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What Tom Hiddleston Would Look Like As A Young Emperor Palpatine

The Star Wars galaxy is an enormous place, spanning far beyond what fans get in the myriad films, shows, and other media set in it. That enormity makes Sheev Palpatine's achievements all the more impressive. He spent years honing his skills in, and knowledge of, the Dark Side of the Force, as Darth Sidious. He manipulated the Galactic Senate from the position of chancellor, and he recruited one of the most powerful Jedi the galaxy has ever known to his side. All of his efforts culminated in his oversight of the First Galactic Empire, which spreads from Coruscant to the Outer Rim.

Most famously portrayed by Ian McDiarmid in all three trilogies of the Skywalker Saga, fans have become accustomed to Palpatine's darkly charismatic voice, diabolical cackle, and enveloping Sith robes. It's not hard to see how an entire galaxy was frozen in fear of just one man, or why the Rebel Alliance fought so tenaciously to free itself from his grasp. Retrospectively watching him control galactic affairs during his days as a senator, unbeknownst to everyone around him, in Star Wars: The Clone Wars (voiced by Ian Abercrombie and Tim Curry) is especially bone-chilling.

However, any part of Palpatine's past before that is mostly shrouded in mystery — aside from his role in the tale of Darth Plagueis the Wise, a story which he imparts to Anakin in Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. If the powers-that-be wanted to explore his backstory further, and were there a show or film about the Emperor's younger days, who would be a good pick to play him? 

If the digital art of ApexForm is anything to go by, then Tom Hiddleston, best known for his role as the trickster god Loki in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, could be a great pick.

Prime Palpatine

McDiarmid's Palpatine is an older man, wrinkled by age and scarred by his battle with Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson), but he's no less terrifying for all that. His deep connection with the Dark Side makes him a far more deadly opponent than men half his age. Yet seeing Hiddleston as a Palpatine in his prime... something about it strikes a different chord of fear.

Between the trademark Force lightning flying from his fingers — held out like claws — and the passive look on his face, Hiddleston's Palpatine almost seems to be saying, "What are you going to do about it?" Indeed, Palpatine can be subtle when he needs to be, but he's no stranger to using force (pun intended) when the situation calls for it. ApexForm's art shows off that "overconfidence," as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) calls it, in spades. "Imagine a series on [Disney+] about a young Palpatine training under Darth Plagueis starring Hiddleston as Sheev himself!" the artist captioned the stunning image.

Of the many new Star Wars productions announced at Disney Investor Day 2020, none had to do with Palpatine. However, The Acolyte may at least be connected to the Sith Lord, though it's hard to say for certain based on the little information given so far. Nonetheless, thanks to ApexForm's art, it's going to be hard not to imagine a series about Hiddleston's younger version of the iconic villain. Staring into those yellow-tinted eyes, one can only hope, right?