Ok, I’m going to level with you. When Ian MacDiarmid first appeared on stage at Star Wars Celebration I got a little excited. However, after a minute to think about things, the decision to bring back Palpatine aka the Emperor in The Rise of Skywalker has left me a little cold. I think when I look at the first six movies of the Star Wars franchise I see a beginning, a middle and an end to that story, and it’s the story of Anakin Skywalker.
When Disney first announced they were making Episodes 7-9 back in 2012 I was immediately concerned because I wasn’t sure there was a story out there that could make this feel like the third act of a nine Episode series. The Empire was as good as finished, the Emperor was killed and as such, the Sith were no more after Vader sacrificed himself to save his son. You could use some of these characters to start a new story, but to me, there was no room for an Episode 7-9. The ending of Return of the Jedi is one of the most powerful and perfect pieces of cinema, and perhaps the most important moment in any Star Wars movie. As Luke attacks his father, then chooses against killing him and accepts his fate, his father redeems himself and destroys the Emperor to save his son.
The decision to then bring back Palpatine for Episode 9 seems off to me, but director J.J. Abrams seems to think it makes perfect sense. He talked about this in a recent interview with Empire Magazine, which was shared by a reader on Reddit where I got the information from. Abrams said the following with regards to Palpatine.
“Some people feel like we shouldn’t revisit the idea of Palpatine, and I completely understand that. But if you’re looking at the nine films as one story, I don’t know many books where the last few chapters have nothing to do with those that have come before. If you look at the first eight films, all the set-ups of what we’re doing in IX are there in plain view.”
See, I disagree with Abrams here big time, for me, if Palpatine was coming back, the seeds for this should have been sewn in The Force Awakens. Instead, Abrams chose to create a new mastermind bad guy in Snoke, but didn’t really explain who or what he was. Then Rian Johnson decided it would be fun to kill Snoke, thereby making Kylo Ren the main bad buy in this trilogy. I also believe that Johnson’s decision at the time ended any thoughts from me of a redemption arc for Ben Solo, he had his choice in that throne room with Rey and he chose to be Supreme Leader.
I’m guessing that the real reason Palpatine was brought back was that Abrams wants to go down a predictable redemption arc for Ben Solo in this last movie. The Emperor provided the perfect opportunity for this to happen with Vader in Return of the Jedi, but with Snoke already dead, Abrams needed another over-arching villain to give Solo something to rebel against, so knowing he couldn’t create someone from scratch in time they came up with the idea of bringing back Papa Palp’s like he had been there the whole time. I just do not buy at all Abrams’ suggestion that things had been pointing in this direction, they simply hadn’t, and there is nothing in The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi to suggest Palpatine was alive. I still say having Snoke be Darth Plagueis would have connected this back to the start of the story and explained why he had unusual powers of survival, the Emperor’s ex-master would have made more sense to me than bringing back Palpatine himself.
We are also going to have to have a real beauty of an explanation as to how Palpatine actually survived Return of the Jedi. It is going to have to be some sort of Sith superpower for me, because if they try to sell me on the fact that Palpatine survived that fall and subsequent disintegration of the Death Star, then I’m going to laugh out loud in the theatre, as it’s literally one of the jokes used by Robot Chicken. I was already scratching at my head about how much of that Death Star looks to have survived the explosion and crash-landed on Endor from the trailer. We saw it get vaporized, and yet it looks like half of it crash-landed on the forest moon. I mean that’s not even to mention the fact that something that size crashing on the moon would cause an explosion that would create a nuclear winter, have killed all the Rebels and wiped out the Ewoks. Oh, and that crash would have also vaporized anything which was left from the Death Star as well, did it just softly fall from the stars?
Honestly, folks, I have a bad feeling about this, I really do. What do you think of Abrams comments, can you understand his view, if so can you explain it to me in some way logical below in the usual spot, because I’m stumped, and worried?
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SOURCE: Empire (via Reddit)