I have been given the go ahead by Lucasfilm to reveal here exclusively that Tim Curry has joined the cast of Star Wars: The Clone Wars in the role of Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious. Tim Curry might be best known for his roles in The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Clue, but he has been doing more than his fair share of excellent work over the last few decades and can now add "Future Emperor" to his resume.
Just over a year ago, Star Wars fans were saddened to learn of the passing of Ian Abercrombie, the voice of Emperor Palpatine on The Clone Wars. He'd recorded many yet to be aired episodes before the time of his death, and the question of who would resume so vital a role was chief among many questions about the future of The Clone Wars.
Over the weekend, a small screening event was held for the season finale at the Presidio headquarters of Lucasfilm and I was asked to be there in attendance. There, at the screening, during the final episode of the arc, Tim Curry made his debut in the Star Wars galaxy. You can see an exclusive clip of him in the role on Saturday's season finale:
I was able to talk to the show's Supervising Director, Dave Filoni about the casting choice:
We had an extensive search to find a new voice for Palpatine. It wasn't just a matter of finding an actor who could to recreate lines from the films. We needed someone to deliver a performance that could stand alongside what Ian McDiarmid and Ian Abercrombie created as this legendary Star Wars character. At the end of the day, there is little question that bringing in an actor of Tim's caliber was perfect for Chancellor Palpatine.
Filoni continued, "I think fans will find that he delivers the eloquence needed for the Chancellor. His growling, evil, Sidious voice is a delight, because Tim can definitely tap into the dark side when needed. We are fortunate to have him."
For those who haven't been watching the show, you're missing out. I've written other posts about it for Huffington Post, but the short version is this: This is one of the most mature, well-written, produced, and executed shows on television. It belongs on your best-of lists with Game of Thrones and Breaking Bad. This season's finale is no exception. It's one of the most emotional half-hours I've ever seen in a TV format and plays out beautifully as a major piece of Ahsoka Tano's fate is decided. (For those who don't know, Ahsoka served as Anakin's padawan during the Clone Wars.)
If you're interested in a more complete, spoiler free review of the incredibly well done finale episode, read my piece here. And if you're interested in spoilers, be sure to subscribe to the Full of Sith podcast and wait for the upcoming episode.
You can tune into the finale episode on Cartoon Network this Saturday morning to watch all of Tim Curry's debut and the emotional end to a fantastic season of Star Wars on television.
Trust me, you're not going to want to miss it.
Bryan Young is an author and the editor in chief of the geek news and review site Big Shiny Robot!