Ian McDiarmid Confirms Palpatine Had ‘Sith Sex,’ But Doesn’t Want to Think About It.

The final chapter in Star Wars’ Skywalker Saga, The Rise of Skywalker, was controversial, to say the least. Perhaps most controversial was the choice to bring back Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine, a.k.a. Darth Sidious. It was so controversial, that Poe Dameron’s line “Somehow, Palpatine returned” has become a meme that won’t die. (Appropriately). Now, in an interview with Empire Magazine, celebrating 25 years of The Phantom Menace, McDiarmid doesn’t see his return as anything but proof that the disfigured Sith Lord always had a contingency plan. Also, he chimes in on if Palpatine had sex. After all, Rey is his granddaughter, right? Here’s what he had to say:

I felt that Palpatine always had a plan B – probably a plan C, D, E, and F as well. And he was an expert in cloning, so…

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) explains how Somehow, Palpatine returned in The Rise of Skywalker.

They also asked McDiarmid about just how Rey, a granddaughter, came about. Does this mean Palpatine, you know… does the deed? McDiarmid seemed to not want to discuss Sith sex too much, saying, “Please don’t pursue that line too vigorously. 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.”

In The Rise of Skywalker novelization, we learn that Rey’s father Dathan was a failed clone of the Emperor. These were also called “strand casts.” He did not naturally conceive a son. (This might have been relevant information for the film). McDiarmid must have some vague ideas about this, because he added “Maybe it’s all to do with midi-chlorians – and don’t ask me what those are.”

Ian McDiarmid as the resurrected Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker.

One thing is for sure. A lot of current Star Wars is bending over backward to logically explain how Palpatine was always planning for his eventual return as a clone. Both The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch have touched on this recently. We think it’s to show that Palpatine was always prepared in case Darth Vader turned on him, as Sith apprentices naturally do. He knew he’d need a new body to house his evil essence. They drew inspiration for this from the classic ’90s comic Dark Empire, where Palpatine used cloning to return to life after Return of the Jedi. We expect season three of The Bad Batch to explore this even more. As long as it’s in flashbacks, we’re always game for more McDiarmid as the Emperor—as long as we don’t have to see him smooch anyone.

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