The Rise of Skywalker came under heavy criticism from Star Wars fans for a lot of things, but one of the most frequent complaints leveled at the conclusion to the Skywalker Saga was an over-reliance on nostalgia. Rian Johnson became a pariah following The Last Jedi after daring to deviate from the established mythology, and it appeared that this caused Lucasfilm to panic and try and retcon as much of his input as possible, and the end result only served to split the fanbase right down the middle once again.
J.J. Abrams’ final chapter suffered from a painful lack of originality, and never was this clearer than in the decision to have Palpatine be revealed as the villain all along, even though there had been no mention up to that point that the character had anything to do with the Sequel Trilogy. An epic sci-fi franchise comes with almost limitless possibilities about where the story can go, but the best that the studio and creative team could come up with was to have one bad guy pulling the strings behind all nine movies.
People had more than their fill of Palpatine long before his return was announced for The Rise of Skywalker, but we’ve now heard that Lucasfilm still might not be done with the character yet. According to our sources – the same ones who told us back in December that Ahsoka will be in The Mandalorian, and that Rey is Palpatine’s [SPOILERS], both of which turned out to be correct – a prequel is reportedly in the works that will show young Sheev working his way up the political ladder in his efforts to turn the Galactic Republic into the Empire. The project is still in the early stages of development and it’s unclear when it could get here, but casting short-lists are already being drawn up, with X-Men star Nicholas Hoult said to be one of the names that the studio has their eye on.
Of course, some may feel that this entire thing is a bit unnecessary. After all, we’ve already seen enough of the character to last us a lifetime, and with the Skywalker Saga now over, Star Wars should probably move on and focus on new characters, stories and galaxies that we’ve never seen before, instead of continuing to return to the same well over and over again. But clearly, Lucasfilm doesn’t quite feel the same.