‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ Rumor Discussion: Should Emperor Palpatine Return?

Published 2 years ago by

star wars episode 7 emperor palpatine Star Wars: Episode VII Rumor Discussion: Should Emperor Palpatine Return?

Disney announced in advance that it would not make any Star Wars: Episode VII-related announcements during the 2013 D23 expo, but that hasn’t prevented complaints amongst fans – not to mention, invited speculation from news outlets, as for the reason behind the lack of an official update on the project’s status.

Truth be told, though, it’s probably best in this case to just apply Occam’s Razor: that is, assume that the real reason Episode VII wasn’t featured at this year’s D23 is because the project is still a long ways off (case in point: there are still at least 4-6 months left until production gets started). The casting process for the film may be properly underway at this point, but there’s little to no reason to suspect that Disney executives, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and/or Episode VII director J.J. Abrams feel too much pressure to reveal their hand of cards as quickly as possible.

So, where does that leave the rest of us? To discuss the latest Episode VII-related rumors – and today we have a doozy for you, courtesy of Latino Review (i.e. the folks who brought everyone the Zac Efron and Ryan Gosling audition rumors last month). The site is claiming that not only will Emperor Palpatine/Darth Sidious – portrayed by Ian McDiarmid in 4 (technically 5, if you’re including George Lucas’ newest cut of The Empire Strikes Back) previous Star Wars live-action movies – be returning in Episode VII, but LR’s sources also claim to have the scoop on how the dangerous Sith Lord will come back after his untimely demise in Return of the Jedi.

If you want to know that potential spoiler, go ahead and check out the full article HERE (but be sure to take a big grain of salt before you do). For our money, we’ll just say that Palpatine is not supposed to make an appearance in the way that many hardcore Star Wars fans have speculated – that is, he will not use the same trick that he employed in the famous “Dark Empire” comic book series from the Star Wars Expanded Universe literature.

Emperor Palpatine Darth Sidious Star Wars Star Wars: Episode VII Rumor Discussion: Should Emperor Palpatine Return?

This isn’t the first Episode VII-related rumor of this ilk we’ve heard; indeed, some nine months ago – at the time of writing this – claims emerged that Palpatine’s apprentice Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker will appear in the film (in some form). We’ve broken down the pros and cons of bringing back characters from Episodes I-VI for Episode VII on a previous occasion, but we’ll go ahead and briefly outline the two sides of this particular coin:

  • On one hand: McDiarmid is terrific in the role, whether we’re talking about his portrayal of Machiavellian Senator Palpatine or the character’s true identity as the outright wicked Emperor/Darth Sidious. So, following that logic, why should you not bring back such a wonderful antagonist – one who could help to bridge the gap between the different generations of Star Wars movies, no less?
  • On the other hand: you can only get so much mileage out of a character, before they become dead weight as far as progress in the overarching story is concerned. Not to mention, the rumors about what Expanded Universe storyline could be a major influence on the Episode VII narrative indicate that there’s little room nor reason to bring Palpatine back in the fold.

As far as the public discussion is concerned, anything is possible in Episode VII right now; at least, until we get some official information about what the story is going to be in Michael Arndt’s screenplay (translation: don’t get too upset or excited by any of these rumors).

star wars episode 7 start date Star Wars: Episode VII Rumor Discussion: Should Emperor Palpatine Return?

Having said that: if, for the sake of further discussion, we just go ahead and assume that Palpatine is going to make an appearance in the film, then he doesn’t have to serve as the primary villain in Episode VII (or subsequent installments, for that matter).

In fact, if Latino Review‘s insiders’ recent claims are correct, then Palpatine could essentially appear in a capacity similar to Exar Kun in author Kevin J. Anderson’s “The Jedi Academy” novel trilogy (click on either of those links if you want to learn more about the EU character and literature being referenced). So, that’s also an option that is worth taking into consideration.

How about it, readers: should Palpatine return in Episode VII? Or is it time for a new major villain to take the stage – possibly someone who is not a Sith Lord, nor whom you would instinctively associate with the Dark Side of the Force?


Star Wars: Episode VII is slated to hit theaters in Summer 2015.

Source: Latino Review

Follow Sandy Schaefer on Twitter @feynmanguy
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. Nope. Let him rest.

    • I agree. Let the poor evil bastard die.

      • Couldn’t agree more.

  2. Yes… and he should be played by Karl Urban.

    Peace! I’m out! I’m BigNerd!

    • um, is that a response to him saying that he IS NOT interested in appearing in a Star Wars film? o.O

      • It’s more of “people keep saying Karl Urban should play Batman” joke.

        Here’s another… George Lazenby!

    • No! Michael Fassbender!!! (although despite the joke, he’s a legitimate claim to play anyone out there. ANYONE!)

      • Michael Fassbender as Wonder Woman!!!

        • @Exodus:

          Nice. But he’s not big enough to play Wonder Woman. :)

  3. In jedi spirit form yes. I always assumed that the dark side members can do that as well.

    • According to the ROTS novel, the Sith can never accomplish eternal life, which is the ultimate goal of the Sith. “It comes from release of self, not exhortation of self.”

