This weekend, Tommy Lee Jones and Matthew Fox team up in Peter Webber’s Emperor, a rather listless historical war flick, which charts the investigation of Emperor Hirohito and his role in WWII. The film got us thinking about other movie emperors, who’ve varied in race, gender, and even planet of origin. From the animated to the animalistic, the perfect to the perverse, this list is one royally diverse bunch.
Ian McDiarmid in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980). Though his character didn’t come to full fruition until George Lucas’s prequel trilogy, during which he at last revealed himself as the odious Darth Sidious, Emperor Palpatine first appeared in The Empire Strikes Back, cloaked all in black and in dire need of a facelift. Though far more fearsome than his apprentice Darth Vader, the two still share one thing in common: both were voiced by actors other than those who embodied them, with Palpatine’s speech supplied by Clive Revill, and Vader, of course, voiced by James Earl Jones.