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Old 04-27-2008, 10:19 PM
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Star Wars: Did Force lightning deform the Emperor?

Having seen Revenge of the Sith quite a few times, I always assumed Palpatine was deformed by the redirected lightning Mace Windu's light saber put on him.

I was surprised to read in the Wikipedia entry for Force Lightning that this is debated.

Some think that his true form was revealed during the struggle?

Has Lucas commented on this? I assumed he was melted by the heat/shock. I figured he didn't really care, which would explain why he doesn't mention it(other than his comment to the Senate of being disfigured).

Any official word?
Old 04-27-2008, 10:24 PM
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I always figured it was a metaphysical thing - his inner corruption coming out and all that.
Old 04-27-2008, 10:39 PM
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I recall that when the Witches of Dathomir used the Dark Side, it tended to cause small blood vessels to burst under the skin or similar minor disfigurements; if they continued to use it they ended up hags. I thought it was the same principle; that using the Dark Side tends to uglify you.
Old 04-27-2008, 10:48 PM
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It appears to me as though the force lightning was the cause of his deformation and not simply a function of revealing his true form. Fan wankery may come up with different reasons though. Thank goodness for fan wankery though. I've wasted some good hours with all the wanking I've done.

Old 04-27-2008, 10:49 PM
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I don't understand the controversy. It's plain to me that he had a mask or some kind of advanced outer shell on. The lightning didn't damage him, it only exposed the damage that had already been done. (It's pretty obvious that Darth Sidious has been warped by his power from the very first time we see him, many years before his confrontation with Mace Windu.)

Later he realized he could use his true apperance to concoct a story about the Jedi attackers leaving him "scarred and deformed". And once he's been appointed Emperor to thunderous applause, well, not much sense in hiding his evil anymore.

The face of the kindly Chancellor was a tool that served its purpose, nothing more.
Old 04-28-2008, 07:12 AM
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And let's not forget that the only other person to sustain prolonged exposure to Force Lightning, Luke, didn't get all deformed.

Maybe Palpatine just had a genetic predisposition.
Old 04-28-2008, 07:34 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Chance
And let's not forget that the only other person to sustain prolonged exposure to Force Lightning, Luke, didn't get all deformed.

Maybe Palpatine just had a genetic predisposition.
The one thing that bothered me about that scene was that Luke seemed to recover so quickly after Vader tossed the Emporer over the railing.
Old 04-28-2008, 12:16 PM
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Alright, some people did take a good look at this, and the problem as I see it that both sides are partially correct.

Yes, the Emperor's inner corruption was being revealed. But it wasn't a mask literally, or any kind of "force illusion," or any such thing. It was just that he was one sick puppy and had previously been powerful enough to keep his corruption from showing. There's no law which says the Sith have to be grossly disfigured. The book implies that he would have preferred to regain his old face, but that it wasn't necessary and would even be better not to.

A more interesting question is just how weak he really was in that fight. Mace defintiely got him into a bad spot, but it looked to me as though he might have kept that fight up for rather longer than he did. He might still have lost, but Anakin's showing up gave him a better option.
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