I don't think of Palpatine as being rabidly insane. If we allow for Legends material, Thrawn shows that he was willing to be to some extent pragmatic with aliens. Anyway, his master was a Muun.

If it wasn't a personal bias, he must have thought that the anti-alien sentiment would enhance his power. But telling the majority of the galaxy that they suck seems a poor way to gain power.

Unless all the resources he took advantage of came from people who were already anti-alien, and it was easiest to just go along?

  • Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/q/5637/31936 and scifi.stackexchange.com/q/11477/31936 though neither seems to go into why the Empire was xenophobic.
    – Null
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 22:19
  • 1
    @Null - scifi.stackexchange.com/a/84663/976 ? Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 23:41
  • @DVK Your third point gets into the "why" and I could be convinced that this is a dupe for that reason. But why did you delete the Legends tag from this question? The asker says "if we allow for Legends material..." and your answer contains Legends material.
    – Null
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 4:53
  • @null legends isn't meant for this. It's meant for legends-only questions or questions ABOUT legends. Not for "any canon including eu" Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 5:01
  • 3
    @DVK That's not how we've been using it, and that's not what the usage guide in the tag wiki says (granted, I created the tag and edited the tag wiki). We've been using the Legends tag to indicate that answers can use Legends sources, since in some cases askers care for canon-only or allow canon + Legends. Perhaps we need a meta discussion...
    – Null
    Commented Jan 16, 2016 at 5:10

3 Answers 3


Every good dictator likes a convenient scapegoat, with the demise of the separatist who could Palpatine blame when things go wrong? That's right those nasty aliens!

It has happened in the real world plenty of times Hitler and the Jews or Stalin and the Gypsies.

Also a good way for a dictatorship to keep its opponents separated is to sew seeds of distrust, hatred and differences amongst the populace.

If humans get all the high powered jobs and the aliens are treated as scum the humans are going to be happy and want to keep their privileges so will do what they can to keep the aliens down.

The Emperor's almost secret use of aliens that can be of use to him, such as Grand Admiral Thrawn, will allow this perceived superiority of humans within the Empire to continue, without Palpatine being totally surrounded by incompetent people.

If the aliens are kept down they are going to have less resources and chances to effectively rise up.

The xenophobia may even extend to other species, for example the Quarren and the Mon Calamari, stopping them from uniting against the empire.

Obviously in the end this didn't work with the inclusive Rebel Alliance (Sullustans, Mon Calamari, Wookiees and Humans with a little bit of Bothan help) eventually defeating the Humanocentric Empire.

  • I think it sounds quite commonly, however there is exactly zero mentioning that the empire would dislike non-humans. Furthermore, the scapegoat-enemy of the empire weren't the non-humans, but the Jedis: the agenda was that their their hidden circles want to take over the power and control the galaxy from the background. Btw, it wasn't far from the truth.
    – Gray Sheep
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 4:17

Well, Palpatine was from Naboo and it's implied in The Phantom Menace that the humans on that planet condescend to the Gungans, (understandably). So it may be that Palpatine grew up thinking all aliens were as obnoxious as Gungans.

  • 1
    At first I thought this answer was only a joke... But it actually makes perfect sense, too! +1 Commented Feb 6, 2016 at 22:44

I appreciate this question already has an accepted response, but there is evidence that pro-human prejudice was already in place before the Emperor rose to power. From Darth Plagueis, page 231 (paperback):

"In the absence of training and brainwashing, they will pose no harm to us. You will see to that, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine." Sidious looked at the floor and shook his head. "You should be the one, Master." "No," Plagueis said firmly. "It must be you. You have the political skills, and more to the point, you are a human. In this era only a human is capable of rising to the top of Coruscant's biased political heap."

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