The Palpatine lightsabers are a pair of two almost identical single-bladed red lightsabers wielded by Palpatine. Palpatine is a Clone Wars era and Rise of the Empire era politician who operates secretly as a Sith Lord known as Darth Sidious. Since Palpatine prefers scheming and manipulating events in secret and discreet ways, the Sith Lord rarely uses the lightsabers.
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Palpatine Lightsabers in Star Wars Canon
During his early apprenticeship to Darth Plagueis, Palpatine constructs two identical Sith lightsabers from phrik, a nearly indestructible metal compound. Each hilt features a luxurious Aurodium blade emitter and a lavish electrum finish. The hilt embodies an overall rounded, curvy and opulent design.
The hilt measures 19 cm long. Situated in the hilt core, a corrupted kyber crystal gives each Sith lightsaber its characteristic red blade. Palpatine later changes the appearance of one of the lightsabers by retrofitting one of the hilts with a black material.
Palpatine may wield one of the lightsabers or two simultaneously, depending on the situation. He keeps one of the lightsabers hidden inside a statue in his office in the Senate Office Building on Coruscant.
In 19 BBY, Darth Sidious secretly journeys to the planet Mandalore to confront his former apprentice Darth Maul and Savage Oppress, Maul’s apprentice and brother. Sidious skillfully wields both lightsabers against the brothers. During the ensuing duel, Sidious dispatches Oppress quickly and ultimately disarms and captures Maul.
Near the end of the Clone Wars, the Jedi discover that Supreme Chancellor Palpatine is a Sith Lord. Jedi Masters Mace Windu, Kit Fisto, Agen Kolar, and Saesee Tiin confront and attempt to arrest Palpatine in the Chancellor’s office. Palpatine pulls one of his lightsabers out of his sleeve. In the ensuing duel, he quickly dispatches Kisto, Kolar, and Tiin. Windu and Palpatine duel for awhile until the Jedi Master kicks Palpatine. Palpatine falls and his lightsaber tumbles out the broken window.
As Mace Windu holds a fallen and seated Palpatine at blade point near the broken window, Anakin Skywalker arrives. Palpatine unleashes Force lightning onto Windu. At great effort, Windu absorbs much of the Force lightning with his purple lightsaber blade. When forced to choose between the Jedi Order and his mentor, Palpatine, Anakin Skywalker disarms Mace Windu. Palpatine unleashes Force lightning upon Windu, throwing the Jedi Master out the window.
During the initial stages of Order 66, Jedi Grand Master Yoda confronts Darth Sidious. In the ensuing duel in the Senate arena, both opponents fight fiercely. Eventually each combatant’s lightsaber is dislodged out of his hand. The pair continue fighting with Force powers. Later in the contested battle, a blast separates the two. Yoda decides to flee, ultimately going into exile on Dagobah.
Palpatine rarely wields his lightsaber after installing himself as the Emperor of the newly formed Galactic Empire.
Behind the Scenes
The Palpatine lightsabers first appear in Star Wars Canon in the film Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). In 2020, Hasbro unveiled an officially licensed Star Wars The Black Series Emperor Palpatine Force FX Elite Lightsaber.
Explore the List of Personal Lightsabers to learn about more character lightsabers.