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Considering that Dooku, Grievous, and Nute Gunray are dead at the end of Revenge of the Sith, would there have been any way for Anakin to learn that Palpatine controlled both sides?

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    I don't believe Gunray knew that... – LcSalazar Dec 15 '15 at 12:27
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    @LcSalazar Well, he was dead, so it doesn't matter too much whether he knew, and whether he knew isn't necessarily important. He could have also revealed information that Vader could put together with information from other sources to figure it out (as the accepted answer demonstrates). – jpmc26 Dec 15 '15 at 17:18
74

Vader must have known either before or immediately after he killed the Separatist leaders on Mustafar.

Nute Gunray welcomes him as "Lord Vader" when he arrives in the Mustafar control room:

Welcome, Lord Vader. We've been expecting you.

Gunray would only know to use Vader's Sith name and would only be expecting him if he had been dealing with Sidious.

More conclusively, Gunray later pleads for his life and mentions Sidious by his Sith name:

The war is over. Lord Sidious promised us peace...

From these statements, Vader knew that Nute Gunray -- the leader of the Separatists -- was making deals with Darth Sidious. Consequently, Vader would have known that Sidious/Palpatine was controlling both sides of the war.

Quotes are from the Episode III script.

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    Nice answer, but I believe he suspected this when Palpatine told that he was a Sith because Dooku was in Separatist side. – Lobo Dec 14 '15 at 18:59
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    @SS-3.1415926535897932384626433 Suspected, sure. But I think this is the most conclusive proof that Anakin/Vader knew. – Null Dec 14 '15 at 19:20
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    The second quote does not imply that they were working together to cause the war, as the OP asked, only that they were in fact working together for piece. The first piece is a bit more damning, but only until you put it together with the second piece. What stops Anakin from assuming that Palpatine was negotiating a peace settlement with them and decided to betray them by sending him there? – Mark Dec 14 '15 at 20:27
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    @Mark Gunray does not know that Palpatine is Sidious because Palpatine kept his two identities separate. If Gunray was in peace negotiations with the Republic, he would have used the name Palpatine. But he made a deal with the Sith Lord Sidious. – Null Dec 14 '15 at 20:32
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    Dealing with one side is different from actually controlling that side though. Palpatine staged everything, Anakin might not know the extend of Palatine's involvement in the war (on both sides). Example: Is Anakin aware that order 66 was implanted in the clones by Dooku almost a decade earlier? – Kevin Dec 15 '15 at 11:03
58

Vader knew that Palpatine is not only A Sith Lord but THE Sith Lord. The one they'd spent years looking for. The one they knew was behind the Separatist movement. In fact, he says as much to Mace Windu before deciding to betray the Jedi Order.

Anakin Skywalker: He won't give up his power. I just learned the terrible truth. I think Chancellor Palpatine is a Sith Lord.

Mace Windu: [suprised] A Sith Lord?

Anakin Skywalker: Yes, the one we've been looking for.

He knew all of this before making the desperate decision to betray the Jedi Order and pledge allegiance to Palpatine.

It would come as no surprise to him that Palpatine knew where the Separatist leaders were located and would come as no surprise that Gunray told him that Palpatine promised them peace. He was too desperate to save Padme's life and angry at the Jedi to care.

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    This pretty much resolves all the objections in the comments on the accepted answer. +1 – jpmc26 Dec 15 '15 at 17:20
9

Since you merely asked "Would there have been a way", the answer is clearly "yes":

  • He knows that Palpatine was a Sith Master, after the conclusion of ROTS (well DUH! Do I need a quote to prove that?).

  • He knows that Dooku was a Sith Lord:

    Heat rose in Anakin's cheeks. "I am not—" your Padawan anymore snarled inside his head, but that was adrenaline talking; he bit back the words and said instead, "—going to let you down, Master. Or Chancellor Palpatine." "I have no doubt of that. Just remember that Dooku is no mere Dark Jedi like that Ventress woman; he is a Lord of the Sith. (ROTS novelization by Matthew Stover)

    As a matter of fact, Palpatine confirmed it himself:

    "Get help!" The edge of panic in his hoarse half whisper sounded real even to Dooku. "You must get help. Neither of you is any match for a Sith Lord!"

  • He knows about Rule of Two from Palpatine (see "The Sith Lords book")

    Actually, he knows about it from the Jedi (ROTS novelization shows this).

    AND he clearly realizes Dooku is working with Darth Sidious:

    "Or maybe I should say, were two of you," the young Jedi went on. "We're on to your partner Sidious; we tracked him all over the galaxy. He's probably in Jedi custody right now."

So, putting 2+2 (or, 1+1 in this case) together seems like an obvious leap of logic. Not even beyond creepy Anakin's meager mental skills.

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    "He knows that Palpatine was a Sith Master, after the conclusion of ROTJ": Do you mean after Revenge of the Sith? Although undoubtedly, Anakin would hopefully know that by the end of the 6th movie. – Ellesedil Dec 14 '15 at 20:07
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    @Ellesedil At the end of ROTJ that parallel universe didn't exist yet, so neither Vader nor the Emperor could have known about it. ;-) – CodesInChaos Dec 15 '15 at 9:26
  • @Ellesedil Even if he hadn't figured it out by then, I'm sure either Yoda or Obi-Wan would have told him when he became a Force ghost and was hanging out with them on Endor. – Dom Vasta Apr 24 at 13:31

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