Star Wars Episode IX is coming to theaters this December and Disney continues to release more and more information about what fans can expect. Along with the recently announced title, The Rise of Skywalker, there is more news that fans of the originals will be excited to hear. Ian McDiarmid is set to reprise his role as the Emperor for this final installment of the Skywalker saga.
— Ian McDiarmid (@IanMcDiarmid_) April 12, 2019
Ian McDiarmid is a traditional stage actor cast for the role of the Emperor in the original Star Wars episodes. He brought to life an evil tyrant bent on total galaxy domination. But where McDiarmid really got to perform was his work on the prequels, or Episodes I, II, and III playing the role of Sheev Palpatine. A Senator from Naboo turned Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. This served somewhat of an origin story for the Emperor. Fans got to witness his rise to power and how he played both sides of the Clone Wars to throw the galaxy into complete chaos.
Using the conflict to give himself more and more emergency republic powers, he was able to take full control of the Senate. Manipulating volatile and emotional Jedi Anakin Skywalker allowed him to destroy the Jedi Order from the inside out and thus removing the last people capable of stopping him. Now fully revealed as a Sith Lord, Emperor Palpatine turned the Galactic Republic into his Empire. But after a 20+ year reign, it was Anakin Skywalker, then known as Darth Vader, that killed the Sith in order to save his son, Luke Skywalker’s, life.
The new trailer leaves it very unclear what his role in this will be. The only thing we do know is that McDiarmid will return as the Emperor for The Rise of Skywalker. This comes from Empire Magazine’s James Dyer, stating that J.J. Abrams confirmed this to him.
In case there’s any lingering ambiguity from the trailer (and McDiarmid’s appearance at the panel!), I can 100% confirm that Palpatine is back in The Rise Of Skywalker as I just asked JJ. He’s thrilled – and slightly incredulous- that McDiarmid’s presence on set didn’t leak. pic.twitter.com/qDzPQagXSW
— James Dyer (@jamescdyer) April 12, 2019
With only his signature cackle sounding in the darkness at the end of the trailer, it will be interesting to see if more is revealed before Star Wars comes to theaters this Christmas.
Ashley is the author of the Thread of Souls book series, an avid traveler, and a Dungeons and Dragons enthusiast!