Before Ian McDiramidʼs iconic portrayal of Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi (1983), the character was first featured in a scene of The Empire Strikes Back (1980) in which he appears in hologram form to conspire with Darth Vader. This first version of the Emperor was portrayed by Elaine Baker wearing facial prosthetics designed by her husband, legendary special effects artist, Rick Baker and voiced by British character actor, Clive Revill.
The unsettling hologram of the Emperor in The Empire Strikes Back was created by filming Baker in prosthetic makeup with the eye sockets blacked out and combining this with footage of Chimpanzee eyes in camera by use of split-beam technique with a mirror. The image was then rephotographed on a television screen and composited into the scene.
The final product was a haunting and otherworldy image of evil. The scene was altered for the 2004 Star Wars Trilogy DVD boxset and all subsequent releases and the original Emperor was replaced by footage filmed during the Revenge of the Sith shoot of Ian McDiramid in Emperor Palpatine makeup and costume performing the part.