  4. Darth Plagueis!

    • That’s what I’ve heard from a friend who’s on the project.
      I mean, it makes sense. It would clear up the origins of Anakin Skywalker, and his ‘father’.. But my source is not even 100% certain about it because pre-production has multiple revisions all the time in the industry.

    • The Darth Plagueis novel is actually considered canon by Lucas so it wouldn’t work. The Emperor did continue to live in the EU by transporting his sole to clones of himself. He wanted to use Anakin Solo has his permanent host but failed which is where he really died.

  5. Simple answer: No!

    Vader overcame the Dark Side when he rescued his son from Palpatine’s sadistic wrath, dumping him into the reactor of the Death Star. The fact there are even talks of Darth Maul returning is absurd at best, especially considering he was cut in half and dump in a similar way that Palpatine was a generation later. Granted Darth Maul had the opportunity to be one of the scariest Sith in the franchise, but Lucas screwed the pooch. It’s best not to attempt to correct Lucas’ mistakes, rather start anew.

    Being that Ep VII will be in the future, following the next generation, recycling old enemies is plain stupid, particularly DEAD enemies. There exists plenty of ideas and materials to bring in new antagonists, and I have faith in JJ Abrams insomuch that I am confident he won’t dig through the garbage for recycle material.

    Star Wars needs a fresh start. Bringing back aged surviving characters is well and good, and if done right I think will lend a nice nod to the original trilogy (I still pretend Eps I-III never happened). However, it’s long past time for Star Wars to move forward and stop trying to cling to the old.

    My humbled opinion =)

    • “There exists plenty of ideas and materials to bring in new antagonists, and I have faith in JJ Abrams insomuch that I am confident he won’t dig through the garbage for recycle material.”

      Are you sure? Ever heard of a movie called Star Trek Into Darkness?

    • The bad guy should be an original Sith…red skin and horns and all. I don’t have my Old Republic book handy (I am at work after all) but they could have a true Sith Lord take the mantle and begin the process of building a new Sith army…just like it was thousands of years before.

      Have this Sith Lord have Mace Windu as his evil apprentice and eventually overcome Luke or even his son with the darkside to be his apprentice. The “only one apprentice” thing was never followed back in the Old Republic with the Dark Jedis. The New Republic will be caught off guard with this surprise attack and will be sent reeling.

      That or just make the Old Republic into a movie…those video game trailers were EPIC!

  6. Let JJ reboot like he did Star Trek. Episode I should have been Obi training an older Anakin age 18/19 and Episode II should have been the Clone Wars and Episode III should have been Anakin actually hunting down the Jedi as was foretold in Episode IV. Lucas really screwed it up! And the blu-ray releases are not even remastered!

    • That’s exactly how I imagined it should have been. Literally word for word. By the end of Episode II something should have pushed Anakin to the darkside.

  7. Why not, he made clones of his younger self and then always had them on standby so that he could transfer his consciousness…or some such BS.

    • That’s from the Expanded Universe. Thankfully, it isn’t canon.

  8. Hmmmmmm, no.

    • Hell yeah Thrawn would be sick. I would still love to see the Yuuzhan Vong down the line

  9. I love the emperor, I’d go as far to say he is my favorite villain of all time, probably down to Ian’s portrayal. I’d love one of the spin-off films to be about him, but I’m very skeptical about him being back in more episodes of the overall saga’s story. It would have to be done brilliantly, like he managed to construct some new frail zombie body thing, and is purely surviving through his evilness from the dark side of the force. I don’t know I just made that up, but something cool and well thought out I can get on board with. If it’s just silly and it just turns out he simply cloned himself or some cr*p then NO, just make up an equally cool villain with an equally brilliant actor, so no pressure!

    • Maybe before Vader through him down the shaft the Emperor transferred his soul into C3PO…wouldn’t you love to see an evil C3PO have a light saber duel with old, fat Luke!?!?!

  10. *sigh*

    • *+sigh*

  11. Possibly in spirit form. I don’t think the films say anything about dark Jedi not being able to come back.

  12. they should give the sith a rest, maybe bring in Thrawn?

  13. Bringing him back would make Darth Vader’s final moments seem less important.

    If they wanna bring someone back, bring back Boba Fett. We’ve barely seen the supposedly ‘best bounty hunter in the galaxy’ in action.

    • Agreed show us that he’s the best bounty hunter.
      Fanboys-”You guys both got to stop perpetuating this myth that Boba Fett is some kind of bad-***. All right? He has a jet pack. So did the Rocketeer. Really cool. When it comes time for battle, the man’s Michael Bay – all style, no substance.”

      • Boba Fett was never intended to be anything important. He’s just a side character who did nothing but die an absurd death.

        • He’s still alive i believe

          • Yeah, in one of the books he managed to escape the Sarlacc.


    • His former master is even eviler and more intelligent.

  15. “George Lucas…can you hear me?”

