware of what he was, but not been aware that the Emperor also was (or just how dangerous these mysterious Sith Lords actually were).
    By the time of SW/ANH, the Empire was really tightening its grip on the galaxy, so Palps might have been beyond the point where he really cared about maintaining any sort of benevolent facade anyway - but that's just what led to the rise of the Alliance, and members of the public starting to see the Empire as something wrong (as Luke & Biggs did).

    After the destruction of the Death Star, however, the emergency situation regarding the Rebel Alliance escalated to full-blown civil war, so Palps was able to promote Vader to a far more powerful position, in an actual military leadership role. It's around this time that Vader probably became more well-known to the galactic populace.

    As far as the military at this time was concerned - they were the military, in a time of war. Just because some psychopathic former head of Imperial death squads has been promoted to the equivalent of a Field Marshal doesn't mean they'd all put their weapons down and desert.
  7. Darth Liberatus Jedi Youngling

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    May 13, 2013
    According to Wookieepedia (Great Jedi Purge and Conclave on Kessel) it seems that Vader's existence was known to the general public. It isn't stated directly, but implied. For example, it says that a rumor spread that Vader single handedly killed 50 Jedi and that Sidious spread the rumor. As for not knowing of Sidious's identity as a Sith Lord, at first that's likely true (especially considering the quote you provided), but at some point weren't there some imperials who wanted to overthrow the 'Sith rule' of the empire?
    Last edited by Darth Liberatus, May 13, 2013
  8. Darth_Nub Saga, Classic Trilogy and Film Music Manager

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    That's all EU stuff, which I'm not too familiar with - although I've read Dark Lord, in which Vader is a very public figure early on, Obi-Wan even seems him on a Holonet transmission.

    However, I do believe that GL perceived him as being more a of a shadowy figure up until the Battle of Yavin. In SW/ANH, the opening scroll describes him as one of the Empire's 'sinister agents', and the Imperial officers either treat him with contempt, or as almost an equal. The Imperials on the Blockade Runner are respectful to him, but they're not the cowering lackeys in his presence that we see in ESB & ROTJ.

    In ESB, however, he's a full-blown warlord, which I think can be attributed to the more extreme nature of the civil war.

    Regarding the Imperials wanting to overthrow the 'Sith rule', I don't know where that's from , but it sounds like it was inpired by the Germans who wanted to assassinate Hitler.

    EU aside, I think one thing that's overlooked in discussions like this is the twenty year gap between Episodes III & IV. Palps didn't simply declare himself Emperor and immediately start cracking down, it would have been a very gradual process of eroding civil liberties, declaring various states of emergencies, and undermining the power of the Galactic Senate, which was only completely dissolved at the time of Episode IV.

    I imagine that a general feeling of unrest & suspicion of the Empire really only would have become widespread in the galaxy a few years before SW/ANH, hence the rise of the Alliance - prior to that, the Empire would have been perceived as mopping up the mess left after the Clone Wars.

    One of my favourite SW scenes across all six films is Palpatine's speech to the Senate declaring the formation of the Empire in ROTS - it's a combination of Winston Churchill & Richard Nixon, and he's seizing power for the most benevolent of reasons, to restore order, safety and security.
    He doesn't stomp in with a squad of clones & a red lightsaber, he's welcomed with open arms. That's how the real dictators take control - and as far back as 1973, that's what GL and many liberals were terrified of happening in the United States, when it was believed that Nixon was going to try to serve a third term as President.
    Last edited by Darth_Nub, May 14, 2013
  9. Darth Liberatus Jedi Youngling

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    May 13, 2013
    That's some very good points you bring up. Re: being shadowy in ANH and a warlord in ESB, I do recall reading somewhere (on Wookieepedia I think) that he was given a major rank promotion around that time and became a lot more involved in combat.

    As for Sidious slowly taking away civil liberties, declaring states of emergencies (probably oftentimes from false flags, especially consiering the entire Clone Wars were based on what was essentially a false flag by Sidious), and real life politics, it is very interesting how many parallels there are, not only between Star Wars and history, but even between Star Wars and modern politics, with the increased restrictions on personal freedoms and increased police presence in many countries in recent years.
  10. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

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    Vader became the Supreme Commander Of The Imperial Military (full title, there) shortly after ANH..he established himself as a big deal not too long after ROTS when he was responsible for the orbital bombardment of Kashyyk, but where he stood in the rank structure of the Empire was pretty uncertain up until the destruction of the Death Star, is the current canon stance.

    But yeah, the Empire slowly eroded away civil liberties, and Palpatine (per the ANH novel) was seen as being manipulated by his underlings; they caught all the blame.
  11. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

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    Apr 25, 2004
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    I think the galaxy at large mostly forgot what the Sith were.

