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PT Who really won the Palpatine Mace duel?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by Darth Formidious, Apr 13, 2017.

  1. Darth Formidious

    Darth Formidious Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2015
    Star Wars Celebration 2017 wrought many interesting answers and many questions too. However, the Ian Mcdiarmid panel was laden with many answers and fascinating insight. None more so than the confirmation that Palpatine did indeed throw the duel with Mace Windu. From 31:25, we hear the question being posed and Ian's answer:

    (skip to 31:25 onwards)



    And also, a massive cheer for, Ian Mcdiarmid. Always a pleasure! ^:)^
     
  2. {Quantum/MIDI}

    {Quantum/MIDI} Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2015
    Hmmm...

    I'm pretty sure Lucas stated that it was left ambiguous so that the viewers can come to their own terms of what they think.

    There wasn't a clear statement of the matter.
     
  3. G-FETT

    G-FETT Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Am going to have a watch of this vid with my coffee. Always great to hear Ian speak about Star Wars.

    The great thing with him is that he actually appreciates the role Lucas gave him and being a proper (stage) actor he seems to love the theatricality of Lucas's scenes and script's and proves that actually Harrison Ford, being a rather "limited" actor to say the least, was entirely wrong when he made his famous quote that "you can type this **** but you can't say it".

    Harrison just doesn't have the range of acting abilities that Ian has. Harrison Ford is a movie star (superstar?) But Ian McDiarmid is an actor...

    Anyway, to the topic at hand. I'm not sure this is actual confirmation that Palpatine threw the fight as that would have to come from George himself... But clearly that's the way Ian interpreted the scene and in absence of an official word from Lucas that's good enough for me... It always seemed obvious to me anyway though lol!
     
  4. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005
    In all fairness, G-FETT, Harrison and Ian are different talents; each tremendously capable in their own way. And Harrison's remark was partly in relation to lines like (as brought up at the Celebration panel yesterday) "It'll take a few minutes for the navicomputer to calculate the co-ordinates". Harrison, like his OT co-stars, was saddled with a little bit of dry, wordy, unemotional technobabble, which Ian never really had to contend with. Harrison was also probably egged on by Mark and Carrie, or was doing it to entertain them when he expressed sardonic disdain for the material. On such a difficult production as the original was, where the artistry of the picture was constantly open to question, and Lucas' famously taciturn direction could have driven the principals to madness, the actors had to find some way of jabbing at the material and having a laugh.

    Think a bit more about the difference in their characters here. Han, as the daring pilot of "his" ship, a smuggler on the run, operated in a world where a certain amount of "throwaway" techie dialogue was deliberately injected into the script; an artistic choice, much like "THX", intended to flesh out the extraordinary ordinariness of that universe. Palpatine, by contrast, is a scheming, ambitious politician; the kind of character that a person with a seasoned theatrical background might be more drawn to and immediately get. Actors also tend to relish playing villains a bit more than relatively straightforward "heroes". Yet without Harrison, the OT wouldn't really have worked as well as it did. It required a "star" actor with a certain presence and intelligence to pull off a role like that. Maybe no-one but Harrison could really have done it justice.

    I get what you mean about the essential difference between them, however. Ian obviously grasps the Shakespearean grandeur of Palpatine and the PT storyline. If he had his doubts venturing back, surely they were assuaged when he got fitted for his Elizabethan robes in TPM! I mean, technically, you might argue that a line like "A tragedy has occurred which started right here with the taxation of trade routes and has now engulfed our entire planet in the oppression of the Trade Federation" is staggeringly mealy-mouthed next to Han's "navicomputer" comment. Yet Ian gets that because he knows that Palpatine is operating on a "higher" level; and that politics is the art of subterfuge. Furthermore, I think he found an extra level of contentment with George and with his character after filming the "opera" scene in ROTS. He reiterated at the panel yesterday what a great opportunity he felt George gave him with that one scene to really act and tell a story. Of course, Harrison gets a few dramatic moments in the other films, but there's no real equivalent to that master class of a scene.

    To directly compare Ian and Harrison is like comparing oil and water. Just some thoughts here. Always happy to see you posting. Once again, with Celebration underway as we speak, and everyone awaiting the next Star Wars movie trailer, it feels like no time has elapsed!


