‘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. I think there is a lot of potential for the new trilogy and JJ is great, but bringing back Palpatine would be a little much unless given the nature of the universe there is more in play than meets the eye. I did not like the prequel trilogy as much, but if anything it helped confirm the notion in my eyes that the universe is very cyclical. There is a time where the good side of the force reigns and then there is a period of dark, which is again overturned by good, etc. I could believe that although he is in theory dead, Palpatine set up events that would continue his legacy in some form. *Not advocating a clone, but rather some chain of events that would lead to the resurgence of the Dark Side.* —maybe resulting in him coming back briefly in a flashback to act as a prelude. This could go with the notion that he set up a second apprentice or something similar. If not for the appearance of returning cast members, I could also see the possibility of an entirely new conflict in another part of the galaxy/universe. When asked about Earth, what was it that Lucas said? “It exists, but just not here.” I’m not advocating the inclusion of Earth either, but rather the idea of going somewhere else with it. The universe is very large.

    • I think the whole Palpatine thing is because “the new apprentice”! That is the big news here.

      Star wars is Darth Vader. Best character EVER! After that was darth maul and now i guess they want one more cool fan favoritte character of the dark side. Hope this time he turn to good side of the Force! But still please bring back Darth Vader!

  2. I’m sorry but I was never into Palpatine. Let’s see a return of General Grievous, Boba Fett, Darth Maul, and even Darth Vader and Yoda

  3. If they are doing Dark Empire then yes. I would rather they did the Thrawn Trilogy. Didn’t they see it’s not based on anything in the Expanded Universe?

    • The thing is that bringing Bale back (at least for MOS 2) would for sure hit a home run with fans all across the globe. It would be nice if it could be done for the fans sake. Lighten up the day with Batman being played by non other than the actor who has made the best on screen version of him. If we need to make him Synder’s version, rather than Nolan’s version, than that’s what needs to be done. A person that can change his voice that many different ways should get paid whatever he wants.

      • wrong thread, Hank

      • Its clear your heightened senses are a bit off today supes ;)

  4. Dark Empire anyone?

  5. Are they really that unoriginal that they possibly won’t even create a new threat? Let the Emperor and Vader stay dead…they’ve been dead for 30 years. I’m excited about new Star Wars, but if they are just going to reuse the same main villain then what is the point? It’s an entire universe, I’m sure they could figure something out that is fresh.

  6. I trust JJ Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy. They will do Star Wars right.

    • best opinion. I am with you man. JJ and Kathleen Kennedy will do best star wars ever. Add script from michael arndt and music from John williams. It’s like dream.

      But i like fan hope Chewbacca or other wookies, Darth Vader, Yoda and darth maul are back too…. this is what will turn fans crazy. Most iconic characters are Vader and Yoda in my opinion.

    • I agree. I think these 2 will do star wars right

  7. No leave the Emperor dead. Good lord, do we really need to repeat the last six movies?

    I’d like a fresh start. New villain, new story, new adventure. Thanks.

    • I agree with that too. I want new iconic characters and mostly bad characters like Darth Vader and darth maul. But Also want like fan Darth Vader back he is STAR WARS! I mean come on……it’s really tough for JJ. 50% of the fans will want all new and 50% will want all iconic cgaracters bad. Which side is right nobody kbows.

  8. Palpatine IS Star Wars. For me, it’s his story. Yeah, there have been other Sith Lords before him but he is the one who set up the Empire. If there is any conflict for the future left, he has to be a part of it. He IS the Empire and the Dark Side. He is Voldemort, Sauron, Satan…you name it! It’s ONLY about him and his legacy… Any other aspects of this saga are purely secondary…

    • With you dude, Palpatine in THE evil in the empire – Vader his puppet just as Duku and Maul were. There is no dark side without him and he implied that he has the strength to bring back folk from the dead?? We never actually saw him meet his maker (well, we did in family guy), perhaps that blue haze was a transporter – Something in that I think…. There has to be more of a link to the previous episodes other than the offspring of Leia, Han, Luke and (some lady) – Is Chewy older or do those hairy guys last for ages? Yoda will be a force ghost with Obe Wan, maybe Luke gets slain early in Ep 7? Loads of questions….

    • Nope – Darth Vader is Star Wars. sorry.

