J.J. Abrams says Palpatine’s return was planned since The Force Awakens

In a recent interview, J.J. Abrams says the return of Emperor Palpatine was something that has been planned since The Force Awakens.

The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams has not been shy about talking about Star Wars, but he remains very careful to not reveal too many details about the final installment in the Skywalker Saga, including the return of Palpatine.

This aspect of The Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer shocked many fans. There has not been any indication in any of the trailers of how he returns, whether it is through a physical form or as a Force ghost.

What Abrams has said is that the return of Palpatine has been in the works since The Force Awakens. This news comes as an interesting surprise since original Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow has said that Palpatine’s return is something that he had not even considered.

In an interview with Uproxx, Abrams talks about the writing process before The Force Awakens with Lawrence (Larry) Kasdan. Abrams said that it would be weird if Palpatine didn’t return at some point in the story:

“Well, when you look at this as nine chapters of a story, perhaps the weirder thing would be if Palpatine didn’t return. You just look at what he talks about, who he is, how important he is, what the story is — strangely, his absence entirely from the third trilogy would be conspicuous. It would be very weird.”

He mentioned that there were many themes and ideas that he and Kasdan wanted to explore in the new trilogy, but they did not have a complete step-by-step blueprint. This is evident when he talks about Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi which, according to Abrams, did not interfere with his own story that he was hoping to tell:

“…When Rian was brought on to do The Last Jedi, we met and we talked about things and he wrote his story. And when I read it the script, I realized this didn’t get in the way of anything Larry and I talked about that I thought I’d get to.”

The new trilogy of Star Wars movies has many of its supporters and detractors. All viewers are curious to see how the trilogy ends, especially with The Rise of Skywalker being the last movie in the Skywalker Saga and the last Star Wars movie before Disney and Lucasfilm puts the film franchise on hiatus.

In that sense, Palpatine’s return does make sense. His influence on Luke and Anakin Skywalker is felt through all six movies. How he influences Rey and Kylo Ren may make or break the movie for some, and it may shape Kathleen Kennedy and Abrams’ legacies in the Star Wars fandom.

Next: Star Wars: Midi-chlorians were discussed between directors

What do you think about Palpatine’s return in the new trilogy? How do you see his return playing out? Let us know in the comments below!