The surprise cameo from Maul in Solo: A Star Wars Story made it clear that Lucasfilm is perfectly willing to bring back characters from the prequels, despite the continuing infamy of these three films. Nonetheless, there are surely limits to the kind of nostalgia-hits that J.J. Abrams would be willing to try, and just as you shouldn’t expect an appearance from Jar Jar Binks in Star Wars: Episode IX, there’s plenty of reason to doubt this new rumor that Padmé Amidala will be featuring in the next movie.
The currently circulating report alleges that the upcoming release will see Kylo Ren witness his own grandmother’s funeral on Naboo, as well as the moment where Anakin chokes Natalie Portman’s character in Revenge of the Sith. How is this possible? Well, it’s said that Ben Solo will take advantage of “the world between worlds” previously seen in Star Wars Rebels. This mysterious realm consists of a collection of doors and pathways that connect moments in time and space, allowing Kylo to journey back into the past.
Putting aside the all-round lack of evidence for these allegations, this report seems pretty dubious from top to bottom. For one thing, the third installment in this latest trilogy seems way too late in the game to introduce what’s essentially a time travel device into the story, especially given the world-altering consequences that such a twist could bring.
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What’s more, though Portman’s performance in the prequels doesn’t draw nearly as much derision these days as her co-star Hayden Christensen’s, there’s still some debate to be had over whether Luke and Leia’s mother is really a popular enough character to give a cameo. While even the prequels’ detractors will often have at least a little affection for Darth Maul or Ewan McGregor’s Obi-Wan, how often do you hear people singling out Padmé as a reason to give these films a re-watch?
Regardless, we’ll see what blasts from the past Abrams has in mind when Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.