Ian McDiarmid has teased that he could make an appearance as Emperor Palpatine in a Star Wars film or series that’s set before The Rise of Skywalker. Ian has been long-involved with the franchise, ever since 1983’s Return of the Jedi, where he first made an appearance as the villain. After he reprised the role in the prequel trilogy, McDiarmid played Palpatine in 2019’s The Rise of Skywalker, which went on to reveal that the Emperor was the mastermind behind the sequel trilogy’s events.
Didn’t the Palpatine perish for good?
The Rise of Skywalker is billed as the last chapter of the Skywalker saga, the film ended with Palpatine perishing for good as Rey goes on to defeat him. It’s still unknown what direction post-Rise of Skywalker stories will be taking, but it’s quite safe to assume that Palpatine will not really be part of them. However, there are many Star Wars movies and series that are set before the sequel trilogy which is in stages of development. Nothing is, however, confirmed right now, but it’s quite possible that McDiarmid could be seen suiting up as the Sith Lord again in these projects.
Ian McDiarmid opens up!
While appearing in an interview with Metro, McDiarmid talked about his potential future in the Star Wars franchise. While acknowledging Palpatine is dead after The Rise of Skywalker, he left the door open for a return down the line in one of the films that are set before the sequels (or even series). Here are his comments:
“I think I have to accept that, thanks to my ungrateful granddaughter [Rey Skywalker], my annihilation was finally final. [But] of course [Darth] Vader is back in the new [Obi-Wan Kenobi] television series, so I suppose it’s not impossible that one day his mentor might be discovered once again skulking in the shadows.”
If we see the slate of the forthcoming Star Wars films or series, Obi-Wan Kenobi could be a logical place for Palpatine to appear. As noted by McDiarmid, the series also sees the return of Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader, who will have definitely have a rematch against Obi-Wan at a point.
Another possibility for Palpatine to appear is the upcoming Andor, the Rogue One prequel series that is set during the initial days of the Rebellion.
Whatever one says, any future Palpatine appearance would be handled with care to fit in the story the creative team is trying to tell. Bringing back Palpatine also carries the risk of repeating the mistakes of The Book of Boba Fett’s with fan service.