Ian McDiarmid will return as Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but during an appearance on the red carpet for the film during last night's world premiere, the actor came clean: he knows who the real villain is. Like anybody who isn't a New England Patriots fan, Star Wars nation has taken to vilifying their coach, Bill Belichick. And after a series of memes comparing the hooded, scowling Belichick to Star Wars's Palpatine, the actor behind the evil emperor was moved to express his admiration for his apparent modern-day successor (okay, not really, but let's have a little fun with this, okay?).
After a reporter made McDiarmid aware of memes comparing the two, the actor admitted that he knew relatively little about the NFL. Still, he had to admit that Belichick has the look down.
"It's a pretty good impersonation, but he ought to wear black," McDiarmid told The Hollywood Reporter. "That's the only criticism I have."
Team colors make that hard to do -- maybe if Belichick somehow ended up with the Raiders, though? -- but the coach could do well to listen to McDiarmid. Palpatine is one of the only beings in the known galaxy with more success than Belichick has with the Patriots. After all, a generation of people grew up assuming that the Emperor was dead, but it turned out he's been around the whole time, presumably pulling strings from the background and more or less staying clear of the action, since being a visible figurehead got him "killed" last time around.
McDiarmid has played Palpatine in six of the nine "Skywalker Saga" movies -- all three prequels, Return of the Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker, and a re-dubbed appearance in The Empire Strikes Back, in which he replaced Clive Revill for the 1997 Special Edition re-release.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher.
Are you excited about the end of the decades-long Skywalker Saga? Let us know how you feel about it in the comments. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20th.
Star Wars is also headed to the Disney+ streaming service. The Mandalorian is now streaming on DIsney+. A show following Obi-Wan Kenobi is in the works, with Ewan MacGregor returning to the role. A series about Rogue One’s Cassian Andor is also in development.
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