    As for Vader, I think the explanation was that he was a former Jedi who happened to remain loyal to the Republic/Empire.
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  12. rumsmuggler Chosen One

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    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    He controlled the courts and the senate, getting the regular people to fall in line is the next logical step. The people smart enough to realize what was going on , either played smart and layed low, or got killed.
  13. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

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    Mar 20, 2013
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    I think in the time right after ROTS no one thought that Palpatine was a Force-user. He was still maintaining a climate of fear, but the source of that fear switched from the CIS to the Jedi. Since the Jedi are Force-users, it wouldn't make sense for him to want to reveal that he's a Force-user too. That would create a connection between Palpatine and those he deemed threats to the stability of the Republic.

    I'm sure at some point concealing his identity wouldn't serve this purpose anymore, but I don't think Palpatine would've revealed that he was a Sith all the same. He probably would've preferred his exact nature remain a mystery (though others knowing he had Sith powers would certainly deter assassins, but I guess if you have those powers, assassins aren't much of a threat!).

    Just because some knew that Vader was a Force-user doesn't mean that people thought Palpatine was too. I think those who knew of Vader and that he was a Force-user assumed he was a Jedi who had remained loyal. Later, when Vader became more conspicuous, people must've assumed he was the Emperor's enforcer. In that way, he wasn't above or below the top Imperial commanders, but instead had a unique standing.
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  14. Hurricanejedi Jedi Knight

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    May 8, 2013
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    How many times did Yoda say the dark side clouds much?

    I think that he had such a connection with the dark side ( i mean he was stronger than every jedi at the time no?) that he was able to cloak himself. The thing i don't get is why didn't OBW investigate Dooku's claim that the sith lord was controlling the senate? OBW was a smart dude and he should of given it more thought..
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  15. Iron_lord Chosen One

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    Sep 2, 2012
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    They do investigate Sidious in Labyrinth of Evil. And by RoTS, they're beginning to believe Dooku wasn't lying after all.
  16. King Terak Jedi Master

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    Nov 22, 2012
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    Obi-Wan: "Do you believe what Count Dooku says about Sidious controlling the Senate? It doesn't feel right."
    Yoda: "Joined the dark side, Dooku has. Lies, deceit, creating mistrust are his ways now."
    Plus, at that point, the Jedi had more pressing things to take care of, such as the war, than to examine a claim brought up by a dark side user.
    Last edited by King Terak, May 19, 2013
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  17. Hurricanejedi Jedi Knight

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    Obi-Wan: "Do you believe what Count Dooku says about Sidious controlling the Senate? It doesn't feel right."
    Yoda: "Joined the dark side, Dooku has. Lies, deceit, creating mistrust are his ways now."[/quote]

    Yeh good point. As a viewer and being aware of what is happening in the bigger picture its kind of hard to look at objectively. I mean i want OBK to investigate but i was him i wouldn't either based on what i knew......
  18. MRCynical Jedi Grand Master

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    I think the general portrayal is that people in the galaxy (particularly the outlying worlds) only had a vague idea of what a Jedi was - in the same way that when you say "soldier" to most people they think of an infantryman in a foxhole. Since the Sith had been gone for a thousand years I'd guess that very few people in the galaxy had the faintest idea what a Sith was. How many people alive today know who Sweyn Forkbeard was, for example?
  19. Original Oatmeal Jedi Master

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    The early days of the Rebel Alliance is seen in the deleted scenes of the Revenge of the Sith.
  20. Kev Snowmane Jedi Master

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    Or were dismissed as "conspriacy kooks", I'm sure...just like in real life.
  21. Kev Snowmane Jedi Master

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    Jan 1, 2013
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    And one scene that made got left in in AOTC (the reviewing stand scene...watch Bail's little "I've got to do something but I can't...yet" motion).
  22. rumsmuggler Chosen One

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    yep..
  23. classified Force Ghost

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    May 24, 2005
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    I don't want to be *that guy* that brings up Hitler but I think that aspect of the Palpatine storyline is heavily influenced by Hitlers consolidation of power in the 1930s. Soon after Hitler became Chancellor in 1933, the Reichstag burnt down in an arson attack which was blamed on the communists (though many believe that Hitler's party were secretly responsible and did it so they could create a scapegoat out of the communist party). In the wake of this, Hitler convinced the president Paul von Hindenburg to issue an emergency decree, which got rid of many civil liberties afforded to the German people and gave the Nazis unprecedented power to round up, arrest, and imprison without trial those suspected to be 'unfriendly' (ie the opposition). After being granted these emergency powers, he soon forced Hindenburg to resign, leaving the office of president vacant, and declaring himself "Führer" of Germany.

    I don't see Palpatine's consolidation of power to be any different from this, and the incredulity of the Senate is perfectly believable.
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  24. EHT New Films Manager

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    And a really smooth talker.
  25. Oissan Force Ghost

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    Hindenburg didn't resign, he died of old age/illness. A law was introduced the day before he died that would merge the offices of Reichspräsident and Reichskanzler upon Hindenburg's death, with a plebiscite to be held a short time later to confirm it.
    Apart from that, there are indeed quite a lot of similarities.
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