The Emperor/Darth Sidious (Canon and Legends)
The Emperor is the true big bad of the Skywalker Trilogy. He was behind it all: the Clone War, Anakin’s fall to the dark side, and the Galaxy’s Oppression. I could say he gets a 3/3 for character design and leave it there, but let’s talk about this guy. With how the Original Trilogy was done, we didn’t know who was pulling the strings until “Empire Strikes back”. ESB didn’t even give us much detail, but instead, it built up his mystery until Episode 6. In the Prequels, we see Sidious’ deception and created war (The Clone Wars). In this war, Sidious secretly fought on both sides, and those who tried to expose him as the “puppet master” were eventually killed (I.e Fives). Sidious was a phenomenal villain, and the Sequel Trilogy tried to copy his greatness with Snoke (and they failed). In Legends Continuity, the Emperor survived his death on the Death Star and had loads of force powers. Legends adds a lot to the Emperor’ character. The Emperor gets a 2/3 for popularity. Everyone loved his appearances in Rebels, Clone Wars, and Legends Continuity, but he is under appreciated. The Emperor gets a 3/3 for influence in pop culture. Movies have been copying the “Puppet Master Villain” technique that Emperor Palpatine popularized. Movies love to have that secret villain pulling the strings on another villain. Take the “Marvel Movies” for instance: they used Loki as the main villain in “Avengers”, but we later learn Thanos was behind the New York attack. This style of villain usage was pioneered by Emperor Palpatine. It’s safe to say, he steals a top five spot on this list.
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