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Palpatine began his rise to power after the Trade Federation blockaded and invaded the planet of Naboo, which he represented as a senator. Palpatine manipulated the Queen of Naboo, Padmé Amidala, into calling for a Vote of No Confidence against the current Chancellor, Finis Valorum.
Palpatine then became one of the candidates to become the next Chancellor, and was elected by the time the Naboo crisis had ended.
Palpatine continued to extend his reign as Chancellor through a range of crises which Palpatine, under the guise of Darth Sidious, orchestrated, until the Separatist Crisis in 22 BBY. Palpatine gained emergency powers from the Senate in order to deal with the Separatist threat, forming the Grand Army of the Republic out of the multitudes of clone troops created by the Kaminoans.
Palpatine continued to gain more emergency powers over the course of the war. By its end, he was treated with suspicion by the Jedi Order.
Near the end of the war, Palpatine was kidnapped by the sinister cyborg General Grievous. He was rescued by Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi and watched as Skywalker killed his then-apprentice Count Dooku in a plan to turn Skywalker to the Dark Side.
Back on Coruscant, the Jedi Council ordered Skywalker to spy on the Chancellor. Skywalker eventually discovered the truth; that Palpatine was the Sith Lord the Council had been looking for.
Skywalker informed Mace Windu of his discovery, and Windu decided to take action. Together with Agen Kolar, Saesee Tiin and Kit Fisto, Windu attempted to arrest the Chancellor. Palpatine, revealing his true persona, engaged them all in a fierce duel, swiftly striking down the other Jedi until only Windu was left.
The two duelled ferociously, with Windu eventually backing the Chancellor into a corner as Skywalker strode in. Palpatine used this moment to convince Skywalker of the Order's "true" intentions, leading Skywalker to cut off Windu's hand as he was about to deal the killing blow. Palpatine, seeing his chance, attacked Windu with a volley of Force Lightning, sending him flying out of the window and into his death in the streets below.
As he turned Skywalker to the Dark Side, christening him "Darth Vader", Palpatine ceased to be, replaced completely by the Dark Lord of the Sith, Darth Sidious.
Role in Lego® Star Wars
Clone Wars Variant
The original variant of Chancellor Palpatine had bright red legs and a red torso with printing to depict his Chancellor robes. He also came with a red cape. His head had printing to depict his face in the Clone Wars animated series. His hair as the same as that found in the Clone Wars version of Count Dooku in a blonde colouring. This variant featured in the set 8039 Venator-Class Republic Attack Cruiser.
Episode III Variant
The Episode III variant of Chancellor Palpatine also had bright red legs and a red torso, again with printing to depict the robes he wore during his duel with Mace Windu. The head was double-sided, with one side depicting his face as the Chancellor during the fight, with a fierce grimace, while the other side shows his face as a Sith Lord; deformed by his Sith Lightning. He had the same hair piece as the original variant. This variant appeared in the set 9526 Palpatine's Arrest.
Chancellor Palpatine appears as a playable character in Lego Star Wars: The Video Game and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. In the game, Chancellor Palpatine has no special abilities, and is little more than a novelty character.