A few hours ago, the power went out in our house. We joked that it was Darth Sidious and we yearned for the time before when we had “unlimited power!” It was clearly the universe and it’s sick cosmic sense of humor, because:
Tonight JediNews.co.uk (the same site that broke Foodles as the code name for Episode VII) is reporting that Ian McDiarmid is back as Darth Sidious, former Emperor of the Galaxy, former senator of Naboo, Corrupt Chancellor, hater of little green friends, and all around fantastic jerk. And maybe the reason my house didn’t have power for three hours on a Sunday after D23.
There was a rumor circulating several months back that the new bad guy was actually an acolyte of Darth Sidious. These types of ideas are all very easy to guess and very easy to presume. So I glossed over it. I noted it and moved on as one really should, until someone else is reporting something similar which could corroborate that original story.
On the deeper side of things, a little reported anecdote is that Ian McDiarmid was at that fateful lunch at Star Wars Celebration VI on August 23rd, 2012 where Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher learned that the sequel trilogy was going forward.* I often wondered if it was incidental he was there, as he’s likely a trusted friend of George Lucas who could keep a secret. But it could also mean he was part of that reveal to the inside cast.
So JediNews is a source that probably brought us solid news about the code name of the production, as well as details on the Pinewood setup, but was wrong about filming starting in August. We have an actor willing to come back who is still very much involved with Star Wars on the Celebration Europe II front as well. Then we have an old rumor that support the idea of a Sith acolyte that didn’t make that much sense if Darth Sidious was dead.
One thing I would like to speculate on is the fact that Darth Sidious was Darth Plagueis The Wise’s apprentice. Darth Maul escaped death. Did Plagueis? That’s something we’ve been asking since Lucas had a new idea that radically changed the Star Wars story for The Clone Wars and had lasting ramifications for the publishing of the Darth Plagueis story.
Perhaps in Episode VII Palpatine will just be an evil malevolent spirit. Or maybe he found a way to be reborn. Maybe he built on his former master’s quest and actually achieved his goal. Palpatine and Plagueis did some crazy Sith ritual stuff to actually bring down the veil of the dark side over the Jedi’s eyes. The Force kicked back and gave life to Anakin out of midi-chlorians. I believe these things came from Lucas. So perhaps all of this has been a project to bring Darth Sidious back? We never fully got the details that brought back Darth Maul. There are still spots of ambiguity regarding Darth Plagueis as well.
One last possibility to consider: Lucasfilm is making films when the Emperor of the Galactic Empire was still alive. So perhaps he’s returning for one of those films. I can’t wait to see what happens with all of this!
Remember, this is all rumor. So lets have fun with it. No one get their Star Wars Underoos in a bunch over it and most of all, don’t get too excited if you love this rumor because it is more likely to be invalid than valid.
*At the time, the news that Fisher, Hamill, and Lucas had lunch got out online and McDiarmid was a part of that story.