Slightly different from "do people know that Palpatine is a Sith", in that it seems canon that people are unaware that Palpatine is Sith Numero Uno... I'm more curious why nobody seems to have twigged?

For example - Yoda is aware that Palpatine is a Sith. Yoda is also, for some time, in contact with what will be the heads of the Rebel leadership - he had just escaped from an "exciting" Force-battle with the Emperor... but didn't tell the leadership? Wouldn't the leadership want to know this, wouldn't it be pretty good propaganda for their cause?

Palpatine also walks everywhere dressed like a crazy hobo/Sith Lord. Pre-Emperor, he's all "look at my face, here I am in ceremonial robes", and post-Emperor... well, you know. Didn't... any of the troops/people he regularly met notice this?

Everybody presumably knows Vader is a Sith Lord - in the very least, all the troops/commanders around him know this. Didn't anybody wonder why someone as powerful as Vader just took orders from the Emperor... unless maybe the Emperor is also Sith Lord? In the original trilogy we aren't explicitly told Palpatine is Sith - but we sure can work it out pretty easily.

  • 1
    Part of this question (how the Rebellion didn't know) is answered here. Why nobody guessed because of the connection between Vader and Palpatine is given in my answer to the linked question. I think this is a dupe.
    – Null
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:10
  • @Null maybe the question is a dupe - but it isn't a dupe of what you linked to. Your answer is just "why did the emperor not say he was a sith", which, as noted in the question, is not what i'm asking.
    – bharal
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:18
  • My answer to how the Rebellion didn't know (which I also linked to) does cover how no one knew, despite Yoda's survival and contact with the Rebel leadership.
    – Null
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:21
  • 1
    @Null They are two different questions, whether or not something you said in that answer fits this question. That's not how dupes work.
    – Misha R
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 19:21

1 Answer 1

  • Palpatine is very careful about using his powers, and kills (almost) anyone who sees him in action:

    Vader looked on in surprise. He seldom saw his Master so publicly demonstrate his power. And he understood what it meant, of course. There must be no survivors who could bear witness. Only the Royal Guards could be allowed to live—only they could be trusted never to reveal what they’d seen, or even to talk about it among themselves.

    Lords of the Sith Chapter 12

  • Most Imperial citizens don't know what Palpatine actually looks like:

    Palpatine's face appeared on countless holos every single day. Like anyone else in the Empire, she could have described him as well as she could members of her own family. Hair almost entirely gray but still thick, face betraying only the slightest lines of care and time, his posture straight, his eyes sharp. In other words, the face shown to the world had nothing to do with the reality. Ciena's eyes widened as she took in the face his heavy hood did not entirely conceal — the unnatural paleness of his skin, the inhuman folds and wrinkles.

    Lost Stars Chapter 24

  • Some people do suspect, but are smart enough to keep it to themselves:

    The matter of precisely how the Jedi had been killed or the Emperor's face deformed had never been settled to everyone's satisfaction, and so Tarkin had his private thoughts about the Emperor, as well. That he and Vader were kindred spirits suggested that both of them might be Sith.

    Tarkin Chapter 7: "Masters of War"

  • Some people heard the rumours, but dismissed them as self-aggrandizing propaganda:

    Tashu was a close adviser — and a friend, as much as one could be, apparently — to the former Emperor Palpatine. The man who was once senator, and then chancellor. And the man whom rumors said was also a dark Sith Lord. Amid the Empire, the presence of the Sith was less a fact and more a myth: A few spoke of it as being possible, but most believed it to be concoction. Palpatine would not be the first ruler to invent stories of himself as if he were of cosmic import

    Aftermath Chapter 15

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    I thought every one knew how Palpatine looked like after his "battle" against Mace Windu and his speech in the Senate afteward ?
    – Max
    Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:17
  • 1
    @Max Some people obviously did know, but it would seem that it wasn't widely known among the civilian population Commented Jan 5, 2017 at 18:18
  • this is pretty good - although the question raised by @Max is interesting! That's probably just down to "bad writing" though, right?
    – bharal
    Commented Jul 22, 2019 at 16:09

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