Ian McDiarmid doesn't want anyone else to play Emperor Palpatine in the 'Star Wars' franchise.

The 73-year-old actor was known for playing the villainous role in 'The Empire Strikes Back' and 'Return of the Jedi', as well as an earlier version of the character in the three prequel movies, and has admitted he wouldn't want the role to be recast in any of the franchise's new instalments.

Whilst Emperor Palpatine is dead in the timeline of the new trilogy, Ian noted that the character is referenced in the spin-off movie 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story', and hopes the film bosses are keeping him as a ''surprise'', rather than hiring another actor to take over the role.

When asked by BBC Scotland's 'Timeline' programme if he would ever consider returning to the iconic role, Ian said: ''I suppose there must be a chance but I think you'd find out about it more quickly than I would. As far as the new films are concerned, I'm dead. There is no question about that. 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.''

The anthology series is set to continue next year with the planned Han Solo spin-off movie, and it was previously reported that a movie centred around Obi-Wan Kenobi could also be in the works.

Meanwhile, the eighth instalment of the main series, 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi', is set to hit cinemas in December.