- "I first encountered Emperor Palpatine at Elstree Studios in the early 1980s. He was staring back at me from a make-up mirror, larger than life and 50 times as ugly. Yellow contact lenses stung my eyes and afforded little peripheral vision. As I walked onto a vast sound stage that had been transformed into a starship hangar, populated by seemingly endless platoons of gleaming white stormtroopers, the scale of George Lucas's vision hit me. This was space spectacle, a back-drop for a space opera of Wagnerian dimension."
- ―Ian McDiarmid
Ian McDiarmid (born August 11, 1944) portrayed Palpatine/Darth Sidious in the Star Wars films. He appears in every film of the prequel trilogy, as well as in Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. He is one of the three actors to have appeared in all three Star Wars trilogies along with Kenny Baker (R2-D2) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO). He did not play the Emperor in the original release of The Empire Strikes Back, but was edited in for the 2004 DVD release of the original trilogy and subsequent releases. McDiarmid also worked with George Lucas on the 1992 television series The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, in which McDiarmid portrayed Professor Levi in the episode "Paris, October 1916."
He has also had a distinguished career in British theatre, working as Associate Artistic Director for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester (1986 - 1989), joint Artistic Director at London's Almedia Theatre (1990 - 2002) and as a Board Member of the National Theatre of Scotland. Recent and upcoming projects include a return to the role of Teddy in Brian Friel's Faith Healer (for which he won a Tony award) and in the world premiere of Robert Holman's Jonah & Otto, which marks his return to the Royal Exchange.
Star Wars filmography
|Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi||Palpatine/Darth Sidious||1983|
|Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace||1999|
|Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones||2002|
|Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back||2004|
|Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith||2005|
|Star Wars: A Musical Journey||Host|
|Angry Birds Star Wars II "Join the Pork Side" trailer||King Pig as Darth Sidious||2012|
|Star Wars Rebels: The Siege of Lothal||Emperor (voice)||2015|
|Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens||Darth Sidious (archive audio)|
|Star Wars Rebels Season Four||Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious (voice)||2018|
|Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker||Palpatine||2019|
|Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Shattered"||Darth Sidious (archive recorded voice)||2020|
|Star Wars: The Bad Batch, "Aftermath"||Darth Sidious (archive recorded voice)||2021|
- Star Wars: Behind the Magic
- Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace
- Star Wars Insider 53
- "200 Reasons Why We Love Star Wars"—Star Wars Insider 200
- Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga: The Official Collector's Edition