J.J. Abrams Says Palpatine’s Return In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Was The Plan All Along

Emperor Palpatine

It’s coming up, guys. For but perhaps a moment, all of the nerds in the galaxy will stop gazing into Baby Yoda’s eyes and, instead, turn their gaze to the grand finale of space opera as a genre when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits silver screens. Despite a rocky road to this moment, J.J. Abrams, the sequel series creator/destroyer, insists that, despite all reports to the contrary, this trilogy was planned and that Emperor Palpatine’s return was gonna happen no matter what.

Speaking to Uproxx about the upcoming film, the reporter asked about the return of the original Big Bad, and questioned if it was planned or if it was only to fill the void left by Snoke. J.J. hits us with a lot, starting with this:

“You just look at what he talks about, who he is, how important he is, what the story is — strangely, his absence entirely from the third trilogy would be conspicuous. It would be very weird. That’s not to say there was a bible and we knew what happens at every step. But when Larry Kasdan and I worked on The Force Awakens, we didn’t do it in a vacuum. We very purposely looked at what came before. We chose to tell a story that touches upon specific things and themes and ideas that we’ve seen before, to begin a new story. But we examined all that came before to ask where does this feel like it’s going?”

But that’s not it. He continues this train of thought, saying:

“So there were discussions about that at the time. Yet, like any beginning, you want to put the threads in, but you don’t want to necessarily be literal about everything. And then when Rian was brought on to do The Last Jedi, we met and we talked about things and he wrote his story. And when I read it the script, I realized this didn’t get in the way of anything Larry and I talked about that I thought I’d get to. There were some very specific things we did get to do in this movie that we were laughing and going, ‘Oh my god, we’re finally doing that thing we talked about five years ago.’”

So, with that, J.J. claims that it was always his intention to bring Sheev Palpatine back into the picture. That seems plausible. I mean, I guess back when this trilogy was going to go J.J., Josh Trank and Colin Trevorrow, perhaps those three bespectacled dweebs sat and talked shop. I know Trevorrow’s name is still attached to The Rise of Skywalker as a writer, but he also revealed that Palpy was not in his original draft. So…wait, what?

Personally, I dislike the narrative that Disney has been trying to tell us by saying these films were planned. Sadly, and to their detriment, they were not. Eager producers attached under-experienced directors to massive projects with little (or perhaps too much) oversight. I really think the House of Mouse bungled this opportunity they bought for themselves. But I’m just one, humble man. If J.J. says this stuff was planned, then who am I to argue?

Besides, I’m going to see Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker anyway, so in a way, J.J. has already won.