Breaking bad news to your boss is never fun. However, when your boss is a cackling wrinkly space wizard with a habit of shooting lightning from his fingers, it must be especially tricky.
Armed with that knowledge, we pity the poor Imperial officer who had to knock on Emperor Palpatine’s office door and let him know that the Death Star – the pinnacle of his might in the galaxy – had been destroyed by some bumpkin from Tatooine.
So, what was Star Wars‘ most entertaining villain doing day-to-day at this time? Posters on r/StarWars have been debating this, pointing out that at the time of A New Hope, Palpatine was taking a hands-off approach to the Empire. Now that it was firmly established as the dominant force across the galaxy, he could afford to kick back and take it sleazy, delegating responsibility to Darth Vader and the various Moffs.
Those with intricate knowledge of Star Wars lore say he was most likely chilling out in his Coruscant home when he got the news, as to the galaxy at large, he portrayed himself as a weak old man still recovering from the Jedi’s attempted assassination. We like to imagine him relaxing in a hot tub with a mimosa, knocking it over in anger as he realizes what his boneheaded subordinates have let happen.
The only other plausible option fans put forward is that Palpatine was on Exegol “fiddling with his clones”, and honestly, we’d rather not know what that could entail.
Despite Palpatine’s (apparently) final death in The Rise of Skywalker, we recently saw him in Obi-Wan Kenobi telling Vader to get with the program, so the door is open for him to return in many other shows. Let’s hope he does, as it’s always fun when he’s chewing the scenery.