“Once more the Sith will rule the galaxy, and we shall have peace.”
Those words, uttered by Emperor Palpatine himself, will no doubt have grave implications for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final installment in Lucasfilm’s core saga which signals the long-rumored second coming of Ian McDiarmid’s wicked mastermind.
First teased during Episode IX‘s debut trailer, which ended with that instantly recognizable cackle echoing in the darkness, we know all too well that Palpatine has a big, big role to play – particularly now that Supreme Leader Snoke is no longer a threat, after he was brushed aside during The Last Jedi.
Exactly what Palpatine has planned for Rey and Co. remains to be seen – chances are that Force vision has something to do with him coaxing Daisy Ridley’s heroine to the Dark Side – though according to the latest rumors, Episode IX will empower Emperor Palpatine with an entire fleet of Death Stars. And they’ll be controlled by the blood-red Sith Troopers.
Of course, the exact specifics of Palpatine’s master plan are still being kept locked away in the Lucasfilm vaults and one could argue that the introduction of another Death Star would be… somewhat boring? The Original Trilogy already contained two, while The Force Awakens rendered a Death Star-esque superweapon of its own in Starkiller Base. That being said, though, this intel comes to us from the same sources who revealed that Ewan McGregor was returning as Obi-Wan, and that Rey will have a special connection to the Emperor, which Making Star Wars has since confirmed, so we have no reason to doubt it.
In any case, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker shoots for theaters on December 20th – just over three months from now, meaning the countdown is well and truly on. It’ll also arrive on the heels of The Mandalorian, another hotly-anticipated Star Wars project that’s due to launch alongside Disney+, the upcoming streaming service jam-packed with big-name titles.