the emperor

It’s just one of those things you never think about. First he was The Emperor. Then he was Senator Palpatine, followed by Chancellor Palpatine and then revealed as Darth Sidious. But never once did this Star Wars beacon of evil, the Phantom Menace himself, played perfectly by Ian McDiarmid, have a first name.

In the new canon novel Tarkin by James Luceno, that’s finally changed. After years of waiting and speculation, it can finally be revealed that  Palpatine’s full name is… JOE PALPATINE. No, not really. Read Emperor Palpatine’s real first name below.

Star Wars Underworld picked up on the news, which broke at New York Comic-Con and made it to the Star Wars Wookiepedia.

The character who went from Darth Sidious to the Emperor is actually named Sheev Palpatine.

A quick Google search shows that “Sheev” isn’t a common name. In fact, outside of Palpatine, the second instance is a weapon in the video game Warframe. The second is a character played by Broken Lizard star Kevin Heffernan in the terrible remake of The Dukes of Hazzard. Here’s hoping Luceno was inspired by the former, rather than the latter.

Tarkin hits shelves on November 4 but the opening crawl has already been revealed. Here it is:

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. . . .

Five standard years have passed since Darth Sidious proclaimed himself galactic Emperor. The brutal Clone Wars are a memory, and the Emperor’s apprentice, Darth Vader, has succeeded in hunting down most of the Jedi who survived dreaded Order 66. On Coruscant a servile Senate applauds the Emperor’s every decree, and the populations of the Core Worlds bask in a sense of renewed prosperity.

In the Outer Rim, meanwhile, the myriad species of former Separatist worlds find themselves no better off than they were before the civil war. Stripped of weaponry and resources, they have been left to fend for themselves in an Empire that has largely turned its back on them.

Where resentment has boiled over into acts of sedition, the Empire has been quick to mete out punishment. But as confident as he is in his own and Vader’s dark side powers, the Emperor understands that only a supreme military, overseen by a commander with the will to be as merciless as he is, can secure an Empire that will endure for a thousand generations . . .

Grand Moff Tarkin gets mentioned in the first episode of Star Wars Rebels too, so you can see all of these connections beginning to take shape.

Anyway, Sheev Palpatine. Nerdy trivia answer or interesting character development?

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