The brutal end of the Jedi in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith was almost way more gruesome, according to actor Ian McDiarmid.
McDiarmid, who plays Senator (then Emperor) Palpatine in the Star Wars films, served as the ultimate evil of the first two trilogies of the sci-fi saga. After claiming control of the Galactic Senate, Palpatine put to action his plan to remove the Jedi from the galaxy. The villain’s clone army was conditioned to follow a very specific secret directive — called Order 66 — that forced them to turn on their Jedi allies at the height of battle. The surprise attack was extremely effective, with only a handful of Jedi managing to escape the chaos.
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McDiarmid revealed that there had originally been more scenes to the slaughter during a panel at Salt Lake City’s FanX convention.
“I think it was a little more gruesome than you ended up seeing, you know,” said McDiarmid. “A lot of young potential Jedi ended up on the cutting room floor.”
According to the actor, he had a conversation with writer and director George Lucas about the choice, but said that it was probably a good idea that the full version of Order 66 was cut to secure a more lenient rating. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith received a PG-13 rating.