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Marjorie Eaton - The Original Emperor

Discussion in 'Classic Trilogy' started by SlashMan, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. The_Phantom_Calamari

    The_Phantom_Calamari Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 10, 2011

    Well, the context of the scene has changed slightly. Originally, we didn't even know who the Emperor was, and this was our first introduction to him as a mysterious, shadowy figure. But now, in the context of all six movies, we're watching Vader kneel before the man who we watched enslave him over the course of three previous movies. There's an emotional connection there between Vader and Palpatine that was more or less absent in the original. The creepiness now comes from the fact that we know exactly who this guy is, what he's done, and what he's capable of. We fully understand the power he has over Vader.

    In contrast, Monkey-Eyes Emperor is just some random dude who we've never met before and who never even shows up again. It's just plain not Palpatine as we've now come to know him. It's distracting, and detracts from the overall story, from an emotional standpoint.
  2. Master_Lok

    Master_Lok Force Ghost star 6

    Dec 18, 2012

    Thank you SlashMan for this informative thread. I always thought it was Elaine myself and appreciate knowing the real woman beneath the Emperor. I wish she'd carried on with the role myself.

    Hogarth Wrightson:

    I can answer the Elaine Baker Reagan question:

    Rick and his then wife Elaine would perform at Bob Burns Halloween shows (Burns house would become a theatre of sorts where he and his friends would reinenact scenes from films. Elaine stepped in for Reagan when they recreated the Exorcist (Rick Baker being Dick Smith's assistant on that seminal film.)
  3. vnu

    vnu Jedi Master star 3

    Sep 8, 2012
    I thought the dialogue pre-2004 DVD made the most sense.
    Now it's just confusing lol
  4. Obi-John Kenobi

    Obi-John Kenobi Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 30, 2012
    Yeah, there's too much made over the Emperor's look in the ESB SE. My main objection is that the performance seems more static than need be.

    The look of the "original" Emperor that always threw me off was the crater-shaped eyes. The Emperor's eyes were shaped NOTHING like that subsequently.Don't know why they came up with that. But arguably the design (particularly from what we can see in the BTS photo) wasn't too unlike Ian's.

    As for Clive's voice, it always struck me as very "Obi-Wan like". Sorta regal & authoritative,basically an "Evil Obi-Wan". But I always much preferred Ian's more sinister and deceptive sounding voice. It had much more character.
  5. SlashMan

    SlashMan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 5, 2012
    Also, even the facial prosthetics survived production. Though it's not too surprising, considering many vintage Star Wars props survived the ordeal of filming:
  6. SW Saga Fan

    SW Saga Fan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 19, 2015

    To be honest, I always thought that it was Ian McDiarmid as the original Emperor in ESB and the production team just didn't get the design of the Emperor right until ROTJ. But I never thought that it would have been a different actor, especially a woman in the original version.

    On my part, maybe the revisited version (fan-made modification) which took the exact same design as the Emperor in ROTJ would have been a better choice than the 1980's original version or the 2004's SE :

  7. Jango723

    Jango723 Jedi Master star 1

    Jul 16, 2011

    I'm a big fan of Ady's work but I don't think that his "fix" for the hologram scene is very good. It looks exactly like what it is - a still from ROTJ with someone else's mouth superimposed on top of it. Not convincing at all.
  8. SateleNovelist11

    SateleNovelist11 Force Ghost star 6

    Jan 10, 2015

    Frankly, I didn't notice the makeup differences between ROTJ and ROTS until people started pointing them out a few years ago. Now I can't get them out of my head! Lol. At any rate, I think McDiarmid's voice in the scene from TESB is fantastic. He's very eerie and subtle.
    sarlaccsaurs-rex and Andy Wylde like this.
  9. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    I don't think Slashman was disagreeing. Slashman said that he applauds the effort to match the emperor to I-III and VI.

    Also, the hood is too loose-fitting on the 2004 Emperor. It looks like a hat.
    whostheBossk and SlashMan like this.
  10. markdeez

    markdeez Jedi Master star 3

    Oct 27, 2005
    The 2004 Emperor is a VAST improvement over the original ESB Emperor, even with the ROTS makeup.

