Star Wars creator George Lucas planned to keep Iain McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine dead in his version of the sequel trilogy.
Scottish actor Iain McDiarmid, who is best known for playing Emperor Palpatine since 1983’s Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, spoke with USA Today in 2013 and was asked about whether or not he’d be interested in working with J.J. Abrams on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. During the interview, McDiarmid mentioned that he had a conversation with George Lucas in which the Star Wars creator said that he considered Palpatine dead, hinting at his original plans for the sequel trilogy not to bring him back:
“I remember saying, ‘Is he dead, George?’ at the time, and he said, ‘Yes, he is. Absolutely dead.”
Based on these comments above, it appears that George Lucas’ initial plans for the sequel trilogy did not feature the return of Iain McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine. This is noteworthy given that Iain McDiarmid reprised his iconic role as Palpatine in the J.J. Abrams-directed Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
George Lucas had outlines for the sequel trilogy, but Disney and Lucasfilm elected not to use them. Both J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson ended up creating films that deviated away from what George Lucas had previously envisioned in favor of newer stories and characters.
Do you prefer to have Palpatine remain dead throughout the Star Wars sequel trilogy rather than have the character appear in some form again in The Rise of Skywalker? Do you think his inclusion will add more significance to the sequel trilogy’s place in the Skywalker saga? Sound-off in the comments, and be sure to continue following us for all the latest news regarding George Lucas, Palpatine, the sequel trilogy and the rest of the Star Wars franchise.
Here is the official synopsis for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker:
Lucasfilm and director J. J. Abrams join forces once again to take viewers on an epic journey to a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the riveting conclusion of the seminal Skywalker saga, where new legends will be born and the final battle for freedom is yet to come.
Directed by J. J. Abrams, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Ian McDiarmid, and Billy Dee Williams. Carrie Fisher will appear as General Leia Organa through the use of previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20, 2019.