This essay is from David Stover
Published on November 8th, 2004, Revised on November 14th, 2004
The Emperor of Oz Theory
The evil use of technology is a motif constantly repeated by GL. If the lightning attacks are not coming from a power-coupling weapon, they still may be artificially generated. Palpatine is from Naboo which is abundant with naturally occurring plasma energy. It is used by the gungans and the Naboo in a myriad of ways. The “glowing ball of peace” that Boss Nass is holding at the end of TPM appears to be made of plasma and also appears to be what is in the hands of the statue of the Emperor at the end of ROTJ SE. Perhaps with new technology (developed in secret somewhere like an Area 51) and in insider’s knowledge of this plasma energy, Palpatine has found new technology to “charge his body” (like steroids or some kind of next-generation/futuristic DNA manipulation) thus giving him the ability to generate lightning attacks.
Perhaps he could also be using it to extend his life. He could also have the technology (not necessarily through plasma use) for mind control which is currently being tested by scientists in the military today here on earth. That would explain why Vader seems to be in a coma every time he is around the Emperor, right up until he is using all his energy and focusing all his attention on attacking Luke.
Maybe there is a different piece of technology for each apparent power, which would keep in line with both the meticulous plotting and the evil use of technology. The point is, technology and not “the force”, is at work here. The technology already exists to count midichlorians. If midichlorians can be detected and measured, perhaps they can be manipulated in other ways with technology. The whole midichlorians revelation upset many people because it diminished the “mystical” aspects of the force. But remember - Life creates it. Makes it grow. It surrounds us and binds us. All of these things indicate there must be a measurable and direct physical correlation between “the force” and living creatures. The secret to his powers may lie in an ancient lost Sith physics book!
Yoda says, “The Dark side clouds everything”. Yoda and others mention several times that they are unable to detect the Sith lord. The Jedi counsel is unable to detect the Emperor’s presence, even when he is right in their face (as Palpatine). If Palpatine didn’t have the force at all, that would really explain why the Jedi seem to be in the dark regarding this supposed Sith resurgence.
Also consider that whatever influence he has over the Senate doesn’t have to be some sort of Jedi mind-trick. He’s a politician. He has a hundred ways to bribe, intimidate, and manipulate the senate. The same applies to every other person he has control over. He has physical control over Vader because of the lightning. He has mental control over Vader because of his lying and manipulation. You can’t believe anything he says. Dooku lies! Vader lies. The Emperor lies! He says to Luke in ROTJ, “I feel your anger.” No he doesn’t. He knows it will make him angry if he keeps saying that crap! He knows he is angry because of the situation that he has put him in. All carefully planned. That ‘s the real key to the Emperor’s clairvoyance: careful and deliberate planning. A web of deceit and deception.
In short, the Emperor never uses the force in physical ways nor does he have any telekinesis or clairvoyance. It is all a trick. There is nothing conclusive in any part of the movies that indicates that the Emperor definitely has the force. He’s a liar and a politician. Looking at everything we know about the force, you will see that the Emperor doesn’t have it and that he is really just the Emperor of Oz.