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Possible Duplicate:
Why didn’t Luke become disfigured when he was electrocuted by the Emperor?

I am guessing this has to do with the fight with Mace Windu. Is that correct?

If it's because of old age instead, how old was he when he became Emperor?

marked as duplicate by bitmask, DavRob60, Beofett, Mark Beadles, HorusKol Nov 17 '12 at 0:12

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    It appears that you have two separate questions here. – Major Stackings Nov 15 '12 at 6:49
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Palpatine became ugly all of a sudden due to the effect of his own "Force Lightning". It has nothing to do with old age or faster aging. In the movie Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, when Palpatine attacked Mace Windu with Force Lightning, Mace Windu used Vaapad to reflect Force Lightning to its source.

From the Revenge of the Sith novelization by Matthew Stover:

Lighting blasted the clouds above, and lightning blasted from Palpatine's hands, and Mace didn't have time to comprehend what Palpatine was talking about; he had time only to slip back into Vaapad and angle his blade to catch the forking arcs of pure, dazzling hatred that clawed toward him.

Because Vaapad is more than a fighting style. It is a state of mind: a channel for darkness. Power passed into him and out again without touching him.

And the circuit completed itself: the lightning reflected back to its source.

  • Wow! Great answer. So its really that battle that changed his face. – Sid Nov 15 '12 at 6:57
  • Is that a quote from the novel or a summary? – zipquincy Nov 15 '12 at 18:54
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    @SachinShekhar are you serious? because that is some terrible writing. at least in a novel. fine for a summary on a SE website, but in a freakin novel? – zipquincy Nov 16 '12 at 14:27
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    I personally thought that Palpatines entire human like appearance was a force mask, and that the lightning simply revealed his true visage. I'm not sure if I read that in ROTS or in another book, but I definitely remember that being a possible explanantion. In other words, his current decrepit appearance IS his normal appearance through the decades of use of the dark side, and his human looking one was simply an illusion. Luke was also able to totally mask his appearance where others could not tell at all who he was. I believe that the force lighting simply removed the illusion – JediWitness Nov 20 '13 at 20:56
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    @JediWitness: That definitely makes more sense than the lightning simply changing his appearance. Plus, it bridges the gap between the pre-and-post prequel EU, which explicitly stated that Palpatine's appearance was from decades of using the Dark Side without restraint. – Omegacron Feb 19 '14 at 14:45

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