Discussion: When Did Palpatine Know?

Vader Palpatine ESB

We know that, “He could be a great asset”, but when did Palpatine first become aware of the existence of Luke Skywalker?

It’s been a Sith kind of week. My interview with MAUL: LOCKDOWN author Joe Schreiber was posted to TheForce.Net (Click HERE), the novel itself was finally released (read my review of this visceral, violent, victory for fans of the Sith HERE), and Sam Witwer (voice of Darth Maul in THE CLONE WARS) was kind enough to read an excerpt for Entertainment Weekly in which he also used his uncanny Darth Sidious voice from THE FORCE UNLEASHED video game series (HERE).

Maul: Lockdown Cover

To top it all off, I received my advance review copy of Dark Horse Comics’ STAR WARS #14 by Brian Wood. If you’ve been following this series (if you’re not, you’re missing out), you know that we’re into a story arc called “Five Days Of Sith”, in which Darth Vader embarks on a revenge fueled journey against the wishes of the Emperor.

Star Wars #14 Cover

While I won’t go into spoiler territory, I will say that I love the way Brian Wood has been writing Darth Vader, and the effect that the discovery of Luke Skywalker has on him. As a HUGE fan of the Sith, it got me thinking of the constant machinations of Palpatine against Vader and vice versa. They’re the ultimate frenemies and the most toxic relationship in STAR WARS.

Sidious and Vader

Nowhere is that more apparent than in their scene together in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, as Palpatine calls Vader to discuss “The young Rebel who destroyed the Death Star.” The scene is fascinating to watch, all of the subtlety in these two playing each other (or trying to, anyway) in an attempt to gain Luke for their own purposes.

Clearly, Vader already knows of Luke’s existence by that point. Palpatine seems to be just finding out about this third wheel in the Rule of Two, but it’s not exactly clear. This leads me to you, my fellow STAR WARS fans.

When do you think Palpatine first became aware of Luke Skywalker? Discuss.

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  • Hey berto

    I think he knew the Skywalker twins existed from the time they were born or close to it. He may not have known where they were (perhaps he did know about Leia, the more that I think about it) but it was all a part of his plan. I haven’t thought that through thoroughly, but my initial reaction is he knew at the conclusion of ROTS that Padme was dead, and he had to have gained that knowledge somewhere, whether through the force or spies.. so if he knows that he probably knows about the twins, but the flip side of that is word of her death was probably public knowledge. But he’s a master manipulator, so without clear evidence, I believe he knew pretty much everything.