Star Wars Reveals When Yoda Sensed Palpatine Might Be Sith

Palpatine Star Wars

One of the grandest schemes in the Star Wars narrative was how Darth Sidious managed to masquerade as a Republic Senator and mingle with Jedi undetected. It’s a given that the Sith were trained in all manner of deceit and subterfuge, but this was some next-level infiltration skill. Of course, there was always the lingering question of how the most perceptive beings in the galaxy failed to sense pure evil hiding right under their noses, but a recently released Star Wars novel reveals that Yoda did indeed realize something was amiss.

Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston recounts a scene where Yoda experiences an absence in the Force. The moment comes when he’s meditating and is interrupted by Mace Windu at the Jedi Temple. Windu has questions related to what Yoda might be sensing, which he hasn’t discussed with anyone yet. But the alien replies in his usual roundabout manner and Windu dismisses it as nothing of significance, choosing to trust Yoda’s intuition and judgement on the matter.

Yoda continues meditating after Windu leaves, and that’s when the sequence describes this presence of “nothing” that he experiences. The passage reads: “The light surrounded him, the dark a comfortable distance from the limits of his perception. And yet there was something; rather, there was nothing. And it eluded him completely.”

What he’s sensing is the darkness hidden within Chancellor Sheev Palpatine. At the time, Yoda doesn’t realize it, though, believing the darkness to be far away. “A comfortable distance” away, in fact. This gives us some exposition on how Sidious manages to wreak so much havoc before he’s eventually discovered and confronted by Windu.

The same novel also erases Sidious’ master, Darth Plagueis’, backstory from the continuity. And he isn’t the only Star Wars character who’s been snubbed in recent years, as poor Anakin wasn’t mentioned even once in the latest trilogy.