The release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is creeping closer with just over five months to go until the final chapter of the sequel trilogy hits screens. Disney’s movies have garnered criticism but fans are excited for the final outing of the franchise, in no small part to the return of the villainous Emperor Palpatine.
JJ Abrams and the rest of the Star Wars cast left audiences stunned when it was announced that Palpatine, the mastermind of the original trilogy and villain of the prequel movies, would be making a return. How? We’re not sure yet. But here’s what we want the baddest of bad guys to do when the blockbuster comes out at the end of the year.
10 Don’t Want: To Still Be Alive
While we know that Palpatine will be in the movie, we’re none the wiser as to how Disney chiefs will pull off such a scheme. One thing we don’t want to happen, though, is for it to emerge that the Emperor survived Darth Vader’s attempt on his life and spent the last 30 years lying low.
If Palpatine were to have survived everything, it would take away the magnitude of Vader’s actions at the end of Return of the Jedi. It would also make sense from a narrative perspective because a character of his intelligence and ambition would certainly not have allowed the Republic to rise again. It’s best for the movie to be one of resurrection, rather than about somebody who has been alive all this time.
9 Want: Clinging To Existence
So while Palpatine being alive in physical form would be, in our eyes, a bad decision, what about spiritually? The recent Darth Vader comic series shows how dark side users are able to keep themselves alive in an object of importance, with an ancient Sith Lord called Momin managing to cling to life via his old mask.
It would make sense if Palpatine has been able to avoid death by attaching his spirit to, say, the second Death Star. The Rise of Skywalker trailer appears to show Rey, Finn, Chewbacca, and Poe Dameron edging toward the wreckage. If they do, as expected, then they may find Palpatine’s spirit there.
8 Want: Essence Transfer
You can bet that, if a Force-sensitive user were to come across Palpatine, he would take a shot at trying to jump into their bodies to control them. And hot rumors suggest he will do exactly that.
While Matt Smith has insisted he’s not in The Rise of Skywalker, speculation has backed him to be playing a dark-side user who allows Palpatine to inhabit his body in order to rise to power once again. There has even been talk that, when Smith’s character struggles to contain the fallen Sith Lord’s power, he could make the jump into Kylo Ren. And the prospect of Palpatine taking over such a conflicted Ben Solo would make for fascinating viewing.
7 Want: To Interact With Kylo Ren
Whether he takes over Kylo Ren’s body or not, it would be interesting to see Palpatine interact with Ben Solo. Whether it’s trying to corrupt his mind or even instructing him on how to rule the galaxy with an iron fist, it’s something that simply needs to happen.
Kylo showed he’s ready to be the main man when he murdered Supreme Leader Snoke, but so naive and hotheaded is the First Order kingpin that he may require guidance from somebody even more powerful than his old master. Palpatine could be that man, but if Ren feels threatened, then there’s a sense that the duo simply has to have a showdown.
6 Don’t Want: To Have Been Controlling Snoke
Supreme Leader Snoke is a character that, so far, has failed to live up to the hype. Fans flocked to The Last Jedi hoping to know more about the mysterious master of Kylo Ren but were left disappointed when, after no backstory, he was cut in half by his apprentice.
Snoke’s origins continue to cause intrigue, and with Palpatine returning, some have speculated that he was merely a puppet to the real bad guy all along. This, though, cannot be allowed to happen. Snoke had enough about him to suggest he was powerful in his own right and he was distinctly different to Palpatine, both when it comes to looks and the way he conducts himself. It’s best to keep the two characters separate.
5 Want: To Try & Corrupt Rey
While Rey is the hero of the saga, she still has a darkness inside her that she sometimes struggles to contain. Had it not been for Starkiller Base falling apart, it seems likely that she would have killed Kylo Ren in cold blood. She was tempted by the darkness in The Last Jedi when it lured her in with false promises about her parents, and she also appeared prepared to team up with Kylo after Snoke’s murder.
Palpatine prides himself on his ability to turn the good guys into one of the bad ones. Count Dooku left the Jedi Council to work under him, Anakin Skywalker turned his back on them too, and Luke Skywalker nearly turns in Return of the Jedi. Rey has a vulnerability that suggests that, in Palpatine’s eyes, she’s definitely worth a punt.
4 Don’t Want: To Try Resurrections Of His Own
Palpatine has always been one to work alone, rather than as part of a team. And that means that, if he manages to rise to power again, he should continue that way rather than trying to resurrect any of his old apprentices to help him in his mission to rule the galaxy once more.
We can definitely expect familiar faces to appear in The Rise of Skywalker—and even more than one Sith Lord. Anakin Skywalker may appear as a Force ghost, and there are even rumors that Darth Maul may return in some sort of flashback. But Palpatine shouldn’t bother trying to enlist help to achieve his evil goals.
3 Want: To Take Out One Of The Heroes
What better way to confirm Palpatine as the evilest person to ever step foot in the Star Wars universe than having him kill one of the heroes we’ve grown to love over the years?
The return of the Emperor has to mean something and, if we’re led to believe he’s as powerful as he was before, then they should have him do something of note. Han Solo and Luke Skywalker have already bit the dust, meaning it would definitely be hard-hitting if Palpatine were to kill somebody like Leia Organa or Chewbacca, two of the heroes of the original trilogy. Similarly, if he were to wipe out Rey or even a redeemed Kylo Ren, it would make his return all the more worthwhile.
2 Want: A Showdown With Luke Skywalker
If there’s one character Emperor Palpatine would no doubt relish the chance to get revenge on, it has to be Luke Skywalker. Had it not been for his reluctance to give up on Darth Vader and turn to the dark side, then the Empire would never have fallen.
Luke is dead for the time being, with the legendary Jedi sacrificing himself in the last outing of the franchise in order to allow the Resistance to escape—and dent the ego of nephew Kylo Ren. But it would be huge if he were to find a way to return to the land of the living to thwart Palpatine for a second time. Their spirits could even do battle—but what happens to the loser? If they’re already dead, what then?
1 Don’t Want: Relaxed Palpatine
Palpatine was relaxed during the original trilogy, wrongfully thinking that he was too powerful and cunning to ever be overthrown. He spent most of his time sitting down and, when forced, he would use lightning from his fingertips to inflict unimaginable pain on his subjects and prisoners. In the prequels, though, he was different, using nearly every power in his repertoire to ensure the rise of the Empire went ahead as planned.
It’s this version Rise of Skywalker needs. After 30 years away, he needs to be shown as a character willing to do everything necessary to get revenge on those who wronged him the first time around. Fans want lightsaber battles with the zip of Revenge of the Sith, they want to see him spraying lightning like there’s no tomorrow and using whatever else he can to defeat our heroes. In short, he needs to act like a villain, utterly determined to recoup what he once had.