This just in from the wire too late for pre-holiday publication on the regular starwars.com, but we know you’d want to know…
Star Wars Legend Ian McDiarmid to Make Special Appearance at Star Wars Celebration Europe
Acclaimed Actor Who Brought the Saga’s Palpatine to Sinister Life to be Special Guest During Opening Ceremonies on July 13
LONDON (4 July 2007) – Tony Award-winning actor Ian McDiarmid, whose iconic portrayal of Senator Palpatine and The Emperor in the Star Wars Saga raised suave villainy to a new level, will make a rare public appearance at STAR WARS CELEBRATION EUROPE on Friday, 13th July to help commemorate the Saga’s 30th anniversary.
McDiarmid will be a special guest of Lucasfilm Ltd. and event organiser Cards Inc. during the Opening Ceremonies at ExCeL London, home of STAR WARS CELEBRATION EUROPE. The Opening Ceremonies will be hosted by Steve Sansweet, head of fan relations for Lucasfilm Ltd., and will include a special one-time-only screening of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
Admission to the Opening Ceremonies is included in the cost of a three-day or a Friday pass to STAR WARS CELEBRATION EUROPE, the biggest Star Wars part Europe has ever seen and the first official Star Wars event to be held outside of the U.S.
During the three days of STAR WARS CELEBRATION EUROPE, Star Wars fans of all ages will experience a dizzying array of programmes and activities, including:
- Special previews of the future of Star Wars entertainment: The Force Unleashed, the groundbreaking videogame from LucasArts; and
- The Clone Wars, the long-awaited CG-animated television series from Lucasfilm Animation;
- “Art Wars,” an exciting mix of contemporary and underground art projects that showcase the galaxy far, far away through the eyes of some of today’s most vibrant artists, including The Vader Project (Now Including ‘Revenge of the Brits’)
- The “Jedi Training Academy,” where young fans can visit a recreation of Dagobah and learn how to wield a lightsaber in true Jedi fashion;
- Appearances by favorite actors and personalities who have helped create the Star Wars Saga;
- More entertainment, presentations, events and last-minute surprises.
Winner of the 2006 Tony Award for Best Supporting Actor for his Broadway role as Teddy in Brian Friel’s Faith Healer, McDiarmid has enjoyed an acclaimed career as both an actor and director. He was Joint Artistic Director of the internationally acclaimed Almeida Theatre in North London from 1990 to 2002.
McDiarmid first worked with George Lucas playing the Emperor in Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, a role he reprised in Episode I The Phantom Menace, Episode II Attack of the Clones and now in Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Additional film credits include Dragonslayer; Gorky Park; Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, directed by Frank Oz; Restoration; Annie: A Royal Adventure and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow.
His many television credits include Hillsborough, Karaoke, A Few Select Exits, Great Expectations, All The King’s Men, Crime and Punishment, Charles II: The Power and the Passion and, most recently, the BBC production of Elizabeth I starring Helen Mirren.
McDiarmid was an Associate Director at The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, where he played the title role in Edward II, Philip II in Don Carlos and directed Moliere’s Don Juan. He was Bradley Pearson in Iris Murdoch’s The Black Prince at the Aldwych Theatre, and has played leading roles at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal National Theatre and The Royal Court, where he won the Society of West End Theatre’s Best Actor Award for his performance as Einstein in Insignificance. He has appeared at the Royal Opera house, Covent Garden and with the London Symphony Orchestra.
For the Almeida, McDiarmid directed Scenes From An Execution, The Rehearsal (also West End), Lulu, A Hard Heart, Venice Preserv’d and the opera Siren Song. His Almeida acting work includes the title role in Volpone, Goya in the opera Terrible Mouth, Amolphe in The School for Wives, Orgon in Tartuffe, Count Cenci in The Cenci, Colenso Ridgeon in The Doctor’s Dilemma, Barabas in Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta, Prospero in The Tempest. In addition to the Tony, McDiarmid won the Critics’ Circle Best Actor Award, 2002, for his role as Teddy in Faith Healer.