On Palpatine again
Once again we are confused.
In Ep 6 we are led to believe that Palptine was corrupted by the the power of the Darkside. In Ep 3 we are told that it was rebounded Sith Lightning. But here i am looking on Starwars.com and uder EU it says:
No one is quite sure how Palpatine was first introduced to the power of the dark side, or how he came to be Darth Plagueis' apprentice. He is the most powerful practitioner of the Sith ways in modern times. He studied the ancient ruins on the Sith mausoleum world of Korriban. He unlocked secrets of the Force from a captured Jedi Holocron. The dark side energies flowing through Palpatine's body were so intense, that they ravaged his mortal frame. The very source of Palpatine's strength was killing him.
As for his use of clones, it again confirms it as follows:
To counter the dark side's consumption, Palpatine turned to a bizarre combination of technology and Sith magic. Palpatine used Spaarti cloning cylinders to create a store of younger bodies, and employed an ancient Sith technique to transfer his consciousness into a waiting clone. Thus, Palpatine could avoid death indefinitely -- as long as his supply of clones remained intact. He would change his form again and again, prolonging his life. Palpatine constructed a secret throne-world deep within the galaxy's core, on a shadowy world called Byss. Here, he kept his clones safe, protected by a loyal cadre of Dark Side Adepts.
What is the TRUTH?
I think that his age, though heavily shown, did not "ravish" his body.
however, with the lightning, the power would invert on itself, creating a circuit in ole' Palps body, frying him with his own power.
SO, while the Dark side did tax the body to hold so much power, he put the straw on the horse's back, to say, with his Windu battle.
read the "dark lord" book. in that there is a referance to the fact that the injurys on palpatines body were nothing new, infact he was like that all along. he only revealed them to anakin at the right time to turn his hand. if you think about it, the lighning came from the tips of palp's fingers.. wouldnt they fry evry time he used it if this wasnt the case?
so to answer the question, yes. star wars canon would have us believe it was the power of the dark side that tainted sidious and not a good ole zaping. 8oP
it appears that once again JL is changing his mind about the SW story line, what a surprise