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Star Wars 9: JJ Abrams Justifies The Return of Emperor Palpatine

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams justifies the need to bring back Emperor Palpatine for the franchise's main saga capper.

Dark Rey in Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker With Emperor Palpatine

Director J.J. Abrams explains the need to bring back Emperor Palpatine for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. After a tumultuous pre-production that involved a helmer switch from Colin Trevorrow to Abrams, the final installment of of the main saga from the beloved space opera is almost here. With a highly measured marketing campaign, viewers are going to see the movie with very little known about its narrative. But among the very few things that were divulged is the confirmation that Darth Sidious will somehow factor in the flick.

It was during this year's Star Wars Celebration where it was revealed that Ian McDiarmid is set to reprise his role as the Emperor in The Rise of Skywalker. Confirmed in an unconventional way, fans were shocked to hear the villain's familiar laugh towards the end of the movie's first trailer. Naturally, the crowd went wild - much more so when the actor appeared on stage to have the clip play one more time. Not much is known regarding Sheev's return, but Abrams explains that his involvement in the upcoming flick makes sense.

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Related: Star Wars 9's Secrecy Is Even Worse Than The Force Awakens

Speaking with Empire (via AdamDriverIsAwesome), Abrams admits that not everyone was thrilled upon learning that he's bringing back Palpatine. He explains, however, that considering that The Rise of Skywalker is tipped to wrap up the main Star Wars saga, the Emperor's involvement is justified considering that much of what happened in the past trilogies connect to him. Read his full answer below:

While Emperor's upcoming return was met with varying opinions, no one can deny that it gave fans a new tidbit to ponder on. Countless theories are floating around online with regard to how he fits into this contemporary trilogy narrative. Of course, that includes the idea that he and Supreme Leader Snoke are one in the same person. Considering that Lucasfilm is being careful about what they reveal in the marketing about what fans can expect in the film, it's difficult to say for certainty. But in the event that this particular hypothesis pans out, it solidifies the Emperor's place as the overall villain of the Skywalker saga.

Amidst the growing number of theories regarding Darth Sidious' involvement in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, chances are that his role will be more about the mythological side of the narrative. After all, his story about Darth Plageuis the Wise remains to be a favorite narrative point that all fans go back to. Perhaps in Kylo Ren's (Adam Driver) journey in discovering more dark side secrets, he learns more about what truly happened with him. Regardless of what truly brings Emperor Palpatine back into the forefront of the beloved space opera, it's difficult to argue with Abrams' logic that it makes sense for him to be there as the saga films wrap up given his connection to all the previous trilogies.

More: Kylo Ren’s True Identity Could Be His Biggest Weakness In Rise of Skywalker

Source: Empire (via AdamDriverIsAwesome/Reddit)

Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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