It’s now an iconic quote from Star Wars: “Commander Cody, the time has come. Execute Order 66″. A command that would end the Jedi Order. And within a short space of time, the majority of the Jedi were wiped out, killed by the Clones they had fought along side with for 3 long years of war. On Coruscant, Anakin Skywalker now Darth Vader led a legion of Clone Troopers into the Jedi Temple, slaughtering any Jedi in their path. Age didn’t matter, not even the Younglings survived.
It’s considered one of the most depressing moments in the Star Wars saga, where evil triumphs over good. But according to Ian McDiarmid, who portrayed the character of Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine and Darth Sidious the sequence could have been even darker. During a panel appearance at Salt Lake City’s FanX convention the actor stated:
“I think it was a little more gruesome than you ended up seeing, you know. A lot of young potential Jedi ended up on the cutting room floor.”
– Ian McDiarmid
Then went on to explain that the toning down of the sequence was “probably a good idea” to avoid a harsher rating. Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was rated 12a or PG-13 in the States, a first for the Star Wars series. Revenge of the Sith is filled with hate, revenge, choking, murder, betrayal, sadness, more murder, more choking, worrying, even more murder and death. More than the previous Star Wars films.
Though the ratings of Star Wars films since Revenge of the Sith have all received a 12a or PG-13 rating. You have 2002’s Spider-Man to thank for those ratings.
When recalling the discussion he had with George Lucas about the Order 66 sequence, McDiarmid quoted what Lucas had told him during the films production:
“On the other hand, That’s what he’s like, this guy, he’s uncompromising. People should know it.”
– George Lucas
McDiarmid approached the role of Paltpatine, envisioning the character as little more than just “a solid block of evil,” saying he believed “the Dark Side, to him, is the essence of his being.”
“I used to refer to it as just a solid block of evil, with nothing at all in his background except that,” he said. “He came out of the womb — what a horrible thought, whose womb might that have been? — as a solid block of evil.”
– Ian McDiarmid
While each of the Star Wars movies have they’re dark moments, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is arguably the darkest episode in the saga. Followed by Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back & Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.