STAR WARS 9 Palpatine legend Ian McDiarmid revealed when he was “furious” about The Rise of Skywalker to us at the European premiere. Watch the video here. (SPOILER FREE)
The final film in the Skywalker saga opens worldwide this weekend. There are some major shocks to come for fans but we won’t spoil them here. We caught up with Ian McDiarmid on the red carpet and had to catch ourselves a few times but we can promise fans will love how JJ Abrams has finished the three trilogies. McDiarmid, however, confessed to being a little unhappy with one particular thing…
He’s obviously not unhappy that he is back, although he confessed to being rather surprised.
McDiarmid said on the red carpet: “I thought I was categorically dead. And then JJ (Abrams) called me in November 2017 and said I had the responsibility of tying up the nine films. I didn’t hesitate…
“I feel like one of these old movies stars like in Sunset Boulevard. But I wasn’t sitting by the phone waiting for the call. I knew I was dead. So I was very surprised but I had to keep it secret for a long time, which I rather enjoyed.”
He’s one of the very few who spans all three trilogies: “It’s just sinking in now. The Phantom Menace, that was me all those years ago…”
“I got a call one lunchtime from my agent saying George Lucas would like to meet you.
“We had a chat about nothing in particular and when I got back my agent phoned and said ‘He’d like you to play the Emperor of the universe.’ So I didn’t say ‘Let me think about it!’
“And then a number of years later we met again for the new films (the Prequel Trilogy) and George said, ‘Well, part of the story is the rise of this man who becomes what you’ve just played who sadly passed away. So that was a big surprise.”
“And also it was a surprise to find out I wasn’t just playing a politician, I was also playing this character Darth Sidious – hideous, insidious Sidious.”
His sinister voice and horrifying laugh has become legendary, I wonder if he ever does it in public to freak people out? “I tend not to do that, no, otherwise I might be arrested. It’s alright to do it at Pinewood.”
And he’s been back there, merrily cackling away. So why isn’t McDiarmid completely happy? He told us: “Of course, I was furious when I saw the title was The Rise of Skywalker not the Re-rise of the Sith!”
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“But this series is ultimately about hope. The title will become very clear to people who watch it at the end of the movie. I’m not giving anything away but it’s not saying there is another one coming up – but there is hope for people can go through very difficult transitions but come out the other side in one piece.”
Even, it appears, if you fall down an exploding shaft.
McDiarmid, in fact, is very happy with the way the final film has turned out: “I saw it two nights ago. I thought it was really good. It’s wonderfully acted by those younger people.”
He is full of praise for two stars who share most of the screen time with him, Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver:
“Two really fine actors and they are completely different in their approach, which is great too.
“I didn’t get as much to do with Adam as I would have liked but a lot with Daisy as you’ll see.”
So, what comes next? How do you follow the biggest film franchise of all time?
McDiarmid laughs: “You don’t. You go to bed for a week and then you hope the phone rings.”