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What's your take on Emperor Palpatine being brought back for The Rise of Skywalker?

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 (Edited)

Personally, I didn’t like the idea of the Emperor being brought back like that when he was clearly killed at the end of ROTJ.

To me the film should’ve been with just Kylo being the main villain throughout the film without him second guessing himself with the ending being a final duel between him and Rey.

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It’s a fine line to cross. Because on one hand, TFA and TLJ have done a really bad job setting up Kylo as the villain. He’s a joke, and shows little fear. In a perfect world, this would not have been the case (at least for TLJ).

I think a better option would be to create a new villain for TROS. Maybe a “Dark Whill” or Force God that is responsible for the dark side, hence greater than both Palpatine and Snoke. I agree Palpatine was a bad idea.

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OutboundFlight said:

It’s a fine line to cross. Because on one hand, TFA and TLJ have done a really bad job setting up Kylo as the villain. He’s a joke, and shows little fear. In a perfect world, this would not have been the case (at least for TLJ).

I have to disagree with this. TFA may have showed Kylo as a joke villain and Darth Vader cosplayer, but TLJ did a great job setting up Kylo as the main villain of the third movie. He sheds his connection to the past, becomes a true Sith by killing his master, and basically becomes the new galactic emperor. I’m convinced Kylo would have made a great villain for the third movie. Trevorrow’s script almost got there, but then copped out by giving him a last minute deathbed redemption.

My preferred saga experience:
ANH (4K77), ESB (Harmy), ROTJ (4K83).
Everything else is optional.

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 (Edited)

If done perfectly, in a decent movie, Palpatine could have worked. This was nowhere near that movie.

Kylo as a villain also has issues. He’s compelling, but nowhere near intimidating enough to be a ‘big bad’. Hux is a joke by the end of TLJ, so he can’t be the primary villain. Both characters are also far too hotheaded to be masterminds of the First Order. The only choice left is to create a new villain. In my rewrite I chose Thrawn since he is a perfect coolheaded mastermind with which to balance the fire of Hux, and Kylo is quickly redeemed. Yes, it is difficult to redeem such a character since he has rejected two calls so far, but it also feels wrong in a series so focused on the concept of saving conflicted characters to not have Kylo be redeemed.

What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive? There is no escape. Come, lay down your weapons. It is not too late for my mercy.
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
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I think Palpatine was the best idea. It really ties in to the Flash Gordon origins of the saga. Ming seemed to die more than once and he always came back. In the 1980 film, it ends with someone picking up Ming’s ring and Mind laughing. Having Snoke be a Palpatine puppet and having Palpatine back feels similar, but more epic. In ROTJ we didn’t see him die, but here we did. I think they did a good job of finding an ending for the saga that tied things together and had that epic feel that Star Wars has always had. In 1977 it was a farmboy against the empire and the farm boy won against all odds. Starting things of that way really required something special. Had they laid the groundwork with a cohesive story instead of writing this in installments, they could have crafted a much better villain. Darth Plaugues the Wise for instance. But they didn’t. Without laying a better foundation in the previous two films, Palpatine was the best villain to come in and finish off with. It feels very mythic to me. And I like that about Star Wars. It is a modern myth and should be a bit larger than life without being campy like Flash Gordon was. I think TROS nailed it and the reason they did was because they brought Palpatine back.

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NeverarGreat said:

If done perfectly, in a decent movie, Palpatine could have worked. This was nowhere near that movie.

You’re probably right. I remember some of the early speculation, from after the teaser trailer was released, said that Palpatine would appear as a possessing spirit. The main villain would be a Sith loyalist, played by Matt Smith, who gets possessed by Palpatine’s spirit towards the end of the movie. That could have been a much better way to bring him back.

