Ian McDiarmid Reassures ‘Star Wars’ Fans Palpatine Is Returning “Soon”

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(l-r) ian mcdiarmid, hayden christensen, and ewan mcgregor on revenge of the sith set

Credit: Lucasfilm Archives

If there’s one character who has orchestrated more events in the Star Wars galaxy than any other, it’s Sheev Palpatine. A master of duplicity, Palpatine — who became Sith Lord Darth Sidious — was a power-hungry youth who murdered his own Sith Master, Darth Plagueis.

palpatine telling anakin about darth plagueis
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Ever since George Lucas’s original trilogy — Episode IV: A New Hope (1977)Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) — Palpatine has been the driving force behind the Star Wars saga.

From the start, fans knew that Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine were deeply entwined with one another, but the prequel trilogy — Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) — truly solidified the importance of the duo’s relationship within the Star Wars universe.

anakin and palpatine on coruscant
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Without Palpatine’s intense influence, young Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) would likely never have turned to the dark side of the Force, forsaking his training under Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) in favor of life as a Sith Lord.

Now, longtime Palpatine actor, Ian McDiarmid, has reassured Star Wars fans that they haven’t seen — or, at the very least felt — the last of Palpatine in the live-action Star Wars story, despite his seemingly final death on Exegol in the Skywalker Saga conclusion, Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

Ian McDiarmid as Palpatine on Exegol
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Via Star Wars News Net, McDiarmid recently shared:

“There’s a certain show coming soon set right around the time I may have considered to be very active. Whether or not you will see my physical body, I cannot comment on. But you will certainly feel my presence.”

There are two upcoming series McDiarmid could be involved in given their spots on the Star Wars timelineObi-Wan Kenobi and Andor. The former is set approximately eight years after Revenge of the Sith and the execution of Order 66, while the latter will take place about five years prior to the events of both A New Hope and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).

palpatine the phantom menace
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: ‘Mandalorian’ & ‘Rebels’ Timeline Confirmed By Major Event

The actor previously teased his involvement in Obi-Wan Kenobi, which will also see the returns of other prequel trilogy stars:

“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.”

mace windu palpatine force lightning
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu Is “Top of the List” For ‘Mandalorian’ Spinoff

In addition to Ewan McGregor (Obi-Wan Kenobi) and Hayden Christensen (Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader)Bonnie Piesse and Joel Edgerton are set to reprise their roles as Luke’s Aunt Beru and Uncle Owen Lars, while newcomers like Moses Ingram, Kumail Nanjiani, Indira VarmaRupert Friend, O’Shea Jackson Jr., and Sung Kang will join the Star Wars franchise for the first time.

obi wan kenobi full casting
Credit: Lucasfilm

Related: Rumors of Tom Hiddleston Playing Young Palpatine Heat Up

It has long been known that the Inquisitors will make their live-action debut in Obi-Wan Kenobi, and there are numerous reports that actress Vivien Lyra Blair will portray a young Princess Leia Organa.

Furthermore, droid 4-LOM is expected to make an appearance, delighting original trilogy fans who remember the character from the infamous bounty hunter scene in Empire Strikes Back. The character appeared alongside IG-88, Dengar, Bossk, Zuckuss and Boba Fett,

bounty hunter scene in empire strikes back
Credit: Lucasfilm

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As for the exact plot of Obi-Wan Kenobi, McGregor himself has shared that Star Wars fans can expect to finally get a glimpse of Luke Skywalker’s childhood on the desert planet of Tatooine, though it has also been confirmed that the series will leave the sand dunes behind to travel to a brand new planet.

The first two episodes of Obi-Wan Kenobi land on Disney+ on May 27, 2022.

When do you think Emperor Palpatine will return to the Star Wars universe?

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