When Did Star Wars First Give The Emperor His Palpatine Name?
A younger Senator Palpatine is a major player in many of the “Star Wars” films and TV shows set before the 1977 original. In George Lucas’ “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,” Ian McDiarmid plays the character and his name is spoken openly by other characters. A curious piece of trivia is that “The Phantom Menace” is the first time the character’s name was spoken on screen in a feature film. If one is only going by the movies, The Emperor remained unnamed for 22 years.
Note that background characters that look exciting and interesting but are never addressed by their given monikers on screen have long been a staple of “Star Wars.” Some of them are named in the films’ scripts while, in other cases, their names only really become widely known among the public thanks to the miniature action figures based on them. A Starwoid, for instance, might be able to tell you who Ponda Baba is, but he’s never named in “Star Wars.” Likewise, most of the aliens and creatures seen in Jabba the Hutt’s palace in “Return of the Jedi” are never named on screen, although in certain cases their full titles and monikers are mentioned in the script (see: Bib Fortuna).
What about the name “Palpatine”? In Michael Kaminsky’s 2007 book “The Secret History of Star Wars,” it was revealed that Lucas had originally envisioned a long line of corrupt Emperors — not just Palpatine — and that the Emperor on the throne at the time of “Star Wars” was to be named, no kidding, Cos Dashit. Some real Glup Shitto energy there.
In 1976, however, novelist Alan Dean Foster debuted the Palpatine name in the original “Star Wars” novelization.