His injuries while fighting Windu were part of the plot to draw Anakin to the dark side. But was this detail planned from him? Did he plan to become burned? Or was this an unpleasant side effect he didn't foresee? Couldn't he manage to look defenseless and tortured by Windu to Anakin without sacrificing his health and his physical integrity? Perhaps a Sith with higher goals does not mind about this, but why take an even minor loss if not absolutely necessary? A crouched, defenseless, whining Palpatine, hardly holding back Windu killing him, would have had the same effect on Anakin I think.

Out-of-universe it's clear to me that they had to do something to explain the established look of him in the original trilogy.

  • He isn't actually crippled. The canon novel Lords of Sith demonstrates this. – Rogue Jedi May 4 '16 at 12:44
  • Its pretty reasonable to assume that Palpatine's plan was to kill the Jedi with as little injury (or risk) to himself as possible. After dispatching the first two Jedi, he struggled to kill Windu, eventually finding himself beaten and weaponless. He then drew upon the dark side of the Force to create Force-lightning. While that prevented Windu from taking him into custody, the cost was that it also arced back to deform his own features. – Valorum May 4 '16 at 13:59
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    @Richard: Any possibility that it could have helped make him appear more vulnerable to Anakin, increasing the likelihood that Anakin would intervene on Palpatine's behalf and save him from the big bad Jedi? – Ellesedil May 4 '16 at 17:24
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    @Ellesedil - He certainly played up his vulnerability, but that appears to be opportunistic, rather than pre-planned. – Valorum May 4 '16 at 17:34
  • @Richard Yoda also plays up his decrepitness, walking with a stick etc but then able to bounce all over the place like a squash ball... whats that all about? :) – Moo May 11 '16 at 15:06

The best in-universe explanation would be that he didn't plan to be disfigured by Windu, but that his powers of foresight would have at least told him he would survive it. He intentionally told Anakin he was the Sith lord they were looking for, knowing it would lead Windu and his posse back there. He obviously wasn't concerned about the leader of the Jedi and two other Jedi showing up to kill him or he would have done something more subtle.

  • That makes we wonder this - Did he expect Windu etc to come for him? Was this a necessary risk, or more of a blunder? Should he have stopped Anakin running off, and allowed Windu etc to be killed the same as the other Jedi? – ThruGog May 4 '16 at 15:34
  • @ThruGog Windu was on the planet and Palpatine knew this (in fact, it almost seems as if he is banking on Windu coming). Furthermore, he wasn't just ANY Sith, he was THE Sith they were looking for. The mastermind behind the war. So why wouldn't the top Jedi himself come? Moreover, how well do you think the clones would have fared against Windu? An entire army of droid couldn't stop him – Machavity May 5 '16 at 1:43
  • So he did want to confront and kill Windu himself? Because he feels he is the only one who could kill him? – ThruGog May 5 '16 at 21:18
  • @ThruGog Possibly. Also note that he waited until Windu was dead, and Anakin had turned, before issuing Order 66 – Machavity May 5 '16 at 21:19
  • Palpatine probably thought he could take out Windu 1-on-1. – RichS May 11 '16 at 16:00

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