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Long Live The Emperor! (Happy Birthday Ian McDiarmid!)



In 1983, when I was seven years old, my uncle took my cousin and I to the movies to see "Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi." That one trip to the movies changed my live, as I became a lifelong Star Wars fan and would joyously pass it on to future generations.
In that film, the mighty Darth Vader emerged from his ship to the dread of his commanders. Later on in the film, in a surprise to a young kid like myself, he kneels to an old man draped in a black cloak. This was my first introduction to the Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine. I loathed the character immediately and cheered greatly when Vader threw him to his (what I originally thought was) death.
Fast forward to 1999, and I would see the character again. This time as Senator Palpatine, a member of the Galactic Senate but hidden in the shadows as Darth Sidious in "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace." His character arc would be complete in 2005's "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith."
As I had stated previously, I had THOUGHT he was a goner in "Return Of The Jedi." But he would return one (last?) time as The Emperor in 2019's "Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker." It was for many that grew up with the original trilogy a kind of anticlimactic end to the saga. I admit though that I had fun with the sequel trilogy.
The man that brought this great science fiction character is the great Ian McDiarmid. A classically trained Shakespearian actor, his early years were mainly as an active stage actor from the famed Royal Shakespeare Company. He has been honored with Tonys and Olivier Awards. But he has a permanent place in cinema history thanks to his incredible work in Star Wars.
Happy birthday Ian McDiarmid!






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