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  1. Welcome to the new boards! Details here!

Characters Path of Dark Persuasion-The New Palpatine Characterization Thread: New Challenge is up!

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction and Writing Resource' started by unlimited-power, Jan 27, 2008.

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  1. unlimited-power

    unlimited-power Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2008
    "The Emperor sat, regarding this view, as Vader approached from behind. The Lord of the Sith kneeled and waited. The Emperor let him wait. He perused the vista before him with a sense of glory beyond all reckoning: this was all his. And more glorious still, all his by his own hand.

    "For it wasn't always so. Back in the days when he was merely Senator Palpatine, the galaxy had been a Republic of stars, cared for and protected by the Jedi KNighthood that had watched over it for centuries. But inevitably it had grown too large--too massive a bureaucracy had been required, over too many years, in order to maintain the Republic. Corruption had set in.

    "A few greedy senators had started the chain reaction of malaise, some said; but who could know? A few perverted bureaucrats, arrogant, self-serving--and suddenly a fever was in the stars. Governor turned on governor, values eroded, trusts were broken--fear had spread like an epidemic in those early years, rapidly and wihtout visible cause, and no one knew what was happening, or why.

    "And so Senator Palpatine had seized the moment. Through fraud, clever promises, and astute political maneuvering, he'd managed to get himself elected head of the Council. And then through subterfuge, bribery and terror, he'd named himself Emperor."

    ~James Kahn, "Return of the Jedi" novelization


    Hello and welcome to the new Palpatine characterization thread. Run by DarthIshtar and Hyperspace_Police for now, this is the haven for all of us who love to hate and hate to love the Emperor, aka Darth Sidious, aka Chancellor Palpatine.

    We will be doing a lot of characterization talk, as is expected. We will have prompts and challenges and we will enjoy the greatest con known to the history of the Star Wars canon.

    Please PM us either under the sock or individually if you have a story to be indexed. We will be looking for stories on our own, of course, but help us out if you will. Also, if you have ideas for discussion topics or challenges, please don't hesitate to come forward. After all, the Emperor is not as forgiving as we are.

    So, let it begin!


    Discussion Topic #1:

    What do you consider to be the central point of your characterization of Palpatine?
     
  2. unlimited-power

    unlimited-power Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Index

    In progress: PALPATINE STORY INDEX
    Know any good Palpy stories? PM us! Fics starred are personally recommended by the archivist.


    Drama

    Title: [link=http://boards.theforce.net/the_saga/b10476/27834115/p1/?0]The Bargain[/link]
    Author: leiamoody
    Genre: Crossover, Angst, Borderline Horror
    Timeframe: Before ROTS
    Crossover With: Hellraiser
    Characters: Palpatine (wearing his Palpy face), Pinhead (wearing his Cenobite face)
    Summary: The corrupted come together and make a deal for one who is corruptible. Or, Leviathan's chief handy demon walks into Palpatine's office and...
    Author Notes: Pinhead is the creative bad news baby of Clive Barker.
    Archivist comment: *raises Spock eyebrow* Fascinating.

    Title: [link=http://boards.theforce.net/the_saga/b10476/17818335/p1/?8]When All Around Has Fallen[/link]
    Author(s):CodyMonKenobi
    Timeframe:ROTSish
    Characters:palpatine, Anakin/Vader
    Genre: Songfic.
    Summary:palpatine tries to seduce Vader.

    Title: [link=http://boards.theforce.net/the_saga/b10476/27482874/p1/?12]Mortal Instruments[/link]
    Author: leia_naberrie
    Genre: Alternate Reality. Short story.
    Characters: Palpatine. Padmé. (for now).
    Summary: Snippets from the life of Padmé Naberrie, ward of Palpatine.

    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/the_saga/b10476/23733844/p1]His Ultimate Punishment[/link]
    Authors: sabarte and LLL
    Genre: PT era, drama, missing scene
    Characters: Sidious, Dooku
    Summary: After the events of _Dark Rendezvous_, what induced Count Dooku to pass up the chance to kill Sidious, and to remain so loyal to him until the end of his life? How did Sidious get him back? (How did Dooku survive his master's wrath?!) Sidious and his apprentice settle their differences in mortal combat.

