Ian McDiarmid defends Palpatine's return in Star Wars 9

Ian McDiarmid defends Palpatine’s return in Star Wars 9

“A lot of people said it was ridiculous,” the actor says.

He played Emperor Palpatine aka Darth Sidious in the franchise Star Wars, one of cinema’s most iconic villains. He is Ian McDiarmidalready present in the role of the Sith lord from Return of the Jedi in 1983. His major participation will be during the Prelogy in episodes I, II and III, when he is still Senator Palpatine preparing his plan to take power.

His last appearance in the universe created by George Lucas dates back to 2019, when his character was resurrected at the last minute at the end of theEpisode IX to face Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Ben Solo (Adam Driver) in a final fight. His return, announced without the slightest justification in the scrolling text opening the film, was quite contested by fans, since the Emperor was supposed to be dead, killed by Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. But Ian McDiarmid doesn’t give up, as he proves in an interview in Empire.

A lot of people said it was ridiculous. Of course he was dead by the end of the Return of the Jedi ! And frankly, I think George thought he killed me too. But JJ thought it would be a good idea and I wasn’t going to argue with him”, justifies the actor. “I felt like Palpatine always had a plan B, probably also a plan C, D, E and F. And he was an expert in cloning, so…”, adds McDiarmidmischievous.

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The actor also explains that he really enjoyed playing this character for the power he exudes and his influence over the entire scope of the saga: “What pleases me the most (…) is that every malicious act in the entire franchise Star Wars is either directly or indirectly to this character, he begins, it’s utter evil, and it’s strangely satisfying as an arc. I feel lucky to have been able to do it and other movie villains now have to compete with that.

When the subject of affiliation with the character of Rey, his granddaughter, is broached, Ian McDiarmid jokes that despite his repulsive appearance, the Emperor did have sex: “But yes, he had sex. It’s a horrible idea to think of Palpatine having sex in any form. But then, sure, maybe he didn’t”, he finally declared, enigmatic. He adds “Maybe this all has to do with midichlorians and don’t ask me what that is. Never trust your granddaughter. This is the T-shirt that Palpatine made. Shortly after his death”, he jokes.

L’Episode I The Phantom Menaceinitiating the Prelogy of the saga, celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2024, the opportunity for the cast and crew of the film to look back on the making of these three prequels telling the origins of the Empire and Darth Vader.

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