Ian McDiarmid Is Open to the Idea of Palpatine Having Sex

Ian McDiarmid Is Open to the Idea of Palpatine Having Sex

It’s safe to say that most people walking out of The Rise of Skywalker for the first time were left with a lot of questions, but one at the forefront of our minds back in 2019, and frankly, still even now, is perhaps the darkest ever raised by Star Wars: when, exactly, did Palpatine fuck? We’re just glad to know that Ian McDiarmid has been thinking about this too.

“Please don’t pursue that line too vigorously,” McDiarmid recently told Empire magazine, about the idea of Rey being Palpatine’s granddaughter through, well, traditional acts of procreation. “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.”

Alas, McDiarmid is right to throw in that last clause. Shortly after Rise’s release, it was canonized that Palpatine’s son Dathan—Rey’s father—was in fact a strandcast clone, not a naturally conceived child, because no one’s allowed to have any fun these days, apparently. Cloning is indeed Palpatine’s big thing, established retroactively even more so in the wake of Rise, and McDiarmid is as equally fine with that as he is with the concept of Palpatine doing the horizontal tango.

“The thing that I’m most pleased about, and you know, this only came to a head when they asked me to come back for The Rise Of Skywalker, is that every single evil act in all of the Star Wars franchise is either directly or indirectly down to that character,” McDiarmid said of the film’s fixation on Palpatine as the root of the Skywalker Saga’s sins. “That is total evil, and that’s strangely satisfying as an arc. I do feel fortunate to have been able to do it–and other villains of cinema now have to compete with that.”

But also, let him have sex! Remember when George Lucas’ early attempts to bring Star Wars to TV were going to revolve around a lovelorn Palpatine, spurned by his lover? Sure, Palpatine could’ve been asexual—as much as I as an asexual person myself don’t exactly clamor representation from an evil, lightning-flinging pruny warlock—but there’s an interesting idea in there about trying to fashion this side of the greatest evil Star Wars has ever known, a humanized person seeking connection with someone else, both driven by and yet also looking beyond his hunger for power and legacy. Someone just has to be brave enough to do it… and at least they know would also know that McDiarmid would probably approve.

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