If you went to see Return of the Jedi at the movies as a child, you probably Emperor Palpatine was one of the scariest bad guys that there ever was. Darth Vader was scary, but his boss was practically the antichrist himself by comparison. He was just so mean – he wanted to kill Luke Skywalker, for goodness sake!
He also wanted everything in the universe for himself. Like the Queen song, he wanted it all and was unafraid to knock a few heads together to do it. The hate was strong with that one and he did it so well by playing people and entire planetary systems against each other – and he did it without hardly raising a lightsaber.
Along the way, he said many awesome quotes and lines. While Return of the Jedi serves as the Emperor's last hurrah, it was the prequel trilogy that showed just how great the Sith Lord was with some choice words here and there.
Emperor Palpatine's Best Quotes From Star Wars
The Empire Strikes Back
We first met the Emperor in this movie. He was presented via a hologram and he originally looked like some kind of deranged monkey due to the special effects used at the time. We weren't given much insight into who he was but he was clearly Darth Vader's boss and that counted for something as this conversation showed:
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.”
This was also a great setup for the twist that Luke was actually Vader's son.
Return of the Jedi
Emperor Palpatine was fleshed out as central to the plot in Return of the Jedi. The plan was to convert Luke to the dark side of the Force.
Luke: “Your overconfidence is your weakness.”
The Emperor: “Your faith in your friends is yours!”
While Vader and Palpatine were doing their best to provoke Luke into tapping into the dark side of the Force, they went through a bit of banter.
Who was ultimately right in this exchange?
“So be it, Jedi!”
The coolest thing about this line at the end of Return of the Jedi is that this was the Emperor admitting that Luke Skywalker – the kid who once whined about picking power converters from Tosche Station – was now a Jedi.
Without Yoda to admit Luke to the Jedi, it was as close as Luke was ever going to get to having his “Jedi badge” pinned to his chest.
It was also about the time the Palpatine let forth with a blast of blue Force electricity on Luke.
The Phantom Menace
“And you, young Skywalker, we shall watch your career with great interest.”
“There is no civility, only politics.”
“A surprise, to be sure, but a welcome one” – This quote seems to have taken on a life of its own and is a popular meme across the internet. Many people use it at face value and it works quite well.
Attack of the Clones
Palpatine feigning: “Master Yoda. Do you really think it will come to war?”
Yoda: “The dark side clouds everything. Impossible to see the future is. “
Mas Amedda: “This is a crisis. The Senate must vote to give the chancellor emergency powers. He can then approve the creation of an army without a vote.”
Palpatine: “But what senator would have the courage to propose such a radical amendment?”
“It is with great reluctance that I have agreed to this calling. I love democracy. I love the Republic. Once this crisis has abated, I will lay down the powers you have given me!”
No, he took on even more powers in Revenge of the Sith – causing the death of democracy with thunderous applause.
Revenge of the Sith
Revenge of the Sith is the movie in which Palpatine finally cut loose and unleashed himself on the world as Darth Sidious.
Mace Windu: “In the name of the Galactic Senate of the Republic, you're under arrest, Chancellor.”
Darth Sidious: “Are you threatening me, Master Jedi?”
Mace Windu: “The Senate will decide your fate.”
Darth Sidious: “I am the Senate!”
Mace Windu: “Not yet.”
Darth Sidious: “It's treason, then.”
A nice exchange that conveys a fair bit of the intent of Palpatine and a bit of a slight at Mace Windu – which is meant to be dramatic irony as the Emperor is the real traitor to the Senate.
They then had a pretty sweet sword fight.
Mace Windu: “The oppression of the Sith will never return! You, my lord, have lost!”
Darth Sidious: “No… no… no! YOU WILL DIE!”
“It seems in your anger, you killed her.”
The Emperor didn't know for sure that Padme was dead – Obi-Wan had managed to take her to Polis Massa – so he was lying to Darth Vader, thus pretty much sealing the deal with his young apprentice as Vader's resulting anger was what drove him thereafter.
“Power, unlimited power!”
The Rise of Skywalker
- “My boy… I made Snoke. I have been every voice [as Snoke] you have ever heard [as Darth Vader] inside your head! [breathes] The First Order was just the beginning. I will give you so much more.”
- “I have died before. The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be… [lightning flashes, revealing Palpatine's decaying face] unnatural.”
- “Your master, Luke Skywalker, was saved by his father. The only family you have here…is me.”
- “Let your death be the final word in the story of rebellion!”
- “YOU ARE NOTHING!! A SCAVENGER GIRL IS NO MATCH FOR THE POWER IN ME!! I AM ALL THE SITH!!!”
So these are some quotes from the evil Sith Lord – they're of the kind to show his conniving and cunning machinations – there's plenty more to choose from – what are your favorites?
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 and owns more books, DVDs, and comics than most people have seen in their lifetimes. When he’s not writing or editing on Wealth of Geeks, he exercises his creative muscle writing screenplays and acting in film and television in Los Angeles, CA.