Kylo as a villain also has issues. He’s compelling, but nowhere near intimidating enough to be a ‘big bad’. Hux is a joke by the end of TLJ, so he can’t be the primary villain. Both characters are also far too hotheaded to be masterminds of the First Order. The only choice left is to create a new villain. In my rewrite I chose Thrawn since he is a perfect coolheaded mastermind with which to balance the fire of Hux, and Kylo is quickly redeemed. Yes, it is difficult to redeem such a character since he has rejected two calls so far, but it also feels wrong in a series so focused on the concept of saving conflicted characters to not have Kylo be redeemed.

I understand why you chose Thrawn as the villain in your rewrite, but for me it has two issues:

  1. Thrawn has no force sensitivity. The main villains of the saga, namely Palpatine and Snoke, have always been force sensitive, so it could be underwhelming to break the tradition for the final movie of the saga.
  2. Thrawn wasn’t established at all in the previous two movies. Just like what happened with Palpatine, randomly introducing a new main villain in the final movie of a trilogy is probably not a good idea.

Those are also the main reasons why I wish Kylo would have been the main villain. I disagree with the idea that Star Wars is all about redeeming villains, that has only happened once in the entire saga.

My preferred saga experience:
ANH (4K77), ESB (Harmy), ROTJ (4K83).
Everything else is optional.

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yotsuya said:

I think Palpatine was the best idea. It really ties in to the Flash Gordon origins of the saga. Ming seemed to die more than once and he always came back. In the 1980 film, it ends with someone picking up Ming’s ring and Mind laughing. Having Snoke be a Palpatine puppet and having Palpatine back feels similar, but more epic. In ROTJ we didn’t see him die, but here we did. I think they did a good job of finding an ending for the saga that tied things together and had that epic feel that Star Wars has always had. In 1977 it was a farmboy against the empire and the farm boy won against all odds. Starting things of that way really required something special. Had they laid the groundwork with a cohesive story instead of writing this in installments, they could have crafted a much better villain. Darth Plaugues the Wise for instance. But they didn’t. Without laying a better foundation in the previous two films, Palpatine was the best villain to come in and finish off with. It feels very mythic to me. And I like that about Star Wars. It is a modern myth and should be a bit larger than life without being campy like Flash Gordon was. I think TROS nailed it and the reason they did was because they brought Palpatine back.

You’ve made that point before, but I still disagree with it. Flash Gordon was the basis of Star Wars, but over the years it’s mostly moved beyond that. Bringing villains back from the dead is almost always cheesy as hell. And I’m pretty sure we did see Palpatine die in ROTJ, in a very similar way he died in the new movie.

I agree that Darth Plagueis would have been a much better villain though. I was one of the big believers in that theory after TFA came out, because it just makes so much sense. To bad the other two movies didn’t take that idea and run with it.

My preferred saga experience:
ANH (4K77), ESB (Harmy), ROTJ (4K83).
Everything else is optional.

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StarkillerAG said:

NeverarGreat said:

If done perfectly, in a decent movie, Palpatine could have worked. This was nowhere near that movie.

You’re probably right. I remember some of the early speculation, from after the teaser trailer was released, said that Palpatine would appear as a possessing spirit. The main villain would be a Sith loyalist, played by Matt Smith, who gets possessed by Palpatine’s spirit towards the end of the movie. That could have been a much better way to bring him back.

I would have loved something like that. However, the whole ‘Palps is all the Sith’ was much more sophisticated an idea than I expected, so it’s not as it he was a complete waste. And it actually improves the angle in ROTJ where Palps wants Luke to kill him. Now we get a reason.

Kylo as a villain also has issues. He’s compelling, but nowhere near intimidating enough to be a ‘big bad’. Hux is a joke by the end of TLJ, so he can’t be the primary villain. Both characters are also far too hotheaded to be masterminds of the First Order. The only choice left is to create a new villain. In my rewrite I chose Thrawn since he is a perfect coolheaded mastermind with which to balance the fire of Hux, and Kylo is quickly redeemed. Yes, it is difficult to redeem such a character since he has rejected two calls so far, but it also feels wrong in a series so focused on the concept of saving conflicted characters to not have Kylo be redeemed.

