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[[caption-width-right:350:That looks rather painful.]]
* [[BigBad Emperor Sheev Palpatine/Darth Sidious]] was arguably one of the most chilling characters on the franchise.
** He [[AdultFear resembles power-hungry, selfish politicians in the real world (past, present, and future)]], and his force lightning is absolutely terrifying - so terrifying that only Yoda has managed to push it off.
** The ExpandedUniverse shows us that he also killed his own parents and siblings, showing how monstrous he really is.
** Worse, in the film, Darth Vader himself says that the Emperor is not as forgiving as [[YouHaveFailedMe him]].
** Throughout the films, we find out he is behind almost all the bad things that happen—he engineered the invasion of his own home planet, started the Clone Wars and used the start of the war to gain considerable emergency powers, nearly annihilated the Jedi Order '''including the children''', turned Anakin to the Dark Side, killed and disposed his loyal Separatist allies when he had no use for them anymore, and made the Republic into a fascist dictatorship, ruling by fear and using planet-destroying superweapons like the Death Star against anything with the idea of dissenting, and personally destroying entire populations that conspire against him. He only has loyalty to himself-- it is implied in Episode VI that he treated Darth Vader as expendable when Luke defeated him, and wanted to make Luke his apprentice instead while leaving Vader to die.
** To get an idea of how terrifyingly evil Palpatine is, his own actor directly compares him [[SatanicArchetype to the Devil.]] Not just that, but he claims that Palpatine ''[[UpToEleven is more evil.]]''
* InUniverse, when you hear [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stOjeylx4Fw this]], [[PunctuatedForEmphasis you.]] ''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis Are.]]'' '''''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis FUCKED.]]'''''
* ''Revenge of the Sith'' especially, but the prequels as a whole, drew some flack from those claiming that George Lucas was taking shots at the current US government (at the time, the George W. Bush administration.) despite his claims otherwise. But anyone who's done their homework knows that the fall of the Old Republic directly mirrors the transition of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire, and its eventual fall...