With some of the more recent leaks/rumors I’ve seen, it got me thinking this morning more about Palpatine’s return and how it could potentially recontextualize the entire saga. It is a bit scary to think about, depending on how they pull it off, but honestly I don’t think I’m worried about it anymore.
I was rewatching Ian McDiarmid’s scene’s from ROTJ the other day, and thinking about them again made me realize that, if we do see him, it is going to be CRAZY to see him again as the Emperor onscreen. Think about it from McDiarmid’s perspective. In his late 30s, he got to play the old “ruler of the universe” in a few brief scenes in one of the biggest franchises of all time, and he thought that would be it. Then George comes back to him 15 years later and asks him to play the same character again in three more films. What’s even better is that since Ian has gotten a little older, and the movies take place decades before the original trilogy, he’s the perfect age to reprise the role.
Then those films wrap in 2005 and McDiarmid officially hangs up the black robe. Or does he? Flash-forward another 15 years, and sequels to the original trilogy are being made. Not only that, but they want him back AGAIN to play the Emperor in the last film in the saga. Now, being 74, Ian is actually much closer in age to the old Emperor, and he might appear as he did onscreen almost 40 years ago.
It’s just crazy to think about, and honestly one of the more unique performances an actor has gotten to experience over the entirety of his career. I think that alone will be enough for me to sit back and enjoy it in the theater. It just something I could have never imagined happening.