Chancellor Palpatine, Trade Federation Robes
Revenge of the Sith

Actor Ian McDiarmid called Emperor Palpatine's Trade Federation Costume "reptilian." Indeed Senator (later Emperor) Palpatine's impressive wardrobe, designed by Trisha Biggar, played an important part in the development of his character throughout the films. Through ornament, color, and texture, the costumes reflect Palpatine’s metamorphosis from the seemingly benevolent Senator from Naboo in Episode I to the evil, despotic Emperor.

As Palpatine’s plans evolve, his robes become darker. The intricacy of his costumes grow as his strength and influence grow, ultimately taking him to the dark side in Revenge of the Sith. Ian McDiarmid found the costumes “wonderfully empowering.”

“We used texture to show the deterioration of his moral fiber. For his first costume in Episode III, the gray Trade Federation Costume, we used a latex layered wool fabric; the rubberized materials corroded and decomposing appearance has the look of a loathsome creature, reflecting and emphasizing the advanced decay of his inner character.”
— Trisha Biggar, costume designer, Episode I,II, III