Is a Star Wars Fan Photo With Ian McDiarmid a Sign of What's to Come 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 would 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. While at the con, McDiarmid has been taking part in fan photos, and one is an adorable hint at what the upcoming film could have in store.

As you can see, Emperor Palpatine seems pretty chummy with Kylo Ren!

Currently, it’s unclear what role the Emperor will play in The Rise of Skywalker, but it’s fun to imagine this photo is a secret glimpse into the character’s future.

Many fans have been speculating that the new film fill focus heavily on “Bendemption,” the theory that Kylo Ren will ultimately turn the light side of the Force. Considering Palpatine lost his previous apprentice, Darth Vader, to the side of good and Vader happens to be Kylo’s grandfather, there’s always the chance that history could repeat itself. Either way, it’s going to be fun to see the big bad back onscreen once again.

During Star Wars Celebration, it was also revealed by Kathleen Kennedy (President of Lucasfilm) that the franchise has always intended on bringing back Palpatine.

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

The upcoming movie’s director, J.J. Abrams, also 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.


McDiarmid will be at Star Wars Celebration through Monday, so if you’re interesting in his photo ops or signing, click here. There are also tons of other exciting guests you can see at the con, including Paul Bettany, Riz Ahmed, Forest Whitaker, Alan Tudyk, Hayden Christensen, Peter Mayhew, Freddie Prinze Jr., Jason Isaacs, Donald Faison, Bobby Moynihan, Ray Park, Katee Sackhoff, any many more. You can see the full list of guests here.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is expected to hit theatres on December 20th, and Star Wars Celebration will continue in Chicago through April 15th.

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