PT Is Ian's portrayal of Sidious a bit over the top after killing Windu?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Slowpokeking, May 15, 2013.

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  1. darthwannobi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2013
    I thought Ian's performance was right where it needed to be. Enjoyed the kindly senator of ep 1 and the crazy emperor of ep3. The 'no! No! No!' line was delivered so creepy and i thought it was awesome! I'd always know palps was the sith emperor, but when i saw the palps the senator performance of ep1 it had me confused. Maybe there's a twist or maybe i assumed wrong all these years. Ian played the character very well!
  2. Solid Sam Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Perhaps it was a bit over the top, but I thought it was alright.
  3. Sur-Gon Jinn Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2013
    is it over-the-top? abso-friggin-lutely.....the "no...no..YOU will DIE" makes me snicker..as does his crowning Vader....it's just too much..it's comical....so is his cackling during the Yoda fight in the Senate Hall and the faces he makes during his fight with Mace....

    In RotJ he "cackles" and whatnot..but it's not over-the-top and fits the character...in RotS...it's just silly. Way too far.

    Question is though....was it Ian's doing...or did we get it from the direction of GLucas? Lucas probably wanted him to put more into it.

    but yes..it's silly...and rather stupid. It turns him from menacing, creepy, evil character...into an Adam West Batman villian.
    vinsanity likes this.
  4. Carbon1985 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 23, 2013
    star 3
    Over the top & just another reason why ROTS is my least favorite PT movie. His performance kinda mirrors the whole problem with ROTS as it is a SW movie on steroids and just doesn't hold up as well as TPM & AOTC.
    vinsanity likes this.
  5. DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 8, 2002
    star 4
    Is Ian's portrayal of Sidious a bit over the top after killing Windu?

    He was really happy. That's what happens when you win the title of Emperor, I guess. Seriously, though, I think use of the dark side literally makes you go insane. How else do you explain the murderous rampage Anakin went on?
    darth ladnar likes this.
  6. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Caesar Romero never gave me chills of evil dread. For that I have to thank Ian McDiarmid in Revenge of the Sith.
    Last edited by FRAGWAGON, Aug 18, 2013
  7. vinsanity Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 28, 2013
    star 3
    Agree 100%, that and his faces he makes when fighting Mace before the lightning "deformation of his face", it took me out of the character from him.
  8. Force Smuggler Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    ROTS Palpatine/Sidious had good moments but ROTJ Palpatine was the best overall.
    Shadow Trooper likes this.
  9. darth ladnar Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 20, 2013
    star 3
    I'm not trying to shoot you down but instead to let you in on what I think is that coolness of the scene, so here's my take. I don't think the movie does make it clear that he was "deformed" by his own Force Lightning. Lightning doesn't cause your fingernails to instantly grow into talons, it doesn't make your eyes yellow surrounded in a halo of red, and it doesn't add severe tooth decay that makes it look like you just ate a box of Oreos.

    These clues give us the evidence we need to understand that Palpatine is letting his real Sith appearance show. It's subtle, but it has to be that way. He's fooling Anakin by making it seem as Mace is doing this to him, so Palpatine's trick has to be convincing enough to convince someone who's watching think that he is apparently being disfigured and on the point of death. The details, like the teeth, fingernails, and eyes, and the fact that he roars back to life to kill Mace a half minute after being "deformed' are for us who can watch the film again and again and they realize, "Hey, he's tricking them. Those things shouldn't happen."

    A lot of things are this way about that scene. The first time through it seems really weird when Palpatine is frying Mace and he yells: "Unlimited Power!" A lot of viewers must think: "How is frying Mace giving him unlimited power?" However, when you make sense of the scene, you realize he's not saying this about Mace at all. He thinks he has unlimited power because he's set up a scene that just caused Anakin to make a choice so that he has to join the Dark Side and that allows him to justify Order 66.

    I also like that it's told to us in a subtle way (i.e. why would Sith lightning change fingernails, eyes, teeth?). It makes us figure it out what's going on, and that makes Palpatine seem all the more deceptive. We're fooled and then we figure out, "Hey, I've been deceived too."

    Here are some quotes by Ian MacDiarmid that show pretty clearly that his "disfigured" appearance is his real appearance and that it was always planned that way and not a creation of the EU:

    "I don't think George had made up his mind when we started shooting whether to continually show Lord Sidious as he really is after his initial transformation or if Sidious would go back forth with his appearance. I (believe) when George finally saw Dave's wonderful makeup he decided that constantly changing Palpatine's appearance would be a step backward. So the moment in the film where I make the transformation is the way I appear until the end. It's an interesting sort of study in schizophrenia really-the nice guy you saw was revealed later in the monstrous mask as the self, the Sith self."
    Ian McDiarmid[src]

    "You think about Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde-Jekyll was the good doctor who went out at night and transformed into a terrible decadent, Hyde, who was buried down inside. In Episode III, it's more like Hyde in the guise of Jekyll throughout the film. And although the face is hideous, he doesn't care-Hideous Sidious, they go together."
    Ian McDiarmid[src]
  10. darthwannobi Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jul 24, 2013
    I've always taken that Anakin's eyes turn when he's fully tapping the darkside. This also works for me when viewing Palpatine's transformation. And as far as showing it on screen, ideally in film you 'show' rather than tell whenever possible.
    DARTHVENGERDARTHSEAR likes this.
  11. Ananta Chetan Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2013
    star 4
    Great points Darth Landar. Another point I have not read from those of us "who can watch the film again and again" as you say, is that the audience and Anakin seem to be lead to believe that because Mace is deflecting the Sith-lightening that this somehow disables Sidious from "turning off the juice" whenever he wishes. As if that purple saber is somehow serving as a magnetic conduit and just sucking the unlimited power right out of his fingertips against his will!
    Last edited by Ananta Chetan, Aug 18, 2013
    darth ladnar likes this.
  12. DeviantSpirit Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 1
    He's definitely over-the-top but wonderfully so, I think. He's spent years and years planning this, the culmination of his final plan and the domination of the Sith...seeing him cackling with that maniacal evil energy fits so well for me. His ROTJ appearance is more creepy and sinister and it fits where his character was at the time, but that just wouldn't work for ROTJ. He's a man who loves victory and this was the sweetest one of them all.
  13. JDN21 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 17, 2004
    star 2
    Sure, he was drunk on power but his facial alteration, what I see as sudden weight gain and comical disposition when fighting Yoda was too much for me. Could have done without some of it.
  14. Skelter Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 1
    Stupidity? ? Lets face it, Anakin is a ****ing moron.. He was stupid before he fell to the dark side.
  15. Darth Ridiculis Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 15, 2013
    star 1
    I like the idea that Palps was really letting loose, and his acting doesn't bother me at all in ROTS. I'd assume that in the next twenty plus years his mego-maniacal raving and ranting would settle a bit until he just sat in his Hover-round on the Death Star II. What did bother me was that he was made to look like a fool a few times, like when Yoda threw him with the Force and he flopped backwards over his chair or was hanging and crying from the Senate pod...

    We're supposed to believe this guy has the ability to take over the galaxy and these moments made him a bit goofy.
    FRAGWAGON likes this.
  16. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Well, he did win that one. And won it so well that Jedi Master Yoda fled in terror, and hid for twenty years!
  17. oierem Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 3
    Totally agreed. And the fact that during principal photography Palpatine's lighting didn't rebound at all (and yet his face changed) shows that it was clearly planed that way from the beginning.
    SithStarSlayer and darth ladnar like this.
  18. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    He was all sorts of goofy awesome in ROTS.
  19. Dark Lord Of The Empire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2013
    star 4
    I thought Ian's performance in this scene (like most of his scenes) was fantastic! When you think about it, Palpatine is not only extremely happy about what's happening for himself, but for all Sith that have come before him in the last 1,000 years. They have had to wait, generation to generation, for the downfall of the Jedi Order and to rule the galaxy. He has had to pretend to be a good guy, and constantly be around his hated enemies as if he were on their side up until this scene. Now he can be his true self! Not only does he not have to pretend anymore, he knows by the end of this scene, that the elimination of his enemies is coming shortly (Order 66), he has seized supreme power, controls the courts and the senate, has a massive army of troops who will follow his orders without question, and turns the Jedi's chosen one to the Dark Side. His victory is so complete that it is almost without rival in any other story you can watch/read. So basically I saw the performance in this scene as appropriate because Palpatine sees that his goals are finally being realized, and he's excited and drunk off his power at the same time.
  20. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
  21. oierem Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 3
    The idea of Sidious being "drunk" is also appropriate if we consider the dark side as a drug: not only it is addictive, but it directly affects the "user". You can see that Anakin looks a bit "drunk" as well during the pledge scene ("I pledge myself.. to your teachings")
  22. FRAGWAGON Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    star 4
    Well said, oirem.
  23. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    I've always preferred "Drunk & Bloated by the Dark Side"... and yes, I'm one of the few who caps it up.:p
    FRAGWAGON likes this.
  24. CryGoneGin Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2013
    star 1
    I too subscribe to the theory that usage of the Dark Side is analogous to heavy drinking or drug use. When it comes to Palpatine's deformed face, I think that's the cause of his body being warped by Palpatine's non-stop immersion in the Dark Side, and reminds me of the horrible physical appearance of heavy methamphetamine users.

    His pre-ROTS appearance is perhaps him using an unnamed Dark Side technique to give himself a normal face, but it probably uses up a ton of his Dark Side power to keep going, and so when he was blasting his lightning at Mace and it was being blocked by the saber, he increased his output of lightning, and it probably was so much Dark Side being used that his "normal" mask disappeared, as Palpatine was drawing on every reserve of Dark Side power in him to overwhelm Windu, including that usually reserved to keep the mask illusion.

    Which brings up the possibility that when he finally stops and lies there, acting like he's completely drained all of his Dark Side and can't "hold on any longer", he's actually not lying; he really did just exhaust all of his power, including that used to disguise himself. He just needed a little time to 'recharge', so to speak, and so used that time to act like a pathetic old man pleading for mercy, to create sympathy from Anakin. And when Windu is raising his saber to strike, Palpatine is genuinely terrified for his life, as he's not quite recovered, but once Anakin disarms Mace, Palpatine is so elated by this act that his power instantly floods back (if I understand correctly, Force ability increases in moments of intense emotion) and he's able to finally fire lightning again, shouting that "unlimited power!" line to as if to say, "now I've got unlimited power to kill you due to my intense happiness that things went my way."

    Of course, this is just my pet theory, but that's the great thing about Sidious: he's so damn good at his game that you never really truly know what the real deal with him is. He could have been faking weakness in that moment, or my theory was the real truth. It's the mark of a truly great villain who always has you guessing about his actions. As for McDiarmid's acting, I absolutely love both his hammy-ness in Sith, and restrained creepiness in Jedi. From my perspective, it makes sense, as in ROTS, he was utterly wasted on Dark Side energy and exultant over the success of his decades-long plot. Have you ever seen how ridiculous people act when they, say, win a new car on a game show? That's Palpatine, except the stakes were a billion times higher and the reward even more satisfying.

    And besides, we only really see him doing his cackling-and-screaming thing when he's duelling Yoda or Mace. Otherwise, he's for the most part actually scarily reserved, such as the aforementioned moment where he's putting on his hood (something about how that shot was done is amazingly spooky. Kudos Lucas!). I think we fans are sort of exaggerating the times Sidious is hamming it up, as far as acting like a cackling-Disney-villain goes.

    As for how different he's acting in Jedi, that's easily explained: he's spent almost two decades as Emperor, has had time to cool his jets and recover from his Dark Side drunkenness (do Dark Side users get hangovers, I wonder? [face_dunno] ) , and is now so filled with confidence in himself and his Empire that he doesn't exert himself much emotionally anymore. As far as he's concerned, he's the most powerful being in the galaxy, and ridiculous outbursts are now beneath him. Really, both portrayals of the Emperor are entirely believable in their respective contexts.

    And don't get me started on my other theory that Palpatine gets sexual arousal from the Dark Side, which would explain a lot of his behavior too...[face_sick]
  25. oierem Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 18, 2009
    star 3
    I DO share that theory! Not only from using it, but from dominating and humilliating a rising young Jedi and submitting him to his will.
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