A newly revealed Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sketch shows off the early designs for Emperor Palpatine in the film. Kevin Jenkins posted an image from the beginning of production showcasing some early thoughts for the villain. Coming into the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker, many wondered what the final threat of the sequel trilogy would be. Then after hearing that laughter, the Internet was ablaze with theories for how the classic villain could be alive after all that time. Well, the movie did its best to try and make a satisfying conclusion, but most would agree that the design communicated just how far the Emperor had fallen from humanity. In fact, due to the sketch not having so much shading, the mechanical nature of this existence comes through so clearly.
Jenkins wrote, "At the very beginning of production, I was on my own developing designs for Palpatine's return. Due to secrecy at the time and I was locked away in my own dark office, let out once a week to review designs with JJ. This pencil sketch is from the very first batch #StarWars"
At the very beginning of production, I was on my own developing designs for Palpatine's return. Due to secrecy at the time and I was locked away in my own dark office, let out once a week to review designs with JJ. This pencil sketch is from the very first batch #StarWars pic.twitter.com/dJ9ivslM6D— kevin jenkins (@kev_jenkins) June 14, 2020
Writer Chris Terrio says that Lucasfilm executive Kathleen Kennedy helped pitch the idea of Palpatine as the ultimate big bad in an interview with AwardsDaily.
"Well, I can't speak to Kathy's overall intent. That was certainly discussed and was discussed before I ever came on," the writer said of the Palpatine decision. "Kathy had this overall vision that we had to be telling the same story for nine episodes. Although from the sleight of hand of Episode VII and Episode VIII, you wouldn't necessarily know immediately that we were telling the same story. She thought it would be a very strong end for the ninth movie. This fits well with J.J. because he loves magic tricks. He will often talk in metaphors and magic tricks, and so in Episode VII and Episode VIII, you think you're watching one thing but Episode IX tells you to watch more closely – you were actually watching something else."
He continued, "When you rewatch the earlier films, things start to make additional sense. Ren and his devotion to the idea of his grandfather. The voice that he's always heard in his head. The certain similarities between Snoke and Palpatine. The intention was that, by the time you get to Episode IX, you realize there were real reasons this is all happening. It all shows how this story is being fought cyclically through the series."
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