Ian McDiarmid Says The Emperor Was Supposed To Be Dead

It’s no secret that Emperor Palpatine makes his big comeback in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. J.J. Abrams revealed Ian McDiarmid’s return at Star Wars Celebration immediately after dropping the first trailer. While Abrams decided to use the Emperor to link Episode IX to the first six films, it wasn’t a part of George Lucas’ original plan for Palpatine.

Via IndieWire, McDiarmid spoke with Digital Trends about Palpatine’s original fate straight from Lucas himself.

“I thought I was dead!” said McDiarmid. “I thought he was dead. Because when we did Return of the Jedi, and I was thrown down that chute to Galactic Hell, he was dead. And I said, ‘Oh, does he come back?’ And [George] said, ‘No, he’s dead.’ So I just accepted that. But then, of course, I didn’t know I was going to be doing the prequels, so in a sense he wasn’t dead, because we went back to revisit him when he was a young man. But I was totally surprised by this.”

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With his role in The Rise of Skywalker, McDiarmid is one of the few actors to appear in seven of the nine films. Only Anthony Daniels has appeared in more films (9 + Rogue One) as C-3P0.

Should the Emperor have stayed dead in The Rise of Skywalker? Or was it worth it to see Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine one last time? Let us know in the comment section below!

Recommended Reading: Journey to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Spark of the Resistance

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