Daisy Ridley Says the Emperor's Return is "Instrumental" to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

Fans were stunned at Star Wars Celebration when director J.J. Abrams revealed that Emperor Palpatine was returning to the franchise, with actor Ian McDiarmid reprising his role as the biggest bad in the series. But there are still questions of what role the character plays in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and if it's simply a flashback or something more significant.

Well actress Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the sequel trilogy, promised that Palpatine's return is important to the plot of the final film in the Skywalker Saga.

"He's the biggest baddie in Star Wars history. Now that we've done the story, I'm like, it couldn't have happened any other way," Ridley explained in an interview with IGN. "It had to be that. But he's very instrumental to the plot of the film. It's not just like he appears again; it's all explained."

Co-star John Boyega also teased that Palpatine's return isn't just a Force ghost or a vision, mentioning that he will present a challenge to the heroes in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

"I think the Emperor and his doctrine has trickled down to so many of the characters in the Star Wars universe," Boyega said. "The Dark Side, it is what it is because of a lot of his actions and plans. To have him come back, he's like the greatest foe, the greatest enemy. I mean, we might as well take him down properly."

Boyega also added that Finn, Poe, Rey, and the rest of the Resistance will be facing a brand new foe, possibly alluding to the presence of the Emperor in the new film.

"We're gonna get bits of bits, we're gonna get sprinkles like chocolate chips," Boyega joked. "But what we have to deal with right now is this new enemy. And why is Rey dressed like that? I mean, who decided her wardrobe? ... Loads of questions, loads of questions. And Finn is fully involved in that one, which is great."

When asked what she thought about the end of the movie, Ridley explained that she loved how the saga wrapped up.

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"I think it's awesome." "When we were doing it, I kept going, 'Oh my god, this is so cool.' And that's nice to be in a film where you're actually saying, 'Oh my god, this is so cool," she said.

We'll get to see how the struggle between Light and Dark all works out when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres in theaters on December 20th.