ansketil: (palpatine - all things)
[personal profile] ansketil
Title: Three Syllables
Disclaimer: I do not own Star Wars and am just mucking about with Palpatine.
Rating: G
Word Count: A couple of paragraphs - :P
Characters: Palpatine
Summary: Some sacrifices cost more than others.
Author's Note: This was meant to be my "Ten Things Palpatine" for [livejournal.com profile] darth_eldritch, but instead it turned into this and I couldn't add anything else to it. A pleasant diversion while working on much longer stories. Just one of many possible explanations for the mystery that is Palpatine. 


It was an archaic tradition, rooted deeply in the obscure philosophies of his people. It began with an evening’s ceremonial farewell to your family, which doubtless would have made a touching scene if he’d had any. His foreign master was utterly indifferent to rituals of the Naboo. There was the thought of perhaps of talking to several of his lecturers at the University of Theed, but they knew the course he had decided on, and it would embarrass him for them to know there was no one else. In the end, he took a walk in the municipal gardens across from his residence and said his farewells to more mundane things than family.

Then came the night spent alone, supposedly wrestling with the decision to devote himself to the service of his people above all else. In truth, he’d already faced a different, harsher vigil and this far less ancient ritual bored him. He meditated, his mind already drifting in the far-flung future.

At dawn, the civic priests came and led him through the double doors where he undressed and lowered himself into the steaming water, observing his clothes burning in the sacred braziers as he washed himself of his previous life. He stepped naked from the pool with a frown older than his years on his young face, and his sad blue eyes gave the impression he was leaving behind a great deal rather than nothing at all.

They dressed him in the heavy robes of a Prince of Theed and he told them the three syllables he had chosen. It wasn’t the more informal ceremony usual in these more modern times. He asked them to erase everything. “Are you certain?” the sacerdotal leader asked, worried about such a drastic decision. “If you do this you will be forbidden both legal and sacred union and any children you might have could only claim matrilineal descent. You will never be able to hear your birth name again without inviting the gods’ curse.” Don’t do it, the old priest’s eyes pleaded, don’t sacrifice yourself so carelessly.

“I am certain,” he answered coldly, his thin lips betraying slight amusement at the man’s words. His certificates of identity and his diplomas went into the sacred fires along with his garments; burned him free of his parents’ nobility and the damning evidence of his childhood. He had one secret name, wrapped tight around his heart like a talisman, he did not need another.

“Then we recognise you, Palpatine of Naboo, and pray you serve your people well.”

Date: 2011-05-24 01:29 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darth-eldritch.livejournal.com
(Let's see if lj will take my comment this time)

Ahh, I LOVE IT!!!!

Excellent scenario of why Palpatine's past on Naboo is shrouded! And it fits Naboo so well!

his sad blue eyes

Such a consummate actor!!! Such feeling!

Thank you!!!

Date: 2011-05-24 01:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
Livejournal is fickle.

Thank you! I imagined young Padmé going through this ceremony too, except she did it exactly as you are meant to, whereas Palpatine almost parodies it, yet it becomes more true for him than Queen Amidala.

It just makes sense to me because otherwise people would have found him suspicious.

Palpatine could cry tears of joy at the prospect of afternoon tea with Master Yoda. He's that good, lol! ;D

Date: 2011-05-24 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] darth-eldritch.livejournal.com
You're welcome!!

Ha ha, how true, it is more fitting for Palpatine!

Exactly, and I do like his background being Naboo. Also, Naboo has been described as having customs of respecting privacy, so any other loose ends won't be as likely to be questioned.

Ha ha ha! Yea, he would! Look at the act he had to put on at the end of TPM!

Date: 2011-05-24 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] veronicaprof.livejournal.com
Gorgeous! I love the imagery, and the last three lines are perfect!

Date: 2011-05-24 01:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
Thank you; it just came to me. I love playing with Naboo culture. :)

Date: 2011-05-24 03:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luminations.livejournal.com
Oooooo! So that explains it! This is a most excellent source of the mystery of his name!

Yep, the only name Palpatine needs is the one his master bestowed upon him. And, of course, whatever term of endearment his sweet patootie Anakin calls him ^_^

Date: 2011-05-24 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
Why must lj devour my comments? Grr.

Second time round:

Thank you - I think you can guess that this was inspired by your own brilliance. ^_^

It just seemed like the logical explanation. I have this image of Padmé and he talking about it one day and her being both awed and horrified by his actions.

