A Star Wars fan correctly guessed the eventual title for Episode IX and Emperor Palpatine's return in the sequel trilogy way back in 2012. During Celebration Chicago, Lucasfilm finally peeled back the curtain on their highly-anticipated blockbuster, which also serves as the culmination of the entire Skywalker saga. Besides the movie's official title (The Rise of Skywalker), the biggest reveal in the teaser trailer was the revelation Sheev Palpatine, overarching villain of the first two trilogies, was coming back for one final showdown. Ian McDiarmid, who's played the character since Return of the Jedi, reprised the role.
Many viewers were genuinely surprised by this creative choice, which in essence makes Palpatine the link that connects all three trilogies of the saga together. It's only fitting a story that began with Palpatine becoming Supreme Chancellor will end with him attempting to impose his tyrannical will over the galaxy again. For at least one viewer, the direction of the new films was apparent from the start.
In a tweet that has since gone viral, Gabriel Garcia predicted in November 2012 (shortly after Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm became official) that Episode VII would be called The Rise of Skywalker and feature the Emperor in some capacity. Of course, Garcia was off by a couple of films, but this is still impressive. Check out the post in the space below:
Star Wars Episode 7 The Rise of Skywalker. The Emperor lives.— Gabriel Garcia (@GabbyG41) November 22, 2012
The jokes about time travel and Force premonitions write themselves, but this is simply a shockingly eerie coincidence from a time when fans were having fun trying to guess the Episode VII title. Like so many others, it was shot-in-the-dark speculation, only it's aged considerably better than most. Still, it was a sound hypothesis, seeing that the Emperor returned in the since-discarded Expanded Universe (and Lucasfilm has happily pulled from Legends). Even just by looking at evidence from the movies, it stood reason to believe Palpatine might have survived his would-be demise, despite "dying" in the physical sense. If the spirits of light side users like Obi-Wan and Yoda could live on, then the same could be possible for powerful masters of the dark side (especially when one considers that Plagueis story).
It will be interesting to see how Palpatine is handled in The Rise of Skywalker and what canonical explanation is given for his return. According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, this was the plan all along, so it's something the studio's been building towards for a long time. Even by their standards, it's impressive how they were able to keep things secret, so hopefully the finished film delivers satisfying results that live up to the promise hinted at by the reveal. And maybe, after three different wars that spanned three generations, Palpatine will be defeated once and for all.
Source: Gabriel Garcia
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019