What was Chancellor Palpatine watching at the theater in this scene from Revenge of the Sith?

  • Opera?
  • Athletic competition?
  • Academic conference?
  • Performance art?

Please provide answers with quotes from canon sources.

  • "Now, watch the play Anakin. A thrilling tale, ‘The Ghostly Threat’. And here is the merry jester! Me-sah think you gonna love him." Feb 8, 2021 at 11:39

2 Answers 2


The (fully canon) factbooks Star Wars in 100 Scenes and Star Wars: Absolutely Everything You Need to Know identify it as a graceful aquatic ballet performed by a Mon Calamari troupe at the swanky Galaxies Opera House.

Anakin meets Palpatine at the Galaxies Opera House, where Mon Calamari dancers perform a ballet called "Squid Lake"

The name 'Squid Lake' was based on the classic ballet 'Swan Lake', according to Lucasfilm concept artist Ryan Church:

Another scene that appeared challenging for CG artists was when gelatinous shapes performed what looked like an otherworldly Cirque du Soleil routine. Where did that idea come from?

Ryan Church: The inspiration for that came on my birthday. My now-wife and I were going out to dinner and I got a call, which I rarely did, asking me develop ideas for a scene that George wanted to change. He wanted the scene to take place at a ballet or an opera. He said, Think about it being Swan Lake, or Squid Lake with squid guys. So I was thinking that we could do a space twist on a water ballet and have this giant ball of water in zero-gravity. So I sent these paintings over the next day and they ran with it.

Otherworldly Concept Designs of Ryan Church

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  • 14
    I love that Calamari still means squid in Galactic Basic. Jun 8, 2018 at 16:05
  • 2
    @Schrodinger'sStat and that Mon Calamari actually put up with being called that.
    – hobbs
    Jun 9, 2018 at 7:55
  • 2
    I don’t see General Ackbar anywhere in that. Such disappoint. @Schrodinger'sStat It appears that Disney Canon has tried to distance the name from the edible squids by renaming the planet’s exonym as Mon Cala (the endonym is still Dac, I think?). This looks like an etymological fallacy–based move, trying to separate calamari into a ‘name’ Cala and then -mari because it’s an oceanic planet (our word calamari is actually from a Graecolatin word meaning ‘pen case’, so nothing to do with oceans). So perhaps it doesn’t actually still mean squid in GB, at least not anymore. Jun 9, 2018 at 10:08
  • The fact that a member of the production crew was thinking of Swan Lake when he came up with this concept makes me suspect they were borrowing ideas from the ballet.
    – RichS
    Jun 10, 2018 at 5:58

The Mon Calamari Aquatic Ballet, performing Squid Lake, according to the Star Wars Wiki, which cites Star Wars: Galactic Atlas and Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith 13: Burning Seas, Part I as its sources.

  • 36
    Squid Lake ballet? Is that a reference to the ballet, Swan Lake? The story of Swan Lake is about how an evil wizard corrupts a young woman and turns her into his pawn. Much like how Palpatine corrupts a young Anakin and turns him into his pawn. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_Lake
    – RichS
    Jun 8, 2018 at 6:32
  • 1
    "Is that a reference to the ballet, Swan Lake?" Probably, but I don't know if any canonical sources explicitly state so.
    – nick012000
    Jun 8, 2018 at 6:49
  • 4
    @RichS No one is corrupted in Swan Lake. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swan_Lake#Prologue
    – LVDV
    Jun 8, 2018 at 13:47
  • 1
    @LVDV Thanks for clarifying that. The version of Swan Lake I saw had the evil wizard, Rothbart, corrupt Odette so she would do his bidding.
    – RichS
    Jun 9, 2018 at 2:49

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