London, Dec 28 (PTI) British actor Ian McDiarmid, who reprised his 'Star Wars' role of Emperor Palpatine in the franchise's latest installment, says creator George Lucas had ended the character's arc in the original films and never wanted it to return.
McDiarmid had portrayed the character in 1983's 'Return of the Jedi' before returning for Lucas' prequel trilogy that started with 'The Phantom Menace' in 1999 and explored the origins of Palpatine.
With the franchise's latest entry, 'The Rise of Skywalker', McDiarmid once again returned to portray the part.
However, the veteran actor believes it was never Lucas' intention to resurrect the villainous emperor.
'I thought I was dead! I thought he was dead. Because when we did Return of the Jedi, and I was thrown down that chute to Galactic Hell, he was dead. And I said, 'Oh, does he come back?' And (George) said, 'No, he's dead'.
'So I just accepted that. But then, of course, I didn't know I was going to be doing the prequels, so in a sense he wasn't dead, because we went back to revisit him when he was a young man. But I was totally surprised by this (new film),' McDiarmid told Digital Spy.
Palpatine's sudden return in 'The Rise of Skywalker' has not been received well by the fans and critics. Some believe the character's resurrection was an unnecessary addition to the film's story.
'The Rise of Skywalker', which is ninth installment of the franchise, released worldwide on December 20. PTI RB RB SHD SHD