The “Star Wars” prequels are known for various things, but great performances isn’t one of them – and that’s even with the participation of actors like Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson and Natalie Portman.
So, a lot of the blame for the most hammy line deliveries across the original and prequel trilogies has gone towards the writing and directing of George Lucas himself.
That includes one of the most infamous scenes in “Star Wars Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith” – the transformation of Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) into the disfigured Emperor and the death of Mace Windu (Jackson).
The scene involves a lot of screaming on Jackson’s part and some over-the-top acting and shouting from McDiarmid about “Unlimited POWER!!”. Speaking with Empire for their 25th anniversary edition of the prequels, McDiarmid says he wanted to go much more low-key – but Lucas insisted on going bigger:
“George [Lucas] kept hyping me up on that. I was screaming, ‘ABSOLUTE POWER!’ I said, ‘Do you want me to do some quiet ones, because this is a bit much?’ George said, ‘No, go further, go further!’ So I did, and he seems to have kept most of it – there’s no holding back there.”
He adds that even with the obvious camp of it all, it remains of the lines most requested by fans to hear him say. The one they like most of all though? His “Do It!” order during the Dooku decapitation scene. He says: “People just love it”.