    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/Message.aspx?topic=26282010&brd=10475&start=26282344]Often Grows the Wolf[/link]
    Author: sabarte
    Genre: AU, begins in 73BBY.
    Characters: Qui-Gon, Dooku, Yoda, supporting cast of Jedi, and a somewhat ... different Palpatine.
    Summary: Qui-Gon changed the galaxy on Naboo. Now a Jedi Knight, he means to take on a deadlier challenge. A series of vignettes over thirteen years tracing the Jedi training of a Sith apprentice.

    *Title: [link=http://boards.theforce.net/f/b1/25713388]The Man Who Would Be Emperor [/link]
    Author: leia_naberrie
    Characters: Palpatine. "Other."[face_devil]
    Timeline: RotS AU.
    Genre: Thriller.
    Summary: As the Senate dome burns, the would-be Emperor celebrates alone. But not for long.

    *[link=http://boards.theforce.net/Before_the_Saga/b10475/20666709]There is No Death, There is Immortality[/link]
    Author: Bale
    Very short. Groovy speculation on the origins of Palpatine!

    Title: Alive
    Author: Brentus
    Characters: Palpatine, his mother and his Master
    Time Frame: Palpatine is a boy of six and then ten
    Genre: Songfic
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/before_the_saga/b10475/26161242/p1/?0] located here[/link]

    *Title: Choices
    Author: Brentus
    Characters: Dark Leia, Palpatine, Luke, Mara, Han, Ben, OCs
    Time Frame: Around ESB
    Genre: Angst/Drama/some horror
    [link=http://boards.theforce.net/the_saga/b10476/26357953/p1/?] located here[/link]

    Title: [link=http://boards.theforce.net/the_saga/b10476/12393325/p1/?3]It was I ...[/link]
    Author: darth_shockwave
    Genre: AU, PT, viggie
    Characters: Palpatine, Padme`
    Summary: Padme` survives the purge and is confronted by a gloating Palpatine.

    Title: [link=http://boards.theforce.net/the_saga/b10476/13136056/p1/?2]Revelations[/link]
    Author: Hananiah
    Genre: AU, PT, viggie
    Characters: Anakin, Palpatine, Padme`
    Summary: A brief flash of AU in which Palpatine is responsible for the death of Obi-Wan ... and Anakin finds him out.

    Title: [link=http://boards.theforce.net/the_saga/b10476/12447744/p1/?2]Palpatine: The Final Scene[/link]
    Author: Rivus Palpatine
    Era: Saga
    Characters: Palpatine, Luke, Vader
    Summary/archivist's notes: Palpatine's death scene in ROTJ from Palpatine's point of view. Very very
     
  3. unlimited-power

    unlimited-power Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2008
    This post reserved for story of the month.
     
  4. unlimited-power

    unlimited-power Jedi Youngling

    Registered:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Challenge:

    Challenge #1

    Hello and welcome to the first Palpy challenge under new thread ownership...

    I've never run a challenge, so...please don't go all Sith on me if I do this wrong.

    Your challenge, if you choose to accept it, is to write a Palpatine story following these guidelines:

    Palpatine was one of the most evil manipulative creatures in the Galaxy. But, we know so little of his childhood. Was he a bitter little boy because he mom and dad wouldn't let him go to train at the Jedi Temple? Was he a misunderstood little boy whose parents were angry with him for being different when all he was doing was using Force powers he didn't know he had? Was he a Youngling who wasn't chosen by a Master and escaped from the Agri-corps?

    Write a short story of no more than 2500 words about Palpatine's childhood. Try to give your interpretation of what could have happened in his childhood that helped him to become the man we see in the movies.

    Deadline for the challenge is March 1.

    I'm looking to everyone's ideas.

    And if this is done completely wrong, blame me hyperspace_police, not Ish...[face_peace]

    Challenge #2

    Nearly twenty years passed between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. Write a story dealing with Palpatine in his time as Emperor.
     
  5. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2006
    I must say, I love the title for this thread! It characterizes Palpatine perfectly.

    Discussion Topic #1:

    What do you consider to be the central point of your characteristzation of Palpatine?


