At the beginning of Revenge of the Sith, General Grievous has kidnapped Palpatine from Coruscant, presumably secretly enabled by the same.

Nevertheless, the chancellor had to come up with some believable chain of events leading to his abduction, since this would be tantamount to abducting the King from Buckingham Palace during WWII, especially Grievous obviously didn't try to be sneaky, at least on the way out.

How did Grievous achieve this?

Canon or Legends explanations are acceptable.

Maybe I wasn't clear, obviously Palpatine orchestrated the whole thing. I'm curious how he faked it, as Grievous had to get from orbit, to the most heavily guarded region of the galactic capital, to the chancellor himself, and then back into orbit.

Palpatine couldn't very well have ordered the entire planetary garrison to stand down and let him be captured.


3 Answers 3


Within the main canon, we just don't know the specifics, but he seems to have been taken from the Senate building:

Live via HoloNet, beings watch the Separatist droid army flood the government district. The coverage is filled with images of overmatched clone troopers cut down by remorselessly powerful destroyer droids in the halls of the Galactic Senate itself.

A gasp of relief: the troopers seem to beat back the attack. There are hugs and even some quiet cheers in living rooms across the galaxy as the Separatist forces retreat to their landers and streak for orbit -
But then new reports trickle in-only rumors at first-that the attack wasn’t an invasion at all. That the Separatists weren’t trying to take the planet. That this was a lightning raid on the Senate itself.   The nightmare gets worse: the Supreme Chancellor is missing. Revenge of the Sith: Junior Novelisation


Then the Separatists struck a paralyzing blow, straight at the heart of the Republic. A fleet of ships commanded by the dreaded Separatist General Grievous slipped through the outer line of defenses to attack Coruscant itself. In the confusion the Separatists kidnapped Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, the elected leader of the Republic. - Revenge of the Sith - Official Novelisation

  • 2
    The final episodes of the Star Wars: Clone Wars animated series (Tartakovsky's one) show in detail what happens: Grievous invades Palpatine's office at the Senate just as a small group of Jedis, led by Shaak Ti, arrive to escort the chancellor to safety. Grievous, assisted by some magna guards, pursue the fugitives through Coruscant, arriving at last at a supposed secure refuge where he kills the jedis (sparing Shaak Ti so she could tell what happened), kidnaps Palpatine and escapes just as Yoda and Mace Windu arrive (with Mace force-crushing his armor and causing him trouble breathing).
    – lfurini
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 10:25
  • Though I'm not sure that Clone Wars series is in the new canon: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/910/… (I hope it is, those episodes were really good and made for a great introduction for Grievous)
    – lfurini
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 10:29
  • 3
    That series is no longer canon, I'm afraid. That came even before the canon purge in April 2014 when it was superceded by the Clone Wars TV Series.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 10:36
  • 1
    @lfurini - Asked and answered for you. I'll collapse it into the main Star Wars canon question later today.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jan 3, 2016 at 10:54

Palpatine's kidnapping is detailed in the Genndy Tartakovsky "Clone Wars" Micro-series. It's available on DVD in two parts, and was at one point considered canon. It also explains Grievous' raspy voice and general sickliness.

The kidnapping occurs during a battle on Coruscant (the one seen in the intro to Revenge of the Sith) and takes place over several chapters. As to how he is taken, it involves a small amount of subterfuge, as detailed on Wookieepedia:

On Coruscant, Foul Moudama and Roron Corobb manage to get Palpatine into his secure bunker. Once they are locked inside, they discover that General Grievous has beaten them to it, and the two Jedi leap forward to defend their leader, who sinks, seemingly unconcerned by the danger, into the shadows.

In order for this to happen, it is assumed that Palpatine knew the path he would be taken in route to a secure location, and Grievous was able to lay in wait for him to be there with only two Jedi. The other Jedi are busy fighting Separatist troops througought the city. As Grievous attempts to transport him offworld, Mace Windu almost catches up:

Grievous turns to face him, igniting four lightsabers, but Windu uses the Force to crush the chest plates protecting the General's organs. Grievous turns and flees on board, coughing furiously. Windu tries to leap after the ascending ship, but the vessel's blaster barrage forces him to defend himself, thus robbing him of the power behind the leap, and the ship blasts into space.


Palpantine planned it himself!

Emperor Palpatine of course we know to be

Darth Sideous

So, with his connection with

General Grievous

he could easily have planned the 'abduction':

During the chaos of the battle, he also arranged for an ambush by Geonosians just outside his apartment under his alter ego of Darth Sidious for Valiant and Dyne, having anticipated that they were very close to discovering his true identity in their investigation. Dyne ultimately deduced in his last breath that Palpatine and Sidious were the same person after getting a brief glimpse of the Sith Lord, although Palpatine figured it was inconsequential, as the clone trooper had a few seconds left of life anyway. Afterwards, using his public persona, Palpatine was spirited away to his bunker with General Grievous, the Supreme Commander of the Droid Armies, in close pursuit, killing many of his bodyguards and Jedi on the way. However, thanks to his own planning, he was "abducted."


The above Wookieepedia article seems to refer to Labyrinth of Evil, which is classified as Legends.

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