Finally, after much waiting, we know the official name of Episode IX, The Rise of Skywalker, and contemplate the first advance of this chapter that will mark the end of the saga started by George Lucas.
The bright and dark sides of The Force will have Rey and Kylo Ren as their champions, but there is one element that no one counted on: the return of Emperor Palpatine.
At the end of the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, the character’s characteristic laugh is heard, just as we heard it in 1983, in Return of the Jedi. How is this possible? We don’t know yet, but with Supreme Leader Snoke dead, the original Sith master can return for the grand final battle next to what might be his second strongest disciple: Kylo Ren. The emperor can finally have a Skywalker back on his side.
The surprise of the Star Wars Celebration was the appearance of Ian McDiarmid, the actor who plays Palpatine, at the end of the trailer. “Roll it again,” he said before the screens projected the feed again.
McDiarmid, 74, has played Palpatine in four films: Return of the Jedi, The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. Later this year we’ll see him as Palpatine again.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres December 20, 2019.