What If Tilda Swinton Had Played Palpatine in 'Star Wars'?

The Star Wars movie franchise has been generations in the making. Sometimes, fans wonder if the actors chosen for specific roles wouldn’t have been better if they hadn’t played that character. What would have happened if the greatest enemy of the Rebel forces had been played by someone different? What if Tilda Swinton played Palpatine? How different could she make the role?

Tilda Swinton isn’t just someone fans wouldn’t know

The highly striking and ferociously beautiful Scottish English and Northern Irish actress Tilda Swinton began her career early with English productions before breaking out into Hollywood productions. After the birth of her twins, she was cast in roles in films like The Deep End, The Beach, and Constantine according to her bio on IMDb.

The switch of the role of Palpatine to an actress wouldn’t necessarily be noticed because of Swinton’s extensive gender-swapping roles. Her experience includes a role as a 400-year-old character that changes sex as life progresses through time. She began gender-switching while she was still in university while on stage with the Royal Shakespeare Company during the year she performed with them.

Swinton has played some amazing characters

One of the most memorable roles that Swinton received was the role of the mystic leader The Ancient One in the MCU film Dr. Strange. She made an appearance in the same role in Avenger: Endgame. Swinton’s eccentric role choosing has earned her roles like the White Witch in The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and playing dual roles as twins in the film Hail, Caesar!

Swinton also turned down a few roles that would have earned her even more fame. She was asked to play Professor Sybil Trelawney instead of Emma Thompson.  Swinton was also the original choice to play Dr. Serena Kogan and Skynet in Terminator Salvation.

Why would Swinton be a good Palpatine?

Swinton simply has the correct perspective, attitude, and flexibility to play the iconic role. She has shown that she can play the compassionate and falsely loving embodiment of the chancellor while flipping the role on its head as the emperor. Her experience playing male parts as well as the cold, calculating and manipulative roles of her previous films make her a good choice. Screen Rant recently ranked her as one of the 25 changes fans would have liked to see.

Few actors can say that they can simply switch the roles as fast as Swinton has proven she could. What would it look like if she was cast as the emperor? The scenes where he counseled and guided Anakin would be charged will more emotion, love, and care than they currently are. The role would sell the reason Anakin completely trusted his confidant and advisor instead of the aloofness we currently see.

Behind the scenes, as the emperor, Swinton could be more invested in the cold stares and evil tones that sometimes get pushed to unbelievable in the current performances. Her experience with magic unseen while filming would lead to more realistic hand movements as she releases the force on the unsuspecting rebels and Jedi.

Roles in the Star Wars movies were cast with extraordinary actors and the films are the embodiment of what science fiction stories should be. Fans do sometimes wonder if the choices that were made could have been better, but some desired actors were just children when the first movie was released in 1977. The franchise continues to gain momentum and fame as Disney takes over and makes spin-offs and anime series.

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