Unless you really kept your ears and eyes close to the rumour mill, hearing Emperor Palpatine’s laugh in the first teaser of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would’ve given you a heart attack. What an absolutely shocking moment it was. While that was an undeniably goosebumps-inducing moment, many have since wondered if bringing the iconic character back into the fold is even necessary. Remember, the last time we saw Palpatine was in Return of the Jedi, where he supposedly died after being thrown down the Death Star’s reactor by Darth Vader.
Is he brought back simply because J.J Abrams thought the franchise needed another villain apart from Kylo Ren, after the death of Snoke? Is it simply for fan service? Or is there a more meaningful, story-driven purpose to the inclusion of Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker. The answer seems to be the latter. In an interview with Empire, director of The Rise of Skywalker, JJ Abrams, had this to say:
“Some people feel like we shouldn’t revisit the idea of Palatine, and I completely understand that. But if you’re looking at the nine films as one story, I don’t know many books where the last few chapters have nothing to do with those that have come before. If you look at the first eight films, all the set-ups of what we’re in IX are there in plain view.”
How exactly Abrams has written the character back into the Star Wars saga is still kept under wraps. Did Palpatine survive the fall? Did he come back from the dead? More importantly, what is his plan? I guess we’ll have to wait until December to find out.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker synopsis:
The surviving Resistance faces the First Order once more as Rey, Finn and Poe Dameron’s journey continues. With the power and knowledge of generations behind them, the final battle commences.