Tom Hiddleston as Young Palpatine
Tom Hiddleston as Young Palpatine

A new piece of fan art makes a great case for Tom Hiddleston playing young Emperor Sheev Palpatine (originally played by Ian McDiarmid) in a Star Wars prequel project. As Lucasfilm continues to hold off tackling what lies ahead in the galaxy following Skywalker Saga, they’re looking at the past for new content. That’s why their Disney+ series are mainly period pieces like The Mandalorian.

Palpatine was a key figure in all three Star Wars trilogies, with the prequels tackling how he became the Emperor in the original movies. Despite his presumed death in Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker surprisingly brought him back; fans were initially thrilled to learn how he fit in the new narrative, but his return ultimately proved to be disappointing. Not only did the movie fail to justify his return, but it also left a trail of questions regarding the specifics of his survival in the last few decades. That said, if Lucasfilm still wants to put Palpatine at the center of a project, Hiddleston playing the character in what could be an origin story sounds like a nifty idea.

Digital artist apexform imagines what the MCU actor could actually look like as Sheev Palpatine in his younger years. In the comments section, the creator floats the idea of a Disney+ series tackling the villain’s time training with Darth Plagueis, with Hiddleston playing the future Emperor. Check out the image below:

As divisive as his return was in Rise of the Skywalker, it’s would be difficult to argue against the proposed premise of this fan art. Regardless of who plays young Palpatine, the potential time and story setting are among the only two things that the public is truly interested in learning more in terms of the character’s arc. Given that Lucasfilm is currently thriving on Disney+ with the success of The Mandalorian paving the way for other projects in the pipeline such as the Rogue One spin-off focusing on Cassian Andor and the much-anticipated Obi-Wan Kenobi series with Ewan Mcgregor reprising the titular role, it might not be too bad of a concept if they consider this. On top of finally revealing what really happened to Darth Plagueis the Wise, they can also use a Palpatine show to retroactively provide answers to some questions left about him in Rise of Skywalker.

Then again, between Hiddleston’s resemblance to McDiarmid and his celebrated portrayal of an MCU (quasi)villain in Loki, this sounds like an easy casting choice. It also helps that the young actor is still attached to Marvel Studios working on his own Disney+ series, Loki, establishing a connection to Star Wars since both brands are under Disney. Coordinating with Marvel Studios and Lucasfilm would be much easier in terms of scheduling.