'Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker': Emperor Palpatine's Return Has Been In The Works For A Long Time

What’s that expression about laughing last?  Fans were shocked when Emperor Palpatine got the last laugh, literally, at the end of the first trailer for ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’.  After all, the Emperor died in ‘Return of the Jedi’, right?  But if there was any doubt, Palpatine actor Ian McDiarmid popped up at Star Wars Celebration, all but confirming that, yes, it was Palpatine cackling at the end of the clip.


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According to Lucasfilm LTD president Kathleen Kennedy, this return has been in the works for some time now.

“This has been in the blueprint for a long time, yeah. We had not landed on exactly how we might do that, but yes, it was always [to be in Episode IX].”

Since ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ doesn’t arrive until December, it’s all speculation from here.  But if Jedi continue to hang around as Force ghosts, why not Sith lords?  Some believe that it was Palpatine that was pulling the strings of Supreme Leader Snoke.  Others have pointed out that in the expanded universe novels, Palpatine was shown as being able to transfer his spirit from one body to another.  In one tale, he attempted to transfer his essence into Han and Leia’s infant son, Anakin.  That has led to some speculation that he has been grooming Ben Solo/Kylo Ren (through Snoke) to master the Force in a plot to eventually take over his body.


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What do you think?  How will Emperor Palpatine factor into ‘The Rise of Skywalker’?

If you want to hear all of what Kathleen Kennedy had to say, check out the video from Yahoo! below:

‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ arrives in theaters on December 20, 2019.