Anyone familiar with the now-defunct Star Wars extended universe knows that characters like Emperor Palpatine are considerably less dead in the books than they are in the movies. With cloning a huge canonical part of the Star Wars mythology, it was only a matter of time before some adventurous writer decided to bring major villains back from the dead; that is how Luke Skywalker ended up facing off against the clones of a young Palpatine (as well as an evil version of himself). And with Lucasfilm demonstrating a willingness to pick and choose from the extended universe as they see fit, you’d be forgiven for wondering if we’d eventually find out that Palpatine 2.0 was the one pulling all the strings in the new movies.

But who better to confirm or deny this speculation than Ian McDiarmid, the man who brought Palpatine to life across two sets of trilogies? In a recent interview with BBC Scotland (via Heroic Hollywood), McDiarmid shared his thoughts on returning to the Star Wars universe for future anthology films such as Rogue One:

I suppose there must be a chance but I think you’d find out about it more quickly than I would… But there is what they call the anthology series and actually the most recent one, Rogue One, was about the time when I was in charge. I was referred to a few times, Darth Vader popped up, but you did not see me. Maybe they are keeping me as a surprise for later but I have no idea. Of course, I don’t want anyone else to play him.

In the interview, McDiarmid also reaffirms the death of Emperor Palpatine after Return of the Jedi, stating that “there is no question” that Palpatine is dead in the sequel trilogy. So there you have it, Star Wars fans: you may get another chance to see McDiarmid’s Palpatine in a future anthology film, but you’re going to have to work on your Snoke conspiracy theories, because this particular theory has been completely debunked.

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