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Who Would the Emperor Have Chosen as His Apprentice Right Before Order 66 if Anakin Skywalker Was Not an Option?

Who Would the Emperor Have Chosen as His Apprentice Right Before Order 66 if Anakin Skywalker Was Not an Option?

Have you ever wondered who Emperor Palpatine, the dark puppeteer behind the Galactic Empire, would have chosen as his apprentice if Anakin Skywalker hadn’t been in the picture? 

This “what-if” scenario has sparked some interesting debates among fans, especially on Reddit. 

Let’s dive into some intriguing possibilities and explore who might have taken up the Sith mantle if Anakin, aka Darth Vader, wasn’t available.

1. Count Dooku

Count Dooku, also known as Darth Tyranus, seems to be the most straightforward answer. As Palpatine’s current apprentice before Anakin’s rise, Dooku was a powerful Sith Lord, a skilled duelist, and a master manipulator.


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Dooku was already deeply entrenched in the dark side and had significant influence as the leader of the Separatist Alliance. Keeping Dooku around would ensure continuity and stability during the transition of power.

Many Redditors argue that without Anakin, Dooku would likely survive longer and might have continued serving as Palpatine’s right-hand man during the execution of Order 66. 

As one fan pointed out, “If Anakin is not an option, Dooku still lives when Order 66 is executed.”

However, there’s a catch. Dooku was older and possibly not as malleable or long-term as Palpatine desired in an apprentice. 

Some fans believe that Palpatine always intended for Dooku to be a temporary pawn rather than a permanent solution.

2. The Grand Inquisitor

Another intriguing candidate is The Grand Inquisitor, the leader of the Jedi-hunting Inquisitors.

If Dooku wasn’t an option or if Palpatine wanted a fresh, younger apprentice, the Grand Inquisitor could be a solid choice. He was already skilled in hunting down Jedi and had significant dark side abilities.

As a former Jedi Temple Guard, he had a deep understanding of the Jedi, making him a valuable asset in Palpatine’s plans to eliminate them.

Some fans argue that the Grand Inquisitor might not have been powerful enough to fulfill the role that Vader did. 

He was effective, but perhaps not on the same level as a Sith Lord in terms of raw power and ambition.

3. Ventress: The Rogue Apprentice

Asajj Ventress also comes up as a potential, albeit unconventional, choice.


Ventress was a formidable dark side user who had been trained by Dooku. She was ruthless, cunning, and had a deep-seated hatred for the Jedi.

Her skills and her willingness to go to any lengths for power might have made her an attractive candidate for Palpatine.

However, Ventress’s loyalty was always in question. She had a history of betrayal and might not have been a reliable long-term apprentice for Palpatine. 

She was more of a wild card than a stable successor.

4. Darth Maul

Darth Maul, despite his fall from grace, could be another possible candidate for Palpatine’s dark apprentice.

Darth Maul

Maul had already been trained as a Sith and had a personal vendetta against both the Jedi and his former master, Sidious. His combat skills and dark side prowess were undeniable.

Some fans believe that Palpatine could have reintegrated Maul into his plans if Anakin wasn’t available, given Maul’s drive and hatred towards their common enemies.

However, Maul’s instability and his obsession with revenge might have made him a difficult apprentice to control. 

Palpatine needed someone who could be manipulated and who would further his plans without seeking their own agenda too aggressively.

5. Others in the Shadows

Aside from the well-known figures, Palpatine might have considered other, less obvious candidates from the dark corners of the galaxy.

  • Barriss Offee

Barriss, who betrayed the Jedi during the Clone Wars, had already shown a willingness to turn against her own. 

She could have been molded into a Sith with the right push from Palpatine.

  • Future Inquisitors

Palpatine had a knack for finding and corrupting powerful Force users. 

He might have identified another strong candidate from within the ranks of the Jedi or the broader galaxy to fill Anakin’s shoes.


While Anakin Skywalker was Palpatine’s prime choice due to his immense potential and susceptibility to manipulation, the dark side is full of ambitious and powerful individuals. 

Without Anakin, Palpatine had plenty of options, each with their strengths and weaknesses. 

Whether it was the experienced Count Dooku, the zealous Grand Inquisitor, the cunning Ventress, or the vengeful Maul, Palpatine’s path to galactic domination would have taken a different, but equally dark, turn.

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