Palpatine Could Return In Future Star Wars Movie Or Show, Teases McDiarmid

Ian McDiarmid teases he could appear as Emperor Palpatine again in a Star Wars movie or TV show set before The Rise of Skywalker. The actor has been involved with the franchise since 1983's Return of the Jedi, when he first appeared as the Skywalker saga's overarching villain. After reprising the role in the prequel trilogy (and being included in the Empire Strikes Back 2004 DVD release), McDiarmid played Palpatine once again in 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, which revealed the Emperor was the mastermind behind the sequel trilogy's events.

With The Rise of Skywalker billed as the final chapter of the Skywalker saga, the movie ended with Palpatine seemingly perishing for good as Rey defeated him. It's unknown what direction any post-Rise of Skywalker stories will take, but it's safe to assume Palpatine won't be part of them. However, there are a number of Star Wars movies and shows set prior to the sequel trilogy in various stages of development. Nothing's confirmed at this juncture, but it's possible McDiarmid could suit up as the Sith Lord again in one of those projects.

Related: Why the Emperor Is Never Called Palpatine in the Original Trilogy

In an interview with Metro (hat tip Star Wars News Net), McDiarmid discussed his potential future in Star Wars. While acknowledging Palpatine is definitively dead after The Rise of Skywalker, the actor left the door open for a return down the line in one of the movies or shows set before the sequels. Check out his comments below:

“I think I have to accept that, thanks to my ungrateful granddaughter [Rey Skywalker], my annihilation was finally final. [But] of course [Darth] Vader is back in the new [Obi-Wan Kenobi] television series, so I suppose it’s not impossible that one day his mentor might be discovered once again skulking in the shadows.”

Looking at the slate of upcoming Star Wars projects, Obi-Wan Kenobi could be a logical place for Palpatine to show up. As McDiarmid notes, that series sees the return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, who will have a rematch against Obi-Wan at some point. It's plausible Vader calls upon his master for guidance before battling Kenobi again. Another possibility for Palpatine is the upcoming Andor, the Rogue One prequel series set during the early days of the Rebellion. Though Palpatine spent much of his reign as Emperor lurking in the shadows, he used holograms to spread Imperial propaganda. He could also appear in hologram form to communicate with Imperial officers.

Ideally, any future Palpatine appearance would be handled with care and fit organically in the story the creative team is telling. His return in The Rise of Skywalker was a shock, but earned criticism from some due to its rushed nature that raised more questions than answers. Bringing back Palpatine also runs the risk of repeating The Book of Boba Fett's mistakes with fan service. As long as there's a narrative reason for the Emperor to be there, he should be included. But there's no need to force him into a movie or show just because of his significance to the Star Wars franchise.

Next: Rise of Skywalker's Palpatine Return Proves Luke Was the Greatest Jedi

Source: Metro (via Star Wars News Net)

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