Luke Skywalker Conclusively Proves an Iconic Palpatine Line Was a Lie
This article contains spoilers for Star Wars #28!Emperor Palpatine’s most iconic Star Wars line was a lie all along, and Luke Skywalker’s latest discovery proves it. The Jedi believed the desire to see the future was rooted in the dark side, as doing so would lead to a Force-user trying to « fix » the future according to their own will, causing disaster. In truth, this worst-case scenario was rather overstated, but they were nevertheless right to believe that the dark side tempts Force-sensitives to meddle with the path of destiny.
The Sith have always been fascinated with the future. Palpatine, for example, had his Inquisitors kidnap Force-sensitive children from across the galaxy for this purpose. These children were trained in the use of the dark side, becoming a lens through which the Emperor attempted to view the future. The Emperor was likely alluding to these vision in Return of the Jedi when he claimed, « Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen. » It is now clear, however, that this statement was always a lie.
Star Wars #28 – by Charles Soule, Andres Genolet, Rachelle Rosenberg, and Clayton Cowles – proves the Emperor couldn’t truly account for the subtle workings of the Force. It reveals how the Rebels learned about the Second Death Star, and sees Luke Skywalker conduct a mission to the city-planet Coruscant itself. He is able to do so precisely because the Emperor had not foreseen what was happening, and had gone offworld with Darth Vader – likely to oversee construction of the aforementioned Death Star. Had the Emperor truly been able to chart the future, he’d have known the prize he desired was literally going to be visiting his galactic backyard. It’s the latest but most glaring example of Palpatine’s ‘grand puppeteer’ act being a lie.
Palpatine was a supreme egotist, and he believed himself the ultimate fulfillment of the Sith. In his view, there was no dark side power had could not master; there was no skill he could not figure out. He was incapable of believing his visions of the future were flawed. In reality, the Emperor’s true strength lay in his adaptability. He had a Machiavellian cunning that allowed him to figure out how events could be played to his own advantage. But even his greatest accomplishments were the result of this adaptability, not supernatural foresight. The Clone Army, for example, was commissioned by Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas as a tool to be used against the Sith. Palpatine discovered and used them, but it was by chance they existed, not Darth Sidious’ intent.
Of course, not being able to predict the future is no weakness – Luke couldn’t, and he eventually won the day. The problem was that Palpatine bought into his own PR. When he peered into the future, he truly believed he could force events to play out according to his will, even though his picture was fatally incomplete. He was blissfully unaware of the light side of the Force working against him, embodied in Luke Skywalker himself. The greatest villain of Star Wars was too proud to sincerely consider the possibility he could fail, and so Palpatine fell by believing his own lies.
Star Wars #28 is available now from Marvel Comics.