Rumor Control: Ian McDiarmid to Return as Emperor Palpatine in Episode VII?

This latest rumor is coming from Jedi News, who got word from an unnamed source that Ian McDiarmid is in talks to return to the galaxy far, far away.  McDiarmid, of course, played the role of Darth Sidious/Emperor Palpatine in all six of the previous Star Wars films, but met his ultimate demise at the hands of Vader on the second Death Star…which makes his return in Episode VII seem a little odd.

Sure Palpatine has returned before in the books/comics as a clone, but I can’t say I ever cared much for those stories (and I know plenty of fans who didn’t either).  When a character like that returns as a clone, it makes the heroes’ victory from before seem completely hollow.  Imagine watching Return of the Jedi again, and seeing Vader’s choice to save his son (one of the most powerful moments in the entire saga) by killing his former master, yet knowing in the end Palpatine is just going to come back.  Seems like the sacrifice is lessened in some way because of it.

That’s not to say they couldn’t bring him back for a flashback or as some old hologram he recorded before his death.  Those type of things would be just fine, and would still be neat for fans to see.  If there’s any credence to this rumor, I sincerely hope one of those scenarios is the case instead. 

As for now, treat this rumor with extreme caution.  There’s no real evidence to support it, and considering how much they’ve talked about not following storylines from the books/comics, I’m thinking the chances of seeing a clone Palpatine are pretty slim.

What do you guys think?  Would you like to see Darth Sidious return?

-Jordan