Ian McDiarmid: © & TM Lucasfilm Ltd.
Thom Geier
August 22, 2005 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Summer’s movie-star MVPs: Ian McDiarmid

Age 61

Position Supreme Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith

Season highlights The Scottish stage actor has played Palpatine in five Star Wars films over more than two decades, but in Revenge of the Sith he finally gets a chance to really sink his teeth into the role. And sink he does, into a toadlike croak that is both deeply menacing and oddly seductive, especially to an impressionable young Jedi like Darth-in-training Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). Seldom has flattery proved so fatal — or seemed so darned cool. McDiarmid embraces the Dark Side with such rich, scenery-chewing gusto that George Lucas must have been relieved that the scenery in this case was mostly CGI.

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