Emperor Palpatine was originally going to be found hiding on Coruscant in a 2017 version of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
In Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo Ren finds the assumed dead Emperor Palpatine hiding on the ancient Sith planet of Exegol. But, in a 2017 version of the film, Darth Sidious was going to be found somewhere far more familiar.
In The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (via ComicBook.com), it is revealed by author Phil Szostak that Kylo would still find Palpatine in a scene that resembles what we saw in Episode IX but that Sidious would be in the ruins of Coruscant’s old Jedi Temple:
“Instead of finding his way to Exegol, in the early November 2017 version of The Rise of Skywalker story, Kylo Ren instead takes his shuttle to a desolate, ash-covered Coruscant, the once-bustling city streets now overrun by giant wolves. Inside the abandoned Jedi Temple, Kylo takes a central elevator down to the temple’s deepest level.”
While it certainly would have been cool to see Coruscant again, it’s not exactly the best hiding place for Sidious, considering this is the literal scene of the crime where the galaxy was changed forever.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker sees J.J. Abrams (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) directing a cast that includes Star Wars veterans Daisy Ridley (Rey), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), John Boyega (Finn), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), Lupita Nyong’o (Maz Kanata), Domhnall Gleeson (General Hux), Kelly Marie Tran (Rose Tico), Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca), Billie Lourd (Lieutenant Connix), Greg Grunberg (Snap Wexley), Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian), Ian McDiarmid (Emperor Palpatine) and Carrie Fisher (Leia Organa) as well as new additions Naomi Ackie (Lady Macbeth), Richard E. Grant (Logan), Dominic Monaghan (Lost), and Keri Russell (The Americans).