Star Wars The Phantom Menace 20th Anniversary Panel

The last big panel at Star Wars Celebration was a 20th anniversary retrospective of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. The maligned prequel that kicked off a new era of Star Wars after a 16-year hiatus from the big screen hasn’t ever been considered a bright spot in the saga’s history. But 20 years later, fans who grew up on Episode I seem to have a special place in their heart for the movie.

The crowd at Star Wars Celebration gave The Phantom Menace anniversary panel a warm reception. It probably didn’t hurt that Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and Darth Maul (Ray Park) were in attendance, not to mention some of the key crew members who have made the modern era of Star Wars what it is today. But George Lucas also sent in a personal message talking about his love for The Phantom Menace, and doubling down on his love for Jar Jar Binks. Plus, some interesting cameos you might not have known about were revealed and much more. Read More »

The Emperor in Episode 9

(Welcome to The Soapbox, the space where we get loud, feisty, political, and opinionated about anything and everything. In this edition: one writer has a bad feeling about The Rise of Skywalker…)

The Star Wars: Episode IX trailer just blew up the internet, revealing some kick-ass action scenes, a stunning visual aesthetic, and a somewhat clunky title (Rise of Skywalker). The trailer as a whole was wonderful…until the end. At the tail end of all the exciting footage, a very familiar laugh was heard: that of Emperor Palpatine. And in case there was some doubt about what you heard, Palpatine himself – Ian McDiarmid  – came out on stage during the Star Wars Celebration, and asked to roll the trailer again in his Emperor voice. The crowd went wild. Everyone seems to be okay with this idea!

Except me.

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the emperor

It’s just one of those things you never think about. First he was The Emperor. Then he was Senator Palpatine, followed by Chancellor Palpatine and then revealed as Darth Sidious. But never once did this Star Wars beacon of evil, the Phantom Menace himself, played perfectly by Ian McDiarmid, have a first name.

In the new canon novel Tarkin by James Luceno, that’s finally changed. After years of waiting and speculation, it can finally be revealed that  Palpatine’s full name is… JOE PALPATINE. No, not really. Read Emperor Palpatine’s real first name below. Read More »

More Star Wars Episode 7 Villain Rumors Revealed

Star Wars Episode 7 Villain Rumors Don’t freak out, this image has NOTHING to do with the new Star Wars Episode 7 villain rumor

A couple weeks back, a hot rumor hit the internet explaining how the Star Wars Episode 7 villain could rewrite Star Wars franchise history. Well a new report adds more heat to the fire. Learn more about the new Star Wars Episode VII villain rumor after the jump.

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Palpatine

The big Star Wars Episode VII story coming out of D23 this weekend was that there was no big Star Wars Episode VII story. To the disappointment of many, the studio chose not to reveal any new info at all during the event. But luckily for those craving a bit of Star Wars gossip, we have some rumor and news coming from other corners of the world. After the jump:

  • Ian McDiarmid is rumored to return for Episode VII
  • Meanwhile, Ray Park is hoping he’ll get asked back too
  • George Lucas and his wife welcome a baby daughter

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Mark Hamill Return of Jedi

Star Wars Celebration Europe is underway in Germany, and the eyes of Star Wars fans across the globe will be on their Twitter feeds to see if the first convention after the big announcement of new films yields any major news. The head of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, will make her first Celebration appearance and she’s bringing along many of the original trilogy’s major stars. In fact, so many of the Star Wars stars are on hand, they took a fantastic photo to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Return of the Jedi. Read More »

The Making of Star Wars Return of the Jedi - Ewoks header

Today’s Star Wars Bits looks back to Return of the Jedi, and forward to Episode VII. After the jump:

  • See rare photos from the Jedi set
  • Ian McDiarmid has fond memories of playing the Emperor
  • J.J. Abrams was afraid of becoming the reboot guy
  • ILM eyes a new location in London
  • The Clone Wars gets Emmy recognition

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Palpatine
Harrison Ford doesn’t “even want to discuss” Star Wars, but plenty of other people do. Also after the jump:

  • Fans petition the White House for National R2-D2 Day
  • A Lucasfilm exec blogs about animation layoffs
  • Carrie Fisher will be at Star Wars Celebration
  • Ian McDiarmid wants to return as Palpatine
  • The Rock is “very excited” for Episode VII
  • Diane Kruger would also love to do Star Wars
  • Darth Vader attacks Tokyo (Disneyland)

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There’s only so much that we can get out of seeing a 3D trailer in 2D, especially when the film in question is something as well-known as The Phantom Menace. But on the off chance you didn’t see the trailer for Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace 3D on screens this weekend in front of The Three Musketeers, you can now check it out below. Read More »

Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Ian McDiarmid is Okay After Suspected Heart Attack

Ian McDiarmid, probably best known as The Emperor in the Star Wars films, suffered a suspected heart attack while on stage in London. The actor continued the opening night performance until the play’s final curtain call, refusing to go to the hospital until after the performance. McDiarmid is said to be fine. But of course he’s fine, a heart attack can’t kill a Sith Lord.

source: TimesOnline