    And great detective work finding out that mustache lady was the actress used and not Elaine Baker
  11. All_Powerful_Jedi

    All_Powerful_Jedi Force Ghost star 4

    Sep 12, 2003
    The 2004 Emperor is one of the changes I was fully in support of. I do think the lighting could have been better as he's too bright but I thought both the inclusion of McDiarmid and the dialogue worked pretty well.
  12. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    I hope the Vader comic explains the 2004 dialogue.
    Lt. Hija likes this.
  13. Hogarth Wrightson

    Hogarth Wrightson Jedi Knight star 4

    Jul 2, 2015
    What needs to be explained? It's crystal clear to me, at least.
  14. Qui-Riv-Brid

    Qui-Riv-Brid Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 18, 2013

    It's the hood man!

    I mean nevermind the face, the eyes, the nose, the mouth and neck being the same!

    One dark hood is draped over the head differently than the other.

    It explains itself.

    DARTH_BELO Force Ghost star 5

    Nov 25, 2003
    I must say I am shocked to see how many people here actually prefer the original monkey lady over the Ian McDiarmid version for the ESB emperor!! Any minor differences aside (like the lighting for example-which IMO is such a miniscule detail), it is the SAME actor, portraying the character he has spent years over several episodes portraying, with the same makeup design. IMO that detail and consistency alone are enough to cause the '04 version to be the preference. That's not to mention his voice and inflection. I mean it's the same actor-what more could anyone ask for to improve consistency?!

    I have always felt that the Ian version was a great help to bring some added visual continuity between the PT and OT in a non-intrusive way.
  16. Hogarth Wrightson

    Hogarth Wrightson Jedi Knight star 4

    Jul 2, 2015
    I think it's part of the anti-prequel sentiment that prevails in some quarters of the fanbase.

    I myself adore the change, even if I do have fond memories of the Eaton/Revill/chimp version in the theater from way back in '80. I have that version on the '06 "Bonus Disc", though, so no biggie. (Though I do want an HD version of that, but that's another topic.)
    sarlaccsaurs-rex and oierem like this.
  17. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2013
    I prefer Ian's version in the 2004 change. Part of the difference between ROTJ and ROTS is Ian has aged from 1983 to 2005, Ian himself remarked that when he watches ROTJ he see his much younger face under the makeup. In ROTJ you can tell Ian has a thinner face than he does by TPM and later.
  18. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    That is true.
    Where did you read this?
    His face looks noticably fatter in ROTS than it does in TPM and AOTC.
  19. Encuentro

    Encuentro Jedi Master star 2

    Aug 8, 2013
    I prefer the original Emperor. He just comes across as more mysterious in the original version. However, I'm OK with the visual change. I just prefer the original. What I'm not OK with is the dialogue change. It's far too revealing. There is a good chance that anyone not knowing the big reveal at the end of the film-and believe or not, there a few people out there who aren't familiar with the big reveal-will be tipped off by the dialogue change.

    Emperor: I have no doubt that he is the offspring of Anakin Skywalker.
    Vader: How is that possible?
    Emperor: Search your feelings, Lord Vader. You will know it to be true.
  20. SlashMan

    SlashMan Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Feb 5, 2012
    I think the "fatter face" is just an optical illusion based on lighting. Which also has to do with the way the hood is set. See, they tried to copy the way the hood looked on Eaton, which accounts for why it's such a jarring change from ROTJ. Which I can buy; I don't expect Palpatine to wear his hood exactly the same way day in and day out. A lower lighting could have really helped make the transition seamless, though.
  21. Prequel_Rubbish

    Prequel_Rubbish Jedi Knight star 3

    Dec 5, 2014
    No baiting.
    SlashMan and lovelikewinter like this.
  22. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    Prior to 2004, my headcanon was that Palpatine had ascended to a higher plane of existence and that communicating from this higher plane distorted his appearance and voice. In ROTJ, he returned to "our" plane of existence, hence we see McDiarmid in ROTJ.

    SlashMan I'm really impressed by the depth of your research. Thank you.
    SlashMan and Tosche_Station like this.
  23. Slicer87

    Slicer87 Jedi Master star 4

    Mar 18, 2013
    I read in in an interview he gave to a magazine, maybe insider? He remarked seeing a much younger face under all that makeup.
  24. TCF-1138

    TCF-1138 Anthology/Fan Films/NSA Mod & Ewok Enthusiast star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Sep 20, 2002
    I'm just here to point out that chimpanzees are apes, not monkeys.

    Also, cool to finally know who that actress was!
  25. darklordoftech

    darklordoftech Force Ghost star 6

    Sep 30, 2012
    There is something I like about Eaton with Ian's voice. There's a certain creepiness to it.

    By the way, apparently Eaton was in Mary Poppins.