There are only few people who know it. I can include the following people:

  • Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus - I'm sure he told Dooku, because he played such a huge role in Palpatine's plans and the war, so he would always have to know what's going on. Plus by the look on his face when Palpatine told Anakin to kill him, he looked at him like he knew who he was.

  • Mas Amedda - I think he knew, because Palpatine would have told him so they could work together in the Galactic Senate to get whatever results Palpatine wanted, plus in an episode of The Clone Wars, Palpatine says something to him about his plan coming together.

  • Sly Moore - I think she had as much of a major role with Palpatine and the Galactic Senate as Mas Amedda did. During the speech of the Emperor in Revenge of the Sith, she was there.

Did Darth Maul and General Grievous know that Palpatine is Darth Sidious?

Note: the idea for this question came from http://boards.theforce.net/threads/who-exactly-knew-chancellor-palpatine-was-darth-sidious.50009052/

  • 2
    This Q/A indicates that Mas Amedda knew.
    – Null
    Dec 30, 2016 at 20:12
  • To ensure that this isn't closed as a duplicate, you should clarify that you are asking about who knew during the timeframe of the Clone Wars. There are plenty of questions about who knew during the timeframe of the Empire (this one is the duplicate target of those questions).
    – Null
    Dec 30, 2016 at 20:16
  • Anakin Skywalker / Darth Vader knew. Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi knew after seeing the security video in the Jedi Temple.
    – RichS
    Apr 4, 2017 at 7:04
  • 4
    Palpatine knew - if we are keeping a strict count :)
    – NKCampbell
    Apr 12, 2017 at 20:05
  • 1
    Since Darth Maul was his apprentice, he'd pretty much have to know, I'd say. Apr 12, 2017 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


Besides those you mentioned, a few others knew his identity.

  • Ahsoka Tano:

The shadow was almost certainly one of the dark side’s creatures. Ahsoka had no idea what sort of thing it might be, but whatever it was couldn’t be that powerful, because it hadn’t been able to track down Hedala. That ruled out Palpatine himself, not that the Emperor could just show up on a planet without causing a great deal of alarm. (Ahsoka)

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  • While it's never explicitly stated in the canon that Maul knew, it's very likely he made the connection at some point, given that he recognized the Empire as his enemy. He did know in the Legends continuity, though.

What then if- beyond contemplation- something should befall his Master? Unlike Darth Sidious, who masqueraded as Republic Senator Palpatine and debated complex issues in the Senate, Maul lacked a secret identity. With his yellow eyes and horned head a black-and-red mask of arcane sigils, it was all he could do to prowl the fringes of The Works in the dead of night without instilling fear in nearly every being whose gaze he caught. (Darth Plagueis)

  • Yoda, Windu and the various other Jedi who learned his identity in Revenge of the Sith, as well as Luke Skywalker.

  • Tarkin had his suspicions:

Tarkin may also have determined that Vader was a Sith. If so, it followed that he accepted that Sidious was Vader’s dark side Master. (Tarkin)

Grievous did not know.

  • 3
    I think Maul knows. In The clone wars show, Maul hears "The Clone Wars" and says (Paraphrase) "So it has begun without me". I feel like Sidious did not plan on losing Darth Maul and fully intended for Maul to continue serving as his apprentice through the clone wars and into the "Imperial Era". Maul even says that he was destined for great things when he is found in the junk yard. Sidious is also hints to this during his encounter with Maul on Mandalore. He mentions that he is surprised to see Maul survived, and that it is a shame because he has already been replaced by a stronger apprentice.
    – Josafoot
    Jun 1, 2017 at 23:15
  • Maul absolutely knew, as revealed in the final season of The Clone Wars when he tries to convince Ahsoka to join him. At that point the Republic, led by Palpatine, appears on the verge of victory; Dooku had been killed, the Separatists were on their back heels, the Siege of Mandalore was ending, and yet he tells her: "Too late for what? The Republic to fall? It already has, and you just can't see it." Dec 16, 2020 at 21:02

Most of Palpatine's Executive Office staff would have to be aware of his position. Aside from Mas Amedda and Sly Moore, Sate Pestage had a great deal of involvement in the creation of the Empire and was instrumental; he was Palpatine's most trusted advisor for years.

Having your entire staff in on your Sith identity would be critical to maintaining secrecy. Oftentimes Palpatine had to make contact with those on the CIS. He would have to leave on spontaneous trips and keep his identity secret. Everything he did in his office was essential to executing the Grand Plan, his entire staff would've been involved in helping reach that aim. Different members may have been involved to different extents, but anyone knowing the Chancellor's whereabouts and work procedures would know he was much more than a Chancellor.

  • 4
    "No ordinary Chancellor" != "Sith Lord". Palpatine would reveal his Sith identity on a need-to-know basis, and the Chancellor's staff don't need to know. Which is more likely: "I'm supervising highly classified secret projects", or "Clear my schedule, I need to meditate on the dark side of the Force and then plot the downfall of the Republic"? Apr 4, 2017 at 7:57
  • I think everyone on the immediate Office had to know (after all his immediate staff was only 10-13 people), but I think it was at various levels. There would be some reason why when Jedi barge in the Red Guard didn't come out to protect the Chancellor and how the office could just edit the footage. The governmental manipulations Palpatine implemented would be difficult for him to orchestrate on his own- he would need staff members to do the details.
    – Gravada
    Apr 8, 2017 at 2:11

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