Earlier cuts of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker revealed how Palpatine was able to escape the destruction of the second Death Star
From the moment the teaser trailer for The Rise of Skywalker was unleashed upon us at Star Wars Celebration, fans have been speculating about how Emperor Palpatine had managed to survive the destruction of the Death Star in the climax of Return of the Jedi. His demise seemed inevitable. Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker had hoisted him into the air and hurled down a seemingly bottomless chasm a mere minutes before the Death Star was destroyed by Lando Calrissian and the Millennium Falcon.
However, as soon as his infamous cackle exploded through the speakers in the dying seconds of the trailer, the game changed. Palpatine was back and ready to menace the new breed of heroes from the sequel saga.
!!! SPOILERS FOR THE RISE OF SKYWALKER AWAIT YOU BEYOND THIS POINT !!!
By now, those of us who have seen The Rise of Skywalker will know that little explanation is given to Palpatine’s resurrection, however, the dark sciences that have maintained him are vaguely hinted at throughout proceedings. The now-iconic line “The dark side of the force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural” is used to allude to the zombification of Palptines decaying body, but the particulars are never revealed in detail.
However, while speaking with The Huffington Post, The Rise of Skywalker co-editor Maryann Brandon revealed that earlier cuts of the film did explain more about Palpatine’s survival, but the scenes were ultimately cut from the finished version.
“It was kind of a delicate balance and went back and forth a lot about how much we wanted to reveal,” she said. “Some scenes changed quite a bit, the way that we wanted to present it to the audience. In the end, we ended up showing a lot less of it than we started with.” There was originally “a little more information about it, what was keeping (Palpatine) alive,” but, Brandon said, “it seemed to go off-topic. There was so much information in the film and so many characters that we wanted to have an audience concentrate on. I think we felt we didn’t want to clutter the film up with things you didn’t need to know,” she said.
Personally, I would have enjoyed exploring the particulars of Palpatine’s survival in greater detail. Despite his hauntingly zombified appearance, the greatest Sith Lord of all-time was agonisingly close to unleashing his vengeance on the galaxy – and he would have succeeded if not for those meddling kids!
I have no doubt that the truth will be explored somewhere down the line in either a comic book or literary format, but ultimately this will feel like a major missed opportunity. One tidbit of information which was resolved in The Rise Of Skywalker was the origins of Supreme Leader Snoke. The First Order ruler was brutally murdered by Kylo Ren during the events of The Last Jedi and fans feared his origins would never be explained, however, in a single shot J.J Abrams revealed that Snoke was one of many clones created to carry out Palpatine’s dastardly deeds. The scene was brilliant in its simplicity and Brandon was eager to elaborate on the sequence:
“I just think that came up as a visual effect that we thought would be really fun for an audience, to create a visual that would tell that whole story,” Brandon said. “I believe that’s successful. We didn’t have to change a lot of dialogue. You just see one shot and you kind of get it. I love stuff like that. We can just have a moment where you just see something in the background and you go, ‘OK, I totally get that.'”
I can’t help but wonder if an extended edition of The Rise of Skywalker is known to exist somewhere in the catacombs at Lucasfilm. If there is, sign me up for a copy … new phantom Palpatine sequences will easily make this fanboy a very happy bunny!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is playing in cinemas worldwide NOW!
The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.
Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager and Editor of Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter @philthecool where he uses the force and babbles frequently!
Source: The Huffington PostFeel the Force on Social Media.
Phil Roberts is the Owner, Daily Content Manager, and Editor-In-Chief of The Future of the Force. He is passionate about Star Wars, Batman, DC, Marvel, Star Trek, Indiana Jones, Ghostbusters, King Kong, and the Ray Harryhausen movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force and babbles frequently!