By now, you’d have to be living under a rock to not know that Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor is set to make his cackling, scenery-chewing return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. However, while we’ve heard him and caught glimpses of him, he’s been tricky to pin down in official art (leaked images are another thing altogether).
But now, courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse, we’re getting a new look at the sinister Sith Lord on a commemorative pint glass. As you can see below, there are two glasses. On the left is a red First Order themed one featuring Stormtroopers, Kylo Ren, Star Destroyers and the Emperor. On the right, we get a Resistance one showing off Rey, Finn, Poe, General Leia, BB-8 and the Millennium Falcon. The glasses are designed by Cesar Moreno, look pretty damn cool and will be available to anyone watching The Rise of Skywalker at an Alamo Drafthouse.
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Now, we have no idea of the creative process used to design these and it’s possible Moreno simply drew the Emperor as seen in previous films. But from what I’ve heard, Disney and Lucasfilm will generally send official artists design packs showing off how key characters will appear in the movie before approving the finished art. These share a rough design aesthetic with other Rise of Skywalker merchandise (and it looks identical to the leaked images from earlier this week), too, so I’m betting this drawing of the Emperor is accurate to the film.
Whatever the case, with the final trailer now out, glimpses of the villain in promotional material like this may be the only official look we get at him prior to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s release. Here’s hoping that after so many years spent on the sidelines though, ol ‘Palpatine can still bring the lightning down when it counts.