Star Wars icon Ian McDiarmid is weighing in on the subject that has been confounding fans for going on half a decade now: Palpatine f***s?!

Ever since the now-infamous Sequel Trilogy finale Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the Star Wars franchise has been retroactively trying to explain away the mess of how Palpatine returned – and how Sequel Trilogy heroine Rey was his descendant.

The story of Rey’s origin and lineage is baffling for several reasons:

The idea of Sheev Palpatine having kids that he didn’t try to kill off seemed pretty out of character
The actual explanation of how Darth Sidious “reproduced” was infinitely weirder and more confusing, with “strandcasts” (genetically engineered clone templates completed with DNA from other donors) is still such a wild “Star Warsy” idea that most mainstream fans aren’t aware of it – or care to be.

Now Star Wars mainstream content like The Mandalorian, or various comic book projects have all been working hard to retroactively explain away the details of how Palpatine created and “piloted” strand-casts like Supreme Leader Snoke, and how Dathan ( the one successful surviving human strand-cast of Sidious who cast out because he lacked Force powers) fathered Rey.

(Photo: Lucasfilm)

However, amid all that retconning, Star Wars fans have been pulled into a larger discussion about if Palpatine even had a sex life. Now Ian McDiarmid is offering his opinion on that matter – in case you needed to know:

“Please don’t pursue that line too vigorously,” McDiarmid Empire Magazine “But yes, he does [have sex]. It’s a horrible idea to think of Palpatine having sex in any shape or form. But then, of course, perhaps he didn’t.”

Star Wars has always found some choice ways to make the issue of reproduction pretty weird. Right from the start the Original Trilogy had a brother and sister inadvertently form romantic feelings for one another, and had the hero face the Freudian nightmare of having his father being an archvillain with better saber handling skills. Then George Lucas upped the ante with the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, framing Anakin Skywalker’s entire birth as a sci-fi version of the Immaculate Conception. Midi-chlorians became the underlying basis for Force powers in the franchise – as well as some curious ideas about how the microscopic lifeforms shape life itself.

“Maybe it’s all to do with Midi-chlorians – and don’t ask me what those are,” McDiarmid said, offering new possibilities for Palpatine’s lineage. “Never trust your granddaughter. That’s the T-shirt Palpatine got made. Shortly after his death,” the actor joked.

It’s wild to say, but Midi-chlorians are the best way to explain how Palpatine continued his life and his line. Revenge of the Sith has the now-famous scene of Palpatine hinting to Anakin that mastering forces of life and death through Midi-chlorians was his obsession. Having him accomplish what his Sith Master Darth Plagueis did not would be an actual arc.

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