Has the first name of Emperor Palpatine been mentioned in any Star Wars work?

  • 2
    I thought that Palpatine is this first name. Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 11:20
  • 14
    Could be Sue. It would explain why he's so angry all the time.
    – Zoot
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 17:24
  • 2
    I'm just thinking that it would be cool to have Johnny Cash count as part of the extended Star Wars universe.
    – Zoot
    Commented Jan 11, 2013 at 2:31
  • 2
    It’s Geoff. Geoff Palpatine. Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 17:45
  • 3
    His first name will always be "Emperor" in my mind. He was really just Chancellor Emperor Palpatine and Senator Emperor Palpatine and finally Emperor Emperor Palatine.
    – JohnN
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 20:17

3 Answers 3


UPDATE on the origin

As per James Luceno's interview on "Star Wars With Friends #21" Podcast:

  • The name came directly from George Lucas

  • It was invented a long time ago, for a never-happened years ago live TV series "Underworld"

  • In early version of the novel, Plagueis discovers it but doesn't use it to stoke Palpatine's ego.

  • In Tarkin, the fact that someone knows his first name is a sign of being in his inner circle.

UPDATE from New Disney Canon:

As per the new canon, the Emperor's first name is Sheev
The source is James Luceno's Tarkin book, released in November 2014.

Here's the blurb from a blog announcing this:

A few days ago at the "A New Dawn" panel at New York Comic Con, it was revealed that the upcoming novel Tarkin, written by James Luceno, will finally reveal Palpatine's first name.

Earlier today the Star Wars Wikia Wookieepedia updated their article on Palpatine with the new name and listed page 93 of Tarkin as their source. (Obviously one of their editors got an advanced copy of the novel.)

Quote below

“Thank you, Sheev,” Tarkin said, with obvious sincerity, and using Palpatine’s given name. “I will do what’s best for my homeworld, and for the Republic — in any manner you deem fit.”

Original answer:

To complement Phantom's answer, another option aside from Ethril that the fans non-canonically use is "Cos."

The name comes from an early draft of Episode IV: A New Hope in which Lucas named the Palpatine-like figure "Cos Dashit."

The name was later sorta-recycled into his father's name, Cosinga Palpatine.


  • 8
    @Xantec - according to Lucas, the story was always broken into 9 movies. </straight_face> Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 17:59
  • 10
    He carefully outlined every contradiction and plot hole from the start.
    – Oldcat
    Commented Nov 3, 2014 at 17:20
  • 1
    They should have gone with Geoff. Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 14:48
  • 1
    @PaulD.Waite - Geoff's a pretty scary name.
    – Valorum
    Commented Apr 23, 2015 at 19:07
  • 1
    Geoff Vader? One of the funniest youtube videos of all time.
    – Stephen
    Commented Aug 14, 2015 at 1:38

No first name for the Emperor has been revealed to date.

Some background to Palpatine's lack of a first name is given in the EU book Darth Plagueis, where it is revealed that he used only his surname to spite his father Cosinga Palpatine.

Wookieepedia sums it up thusly:

In 82 BBY, Cosinga Palpatine's wife gave birth to their eldest son, Palpatine, who later insisted on being known only by the cognomen in order to spite his father and the rest of the family. The couple also had at least two other sons and two daughters.

  • 6
    Thats suggests to me his name might be Cosinga (Jr.), then. If I wanted to spite my father by not using my full name, it would be because I have the same literal name. Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 18:45

Officially, it has never been revealed.

Even StarWars.com simply refers to him as "Palpatine".

In 2003, Steve Sansweet explained

Palpatine's first name, if he even has one, has yet to be revealed. That's not so unusual even in our own galaxy. For example, in one of the world's most populous countries, Indonesia, many people go by one name. And even some last names are just that, not family names. In the Star Wars universe, we doubt that there are many in the know for whom just plain "Palpatine" isn't enough.

To date, no EU materials have given him an official first name, though an early draft of The Visual Dictionary supposedly named him "Ethril". I can't find any scan of that online to confirm this though.

  • 13
    +1, I like the "Frank" theory: 'Finally, some fans have jokingly suggested that Palpatine's first name is Frank, based on the line, "I must be frank, Your Majesty."'
    – bitmask
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 12:17
  • 7
    Surely, you can't be serious.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 12:27
  • Hey, if that name is good enough for the Bunny in Donnie Darko, it's good enough for that fancy emperor.
    – bitmask
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 12:31
  • 2
    That "wooshing" sound you just heard? That was an Airplane flying overhead.
    – phantom42
    Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 13:26
  • 4
    @phantom42 - Don't. Call. Me. Shirley!!!! Commented Jan 10, 2013 at 15:00

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