In case you somehow missed the new teaser trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this past weekend, it’s official: The Senate himself is back. Emperor Sheev Palpatine is returning to the big screen after fourteen years, with longtime actor Ian McDiarmid reprising his signature role. While the exact nature of Palpatine’s involvement in The Rise of Skywalker is still quite shrouded in mystery, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy was quick to confirm at this year’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago that the studio had planned from the beginning to bring Emperor Palpatine back in Episode IX in a new video interview with Yahoo! Entertainment reporter Kevin Polowy, which he published on his Twitter account.
Kathleen Kennedy says Palpatine's return was in the blueprint for a long time. "We had not landed on exactly how we might do that, but it was always [to be in Episode IX]." pic.twitter.com/SDqqKHgJ7C
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) April 12, 2019
Kennedy stated, “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’s always [been in the works].”
In the same clip, Polowy also interviewed co-writer and director J.J. Abrams on the topic of Palpatine’s return. Abrams, ever the gentleman and guardian of the Mystery Box, answered, “Working with Ian was among one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had. He is like a breathtakingly good actor. I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun for audiences.”
From the reactions I’ve seen online, I think it’s safe to say that most fans are quite excited to see Palpatine back for the big finale. I had to laugh at myself when I first watched the teaser this weekend and realized what was happening, because despite how potentially hokey this narrative choice could get, I am genuinely giddy at the thought of seeing Ian McDiarmid return one last time as the Emperor. He’s always been one of the best parts of the Skywalker Saga and knowing that he will have one last go at bringing the ham and the Dark Side just brings a smile to my face.
What about you though? Be sure to share your thoughts with us down below!