A little more 'Star Wars' whimsy - was the Emperor a 'scientific racist'?
There, I've said it.
However, something about it has occasionally puzzled me since - what made a nice middle-class boy like Palpatine, clearly the product of a good home and education, go so bad? Indeed, he came from Naboo, one of the Galaxy's most peaceful and orderly societies.
The answer may lie in the great big gaping blind spot in Naboo culture - their attitude towards the Gungans. Prior to the Trade Federation's invasion, racial hatred was an integral part of the Naboo way of life. One can imagine Naboo dinner parties buzzing with dazzling chit-chat about the Gungans' smaller crania and the quirks of their dialect.
I threw out my copies of the 'Star Wars', 'Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi' novels years ago but if memory serves, one of them referred to the Emperor having a deep dislike of all non-human forms of life.
So beware those who seek to accentuate racial difference while proclaiming their own enlightenment. They could be seeking Galactic domination...