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Ian McDiarmid On Emperor Palpatine’s Sex Life: ‘It’s A Horrible Idea’

He feels uncomfortable with the thought of Palpatine having a family.

In a new interview with Empire magazine, Ian McDiarmid opened up about Emperor Palpatine’s controversial return in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ and the even more controversial idea of Palpatine’s sex life, especially in light of the revelation that Rey is Palpatine’s granddaughter.

‘The Rise of Skywalker’ revealed that Rey is the granddaughter of Palpatine, leading to speculation about the Emperor’s personal life. McDiarmid addressed this topic with a degree of discomfort, as it was unsettling for him to imagine Palpatine engaged in such acts:

“Please don’t pursue that line too vigorously. But yes, he does [have sex]. It’s a horrible idea to think of Palpatine having sex in any shape or form. But then, of course, perhaps he didn’t. Maybe it’s all to do with midi-chlorians – and don’t ask me what those are. Never trust your granddaughter. That’s the T-shirt Palpatine got made. Shortly after his death.”

McDiarmid Suggests Palpatine Should Return

Palpatine made a surprising comeback in the 2019 film ‘The Rise of Skywalker,’ despite being defeated at the end of the original trilogy. This return sparked debate among fans, given Palpatine’s absence from the sequel trilogy until that point. McDiarmid himself was surprised by the decision but saw the logic in Palpatine’s ability always to have a B-plan.

The actor also suggested that Palpatine, being an expert in cloning, might have had several strategies for his return:

“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 thought he’d killed me too. But J.J. 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…”

In another interview, McDiarmid shared insights into his performances, especially a memorable moment in ‘Revenge of the Sith’ where he was encouraged by George Lucas to fully embrace the character’s evil. You can read the details here.

‘Revenge of the Sith,’ the final installment of the prequel trilogy, had a critical and financial success, earning $868.4 million globally and being widely regarded as the strongest entry in the prequel series. This success contrasts with the mixed reception of ‘The Phantom Menace,’ which had a negative reception.

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