The sight of Emperor Palpatine with Darth Vader in the Star Wars saga is enough to terrify anyone, but when actors Ian McDiarmid and Hayden Christensen are together off-screen, fans are much more excited to see them, as you can witness in the video above where they visit a children's hospital. Both actors are appearing at the FanX Salt Lake Comic Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah, allowing them to make a pit stop to spend time with fans at Primary Children's Hospital, as reported by KUTV. Also in attendance was John-Rhys Davies from The Lord of the Rings trilogy and Indiana Jones films, though he wasn't there at the same time as the Star Wars actors.
McDiarmid debuted in the franchise with Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, going on to reprise his role in the three prequel films and in vocal performances in animated programs. Christensen debuted in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, though only returned to the series for Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, with the wounds his Anakin Skywalker earned resulting in the masked appearances of Darth Vader.
With Palpatine's apparent death in Return of the Jedi, fans had assumed he was gone for good, only for the first teaser for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to surprise audiences with the inclusion of his sinister laugh. The film's first poster, which debuted last month at the D23 Expo, saw Rey and Kylo Ren colliding in a lightsaber duel, with the visage of the Emperor looming large over the both of them.
Fans have wondered if these clues would serve as Palpatine having a symbolic influence over the film or if we can expect to see the villain take a prominent role in the sequel. Director J.J. Abrams previously revealed that Palpatine's influence will be an integral component of the film.
"I will say that that's part of what the story is, and also, I will say that with the Emperor around, he's not going to be your, you know, the cuddly pal," Abrams shared with MTV News. "I can't wait for you to see how that plays out, but he's in the poster for a reason."
As far as whether we can expect to see Christensen in the new film to tie it together with the prequel trilogy, fans have been speculating with no solid leads on the matter.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th.
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