Star Wars fans were surprised when Emperor Palpatine — played by Ian McDiarmid — showed up unannounced in J.J. Abrams’ The Rise of Skywalker. The infamous emperor was supposedly dormant for decades, returning to battle it out with Rey Skywalker (Daisy Ridley). Now, McDiarmid is hinting that Palpatine might return to the franchise in the future, though most likely in the form of a prequel.
In a recent interview with Metro (via ComicBook.com), McDiarmid said, “I think I have to accept that, thanks to my ungrateful granddaughter [Rey Skywalker], my annihilation was finally final. [But] of course [Darth] Vader is back in the new [Obi-Wan Kenobi] television series, so I suppose it’s not impossible that one day his mentor might be discovered once again skulking in the shadows.”
The upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney+ will follow the title character’s journey during his time watching over a young Luke Skywalker on Tatooine. Prequel trilogy actors Ewan McGregor and Hayden Christensen will be returning as Obi-Wan and Darth Vader, respectively. Therefore, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility for Palpatine to make an appearance. McDiarmid’s comment certainly shows that the actor would be open to it.
In addition to McGregor and Christensen, franchise actors Bonnie Piesse and Joel Edgerton will reprise their roles as Luke Skywalker’ss aunt and uncle Beru Whitesun and Owen Lars. The show takes place 10 years after the events of Revenge of the Sith.
Obi-Wan Kenobi premieres on Disney+ May 25.