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When the Zillo Beast was brought to Coruscant, it eventually escaped and went on a rampage, primarily to seek vengeance upon Chancellor Palpatine aka Darth Sidious. Was the Zillo Beast's escape also a part of "everything that has transpired" and thus "has done so according to my (Sidious') design"?

Improperly handled, the Zillo Beast is definitely a major threat to the Sith's plans for the Jedi and the Republic: if the Zillo Beast turns out to be more than the Jedi can handle, Sidious may be forced to use his Sith powers in self-defence, thus exposing his identity. Whether he will survive such a scenario, even if he unleashes his full power, is questionable too.

If the Zillo Beast's escape is orchestrated, then Sidious must be certain the risks can be and are indeed fully mitigated - without needing to expose his identity - before proceeding. However, nobody seems to fully understand the Beast's characteristics yet to provide the information for Sidious to make a sufficiently accurate risk assessment with. From what is indeed known, I'm unconvinced that it inspires complete confidence in him that the Jedi's abilities can fully mitigate said risks.

Sidious leaves nothing to chance. He only exposes himself to apparent danger in his schemes when he is confident no harm will come to him - either because it's all orchestrated and he is in no actual danger, or because he is confident in the Jedi's ability to rescue him before said harm is successfully inflicted. As such, I feel that either I am missing something and Sidious is indeed fully confident the Zillo Beast will not pose any real threat to him at all, or its escape is indeed unanticipated and thus the threat it poses to his plans - and possibly his life - is real.

So, which is it?

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Probably

It is possible that Sidious didn't care whether the Zillo Beast escaped, or indeed hoped for it to do so. The creature had already proven itself nearly invulnerable to Republic and Jedi ground weapons. If an invincible monstrosity escaped from containment and destroyed buildings and endangered lives, it would certainly fall to the Jedi to help stop it. If the Zillo Beast's escape could lead to deaths of a few Jedi, all the better. Palpatine would have been convinced that he could eventually kill or recapture it through sheer firepower or some clever strategy (as indeed happened). He would not have needed to reveal himself in order to subdue the Zillo Beast, even if the Jedi failed.

Palpatine's statements point toward this being the case. From "The Zillo Beast Strikes Back":

MACE WINDU: With respect, Chancellor, I believe this creature could pose any number of dangers. Bringing it here to Coruscant is a mistake.

PALPATINE: I assure you, I did not make this decision lightly, Master Jedi. The sooner we unlock this beast's secrets, the sooner we can end this terrible war.

Even Obi-Wan can't think of a reason for Palpatine to bring the Zillo Beast to Coruscant:

OBI-WAN: Why would the Chancellor want to bring the beast here? He thinks that by studying it, the knowledge could prove beneficial, but from what you reported, it hardly seems worth the effort.

Certainly, looking at Palpatine's facial expressions during the first part of the episode, he does not really seem to care about the danger the Zillo Beast might be present. Any loss of Jedi life would only be a bonus to him.

However, there is one thing Palpatine probably did not anticipate.

The Zillo Beast seemed to target Sidious explicitly. According to a now-obsolete Encylopedia link (apparently backed up by an interview with the Clone Wars showrunner)

The Zillo Beast showed a determined interest in hunting down Chancellor Palpatine, mastermind of the beast's imprisonment. It was as if the beast was nearly sentient, and it alone sensed Palpatine's true motives in the galactic war.

This is not something that Palpatine would likely have anticipated. Remember, though a master planner, Palpatine is not infallible. After all, his overconfidence led to his being killed by his lieutenant. In any case, Palpatine does not know much about the Zillo Beast. That's the point of studying it.

Further, Sidious wanted to clone it. Darth Sidious always had a weakness for superweapons, mechanical or biological. The Death Star, the Blue Shadow virus, the ion cannon on the Malevolence—and these are only the canonical examples. The Zillo Beast had armor that was impenetrable to most weapons, and most particularly to lightsabers. This would have made a potent weapon against Palpatine's enemies, or even helped him develop new lightsaber-resistant materials. In summary, the potential of the Zillo Beast was huge. It would not be the first time that Palpatine let his enthusiam for the power of a superweapon run away with him.

As such, the Zillo Beast did pose a threat to Palpatine. If the Beast had merely been causing random destruction, Palpatine could simply have relaxed and let the Jedi and the clone troopers deal with it, possibly evacuating if necessary. With it targeting him directly, he did not have time to get away. If left without protection, he would have needed to use his own powers in defense, and even then the Zillo Beast would have been a genuine danger to him.

  • I think it was more likely that the beast simply recognized who was giving the orders to have it imprisoned and killed. I doubt it had any insight into his Sith intentions. – Derek Nov 28 '16 at 17:37
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From how I understood the episode, they took the beast to Coruscant in order to examine, study and then in the end clone it as it was so extremely powerful.

The beast itself was unknown to Palpatine until the Jedi found it. But he immediately saw its immense tactical and strategical possibilities (especially that of the lightsaber immune carcass....which would help greatly against jedi as the sith don't need to rely on the lightsaber and force telekinesis for offensive powers....lightning I say).

He wanted results fast and underestimated the rage of the beast and how powerful it really was. And that it understood that HE was the one responsible for it being tortured.

Thus it escaping and hunting him was NOT part of his plans. He just wanted to get its secret and use them later on. When he was prepared.

Thus all that transpired was the will of the force not Palpatines. If not for a few jedi he would have had to use his full powers in order to survive and be exposed (but that was just the will of the force...aka luck and had nothing to do with his own plans).

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I just finished watching both episodes and knowing Palpatine (Sidious) I would argue that he knew there was still a Zillo Beast alive on Malastare - or at least hoped it would be - in order to achieve his goal of armor that could not be pierced by lightsabers and other weapons. Throughout the Clone Wars series and even the prequel movies you see that Palpatine is well versed in the history and culture of many planets, due in part to his senatorial training, so it is highly likely that he knew of the Dugs' history with the Zillo Beast and its indestructibility.

From there things get tricky. It appears as though the beast isn't just acting on instinct when it gets to Coruscant. When it is being transported the animators of the show made it very clear that the beast was watching Palpatine and could sense his plan. While it is being tested by Doctor Sionver Boll it is in distress because it is locked up and being poked and prodded, as any beast would, but it is not until Palpatine makes snide remarks about it that the beast erupts and escapes.

Like other times where Palpatine's targets have escaped for a short time before dying (i.e. Clone Trooper 5555, 'Fives') the Zillo Beast was used as subterfuge. What better way to undermine the conscience of Senator Amidala and the Jedi Order than to see something they were protecting lay waste to sections of the city near the Senate Building laying the groundwork for the Empire while testing new bombs and weaponry? Referring back to Adamant's comment, Palpatine not only loves superweapons but loves being present in their destructive phases if he is capable.

The Zillo Beast, in it's rage, was trying to break free of Palpatine's evil plan for it but ended up falling right into a trap which isn't a surprise considering Palpatine has an affinity for darkness and the appearance of being able to bend the very Will of the Force.

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