Emperor Palpatine Might Not Be The Only Surprise Star Wars Character Returning For The Rise Of Skywalker

Emperor Palpatine in Return of the Jedi

Up until a little over a week ago, the biggest Star Wars alumnus who was set to return to a galaxy far far away through Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was Billy Dee Williams, playing Lando Calrissian for the third time on the big screen. Then the first Rise of Skywalker trailer capped off with Emperor Palpatine’s sinister laugh, and it was confirmed soon after that Ian McDiarmid is reprising the hooded Sith Lord.

You’d think that nothing could surpass the man also known as Darth Sidious somehow being thrown into the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker mix, but a new rumor is out claiming that there’s an even bigger character return on the horizon. Just to be safe, those of you who don’t want to be potentially spoiled heavily on Episode IX might want to turn back now. I’ll give you a moment…

Are the rest you settled in? Okay, supposedly Harrison Ford is back as Han Solo, who we last saw being killed by his own son, Ben Solo, a.k.a. Kylo Ren, in The Force Awakens.

Making Star Wars claims to have heard from multiple sources that Han Solo will have a role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, although it’s difficult to 100% piece together how he’ll be used. According to the outlet, Han will appear in a sequence with his Kylo Ren in what is described as a “surprise intervention of sorts.”

Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Remember in The Force Awakens when Kylo Ren was talking to the charred Darth Vader helmet? This sequence between Han Solo and Kylo Ren might take place when the latter is conversing with his grandfather’s helmet again. But here’s where things get extra weird. Luke Skywalker is said to be the “twist” of this encounter, and rather than being a traditional Force ghost, Han is part of a “vision” or “dream” type moment that Luke brings forth.

The report also notes that the sequence has a “tone of forgiveness and understanding to it,” with Han solo telling his son that “it isn’t too late.” Whether this is really Han speaking from the great beyond or just a simulation that the also-deceased Luke has conjured, it fits that he’d be wanting to draw his son back to the light since that’s what he died doing in The Force Awakens.

Needless to say that the above information is anything but official, so for now, take it with a grain of salt. However, assuming all of this is true, it also remains to be seen if Kylo Ren will cross back to the light side or if he’ll ignore Han and Luke, and continue being an agent of the dark side.

Before The Force Awakens came out, Harrison Ford hadn’t been shy taking about how he’d wanted Han Solo to die in Return of the Jedi, and over 30 years later, he got his wish and the beloved smuggler finally bit the dust. While Alden Ehrenreich did play a younger Han in Solo: A Star Wars Story, most have logically assumed that The Force Awakens would be the last time we’d ever see Ford in the role. But if this new rumor proves legitimate, then fingers crossed that Ford’s true last performance as Han is a worthy and emotional inclusion for the last chapter of the Skywalker Saga.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in theaters on December 20, so keep checking in with CinemaBlend for more coverage about it. For now, you can learn what this year’s other big movies are arriving by looking through our 2019 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.