Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Reveals First Look at Emperor Palpatine's Return

Today at D23, Lucasfilm revealed a new poster for the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. That [...]

Today at D23, Lucasfilm revealed a new poster for the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. That poster offers the first look at Ian McDiarmid's return as Darth Sidious, the Sith Lord also known as Emperor Palpatine. The poster shows the sequel trilogy's two leads, Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) in the middle of a lightsaber duel on a cliff. Palpatine overlooks the battle from above. Take a look below.

Palpatine's return brings the Skywalker saga full circle in its final chapter. He was there at the beginning, as Senator Sheev Palpatine representing Naboo in the Galactic Senate during the prequel trilogy. He ruled the Galaxy as the Emperor in the original trilogy. What role he plays in this final chapter remains to be seen.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will end the Star Wars sequel trilogy and serves as the final chapter of the Skywalker saga. The film sees Star Wars: The Force Awakens director JJ Abrams return to direct following Rian Johnson's work on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Johnson. Johnson's film proved divisive because he chose not to take dangling plot threads from The Force Awakens in their most obvious directions, including in regards to the mystery of Rey's parents. Johnson has said that he's okay with Abrams doing similar things with the story of The Last Jedi, and in fact, kind of hopes he does.

Rise of Skywalker poster

(Photo: Disney)

"I've had a couple of conversations with [Abrams] but I've actually really enjoyed sitting back waiting to get my popcorn opening day and see how the thing turns out. I cannot wait," Johnson said at CinemaCon."Like I said, I want to let go of all my expectations, I want to sit back, I want to be entertained. I want to be surprised. I want to be thrilled. I want him to do stuff that I wasn't expecting him to do and just go along for the ride. For me, that's why I go to the movies."

Star Wars: Episode IX stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong'o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Billie Lourd, Naomi Ackie, Richard E. Grant, Keri Russell, Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, Billy Dee Williams, and Carrie Fisher.

What do you think of the new Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker poster? Let us know in the comments.

Star Wars: Episode IX opens in theaters on December 20th. Other upcoming Star Wars projects include a new film trilogy from Game of Thrones creators DB Weiss and David Benioff, the new trilogy by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnsson, and the upcoming Disney+ TV series The Mandalorian, annd series following Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Cassian Andor