In Episode III, after Anakin rescues Palpatine and returns to Coruscant, he meets Padmé and says:

I'm back, I'm all right. It feels like we've been apart for a lifetime. And it might have been ... If the Chancellor hadn't been kidnapped. I don't think they would have ever brought us back from the Outer Rim sieges.

Palpatine definitely was using Anakin's secret relationship to instigate on him the dangerous feelings of attachment, and jealousy, so he could be turned to the dark side...

Did he then, as part of his plan, get captured on purpose to put Anakin closer to Padmé again?

2 Answers 2


Palpatine did allow himself to be captured on purpose. Dooku was one of his "kidnappers" but also his apprentice so if Palpatine had truly been captured he could have escaped by ordering Dooku to free him.

The main reason Palpatine allowed himself to be captured was to tempt Anakin into taking revenge against Dooku and execute an unarmed* man against Jedi principles:

Supreme Chancellor: Good, Anakin, good. Kill him.

[Dooku looks at Palpatine in shock]

Supreme Chancellor: Kill him now.

Anakin Skywalker: I shouldn't...

Supreme Chancellor: Do it!

Anakin Skywalker: [Anakin decapitates Dooku] I couldn't stop myself.

Supreme Chancellor: You did well, Anakin. He was too dangerous to be kept alive.

Anakin Skywalker: Yes, but he was an unarmed prisoner. I shouldn't have done that. It's not the Jedi way.

Supreme Chancellor: It is only natural. He cut off your arm, and you wanted revenge. It wasn't the first time, Anakin. Remember what you told me about your mother and the Sand People.

Palpatine used his fake kidnapping to not only tempt Anakin to turn to the dark side, but he also got rid of the aging Dooku so that he could eventually take on Anakin as his apprentice.

Bringing Anakin back from the Outer Rim would also bring Anakin closer to Palpatine himself, where Palpatine would be better positioned to manipulate Anakin. Anakin's proximity to Palpatine himself would be far more useful to turning Anakin to the dark side than bringing Anakin and Padme together. There Palpatine could appoint Anakin as his personal representative on the Jedi Council, teach him about Darth Plagueis and the possibility of resurrecting loved ones, etc.

Putting Anakin closer to Padme was a secondary (or perhaps tertiary) objective at best -- it was more of a bonus. Even so, Anakin already loved Padme and feared losing her so there was little for Palpatine to gain by putting them closer together. Given the far better other reasons for staging his kidnapping, Palpatine did not do it specifically to bring Anakin and Padme together (i.e. he would have done it even if it didn't bring Anakin and Padme together).

*Dooku was almost literally "unarmed"!

  • This doesn't answer the main question of whether it was to get Anakin back.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 18:10
  • @Richard The question in both the title and bold section is whether Palpatine allowed himself to be captured on purpose, which he did.
    – Null
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 18:13
  • " to put Anakin closer to Padme again"
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 18:18
  • @Richard Better now?
    – Null
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 18:35
  • Much better but I'd still like some kind of canon reference that he allowed himself to be caught specifically to get Anakin back.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 1, 2014 at 18:37

In short, no.

The official novelisation lays Sidious' plan for Anakin completely bare. Suffice to say, Padme doesn't even feature.

With his heroic capture of Count Dooku, Anakin Skywalker will become the ultimate hero: the greatest hero in the history of the Republic, perhaps of the Jedi Order itself. The loss of his beloved partner will add just exactly the correct spice of tragedy to give melancholy weight to his every word, when he gives his HoloNet interviews denouncing the Senate’s corruption as impeding the war effort, when he delicately - oh, so delicately, not to mention reluctantly - insinuates that corruption in the Jedi Order prolonged the war as well.

When he announces the creation of a new order of Force-using warriors.

He will be the perfect commanding general for the Sith Army.

Dooku could only shake his head in awe. And to think that only days earlier, the Jedi had seemed so close to uncovering, even destroying, all he and his Master had worked for. But he should never have feared. His Master never lost. He would never lose. He was the definition of unbeatable.

  • This is the plan as far as Dooku knows, seeing as he is the narrator of this chapter. As becomes clear later in the chapter, however, Dooku was betrayed by the Dark Lord: an army of Sith Warriors was never Sidious' plan as he abides by the Rule of Two. Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 13:10
  • @GunnarSödergren - That's a fair point however, it doesn't speak to the main part of the question (e.g. "was his capture part of a plan to get him back near Padmé). Either way it's a no.
    – Valorum
    Commented Dec 5, 2014 at 14:07

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