As expected, there have been tons of rumors swirling around in regards to J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. Most of them concern what the plot could look like, who might be hunting whom, and whether or not certain characters will be back for another trip around that galaxy far, far away. Now one former cast member has come out and said that, while he won’t appear in Episode VII, he still thinks that he might revisit his character in future installments.
Talking at the recent London Film and Comic-Con, Ian McDiarmid, who fans will remember played evil, intergalactic dickweed Senator Palpatine, specifically quashed rumors that he would reprise the villainous role. He said, “I’m definitely not in Episode VII.”
Taken at face value, that’s about as definitive statement as you can make without straight up lying. So we won’t expect to see Palpatine when the first film in the new trilogy opens on December 18, 2015. And while he won’t be along on this particular journey, he left the cargo bay doors open a crack for his future involvement. He continued:
As you know, he’s dead by then! I know, we believe in reincarnation, and holograms… But you know, they are going to take many twists on the story as the years go on, and I guess they may go back to a time – I’ve got no clue, I’m speaking off the top of my head – when the Emperor ran the universe. And I don’t want anyone else to play him, do I?
Check out the whole talk here:
This doesn’t sound like he necessarily knows anything super concrete, and seems more like an indication that he’s open to playing the character again rather than he expects to or been approached about the subject. A hologram, or maybe a Force ghost, popping up to guide a new generation of evil, much like Obi Wan does for Luke, both seem like they could be definite possibilities, but there are other possible avenues as well, but this is all wild speculation.
I can envision a scenario where Palpatine shows up in the forthcoming animated series Star Wars Rebels. The action takes place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. As you know, the evil bastard was still very much alive and kicking during this time frame. Darth Vader won’t throw him down that deep, dark shaft on the Death Star for two more movies. Given that the series follows what will ultimately become the Rebel Alliance, there will be ample opportunities for an agitated Palpatine to yell angrily about these new upstarts.
And though McDiarmid says he thinks he’ll appear in a future Star Wars movie, that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be one of the Episode films. With the standalone movies on the schedule, it’s entirely possible that he could have a role in one of those. Depending on the timelines, there’s room for roles in a Boba Fett movie or a Han Solo joint, which are supposedly going to be the topics of the first two of these tertiary films, directed by Gareth Edwards (Godzilla) and Josh Trank (Chronicle), respectively.
What do you think about this turn of events? Would you like to see Palpatine come back for some more sinister shenanigans, or do you think he’s where belongs, dead, incinerated when the second Death Star went boom?