Star Wars: Ian McDiarmid Defends Palpatine's Divisive Rise of Skywalker Return

Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

Ian McDiarmid returned to play Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker as he became the villain once again in the climactic showdown during the final film in the Skywalker Saga.

Since the film's release, the character's return has been a point of contention and debate among fans as some of them believe that his comeback didn't make any sense at all and the explanation didn't justify his existence again.

Now, the actor has finally weighed in on his return and, as it turns out, he agrees with the story decision as well.

Also Read: Hayden Christensen on Anakin Skywalker's Youngling Killing Spree: "I Love that George Did it"

Ian McDiarmid Addresses Palpatine's Return in The Rise of Skywalker

Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
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Credit: Lucasfilm

Speaking with Empire Magazine, McDiarmid opened up about his thoughts on his character's divisive return in The Rise of Skywalker.

He revealed that his comeback made sense to him as he believes that Palpatine always has other plans in case he gets killed off.

"A lot of people said it was ridiculous. Of course, he was dead at the end of Return of the Jedi! And frankly, I think George [Lucas] 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," the actor said.

"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..."

McDiarmid also felt that his character has become the "ultimate cinematic villain" due to his decades-long appearances.

"The thing that I’m most pleased about, and you know, this only came to a head when they asked me to come back for The Rise of Skywalker, is that every single evil act in all of the Star Wars franchise is either directly or indirectly down to that character," he said.

"That is total evil, and that’s strangely satisfying as an arc. I do feel fortunate to have been able to do it – and other villains of cinema now have to compete with that."

McDiarmid's comments might not change the minds of fans, but he did present a decent argument on why the character's return made some sense and perhaps some could agree with him.

Whether you like the decision or not, you can't argue that his return proved that Palpatine has a very vital villainous presence and he will forever linger even though he has met his real demise.

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