Ian McDiarmid may have just hinted that he will be returning, once again, as Emperor Palpatine in future Star Wars content.
While speaking to Metro, McDiarmid noted that Palpatine is indeed dead for good in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and that he didn’t have any back-up clones (hence his initial bloated, rotting appearance while hooked up to a crane that doubled as life support) or any additional secret contingency plans. However, he indicated that appearing in any story set before the end of that movie is something he’s open to doing, although he would not confirm his involvement with any future projects:
“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.”
This interview, of course, comes ahead of the release of the Disney Plus series Obi-Wan Kenobi, which is set between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope, and is thus fair game for an appearance from Emperor Palpatine, though – again – nothing is confirmed. You can read the full article below:
McDiarmid previously reprised his role as Darth Sidious, known to the galaxy far, far away at large as Emperor Sheev Palpatine, in the fourth and final season of Star Wars Rebels (along with dubbing over an initial voice-only cameo in the second season voiced by Sam Witwer) before appearing again in live-action for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, revealing himself as the overarching villain of the Skywalker family story once again before being defeated for the final time. While it does not seem incredibly likely that Lucasfilm will resurrect Palpatine yet again whenever they tell stories after the end of the Skywalker Saga, it seems that it is perfectly okay for the fan-favorite evil overlord to show up in anything set before that. Andor and Lando are both Disney Plus series set in a similar time period as Obi-Wan Kenobi and are also possible places where the character could appear, although absolutely nothing is certain at this point in time.
Obi-Wan Kenobi is a six-episode limited event series for Disney Plus that will begin airing on May 25, 2022, the 45th Anniversary of the Star Wars franchise.