We already know that Emperor Sheev Palpatine will be returning in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. But why is he back in the first place? Director J.J. Abrams addressed the villain's upcoming return in the highly anticipated film.
Abrams recently spoke to MTV after the Rise of Skywalker panel at D23 Expo 2019 in Anaheim. Although he chose not to share too much, Abrams did confirm that Palpatine will be a major part of the story later this year.
"I will say that that's part of what the story is, and also, I will say that with the Emperor around, he's not going to be your, you know, the cuddly pal," Abrams said. "I can't wait for you to see how that plays out, but he's in the poster for a reason."
This is certainly a relief for fans who were concerned that Palpatine will only have a cameo in the movie. We're still not sure whether the Emperor will appear as a Force ghost or if he will be revealed to still be alive after all this time. For now, we can rest assured that Ian McDiarmid has a big role in The Rise of Skywalker.
There are speculations that Palpatine will be the reason why Kylo Ren and Rey will go up against each other in Episode IX. After all, his voice can be heard in the D23 footage right after the two are shown fighting. Will the villain pit the two against each other and choose the victor to be his new apprentice? We'll find out for sure later this year.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.