Star Wars Scum and Villainy

Ian McDiarmid talks about his time filming 'Revenge of the Sith'

Ian McDiarmid, who played Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious in four 'Star Wars' films has talked the process of filming the infamous prequel trilogy.

It's a process best summed up in one line.

"It took me a little while to work out which scene we were filming."

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In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, McDiarmid described his time on set and the abundance of green screen he had to work with.

"So much of the filming took place in front of a green screen," he said. "I used to feel great sympathy for Ewan [McGregor] and Hayden [Christensen] because they had so much fighting to do and quite often had to fight imagined enemies,which is a little more difficult than just imagining that the pink dot on the floor represents something else."

George Lucas' prequels were famously lambasted by fans and critics alike for their over-use of CGI.

[Related story : Billy Dee Williams wants to return to 'Star Wars 7']

"George often hadn't decided on details of the film, so Ewan and Hayden didn't know whether they were filming an ironic moment or whether they were about to die."

He then went on to describe the first time he met George Lucas.

"I first worked with George Lucas on 'Return of the Jedi', the third 'Star Wars' film made and chronologically the sixth in the saga. It was filmed at Elstree Studios in England. I remember distinctly going there to meet George and the director of that film, Richard Marquand, for lunch.

"Everything was so secretive, but we talked, and as I left George said to me, 'Great nose'. He denies saying that, but I remember it vividly and when I got back home the phone was ringing and it was my agent calling to tell me I got the part.

"George had no idea then that he would make the Star Wars prequels, but Darth Vader became such an extraordinary figure that he thought he should go back and tell his story.

"When I met George all those years later to discuss continuing the saga, our meeting was along the same lines as the first, again shrouded in secrecy. He simply said to me, 'Do you know anyone who wants to play the Emperor?'"

Since the announce of 'Star Wars: Episode 7' last October, many actors previously associated with the series have come out to talk about their experiences and declare interest in returning.

It would take some serious space magic for the Emperor to come back anyway, but it's refreshing that McDiarmid didn't say he'd be up for returning.

'Star Wars: Episode VII' is set for release in 2015.