    • Totally agree,
      The only point of there being sequels is if Palpatine hasn’t been defeated.
      Anakin’s story is over in ROTJ so unless Palpatine returns there is no reason to continue the films.
      Moreover why do you think he sent his guards off at the end, or was so careless in the final confrontation…
      because he knew that if all fails he will be reborn….
      Bringing in some new villain will just be lame…

      The only other storyline that could have potential without Palpatine returning
      is the Yuuhzan Vong invasion or whatever. But to do it well would cost too much methinks.

  9. Idris Elba for Palpatine

    • ^ this

      • I was being sarcastic.

  10. I vote that palpating stay out of this and that they don’t even mention him I liked him as a villain but he really just annoyed me in the prequels

  11. This is yet again JJ Abrams bastardizing yet another concept from quality source material. I see Ep. VII as a re-telling of all previous episodes, but creating an alternate universe in the process. ‘Vader, I am your Son-search your feelings, you know this to be true.’ ‘So, you have a daughter-your feelings have betrayed her too!’ Saving my money and waiting for the download. I guarantee you he will find a way to fit Earth into the story. bas·tard·ize (Verb)Corrupt or debase (something such as a language or art form).

  12. Was not there a Book or Story, where Palpatine had “Cloned” Bodies of himself which he just used, after getting killed from someone?

    • Yes Dark Empire (linked above). Palpatine’s use of the dark force burned up him body at an accelerated rate, so he’d been cloning his bodies for years and transferring his consciousness into them every few years. His “death” at Endor simply destroyed his body not his consciousness. Took him nearly a decade to “drift” across the galaxy to the planet where he kept his cones.

      • So he basically made horcrux clones and split his soul into 7…destroying his humanity a little bit each time? That way when he died he would not truely be dead? And now there is a chosen one that will have to destroy him once and for all? Sounds similar somehow…

  13. I am happy they are making the films, and i think they need a character, or a few to help keep it all connected, in that sense, either anakin (would make sense) or palpatine (also makes sense) would be excellent additions, yoda and obi-wan to but i would love Ian McDiarmid to be in the film to start off with, dosent have to be every film, at least the first

  14. I think Palpatine had to come back really; but only as a force ghost. I don’t see a problem with this as the Jedi managed to do it and Palpatine was always portrayed, in my opinion at least, as the most powerful force user in the movies, so why wouldn’t he be able to?

    I agree that he should not be the main threat but I don’t think he will be as a force ghost. I always imagined that he would exist simply to corrupt one of the solo kids and then they could setup a sibling rivarly as well as good/bad. Don’t forget that when Vader threw him over the edge of that railing in ROTJ that the blue cloud of energy screamed and flew away. I don’t think Palpatine should be brought back as a clone but I cant totally see a force ghost working.

  15. The only way Palpatine should appear in any future Star Wars movie is in a flashback. Specifically, a flashback to a point in time when he was alive.

  16. Seriously? People are complaining that they are not talking? Lucasfile has never really discussed the sequels. They had a fake name for ESB after all.

    • People today are just impatient and get whiny when they don’t hear a nugget of info RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND!!!1!ONE!

      It’s annoyed me with other gamers when they cancel pre-orders because a game was delayed by a week when back in the day, we had to wait a year later than we should have for Zelda: Ocarina of Time.

      Now we get other movie fans booing at a Disney event because they didn’t spill the beans about Star Wars Episode 7 or Marvel movies that aren’t releasing until 2015.

  17. Its time for Mara Jade to make her big-screen debut.

  18. Forget Palpatine! Bring Jar-Jar Bing back!!!!

    • Burn that man.

  19. Done correctly, it will be great. Most people are missing the Sith Holocrons. The writers might use this idea to allow the Emperor make a comeback. You cannot have him using his spirit or physical form because that had already happened when Palpatine took Luke as his apprentice for a brief period of time.

    Had the character been used in a more proactive way in the first three episodes, he would have left a better taste in our mouths. The new Sith Lord has to be someone who plots in the dark but that isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when necessary. Killing people who stands in his way with no remorse.

