Ian McDiarmid is a Scottish actor best known for his portrayal as Supreme Chancellor-turned-Emperor Palpatine, as well as the character's alter-ego Darth Sidious. He first portrayed the character in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi and later reprised the role in all three prequel trilogy films. For the 2004 DVD re-release of the original trilogy, McDiarmid was added into Palpatine's only scene in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, replacing Clive Revill and Elaine Baker. McDiarmid is rumored to be reprising the role in Star Wars Episode VII.
Rumored involvement in Episode VIIEdit
On August 11, 2013, Jedi News reported that Ian McDiarmid would be reprising the role of Palpatine for Star Wars Episode VII. The site noted that "the specifics of the role are unclear," and that it is a rumor until Lucasfilm confirms it. Three days later, on August 14th, Latino Review independently reported on the rumor and said that their own source told them that "Palpatine comes back as a Force Ghost...like Obi-Wan [in the original trilogy]). The source further alleged that Palpatine had another apprentice, other than Darth Vader, before being killed, meaning that the ghost would presumably interact with that apprentice turned villain.
For his part, McDiarmid said he knows "nothing, because there are no facts yet" and he understands "they're still working on the script." He also denied being approached for the role, saying "No conversations have been had, and no deals have been struck... But until I get that phone call, like the one I had before, I won't believe I'm in it." McDiarmid also believes that the film will feature "the adventures of the descendants of the first characters and new villains" rather than relying on old ones.