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Star Wars: Episode VII casting rumor: Ian McDiarmid will return as Emperor Palpatine

Aug. 12, 2013by:

Star Wars

Here's a STAR WARS: EPISODE VII rumor I'm sure you'll like a hell of a lot more than the last one. Jedi News is claiming that a source has told them that Ian McDiarmid will be back as Emperor Palpatine in the new film:

(Do I really need to put a spoiler tag for events from the original STAR WARS trilogy? Well just in case, this is your warning. There's also details about the STAR WARS expanded universe, so you might want to avoid that too.)

The specifics of the role are unclear, but it seems likely that McDiarmid will be returning to his signature role of Palpatine. Whether as the original or a clone of, we are yet to discern.

I'm not that familiar with the expanded universe for STAR WARS, but apparently Jedi News is referring to when Palpatine is reborn as a clone using an ancient Sith ritual, which would explain how he survived being thrown into a reactor shaft. McDiarmid has also expressed interest before about playing Palpatine again in another STAR WARS film or television series.

This seems the most likely casting rumor to be true for STAR WARS: EPISODE VII (besides the rumors about other previous cast members returning), but until anything is confirmed, you can't really get too excited (or disappointed, depending on how you feel about Palpatine once again being the villain in STAR WARS) about this news. Hopefully we'll have more solid details about STAR WARS: EPISODE VII in the near future because I don't know about you, but I'm sick of rumors.

STAR WARS: EPISODE VII should be in theaters sometime in 2015.

Extra Tidbit: Ian McDiarmid has not starred in a movie (besides a short film and a few television movies) since 2005's STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH.
Source: Jedi News

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10:16AM on 08/13/2013
Soo... some how he lives? What the hell? Hope this rumor isn't true.
Soo... some how he lives? What the hell? Hope this rumor isn't true.
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8:10AM on 08/13/2013

No, please move on

If it turns out that Palpatine didn't die in Return of the Jedi, then my whole childhood is ruined
If it turns out that Palpatine didn't die in Return of the Jedi, then my whole childhood is ruined
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5:55AM on 08/13/2013
I just hope that they're going to swing for the fences with this franchise, instead of following the usual Bad Robot model of relying on nostalgia to create new material. I'd like to see something original and different, that does for a new generation what the original Star Wars did for the generation before.
I just hope that they're going to swing for the fences with this franchise, instead of following the usual Bad Robot model of relying on nostalgia to create new material. I'd like to see something original and different, that does for a new generation what the original Star Wars did for the generation before.
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4:44AM on 08/13/2013

All for it

He was the only one who seemed like he was having fun acting in the prequels (though Christopher Lee was a boss as well).
He was the only one who seemed like he was having fun acting in the prequels (though Christopher Lee was a boss as well).
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+5
2:28AM on 08/13/2013

Have him return as a "Force Ghost"

If he really is going to be in it, that is. I think it would be neat if we finally got our first Sith "Force Ghost" in the saga.
If he really is going to be in it, that is. I think it would be neat if we finally got our first Sith "Force Ghost" in the saga.
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1:27AM on 08/13/2013

