Emperor Palpatine is recognised in the Star Wars world for being a wise and calculated man, which is why it’s so unexpected that one of his plans was so poorly thought out that Rogue One had to remove it from canon.
Darth Vader was entrusted with collecting the Death Star plans stolen by the rebels before Rogue One and Disney changed Star Wars history. Darth Vader and a squadron of Stormtroopers followed a lead to a planet in search of the hiding rebels. Darth Maul set the trap in order to put Vader to the test and reclaim his place at Emperor Palpatine’s side. Vader defeated Maul after a lengthy combat in which they were evenly matched.
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Palpatine appears on the planet in person in Dark Horse’s Star Wars Tales #9, written by Ron Marz and illustrated by Rick Leonardi. Maul did not put up the trap all by himself. Three robed figures were in charge of pushing Vader away from the Emperor’s side. Palpatine, on the other hand, executed the three and revealed that he had tracked Vader’s ship to the planet. He did so in order to verify that the Death Star schematics were indeed present.
Given how elusive Palpatine is in the Star Wars canon, it’s unusual to find a Legends narrative that depicts the Emperor acting so rashly. Palpatine was wary of everyone around him even before he attained to the status of Emperor. When he took power of the Republic, his paranoia grew tenfold. He’s usually exclusively seen in Imperial strongholds like Star Destroyers or the Imperial Palace on Coruscant. He’s rarely seen in the field, much less on an uncontrollable planet set up as a trap.
Emperor Palpatine is lucky, if anything, that Rogue One removed this story from the Star Wars canon. Because Rogue One takes place immediately before A New Hope, the rebels would have little time to not only escape with the plans, but also to hide them on a planet hidden from the Empire’s gaze. As a result, this story could not possibly take place in Star Wars lore. And this catastrophic blunder by an otherwise calculated and strategic politician was never made. What’s more surprising is that he really pursued Darth Vader there, a danger that the calculating Emperor Palpatine would dismiss. While Rogue One was a polarising picture in the Star Wars universe, it did at least make Palpatine more capable than his comic version.