Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Emperor (ROTJ 1983-83)



What did I want to do with the Emperor figure? I wanted to shoot lightning out of his freakin’ hands! Given the looser rules on toy safety back then, I might have gotten my wish with a Special Edition Sparking Emperor or something like that. Unfortunately, by the time the original Emperor figure came out in stores the line was starting to wind down.

The Emperor figure came out on both ROTJ and POTF cards, and came only with a cane. A cane!

Why should you own this figure? Five reasons:

1. Stick a couple of sparklers in his hands and, voila, you have Force lightning!

2. Re-create the deleted scene where a young stormtrooper shows the Emperor how to work his computer!

3. That cane might not be a match for the Rebels, but I bet it could stand its own against some Ewoks.

4. If you do it just right, you might be able to balance the Emperor in Vader’s hands. It might require some tape.

5. That mysterious cloak? That gravelly voice? You just figured out a present for your grandpa!

Backstory:

After the original movies, the Emperor was finally given the name Palpatine, so anyone who knew that fact knew years before the prequels came out that he was going to be the bad guy. Palpatine was supposedly born on Naboo, in the city of Theed (it is unknown if this is true or what he claimed), and his Force prowess somehow was unnoticed by the Jedi, but was discovered by his master, Darth Plagueis. When he felt that Plagueis might be making an apprentice to replace him, Palpatine killed him in his sleep, and continued the training of his own apprentice, Darth Maul.

Palpatine entered Naboo politics 70 years before the Battle of Yavin, carefully hiding his true identity. He eventually rose through the ranks, becoming the Naboo Senator to the Galactic Republic. He remained modest for some time, slowly manipulating things for his own interest in the background. During the events of the prequels he ramped things up, framing Chancellor Valorum for corruption, and with sympathy for his home planet, got himself elected Chancellor. Engineering both the rise of the Trade Federation and their robots armies, and secretly planning the clone armies, Palpatine eventually got them into major conflicts. With the “fate of the galaxy” in the balance, he got more and more power voted for himself, using both manipulation and dark Force mind tricks. In the meantime he also took another apprentice (Darth Tyrannus/Count Dooku) after Maul’s death, while he waited for Anakin to mature.

With so much power, he was able to reform the Republic into an Empire, with himself at the head. He also had secretly given orders to eliminate the Jedi should they become “rebellious.” After engineering the destruction of the Jedi, he consolidated his power and ruled much of the galaxy until Anakin’s son became a Jedi, and influenced Anakin into killing Palpatine. Palpatine did return, however, transferring his spirit into a prepared clone body, but the clone bodies had been sabotaged by one of the former Royal Guards, and a Jedi eventually destroyed Palpatine’s spirit before it could take over Leia and Han’s baby son, Anakin Solo.

Want more? Full article at Wookieepedia

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2 comments:

Rob Stradling said...

Slightly anal correction: Palpatine was named in the opening chapter of George Lucas' STAR WARS novel in 1977, so fans knew his name before his first screen appearance.

Okay, who am I kidding? That's a VERY anal correction...

It was never spoken in the original trilogy, though, and so many were caught out by the "-teen" pronunciation.

Freak Studio said...

On a side note, my gandpa loved Star Wars, but he liked Obi-Wa better. He would have loved to have both in order to make an old guy fight.