Scene it on Friday – ROTS Scene #208

What stands out about this scene is that Palpatine asked the clones to prepare his shuttle for “immediate takeoff” and senses Anakin/Vader is in danger.

I can never figure out if Palpatine actually feels a small tiny bit of compassion for Anakin/Vader or if he just doesn’t want all his hard work to go to waste.

The angel on my shoulder argues that he feels a bit of loyalty and responsibility toward Anakin.  Not only does he rush to see him after his fight with Yoda because he is in danger, but also because of that small moment on Mustafar, when he puts his hand out to the disabled Sith Lord.  I always viewed that as a moment of caring from Palpatine’s part and that there is a sliver, tiny as it may be, of good in him.

Then the devil on my shoulder argues that there is no way Palpatine is even remotely good.  The only reason he is concerned for Anakin is because he spent such a long time trying to convert him to the dark side that he doesn’t want to give up on him if he is still alive.  At this point, all Palpatine’s plans are coming to fruition: he is in charge of the galaxy, the Sith have risen back to power and he no longer has to hide, most of the Jedi/his opponents are killed, and he has the perfect apprentice at his side.  He can now shape Vader into becoming the Sith Apprentice he always needed and to rule the galaxy with him through fear.  After all, Vader has the highest midi-chlorian count to date, which presents him as the perfect running mate.  Why would he want to give up on a crucial component of his plan?  Rescuing Anakin is strictly business for Palpatine.

This is a problem that I have been debating since I saw ROTS.  Why does Palpatine rush off to Anakin so fast?  You would think, based on the fact that he is a Sith and evil, that he could not care less about what happens to Anakin.  The only real advantage I can think of for keeping Vader alive is that he has such a high midi-chlorian count, which when utilized by the dark side, can transform him into a powerful tool of Palpatine’s.

I love how George Lucas has this so ambivalent and keeps us, as an audience, questioning and rethinking what we thought we knew.

Anyone have thoughts on this?

Palpatine and Mas Amedda looking for Yoda


A Senate pod with COMMANDER THIRE (4477) and SEVERAL OTHER CLONE TROOPERS climb up to where MAS AMEDDA and PALPATINE are waiting. Beneath the Main Podium, TWENTY CLONE TROOPERS search for Yoda ‘s body.

CLONE COMMANDER THIRE: There is no sign of his body, sir.

MAS AMEDDA: Then he is not dead.

PALPATINE: Double your search.

CLONE COMMANDER THIRE: Yes sir. Right away, sir.

PALPATINE: (to Mas Amedda) Tell Captain Kagi to prepare my shuttle for immediate takeoff.

MAS AMEDDA: Yes, Master.

PALPATINE: I sense Lord Vader is in danger.

PALPATINE walks into the Arena hallway. COMMANDER THIRE descends down to the floor of the Arena, where an intense search is taking place. SEVERAL CURIOUS SENATORS rubberneck in scattered pods.


5 thoughts on “Scene it on Friday – ROTS Scene #208

  1. Palpatine is a toobag. ALways has been-always will be. If you were to go into any cantina and ask, everyone would say the same thing, “…what a toolbag…” To me, the brilliance of Lucas is how closely his admittedly heavy-handed political plotlines align with history of late and history in the making. THAT is indeed most impressive….

  2. He isn’t concerned for Anakin. He is a master of knowing what to do and what to say to keep up the pretenses, even the looks/acts of concern are all contrived, all part of his master plan to bring down the republic.

  3. I have to vote with the crowd on this one. In Palpatine’s eyes, Vader is merely a means to an end. RotJ demonstrates that if nothing else. Palpatine doesn’t care which Skywalker wins the battle, only that he will be master of a stronger Sith Lord whoever is left standing.

  4. Ok, I get it, I get it! I love the unanimous vote on this one though. I guess I’ve always enjoyed exploring the slight different viewpoint here with the fact that maybe he cared for Anakin a tiny bit.

    But I agree- nope he is a “toolbag” as Daddoo eloquently puts it, and Anakin is purely just a means to an end.

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