Ian McDiarmid Confirms He's Not Playing the Emperor in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Tuesday, 30 August 2016 - 12:41PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: Rogue One
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 - 12:41PM
Ian McDiarmid Confirms He's Not Playing the Emperor in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
When the trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars story featured a cloaked figure taking a knee in front of a mysterious fluorescent structure, Star Wars fans everywhere erupted into a frenzy of debate. But, it wasn't necessarily the cloaked figure or the fluorescent tube that got tongues wagging. Instead, it was the presence of Emperor Sheev Palpatine's red-cloaked Royal Guards that seemed to inject some real dynamism into the discussion. In Star Wars canon, the Emperor's Royal Guard are normally only ever found where their boss is, which would seem to suggest that whoever this cloaked figure was, they were kneeling before, or in the presence of the Emperor himself. 



Given Rogue One's setting, the theory of Palpatine's appearance in the movie seemed to be a solid one. Unfortunately, the man who played the character in the prequel trilogy just put a major dampener on things.

Speaking with Houndstooth Blog, Ian McDiarmid confirms that he won't be appearing as Emperor Palpatine in this year's big Star Wars release.

Opening quote
"Rogue One's on its way, when I was in charge of things – I mean the Emperor, not me. I am not featured in [the movie] myself, but I understand that Darth Vader may be making an appearance."
Closing quote

In the grand scheme of things, a lack of Palpatine in this movie doesn't have too much influence. However, when taken in the context of that one snippet of footage, it becomes extremely interesting. 

Eliminating the Emperor's presence from this movie might just help us figure out what's going on in this mysterious scene. If the Emperor is not there, it would seem that he's dispatched his guards to watch over something of extreme importance. That leads me to believe that the fluorescent tube is the all important giant kyber crystal, which will eventually give the Death Star it's Alderaan-destroying capabilities. We're still none the wiser about who the cloaked figure is, although my bet –if my previous assumption is correct – is that it's Galen Erso or one of the Rebels in disguise. 

You can watch McDiarmid's comments for yourself in the video below (skip to 6:30).

Science Fiction
Sci-Fi Movies
Star Wars
Star Wars: Rogue One