The future of Star Wars: The Clone Wars is somewhat in flux at the moment. Having just wrapped up its fifth season on Cartoon Network, but in the aftermath of the Disney/Lucasfilm buyout, it will be switching to Disney XD for future seasons. Hopefully that shift won’t affect the show itself much, but either way fans of the show will have a new addition to look forward to. Attentive fans may have noticed his presence in the season finale, but if not here’s the skinny: actor Tim Curry has joined the cast as Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious.
Curry takes over the role of Palpatine after the death last year of voice actor Ian Abercrombie, who had been voicing Palpatine since the show’s first season in 2008. The series had many episodes’ worth of Abercrombie’s work “in the bank,” so the need to find a replacement was not immediately pressing. And if you’re in need of somebody who can play alternately regal and sinister, you’d be hard pressed to do better than Curry. Hell, he can do one of the best Evil Laughs in the business. Here’s a clip from last Saturday’s episode, the first featuring Curry as Palpatine.
The Huffington Post spoke to The Clone Wars supervising producer Dave Filoni, who had this to say about Curry:
We had an extensive search to find a new voice for Palpatine. It wasn’t just a matter of finding an actor who could to recreate lines from the films. We needed someone to deliver a performance that could stand alongside what Ian McDiarmid and Ian Abercrombie created as this legendary Star Wars character. At the end of the day, there is little question that bringing in an actor of Tim’s caliber was perfect for Chancellor Palpatine … I think fans will find that he delivers the eloquence needed for the Chancellor. His growling, evil, Sidious voice is a delight, because Tim can definitely tap into the dark side when needed. We are fortunate to have him.
Clone Wars is hardly the first foray into voice acting during Curry’s long career. He’s lent his unmistakable voice to countless shows over the years, including fan favorites such as Young Justice and Gargoyles. Many longtime video gamers also have fond memories of him voicing Gabriel Knight in the 1993 classic Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers.