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Anyone prefer the original (Clive Revill) Emperor?

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by drg4, Mar 18, 2008.

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  1. drg4

    drg4 Jedi Master star 4

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    Jul 30, 2005
    Like everyone else, I loved McDiarmid?s work in the prequels. But, as blasphemous as it sounds, I?m not a fan of his Emperor.

    It could be argued that Return of the Jedi is primarily a children?s film, and one of the best indicators of this lies with the character of its principal villain?-cut from the same obsidian cloth as the Queen, as she appears in the finale of Snow White. The disposition, the garb, the incessant cackling?I keep waiting for him to break out into song. A bit innocuous for my taste. What?s more, he doesn?t really have anything interesting to say, just variations on "Give into your hate." After a while, he comes across as the Used Car Salesman of the Dark Side.

    Until the release of TPM, I considered this broad figure an imposter, next to the ?real? Emperor we saw for all of one minute in TESB: the Clive Revill-voiced, crone-simian amalgam. There wasn?t anything Disney-esque about him; the closest cinematic analogue I can come up with is David Bowie?s Pilate from The Last Temptation of Christ. Very understated, very interior, very much the boss of Darth Vader. What?s interesting is that his constitution seemed patterned after the Jedi: his voice as stately as Obi-Wan?s, his mien as alien as Yoda?s. He had a mystique. Even though I didn?t know the circumstances of Anakin Skywalker?s conversion, I understood what made it possible...because he met up with this guy. This guy could convert anyone. He?s the Devil. And I would?ve loved to see Luke confront this Devil in an entirely different context, where he's victim to a truly soul-wrenching temptation.

    When Yoda promises, ?You will be [afraid]?you will be,? I suspect he?s alluding to this Emperor. The one who dwells not in Coruscant, but in the pits of Hell.

    Makes me wonder.
     
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  2. General Kenobi

    General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Dec 31, 1998
    I don't know. Luke couldn't really confront a hologram in ROTJ, now could he?

    I think inserting Ian into ESB was limited somewhat by the original scene. Some of Ian's dialog there is superior; some of his lines sound forced compared to Revill's.
     
  3. drg4

    drg4 Jedi Master star 4

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    Jul 30, 2005
    No, he couldn't confront a hologram, but shadow is a fantasy filmmaker's best friend.

    After managing Yoda, it'd be child's play...
     
  4. Dark Lady Mara

    Dark Lady Mara Manager Emeritus star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 19, 1999
    Shadow is also a horror filmmaker's best friend. The more mysterious Palpatine's character appeared (both literally and figuratively), the more effective it was, which I think was what made the brief glimpse of the emperor in ESB interesting.
     
  5. zombie

    zombie Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 4, 1999
    I thought the original ESB was awesome. He was mysterious and scary looking, but you weren't quite sure what he even was--and the voice! It was ageless and soothing but sinister and unsettling at the same time. I love the original Emperor. I'm kind of disasppointed that Lucas eventually went with a Wicked-Witch-of-the-West take in ROTJ because the original vision that Kershner presented was highly effective. But it helps that its just this hologram; i guess its difficult to maintain that illusion when you have 1/4 of the movie involving him in the flesh walking around the Death Star.
     
  6. deepbluejedi

    deepbluejedi Jedi Padawan star 4

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    May 23, 2002
    I like the original to a point.....the monkey face is a bit weird, but I actually don't mind the change for the ESB dvd.
     
  7. Hoaxer_Poker

    Hoaxer_Poker Jedi Knight star 1

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    Mar 14, 2008
    The monkey face is part of the charm, it's what makes him so great and stand out! I definately prefer him over Ian McDiarmid's, but I also love his version of the emperor in Return Of The Jedi. I love Clive Revill's macabre voice.
     
  8. Chiss_Insight

    Chiss_Insight Jedi Youngling star 1

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    Jun 2, 2006
    The original ESB Emperor is so mysterious. The only problem that I see is that I never associate the original ESB Palps with age. He looks youthful and strong in some supernatural way. He is very menacing. Then we get to ROTJ, and the question becomes, "What happened to Palps?" He looks old!

    I am going to ask the same question that I asked on another thread: Does anyone else out there think that the SE ESB/Episode III Emperor doesn't match up with the ROTJ Emperor? In SE ESB, the voice matches and the idea of the character (old withered looking dude in a hood) match, but I don't think Ian looks much like he ends up in ROTJ, which is not long after ESB. In ROTS, especially in the fight with Yoda, I just don't think Palps looks like Palps. Again, the idea of the character is there and it's decades before ROTJ, but there is just too much of a difference for me. Anyone else see what am I mean, or am I alone in this opinion?
     
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  9. zombie

    zombie Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 4, 1999
    Thats been a common observation Chiss, you are definitely not alone. The makeup doesn't match, though the idea gets across that its supposed to.
     
  10. HemDazon90

    HemDazon90 Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Mar 4, 2008
    he is pretty damn scary in the hologram
     
  11. HemDazon90

    HemDazon90 Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Mar 4, 2008
  12. voodoopuuduu

    voodoopuuduu Classic Trilogy Trivia Host star 5 VIP - Game Host

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    Mar 22, 2004
    Chiss you are definitely not alone.



    As far as better or worse goes, eh, its only a short skit.
     
  13. BaronLandoCalrissian

    BaronLandoCalrissian Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Jun 14, 2006
    The original emperor has a fascinating similarity to Obi-Wan to me. Almost like he's the dark version of Ben. I wonder if that's where they were leaning at the time.(Count Dooku ended up kinda like that)
     
  14. zombie

    zombie Jedi Master star 4

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    Aug 4, 1999
    It's funny you should mention that. Mark Hamill seemed to suspect that the Emperor and Obi Wan were clones left over from the Clone War because they seemed so similar.

    Mark Hamill says to Starlog in 1980:

    "I remember very early on asking who my parents were and being told that my father and Obi-Wan met Vader on the edge of a volcano and they had a duel?Now I wonder if it's true? I mean, there are so many things. For example, remember the Clone Wars? They could have cloned my father...But changes are inevitable, and Darth Vader is a good example of changing a character to please the people. I think, originally, if you follow classic drama, I would have to kill him in the third episode. But now he's a cult figure and, in a way, George may not want to do away with him. Ultimately, the Emperor should be the main bad guy - someone you try to get through nine movies, and in the ninth one you succeed? There has got to be something to the fact that he looks and sounds a bit like Obi Wan.? ?

    Revill does have that sort of calming, paternal (as McGregor described Guinness once) quality to his voice, and he's an elderly, cloaked Force-user. Its probably just coincidence, of course. I believe Revill is British, like Guiness, but it sounds like he was trying to put on a more neutral voice. Its a chilling effect when its combined with the face, perhaps for the very reason that it doesn't match at all.
     
  15. Delorean_Kenobi

    Delorean_Kenobi Jedi Master star 3

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    Mar 14, 2003
    This thread has really made me re-evaluate Clive Revill's original Emperor.

    I've always been a fan of Iain McDiarmid's portayal of the Emperor (especially his work in the prequels - the Darth Plagius speech alone was brilliantly played) but I do agree with the point of Clive Revill's voice making his character sound more like the darkside's answer to Obi-Wan. I think his voice has that edge to it that makes him sound more dangerous.

    As for the previous comment about Iain's prequel and SE ESB versions not matching up with the ROTJ Emperor - I thought the moment in the scene where he bestows the title of Darth Vader on Anakin and then puts the hood over his head was when I thought "There he is. There's the Emperor!"
     
  16. General Kenobi

    General Kenobi Administrator Emeritus star 6 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Dec 31, 1998
    Yeah, I remember reading that, zombie, back in the days when I subscribed to Starlog.

    Lots of speculation back then about the Emperor, the "other", and so on. Too bad we didn't have the JC back then. Actually, it's probably good that we didn't, or I might not have passed the 7th grade.
     
  17. DarthBoba

    DarthBoba Manager Emeritus star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 29, 2000
    I've always thought Revill nailed the line "Yes..he would be a great...asset." Even better than McDiarmid; it's like he's talking about getting a cool new toaster oven or something; just total objectification.
     
  18. Chiss_Insight

    Chiss_Insight Jedi Youngling star 1

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    Jun 2, 2006
    Delorean_Kenobi,

    We are in total agreement about the naming of Vader scene in ROTS. THAT'S the Emperor! I don't really know who the pudgy-faced, crazy-toothed fellow who fights Yoda in the Senate is though.
     
  19. TwiLekJedi

    TwiLekJedi Pretty Ex-Mod star 10 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

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    Jun 14, 2001
    Heh, I like that line better from McDiarmid, but prefer Reville's "We have a new enemy"
     
  20. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon

    Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Knight star 6

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    Dec 17, 2000
    Very true.

    I remember when I first saw the glimpses of that duel in the RotS trailer and was like (this is my actual honest reaction), "What's up with this new old guy character? Is there ANOTHER Sith Lord?" When a friend told me later that it was the Emperor we got into a big argument because it didn't look anything like the Emperor I knew from ESB OR RotJ. Then came the "The Emperor fighting with a lightsaber is lame" argument. I still think that duel should never have happened, but barring that it should've been ALL DBZ-style lightning/energy moves.
     
  21. YYZ-2112

    YYZ-2112 Jedi Padawan star 4

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    Sep 3, 2004
    I never cared for the ESB Emperor but as a kid when I saw ROTJ three years later I didn't even notice. It's funny how home video changed how we see film. Anyway I was happy to see Ian do the scene for the 04 SE but I was a little disapointed that an effort wasn't made to give him a thin gaunt look like he had in ROTJ. Ofcourse this was actually due to him being older but a lot of times people get thinner as they grow old. If they had made an effort to thin his face for the scene, it would have flowed much better with what we see in ROTJ. It could be the result of two decades of aging instead of three years.
     
  22. DarthLassic007

    DarthLassic007 Jedi Master star 6

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    Nov 25, 2002
    Clive's Palpatine was good but I'm glad he was replaced with Ian's Palpatine. It was another good way to connect both trilogies together.
     
  23. DARTH_BELO

    DARTH_BELO Force Ghost star 5

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    Nov 25, 2003
    I like McDiarmid's version of "Yes...he would be a great asset" better, too. The reason is that when Ian says it, it sounds more like he already thought of it, and is just simply reacting to Vader's thinking of Luke turning to the Darkside. Kind of an appeasing or patronizing tone, if you take my meaning...like how one would be teaching a child something, asking them a question you already know the answer to, but you want the child to "think" of it him/herself. But you still react to it as if THEY thought of it, when it's what you wanted them to think all along.

    Clive's version of this line sounds more like he was simply considering the thought. But Ian's version gives more of an impression that he truly IS Darth Vader's master...


    I must say that I do prefer Ian's version of the emperor...but I never really realized how many people preferred Clive Revill!
     
  24. AnakinSucks

    AnakinSucks Jedi Youngling star 3

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    Sep 15, 2005

    No.

    1) Although Vader bowed to him he acted on Vader's suggestion to turn Luke. It was as if he was not entirely in control.

    2) He looked different from the emperor in ROTJ.
     
  25. BobaFrank

    BobaFrank Jedi Youngling star 5

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    Jul 17, 2001
    Yes as I also prefer the original version of ESB to the special edition.
     
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