    I haven't written a story centering on Palpatine yet. But before he becomes the emperor, I think of him like a spider who constructs an intricate web and waits patiently until his prey gets trapped within it. The prey doesn't see the danger it is in until it is too late.

    Another way to look at him is a man who is a game of dejarek and controlling both sides.
     
  6. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2000
    For me the central point is about why he does what he does. I use him to make certain points about human nature.

    I like to think of Palpatine (well, Vadey, too, really) as, not unlimited power, but unlimited potential. Palpatine is a very special character. People love to characterize him as a psychopath, but he's not. He shows evidence that he's as normal as you or I and has the capacity for healthy change. What he has is a form of inertia. You know, an object in motion tends to stay in motion until acted on by an outside force. The right influences might have caused Palpatine to use his unlimited potential, but in the canon storyline, he never gets those, and his trajectory just shoots off into sicker and sicker and sicker.

    For me, Palpatine+Vader makes a fascinating character study of how ill people get the way they are--especially criminally ill people--and what factors influence them to stay that way or change.

    Great job on the thread so far. I knew you guys would have much better ideas for it than I did.
     
  7. Quigonjecca

    Quigonjecca Jedi Youngling star 3

    Registered:
    Jul 2, 2007
    I've only written Palpatine in one scene of my 'Dark Child' story, and I'm going to have to write more of him, so...

    What do you consider to be the central point of your characterization of Palpatine?

    Dialogue plays a big part in most of my stories. Therefore, Palpatine's tone of voice, his body language and his vocal language is what I concentrate on the most. Usually, I try to incorporate sutble lines from the movies, or perhaps a gesture I've seen him do. That way, my readers get a flash of something familiar, and I can better characterize him. Here's an exerpt from my story:

    An hour later, all of the younger employees had showered, and were sitting quietly in the main hall of the recreation center. Some were playing holo-games, while others were watching holo-vids. Xanatos though was reading.

    He wasn?t sure why it was there, but a book on ancient Sith traditions had been hidden high on the top shelf of the library. Instantly, he had taken a liking to the book. Plus, reading kept him from going insane from boredom. Reading and working was what he did. Yes, you learned to care for the plants on AgraCorps, but you didn?t have to work in the gardens.

    Plus reading made him look intelligent, and if he was going to get off planet, he would probably have to be smart.

    A warm hand reached over the chair and laid on Xanatos? shoulder. The boy looked up from his book and stared at the hand for a moment. They knew better than to touch him. Eyes bright with the fire of contempt, Xanatos slowly turned his head to look into the face of the one who dared to lay a finger on him.

    It was a grown man?not a child. This surprised Xanatos, but he was surprised even more by what the man said.

    ?Ancient Sith traditions?? The man?s eyebrows rose above pale blue eyes. ?My, that?s a mighty tough book for one of your age. How old are you??

    ?Who wants to know??

    The man was silent for a moment. ?Oh, I do? more than you know.?

    Xanatos looked at the man with wary curiosity. ?I am fourteen, Sir.? They were the first words he had uttered to anyone except for Drax since he arrived.

    A couple of the other children turned to look at Xanatos. Few of them had heard such a burning voice coming from one so young. He sent a hard glare their way, and they stopped staring.

    ?Fourteen!? The man exclaimed.

    ?Sorry to disappoint you Sir.? Xanatos hissed through clenched teeth.

    ?No, no, it?s no disappointment at all really?? the man?s voice became softer. ?I was actually looking for a boy about your age; one that is intelligent, a hard worker, and mature.?

    Xanatos fell silent.

    ?I have heard much about you, Xanatos.? The man said, a smile pulling at his lips.?

    Xanatos looked at him again. The room seemed eerily silent. The black-haired boy noticed several other children pull books off the shelves and start to read. ?Sir??

    ?I know this is rather sudden, but a good colleague of mine called Drax has told me very much about you. I actually came from Courscant today, just to see you. You see, I?m looking for a trustworthy senatorial aide??

    Xanatos saw Drax out of the corner of his eye, smiling, and giving him the ?thumbs up? sign. ?But Sir??

    ?Would you accept the position?? Blue eyes stared into green. Xanatos was confused. This total stranger was asking him to become a politician?

