We’ve known that Emperor Palpatine would be back for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ever since the first trailer arrived back in April, but the marketing has nevertheless kept the villain under wraps all this time, with Ian McDiarmid’s chilling voiceover heard but no visual appearance revealed. The final trailer, released this past Monday, finally had Darth Sidious show up, though. Well, kind of.
One brief shot has become arguably the most talked about clip from the preview, as it appears to show Rey standing on icy terrain looking up at a giant throne upon which Palpatine is sitting. We don’t see his face, but the fashion sense is unmistakable, right? Who else wears a black cloak like that? Well, apart from Rey herself.
For a lot of folks, this shot was the highlight of the trailer.
Rey meeting Palpatine was by far the best part of the trailer for me… I cannot wait for this confrontation!! pic.twitter.com/1w7023B7IW
— ?? Ajay ? (@SWBFExpress) October 22, 2019
The epic confrontation between heroine and villain that this teases should be something truly spectacular.
Rey v Palpatine is all I want pic.twitter.com/sAdhM8B3iz
— Adam Lance Garcia (@AdamLanceGarcia) October 22, 2019
But, hang on a minute, what if Rey isn’t actually facing Palpatine in this scene but is actually looking at a dark double of herself? Could this be a vision or a Force hallucination or some kind?
How do we know that’s Palpatine in the trailer ? pic.twitter.com/nehmkyLeHQ
— Chris (@chriswashere321) October 22, 2019
Assuming it is Palpatine in that chair, though, it’s important to note that it appears to be moving across the ice towards Rey. Is this some kind of mobile life-support system, maybe?
i do not care for how this palpatine thing appears to be crawling pic.twitter.com/2YgEKVQEiE
— ????? (@heathdwilliams) October 22, 2019
Hmm, evil villain who’s given himself some cyborg adjustments? Has J.J. Abrams been watching Will Smith’s Wild Wild West movie lately?
Palpatine when Rey comes up to his chair in Rise of Skywalker pic.twitter.com/QOcjG0O4SP
— Mr. Feel, Shark Teeth Enthusiast (@mrfeelswildride) October 22, 2019
Or possibly Spongebob Squarepants?
— Walter Banasiak (@Awesome_Walter) October 22, 2019
What it looks like, though, is that Palpatine never died at the end of Return of the Jedi and has been biding his time before making his survival known to his enemies. As for why he’s chosen now…hey, coming back in the finale just makes sense for this drama queen.
Palpatine showing up in TROS after decades of planning his ultimate dramatic return pic.twitter.com/LSQYQowpVx
— spooky chrisi ? (@arealdarlingcap) October 22, 2019
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20th