After months of the highest secrecy, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is finally being screened, which means Disney can’t keep hold of its contents anymore. As such, some fans are vanishing from the internet in order to avoid the spoilers that are now making their way online. If you’ve clicked on this article, though, that must mean you’re eager to get all the info you can before going in and what we have for you today is a leaked photo which reveals our first look at Emperor Palpatine’s return in the movie.
The marketing for Episode IX has been pretty up front so far about Darth Sidious’ shocking comeback, though the trailers have deliberately kept the villain out of view, give or take a glimpse of his hood here and there. Because of this, there were theories that maybe Palpatine won’t appear in his original body and Ian McDiarmid only provided his voice for the part. This leaked pic, however, 100% confirms that the former figurehead of the Empire is back in the pasty, disfigured flesh.
As you can see, the photo captures Palpatine mid-scream of rage and honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if this screenshot ends up becoming a meme. Redditors are already having fun with it in the replies to the original post that shared the image. “When I step on a Lego,” joked one fan.
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As for what this tells us about the movie, well, it’s hard to say for certain, but some are speculating that the Emperor’s complexion looks a little better than it did when we last saw him in Return of the Jedi. Especially since he should be a pancake at the bottom of the Death Star.
There’ve been rumors that he’ll be rejuvenated in Rise, too, so it’s possible that he’s screaming in this pic because he’s going through that painful process here. We’ll find out for sure though when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker finally opens in theaters this Friday.