Lol, poodoo!

Date: 2011-05-25 02:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lumy12.livejournal.com
Great icon!

Aww thanks!

Palpatine and Padme, talking in the gardens somewhere on Naboo... an unlikely pairing... so wrong but oh so right... lolz

Date: 2011-05-25 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zigsternenstaub.livejournal.com
Absolutely beautiful. I love how weighed in ritual this is, and particularly the irony of Palpatine secretly mocking the ceremony, when ceremony becomes his whole life. Also a lovely background on Palpatine's lack of an informal name.

Date: 2011-05-25 12:15 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
Thank you. It becomes very interesting to consider that they do this to very young children. He's so blasé about it, yet it probably shapes him only slightly less than the Sith ceremony. The idea of someone existing only in the formal sphere is a disturbing one.

(I imagine this evolved out of an old tradition of assigning second-born children to civic slavery instead of the priesthood. Then, when they grow up, the become the wise advisers of their siblings' children... Or something... part of me is convinced Naboo is some kind to bizarre dystopia, but they're so convoluted and private no one has noticed... lol, shutting up now...)

Date: 2011-05-25 12:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zigsternenstaub.livejournal.com
You know, this conforms quite well to what have written in the letter I am sending you (which is rather Brobdingnagian, I will warn you), so I won't say much here other than that I absolutely agree with you about the rather subtly dystopian nature of Naboo society.

Date: 2011-05-25 12:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
*happy sigh* I love Gulliver's Travels. I shall await your letter with pleasure, then.

I remember watching a trailer for the awful Jack Black remake and someone being loudly offended by Gulliver "putting out the fire" along the lines of "omg, how could they ruin such a classic!-?" LOL.

Date: 2011-05-25 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zigsternenstaub.livejournal.com
Lol, I saw the re-make on New Year's Eve. While it was completely awful, it was completely awful in the most outrageous way possible and I loved it. :D

Date: 2011-05-25 12:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
I will put it on my list, then. I have to say I have gone off Jack Black somewhat since the diarrhoea that was 'Year One', but I just might be persuaded to forgive him on your recommendation.

Date: 2011-05-26 07:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zigsternenstaub.livejournal.com
I never saw Year One, though I thought it looked amusing. I take it not?

Date: 2011-05-26 08:18 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
It had far too little cleverness and far too much toilet humour, sadly. Even my dad hated it, and he loves joking about the intense hilarity generated by poos and wees.

The bit which finally broke me was the depiction of how prisoners chained to a wall upside down evacuate themselves. :/

Date: 2011-05-26 09:32 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zigsternenstaub.livejournal.com
Ah, I see. Shame. I can take a little of that sort of thing, but this does sound like overkill.

Unfortunately it is quite, quite early in the morning, so conversation isn't really feasible at this juncture. :(

Date: 2011-05-26 09:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
We need to have a good chat soon!

Date: 2011-05-27 04:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zigsternenstaub.livejournal.com
Yes, indeed. :)

Date: 2011-05-26 08:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
Wait - have I finally caught you online?? *hint hint*

Date: 2011-05-25 12:04 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zigsternenstaub.livejournal.com
I also have to say that I really liked your author's note. Strange perhaps, but I enjoyed the acknowledgement of the infinite possibilities and permutations attached to each character--how each is a different man or woman in each viewer's soul.

Date: 2011-05-25 12:19 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
Absolutely! (although I have to admit I am a tad horrified to learn about the upcoming EU Darth Plagueis novel...)

Date: 2011-05-25 12:36 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] zigsternenstaub.livejournal.com
upcoming EU Darth Plagueis novel...)

...oh dear.

Date: 2011-05-25 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ansketil-rose.livejournal.com
That was my reaction too. :/
ext_25678: (treelight)
From: [identity profile] pronker.livejournal.com
I saved this for my reading time Sunday a.m.

You will never be able to hear your birth name again without inviting the gods' curse.

I find it fascinating that all records will have been expunged, no family left to remember all this backstory of his, and writers such as yourself get to develop it. He's even giving up his diplomas, something he himself earned, not like any family nobility. In a way, he's self-sacrificing and Jedi-like living in the Moment, as Qui-Gon espoused.

How would RL be if our senators did this, forgot all about their ties and devoted themselves to their calling above all? *lives in Utopia, for awhile*
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