    But he didn?t care. Anything to get him off the forsaken rock called AgraCorps was good enough. ?Yes Sir, I am most interested.?

    The man clasped his hands. ?Oh good then. Well, if you would pack your things, we will be on our way immediately.?

    Xanatos rose to do so, and then it dawned on him he had forgotten to ask a most important question. ?Sir,? he asked, as the man walked out of the room. ?Sir, I failed to ask your name.?

    The man stopped, and smiled once more. ?Oh yes; foolish of me to forget that. I am Senator Palpatine, of the Naboo.?


    That's all my experience with Palpatine. :p
     
  8. AnakinsFavorite

    AnakinsFavorite Jedi Knight star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Discussion Topic #1:

    What do you consider to be the central point of your characteristzation of Palpatine?


    Actually, the main point of my characterization of Palpatine is not the Sith himself but more or less the aura that seems to come from him. In all of my fics where I use him, I tend to focus on the Darkness around him as if it were a person, taunting and sinister. His mood becomes tangible and seems to create a bleak aura about the place.

    I guess I got the idea from the Stover's novelization of ROTS where it compared Anakin's temptation to the Dark Side with an inner dragon ready to pounce.

    Also, I tend to focus on his eyes a lot. I always thought that you could tell a lot about a person from their eyes. Although his are red, my characters seem to notice the flickers that occur within them- but, more often than not, they are not able to interpret the emotions. In addition, I tend to compare his orbs to the infernal depths.

    Long and short, he is a longstanding symbol of death and eternal damnation.

     
  9. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    My characterization centrals around the idea of dual motivations. No matter what the circumstance, there is a chance that he either orchestrated it or can twist it to his purposes. It leaves the readers second-guessing constantly and I really enjoy it, just because that's what it did to me during the prequels.
     
  10. hyperspace_police

    hyperspace_police Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 22, 2005
    Huh?

    Well, I always wondered what motivated Palpy. I mean, how did he become so manipulative? Was he just born that way? Or what? I like to sit and wonder about just how much of the stuff that happens because Palpy, the Manipulator of manipulators, was behind it? Just how far does his twisting of things for his own purpose go?

    I think it's an interesting way to look at Palpy from the point of characterizing him.

     
  11. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2006
    If you think about it, we all have an inate nature to be manipulative. Look at small children and how they try to, and unfortunately succeed, manipulate their parents into giving them what they want. Palpatine just raises it to an artform.
     
  12. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Art form is a good phrase for it. He is a politician, but makes it so subtle that it is almost impossible to notice where the manipulation begins and ends.
     
  13. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2006
    That's why I gave the analogy that he's like a man who plays dejarek and controls both sides of the board.
     
  14. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    You have to wonder whether it originated out of some fear of loss of control. What makes a man like that.
     
  15. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2000
    Actually, we know an awful lot about what makes people like this, and I've read quite a bit of it. (Not to mention observed a lot of it first hand, too, unfortunately.:()

    The information isn't well disseminated in our society, though.
     
  16. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Do tell, please. I'd like to have some of this on hand when considering how to write Palpatine.
     
  17. hyperspace_police

    hyperspace_police Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 22, 2005
    I think what I'm sort of saying is What made Palpatine turn that way?

    I know the psychology behind it and I've got kids so I get the innate ability to manipulate from a young age.... but, what event in Palpatine's life could have
    turned him into what he is.

    I mentioned this to Ish in a pm.

    But, Palpy had the ability to use the Force. So, was he denied training because mommy and daddy couldn't let him go? Did he actually train as a padawan but get sent to the agri-corps when he wasn't chosen? Maybe his father gave him the nudge to be evil...a sort of follow in my footsteps sort of thing...

    I like to sit around and spin bunnies out of some of these sorts of ideas....

    What made his innate manipulating ability turn into his life's work?

    It's just cool to think about.
     
  18. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2000
    To really understand it, you have to read books. I can recommend several.

    I can type out about the best treatment of it I've ever seen, but it's long, and I don't have time to do it tonight. One should also remember that this sort of injury to the developing personality can take many, many, many different forms and show itself in about as many different ways in adulthood as there are different people.

