For the Republic: The Life & Lies of Palpatine
by Her Excellency Cecily Eleanora Marie de Demici, Senator of Onderon
"This Palpatine was a Rodian in Ewok's clothing!"
Though impossible to accurately attribute this quote, it is believed to have been uttered by Mon Mothma sometime after 52BBY. It refers to the Great Betrayer of the Republic, born as Sheev Palpatine, but later known as Darth Sidious and Emperor of the Galactic Empire. My colleagues may wonder why, after so many lectures and essays and books on the successes of democracy and the Republic, I have chosen at last to address the embarrassment that was Palpatine.
It would be irresponsible of me, as a learned scholar and advocate of democracy, to ignore who was perhaps its greatest enemy. Still, the Emperor is held upon a pedestal among Sith Lords long since dead. Surely, Palpatine far surpassed the modern day Emperors of the One Sith who rise and fall as the tides. Yet, was he as powerful as they say? Or was he simply a very disturbed man who stumbled into good fortune from time to time? Once we have clearly established Palpatine's rank amongst the stars, we must then ask ourselves why the One Sith Emperors are such utter failures.
2.1 What is in a name?
He was the most powerful Sith of all time, they say, but even with that in question he was certainly the most successful. Still, even in his early childhood, historians tell us that Palpatine was never a secure man and certainly not a stable one. Born Sheev Palpatine, he early displayed an ardent hatred for his family, especially his father, who was quite content with his status among the noble houses of Naboo.
Sheev was so displeased with his status and that of his family that he abandoned his birth name is defiance, preferring to only be referred to as Palpatine, a tantrum thrown by a child that I have made clear I will not indulge. He was ashamed of his heritage and yet instead of abandoning his family name he threw away the one given to him out of love. He was happy to seize the prestige his family gave him, but had no consideration for their kindness. To him, power was always at the forefront of his endeavors and his blind ambition guided his careful steps to the throne of the Empire.
Still, it was the first act of abandoning his birth name that tells us