Star Wars: Lucasfilm Always Planned to Bring Back the Emperor in 'The Rise of Skywalker'

Star Wars Celebration is in full swing in Chicago, and fans have already been treated to an array of exciting news. Yesterday's panel for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker revealed that Ian McDiarmid will be returning to the franchise to play Emperor Palpatine, a role he originated in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi and continued to portray in all of the Star Wars prequels. During a red carpet interview with Yahoo Entertainment correspondent, Kevin Polowy, Kathleen Kennedy (President of Lucasfilm), revealed that the franchise had always intended on bringing back Palpatine.

“This has been in the blueprint for a long time,” Kennedy shared. “We had not landed on exactly how we might do that, but yes.”

Polowy also spoke with the upcoming movie’s director, J.J. Abrams, who discussed what it was like working with the iconic actor.

“Working with Ian was among one of the most wonderful experiences I have ever had. He is like a breathtakingly good actor,” he explained. “I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun for audiences.”

McDiarmid took to Twitter yesterday to celebrate the news, teasing that this will be the Dark Side's time to shine.

During the Episode IX panel at Star Wars Celebration, Abrams also teased what fans can expect from the upcoming movie.

“The movie doesn’t pick up immediately after the last film," he shared. "Some time has passed. This movie is an adventure the group goes on together. One of the great things about getting to work on the movie is the dynamic between all of the characters. They’re amazing together, and it’s something I’m excited for you all to see.”

Are you excited about Palpatine's return? Tell us in the comments!

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is expected to hit theaters on December 20th.

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