This year’s Star Wars Celebration proved the appropriate setting for a Prequel Trilogy Reunion, as Hayden Christensen met up with his on-screen master Ian McDiarmid.
While it was announced in advance that both performers would be attending the Chicago convention, the weekend still packed at least one major bombshell with the revelation that McDiarmid will reprise his role as Emperor Palpatine in the upcoming Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
The Sith Lord’s comeback was first teased in the film’s new trailer, which featured the distinctive laughter of the Skywalker Saga’s main villain. After that, director J.J. Abrams provided his personal confirmation that Sheev was back, while also mentioning that he was surprised McDiarmid’s presence on set didn’t leak beforehand. Indeed, next to nothing is known for sure about Palpatine’s role in the Sequel Trilogy finale, though the fans still have more than eight months to form their theories.
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As for Christensen, the rumor mill has spent the past year spinning tales about Anakin’s comeback, but so far, we’ve yet to see any convincing evidence to back up the hearsay. Nonetheless, an Anakin cameo could be a fitting way of bringing the Skywalker Saga full circle. And if Palpatine can return after all this time, then surely there’s potential for his most famous apprentice to show up, if only in Force Ghost form.
Speaking of which, that’s also how Anakin’s son Luke is expected to return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Mark Hamill’s character even got a couple of lines in the film’s first trailer, including the half-ominous, half-optimistic tease, “No one’s ever really gone.” We’ll find out just how Abrams plans to follow through on that statement when the flick hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.