With just over three weeks until the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, anticipation over the new film is at an all-time high.
Director J. J. Abrams seemed somewhat excited himself when he appeared this week on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and Good Morning America. We know that Abrams brings back Palpatine in the 9th installment of the Skywalker Saga, and now there’s rumor that the return of the Emperor might also mean the return of Anakin Skywalker, presumably played by Hayden Christiansen.
Some Star Wars fans feel that Abrams’s decision to give Emperor Sheev Palpatine a part in the final leg of the Skywalker Saga is nothing more than a good will effort on his part in order to make every Star Wars fan happy. (Um, not every fan is happy about the evil Emperor’s return.) But Abrams is adamant that he and his and co-writer for The Force Awakens Lawrence Kasdan had originally talked about Palpatine’s resurgence when they were working on Episode VII.
In an interview with Uproxx, Abrams attempted to explain the history behind his decision, saying that it was the result of multiple discussions.
“There were discussions about [Palpatine’s return]…yet, like any beginning, you want to put the threads in, but you don’t want to necessarily be literal about everything,” he explained. “And then when Rian Johnson was brought on to do The Last Jedi, we met and we talked about things and he wrote his story.”
Abrams went on to say that he and his team were able to do some very specific things in the Rise of Skywalker film. “We were laughing and going, ‘We’re finally doing that thing we talked about five years ago!'”
Colin Trevorrow, former director for Episode IX has made claims that Palpatine, aka Lord Sidious, wasn’t part of his version of the upcoming film, but it would seem that Abrams has been toying with the idea since before The Force Awakens was complete.
And Palpatine’s return has some Star Wars fans wondering (and some hoping) that a return of Anakin Skywalker is inevitable, as the evil Emperor was metaphorically a dad–albeit a terrible one–to Anakin. Some fans believe that Abrams’s decision to bring back the Emperor is almost a slyly confirmed return of Anakin as well.
It would make sense for Anakin, aka Darth Vader, to return in Episode IX. After all, Abrams had a tall order in writing the film: he has to tie up loose ends and answer lots of questions, which he promised he would do in the film, alongside his promise to give General Leia a fitting and honorable farewell.
There are many questions Star Wars fans hope the good Mr. Abrams will answer in Episode IX, but perhaps one of the loudest and most relevant is this: If Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader restored balance to The Force in Return of the Jedi, how did it get unbalanced? Was Kylo Ren the culprit? If Rey helps to restore that balance, does that mean that the Skywalker Saga ends with Anakin still being “The Chosen One?” Or was Master Yoda right–“A prophecy that misread could have been”?
We’ll just have to wait until December 20. Darn it.
Let us hear your projections and/or prophecies for Star Wars Episode IX in the comments section below.