Lucasfilm Says It Was Always The Plan To Bring Back Palpatine In Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

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One of the biggest shocks in the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – other than the title reveal, of course – was learning that Ian McDiarmid is set to return as Emperor Palpatine. Just as we heard Luke say that “no one’s ever really gone,” the terrifying laugh of Darth Sidious played out over a black screen, sending chills down the spines of fans all over the world.

Given that the last time we saw him he was thrown to his death by Vader back in 1983’s Return of the Jedi, it’s understandable that folks are simultaneously excited and confused by the Emperor’s return. But according to Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, the plan was always for Palpatine to show his face again in The Rise of Skywalker.

Speaking to the press at this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration, Kennedy said the following:

“We had not landed on exactly how we might do that, but it was always [to be in Episode IX].”

If you’ll recall, the announcement that Ian McDiarmid was going to be at Star Wars Celebration in the first place led some to believe that old Sheev might return to the franchise, but the confirmation we got in the trailer still came as a huge shock. Of course, it’s near impossible to say right now how exactly the saga’s oldest villain will be making his way back into the fray, but perhaps a clue can be found in an ominous statement made by director J.J. Abrams at yesterday’s panel:

“This movie is about the new generation and what they’ve inherited the light and the dark and asking the questions as they face the greatest evil, ‘Are they ready?’”

Could Palpatine be the “greatest evil” that the director’s referring to? We certainly wouldn’t rule it out, but with quite a ways to go between now and the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, all we can really do is speculate in regards to just how this iconic villain is back from the dead. That being said, maybe Star Wars Rebels holds some answers

Source: Twitter

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