Potential BIG Spoiler Below. You’ve been warned.
Update: I’ve spoken to my main source who tells me that they don’t believe that Palpatine is the one pictured in the concept art below. They say that they still believe it is of the art is of the main Inquisitor.
I’d heard rumblings that there was a character from the Original Trilogy, outside of the ones we already knew about, who might be joining Episode VII. It was a little out there so I waited until I felt more comfortable running with it.
Well, the fine folks over at Latino Review ran with what I had heard but up to this point had no “official” confirmation. Emperor Palpatine may be the big bad pulling the strings in Episode VII as well as Episode VIII. Though, they are reporting that Palpatine will not be portrayed by Ian McDiarmid this time.
Pairing this information up with the picture and description of what we believed to be the main Inquisitor makes a lot of sense. Take a look at the description below. It certainly feels as though this description could apply to an Emperor Palpatine that survived the end of Return of the Jedi.
“He’s tall and thin and terrifyingly creepy, with glowing red eyes to match his red lightsaber. He’s got some robotic upgrades, like Vader – but no mask. The cybernetic bits weave in and out of him. He’s got a human upper lip, a steel jaw… and the robotic hand that JJ Abrams posted an image of… This
inquisitor has a fascination of Vader through the movie’s timeline as well though – just look how he stares at Vader’s shattered helmet in this image:”
Is that the look of a man gazing upon the man who betrayed him?
Robotic upgrades, like Vader? Red lightsaber? Fascination with Vader? That definitely sounds like it could be the evil emperor, doesn’t it?
Obviously, Emperor Palpatine would have been close to death at the end of ROTJ and he’s no stranger to bringing someone back from the brink of death by fusing them with robotics. He certainly has a red lightsaber (But all the big bads do). And he would obviously be interested in all things Vader after being betrayed by his former pupil.
Did the Inquistors retrieve Palpatine after his apparent death in ROTJ and mend him, much like Palpatine mended Anakin when he was near death? Is this where Luke has been? Has he been held captive by the Emperor, himself, for 10+ years?
Then again, there is reason to believe that the image we initially ran of the Inquisitor is not actually Palpatine at all. The description stated, “Tall and thin and terrifyingly creepy.” Palpatine never struck me as especially tall.
Perhaps the image above is of the new Sith apprentice to Palpatine. With the Empire still in existence, Palpatine would not be the one running around doing the dirty work himself. He’d be laying low somewhere pulling the strings while someone else was out there doing his bidding.
So perhaps Palpatine is indeed still around and but maybe the image above really is of his apprentice, the lead Inquisitor.
The deeper we get the more interesting things become.