  20. didnt he clone luke from the severed hand and inhabit his body? I thought that was the clones he was using… anyway… force ghost him and let him take over his apprentice’s body. he was the last of the sith…. and I just wanted to say that the thrawn trilogy was awesome right up until the last 100 or so pages. luke should have smoked that old guy. but i digress…

  21. Yes Emperor Palpatine should return. He will have another apprentice or two. One will just be unexpected/ major plot twist. I’m glad there will be more Star Wars films.

  22. 50 bucks says JJ Abrams creates an alternate universe ala his Star Trek films, so he can do whatever the f*** he wants.

    • No, this will actually be episode. It can be done you just need to be educated and cultured.

  23. Im so delighted that there is going to be more Star Wars, To tell you the truth I feel that in revenge of the sith, Lucas left a few things open to future suggestion. I feel he had been in private conversations with people very very close to him about the future Star Wars should take.

    There are a few things left open 1. the Legend of Darth Plagus the wise,Palpatine knew how to keep people from dying, it was the line that seduced Anakin, this could be the strand that is woven within the whole entire story. How do you eliminate a constant destructive force in the Star Wars Universe, and if that force knows how to avoid being destroyed, where does that leave our heroes but struggling in ongoing conflict of good verses bad. As in history its passed onto the the next and the next.

    Lucas may not be fully involved as he has in the past, but he is a man that has studied and loves history and his love for history is filled in the early treatments of star wars. Take for example ww2 the wars that came after it, the people in world history who became war mongers and the others who where peacemakers. Lucas must have used histories timelines to fuse together star wars. With his rough treatments for the next three with the new writers on board going through it with help and guidance of George Lucas I think where in for some interesting chapters in the next few years.

    Another little bit that was left opened in the revenge of the sith I forgot to mention is the trade federations operations all shut down by Palpatine and Anakin. Now heres the thing not only had Palpatine had control of the clones and there change of role from good to bad, but Palpatine had control over the large trade federation weapons machine. Im just wondering will their be a presence of some trade federation folk in the next film, it could feature,,

    Just another note given that JJ is moving to England to film, I hope and pray he comes to Ireland to film so scenes. Over here we have a feast for the eyes, the amazing scenic beauty of the Irish landscape would be so inviting. There are amazing places of interest that could stand in for real sets, the locations where Brave Heart was filmed in Ireland is incredible, Mishelle Obama was there recently its called Glendalough it has everything you could ask for if you wanted to film a Jedi settlement and temples and stuff. The scenery is just special and there is a very deep history in the place with St Kevin and the monks that once lived there.

    Also there is the beautiful west of Ireland Co Clare, and the Lakes of Kilarney in Kerry, that is only the tip of the iceberg of what Ireland has to offer to such a film like this.


  24. Good idea to bring him back as a ghost; anything else would just be spitting on the previous saga.

    The sith should already have been re-emerged in this film, but instead of being a ruling force they’d be a Communist-terrorist organization responsible for attacks on government buildings, ceremonies, parades, etc.

    They would exploit the poor to go after the rich and middle class while they secretly profited, and all the while tricking the poor to commit acts of terror, suicide bombings and the such. There will be a team of jedis ready to confront and attack these sith–there is no need to make an origin story for these two groups because considerable time has passed since return of the jedi and we don’t want to waste time doing origin stories; just give us some awesome action and storylines.

  25. Bring in Star Killer…

    Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Unleashed!

  26. Palptine was by no means the first Sith lord, amd should by no means be th only one to focus on…Not that I am up on all the Jedi lore ( books and what have ya..) the jedi school on yemin has a nefarious background, way before Palpatin was anywhere in the picture. my point being… jedi foder , we have much, rehash old films ,dissapoint they will… trust in j.j…trust that star treck into darkness , he gives us not.

    • Given that he brought Khan back who no one wanted I imagine he might bring Palpatine back.

  27. No. He died in Return of the Jedi.

    It would make those films completely meaningless if he is still alive.

  28. the only way for star wars seven storyline be told is to tell what happens after star wars six. seven can show a storyline after six that will void up the ending of the sixth. the eighth may show how the jedis look for ways to fix what seven destroyed. star wars nine can be of course a jedi win and the reaffirming of the ending of the sixth.

    • in real time we get to see darth vader, darth maul and young obi wan in action.

    • Not necessarily a Jedi win after Ep9, pretty sure Disney is looking at a further 6 movies at least so who knows….

  29. NO!