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Emperor Palpatine: Black Sith Robes
SL palpatine rotj full.jpeg
Model SL-3940, Photo by Debra Ellis


Description: Emperor Palpatine Black Robes: ROTS, ESB, ROTJ
Prefix: SL
Detachment: Sith Lord Detachment
Context: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Master of the Dark Side of the the Force, Darth Sidious maintains rule over the galaxy from his ruthlessly established public role as Emperor.

See also: Darth Sidious: Pre Scarring

The 501st approval requirements are listed in black.

The Sith Lord Detachment defines additional, optional levels of costuming excellence. In the page below, items listed under "For level two certification" are recommended features that will greatly improve the quality of the costume. These items are not required for 501st membership, but are highly recommended. Items listed under "For level three certification" are some of the highest level accuracy features for those who strive to be screen accurate. These items are also not required for 501st membership.

Also note that these two additional "certification levels" DO NOT correspond to the Advanced Standards program of the Sith Lord Detachment, and you are encouraged to visit the Sith Lord Detachment Forum for more information.

For 501st membership, only the requirements in black need to be met.

This Visual Guide has been reviewed by the detachment staff and the LMO team and is certified for use as a minimum approval guideline for GMLs. GMLs are free to approve this costume type.
  • Any uncertainties or questionable aspects of the submitted costume should be brought to the appropriate DL/GML peer review section of the legion forum.
Required Costume Components

The following costume components are present and appear as described below.

SL-palpatine rotj-face.jpg Palpatine's Face
For 501st approval:
  • The following key facial features must resemble that of Darth Sidious/The Emperor: Eyebrows/forehead, cheeks, and chin though the use of prosthetic appliances.
  • Prosthetic appliances must be made from silicone, foam latex, or gelatin.
  • The color of the prosthetic appliances closely matches the semi-pale flesh tones seen on screen; the face is not completely pale/pure white, nor are there any green or bluish tints.
  • The prosthetic appliance must be well blended into the skin reducing the noticeable separation between the skin around the eyes and mouth and the appliance.
  • If desired, a high quality bald cap may be used.
  • Halloween style masks are NOT allowed; very high end silicone masks that custom fit to the face and allow the full use of facial expressions are allowed.

For level two certification (if applicable):
  • The teeth should be blackened and browned using tooth enamels in layers to produce a mottled look.
  • The wrinkles should be softer and sag more for the ROTJ version. ROTS style is pictured.
  • The area around the eyes should be darker than the rest of the face with pink/red blended in around the eyes.

SL-palpatine rotj-hands.jpg Palpatine's Hands
For 501st approval:
  • Hands must be made up with high quality cosmetics and latex old age stipple or prosthetic appliances simulating old age.

For level two certification (if applicable):
  • For ROTS, the nails should be colored with a yellow base and brown and black at the edges and elongated. For ROTJ, they should match the color of the hands, and not be elongated.

SL maul eye.jpeg Sith Eyes
For 501st approval:
  • The contact lenses are described as a fiery yellow transitioning into a brilliant red.
  • While considered an essential part of this character, the contact lens requirement will be waived for 501st acceptance if the applicant cannot wear contact lenses for health related reasons. All persons utilizing contact lenses are encouraged to first see their optometrist for a fitting.

For level two certification (if applicable):
  • For ROTJ, the iris of the lens should be predominately yellow, with only a small amount of red around the outer border.

SL-palpatine rotj-inner-robe.jpg Under Robe
For 501st approval:
  • Kimono style cut, dark charcoal grey or black in color, medium weight fabric, and has a smooth texture.
  • The sleeves extend at least one half inch past the wrist bone.
  • Lengthwise it extends to less than an inch above the foot wear in both the front and back.
  • The robe ties at three points on the inside and three points on the outside near the side of the chest, waist, and hips.

For level two certification (if applicable):
  • The inner robe is lighter in color than the outer robe, and should be dark charcoal grey.

SL-palpatine rotj-outer-robe.jpg Outer Robe
For 501st approval:
  • Black, non glossy fabric that has square waffle styled weaves or similar texture.
  • If lined, outer robe is lined with same waffle style material.
  • Robe falls from the shoulders to the hem which must be less than one inch above the floor.
  • Sleeves reach to just below the wrists. Top of sleeves must be permanently gathered or shirred.
  • Bottom of the sleeves extends to just above wearer's knees when hands are folded across wearer's stomach.
  • There must be a seam running down the center of the hood.

For level two certification (if applicable):
  • The square waffle style weaves should be approximately one fourth inches in size.
  • For ROTS, the shirring should be tight and small and four to six inches in length; for ROTJ, the shirring should be large and four to six inches in length.

SL-palpatine rotj-clasp.jpg Brooch
For 501st approval:
  • Must have a smooth high gloss finish.
  • Is either carved or sculpted, with pin or clasp style backings for attachment.
  • Contains several smooth, rounded indentions.
  • Brooch measures no more than one and thee quarters high by two and three quarters wide.

For level two certification (if applicable):
  • Pattern and size of indentions should be identical to that shown in the photo.

SL-palpatine rotj-sash.jpg Sash
For 501st approval:
  • Must be the same material as the inner robe.
  • Must be approximately two and one half to three inches in width and should extend to just above of the wearer’s knees.
  • Must have squared ends.

For level two certification (if applicable):

SL-palpatine rotj-boots.jpg Foot wear
For 501st approval:
  • Flat black in color, no decoration or laces, rounded toe, and are made of leather or leather-like material or rough-out/suede.
  • Jack boots or an alternative suede slip-on style shoe is acceptable. If the latter, no skin or brightly colored socks should be visible on costumer when walking.

For level two certification (if applicable):
  • Boots should be a "Wellington" or cowboy style work boot in black leather (ROTS) or rough-out/suede (ROTJ) without decoration or laces.
  • The boots shouldn’t exceed calve height.

SL-palpatine rotj-cane.jpg Cane
For 501st approval:
  • Made of wood, resin, or other durable material.
  • Finish must be smooth glossy black.
  • Must feature knurls or twists such as that seen on screen.
  • The cane is not required for the ROTS version; the cane is required for the ROTJ version.

For level two certification (if applicable):
  • When viewed from the side, it should gently “zigzag” back and forth, but not drastically.
  • When viewed from the front, there should be a bulge to the outside just above mid-cane height.
  • The knurls and twists should be smooth and not sharp/jagged.

Optional Accessories

Items below are optional costume accessories. These items are not required for approval, but if present appear as described below.

SL-palpatine-saber.jpg Lightsaber
For 501st approval:
  • The lightsaber is not a required part of the costume since FX Sidious/Emperor lightsabers are almost non existence, and it was worn up his sleeve.
  • If used, it should only be submitted with the ROTS version, and be a Master Replica, scratch built, or another high-end prop replica of what is seen in the film.

For level two certification (if applicable):
  • Should reflect 1:1 scale in size and should appear to be of metal or chrome/gold/silver stock, and be worn up the wearer’s right sleeve.

This document and all of the images within were created by and are the property of the 501st Legion. All other uses are prohibited.

The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While it is not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred Imperial costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. ©2012 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.

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The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. While it is not sponsored by Lucasfilm Ltd., it is Lucasfilm's preferred Imperial costuming group. Star Wars, its characters, costumes, and all associated items are the intellectual property of Lucasfilm. © & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved. Used under authorization.