    Oh, boy. How I remember the heat of those discussions. [face_laugh]

    My own interpretation is that yes, in many ways, Palpatine "throws" the fight; just as Palpatine throws many a thing at the feet of the Jedi in the PT. He knows they'll come and arrest him and botch it. He knows their powers are on the wane, he knows they've grown wary and impatient, he knows they've become accustomed to making decisions in haste, and he knows that the "Anakin" part of the carpet, at his own doing, is frayed and damaged and he'll be able to get them (or Mace) to trip over it and watch them choke on it. I know the fight sequence itself was shot rather quickly, but that lends it a slightly ragged quality that fits the nature of the confrontation quite well, in my opinion. It's a fabulous face-off; the whole shebang. The Jedi coming to arrest, the fight, the window confrontation, and Mace's gruesome (if gloriously campy) defenestration. A wonderful piece of kabuki theatre played to glorious excess by Ian: the ultimate merging of the campy and the grotesque. Or as New Yorker critic Richard Brody puts it, in his surprisingly positive remarks toward ROTS as he looks back on the Lucas saga: "The movie is filled with an absolute splendor of the pulp sublime, and that moment is its very apogee."
     
  5. G-FETT

    G-FETT Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 2001
    Cryogenic Fascinating and thoughtful as always. =D=
     
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  6. Cryogenic

    Cryogenic Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Jul 20, 2005

    You are so very kind, G-FETT.

    On another note, I think you and I, in our own ways, belong in the era of the Old Republic; not this "Marvel"-lous Disney era.

    So, from one loyal, craggy dinosaur to another, thank you. :)
     
    G-FETT likes this.
  7. G-FETT

    G-FETT Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Aug 10, 2001
    LOL! I have felt kind of left behind by the new era (still haven't even seen Rogue One) but maybe, just maybe, The Last Jedi trailer gives me (a new) hope? ;)
     
    Cryogenic likes this.
  8. Jester J Binks

    Jester J Binks Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 19, 2016
    I watched the Ian "revelation" as more of tongue-in-cheek bravado than a statement of canon. It also puts into question many quotes that are sometimes decades old when something like this illustrates that you have to really watch a quote in its full context to judge its validity.

    That doesn't change the fact that I always felt Palps threw the Mace fight as a lure set for Anakin. Maybe it wasn't Palps initial plan and maybe Mace actually could have beat him, but it is possible Palps realized Mace was going to be somebody that might just best him and instead of seeing it as a defeat, he turned it into a victory. Probably because that enhances both Mace and Sidious without having to lessen the other.
     
  9. mikeximus

    mikeximus Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Watching it now, interesting that Ian referred to Palpatine/Sidious as a creature or monster on many occasions.

    At first he was joking, however, he gets serious and his serious answer was that it was all staged for Anakin.
     
  10. Jester J Binks

    Jester J Binks Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2016
    Not to get on Ian's case, but he also was hinting that day that Palpatine's back story made him more human with a heart at one time. Whereas George seems to always refer to him as pure evil / Satan incarnate.

    The thing is, I've always felt Palpatine threw the fight from the very first viewing over a decade ago. So I'm not going to argue against myself. Just that it has always been presented as vague enough so the viewer has to decide using small clues as opposed to being spoonfed. Ian was probably smart enough (I mean, he has more insight than us) to get that subtext so he could use it in his performance. But I think it is supposed to remain forever unverified so we can almost see it through Anakin's eyes. Anakin probably asked himself countless times "was Palpatine faking it to trick me?"

    It's also more fun to have to defend your view of what went down based off the clues from the actual movie as opposed to "well this actor/writer/director said this."
     
    Alienware likes this.
  11. CaptainSuchandSuch

    CaptainSuchandSuch Jedi Knight star 2

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    Dec 8, 2015
    Did he comment on the possibility of appearing in one of the spinoff films?
     
  12. Darth Formidious

    Darth Formidious Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 19, 2015
    Ian did mention that his view of, Palpatine's past is ambiguous. George Lucas did portray the Emperor as a force of pure malice, however, he has also stated that the Emperor may have had good intent on creating the galactic empire. George can be exquisitely polarising.
     
  13. Darth Formidious

    Darth Formidious Jedi Master star 4

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    Dec 19, 2015
    I agree with mikeximus, it started over jokey but got serious and analytical.
     
