‘Star Wars’ May Finally Be Done With Its Legacy Actors, as Another Seemingly Exits Franchise

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Palpatine telling Anakin about Darth Plagueis

Credit: Lucasfilm

It looks like Star Wars is finally done with the legacy actors…

Though there are a number of interesting projects in development, from new and ongoing Disney+ shows both animated and live-action, and three theatrical releases, the future of Star Wars is still looking somewhat uncertain.

Ever since Disney purchased Lucasfilm way back in 2012, the Star Wars franchise has relied heavily on nostalgia to keep its enormous fanbase engaged. Most fans keep coming back out of loyalty, while others often feel tricked into staying.

ahsoka tano (left) and luke skywalker (right) in the book of boba fett episode 6
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Whether it’s legacy character-centric spin-offs we never asked for (Solo: A Star Wars Story, Obi-Wan Kenobi), shoehorned cameos (take your pick), or returning legacy actors (the Sequel Trilogy), Star Wars has shamelessly exhausted its own sense of nostalgia.

Now, though, it looks like the faraway galaxy may finally be ready to begin a new chapter. While the success of upcoming shows such as Ahsoka (2023) will rely heavily on fans of animated shows such as Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008) and Star Wars: Rebels (2014), it seems that the franchise is slowly making plans to move on from the past.

Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Sabine Wren in Ahsoka
Credit: Lucasfilm

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To quote Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) from Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi (2017), perhaps the franchise wants to “Let the past die.” Maybe this was the plan from the get-go (if you could ever muster up the strength to accuse the Sequel Trilogy of ever having such a thing), especially seeing as each of the three sequels dispatches a legacy character — Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher).

But while the Sequel Trilogy has left a sour taste in everyone’s mouths, during this year’s Star Wars Celebration event, three more theatrical projects were announced: a Dave Filoni-directed “Mando-Verse” crossover event, which will tie together shows such as The Mandalorian (2019), The Book of Boba Fett (2021), and Ahsoka; and a film from director James Mangold, which is said to revolve around “the dawn of the Jedi”.

Daisy Ridley as Rey in 'The Last Jedi'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The third film, however, which is being directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, will take place in uncharted territory, as it will be set 19 years after Star Wars: Episode IX — The Rise of Skywalker (2019), following Rey, with Daisy Ridley reprising her role, as tries to rebuild the Jedi Order in a galaxy that has been left in ruins by the war between the Resistance First Order, as depicted during the Sequel Trilogy.

No other cast members have been confirmed as yet, while legacy actor Mark Hamill recently told The Hollywood Reporter that he doesn’t “have any expectations” of reprising his role as a Force Ghost in the upcoming film.

star wars the last jedi luke skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Now, another Star Wars legacy actor has been asked about whether or not he’ll be returning in the upcoming film.

When asked by ComicBook.com at ICCCon Nashville if he would be reprising his role as Emperor “Sheev” Palpatine in the upcoming Sequel-era film, actor Ian McDiarmid said, “I haven’t been approached.”

Ian McDiarmid as Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

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It’s possible, of course, that McDiarmid is simply staying quiet on the matter, but on the other hand, his character is seemingly dead, having been destroyed by Rey at the end of The Rise of Skywalker. Although we were tricked once before, when Darth Vader (James Earl Jones) defeated him at the end of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983).

Either way, if the Emperor is truly dead, and if Mark Hamill won’t be returning as a Force Ghost, maybe Star Wars really is “letting the past die”. Maybe the sequels did have a plan after all. You know, sometimes we say the craziest things.

Emperor Palpatine watching Vader fight Luke
Credit: Lucasfilm

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With all of that said, seeing as Star Wars is always hopping back and forth along it’s timeline, it’s fair to say that the Emperor is “never truly gone”. Somehow, we’re sure Palpatine will return…

There’s currently no release date for the untitled Sequel-era film.

Do you think it’s time for Star Wars to “let the past die”? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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