Star Wars 9: The Rise Of Skywalker Trailer Brings Back Everyone's Favorite Evil Emperor
"No one's ever really gone."
Star Wars Celebration has concluded, and it was packed with reveals and announcements. The proceedings started off with a showstopper at the Episode 9 panel, which revealed both the first trailer and title: The Rise of Skywalker. The expected cast of characters makes a return, but there's another making a comeback that was not at all expected. Sheev Palpatine--the Emperor of the Galactic Empire and Darth Sidious, Lord of the Sith--is back in Episode 9. Somehow.
The teaser trailer shows a series of action scenes, with voiceover from Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) seeming to pass the Jedi legacy on to Rey. "We've passed on all we know," he says. "A thousand generations live in you now. We'll always be with you. No one's ever really gone."
But that hopeful final line immediately turns sinister, with audio of Emperor Palpatine's identifiable cackle. As if to confirm the return of the Emperor, actor Ian McDiarmid briefly appeared on-stage as well. We don't actually see him in the trailer itself; it's only his voice, so that leaves open many questions about what form he'll take and what role he'll play. The overall plot of the film remains a mystery as well, although we help you piece things together in our Episode 9 trailer breakdown.
The return of Palpatine pairs with some hints the cast and director JJ Abrams had dropped during the QA session of the panel, when they mentioned that the heroes gather together to take on the greatest evil in the galaxy. This is never directly said to be Palpatine, but given that he's popped up in the trailer, he's sure to factor in somehow. The trailer also showed Kylo Ren in action and conspicuously repairing his fractured helmet, so that may play a part in Palpatine's role as well. In a follow-up panel, McDiarmid reportedly said that Palpatine was definitely dead, at least at some point.
Luke Skywalker passed away in the previous film, The Last Jedi, so presumably any advice he lends to Rey in this one will be as a Force Ghost. It's unknown how Palpatine is returning, but in the now non-canonical Expanded Universe fiction, the character was known for cloning himself to be functionally immortal. Star Wars: Battlefront 2, which is canon under the new Disney continuity, did suggest that the Emperor had contingency plans in place in the event of his death.
One of the other big reveals out of Star Wars Celebration was the first details of The Mandalorian, the original series set in the Star Wars universe and coming to Disney+ at launch. We got a first look with the trailer, and it seems like it could be a unique take on the setting.
For more news, check out everything coming out of Star Wars Celebration.
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