Prologue:

Interview with an Emperor

The story of my young life?

Well now, ambitious young human, are you entirely certain of what you wish? You are granted a private interview with the Emperor of the Galaxy, and you ask for the story of my youth? What could possibly drive you to inquire into the sordid details of a past long forgotten? I once buried it gladly and intended that no creature should raise it again. You are a bold one, for until now nothing but speculation has been bandied about in these great halls of my palace.

How pale you are growing! Do not fear me. Not yet.

When I was younger (and such grand thoughts we have in our youth!), I thought it wise to conceal what I saw as weakness. Now though, the years of this body have waxed long, and I have realized that I should be grateful to my past. After all, it led me to where I am today. The fresh roots of my power were tended then, tended and encouraged through adversity. Harsh it seemed to me at the time, but I have long since learned that cruelty renders greater motivation than any kindness. I can tell you tales to make your fragile heart shudder.

But do not mark me off as the tragic result of a dark past, for I can also tell you mundane tales that will have you sleeping in your chair before long. I might even tell you an occasional story of happiness, such as it were.

Oh, but you want the truth, do you? No lies and distortion? Nothing of the foolishness that resides within the textbooks and datapads of the Imperial public educational system, you say? History is indeed kind to me there, for I wrote it.

Do not misunderstand me. I am not angry. Your words intrigue me, for you seem to believe in the absolute truth of history… The ancient philosopher Sistros once said that history is but a collection of lies agreed upon by the dominant force. As I am the dominant force, my own opinion may be somewhat biased, but I believe the facts of history must serve a greater purpose than mere truth.

Then again, history is perhaps nothing more than the activity of men in pursuit of their goals. I too am a man, despite the amusing rumors to the contrary; I too have a goal: the sum of my past, present, and future. My history prepared me well for my future.

I regret none of it.

Another lie? Do you think? Even the greatest of minds may become ensnared in their own elaborate designs. Yet I am the dominant force, and so we must be content that this is the truth for the foreseeable future, yes?

Lies, half lies, suggestions, omissions… if you wish to hear from me, you must suppress your obvious revulsion, my friend. Ironically, this is the truth of who I am. I make no pretenses otherwise, no apologies. Not anymore. You are wise to say nothing to that, but your thoughts are not entirely your own. How can any one man be so insidious, you ponder. How can I not? That is the far better question to ask.

Come then, if you dare, and step with me into the past. Discern the lies, if you must, if you can. But the fact remains, I stand as Emperor of the Galaxy, born of feckless parentage on the inconsequential planet of Naboo…

And the story begins. This is a tale of Palpatine's formative years as he searches for his true destiny, narrated by the Emperor himself. :) The chapters are longer than the prologue and will be updated with less regularity than A Night for Opera, but I will update it when I can. As I read the novel Darth Plagueis, I pulled tidbits that I noted and used them as a basis for the events of this story, and I will post those at the ends of the chapters to which they apply.

Read and review, please! Let me know what you think. And above all, enjoy!