It's well known that the Empire was xenophobic and "human-firster" in general (I can provide relevant Wikia links if someone has doubts).

But did there exist Emperor Palpatine's (or rather Darth Sidious') personal xenophobia?

Or was Empire's Xenophobia merely a political tool to both involve/placate/attract xenophobic humans on Coruscant and other Core worlds; as well as a general Nationalistic-like "against the Others" tool, which many Earth human states relied on successfully?

Please note that I'm speaking of a generic "humans are better than non-humans" xenophobia, and NOT Palpatine's dislike for specific individual races such as Caamasi which happened for a reason (e.g. explicitly or implicitly standing in the way of his power).

I'm looking for canon (any canon, not only G-) references only, not speculation.

As counterpoints to Emperor being xenophobic, one can consider Thrawn or Xizor.


2 Answers 2


As Emperor, and Sith Master, Palpatine would have been of the opinion that he, himself, was the ultimate power in the galaxy. This is evidenced by his treating virtually everyone around him as pawns. As such, his attitudes and behavior are not so much xenophobic as simply prideful. This overconfidence was eventually his downfall; his trained dog, Darth Vader, rose up and killed him.

If there is xenophobia, it would probably stem from Palpatine's general disdain of the Republic's diplomatic process, from the bureaucrats controlling the office of the Chancellor to the various races squabbling amongst each other. If true, then a welcome side-effect of his consolidation of political power to his own office is the silencing of all these external voices.

Imperial officers, from the top down, seem to be more outwardly racist towards non-humans. Whether that's a "phobia" in the true sense is debatable.

  • Grand Admiral Thrawn, a Chiss, was of course alien. Palpatine was not so xenophobic to overlook his genius, but he was hated by other (human) officers. So Palpatine was certainly not as xenophobic as some in the Empire
    – The Fallen
    Jun 21, 2012 at 21:47

The Emperor appeared to NOT be very xenophobic, and much more meritocratic. His closest meritocratic allies and trustees were not human, and placing such trust in non-humans would be highly unlikely if he was internally xenophobic:

  • Legends

    • Faleen Prince Xizor that the Emperor relied on heavily despite him being a major criminal
    • His Sith Master Darth Plagueis was a Muun (while Plagueis himself is fully Disney canon, him being Muun is AFAIK Legends)
  • New Disney Canon

In addition in the novel "Tarkin" it's shown that the Emperor's main supreme goal was mastery of the Dark Side of the Force, and all the "secular" issues were basically annoying tactical distractions to him (see his chat with Vader when he sends Vader with Tarkin).

  • 1
    But w.r.t. Thrawn it is explicitely stated him rising to Grand Admiral being a pretty exceptional case.
    – Ghanima
    Mar 24, 2015 at 23:26
  • @Ghanima - yes, and Einstein wouldn't have been employed by Hitler even being quite exceptional. That's the point - if the Emperor was indeed xenophobic, Thrawn wouldn't have been an exception. Mar 25, 2015 at 16:43
  • 1
    Why is Darth Maul listed as Legends? Nov 13, 2017 at 17:13
  • @ThePopMachine - fixed (and moved Thrawn too since he's back to canon now) Nov 13, 2017 at 17:18
  • @DVK-on-Ahch-To, almost time to change your name.... :) ! Nov 13, 2017 at 17:29

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