When we first meet Sheev Palpatine, the man who would be Emperor, he’s already past his prime. This elderly character is still masterful and conniving, manipulating the Galactic Senate and the Jedi Republic like pawns. So what was Palpatine like before this? How did he learn the skills he implemented to overthrow the Jedi Republic as we know it? A forgotten comic-book character may hold the answer.
Palpatine was born a minor royal on Naboo, and it wasn’t until his university years that Darth Plagueis converted him to the Dark Side. Even after massacring his family and taking the name Darth Sidious, he still kept his public persona as Sheev Palpatine, along with all his social ties to other noble families.
According to the non-canon comic Star Wars Republic #64, one of those friendships was with Ronhar Kim, the son of Vidar Kim, a prominent politician. Ronhar was Force-sensitive, and sent to train with the Jedi as an infant. He only returned to Naboo after the loss of his brothers and mother to comfort his father, then representing Naboo in the Galactic Senate.
By that point, Ronhar had reached the rank of Jedi Knight, but that still wasn’t enough to defend his father when he was assassinated in a speeder. Ronhar caught the assassin, but a suicide injection kept him from getting any more information. It’s unclear whether or not Palpatine was behind this assassination, but he certainly benefited from it.