4 ways Emperor Palpatine could appear in Star Wars: Episode IX


If a certain Star Wars fan theory holds true, how could Emperor Palpatine return to the Star Wars franchise. We take a look.

According to Daily Express, there have been some unsubstantiated leaks about Emperor Palpatine returning in Star Wars :Episode IX. So far this seems to only be a fan theory, and the likelihood of it happening is severely low.

However, behind every story is a shred of truth, so Palpatine making a return to the franchise isn’t entirely out of the question. I would like to expand on this fan theory and suggest a few ways that Darth Sidious himself could make his triumphant Star Wars return, and I can only hope that something becomes of these initial rumors.


More from Emperor Palpatine

The initial rumor suggests Emperor Palpatine will appear as a hologram, presenting Kylo Ren with the knowledge of a weapon to use against the Resistance. Supposedly, Kylo Ren breaks into a vault found on a jungle planet, and inside finds a life-like hologram that Palpatine left the Sith to find after his death.

This theory may be more than a shot in the dark, as this type of planning has been exhibited by the Emperor before. The ending of EA Star Wars: Battlefront II revolves around a vault, the likes of which is described in the leak, showing that Darth Sidious storing away weapons and Force relics is a plot point not forgotten by Star Wars canon.

However, this would mean that the entire leak is spot-on, and that would be extremely unlikely. I would not be surprised if we saw Palpatine in hologram form, but I doubt every single detail reported by Daily Express is correct.

Force Ghost

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

A more interesting, yet less likely possibility is Darth Sidious appears to Kylo Ren as a Force ghost. We have seen Force ghosts of Jedi ever since the original trilogy, but we have never seen a Sith Force ghost on screen. Bringing back Yoda in this form for The Last Jedi could possibly be an indicator of other characters appearing in the same fashion, and who better than the Emperor himself?

Kylo Ren is a character that is filled with confusion and grief, so appealing to the most powerful Sith lord we have seen in the movies could be a natural progression of his character arc. With Darth Vader reforming himself in his final moments of life and bringing balance to the Force, it is likely he would not encourage the path his grandson is on, but Darth Sidious certainly would. Ren becoming Supreme Leader is a hefty title to have to carry, so it only makes sense for him to reach out to a former Sith leader like Palpatine.


Photo Credit: [Star Wars: The Last Jedi] LucasfilmAnother popular fan theory is Rey is somehow related to Emperor Palpatine, and was hidden away on Jakku in order to hide her from the evil Darth Sidious. However, this is the least likely of possibilities. It has already been established Rey’s parents are quote, “nobody,” and even though hardly anybody believes this to be true, I seriously doubt her familial relative would be Palpatine.

I am certain you could go online and find several more fan theories about how she is related to Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi or ever Lando Calrissian, and they would all be more convincing than this particular concept. But who am I to say what is right or wrong?

Perhaps Rey is, in fact, related to the Emperor, and no one will see it coming because of how outrageous it is. Maybe Palpatine’s secret weapon is, in fact, not a weapon at all, but his long lost relative. The theory could indeed be correct, but no one will know for sure until Episode IX hits theaters!

He Never Died

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

What if Emperor Palpatine never died at all? In The Return of the Jedi, we never truly saw Darth Sidious’ body, and that could leave open the possibility of his return. Just look at Darth Maul’s story arc. He gets cut in half in The Phantom Menace, and then makes his triumphant comeback in Solo: A Star Wars Story.

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While I doubt Palpatine will sport a set of mechanical legs, returning in some capacity could certainly be on the table. What better time for the Emperor to return than after the death of Supreme Leader Snoke? Not only could this be a wonderful twist for Episode IX, but it would undoubtedly break the Internet as well, and you can never have too many original trilogy characters return to Star Wars!

What do you think? Will Emperor Palpatine return? Let me know in the comments!