I understand why you chose Thrawn as the villain in your rewrite, but for me it has two issues:

  1. Thrawn has no force sensitivity. The main villains of the saga, namely Palpatine and Snoke, have always been force sensitive, so it could be underwhelming to break the tradition for the final movie of the saga.

True, in a standard story he would be underwhelming, but in my version Thrawn’s plan is to destroy Force sensitivity throughout the galaxy (starting with Kylo and Rey), making him a threat to the Force itself instead of merely another Darkside user. Instead of rising to the level of Palpatine, he’s dragging everyone else down to his level where he is superior. It also helps to alleviate the power creep that tends to happen near the end of magical stories.

  1. Thrawn wasn’t established at all in the previous two movies. Just like what happened with Palpatine, randomly introducing a new main villain in the final movie of a trilogy is probably not a good idea.

Again you are right but there’s really no other option unless you go the Kylo or Hux main villain route. However since he never becomes Supreme Leader, it could be assumed that he was always working offscreen as a part of the First Order, like General Pryde. It’s not as bad as announcing him as the new biggest thing in the galaxy ever suddenly. And he’s already made appearances in other Disney Star Wars media and is the most well-known villain in Star Wars who hasn’t yet had a mention in the movies.

Those are also the main reasons why I wish Kylo would have been the main villain. I disagree with the idea that Star Wars is all about redeeming villains, that has only happened once in the entire saga.

But that redemption was built up to for six movies, no Star Wars film has escaped that shadow. Of course there are villains who do not get redemption, like Tarkin or Palps or Dooku, but they are all acting basically of their own volition. Vader and to an extent Kylo are much more controlled and intentionally twisted by their masters into villains. You could argue that by the end of TLJ Kylo is now uncontrolled by his master, but we also see how destabilizing and weak this makes him. If he continues in this haunted, weakened vengeful state it is increasingly difficult to take him seriously as a villain, much less the ruler of the galaxy.

What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive? There is no escape. Come, lay down your weapons. It is not too late for my mercy.
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V3 Released!) and The Starlight Project (WORKPRINT RELEASED!)

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NeverarGreat said:

But that redemption was built up to for six movies, no Star Wars film has escaped that shadow. Of course there are villains who do not get redemption, like Tarkin or Palps or Dooku, but they are all acting basically of their own volition. Vader and to an extent Kylo are much more controlled and intentionally twisted by their masters into villains. You could argue that by the end of TLJ Kylo is now uncontrolled by his master, but we also see how destabilizing and weak this makes him. If he continues in this haunted, weakened vengeful state it is increasingly difficult to take him seriously as a villain, much less the ruler of the galaxy.

But what if he doesn’t stay in that weakened state? Trevorrow’s script set up a somewhat interesting character arc for Kylo. He gains more and more Force power, but in the process turns himself into a soulless machine. It reminds me of a classic tragedy, where the tragic character is destroyed by his excessive hubris. It could be a very emotional end for the character, if you don’t cop out at the last minute and have him redeemed anyway.

My preferred saga experience:
ANH (4K77), ESB (Harmy), ROTJ (4K83).
Everything else is optional.

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Definitely, it could have worked if they stuck to it. I am imagining an Akira situation and that would have been really good, essentially someone consumed by their ever increasing power. It would have been interesting if Rey also gained more and more power in response, but it again runs the risk of that power creep problem and turning Rey into basically a god in order to defeat him.

Anything would have been better than the half-assed quasi-villain quasi-redeemed Kylo from TROS.

What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive? There is no escape. Come, lay down your weapons. It is not too late for my mercy.
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V3 Released!) and The Starlight Project (WORKPRINT RELEASED!)

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 (Edited)

McDiarmid made me love it. However, I would have liked confirmation that he didn’t essence transfer into a clone like he did in Dark Empire and I wish they had draining Kylo and Rey be his plan from the beginning.

Nonetheless, I would have preferred that the big bad be the founder of the Sith or a fallen Whill.

If Plagueis shows up in the ST, not only will I refuse to watch the movies, but I won't so much as watch the trailers, either. - DuracellEnergizer

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I think it was a bad idea.

