A question I hear on a frequent basis when the topic of Star Wars comes into the conversation is how Chancellor Palpatine managed to kill Saesee Tiin, Agen Kolar and Kit Fisto so easily and then also managing to match up against Mace Windu. I decided that it was a topic I was also intrigued by, so I decided to do a bit of digging to see what I could find and the results clear up so much.
Following the Battle of Coruscant, Anakin began to experience visions. These visions showed Padme dying during childbirth. Anakin went to Yoda following these visions in order to gain some advice, Yoda advised him to “Let go of everything he feared to lose” which angered Anakin.
Palpatine had invited Anakin to a show where he was going to provide the Jedi with the location of General Grievous. During the show, Palpatine told the story of Darth Plagueis the Wise and how he discovered a way of using the dark side of the force to influence the midi-chlorians in order to create life and prevent death.
Anakin was interested in this as it could have been a way to save Padme, so he questioned Palpatine on how he could learn the technique, but Palpatine responded by saying that he wouldn’t be able to learn it from a Jedi. The two of them went back to the Chancellor’s office and then Palpatine revealed to Anakin that he was, in fact, Darth Sidious, the sith lord the Jedi have been looking for.
Initially, Anakin was debating whether to Kill Sidious there and then. As a Jedi, it is part of his duty to eliminate the Sith. Anakin was torn as Palpatine was a close friend of his, he decided to go to the Jedi Temple in order to inform Mace Windu of his discovery
Anakin – “I’ve just learned a terrible truth. I think Chancellor Palpatine is a Sith Lord.”
Mace Windu – “A Sith Lord?”
Anakin – “Yes, the one we’ve been looking for.”
Mace Windu – “How do you know this?”
Anakin – “He knows the ways of the Force. He’s been trained to use the Dark Side.”
Mace Windu – “Are you sure?”
Anakin – “Absolutely.”
Mace Windu – “Then our worst fears have been realized. We must move quickly if the Jedi Order is to survive.“―Anakin Skywalker and Mace Windu, upon learning Palpatine’s personality.
After hearing of this discovery, Windu took fellow Jedi Masters Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar and Saesee Tiin to arrest Palpatine in his office. When Windu stated that the Senate to decide his fate, Palpatine responded by saying he was the Senate but Mace was quick to remind him that he wasn’t yet.
- “It’s treason, then.“
- ―Palpatine, seconds before the duel
Accusing the Jedi of treason, Sidious ignited his lightsaber and jumped at the group. Sidious used a dark side force power known as ‘Force Fear’ to overcome his opponents. The wielder would strike directly at the deepest parts of the target’s mind, causing an uncontrollable shaking fear that would wreak havoc with the target’s capabilities. Through pure force of will alone, a user could cause them to lose their courage completely, and if left undefended, the effects could be severe, rapidly demoralizing the enemy with a feeling of hopelessness and regret. Depending on the victim, it would cause them to either cower defenselessly or flee from their opponent outright.
“Terror is cancer, devouring the mind from within. Strength, hope, and wisdom are nothing but thoughts to be consumed.” ―Unidentified darksider
In a moment, Kolar was impaled by Palpatine through the abdomen. Tiin attempted to strike the Dark Lord from behind as Kolar fell, but was cut down as Sidious swung around to slash him across the torso. With half his opponents dead, Sidious immediately engaged Fisto and Windu. Fisto managed to fend off Sidious’s initial strikes, but he was cut down mere seconds after the fall of his two compatriots. His entire strike force destroyed, Windu was left alone to contend with the Dark Lord.
Windu was driven back towards the corridor of his public office and the pair engaged in a blade lock. As Mace and Sidious continued to fight, Anakin rushed over to the office as he couldn’t bear the thought of letting his friend die at the hands of Mace Windu, not without learning how to save Padme.
Windu was very composed during the battle and waited for the moment where he could get the upper hand, that moment came when he kicked Sidious in the jaw which caused Sidious to fall over and also drop his lightsaber before scurrying over to the window frame. Mace put his lightsaber to the Sith lords throat ready to kill him, but Anakin arrived at the office convinced that the Dark Side was the only thing that could save the Queen.
- Windu: “I’m going to end this, once and for all!“
- Skywalker: “You can’t. He must stand trial.“
- Windu: “He has control of the Senate and the courts! He’s too dangerous to be left alive.“
- Sidious: “I’m too weak. Oh. Don’t kill me. Please.“
- Skywalker: “It is not the Jedi way. He must live!“
- Sidious: “Please don’t.“
- Skywalker: “I need him!“
- Sidious: “Please don’t!“
- Skywalker: “NO!“
- ―Skywalker begs Windu not to kill Sidious
Sidious decided to try something different, this time, hurling force lightning at Mace Windu, forcing him to deflect it back to the Sith Lord. The lightning began to cause the Chancellor’s face to deform.
“Force lightning is a dark side ability used to torture, disfigure, and even kill one’s victims. Blue in colour, Sith shoot Force lightning from their hands by calling on their hatred and aggressive feelings. However, while a deadly weapon, it is not unstoppable. Force lightning can be deflected and absorbed by a lightsaber, and select Jedi have proved able to neutralize the technique through the power of the light side.” – Star Wars Official Website.
After the Sith Lord stopped his barrage of lightning, Windu announced that he had no choice but to kill Sidious, as he saw him as too great a threat to keep alive. Skywalker pleaded with him to spare Sidious, saying that the best course of action was for Sidious to stand trial, but Windu refused, believing that Sidious could indeed influence the Court to sway their ruling in favour of himself. Anakin stated that killing Sidious was not the Jedi way and as Windu lifted his lightsaber to deliver the final blow, Skywalker cut the Jedi Master’s hand off which left him unarmed, Sidious pounded on the opportunity and unleashed, even more, Force Lightning and then used a Force Push to throw Windu out of the window.
A key Force ability, the Force push is both an offensive and defensive technique. It is employed primarily by Jedi but also used by the Sith, and is accomplished with a forward hand gesture. Force pushes can range in intensity from simple movements to dangerous, powerful shove that can disorient and harm opponents in battle. – Star War Official Website.
Skywalker, after witnessing Sidious effectively killing Windu, fell to his knees in shock at his unwitting participation in the Jedi Master’s murder. Sidious congratulated him, telling Skywalker that he was fulfilling his destiny and that he would help him find the secrets to saving Amidala’s life. The Dark Lord then admitted that cheating death was a power only his Master had achieved and that he didn’t actually know the secret to stopping death.
However, Skywalker, blinded by his need to save his wife, did not realize this. Though his loyalty to the Jedi lingered somewhat, he believed that his role in Windu’s death precluded any chance of his returning to them. He resigned himself to his fate and knelt before Sidious, swearing to be his Sith apprentice.
Thanks for reading and may the force be with you!