Apr 20, 2012
The Latest Sith Lord in the 501st! I have been approved!
Yes folks, my latest costume was approved this week, and this has been one of my dream costumes since joining the 501st. I am now SL-2638, representing the Sith Lord Emperor Palpatine. The biggest bad guy in the entire Star Wars Saga. (well not including Jar Jar Binks, but that would be a topic that would fill an entire post.) I am a big fan of good ol' Palpy. It all started as a kid when I got one of these in the mail.
Kenner made Palpatine one of their mail away figures. To a 9yo kid this was one of those things that blew your mind. I got this guy and he is special, he was the one that was Darth Vader's boss! Sure we saw the monkey faced version of him in Empire, but once Jedi came out that was it, he was the real bad guy. Watching Vader act like his lapdog and unable to resist, he really scared the crap out of kids. But why would I want to scare kids..... oh, well because it is fun. With a face like this, you do get double takes from the little kids.
But that really isn't what we are supposed to do in the 501st. So what approach do you take when playing the character. Some folks stick with the stoic approach. The senator that rose to power to control the entire galaxy without whining about his dead family (take that Anakin!). Sure that is a good approach, but after watching the movies as many times as I have I see another character. A cocky smartass that is drunk with power. Just watch as he snubs and toys with the Jedi in the prequels, watch as he mocks Luke and belittles Vader all in one breath. And being the smartass that I am, I have a lot of fun playing with the kids, and nobody helped that character develop into a fun one to play to the kids than Robot Chicken.
Seth Green and his bunch saw Palpatine the same way I did. I personally think Palpy stole the show in all 3 of their Star Wars episodes. With him, I knew I would have to talk to people in this costume, and well I don't have the accent of the great Ian McDiarmid, I would have to find a voice for the character. It only took one time for someone to walk up to me and give me the "My Lord" from the clip above to know thats what I have to do. The first troop I did in the prosthetics, I couldn't shut up. I had kids surrounding me asking me questions like I was the Dark Lord of the Sith wondering who trained me, why did I chose Darth Maul, Dooku and Vader. I was having a blast. By adding a little bit of Robot Chicken Palpy, my vast knowledge of Star Wars, and coming off listening to the Darth Plagueis novel, I had all the answers which actually had the parents starting to ask questions. It is fun having Darth Maul at the troops being able to try to recruit new young apprentices getting down to their level and saying "oh that guy gets cut in half" or pointing to Vader and giggling and saying "Ohhh I miss Padme". Oh and the laugh, boy is that fun. So expect to see more of Palpatine around the Tampa Bay area, Star Wars Celebration VI and maybe even marching in Star Wars Weekends Parade at Disney's Hollywood Studios!