At the beginning of 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, Darth Vader was introduced as the man in charge of the Galactic Empire, or at least, it seemed that way. With his intimidating visage, his booming voice, and his Force choking abilities, Vader went down in history as a badass for the Dark Side. At least, that was until he softened up a bit in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. Part of that softening was, assumably, because he learned about the existence of his long lost son. The other part was definitely because we got to see the man behind the man – Emperor Palpatine. As time went on, fans learned that if you were going to fear any one thing in the Star Wars universe, it had better be The Emperor.

If the latest rumors from Latino Review turn out to be true, then Emperor Palpatine is coming back to haunt the universe once more. The following is the scoop in its entirety, courtesy of Latino Review:
Two independent sources have recently written to us to confirm something we had heard back when production first began. Even though Star Wars: Episode VII (as well as the following two sequels) will feature its share of new villains, the person pulling the strings, the real puppet master, the big bad of the trilogy is none other than Emperor Palpatine.

Now say what you will about the Star Wars movies, but one of the consistently awesome things about these movies has been Ian McDiarmid's performance as Senator/Chancellor/Emperor Palpatine. The man has become legend in his performance of an evil slowly unmasking itself for all to see, and he's one of the only people to have escaped the black hole that is known as Hayden Christensen's acting. See for yourself in this clip from Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith, which may or may not have been punched up by rumored ghostwriter and playwright Tom Stoppard.



Unfortunately, much like the rumors swirling around Darth Vader's return, it looks like we're going to have a new actor cast in the role, as Latino Review also reported the following:
" Don't look for confirmations from this from Ian McDiarmid, because he's not portraying the Emperor this time. "

If Emperor Palpatine is indeed returning to the Star Wars universe, why wouldn't he be extended the same courtesy as other original cast members and be invited back for Episode VII? Well, here's where it gets fun, as there's a couple of ways they could go about doing this. First, the Emperor could simply have escaped from being thrown down a random opening in the second Death Star. It's not that implausible, in fact that's how Luke was rescued from Cloud City in The Empire Strikes Back.

Then, there's the more mystical route of return. Remember how Palpatine told Anakin about the myth of Darth Plagueis, the man who defeated death? Well, seeing as how The Emperor knew about this story, he just might know how Darth Plagueis beat death, and he probably used that knowledge to secure himself a spot in Episode VII, as well as Episode VIII as the Latino Review has specified. However there's one last question that needs to be answered, provided this is true. If you're interested in finding out what all of this could spell for Episode IX, then click over to the next page.
Darth Skywalker

Now, this last theory banks on some Expanded Universe stuff, so it could be total bunk seeing as the EU has been rejected. In the EU, Palpatine does come back through clone bodies that he prepared just in case things went to shit. One of those clones just happened to recruit Luke Skywalker over to The Dark Side, thus turning one of our favorite heroes into a tool of evil. Now if they want to disregard the Expanded Universe usage of clones, but go down a similar route, one could say that Luke's exile was for a specific reason. That reason would be, to protect himself from the spirit of The Emperor.

Episodes VII and VIII could see The Emperor occupying a robot body, which COULD explain that hand we saw that everyone thought belonged to an Inquisitor. If this is true, his presence in VII and VIII, but not in IX, could mean that Luke, despite his best efforts, becomes possessed with the unlimited power of The Emperor for the grand finale of Episode IX! Of course, this could all be skuttled before we know it, so keep your ears and eyes open as Star Wars: Episode VII closes in on its December 18th, 2015 release date.

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