- Florida woman gets prison time for throwing slushie at Matt Gaetz Tuesday 6:28 PM
- Marie Kondo’s online store slammed for selling clutter-worthy products Tuesday 5:34 PM
- People are rallying against toxic masculinity on International Men’s Day Tuesday 4:42 PM
- Reddit wants to stop its pro-Trump forum from outing the alleged whistleblower Tuesday 3:38 PM
- White woman calls cops on man who said he was visiting aunt with his kids Tuesday 3:12 PM
- ‘The Stranded’ is a flawed yet addictive blend of ‘Degrassi’ and ‘Lost’ Tuesday 2:45 PM
- The ‘gonna tell my kids’ meme is revisionist history at its most absurd Tuesday 2:24 PM
- Redditor asks former burglars to give home security tips Tuesday 2:18 PM
- Facebook-Breitbart partnership under fire in wake of new Stephen Miller emails Tuesday 2:00 PM
- John Krasinski under fire after praising the CIA Tuesday 1:46 PM
- Conservatives melt down after Chick-fil-A says it will stop donating to anti-LGBTQ orgs Tuesday 1:33 PM
- ‘Honey Boy’ is an experimental look at channeling trauma Tuesday 1:28 PM
- Disney+ now allows users to resume and restart content Tuesday 11:42 AM
- New York sues JUUL for marketing to teenagers Tuesday 11:34 AM
- The new ‘Discworld’ TV series just gender-flipped several major characters Tuesday 10:54 AM
The Star Wars prequels, what are they good for? Until recently, the answer was “absolutely nothing,” but now a number of scenes and characters from Episode III have emerged as dank new memes. And no one’s benefitting more than the big baddie of the trilogy, Chancellor Palpatine.
The tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise
“Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise?” Palpatine asks Anakin Skywalker in one crucial Episode III scene. Palpy is creepily alluding to his former Sith master, whom he murdered in his sleep. But the line has become a perfect non-sequitur catchphrase in the meme world, especially on Reddit’s r/dankmemes and r/me_irl.
You can drop it in almost anywhere. Here, someone’s using it to troll a local news site:
Here it is in webcomic form:
And here’s a mashup with Gru from Despicable Me:
As a contextless funny phrase, “the tragedy of Darth Plagueis the wise” fits smoothly in with a number of existing memes. Here’s the Persuadable Bouncer keeping good literature out and letting the tragedy of Darth Plagueis in:
And here’s a surprising revival of the Bayeux Tapestry meme, which has been gathering dust for years:
And the “babe come over” meme:
Palpatine and his murderous, over-acted tragedy are everywhere! Also, did you know that he is the Senate?
I am the Senate
Will the Galactic Senate of the Republic decide Palpatine’s fate? Sure, but remember: The Jedi have trusted him with too much power, and now he is the Senate. “I am the Senate” is another catchphrase that’s been spammed all over dank meme subreddits this week.
Here’s an Avengers mashup, with the Senate in place of the Incredible Hulk:
And one of those “before and after” memes. R.I.P. Mace Windu and friends. Shouldn’t have messed with the Senate.
And the “4 pictures” meme:
And the “this is the ideal male body” meme:
These two Palpatine are part of a larger resurgence in Star Wars prequel memes that began in December, just before the release of the new Star Wars film, Rogue One. It began with a joke about the four-armed robot baddie General Grievous. That dude is always adding things to his collection:
That led into a January that’s been increasingly dominated by Chancellor Palpatine memes, as well as various jokes about Obi-Wan Kenobi having the higher ground.
They’re likely to fade away as more original content begins to pop up in February and March, but for now, this is what the meme landscape looks like: It is the Senate.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.