Star Wars fans might not have been expecting to hear the familiar cackle of Emperor Palpatine in the very first teaser for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, however, as surprising as Darth Sidious return is, J.J. Abrams insists that not bringing back the Sith Lord would actually have been “very weird” for Episode IX.
Speaking in an interview with Uproxx to help promote his new Star Wars movie, The Rise of Skywalker director discusses Palpatine’s return in Lucasfilm’s sequel trilogy. Fans might not have expected Palpatine to return after his death in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi, but Abrams says that the trajectory of the Skywalker saga seems to hint at the Sith Lord’s eventual return.
“Well, when you look at this as nine chapters of a story, perhaps the weirder thing would be if Palpatine didn’t return,” Abrams told the entertainment news outlet, “You just look at what he talks about, who he is, how important he is, what the story is — strangely, his absence entirely from the third trilogy would be conspicuous. It would be very weird.”
Abrams explanation does make sense. Palpatine did play a major role in the last two trilogies of the Star Wars franchise. It wouldn’t be too farfetched for the Emperor to have a hand in the sequel trilogy – though we’ve yet to see how everything plays out in The Rise of Skywalker.
There are a lot of questions as to what extent Palpatine might return. Some are speculating that he returns as a hologram. Others believe that his spirit finds its way into a Sith artefact like Darth Vader’s old helmet.
How do you think Palpatine will return in Episode IX? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres December 20, 2019.