Could Emperor Palpatine Appear in The Live-Action ‘Star Wars’ TV Series?

Published 3 years ago by

Outside of 3D re-releases and the upcoming film based on Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca), the live-action side of the Star Wars franchise has been absent for quite a few years. There’s the animated Clone Wars film and current ongoing series, but not much for long-time fans of the two trilogies.

With George Lucas unable to keep away from having direct control over each Star Wars film and him admitting he’s done with blockbuster movies, the one hope fans have left for a live-action Star Wars (in the foreseeable future, anyway) is the long-in-development television series that was first announced seven years ago. If that does happens and Emperor Palpatine is a part of it, Ian McDiarmid would love to reprise the role.

There are over 50 hours of scripts for the live-action Star Wars television series ready to go, telling a story that takes place in between Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope that would follow the criminal underworld and political struggle resulting from the events of the prequel trilogy. The only reason production hasn’t begun (yet) is simply a matter of budgeting. The special effects required to bring the live-action Star Wars series to life makes the show too expensive for modern tech and Lucas and co. are waiting for technological innovation that will make shooting the show cost effective.

Depending on how involved the leadership of the Empire is in the ongoing story, the timeline is right for Emperor Palpatine to at least make an appearance somewhere in the series. While attending Star Wars Celebration VI, his first time at the convention which takes place every few years, Ian McDiarmid took part in a Q&A sessions where he told stories about the production, other actors he shared the screen with throughout the Star Wars series and even the future (specifically, the live-action TV series).

“It would be nice if one day they would be followed up…who knows? Who knows if Palpatine would be in it? It could be like A New Hope. There could be a terrific representative — and by god, Peter Cushing was a terrific actor — doing the emperor’s bidding. If he happened to pop up in the script I would hate if it was to go live and someone else were to be in it.”

Emperor Palpatine Ian McDiarmid Could Emperor Palpatine Appear in The Live Action Star Wars TV Series?

Cushing of course, played Grand Moff Tarkin in the original Star Wars.

The Star Wars TV series – whenever it gets made – will be chock full of easter eggs and references to the films, books and extended universe. In doing what they can to make the show original, yet fit within the continuity established in the films, expect Lucas and producer Rick McCallum to ensure a few guest appearances take place. Due to the heavy use of prosthetics, Palpatine may be one of the easier characters to bring back without noticing any change in the character’s age so it’s very possible that Ian McDiarmid may once again suit up to preach about the dark side of the force.

For now, fans looking forward to a more adult-focused Star Wars experience can keep their eyes peeled for the upcoming Star Wars 1313 by LucasArts, a video game that’s being produced with the help of Skywalker Sound, Lucasfilm Animation and ILM. Star Wars Celebration VI runs until Sunday, August 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.


Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Source: IGN

TAGS: Star wars
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  1. This is my last hope for something from Star Wars that is good. I wish Lucas would let others write the scripts. McDiarmid would be awesome. I’m glad he wants to be involved.

    • I agree about McDiarmid, but something tells me I’d hate this show. IMO, the best thing for star wars would be for Lucas to sell the rights to someone else and just reboot the whole thing. Total continuity wipe. And no, it isn’t because I want Terminator, as Lucas likes to say. It’s because I love all the Star Wars story elements (i.e. Force, jedi, sith, empire, old republic, etc.) but can’t “have” them w/out having to suffer through the Star Wars brand of camp. Other successful franchises use camp–look at Marvel, for instance, but they don’t employ it at the expense of its heroes and/or story. Sell it to someone you trust, and “give it back to the people.” ;)

      • I like this idea :)

      • They will build an actual Death Star in space before Lucas or his family ever sells the properties to Star Wars. Hell Rick McCallum would have whoever bought it killed before he let go of the money he makes from it.

        • “They will build an actual Death Star in space before Lucas or his family ever sells the properties to Star Wars. Hell Rick McCallum would have whoever bought it killed before he let go of the money he makes from it.”

          its so amusing to read such a thing after it was announced that disney bought lucasfilm, and therefore, star wars xD

  2. I have been a big SW fan since I was 6 (1977). And I can honestly say, I think it’s time to let SW go. Let it be the amazing story it is and move on. But that’s just me. I am sure that will not happen, but that’s my two cents.

    • I’m with you Nautius.

      Star Wars is done! I’m a huge fan and I don’t need a new kind of SW story every couple of years. In my opinion if you are truly a fan you can enjoy over an over the original trilogy for what it is and need nothing more!

    • amen

    • When you say “let Star Wars go”, do you mean no more awesome SW video games or books either? – ’cause if that’s the case: HHHHEEEEEEELLLLL NO! ;)

      • AGREED!!!!!!!! :D

  3. “Political struggles” …no thanks.

    The fact that their idea of star wars is more politics then war I do not understand why budgeting is an issue unless Lucas has that stupid idea of having all backgrounds being CGI.

