Marking five days until the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, a new TV spot teases the mayhem to come as the decades-spanning Skywalker Saga comes to a close.
The promo offers a barrage of footage filled with flames and wreckage, along with some massive space battles and another glimpse of the red Sith Troopers who are about to enter the fray. Meanwhile, an off-screen Palpatine hypes up the climax to come, ominously declaring that this will be “the final word in the story of Skywalker.”
As it stands, official footage of Ian McDiarmid’s character is still in short supply, but his distinctive voice has lent the villain a threatening presence in much of the marketing. For example, it’s probably fair to say that no moment in all the promotion for The Rise of Skywalker has managed to stir up more conversation than the closing seconds of the first trailer, in which the sound of Sheev’s laughter confirms his long-awaited comeback.
More recently, a clip emerged online in which Palpatine feeds menacing words into the mind of Kylo Ren, telling the young Ben Solo that he’s been the voice in his head this whole time. It’s certainly one way of incorporating the character into the events of the Sequel Trilogy, even if some fans still aren’t entirely sold on his return.
In a recent interview with io9, producer Michelle Rejwan defended the decision to bring the Sith Lord back, claiming there was “a feeling of inevitability that Palpatine had been a part of all three trilogies,” and that his comeback “feels as though it is in the DNA” of the nine episodes.
Regardless, you can decide for yourself if Palpatine’s return has more going for it than easy nostalgia points when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th.