Darth Vader (David Prowse/James Earl Jones) will always be recognized as the most iconic villain in the Star Wars saga, but in terms of pure evil, Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) reigns supreme as the man behind the curtain. McDiarmid plays Palpatine with such incredible fury in Return of the Jedi and the prequels and although he is alive during the timeline of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story he does not appear in that film.
Even though McDiarmid has yet to reprise his role in this new era of Star Wars, he has expressed that he does not want to see another actor play the character he helped make famous:
“I suppose there must be a chance but I think you’d find out about it more quickly than I would. As far as the new films are concerned, I’m dead. There is no question about that. But there is what they call the anthology series and actually the most recent one, Rogue One, was about the time when I was in charge. I was referred to a few times, Darth Vader popped up, but you did not see me. Maybe they are keeping me as a surprise for later but I have no idea. Of course, I don’t want anyone else to play him.”
In both Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels, Palpatine was voiced by actors Tim Curry and Sam Witwer respectively. Also, in the original theatrical cut of The Empire Strikes Back, the hologram projection of Palpatine was played by actor Clive Revill before he was digitally replaced by McDiarmid to maintain continuity.
Given that he did not appear in Rogue One, where an appearance would make the most narrative sense, Palpatine is unlikely to appear in the untitled Han Solo standalone film. However, with a standalone Obi-Wan Kenobi film currently in development, an appearance by Palpatine would make sense (along with another appearance by Darth Vader).
What do you think? Do you see Palpatine returning for an upcoming Star Wars Story film? Do you think there will be a reveal in Episode VIII or Episode IX that he may still be alive? The likelihood of him appearing in the saga films again is pretty low, but McDiarmid’s performance is so iconic that it is hard to believe that LucasFilm wouldn’t want him to return in another prequel story.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi will arrive in our galaxy on December 15, 2017.
Source: BBC News