A truly great late rapper, alias name of The Notorious BIG, shot dead while riding in a car similar and very suspicious to the death of Tupac Shakur.
RIP The Notorious BIG 1972-1997
AKA Biggie Smalls, Christopher Walllace
Behind a curtain of secrecy lurked Darth Sidious, a mysterious Sith Lord and puppet-master of the tumultuous events that brought an end to the Republic. The Sith order had been extinct for a millennium, yet somehow, two survived -- the Master Darth Plagueis and his apprentice, Darth Sidious. Plagueis, the wise, was an adept of some of the most arcane and unnatural applications of the Force. As Sidious described, Plagueis had uncovered a path to immortality through the manipulation of the dark side of the Force. Plagueis could, it was said, coax the midi-chlorians present in all living cells to create life from nothingness.
But for a Sith, immortality was a futile pursuit. The secretive Sith order counted upon the death of a master and the rise of an apprentice to further itself. True to tradition, Sidious killed Plagueis upon learning his Master's secrets. It was then that Sidious took an apprentice, who would eventually become Darth Maul. Maul would be Sidious' blunt instrument, his deadly weapon to carry out his plans while he remained in the shadows, conspiring to take over the Republic in its waning years.
Sidious arranged for the cowardly Neimoidians to brazenly blockade and invade the peaceful planet of Naboo in protest over increased taxation from the senate. Sidious never contacted the Neimoidians directly. Instead, he relied on holographic communication. Such long distance transmissions coupled with obscuring dark robes kept his identity and location a secret to all of his accomplices. The Neimoidians never suspected Sidious's public persona -- a highly placed Republic official who would benefit handsomely from the Naboo invasion.
Sidious ordered the Neimoidians to kill the Jedi ambassadors sent to negotiate a settlement. When they failed, Sidious dispatched Darth Maul. Throughout the invasion, Sidious was manipulating both ends, egging on the normally non-confrontational Neimoidians into combat, and somehow stalling procedures in the Senate to keep the Republic from interfering.
Eventually, though, Naboo's young monarch Queen Amidala returned and led a resistance movement that defeated the mechanized Trade Federation army. Darth Maul was killed by Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Though on the surface it would appear the Sith agenda was defeated, the invasion had long-lasting implications for the Republic. In the resulting political upheaval, Supreme Chancellor Valorum was voted out of office, to be replaced by the ambitious Senator Palpatine. And despite the death of his prized apprentice, none of the Jedi knew for sure of Sidious' existence, or of his true identity.
Having lost his apprentice, Sidious' next gambit centered not on the raising of a new apprentice, but the converting a suitable Jedi candidate. His selection was the legendary yet disillusioned Jedi Master Count Dooku. Sidious lured Dooku to the dark side, granting him the Sith title of Darth Tyranus. Unlike Maul, Tyranus possessed more guile and craft in meeting Sidious' aims.
Darth Tyranus led a Separatist movement that split the Republic and created a tense era of political upheaval. He also saw to the creation of a secret clone army that would figure in Sidious' plan to destroy the Republic. When the time was right, Count Dooku emerged as the leader of the Confederacy of Independent Systems, a militarized force of dissidents challenging the Republic for autonomy. The Republic responded with their newly discovered army, and the Clone Wars erupted.
During the Clone Wars, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine seized further political power in the name of galactic security. Sidious was pleased -- for in truth, he was Palpatine, a secret he had kept from the galaxy for decades.
His identity was exposed during his quest for the ultimate Sith apprentice. Having closely monitored Anakin Skywalker for years, Sidious felt he was the ideal Sith to make true his vision of new society built upon Sith principals. As Palpatine, he befriended Skywalker, becoming a close friend and a fatherly authority to a youthful warrior often confused by the seemingly boundless power and abilities he had at his disposal. Sidious's silken words of advice would steer Anakin away from the guiding tenets of the Jedi Code. Skywalker grew to trust Palpatine, believing that the friendly politician had his best interests at heart.
