It’s been 36 years since Emperor Palpatine was thrown to his apparent death by Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi. But with his laugh heard over footage of the Death Star II wreckage, he’s somehow returned. As of now, it’s unclear if Darth Sidious survived, lived on in another form or has been resurrected for Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker. Certainly, it’s plausible that he’s a Sith Force ghost, as the entity was considered in The Last Jedi concept art.
Now considering the fan backlash to The Last Jedi and that The Rise of Skywalker is concluding all three Star Wars trilogies, there’s going to be some fan service.
After all, Disney – who own both Lucasfilm and Marvel Studios – did not hold back with the Easter Eggs and geeky references in Avengers Endgame.
Plus, replacement director JJ Abrams played it very safe, leaning on nostalgia for The Force Awakens.
Clearly, he and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy are going to want to leave the fans happy so some ‘Cap wielding Mjolnir’-style moments are bound to be planned.
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And what will provide more fan service than a beloved dead Star Wars character returning?
Yes, we’re talking about Force ghosts – of which we’ve already seen Yoda back in action for The Last Jedi.
But we also know that Anakin, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Qui-Gon Jinn and now Luke is also out; one with the Force.
It makes a lot of celebratory sense to have Haden Christensen, an aged Ewan McGregor and Liam Neeson reprise their roles as Force ghosts alongside the already confirmed Mark Hamill’s Luke.
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Just imagine a final lightsaber duel between Rey and Kylo Ren, with Emperor Palpatine assisting the latter to give the Dark Side an upper hand.
But then suddenly, like the portals moment in Avengers Endgame, an army of familiar Force ghosts appear for a climactic battle.
Even if Abrams’ script doesn’t go that far, a group of Force ghosts attending a victory party at the end of the movie, just like in Return of the Jedi, is the group cameo fans need at the very least.
Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in UK cinemas on December 19, 2019.
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