J.J. Abrams Says 'The Rise Of Skywalker' Would've Been "Weird" Without Palpatine's Return

When the unmistakable laugh of Emperor Palpatine was heard in the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it raised a number of questions. How could he be alive considering what we saw, or think we saw, at the end of Return of the Jedi? What does his return mean for Rey, for Kylo Ren, and for the Resistance?  Most of all, has this always been the plan for returning director J.J. Abrams?

Turns out, the answer is "yes". Speaking with Uproxx, Abrams says the end of the Skywalker Saga pretty much necessitates Palpatine's return, and to not do so would be weird...

“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 adds that he and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan had been discussing Palpatine's return since before The Force Awakens...

“So there were discussions about that at the time. Yet, like any beginning, you want to put the threads in, but you don’t want to necessarily be literal about everything...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.’”

Here's hoping Palpatine is a Force ghost for the Dark Side or something along those lines, perhaps looking to possess Kylo Ren or maybe even Rey.

We'll find out what Palpatine's up to when The Rise of Skywalker arrives on December 20th.