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Star Wars scene stealer No. 3: Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious
Ian McDiarmid has always seemed to very much relish his role of the Emperor in all the Star Wars films. The one film where he gets the most time to really revel in the evilness of this Darkest of all Sith is in Revenge of the Sith.
Before he becomes the Emperor as we see him in Empire Strikes Back, McDiarmid steals the show as the Chancellor. From his being a “helpless prisoner” of the Separatists to his telling Anakin of the tragedy of Darth Plageuis the Wise, Palpatine is a master manipulator every time he’s on the screen and is a true joy to watch.
While he is playing the Chancellor role, Palpatine acts as though he’s truly on the side of the Republic, though through little eye movements when he speaks we know he has ulterior motives. Halfway through the film, Palpatine gets to drop the act and fully embraces his true evil self.
After his battle with Mace Windu, he continues his manipulations by telling the senate he was left deformed and speaks in an over the top “Poor me” type of voice. In his battle against Yoda, Darth Sidious truly emerges and he’s a cackling, confident dark warrior who seems to enjoy mocking Yoda just as he much as he would like to destroy him.
Ian McDiarmid’s work as Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious was a masterful job. Every time he was on the screen, it was hard to pay attention to anyone else, as we all just wanted to see what this evil manipulator was going to do next.
Who else stole the show in the films of the prequel trilogy?