    Low tech + war based action = win
    CGI + political = fail

    The next time we see a circle of people staring at each other in star wars it better be a death circle.

    • Star Wars was always political. Even though Lucas went nutty, he was right about that. The problem is instead of a few lines like “Holding her is dangerous. If word of this gets out it could generate sympathy for the Rebellion in the Senate” (and then back to the chase) we got a boring rise to power plot that was inadvisably spread out over three movies. Basically, in Chapters 1-3 everybody took sides and in Chapters 4-6 everything resolved. The new trilogy had plenty of cgi splosions but nobody cared because the story had zero dramatic weight to attach to them. It was just flashing lights.

      But then reviewing this only reminds me of how desperately Star Wars needs to die. Star Trek wasn’t screwed up (quite) as badly and even its time has come. There’s nothing wrong with creating new stories. From now on when Lucas giggles about how great it would be to have Darth Vader on a toilet seat cover or Greedo on a paper towel dispenser, someone should just call over a hot nurse to distract him until he nods off.

    • Hardcore Star Wars fans are just a bunch of spoiled, imature boys who enjoy watching their toys around the place. Anything that involves thinking and talking does not appeal to them. So I say bring on the political side of Star Wars. The whole theme of the saga is power and political corruption, and if this isn’t obvious to you guys, then you are truly dense-headed.

      With that said, I can’t wait for this new live action show. I’ve been waiting for so long just to see it. It angers me that until they air it on HBO (or wherever,) we’re going to be stuck with countless Hobbit and Avatar sequels nobody asked for.

  4. It would be nice to see him reprise his role, but I’m not sure if his show will ever see the light of day anyway (sadly).

  5. I’d watch the Ian McDiarmid, as the Evil Emperor, read the phone book.

  6. I’ve been waiting for this for what seems like an eternity :(, I think the idea of McDiarmid possibly returning as Palpatine would be awesome.

  7. McDiarmid as Palpatine was one of the few redeeming features of the prequel trilogy. Would love to see him reprise the role.


    A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the Force was with us. There were Jedi, who served the Old Republic. There were Sith who presided over the rise of the first Galactic Empire. There were the Clone Wars, and there were lightsabers. Oh, were there lightsabers. Elegant weapons, for a more civilized age.
    Oh, and there were Ewoks, jive-talking Buster Keaton throwbacks and even an alien camel fart.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Star Wars hater. I, like a lot of people, fell in love with the high concept story elements in Star Wars. I fell in love with High Concept Star Wars, and I kind of hoped Episodes VI, I, II & II would be served without such a heavy side order of latter-era Star Wars camp, okee-day?
    I confess to feeling a little cheated on the most exciting bits of Star Wars backstory. What might the prequels have been had we had three movies to reveal Anakin’s gradual descent into the darkside—all of them told against the backdrop of war?
    Lucas has said angry fans want Terminator, not Star Wars, but I don’t believe that. I think there’s a lot of room between Terminator and wincing through tripe like, “Hold me. Like you did that one time on Naboo, so long ago.” (Writing, directing or acting—who cares where to lay blame, let’s just agree that scene, and others like it, weren’t the best of Star Wars.)
    But they’re his movies. He’s told us that—like a lot. And I get that. I do.
    The problem is, these movies belong to the fans, too. We bought them. Like, a lot.
    Combo packs, special editions, extra-special editions, extra combo packs. Version with cool deleted scenes. Another version with a few more deleted scenes. Etc., etc., etc. But still, we don’t have High Concept Star Wars.
    Elsewhere in Hollywood, films are rebooted. Sometimes, like The Amazing Spiderman, films are rebooted even before the last incarnation has stopped breathing.
    But Lucas isn’t really Hollywood. He’s a self-made man, with a self-made empire. So when fans attack, who can blame him for feeling a little defensive? Still, there’s a lot of truth coming at the Emperor about Star Wars. And it’s tough to speak truth to power.
    Mr. Lucas, if you’re reading, I know you’ve got fifty scripts waiting to go for the future of “live action T.V.” Star Wars. I know you’re waiting for the ability to make these things at an affordable price tag. (Good!) I know you are done with Star Wars movies, (Bad!) and bruised by fans’ harsh words. (Naturally.) Please consider hiring a fan favorite, a Joss Whedon, or a J.J. Abrahms, to reboot the franchise, T.V., and on the silver screen. True, it won’t be only your vision—but it will be a vision of grace, humility and gratitude to the fans, who, after all, are the ones who helped you to “build that.”
    Please, consider the future of Star Wars by giving it back to the people.

  9. So what, are we talking about West Wing set in the Star Wars universe? The Clone Wars animated show works because everyone likes war themes (pew, pew fight, fight action) but this……….I just don’t know.