    Some people are very deeply injured and don't have enough ameliorating factors to offset the injury as they grow up. These folks become personality disordered and are extremely tough to help. Some have a little better perception of reality--what we call neurotics, who can get better with less intense help. And then some folks are just born with defective gray matter--psychopaths, who are pretty much hopeless.

    I tend to think of Palpy as not that badly injured, really, because the Sith worldview is something that is consciously taught to the student. Sith know what they think about the Force and why they think it, which is more than you can say for most people with neuroses or personality disorders.

    A partial list of reading:

    Anything by Patricia Evans, but especially the book Controlling People.

    Anything by a therapist with the unlikely moniker of Lundy Bancroft--especially good since his book is about wife-beating, which he believes is a form of social learning.

    Actually, if you read these two, you've got a pretty good grounding in the basics. Anything by Alice Miller is also very good.
     
  19. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Under all circumstances, I believe that a fundamental Sith attitude is predatory. Therefore, if he had that sort of early tendency towards emotional/psychological injury, then he would be an easy target. Moreover, he would find a great deal of attraction to the strengthening influence of the Dark Side.
     
  20. Alexis_Wingstar

    Alexis_Wingstar Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Sep 16, 2006
    I don't necessarily buy into that Palpatine was mentally ill or he was psychologically or emotionally injured when he was young, though I don't rule it out. I throw out the hypothesis that perhaps he became addicted to control and gets a high when he sees the results of his manipulations... like when Anakin/Vader finds out Padme is dead and screams, "NOOOOO!" and Palps obviously enjoys it. That kind of control would be gained more from the dark side.
     
  21. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    I think he definitely has sociopathic tendencies, which can be interpreted as mental instability.
     
  22. hyperspace_police

    hyperspace_police Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 22, 2005
    I kind of agree with the whole... He was addicted to the power thing... It seems like that could have been the case with him.

    He seems to get way too much pleasure from others suffering...esp. Vaders when he finds out Padme is dead.

     
  23. LLL

    LLL Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 2000
    Well...people get pleasure from others' suffering for a reason, though. In Yoda's case, well, Yoda was representative of all the Jedi and Palpatine hated the Jedi. He was also the most powerful Jedi and so of course it was a charge for Palpy to beat him. Palpatine had had to kowtow to Yoda for so long during the war and now he got to show him his true self, and the greater power the Sith had that Palpatine was so proud of.

    In Vadey's case...I think some of that came from Palpy's attitude that it's foolish to care about anyone. As in, "Idiot, got what he deserved." And, "Idiot...if she's so important to you why did you choke her?"

    And there's that idea, too, that broken as Vader is, he's still got that anger and that great fighting spirit of the Sith. That the fight is there even if the body isn't, and in that respect, Palpatine didn't choose wrong.

    When sociopaths--people with no feelings--enjoy the suffering of others, they're just getting over on somebody. There aren't these deeper shadings of higher thought.
     
  24. DarthIshtar

    DarthIshtar Jedi Grand Master star 9

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2001
    In some ways, Palpatine's attitude towards Vader reminds me a lot of a twisted version of good parenting. I have a friend who, when her kids fall off a chair and start bawling that they hit their arm, she hugs them, kisses the owie and goes "Oh, I'm sorry you made a bad decision." The same can be said of Palpatine, only sadistically.
     
  25. BrentusofGath

    BrentusofGath Jedi Padawan star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 12, 2005
    What do you consider to be the central point of your characteristzation of Palpatine?



    Unless I'm writing something that's suposed to by humor, I portray Palpy as human.

    Everyone, no matter how their actions are regarded by others, everyone sets out to do what they think is right. No one wakes up in the morning and says: "I'm going to do the worst possible thing I can do." Because guess what? The 'worst possible thing' for an individual is to do something rotten to themselves. So, how many people do you know - who aren't truly nuts - who do terrible things to themselves?

    Palpatine wanted to right the wrongs as he saw them in the galaxy and in that way, he was just like any one of us, which is the way I try to characterize him.


    Note: This is not justification of the Hitlers and Stalins of the world - both extremely evil in the view of the past - but merely the way I look at it. People generally do what they want to and what they think is 'good' regardless of what other people tell them is 'good'.


    Let the vilification of Brentus begin in earnest. :p



    EDIT: BTW, 'good' question. :p
     
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