Something that we’re learning more and more from franchises such as the MCU and Star Wars is that no one ever really stays dead. Especially now with multiverses, time-travel, prequels and the like – any beloved character who we may not have seen for years – could pop up at any moment.
We all remember those immortal words uttered by Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron in The Rise of Skywalker – “Somehow, Palpatine has returned” – and then everyone just moving on. Well, even though the evil emperor was eventually defeated by Rey, that doesn’t mean we’re never seeing him in the Star Wars universe again. Especially now that we have the Disney Plus shows that are all over the timeline and with more obscure characters now becoming canon.
And 78-year-old Palpatine actor Ian McDiarmid isn’t ruling out a return to the role. Speaking to Metro via Star Wars News Net, Diarmid 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.”
It would be a surprise to see Palpatine in Obi-Wan Kenobi, but we can’t rule anything out. Other potential places he could turn up include Andor – the show centred on Cassian Andor (Diego Luna) and Lando (which may or not star Donald Glover). While Palpatine may not be seen, his voice may be heard communicating with his minions, or his hologram could appear. Or a CGI version of a young Palpatine could pop up somewhere – as we’ve seen in the likes of The Book of Boba Fett – the possibilities are endless.
We also know from Return of the Jedi, through to the prequels and then The Rise of Skywalker, that Palpatine’s appearance has changed a lot through the various stages of the saga. So, he is one character where a different incarnation could work.