    “…yes my creation…Didn’t I kill you? Aren’t you, deceased? Are you not dead?”

    “It seems in your abandonment…I somehow survived.”

    “What…they couldn’t have. You weren’t alive, I FELT IT!”


  16. I don’t have a problem with him being a “force ghost.” But, I’d be pissed if he were resurrected.

  17. I could care less. I only Star Wars 4-6, and I know I won’t like 7, since I think JJ is an overrated director.

    • Good! One less a-hole in the theater with me!

  18. I say bring back Darth Darth Binks….

  19. Here’s the deal: The post-ROTJ Expanded Universe material that has been published was at its best when it did not merely re-tread and re-cycle the plots and villains of the films. Demonstrating that Star Wars storytelling has possibilities outside of what we have seen on screen so far. I want to see something new.

    Granted, there is a big difference between “primary villain” and “Force ghost cameo.”

  20. If it’s in jedi ghost form or in a flashback that’d be fine. But if it’s in physical form as some sort of resurrection or a clone i’ll be pissed.

  21. Can someone tell me when was the last time El Mayimbe and the boys at Latino Review were right about one of their scoops because I can’t remember? The last one off the top of my head is Guardians of the Galaxy either last year or the year before I can’t remember.

  22. Absolutley not. Obviously if it’s in force ghost form then i’ll be fine with it but bringing him back otherwise will just take away some of the impact from Vader’s redemption at the end of episode 6. It’ll almost be like the Rebellion’s efforts over that trilogy were in vain.

    • Agree completely

  23. NO. Meesa thinks that the good Emperor should rest in peace. Him surviving the fall or coming back as a clone will affect the overall impact of the Endor victory. I would rather them go with an new menacing villain to keep things fresh.

  24. We have to remember one thing, Jj is a fan of the original series 4 threw 6 he didn’t like the prequels at all he has stated this many times plus with the use of models and less cg I think he will do fine, however I do believe Star Wars needs a fresh start new story line get away from the skywalker family and move on…thx all

  25. Honestly I would like to broaden the scope beyond simple Jedi Vs Sith conflict of the prequels and more to an all-encompassing space opera of the originals.

    The Emperor is a classic character and I would not mind his presence in the film(s) but only minimal to serve as bridge throughout the entire saga and the ramifications of the past that threaten the future.

    A full return may lessen the sacrifice that Darth Vader made in his final moments to return to the light and save the life of his children, specifically Luke. Same as if Darth Vader/ Anakin Skywalker were to return in a large role.

    So I say why not for continuity, but keep him at bay and not as a person. Perhaps the Emperor left a failsafe that he left behind that is triggered unexpectedly, or not, and his image or essence cast a shadow in the upcoming darkness.

  26. I actually thought Ian McDiarmid did a much poorer job in the prequels and that stupid rerecording that go pasted into the Empire Strikes Back.

    Not only was he given cheesy lines like “unlimited power!” to scream out, but his delivery was terrible. I thought his makeup looked to fake too. He looks SO real in ROTJ. Obviously they were going for a younger look, but even so, it looked fake as hell.

    I thought the sword fight between him and Mace Windu was probably the worst combination of choreography I’d ever seen. Some people are made to wield a sword naturally, and those 2 certainly weren’t. No amount of LAME CGI can cover that up. Samuel L handled the lightsaber like an 80 year old and McDiarmid looked like a 100 year old man trying to fight. His expressions were very oddly placed in the scene. Such an awkward scene the only cool part is when he sends Mace out a window with force lightning.

    The ROTJ Emperor was WAY more compelling and impressive. His introduction was great and he played it with such confidence and arrogance. I felt his Dark Side through the screen. The prequel Emperor was a shell, like a caricature of what he had done so well in ROTJ. It was almost cartoon-like and not impressive or scary at all. The eyes were the best part and that’s not saying a lot.

    • @ Ian

      I completely agree. The emperor’s duel with Windu was executed poorly. Aside from him jumping like a gymnast, I couldn’t get over Palpatine’s mouth expressions telegraphing his every move. Even the Anakin /Obi-wan duel could have been done better. It actually got off to a great start. But once they started lava surfing while having a lightsaber duel, that totally ruined it for me. I Hope that they can make the Ep 7. duels more grounded. Episode 1 had the best fight in the trilogy because ray park did all his stunts without CGI help.

      • Yeah as far as a choreographed fight, the Ray Park one was awesome. I love when it’s just down to Obi-Wan and him, their moves are insanely well scripted and quick.

        However, my favorite lightsaber duels are still in Empire and ROTJ. The emotion, the reluctance, the anger, and intensity, it’s all there. They did those right because A LOT was riding on them. I especially like the Empire one as my favorite because Luke is using his father’s old lightsaber and it’s the boy vs. the man/machine for the first time. Inexperience, training and courage matched with the dark side, anger, hatred and evil. You just can’t beat that in my opinion. Even though he loses, it is so much more realistic BECAUSE he loses. Best movie in the series for all these reasons and loads more.