Sidious carefully engineered Anakin's fall. To test Skywalker's mettle, Sidious' ruse involved the "kidnapping" of Chancellor Palpatine by his Confederacy underlings. During the mission to rescue the Chancellor, Anakin confronted Darth Tyranus. The two dueled, and at Palpatine's goading, Anakin killed the Sith Lord. Anakin had the power and was ready to use it, Sidious grinned. Anakin would be his.
While the leading Jedi Masters concentrated on tracking down the military commander of the Confederacy, Sidious further ensnared Anakin. Skywalker was torn by prophetic visions of his wife dying in childbirth. Knowing of these premonitions, Palpatine revealed to Anakin he was the gateway to arcane Sith knowledge, including the ability to prevent others from dying.
The Jedi eventually discovered Palpatine's Sith leanings and confronted the Chancellor. Sidious lashed out with blinding speed, brandishing a previously hidden lightsaber blade in a sudden strike that killed all of the Jedi Masters Mace Windu had assembled to arrest the Chancellor. With Anakin Skywalker's help, Sidious was able to defeat Mace, though he was severely scarred by the reflected power of his dark side lightning. To conceal his disfigured visage, Sidious returned to his simple Sith robes.
With Anakin committed to the dark side, Sidious took him as his apprentice. He renamed him Darth Vader and dispatched him to destroy the Jedi Temple. Then, using his authority as Chancellor Palpatine, he contacted the clone commanders scattered throughout the galaxy to enact Order 66 -- a secret, executive decree that identified every Jedi as a traitor to the Republic. The loyal clone troopers executed their treasonous Jedi generals in cold blood.
Sidious then concocted a tale of his disfigurement at the hands of rebellious Jedi, and went before the Senate. By the end of his rousing speech, supported by the thunderous applause of fervent patriots, the Republic was no more. Sidious had declared his new order as the first Galactic Empire. He was now known as Emperor Palpatine, supreme ruler of the galaxy.
Darth Sidious aka Palpatine
An act of killing yourself on purpose, mainly out of depression and despair.
suicide, a way to end suffering
A great musician, member of the 1960-1970 band The Beatles, assassinated outside his New York apartment in 1980 by Mark Chapman in front of his spouse Yoko Ono, a truly influential great man with an untimely death will be forever remembered.
RIP John Lennon 1940-1980
A respected Jedi on par with the venerable Yoda, Mace Windu was a senior member of the Jedi High Council. His wisdom and experience were legendary, and his words carried great weight. In the later years of the Republic, Windu spent most of his time in the Jedi Temple of Coruscant. He regularly conferred with Yoda and the ten other members of the Council, contemplating the very nature of the Force and the affairs of the Jedi Knights.
Windu was well schooled in Jedi philosophy and history. He knew of the ancient prophecy of the Chosen One who would return balance to the Force. When maverick Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn approached the Council with a prospective candidate to fulfill that prophecy, Windu was hesitant. With reservations, he agreed that the child, Anakin Skywalker, could be tested for Jedi potential.
Though Anakin had the highest midi-chlorian count on record, and indeed showed great potential, the Council and Windu decided that he was not to be trained. He was too old to begin the life of a Jedi. After Qui-Gon's death, the Council rescinded their original decision, and granted Obi-Wan Kenobi permission to train Anakin Skywalker. Still, Windu fostered a mistrust of Skywalker, feeling that he was too powerful for his age and too unpredictable.
Windu, a diplomat by nature, believed in the power of words over action. But as the galaxy found itself increasingly fragmented by the rise of a powerful secessionist movement, he grew to question some of his firmest held beliefs. He thought it impossible that the Separatist leader, former Jedi Count Dooku, could be behind the escalating flashpoints of violence in the galaxy. Such aggression was not in his character, Mace reasoned. When an intelligence report from Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi revealed the Separatists gearing up for war, Windu came to realize that the time for negotiation had passed. Though he reminded the Supreme Chancellor that the Jedi were peacekeepers and not soldiers, as the Clone Wars began, the Jedi found themselves leading platoons of clone troopers into battle. Reversals such as these troubled Master Windu, for they came about too suddenly, and the usually prescient Jedi were unprepared. Something was clouding the future, and the order's very connection to the Force was weakening. That a Sith Lord existed somewhere in the galaxy, was not in doubt but could this shadowy villain really bring this much imbalance to the Force? At the first engagement on Geonosis, Windu arrived ahead of the clone trooper army with a Jedi taskforce. He was there to free Jedi held captive by Count Dooku. In the battle that ensued, Windu faced Dooku's hired gun, bounty hunter Jango Fett. Though Fett had proven himself deadly against other Jedi, he was no match against Windu. The Jedi Master repeatedly deflected Jango's incoming blasts, and quickly decapitated the hunter with his lightsaber.
