Excitement and anticipation will always be high for any Star Wars project, and the upcoming Episode VII is no exception. Although it was disappointing that Lucasfilm didn’t release any new information about the film at Disney’s D23 Expo last weekend, that didn’t do anything to dampen fan enthusiasm for the franchise or brand. Lucasfilm still managed to tease a possible Star Wars theme park at Disneyland with the mysterious “Orange Harvest” crates. Secrecy is the order of the day, and almost every bit about Episode VII is still a mystery. The only thing we know for certain is that the new movie will be released sometime in 2015, though there are plenty of rumors floating around, including a new one about a potential recurring character.
According to Jedi News’ inside sources, a familiar face will return to that galaxy far, far away. Scottish actor Ian McDiarmid may appear in Episode VII. The 69-year-old actor is most known to Star Wars fans as Emperor Palpatine. This brings up the question of who he would play, should this rumor turn out to be true. You’ll remember that Palpatine dies at the end of Return of the Jedi when Darth Vader threw his wrinkled ass down a ventilation shaft. At least that’s the assumption, you might also remember that we don’t actually see him die. Curious.
Would bringing back McDiarmid as the Emperor ruin Episode VII? Most Star Wars fans want to see a new story and new adventures, while still building on what came before. Palpatine’s return seems like more recycling. The expanded universe features various clones of Emperor Palpatine, so perhaps that’s the route director J.J. Abrams and screenwriter Michael Arndt are heading. But as great a villain as he is, it would be nice to have a new threat to go along with a new gang of heroes.
A few months ago, McDiarmid expressed interest in returning to the Star Wars universe. He recognizes that his character died at the end of Return of the Jedi, but he still would like to appear in a new movie, perhaps in his own stand-alone movie. McDiarmid continued to say that he’d like to see Emperor Palpatine in a movie that would take place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, where we’d get actually to see Palpatine build the Galactic Empire.
Keep in mind; this is far from official casting news, and Lucasfilm has yet to confirm a word of these rumors. So, for the time being at least, please take this with a grain of salt. Production on Star Wars: Episode VII was rumored to begin at the beginning of next year in January, but other reports suggest that production might begin this month in London. At the moment, no one has been officially cast, but many actors who have been in the series at one point or another have expressed interest in returning.