Star Wars Releases an Official Look at Emperor Palpatine From The Rise of Skywalker

Ahead of the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Lucasfilm kept a tight lid on how Emperor Palpatine would look in the film, but now that audiences have had nearly a month to enjoy the adventure, StarWars.com has released an official look at the villain with the new photo you can see below. Fans first learned that Palpatine would play a part of the upcoming film when its first teaser debuted last April, but it wasn't until The Rise of Skywalker landed in theaters that we learned the full extent of his involvement, as well as how much he had been pulling the strings behind the scenes throughout the entire sequel trilogy.

star wars the rise of skywalker emperor palpatine resurrected
(Photo: Lucasfilm)

Early on in the film, Kylo Ren confronted a still-living Palpatine on the remote planet of Exegol, as the villain revealed that he had been placing ideas in Kylo's head for years. Given the various mystical forces at play in the franchise, the characters themselves weren't too fazed by Palpatine's appearance, yet audiences were left scratching our heads at how he could be alive, as we seemingly saw him die in 1983's Star Wars: Return of the Jedi.

While the finished version of the film intentionally kept things ambiguous, one of the film's editors, Maryann Brandon, confirmed that the film's introductory scenes originally included more exposition.

“It was kind of a delicate balance and went back and forth a lot about how much we wanted to reveal,” Brandon shared with The Huffington Post. “Some scenes changed quite a bit, the way that we wanted to present it to the audience. In the end, we ended up showing a lot less of it than we started with.”

The film's creature and special make-up effects creative supervisor Neal Scanlan, on the other hand, claimed that there were only minimal differences between what was shot and what was presented in theaters.

"I don't think there's anything you haven't really seen," Scanlan confessed to Yahoo Entertainment. "J.J. would always shoot variations on scenes -- that's the natural moviemaking process. But to my knowledge there's no alternative version [of Palpatine's story]. We change camera angles, we change lighting, maybe there's a dialogue variation. It's just naturally what we do."

Regardless of Palpatine's trajectory in the film, fans of the series will surely enjoy seeing this official look at the villain in all his hideous glory.

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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is in theaters now.

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