Ian McDiarmid from Star Wars was hidden with umbrellas during the rise of Skywalker to keep Palpatine a secret

Ian McDiarmid revealed that during the making of Rise of Skywalker he was “smuggled everywhere when I and [as Palpatine]To prevent “photographers who might be lurking” from blowing the surprise, he was escorted through the studio by people with umbrellas to keep him out of sight. McDiarmid noted that the procedure was different than normal costume for reasons that go back to him: “Usually you’re invited to wear a hood, but I suggested that wouldn’t really work. So let’s focus on the umbrellas.”

Palpatine’s favorite costume is a black hooded cloak. It’s what he wore in Return of the Jedi, throughout the prequel trilogy (at least when he was Darth Sidious), and again in The Rise of Skywalker. Instead of keeping McDiarmid inconspicuous, a hood would have given away his presence.

After the film premiered, behind-the-scenes photos of McDiarmid were eventually released. They actually underscore why it was possible to hide McDiarmid’s involvement. He only appears in one of the film’s sets – the Sith world Exegol – and only shares scenes with two other stars: Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver (Kylo Ren). However, if the umbrellas weren’t so effective, the surprise of Palpatine’s return could have been spoiled. Umbrellas are not only useful on rainy days.

Brian Ashcraft

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