Lucasfilm just released the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX now officially titled Star Wars: The Rise of The Skywalker at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago, which seemingly revealed the return of Emperor Palpatine, as his voice is clearly heard at the end of the teaser.
This was seemingly confirmed when Palpatine actor Ian McDiarmid appeared after the teaser on the stage to tell them to play the teaser one more time for the Star Wars Celebration audience.
How or why we hear Palpatine will likely be revealed later in the year, but it certainly is an interesting development. There is a good chance that Palpatine learned the ability to bring himself back to the dead. I’m curious how he will fit into the story with Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren already expected to be the main villains.
UPDATE: Empire was able to speak with J.J. Abrams, who confirmed that Ian is indeed back as Palpatine and was shocked that it didn’t leak because he was on the set.
In case there’s any lingering ambiguity from the trailer (and McDiarmid’s appearance at the panel!), I can 100% confirm that Palpatine is back in The Rise Of Skywalker as I just asked JJ. He’s thrilled – and slightly incredulous- that McDiarmid’s presence on set didn’t leak. pic.twitter.com/qDzPQagXSW
— James Dyer (@jamescdyer) April 12, 2019
The cast includes Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Richard E. Grant, Billy Dee Williams, Keri Russell, Kelly Marie Tran, Naomi Ackie, Domhnall Gleeson, Billie Lourd, Dominic Monaghan, Joonas Suotamo, and Anthony Daniels.
The ninth film will be the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga as confirmed by Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is set for release on December 20th.