It’s funny going back and watching trailer reactions now. Honestly, it was funny then: People were excited and psyched and all that. And then Palpatine starts laughing and you can almost literally SEE question marks popping out all over everyone’s face. And not in a “oh wow, what, that’s awesome” way, but a “what the… what? WHY” sort of way.

And then the bland-as-hell, blockbuster-basic “The Rise of BLANK” title scheme comes up with the word “Skywalker” filled in and really… that was probably the first sign this wasn’t going to go the way we thought.

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StarkillerAG said:
Thrawn has no force sensitivity. The main villains of the saga, namely Palpatine and Snoke, have always been force sensitive, so it could be underwhelming to break the tradition for the final movie of the saga.

Tarkin isn’t Force-sensitive.

If Plagueis shows up in the ST, not only will I refuse to watch the movies, but I won't so much as watch the trailers, either. - DuracellEnergizer

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darklordoftech said:

StarkillerAG said:
Thrawn has no force sensitivity. The main villains of the saga, namely Palpatine and Snoke, have always been force sensitive, so it could be underwhelming to break the tradition for the final movie of the saga.

Tarkin isn’t Force-sensitive.

I know, but he wasn’t the main villain of the original movie. The unseen Emperor was, and although he wasn’t revealed to be force sensitive yet, he was clearly shown to be a Sith as early as Empire Strikes Back.

My preferred saga experience:
ANH (4K77), ESB (Harmy), ROTJ (4K83).
Everything else is optional.

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 (Edited)

Tarkin definitely is the main villain of the first film. Not the highest ranking, but I don’t see how anyone says that the Emperor was a real presence as a character, and wasn’t even revealed as Force sensitive as you say.

Also recall how dismissive the Imperial officers were that one of their co-workers adhered to some mystical cult? The '77 Star Wars universe was far more secular than later installments, with the magic mostly relegated to generations past.

What a grand and intoxicating innocence. How could you be so naive? There is no escape. Come, lay down your weapons. It is not too late for my mercy.
Episode 9 Rewrite THE SHATTERED SWORD (Complete!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V3 Released!) and The Starlight Project (WORKPRINT RELEASED!)

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I was willing to put up with JJ Abram’s bullshit for one movie, to get things going. Bringing him back was a mistake, driven by a prior mistake of not allowing the film to be postponed in light of Carrie’s passing and/or whatever was wrong with Trevorrow.

Palpatine returning was poooooooop.

Initiating self-destruct countdown…

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They had the opportunity:
A) to expand on Snoke and write some proper lore
B) to expand on the “Force Dyad” and write some proper lore
C) to show Kylo as a truly broken figure who gets worse with the higher rank
Instead it’s basically wasted and feels like a sequel to movie that doesn’t exist. I mean Palpatine could have been involved too in some guise. There was a chance to finally explain the dumb super weapons and the state galactic politics. But this all requires a competent screenwriter.

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My thoughts are simple: there are ways they could have done it that might have worked. This was not one of those ways.

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It’s so weird how redundant Palpatine and the Final Order are in TROS. It’s like JJ had the idea for TFA “wouldn’t it be cool if there was some Sith mastermind secretly plotting the Empire’s revenge in the unknown regions?” and then because the gist of that idea got diluted in the finished film, he was just like “let’s try it again” for TROS. It’s funny how people say Rian ignored everything in TFA, but he was just going off the way TFA set things up, with the First Order as the Empire 2.0. In the end it was JJ who decided to ditch what was already set up for something else.

That being said, in regards to the topic, I think if they had set up Palpatine and his secret Final Order on Exegol in the first film of the trilogy (and ditched Snoke and the First Order and Starkiller), I wouldn’t really have a problem with it. One of the biggest issues is how much it comes out of nowhere.

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It didn’t have to come out of nowhere as long as they referenced TFA properly. Starkiller could have been a test or a way of weakening the New Republic before the real masterplan was unveiled. It could have all been a way of doing something interesting… instead of nothing.

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