As the Clone Wars erupted on Geonosis, Windu led a special squad of commando clone troopers into the thick of battle. He would be one of the few Jedi to return unscathed from that first engagement... at least physically. His spirit would suffer in the years that followed.
Though the Jedi were loyal protectors of the galaxy, facing war on the battlefronts in command of the clones, Windu felt uncertain about the direction of the Republic. As the war carried on year after year, Supreme Chancellor Palpatine amassed more political power, modifying the Galactic Constitution in the name of security. A wary Windu grew to distrust Palpatine, and he feared that the Chancellor would make a move to take direct control of the Jedi Council. Palpatine's first step in that direction appeared to be the installation of a personal representative on the Jedi Council. The Chancellor requested that Anakin Skywalker, his close associate, be appointed to the ruling body. The Council, surprisingly, agreed. They hoped to use Anakin as a conduit of information, to learn of the Chancellor's dealings. It was a difficult decision, indicative of the stressful times. Windu had deep reservations -- it was very dangerous, he sensed, to keep Anakin and Palpatine close together.
His concern was justified. Chancellor Palpatine was, in fact, Darth Sidious, the Sith Lord that had escaped Jedi detection all this time. It was Anakin Skywalker who loyally delivered news of this discovery to Windu, though the Jedi Master still did not fully trust the young Jedi. Mace gathered a team of his finest Jedi warriors -- Saesee Tiin, Agen Kolar and Kit Fisto -- to arrest the Chancellor. Though Skywalker wished to accompany Windu, the Jedi Master forbade it. He ordered Skywalker to stay in the Council chambers until the matter was resolved.
The Jedi barged into Palpatine's most private offices. Mace attempted to arrest the Chancellor, but Palpatine sprang into action. Brandishing a lightsaber, Palpatine dropped the guise of harmless politician and emerged as deadly Sith Lord. Sidious quickly killed Tiin, Kolar and Fisto and forced Windu back into the main office chamber. Just then, Anakin Skywalker arrived, disobeying Windu's direct order.
Windu had disarmed Sidious and cornered the treacherous Sith Lord into the frame of his expansive office window. Fearing that Sidious was too powerful to take prisoner -- the Dark Lord still had control of the Senate and courts -- Windu moved to deliver a deathblow. Torn between his loyalties, and needing Palpatine alive to fulfill his quest for arcane knowledge to preserve the life of his beloved, Anakin acted. In an emotionally charged action, Anakin ignited his lightsaber blade and sheared off Mace Windu's weapon hand before he could strike Palpatine.
Defenseless, Windu was bombarded with Sith lightning as Sidious unleashed a torrent of deadly energy at the Jedi Master. The forked bolts of lightning penetrated Mace's body, illuminating his form from within. The final blast bodily lifted him into the air, sending his form hurling into the Coruscant skies, to crash lifelessly somewhere in the vast cityscape below.
Mace Windu Star Wars episodes I, II and III
Darth Vader, Dark Lord of the Sith, was the scourge of the Jedi, a master of the dark side of the Force, and one of the Emperor's most trusted servants. He wasn't always a fearsome enforcer, however.
