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What if Palpatine Was A Jedi? & Even Trained By Yoda

What if Palpatine Was A Jedi? & Even Trained By Yoda

Emperor Palpatine is a mysterious figure in the Star Wars galaxy. As possibly the most powerful Sith Lord, Palpatine sprang to power from the Senate, and his Force abilities were not known until it was too late.

The Jedi were not aware that Palpatine was Force-sensitive or a Sith until he turned on them. That he was not detected by the Jedi earlier presents an interesting question.

What if Palpatine was a Jedi? And, what if he was even trained by Yoda? Even if Palpatine had been a Jedi, it is likely he would still have turned to the Dark Side of the Force. Yet, if he had trained with Yoda, that could have made a difference.

Palpatine’s Story

Sheev Palpatine served as the Dark Lord of the Sith and Emperor of the Galactic Empire

Palpatine was born on the planet Naboo during the Republic era. As a child, he had strong Force sensitivity. Yet, this connection was concealed, even to himself.

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Eventually, Palpatine was discovered by the Sith Lord Darth Plagueis who trained him in the ways of the Dark Side of the Force. In Sith fashion, Palpatine killed Plagueis to take his place and train his own apprentice, Darth Maul.

By way of the Invasion of Naboo, Palpatine rose to power. He had arranged for this invasion to promote his election as Supreme Chancellor

In the prequel Star Wars movies, Palpatine concealed his true identity as a Sith as he took control of the Senate. Palpatine seemed to surprise the Jedi and the Republic, who remained unaware of his Sith powers until it was too late.

Why Was Palpatine Not a Jedi?

In retrospect, Palpatine demonstrated unbelievable patience and cunning to wait and conceal his true identity from the Jedi. It is rather surprising that the Jedi didn’t know about his Force abilities.

James Luceno’s 2012 Star Wars novel Darth Plagueis explains the story of how Palpatine concealed his Sith identity. This book indicates how he was virtually undetectable by Jedi and Sith alike.

One, the Jedi did not see Naboo as a planet of interest for other possible Jedi. Two, the planet had few visitors. Three, Palpatine’s father appears to have kept his son isolated. Four, Darth Plagueis only found out about Palpatine by luck.

The top reason, though, is that Palpatine’s Force powers were hidden even from himself. When Palpatine did realize his connection to the Force, he was able to control it so that it would be undetectable. 

Given this tremendous ability to conceal his Force powers from others and himself, it seems unlikely that the Jedi would have found Palpatine and brought him to the Jedi Temple. 

The Jedi had impossible odds of locating Palpatine anyway. The Star Wars galaxy has perhaps billions of planets and only about 10,000 Jedi

From hiding his powers to being located on a far-off planet, it seems very unlikely that Palpatine would have ever been a Jedi.

What If Palpatine Was a Jedi?

Despite the odds, Palpatine could have become a Jedi. Based on Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, it appears that Palpatine had studied the ways of the Jedi.

In a revealing scene, Palpatine tells Anakin that “if one is to understand the great mystery [of the Force], one must study all its aspects, not just the dogmatic narrow view of the Jedi.” 

In this exchange, Palpatine encourages Anakin to study both the Light and Dark sides and suggests that he has already done the same. 

Palpatine seems quite familiar with Anakin’s early Jedi training, which implies that he has first-hand knowledge of the Jedi. Although Palpatine seeks to push Anakin away from the Jedi, he seems to have had a past relationship with them.

By studying the ways of the Jedi, Palpatine could have become a force for good in the Star Wars galaxy in the way that Anakin promised to be. 

Perhaps Palpatine could have found the Light Side appealing and turned to protect the Galactic Republic. Yet, this scenario seems unlikely because Palpatine did not show evidence of goodness or a will to help others. 

Another possibility is that Palpatine had studied with the Jedi, but then something went awry. In comparison, Ahsoka Tano was wrongly accused of bombing the Jedi Temple, and that accusation drove her away from the Jedi. 

While speculative, Palpatine could have had a similar experience. Maybe Palpatine’s hate for the Jedi arose from a secret incident when he studied with them.

If Palpatine had been a Jedi under these circumstances, then he would have still turned to the Dark Side. Darth Plagueis would have been able to step in and seduce him. 

However, if Palpatine had been trained as a traditional Jedi, he may have lasted longer with the Order. 

Palpatine would have first been brought to the Jedi temple on Coruscant as a child. He would have then trained to become a Padawan. He would have served on the Jedi Council and potentially helped steer the Republic away from conflict and war. 

Yet, this outcome seems more unlikely. Even if Palpatine progressed to become a Jedi, his ambitions would probably still steer him to the Dark Side.

The situation would be similar to Palpatine as a senator and then Supreme Chancellor. Although the Jedi did not know about Palpatine’s Force abilities, they did sense something was wrong by the end of The Attack of the Clones

By the time of Revenge of the Sith, the Jedi became more suspicious as Palpatine became more powerful and he selected Anakin Skywalker as his representative. The Jedi ultimately ordered Anakin to spy on Palpatine. 

The trajectory would most likely parallel what Palpatine would have done on the Jedi Council–secretly work to advance his own interests and that of the Dark Side. 

As the Chancellor, Palpatine resorted to concealing his Force powers, using Anakin as his apprentice, and pretending to be weak. If Palpatine were a Jedi, it appears that these tactics would have still surfaced, only in a slightly different form. 

What If Palpatine Had Been Trained by Yoda?

Yoda of Star Wars

If Yoda had trained Palpatine, he may have provided a guiding influence to steer him to the Light Side of the Force.

Yoda had success training Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. Yoda trained many other Jedi too, such as Mace Windu and Ki-Adi-Mundi. With this track record, Yoda could have made all the difference. 

Then again, Palpatine may have been able to conceal his Force powers, attempt to corrupt Yoda, and still turn to the Dark Side.

We should remember that Count Dooku was also one of Yoda’s students, and Dooku succumbed to the Dark Side. Palpatine also showed a proclivity to the Dark Side that would probably have subverted Yoda’s training. 

In the prequel movies, Palpatine was able to use Force Stealth to block Yoda from knowing he was a Sith Lord. Palpatine rose to power in full view of Yoda and even became close with the Jedi Council. Yoda did not find out about his intentions until it was too late.

So, Master Yoda’s Force powers could have provided a different course for Palpatine, but it is just as likely Yoda would not have been able to steer him away from the Dark Side. 

Palpatine and the Dark Side

Master of the Dark Side of the Force Darth Sidious and his apprentice Darth Vader

While the possibilities of Palpatine being a Jedi are intriguing, he was rotten to the core and unlikely to have ever been a Jedi. 

Palpatine was ultimately too corrupted by power and the Dark Side to have taken a different path. Anakin, in comparison, began as a Jedi with good intentions, but was overwhelmed by his desire to protect Padmé and was seduced by Palpatine. 

Anakin’s quest to save Padmé and Palpatine’s influence were the tipping points for his turn to the Dark Side. Palpatine’s corruption was always present and his path to the Light Side always seemed blocked. 

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