The most potent enemy of the Jedi Order is returning… but how?
A new rumor has surfaced around the return of Emperor Palpatine, AKA Darth Sidious , in the upcoming Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. It indicates that there won't be any arcane rituals or Sith trickery involved - rather, that the explanation for the Emperor's return will be an exceedingly simple one.
The Emperor seemed to have met a decisive end in his final screen appearance, but the first trailer for The Rise of Skywalker teased us with the sound of the villain's distinctive laugh. Since the spot's release, it's become public that Ian McDiarmid, who portrayed the character in all of his previous appearances, is involved with the new film - leading to fan speculation that Palpatine may appear in some kind of vision, or as a Force Ghost, or even return as a clone.
"As you know in Star Wars, they're very good at dealing in unexpected moments the whole time, and secrets are a big thing."
According to some new purported spoilers for Episode IX making the rounds on the internet, the real explanation is quite a bit more mundane. Instead of coming back as a ghost or spirit, it's being claimed that the Emperor has actually just been physically alive this whole time, waiting for the right moment to make his presence known once again. Hey, weirder things have happened.
Fans will remember that at the conclusion of 1983's Return of the Jedi, the last time in the series timeline that we saw Palpatine in the flesh, the Emperor was thwarted in his plan to turn Luke Skywalker to the Dark Side of the Force. The Emperor pitted Skywalker against his father, Darth Vader, in a duel to the death, hoping to take the young Jedi on as his new apprentice if he managed to kill the Sith Lord. But at the last moment, Skywalker realized that he was being manipulated, and refused to continue the fight.
Enraged, the Emperor began torturing Luke with bolts of Force lightning, and he surely would have killed the Jedi if not for an abrupt face turn by Vader. The former Anakin Skywalker was unexpectedly moved by Luke calling out to him, and in a stunning act of self-sacrifice, he seized the Emperor and threw him to his apparent death down a seemingly bottomless shaft, mortally wounding himself in the process. Keep watching the video to hear about this rumor report: Is this how Emperor Palpatine returns in Rise of Skywalker?