    The biggest problem I see is there isn’t a huge amount of overlap between the ScFi genre and those who like the political drama shows. SW fans might be turned off to the political overtones while the political drama lovers possibly won’t be thrilled about the backdrop.

    • Star Wars has always had political themes and tones to it. The movies, novels, games and even the animated tv show.
      In fact, I recall the animated tv show thus far having had more political episodes than clone-wars episodes (where the clones actually fight on the battlefield).

        • I get what you’re saying, but I don’t we have to worry about it being “West Wing in space”. If this series is going to be anything like all the Star Wars stuff I’ve seen/read/played over the years, I think it’ll be more “political undertones” and less “political overtones”.

          … of course, I haven’t seen a script or anything (and I haven’t been talking to George Lucas either), but that’s just my take based on my experiences of the Star Wars universe.

          • Well the only negative side to this is it WILL be overseen by Lucas and I think we can all agree in recent years he has become his own worst enemy when it comes to the juggernaut he has built (that even he can’t seem to manage to completely screw up no matter how much he tries >< )

            It will be an interesting experiment if he ever manages to get it off the ground.

  10. Need to either move to the future after Ep 6 OR to the distant past as KOTOR and SWTOR did. BTW if you want an adult themed GREAT Star Wars experience play Swtor. Great stories, great voice acting, and a very fun game. I played Wow 4 years and had more fun with Swtor in the first month of playing it than in the whole 4 years of Wow.

  11. 50 hours of finished scripts? So they keep saying but I don’t believe it for a second. Lucas could pay for them out of change and fluff in his back pocket. The guy is a billionaire.

    So what’s the hold up exactly?

    I’ll stick to Clone Wars, which has gone from strength to strength since a shaky first season.

  12. If only they could make one last Star Wars movie called Star Wars Episode 0: The Begining. The Saga is still incomplete I already have a script ready and made for this I just need George Lucas Approval to make it short there were scenes that brought easter eggs in my head staring with:

    Episode 2: Attack of the Clones: there is a scene where Count Duku talks with Obi Wan about how Qui Con use to be his apprentance before he turned to the dark side(Count Duku) as he was once his

    Episode 3: Chancler Papatine sits down with Anakin Skywalker to explain to him a story of a sith legend known as Dark Plegious the Wise who was able to save people from dying his apprentance taught him everything he knew and one night his apprentance killed him in his sleep

    My point here is that In star wars episode 0 we should have Dount Duku as the Jedi Master along with young Qui Con gin as the Apprentance

    The Siths should be Darth Plegious the Wise along with young Chancler Papatine who later becomes Lord Sidious after he kills his master in his sleep lol

    • that sounds great on paper, but it’ll only work if they can find someone with the same God-like presence of liam neeson to play young qui gon, which i imagine would be tough

    • I read a Star Wars novel a couple years back that handled about Qui-Gon and Dooku’s early years and explained why/how Dooku turned to the dark side. For the life of me, I can’t recall the title of the book, but that story has definitely been established in the Star Wars universe.

      There’s also a novel called ‘Star Wars: Darth Plagueis’ that deals with that whole story (Palpatine and his old master).

      • I have Star Wars: Darth Plagueis, can’t remember the name of the other one though but that story has been established as the avenger mentioned.

  13. And that later leads to Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace where we see Lord sidious recruiting Young Darth Maul and we see Qui Con recruiting Young Obi Wan Kenobi lol this would be a good story to tell can anyone help me forward this to george lucus?

  14. No wonder the first episode of (FaceOff) was about creating new STAR WARS characters. Any who am I the only one that thinks its a great idea for the franchise SW should continue living on just like STAR TREK I`m ready to see what Lucas has on the table

  15. This live action show has been in development for several years now. Lucas hired a team of writers from around the world – no, he’s not writing the scripts (pay attention now) but the story ideas are very much his.

  16. After George Lucas created the “Star Wars” prequels, I knew the original story had run its course. “Star Wars” ended for me when the prequels changed certain concepts. Some of those concepts include: (1) removing extrasensory perception from the force, (2) turning Darth Vader into a whinny kid, and (3) putting a face on Boba Fett. When certain story mechanisms go untold, the audience becomes more engaged and interested. Once you fill in those missing gaps, the mystery that drives audiences into a story disappears.

    Example: During the end of the 1960′s film the “Time Machine”, the Traveler goes back to his time and picks up two books. Since the writer didn’t reveal the names of those books, the audience is left with a philosophical question. What two books would you take to the future, so that you can rebuild society? Now, within the 2002 variation of the “Time Machine”, the Traveler fixes and uses the compendium of knowledge. Instead of having the audience think philosophically, the 2002 movie removed the intellectual ending of the 1960′s movie.

    “Star Wars” prequels (prequels in general) destroy certain established gaps, which gets your audience to think on a philosophical and intellectual level.

    Darth Vader and Boba Fett are now kids; thus, the villainx are no longer mysterious and interesting.

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