Following Daisy Ridley’s comments earlier this week that confirms Emperor Palpatine’s return will be more than just a brief cameo in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” the film’s director J.J. Abrams has spoken some more about how Ian McDiarmid’s nefarious villain comes back considering his death decades prior.
Many have been speculating the characters ties to those currently onscreen, suggesting Palpatine may have been steering Rey in the same way he had Anakin Skywalker. Abrams won’t say, but when asked if the Emperor’s going to be the ‘big bad’ of the film, he tells MTV News:
“I will say that that’s part of what the story is, and also, I will say that with the Emperor around, he’s not going to be your, you know, the cuddly pal. I can’t wait for you to see how that plays out, but he’s in the poster for a reason.”
Abrams also discussed the possibility of Kylo Ren finding redemption about which he says:
“I will say that with an actor like Adam Driver, you can never limit what that man can do. I will say, without talking about redemption or not, that he is mind-blowing in this. He’s brought a whole other level to this, so I can’t wait to see what happens with him.”
He also spoke with ET Canada and says one of the key characters – Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron – will get more dimensionality in this outing:
“Particularly with Poe, I think people will be surprised to see that he has a bit more of an ambiguous past. He’s not just kind of that squeaky-clean flyboy.”
Separately, actor John Boyega who plays Finn tells IGN he’s excited to see what The Emperor will bring to the new trilogy dynamic and how essential it is he has returned:
“I think the Emperor and his doctrine has trickled down to so many of the characters in the Star Wars universe. The Dark Side, it is what it is because of a lot of his actions and plans. To have him come back, he’s like the greatest foe, the greatest enemy. I mean, we might as well take him down properly.”
They’ll be starting out on the backfoot it seems as well, Boyega tells Yahoo that the Resistance’s fortunes have not improved much since the end of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”:
“The Resistance are broke, they don’t have weapons. Not a lot of allies. You know how they were left after Last Jedi. It’s not a great situation. … Darkness, for the first time in a long time, has taken like 10 million leaps forward. And for us to deal with that as Resistance heroes is a bit of madness. And there’s conflict between us, between ourselves, figuring out our past. And all of that is just approached in a magnificent way and I can’t wait for it.”
Speaking with the same outlet, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy says she frankly loves not just the feedback but criticism from fans: “You develop a little bit of an armor, but you learn from that. It’s kind of like having a continual focus group that’s out there.”
“Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” opens in cinemas on December 20th.