He began life as Anakin Skywalker, a young slave from Tatooine skilled in piloting and strong in the Force. Anakin's very origins are mysterious. His mother, Shmi, revealed that there was no biological father. Inexplicably, she became pregnant with the Force-prodigy and carried him to term. Some among the Jedi believed this to be part of an ancient prophecy of a Chosen One, willed into life by the midi-chlorians, who would bring balance to an increasingly darkening Force. There was another possibility, though. The child could have been the creation of sinister Sith manipulations, as the Dark Lords Darth Plagueis and Darth Sidious conspired to bring about the perfect apprentice by coaxing life from lifelessness.
Once discovered by maverick Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn, Anakin was taken before the Jedi Council to be trained. There was some controversy on the subject -- despite Jinn's adamant assurances that Skywalker was one spoken of in the prophecy, the council was hesitant to allow his training at the age of nine.
Finally, the Council agreed that Anakin should be trained, and he was assigned to Jedi Knight Obi-Wan Kenobi. Kenobi recklessly thought that he could be as skillful a master as Yoda. His mistakes had dire consequences for the galaxy.
Skywalker was seduced by the dark side of the Force. His boundless abilities fueled a sense of pride that hastened his fall. He chafed under the rigid strictures of the Jedi Code, and would discreetly transgress from the Jedi teachings to suit his wants. Despite it being forbidden, Skywalker secretly married his love Padmé Amidala. It was his deep-rooted concern for her safety that became his greatest weakness, one that the Sith Lord Darth Sidious was able to exploit.
Skywalker was plagued with prophetic visions of his wife dying in childbirth. His friend and confidant, Chancellor Palpatine, revealed to the troubled young Jedi that a pathway to immortality lay among the teachings of the Sith. Palpatine revealed himself to be the shadowy Sith Lord Darth Sidious, and poisoned Anakin's faculties with well-crafted words of praise and conspiracy. Anakin, who had reason to doubt the Jedi's capabilities and intentions, began to lean more and more to the dark side. When it came time to make the fateful decision, he agreed to follow Sidious' teachings and knelt before the dark master.
Anakin was renamed Darth Vader. The Sith conspiracy, which had been festering in the shadows of the Republic for a thousand years, sprang into action. Palpatine elevated himself to the position of Emperor, and dispatched Vader as his ultimate enforcer. With his unparalled Force abilities, Vader swept through the Jedi Temple. He led his elite clone trooper forces through the polished corridors, cutting a swath of death and destruction through the remaining Jedi on Coruscant.
Vader brought an end to the Clone Wars by slaughtering all the masterminds of the Confederacy of Independent Systems on Mustafar. In his twisted perception, he was bringing peace and order to the new Empire, wiping away the corruption and chaos of the Republic's twilight.
His wife, Padmé Amidala, followed Anakin to Mustafar, to plead for him to return from the dark side. When Obi-Wan Kenobi emerged from Amidala's ship, Vader was consumed with rage. He saw betrayal at every corner. Distraught, he reached out with his hand and began to telekinetically throttle Padmé. She gasped for air before collapsing, unconscious, on the Mustafar landing platform. Shocked at how far his apprentice had fallen, Kenobi vowed to stop Vader and the two entered into a fierce lightsaber duel that traversed the burning Mustafar landscape.
Despite his newfound power bestowed by the dark side of the Force, Anakin was grievously wounded in the fight. Kenobi's blade sheared from him his lower legs and his left arm, and his crippled body tumbled onto the searing black sands of Mustafar. He caught fire, and Vader was severely burned all over his body. His burning anger kept him alive, and he was forever scarred not only by his wounds but also by betrayal. He abandoned his former identity. Sidious took Vader from Mustafar to an Imperial rehabilitation center where he was rebuilt. When metal coupled with flesh in the form of cyborg implants and enhancements required to sustain him, Skywalker's transformation was complete. He was no longer Anakin. He was Darth Vader.
At the time of his transformation, Vader never knew that Padmé had given birth to twins. Obi-Wan Kenobi hid the children from the Dark Lord and his master, Emperor Palpatine. Vader somehow discovered that he had a son, Luke Skywalker, but never suspected he had a daughter, Leia, who was secretly taken to be raised by Bail Organa, Viceroy and First Chairman of Alderaan.