only if Boba Fett returns as well

we needed more green in this thread.... I'm up for a clone. also it's too early to deduce if he'd be the ACTUAL Sith puppet-master in the new trilogy or just a quick cameo or a flashback or something where he isn't the main villain... I'd say save THAT plot for Star Wars VIIII
we needed more green in this thread.... I'm up for a clone. also it's too early to deduce if he'd be the ACTUAL Sith puppet-master in the new trilogy or just a quick cameo or a flashback or something where he isn't the main villain... I'd say save THAT plot for Star Wars VIIII
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+2
12:21AM on 08/13/2013
Just use him a bit like Ra's in TDKRSidious shows up as some vision a character sees while falling to the dark side and we never learn if it was his ghost or the dark side itself corrupting the person.
Just use him a bit like Ra's in TDKRSidious shows up as some vision a character sees while falling to the dark side and we never learn if it was his ghost or the dark side itself corrupting the person.
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+9
8:53PM on 08/12/2013
They shouldn't resurrect or clone Palpatine. However, I'd be okay if they made him a force ghost. No reason the Sith can't do that too.
They shouldn't resurrect or clone Palpatine. However, I'd be okay if they made him a force ghost. No reason the Sith can't do that too.
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12:39AM on 08/13/2013
There ya go- I could buy that. Good call!
There ya go- I could buy that. Good call!
8:24PM on 08/12/2013
seriously?? I have respect for Ian McDiarmid as Emperor in Star Wars, but PLEASE DONT BRING HIM BACK , he died by the hand of Darth Vader...leave it at that and move on...because then you get into the habit of bring back old villians for weird reasons....for STAR WARS to continue well...you keep moving forward.
seriously?? I have respect for Ian McDiarmid as Emperor in Star Wars, but PLEASE DONT BRING HIM BACK , he died by the hand of Darth Vader...leave it at that and move on...because then you get into the habit of bring back old villians for weird reasons....for STAR WARS to continue well...you keep moving forward.
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7:38PM on 08/12/2013

I'm an Abrams fan.

But this news doesn't sit well with me. Just like Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams has an entire universe to play with, and the best he can come up with is to repeat a villain we've already seen and defeated in earlier films? No thanks. Give us the next Darth Maul, just don't blow it by having him in a film for 10 minutes and then getting killed.
But this news doesn't sit well with me. Just like Star Trek Into Darkness, Abrams has an entire universe to play with, and the best he can come up with is to repeat a villain we've already seen and defeated in earlier films? No thanks. Give us the next Darth Maul, just don't blow it by having him in a film for 10 minutes and then getting killed.
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6:19PM on 08/12/2013
Love the guy... but can we move on to some new characters, please?! If Palpatine comes back, it will totally ruin the end of ROTJ.
Love the guy... but can we move on to some new characters, please?! If Palpatine comes back, it will totally ruin the end of ROTJ.
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-3
6:00PM on 08/12/2013
I never liked the idea of bringing back the old cast. Its just the safe thing to do. Considering how large the Star Wars universe is, its just lame. I would rather see the it take place in the Old Republic times. But that might require some creativity and originality.
I never liked the idea of bringing back the old cast. Its just the safe thing to do. Considering how large the Star Wars universe is, its just lame. I would rather see the it take place in the Old Republic times. But that might require some creativity and originality.
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+0
5:56PM on 08/12/2013
I know he has clones in the Expanded Universe, but I have never accepted that as a good idea. It's cheap and lame. I was hoping these new movies wouldn't allow themselves to be dragged down by the contrived garbage of the Expanded Universe. If he is indeed coming back as Palpatine, and it's not a flashback, then I can confidently now state that I have absolutely no interest in these movies. It's one of my pet peeves when great stories go backwards in a pathetic attempt to recapture their
I know he has clones in the Expanded Universe, but I have never accepted that as a good idea. It's cheap and lame. I was hoping these new movies wouldn't allow themselves to be dragged down by the contrived garbage of the Expanded Universe. If he is indeed coming back as Palpatine, and it's not a flashback, then I can confidently now state that I have absolutely no interest in these movies. It's one of my pet peeves when great stories go backwards in a pathetic attempt to recapture their grandeur.
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4:22PM on 08/12/2013

right.

