Star Wars fans were in for a massive treat this week with Star Wars Celebration, a kind of convention exclusively for the Star Wars franchise. At Celebration, the cast and filmmakers of Episode IX took to the stage and finally dropped details about the movie. While there was a lot to chew on, maybe the biggest revelation was the reveal that the Emperor would be returning in the film. That’s pretty huge — and Ian McDiarmid, who played Palpatine in all the movies, had some fun teasing his return.
The first footage for Episode IX — now forever known as The Rise of Skywalker — was dropped during Star Wars Celebration. It’s a seriously awesome trailer that showcases Rey, Finn, and Poe on a mission together (finally!), some new planets, Kylo Ren doing his thing, and the return of Lando. But Lando isn’t the only original trilogy character making his comeback as the ominous laugh of Emperor Palpatine closed out the trailer.
As if that wasn’t enough confirmation that old papa Palps is back, Ian McDiarmid took the stage and had the trailer play a second time. Somehow, Paplatine will once again torment the galaxy, and while fans are already cooking up their theories, McDiarmid took to Twitter to raise the hype even further.
McDiarmid has played Palpatine in all of his live-action appearances, perhaps featured the heaviest in the prequel trilogy. Now, the actor is back and he’s teasing fans that the dark side is stronger than ever. Seeing as how Palpatine is THE Star Wars bad guy, that statement certainly rings true.
The reveal of Palpatine certainly must have caught plenty of fans by surprise, but when you think about it, there weren’t many options available to The Rise of Skywalker for villains. After the death of Snoke, there’s really no one left. Yes, there’s Kylo Ren, but his story is so tied up in the will he/won’t he be a good guy, that he doesn’t really feel like a final boss. You can’t introduce a new guy because what good would that do in the last film? So, you bring back the guy everyone knows and it becomes a lot stronger.
We’re still far away from learning more details about Palpatine and the movie. Maybe he’s back as a Force ghost or the First Order actually figured out a way to resurrect him. I’m sure there won’t be any shortage of theories! But will those theories be any … good?
It’s still a long wait, but all the answers to our questions will be revealed when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters on December 20, 2019. To learn as much about the film as you can, be sue to check out what we know so far about the movie, which we’ll continue to update as more news drops.