Emperor Palpatine needs to have a presence in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, says writer Chris Terrio. After kickstarting the sequel trilogy in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, J.J. Abrams is back to close out not just the ongoing narrative, but also the whole Skywalker saga. Star Wars 9 will bring back the new crop of heroes and villains like Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver). But since it’ll be the end of the franchise’s main narrative, legacy characters such as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) are also tipped to be involved. However, the movie will also mark the return of Darth Sidious following his defeat and supposed death in Return of the Jedi.
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It was during this year’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago where it was revealed that Ian McDiarmid will reprise his role as the Emperor in The Rise of Skywalker alongside fans’ first look at the movie which ended with a tease of Palpatine’s involvement in the upcoming narrative. Since then, the film’s marketing has regularly used Palpatine sparingly. Other than the fact that he’s back and somehow manipulating events behind the scenes, not much is known about his role in Star Wars 9.
While Terrio can’t obviously go into specifics about Palpatine’s involvement in The Rise of Skywalker, he did say that the film’s story demanded his presence. Speaking with UPROXX while doing the press rounds for the upcoming movie, the writer added that much of the narrative will be about the Sidious and the Jedi playing a long game of chess.
“Oh, geez, I should probably steer away from specifics on that stuff until after the film comes out. Then I’d love to talk to you about it in detail. I’m afraid anything I’d say about it would give away some plot stuff and I’m not as fleet of foot as J.J. at avoiding stuff. But, what I can say is we felt that this story, these nine films, were a family saga. We decided pretty early on that we wanted to really think of this as the Skywalker Saga. And from the beginning, the chess game has been between Palpatine/Sidious and the Jedi. Specifically, the Jedi as represented by Anakin and the Skywalkers. So, we were convinced someway or another Palpatine had to be a presence in this film.”
This backs up previous comments from Isaac, who also said that The Rise of Skywalker will reveal the Sith and Jedi’s long-running game of chess. Both didn’t elaborate on the matter, but if this is the case, then it makes sense that Sidious is somehow involved considering that he’s a prominent Sith. What’s interesting in Terrio’s comment is that he said that the film needs Palpatine’s presence. Couple that with the fact that the marketing for Star Wars 9 has yet to reveal what the Sith Master looks like poses questions about his physical state in the film. Theories swirl that he’s essentially looking for a host body which explains why trailers didn’t show show him.
Abrams did justify the return of Palpatine and said that his involvement was mapped out as early as The Force Awakens. Bringing him back for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker reinforces the idea that he’s the Skywalker Saga’s overall antagonist and it’s an effective way to culminate this nine-film narrative. The question is, if Sidious is playing the so-called long-running chess game for the Sith, who is he up against from the Jedi’s side of things?
Key Release Dates
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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