In the chaos that accompanied Palpatine's rise to power, Vader became one of the Emperor's most loyal servants. The Emperor entrusted him with the elimination of the Jedi Knights. During these dark times, Vader and his agents destroyed the remnants of Jedi order.
When the Galactic Civil War raged across the Empire, Darth Vader was tasked with discovering the location of the Rebel Alliance's secret base. Vader captured Rebel operative Princess Leia Organa and had her tortured to reveal the location of the hidden fortress. Vader also sought technical plans stolen by the Rebels. These plans carried the complete schematics of the Empire's most powerful weapon, the Death Star battle station. When a rescue team successfully liberated the princess, Vader found himself face to face with his former master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. Vader defeated the aged Jedi Knight in a lightsaber duel.
Using the stolen plans to pinpoint the Death Star's weakness, Rebel forces launched a starfighter attack on the station. Entering the battle, Vader piloted his own specially modified fighter. He managed to destroy the most Rebel pilots in the battle, but was forced out of the conflict when his own vessel was crippled by the Millennium Falcon.
Three years after the destruction of the Death Star, Vader led an elite squadron of Star Destroyers headed by his flagship, the Super Star Destroyer Executor. He was to seek out and capture the Rebels responsible for the Death Star's demise. Eventually, Vader tracked the Rebels down to the ice-world of Hoth. There, he launched a ground attack destroying the base. His quarry, the Millennium Falcon, escaped.
During the Hoth campaign, the Emperor commanded Vader to track down the "son of Skywalker," and have Vader turn him to the dark side of the Force. Vader planned to use Skywalker's friends as bait to lure him into a trap. He hired a motley gang of bounty hunters to track down the Falcon, and drew Luke to Bespin's Cloud City. He and Luke clashed in a lightsaber duel that Vader won by ruthlessly severing Luke's sword-hand. Vader then revealed to the broken young Jedi that he was his father, and that they would rule the galaxy as father and son. Luke refused to succumb to the dark side, and escaped his father. Vader was left empty-handed.
After these incidents, Palpatine reassigned Vader from the Imperial fleet, and instead put him in charge of overseeing the new Death Star operation. The Emperor began to distrust his once loyal servant. Vader's contact with his son sparked something within him, something the Emperor did not like.
Palpatine was scheduled to arrive at the second Death Star. The Emperor foresaw that Skywalker would come before the two, and then they would seduce young Luke to the dark side, just as Anakin had been drawn to its power decades earlier.
When Luke surrendered, and was taken before the Emperor, Palpatine pitted father and son in a lightsaber duel. Skywalker refused to fight and give into the temptation of the dark side. Vader, probing his mind, learned of his daughter, Leia Organa. He threatened to turn her to the dark side. At this threat, Luke gave into his hatred and attacked his father. In the ferocious assault that followed, young Skywalker nearly killed Vader.
Horrified by what he had become, Luke abandoned his new found dark side rage, and refused Palpatine's offers of power. "I am a Jedi, like my father before me," Skywalker proudly claimed.
Palpatine unleashed a deadly barrage of dark side energy on the young Jedi. Lightning bolts spawned from pure evil tore into Luke's body with searing pain. Vader stood helplessly, watching his son writhe in agony from torture delivered by his master. Unable to watch anymore, Vader turned against his master. He grabbed a surprised Palpatine from behind, hoisted him above his head, and tossed his evil master down a bottomless reactor shaft. Vader was bombarded by the Emperor's Force lightning, mortally wounding him.
As he lay dying, Vader ceased to be. Anakin Skywalker returned. He asked his son to remove the cumbersome, fearsome mask that had concealed his face for decades. His mask and life support removed, Anakin looked upon Luke for the first and last time. He then died, his body disappearing into the light side of the Force. Luke burned the dark armor that had encased Anakin's crippled body in a quiet funeral pyre on the forest moon of Endor that night.
Darth Vader see also Anakin Skywalker
A brilliantly talented actor who is best known for his roles on The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live, sadly he passed away when his wife murdered him in his sleep before committing suicide herself.
RIP Phil Hartman 1948-1998