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Published On: Sat, Aug 6th, 2016

Tampa Comic-Con: Ian McDiarmid talks Palpatine prequel project, link to Rey and the trilogies

Ian McDiarmid played the evil Emperor Palpatine in a series of Star Wars films and opened up about the character, his work and much more during a Star Wars panel with Ray Park during Tampa Comic-Con today.

Fans loved McDiarmid’s Sith Lord and he says enjoyed playing multiple characters, the presumed “good guy” and then the murderer of Jedi.

“I enjoyed it. They wanted me to be Mr. nice Guy as the minister and then switch to the dark which everyone does and I made it work.”

Fans we eager to discover is Palpatine or even just an appearance by McDiarmid could be in the works for the new films and he said that “The empire is very much in evidence so maybe one day We will be asked to return but I have no news at the moment. I do have my phone in my pocket.”

McDiarmid discussed the biggest differences between the work in the 1980’s on the first trilogy and then the next films.

“The biggest difference is when you have the technology, you are immediately able to see what you’ve done where as before you had to wait days to review what was filmed.”

“The second time was more fun because of surprising everyone of my return, especially Liam Neeson who was angry of me not informing him that I was to be the Emperor again.”

return of the jedi the-emperor-Ian McDiarmid

Of course, make-up was different for the second batch of films.

“The first films, it took about 4 hours. It got a little easier with the prequels because it was just a cloak that went over a majority of the face, which took about 2 hours.”

Ian excited fans with a brainstormed prequel centering on Palpatine, his origins and more.

“Before George (Lucas) sold the company (Lucasfilm), there was talk about the evil Emperors back story, his evil dark childhood, like most dark villians, so there is always the possibility. It would be interesting to explore.”

An inspired fan plays out the role of Palpatine with this great Star Wars cosplay photo/ Brandon Jones

An inspired fan plays out the role of Palpatine with this great Star Wars cosplay photo/ Brandon Jones

While that may sound like a dead topic, the rising popularity of the Star Wars comic books and the studio’s recent “standalone” endeavors may make such a project manifest in one form of media or another.

Palpatine is an iconic villain and Star Wars is such a massive fandom that McDiarmid confessed how much it changed his life.

“My life changed in some of the ways you can predict. However, the great thing with Return of the Jedi, is I could go on to live life because you couldn’t see my face on screen. Once I was just given the hair piece and was announced as the Emperor in the prequels, I was given more attention. Either way, I do spend most of my free time in the theater so it’s not a major issue for me.”

Some of the questions turned specifically towards The Force Awakens and the fan theory that Rey (Daisy Ridley) is the granddaughter of Palpatine, or at least related.

“That is a very interesting theory.” Jokingly, he turned to Ray Park, “Ray is this true?”

“It probably isn’t true but that’s up to the directors.”

Ian was quiet on Britannia details, “I was asked to do a television show in Prague, which I can’t say anything on so I’ll say a little. Its a story of ancient Roman ruins with druids and that’s really all I can say but it’ll be awhile before it’s announced.”

Reflecting on his resume of work he said that “…I really enjoyed Sleepy Hollow. It was very difficult to keep a straight face, of course Johnny Depp was of no help with that.”

“I also really enjoyed Dirty Rotten (Scoundrels) when during the writers strike, Stephen, one of the writers, slipped me some of my favorite lines: ‘Welcome to Hell’, and ‘Oh, Shut up’, both of which was fun to say to the person who had just wrote them.”

For more information, full list of guests and details, visit the official website: http://tampabaycomiccon.com/

Kids 12 and under are FREE and do NOT require any sort of credential for entry.

Check out the full panel coverage of Ray Park’s comments, click here

The Dispatch have been covering the Tampa Comic-Con for years. Here are some of the most popular posts:

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