  14. CaptainSuchandSuch

    CaptainSuchandSuch Jedi Knight star 2

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    Dec 8, 2015
    It's about point of view, really. From Palpatine's perspective, the atrocities he's committed are a justified means to the ends of restoring and enforcing order in a broken society.
     
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  15. oierem

    oierem Jedi Master star 4

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    Mar 18, 2009
    Fantastic interview with a fantastic actor, as always.
    And I love how he is so accurate about the details of the shooting of the Opera scene (indeed his part was shot in a friday afternoon right after the duel, and the scene was finished next monday!).
     
  16. Alexrd

    Alexrd Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Jul 7, 2009
    That's correct.
     
  17. Delta RC-1138

    Delta RC-1138 Jedi Padawan

    Registered:
    Sep 7, 2015
    I always thought he threw it. They way he Frank Underwood'ed his way to that top made him my favorite character in the PT. And I love Ian too, fantastic actor, really enjoyed seeing how much fun he had playing Palpatine.
     
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  18. Sith Lord 2015

    Sith Lord 2015 Jedi Master star 4

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    Oct 30, 2015
    Nothing wrong with some made-up technical terms in a SciFi movie, even though some people like to call it "fantasy". No disrespect to Lucas for saying it's "fantasy", but let's face it, technology plays a huge part in SW, especially ANH. It's what made me like the movie as a kid in the first place. To be honest, at that age I wasn't much interested in the mythological side like the philosophy of the Jedi or even the Force that much. It was the pure visual stuff that fascinated me. And why wouldn't a spaceship have a "navicomputer"? Harrison Ford may have found it ridiculous, but to me it made perfect sense. Every big fantasy or SF story has its invented language. We can accept "ring wraiths", "barrow wights", "spice melange" but not "navicomputer"? :confused:
    As to who is the better actor, I really have no idea. They both play their roles well, which are totally different. Harrison was good as Han, Ian as Sidious. That's good enough for me.
     
  19. Erkan12

    Erkan12 Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Nov 27, 2013
    He was joking at first, but he says part of it about Anakin's temptation but what Sidious could do ? If you're defeated already, all you can do is act as a victim. He couldn't accept the fact that he was a deceiver and he was wrong against Mace, so he acted. But he lost the duel.
     
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  20. moreorless12

    moreorless12 Jedi Master star 4

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    Jan 4, 2016
    You are also potentially talking really two issues as well, did he throw the duel in terms of losing his LS and did he throw the duel in terms of underplaying his ability to fight without it? to me the latter obviously seems much more likely in the way we see him suddenly spring to life when Anakin turns on Mace and idneed also rather feeds into the confrontation with Yoda where its his wider force abilities that allow him to see him off.

    As far as Mcdiarmid in the PT goes for me Palpatine(at least up to the confrontation with Mace and co) is written in a rather different fashion to a lot of the story with a much subtler character so I don't really think you can claim he's backing the more "theatrical" style of the prequels. Personally as well whilst Harrison might have had a quib at Lucas I'v always felt it was underplaying his own abilities, in reality he was actually incredibly good at reading the "technobabble" without sounding bland
     
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  21. DBPirate

    DBPirate Jedi Master star 4

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    Jun 20, 2015
    I thought Lucas confirmed that Mace won the fight as he was able to channel both the light and dark side. This probably isn't official confirmation.
     
  22. Rickleo123

    Rickleo123 Jedi Knight star 3

    Registered:
    May 20, 2016
    Lucas left it ambiguous on purpose so it would be something people will always debate over. Pretty genius if you ask me. Like Anakin's origin or the species of Yoda some SW answers will always be unknown.
     
    Deliveranze likes this.
  23. Martoto77

    Martoto77 Jedi Master star 5

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    Aug 6, 2016
    It's a bit of unfair to conpare McDairmid's facility with the lines presented to him by Lucas's script and Ford's experience.

    The Emperor is not compelled to deliver exposition in the heat of a battle or a pursuit like Solo is. Palpatine has the luxury to elocute to his audience who are often captive.
     
  24. Darkslayer

    Darkslayer Force Ghost star 7

    Registered:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Lucas has made a clear statement - he said Mace won the fight.
     
  25. Darth Formidious

    Darth Formidious Jedi Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 19, 2015
    No, he did not!