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Why Ian McDiarmid Calls Palpatine’s Hated Star Wars Return ‘Strangely Satisfying’

Ian McDiarmid, of course, is one of the few actors to appear in all three of the “Star Wars” movie trilogies, along with C3PO actor Anthony Daniels, the only performer to appear in all nine films.

McDiarmid played Senator Sheev Palpatine at the beginning of the “Star Wars” prequel trilogy before his transformation into the Emperor, a role he played in the original trilogy until the character’s demise in “Return of the Jedi.” Palpatine’s death, of course, was the major sticking point regarding the character’s return in “The Rise of Skywalker.”

The veteran actor, however, was keen to point out that Palpatine does have a certain skill that made it all possible, even though Palpatine’s death seemed to seal the character’s fate. “A lot of people said it was ridiculous,” McDiarmid told Empire of Palpatine’s return. “Of course, he was dead at the end of ‘Return Of The Jedi’! And frankly, I think George thought he’d killed me too. But J.J. [Abrams] thought it would be a good idea — I wasn’t going to argue with him. I felt that Palpatine always had a plan B — probably a plan C, D, E, and F as well. And he was an expert in cloning, so.”

Palpatine’s return also serves as a plot function in “The Rise of Skywalker,” as it’s revealed that the trilogy’s Jedi hero, Rey (Daisy Ridley), is the granddaughter of the feared emperor.

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