The biggest reveal in the Rise of the Skywalker trailer was of course the laugh of Emperor Palpatine. So, Lucasfilm is preparing us for Palpatine to be in Episode IX in some form. That laugh was really the perfect way to reveal it, we know he’ll be back, but we have no clue how JJ Abrams will actually go about doing it.
There is this interesting clip from Kathleen Kennedy, where she essentially says that bringing Palpatine back was always in the cards.
Kathleen Kennedy says Palpatine's return was in the blueprint for a long time. "We had not landed on exactly how we might do that, but it was always [to be in Episode IX]." pic.twitter.com/SDqqKHgJ7C
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) April 12, 2019
So does that mean Lucasfilm wanted Palpatine back? Or maybe he was featured in Colin Trevorrow’s script and JJ decided to alter the idea a bit.
If you told me six months ago that Lucasfilm was going to bring Emperor Palpatine back for Episode IX I probably would’ve whined like a bitch. So, props to Lucasfilm for not allowing this to leak. After watching the trailer and taking a while to marinate on it I really like this idea. Prior to the release of the sequel trilogy Palpatine was basically the big bad of the whole saga. He wasn’t featured in all 6 films, but he’s very much a presence in the Original trilogy with screen time mostly limited to Episode VI.
In canon, it seems as if Lucasfilm has been building to a Palpatine return for a while. The Aftermath trilogy and Battlefront II both show that Palpatine had a contingency plan that needed to be executed if he died. He executed it thanks to Gallius Rax and his sentinel droids that are seen in Battlefront II. He basically thought that an Empire that allows their Emperor to be killed didn’t deserve to exist at all. So his plan included rounding up children and sending them into the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. A young General Hux is among these kids. So, the Emperor was basically the launching point for the First Order, even though he was dead. Grand Admiral Thrawn and Snoke both may have had their own roles to play in this plan, but there side of the story isn’t as clear yet.
We have no idea how Palpatine will be involved. A resurrection or a spirit seem to be the most obvious theories. The shot of the remnant of the Death Star could be an easy spot for the Emperor to be featured whether it is in body or spirit.
Doesn’t it seem well suited for a trilogy revolving around the Skywalkers that our heroes would be tortured by the same evil?