J.J. Abrams Explains Why The Rise Of Skywalker Needs Palpatine

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The death of Emperor Palpatine at the hands of Darth Vader is one of the most iconic moments in the original Star Wars trilogy, but that’s not stopping J.J. Abrams from bringing the character back in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. While we’re sure Abrams and company have devised a perfectly logical explanation for this, details are still being kept under wraps. However, Abrams recently explained why he felt it was necessary to bring the character back.

“When you look at this as nine chapters of a story, perhaps the weirder thing would be if Palpatine didn’t return,” he told UPROXX. “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. That’s not to say there was a bible and we knew what happens at every step. But when Larry Kasdan and I worked on The Force Awakens, we didn’t do it in a vacuum. We very purposely looked at what came before. We chose to tell a story that touches upon specific things and themes and ideas that we’ve seen before.”

While it seems entirely possible Rian Johnson’s Episode VIII derailed some of Abrams’ plans for this trilogy, the Force Awakens filmmaker was pleased to find himself following through on many of his original ideas. “When Rian was brought on to do The Last Jedi, we met and we talked about things and he wrote his story,” Abrams said. “And when I read… 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. There were some very specific things we did get to do in this movie that we were laughing and going, ‘Oh my god, we’re finally doing that thing we talked about five years ago.’”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theatres on December 19. Check out the trailer below.