Theories have been running rampant since that iconic cackle made its presence felt at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer. Does the new film actually need Palpatine to fill an important role?
Palpatine’s appearance in Star Wars: Episode IX is incredibly intriguing. It also feels like it’s coming out of nowhere, despite what Kathleen Kennedy might say.
While we have no confirmation as to what kind of role he might play, it would be hard to believe it’s not significant, as the hype continues to build among fans. Besides being what appears to be a “break glass in case of emergency” character for J.J. Abrams, Darth Sidious could provide something the sequel trilogy has lacked.
Remember when we all thought Snoke would be the next emperor-like character to lead the dark side for the duration of this trilogy? That was fun. Snoke’s death left a significant hole for the role of traditional Star wars antagonist.
Palpatine was the primary villain who held Darth Vader’s leash for two trilogies. The Force Awakens applied the same dynamic to Snoke and Kylo Ren before Rian Johnson had Snoke do his best Darth Maul impression.
I can’t imagine Abrams was excited to see Snoke butchered on screen and the loss of a mysterious villain we knew almost nothing about. Sure, Kylo Ren is now the supreme leader of the First Order, but he hardly fits the traditional Star Wars villain mold.
Despite everything Kylo Ren has done thus far, he shouldn’t be counted on to fill the role held by Snoke. There’s been legitimate efforts to make Kylo Ren sympathetic character. His hesitation in shooting down his mother on the bridge of her ship in The Last Jedi, as well as his connection to Rey make me doubt he’ll be a villain through the end.
It wouldn’t be surprising for him to achieve his own Vader-esque redemption, especially with Abrams back at the helm and the inclusion of a classic villain to replace Snoke.
Okay. Back to that laugh. Is Palpatine the right character to make their return to the screen? He actually could make some sense for this trilogy.
Despite his story being exhausted for six films, Palpatine was the unequivocal villain of the Skywalker saga. We have seen him orchestrate the corruption of Anakin Skywalker and the destruction of the Jedi Order. We saw him zapping Luke before his demise (or not?) at the hands of Darth Vader.
With The Rise of Skywalker being a wrap for the Skywalker Saga, Palpatine could actually be a logical choice as a final adversary seeking revenge against our favorite force-family. Maybe Kylo Ren is his last chance to possess somebody in the Skywalker bloodline. Whether he is some kind of dark side spirit or has just been camped out in the Death Star wreckage all this time, his appearance is exciting. We could all use more force lightning in our lives.