The diabolical Sith Lord who ruled the galaxy through fear until his death aboard the second Death Star. As Emperor, Palpatine dissolved the Imperial Senate, ordered the destruction of the last Jedi Knights, and corrupted Darth Vader. In his quest for power, Palpatine also attempted to kill Luke Skywalker. Ultimately, however, Palpatine underestimated Darth Vaders inherent goodness: Upon seeing Luke in agony, the Dark Lord intervened and hurled Palpatine into the Death Stars reactor core, where the villain perished.
Palpatine ruled the galaxy for over 40 years, first rising to the position of Senate President before taking the title of Emperor. In both roles, Palpatine promoted the doctrines of hatred, racism, and tyranny. He eliminated all opposition in violent fashion, forcing senators such as Mon Mothma and Garm Bel Iblis to disappear into hiding. As Emperor, he used Darth Vader as his enforcer and hounded the Jedi Knights, slaughtering the last of this noble sect to ensure that he would never be challenged. Meanwhile, he launched a massive military buildup and began constructing incredibly destructive starships, space stations, and weapons. During this dark time, hundreds of worlds were enslaved or ravaged, dissidents were murdered, and entire industries were nationalized. Shortly before the Battle of Yavin, the Emperor, whose ascension had been made possible by corruption and apathy throughout the Old Republic, abolished the Imperial Senate. With this deed done, there was little to stand in Palpatines path toward ultimate power.
Palpatines numerous plots and schemes resulted in the construction of the Death Star, which was used to vaporize the peaceful world of Alderaan. When this massive space station was itself destroyed by the Rebellion, the Emperor charged Darth Vader with crushing the Alliance. The diabolical pair soon discovered the existence of Vaders son, Luke Skywalker, and agreed to convert him to the dark side. Neither man accurately gauged Lukes willpower, however, and the young Jedi struggled valiantly against their attempts to lead him down a path of evil. Frustrated by this failure, the Emperor opted to murder Luke aboard the second, larger Death Star. Content that he had Vader under his complete control, the Emperor turned his back on the Dark Lord of the Sith as he tormented Luke with painful blue Force Lightning. But Vader was rescued from the depths of the dark side by his sons pleas. Despite his crippling injuries, Vader hoisted the Emperor above his head and threw the despot into the Death Stars power core. Minutes later, the Rebel fleet obliterated the space station.
While the Emperors original body was destroyed aboard the second Death Star, Dark Empire reveals that Palpatine had used the Empires wealth to develop advanced cloning technologies to ensure his survival. Thus, six years after the Battle of Endor, the Emperor was reborn in a secret cloning facility on Byss. Again, Palpatine set out to convert Luke, who actually accepted the Emperors training in the ways of the dark side for a short time. Ultimately, the combined might of Luke and his sister, Princess Leia, overwhelmed the Emperor and seemingly killed him yet again.
Months later, the events of Dark Empire II and Empires End unfolded when the Emperors spirit entered the body of yet another clone. In this incarnation, he conspired to kidnap Leia, claim her unborn son and lead him toward the dark side, and use a new super weapon called the Galaxy Gun to completely destroy the leading Alliance officials. All of his plots fell apart and he was killed, presumably for the last time, even as he attempted to join his spirit with the body of the newborn Anakin Solo.