11 of Emperor Palpatine’s Best Quotes From Star Wars

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So Be It, Jedi! – Emperor Palpatine's Quotes

The above four words are our favorite line in the entire Star Wars franchise and they were delivered by the evilest of all the evil characters in Star Wars, Emperor Palpatine aka Darth Sidious.

If you're coming into Star Wars from the original perspective you'll know him as an ugly figure who was briefly seen in Empire and was the villain with the evil plan in The Return of the Jedi.

His quotes and lines are full of venom and contempt for the Rebels and in particular for Luke who he recognized as being a threat to his Empire.

If you're coming into Star Wars from the prequels point of view the Emperor is actually The Senator from Naboo – a Sith Lord in disguise and was thus The Phantom Menance.

Sheev Palptatine's quotes and lies are the real focus of the films, a lesson in duplicity and a key character around which the plot turns.

phantom menace emperor quotes

The Phantom Menace Quotes by the Emperor

He seems such a nice fellow when he addresses the forum but he's a callous bugger and this is all his own doing.

Ian McDiarmid plays this character to perfection as he laces his lines with venom:

  • Fellow Senators, honored delegates. A tragedy has engulfed our system which started right here with the taxation of Trade Routes. 
  • To state our allegations, I present Queen Amidala, recently elected ruler of the Naboo, who speaks on our behalf.
  • And you, young Skywalker; we shall watch your career with great interest. 
  • A surprise to be sure, but a welcome one

 That last quote is now the stuff of internet member legend and is used as a meme all over the place.

Attack of the Clones Quotes by Palpatine

Palpatine's motives and plots are becoming even more obvious during Clones however he is still subtly maneuvering around Anakin Skywalker:

  • Palpatine: You don't need guidance, Anakin. In time, you will learn to trust your feelings. Then, you will be invincible. I have said it many times, you are the most gifted Jedi I have ever met.
  • Young Anakin: Thank you, Your Excellency.
  • Palpatine: I see you becoming the greatest of all the Jedi, Anakin. Even more powerful than Master Yoda.

The Sith Lord asks of a little green Jedi:

  • “Master Yoda. Do you really think it will come to war?” 
It seems an innocent enough question but make no mistake, Palpatine has caused the Clone War by his own machinations and he is playing Yoda and the Jedi Council.

This naturally leads to the shift in power to the Sith Lord:

  • And as my first act with this new authority, I will create a grand army of the Republic to counter the increasing threats of the Separatists.

Revenge of the Sith Quotes by the Emperor

And with this seemingly innocuous question, Palpatine leads Anakin down the path to the dark side of the Force:

  • Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis “the wise”?
  • The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.

In a key scene, Mace Windu has bravely beaten a Sith Lord in a saber duel:

  • Mace Windu: The oppression of the Sith will never return! You, my lord, have lost! 
  • Sidius takes off his guise: No… no… no! YOU WILL DIE!

But Anakin turns up and ruins the day… it's cool to note Anakin hears the Emperor say this to two people as he's about to zap them with Force lightning, obviously to Windu but also to his son Luke in Return of the Jedi.

Pretty sure it's a clever piece of script writing by George Lucas to have Revenge of the Sith do this callback. 

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As Vader awakens from his transformation he asks where Padme is. Palpatine's reply is both brutally honest and manipulative:

“It seems, in your anger, you killed her…” 


The Empire Strikes Back Quotes by the Emperor

Considered by many to be one of the best sequels of any film in history, Empire briefly introduced us to the Emperor.

Vader and Palpatine have a short but concise conversation about getting that Skywalker kid to join their team, here's the whole quoted exchange:

Darth Vader: What is thy bidding, my master?
Emperor: There is a great disturbance in the Force.
Darth Vader: I have felt it.
Emperor: We have a new enemy, the young Rebel who destroyed the Death Star. I have no doubt this boy is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker.
Darth Vader: How is that possible?
Emperor: Search your feelings, Lord Vader. You will know it to be true. He could destroy us.
Darth Vader: He's just a boy. Obi-Wan can no longer help him.
Emperor: The Force is strong with him. The son of Skywalker must not become a Jedi.
Darth Vader: If he could be turned, he will become a powerful ally.
Emperor: Yes. He would be a great asset. Can it be done?
Darth Vader: He will join us or die, my master.

1 Luke confronts Emperor story board jedi
Strike me down!

Return of the Jedi Quotes by the Emperor

This movie saw Palpatine in full Darth Sidius mode – his all-out desire for power meant his goal was to turn Luke to the Dark Side of the Force and make him his puppet, as he had his father.

Luke: Soon I'll be dead, and you with me. 
The Emperor: Perhaps you refer to the imminent attack of your rebel fleet? Yes, I assure you, we are quite safe from your friends here.
Luke Skywalker: Your overconfidence is your weakness.
The Emperor: Your faith in your friends is yours!

A strong exchange indeed.

Emperor: I'm looking forward to completing your training. In time you will call *me* master.
Luke: You're gravely mistaken. You won't convert me as you did my father.
Emperor: Oh no, my young Jedi. You will find that it is you who are mistaken, about a great many things.
Luke: Never. I'll never turn to the Dark Side. You've failed, your highness. I am a Jedi, like my father before me. 

Young fool…only now, at the end, do you understand.

And the best quote till last, delivered with a pile of bile by the Emperor:

The Emperor: So be it… Jedi!
So there were some but not all the Emperor's lines but enough of the ones to show what a bastard he really was!

The Rise of Skywalker Quotes by the Emperor

Yes, it's true, the Sith Lord has some how survived being thrown down the shaft by a redeemed Darth Vader and then survived the explosion of the Death Star II and now appears to have come back full circle with a new plan to take over the universe:

“Now your journey nears its end.”

“Long have I waited and now, your coming together will be your undoing”

“This will be the final word in the story of Skywalker”

“Let the final battle begin”

“The princess of Alderaan!”

“The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.” This is a direct repeat of what Palpatine said to Kylo's grandfather in Revenge of the Sith.

Extra for Experts – Tarkin by James Luceno revealed that Palpatine's first name is Sheev!

Paul Rose Jr has worked as TV News Producer, Forensic Analyst, and Train Conductor, among many other things. He’s the former TV Editor for Infuzemag.com and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing articles, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.