Darth Sidious was a cruel man who had no problem with creating millions of slaves, throwing the galaxy into chaos and planning genocide. But even he hated moving to a new home. Even if the home in question was rather more organic than the four walls with a roof variety.
The trouble of taking over a new cloned body whenever his extensive use of the dark side made the last one useless, the trouble of hiding his renewed youth from everyone, of getting the brand new nervous system adjusted. It was all very annoying.
And so, during the first year of the clone wars, Darth Sidious made some experiments to lengthen the lifetime of his cloned bodies. Most failed miserably.
One of the clones was promising, though. Sidious needed to try this one out when it was time for the next body change. He would just have to make sure that he had another body as reserve.
After that Palpatine mostly forgot about the clones. He was busy. There were Jedi to murder, a political system so ruin and an apprentice to groom. And what was going to happen, anyway?
Clone #1522 was drifting in the cloning tank. There was nothing special about this particular clone, except a slightly different connection to the force. And then 1522 opened his eyes.
See, there is a problem with experimenting with the force. Especially if it doesn’t like you. The Force isn’t almighty. It can’t just make things happen whenever it wishes. The Force needs an opportunity to act. An opening. And Palpatine, in his unending wisdom (sic!), had given it one. And so clone #1522 opened his eyes and became Sheev Palpatine.
Well, almost. The power was a match to the original, but memories and knowledge were incomplete and in some instances rather flawed. Not that 1522 knew that. It would have defeated the point.
What 1522 did knew: He was a clone that had awoken and become Palpatine by accident. The original would never let him live once he knew. Only one of them could rule the galaxy, and 1522 (who, of course, thought of himself as Palpatine) wanted the job. As such, the Original had to die. It was tradition after all that the new Master killed the old.
First things first. 1522 needed a lightsaber. Well, acceptably menacing clothes, and then a lightsaber. While it is unknown where the clothes came from, the lightsaber was taken from a Twi’lek Jedi Knight who had been stationed on Coruscant at the time. The Jedi would mourn his death, but ultimately it is doubtful the Knight minded all that much. It ended up being for a good cause after all.
Now with manacing clothes and a new green lightsaber, the Palpatine clone #1522 made his way to the Galactic Senate. Which happened to be in full session at the time.
I was, of course, an idiotic plan that would have ruined everything the line of Bane had worked for for centuries. But 1522 had only parts of Palpatine's intellect, and his brain was very new. Cut him some slack.
And so into the Senate Dome, he went. He was clever enough to hide his force presence until the Chancellor was just beginning to hold a speech, which was when 1522 attacked from behind.
The dueled. Lightsabers crashing together, lightning getting thrown around the Senate dome, general destruction. A lot of chaos and panic were involved, and not a few senators ended up dead in painful ways. To the joy of many, the Trade Federations senator was trampled to death while trying to escape.
In the end, the combatants were evenly matched and hated the idea of sharing their power with someone else too much to retreat. They died just seconds apart.
The thing about the Senate Dome in full session? There are cameras everywhere. And the recordings are both public and can not be legally deleted. Within hours most of the galaxy had seen the video.
The Jedi could not decide if the should be relieved, terrified or just confused. There were going to be so many Council meetings in the near future.
Many were worried about the vein on Mace Windu’s forehead.
Anakin Skywalker was going to keep his hands far away from politicians in the future.
Obi-Wan Kenobi ordered a lot of tea. And possibly some other things. But we don’t speak about them.
And so Palpatine saved the galaxy. He is still very sorry about that.