lets just bring everyone back as clones so its all made up and the points don't matter. bfwot
lets just bring everyone back as clones so its all made up and the points don't matter. bfwot
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3:39PM on 08/12/2013
I thought the clone was a much younger version of the emperor. I just hope this new trilogy will be better than the prequels. When Episode III came out, I was hoping that there would more action after Vadet was put into the armor, like actual saber fights during actual Jedi purge scenes. I was very disappointed.
I thought the clone was a much younger version of the emperor. I just hope this new trilogy will be better than the prequels. When Episode III came out, I was hoping that there would more action after Vadet was put into the armor, like actual saber fights during actual Jedi purge scenes. I was very disappointed.
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3:24PM on 08/12/2013
Perhaps his role will be contained to flashbacks? or hologram footage? I'm betting that the new threat with be linked to Palpatine in a major way. Perhaps during the old trilogy he had a secret apprentice in case the Skywalkers failed him. Or maybe it will be a Grand Admiral Thrawn type character that was highly involved in the events of the old trilogy but behind the scenes the entire time. I doubt JJ would be stupid enough to go with a clone of Paplatine story line. That would totally defeat
Perhaps his role will be contained to flashbacks? or hologram footage? I'm betting that the new threat with be linked to Palpatine in a major way. Perhaps during the old trilogy he had a secret apprentice in case the Skywalkers failed him. Or maybe it will be a Grand Admiral Thrawn type character that was highly involved in the events of the old trilogy but behind the scenes the entire time. I doubt JJ would be stupid enough to go with a clone of Paplatine story line. That would totally defeat the ending of Jedi and Vader's killing of Palpy.

Whatever his role may be I'm all for some more McDiarmid in these films. The best thing about the prequels was watching Palpatine's rise to power and McDiarmid played it perfectly. Even though he's pretty over the top in Revenge he makes it work perfectly. [link] [link]
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2:30PM on 08/12/2013

Elements of DARK EMPIRE?

This pleases me. And Ian McDarmuid was the best thing about the prequel trilogy; always nice to see him getting work.

Wait, The Emperor Palpatine dies at the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI??? You spoiler bastard! ;)
This pleases me. And Ian McDarmuid was the best thing about the prequel trilogy; always nice to see him getting work.

Wait, The Emperor Palpatine dies at the end of RETURN OF THE JEDI??? You spoiler bastard! ;)
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1:11PM on 08/12/2013

Fuck off

You know what I would REALLY like to see?
Just an all-new story with brand new characters set in the Star Wars galaxy.
Longer Ago and Further Away...
You know what I would REALLY like to see?
Just an all-new story with brand new characters set in the Star Wars galaxy.
Longer Ago and Further Away...
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12:39PM on 08/12/2013

Good

Him and Christopher Lee were the only people I liked in the prequals. I'm glad he's coming back.
Him and Christopher Lee were the only people I liked in the prequals. I'm glad he's coming back.
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+10
12:18PM on 08/12/2013
Just as Anakin Yoda and Obi Won became force ghosts I'm guessing he will have found a way too and recruit a new Skywalker to the dark side.
Just as Anakin Yoda and Obi Won became force ghosts I'm guessing he will have found a way too and recruit a new Skywalker to the dark side.
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12:03PM on 08/12/2013
McDiarmid was one of the best actors in the prequel trilogy and he did his share of ravenous scenery chewing; let someone else do it as the villain for Episode VII.
McDiarmid was one of the best actors in the prequel trilogy and he did his share of ravenous scenery chewing; let someone else do it as the villain for Episode VII.
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11:19AM on 08/12/2013
ABRAMS: "...and the first thing he does, right, is activate his clones of Darth Vader and Darth Maul, because we've got no new ideas of our own!"
ABRAMS: "...and the first thing he does, right, is activate his clones of Darth Vader and Darth Maul, because we've got no new ideas of our own!"
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+10
11:17AM on 08/12/2013

Palpatine had his run...

I think Ian is great but I want to see something new. I really think if Palpatine shows up (clone or not) it would really take away from the climax of ROTJ. I would rather see Luke deal with a resurrected clone of his father in the form of a whole bodied, fully brainwashed, badass sith with no good left in him at all...
I think Ian is great but I want to see something new. I really think if Palpatine shows up (clone or not) it would really take away from the climax of ROTJ. I would rather see Luke deal with a resurrected clone of his father in the form of a whole bodied, fully brainwashed, badass sith with no good left in him at all...
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11:22AM on 08/12/2013
or better yet maybe the kids have to deal with the evil grandpa they've heard so much about in his prime form. Relentless and powerful, a worst nightmare come to life.
or better yet maybe the kids have to deal with the evil grandpa they've heard so much about in his prime form. Relentless and powerful, a worst nightmare come to life.
+4
10:59AM on 08/12/2013
Good news for Disney is they will save money on make up since he is so old he looks like palpatine without it
Good news for Disney is they will save money on make up since he is so old he looks like palpatine without it
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10:57AM on 08/12/2013
I would argue this sounds more likely than other cast members returning (well, except maybe Anthony Daniels).
I would argue this sounds more likely than other cast members returning (well, except maybe Anthony Daniels).
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10:39AM on 08/12/2013

