The trailer for Star Wars Episode IX dropped at Celebration Chicago and gave us a whole bunch of things to theorize over. The biggest of course, aside from it being title The Rise of Skywalker, is that the trailer ended with the haunting cackle of Emperor Palpatine. If you weren’t sure about it being Palpatine, Celebration made sure you knew by having actor Ian McDiarmid show up on stage after the trailer rolled, cementing the fact that yes, the Dark Lord of the Sith and puppet master of the first six saga films is somehow back. But how, if he seemingly died at the end of Return of the Jedi? Well, there are a few possibilities for this. The most likely is that the franchise is pulling from the prequel trilogy, specifically the scene where Palpatine tells Anakin about the tragedy of Darth Plageuis the Wise. That’s the tale that told of a Sith Master who was able to cheat death. Perhaps Palpatine really did learn this secret. Another one comes courtesy of the Darth Vader comic, which tells us that some dark side users can haunt certain artifacts and effectively cheat death this way. Seeing as how the Second Death Star showed up in the teaser, this could be the site of Palpatine’s spirit. Another possibility concerns time travelling, and this stems from the World Between Worlds shown in Star Wars Rebels. No matter how it’s done, one thing is for certain: Emperor Palpatine is back and that will certainly be bad news for our heroes.
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