Star Wars fans are a particularly hardcore group of moviegoers. The fandom has been die hard and spans entire generations of people, resulting in an insane amount of people who devour every episode into the galaxy far, far away. The next venture into that beloved space opera is coming this December with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the first spinoff film in the story of the franchise. Set in between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, Rogue One will be featuring a handful of returning characters from the original trilogy, including none other than Darth Vader himself. But will any other classic villains be making an appearance?
Actor Ian McDiarmid played the villainous Emperor Palpatine in both the original and prequel trilogy, and many fans have been wondering if the Sith Lord would be once again appearing in Rogue One. The character is alive and well at that point of the canon, so why not? Luckily for us, the actor recently spoke to the Dutch entertainment website XGN.nl at Amsterdam's Comic-Con, where he revealed whether or not his character is making a return:
Rogue One's on its way, when I was in charge of things -- I mean the Emperor, not me. I am not featured in [the movie] myself, but I understand that Darth Vader may be making an appearance.
Well this sucks. Looks like Emperor Palpatine isn't going to be making any type of appearance in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, despite his protege coming back for another round. Let's break down what this might mean for the spinoff.
Perhaps Rogue One isn't including The Emperor because they don't want to oversaturate the story with returning characters. The spinoff is really about the motley crew of newcomer rebels, so it might take away from the narrative to simply include cameo after cameo. We already have Mon Mothma, Bail Organa, and Vader showing up to the party- any more than that might be overkill and come off too fan service-ey.
Additionally, The Emperor wasn't really a huge character during A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. He communicates with Vader through a hologram, but he only appears in the flesh in Return of the Jedi. Since we're going to be showed at least some of Darth Vader, it doesn't seem logical that the two of them would somehow be in the same room and planning their evil deeds.
Of course, this doesn't mean that Emperor is officially out of the franchise forever. There are going to be a fair amount of spinoffs in the future, so it's possible that he might make more narrative sense appearing in a different upcoming film. Then again, Ian McDiarmid is now 72 years old, so if they want to return him to the franchise they better step on it; lightsaber battles are surely an exhausting process for a man of his distinguished age.
Are you bummed that Emperor Palpatine won't be showing up in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Sound off in the comments below.