Earlier this year, a rumor began circulating that Ian McDiarmid could potentially lend his voice to Palpatine in the animated Star Wars Rebels, despite Sam Witwer previously voicing the character in the series. During a recent convention appearance, Rebels creator Dave Filoni debunked the possibility, claiming Palpatine is not involved in the new season.
Dave Filoni confirmed at Fan Expo that Palpatine's not in season 4.— Benjamin Hart (@BenHartWithNoE) October 1, 2017
According to early speculation, McDiarmid was in a London recording studio earlier this year, merely a few days after Warwick Davis was at the same studio to record his performance of Rukh in the upcoming final season of the series. Additionally, a source revealed that McDiarmid was recording dialogue while also on a video call with a director from Los Angeles. Davis tweeted a photo of his recording session featuring a video call with Filoni, which could have been the same person McDiarmid was working with.
McDiarmid appearing at the same recording studio could have just been a coincidence, but with this being the final season of the animated series, we assumed the show would be pulling out all the stops.
Since Witwer had done an uncanny job embodying the Emperor on the series, it's more likely that McDiarmid would have been lending his voice to the series as a flashback, if he were voicing any characters at all.
In addition to not appearing in Rebels, we shouldn't expect to see the character in a live-action film anytime soon.
"As far as the new films are concerned, I'm dead. There is no question about that," McDiarmid told BBC.
The spinoff films, however, could potentially allow McDiarmid to reprise his role, given their timelines take place outside of the episodic Skywalker Saga.
"I suppose there must be a chance but I think you'd find out about it more quickly than I would," McDiarmid noted. "But there is what they call the anthology series and, actually, the most recent one, Rogue One, was about the time when I was in charge. I was referred to a few times, Darth Vader popped up, but you did not see me. Maybe they are keeping me as a surprise for later but I have no idea. Of course, I don't want anyone else to play him."
Star Wars Rebels premieres Monday, October 16 at 12:30 am on Disney XD.
[H/T Star Wars News Net]