In mid-October, rumors started to circulate that Emperor Palpatine will return in Star Wars IX. While these rumors were largely unsubstantiated, a leak to Express hinted that Emperor Palpatine would somehow appear in some sort of projection to Kylo Ren.
What this rumor doesn’t say exactly, is if this is the same Palpatine we’ll remember from the original and prequel Star Wars trilogies. Though Ian McDiarmid is eager to reprise his role as Palpatine, a new Star Wars rumor suggests we might see a younger version of the Sith lord in the upcoming film.
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The Weekly Planet Podcast introduced a theory from an anonymous source that Matt Smith, who is appearing in the upcoming film, might be playing young Palpatine in Star Wars IX.
Now, this tracks with the previous theory that Kylo Ren runs into some sort of pre-recorded message from Palpatine during the final film. What’s interesting is, according to the Star Wars wiki, Palpatine did leave plans in place should he die.
Prior to the his demise, he created the Contingency to destroy the Empire in the event of his death, believing that the Empire did not deserve to survive without its Emperor. As a consequence, the Imperial remnants were further weakened and less able to resist the New Republic during the waning days of the Galactic Civil War.
Is it possible that this contingency plan was made long before the events of the prequels when Palpatine was a young man? Could it be that we see a young Palpatine in a projection that outlines his plan to destroy the empire?
Who knows! Probably not. Obviously, given the Star Wars culture of secrecy, we won’t actually know until the movie is released more than a year from now. Until then there’s nothing better to do than enjoy some harmless conjecture! Or just go vote.