Say what you will about George Lucas' writing – especially his dialogue – but there's no denying that the man had a vision, and that vision changed cinema forever. He helped bring about the digital revolution, created one of the greatest fictional universes in existence, and can also be a great filmmaker given the right material. That said, Lucas isn't known for eloquent, specific instructions for his actors. Instead, he is famous for his “faster, more intense” stage direction during the production of the original “Star Wars” trilogy — a direction that was sorely needed in the recent “Ahsoka” series.

Speaking with Empire For the 25th anniversary of the “Star Wars” prequels, Ian McDiarmid talked about Emperor Palpatine’s fateful fight against Mace Windu in “Revenge of the Sith” and Lucas’ direction in producing that scene.

“Jorge [Lucas] kept getting me excited about it,” McDiarmid explained. “I was screaming, 'ABSOLUTE POWER!' I said, 'Do you want me to do some quieter ones, because that's a bit much?' George said, 'No, go further, go further!' That's what I did, and he seems to have gotten most of it – there's no going back.”

McDiarmid confessed that this line (the actual quote is “Unlimited power!”) is one of his most requested lines of dialogue from fans, but it might not surprise you to know what his number one is. “The thing they like most is 'DO IT!' People just love it,” he revealed.

Palpatine's absolute power

The scene in question is pivotal to Palpatine and the larger plot of the prequels. It is the moment when Palpatine fully reveals his true face and appeals to Anakin not as a friend and confidant, not as a wolf in sheep's clothing, but as a powerful Sith Lord. “Unlimited power” wasn’t just a tease for Mace Windu, but a promise for Anakin. This gets to the heart of what this trilogy is about. If the original “Star Wars” trilogy is the story of Luke and Vader, then the prequels are about Anakin and Palpatine, the only character in the franchise with no redeeming qualities.

A big part of why Palpatine works as a character is because of Ian McDiarmid, who manages to make Palpatine and the Emperor from the original trilogy seem like two different people, but also the same two-faced guy finally unmasking himself to the world when it's the right time. The moment when Palpatine proclaims that he has “unlimited power”, despite looking like a frail old man, is the moment in which he appears as the most powerful – which makes the lightsaber duel that precedes it shocking but unnecessary. Of course, McDiarmid wasn't initially set to do his own stunts, but unfortunately George Lucas decided to change things at the last minute – making the choreography of that scene quite complicated and a bit laborious.

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