I hope this is true

To think the Empire will just cease to exist because the top commander is dead would be idiotic. Plus, Palpatine was indeed narcissistic, but he wasn't foolish. I'm sure he cloned himself as a safe guard to avoid death.
To think the Empire will just cease to exist because the top commander is dead would be idiotic. Plus, Palpatine was indeed narcissistic, but he wasn't foolish. I'm sure he cloned himself as a safe guard to avoid death.
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11:23AM on 08/12/2013
All that is covered in the expanded universe. The Empire remained in power for a bit after, but not long. There's also entire novel dedicated to fighting forces led by Palpatine clones. That being said, your comment assumes that this will be taking place immediately following Episode VI. There's been no confirmation of that at all. Even the title of this article says that this news is just a rumor.
All that is covered in the expanded universe. The Empire remained in power for a bit after, but not long. There's also entire novel dedicated to fighting forces led by Palpatine clones. That being said, your comment assumes that this will be taking place immediately following Episode VI. There's been no confirmation of that at all. Even the title of this article says that this news is just a rumor.
12:06PM on 08/12/2013
A majority of the people who go to see this movie will have never read the expanded universe, so what's your point? Besides, them using Palpatine again doesn't conclude we'll be seeing a Dark Empire trilogy--only the likelihood of a similar plot point. And did you not notice when I said "I hope this is true"; I didn't indicate this was news or a statement of the facts--just more wishful thinking. Finally, the battle with the remaining officials of the Empire doesn't have to pick-up right after
A majority of the people who go to see this movie will have never read the expanded universe, so what's your point? Besides, them using Palpatine again doesn't conclude we'll be seeing a Dark Empire trilogy--only the likelihood of a similar plot point. And did you not notice when I said "I hope this is true"; I didn't indicate this was news or a statement of the facts--just more wishful thinking. Finally, the battle with the remaining officials of the Empire doesn't have to pick-up right after the ending of VI, it could easily pick-up 40 years later with everyone old and Luke attempting to train new Jedi with the help of Han and Leia's possible grandchildren at that point.
1:19PM on 08/12/2013
My point is that Disney flat out said that they will stay away from the EU as much as possible because they don't want to contradict it and risk pissing a bunch of people off. I was at the D23 Expo this weekend and Pablo Hidalgo himself said that the EU is too ingrained in the identity of Star Wars to just toss to the side.
My point is that Disney flat out said that they will stay away from the EU as much as possible because they don't want to contradict it and risk pissing a bunch of people off. I was at the D23 Expo this weekend and Pablo Hidalgo himself said that the EU is too ingrained in the identity of Star Wars to just toss to the side.
4:03PM on 08/12/2013
Disney makes and breaks promises all the time to avoid speculation. I wouldn't trust a thing they said--especially given Abram's desire for secrecy.
Disney makes and breaks promises all the time to avoid speculation. I wouldn't trust a thing they said--especially given Abram's desire for secrecy.
10:12PM on 08/12/2013
EU = European Union?
EU = European Union?
+4
10:30AM on 08/12/2013
Oh shit, could they be tapping into the Dark Empire series? Please be true!!

For those not familiar, here's the link to its synopsis:
[link]
Oh shit, could they be tapping into the Dark Empire series? Please be true!!

For those not familiar, here's the link to its synopsis:
[link]
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10:17AM on 08/12/2013
Hell yeah
Hell yeah
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