“That goes back to when we were talking about Force Awakens.”
While many were surprised that Emperor Palpatine made an audible cameo in the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it appears Lucasfilm had planned on bringing him back since working on The Force Awakens.
In an interview with MTV News, Lucasfilm president Kathaleen Kennedy divulged this information when asked when Palpatine’s involvement in the new trilogy was first discussed, saying “That goes back to when we were talking about Force Awakens, and you know, just the whole blueprint of where we’ve ended up now has kind of been in the works since then.”
Kennedy went on to discuss Darth Sidious actor Ian McDiarmid appearing at the Star Wars Celebration Chicago 2019 panel, saying “There was nothing more thrilling than to be in that room, especially to have Ian walk out on stage, we were waiting to see what that reaction was gonna be.”
Of course, it’s still unknown exactly how big a role Palpatine will play in The Rise of Skywalker. In fact, in a Star Wars Show Live! interview with McDiarmid, the actor revealed he didn’t record that laugh specifically for the teaser or even for The Rise of Skywalker, saying “I have to tell you that that particular laugh was not specially recorded. They found it somewhere. Probably from one of the old movies, or in a digital vault, or maybe George’s iPhone.”
In the same interview with MTV News, Kennedy revealed Lucasfilm is developing something related to Knights of the Old Republic.
We’ve already discussed Palpatine’s involvement in the final film in the Skywalker Saga, suggesting there was no way J.J. Abrams wasn’t going to bring back Palpatine and dissecting a popular theory connecting Snoke and Palpatine.
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Colin Stevens is a news writer for IGN. Follow him on Twitter.