Early concept art for the return of Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been revealed.
Ever since the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker revealed that Emperor Palpatine would be returning, fans had been wondering what form his appearance would take in the movie.
Palpatine would go on to have a significant role in the film, appearing as a truly ghastly figure, tempting and battling our heroes on the Sith planet of Exegol. In the film, Palpatine is barely alive and is propped up by a mechanical arm.
Was Palpatine always going to look this way? Well, we now, around six months after release, have a look at some early concept art for Palpatine’s Episode IX return, with production Designer Kevin Jenkins sharing his first sketch.
“At the very beginning of production, I was on my own developing designs for Palpatine’s return. Due to secrecy at the time and I was locked away in my own dark office, let out once a week to review designs with JJ. This pencil sketch is from the very first batch #StarWars”
At the very beginning of production, I was on my own developing designs for Palpatine's return. Due to secrecy at the time and I was locked away in my own dark office, let out once a week to review designs with JJ. This pencil sketch is from the very first batch #StarWars pic.twitter.com/dJ9ivslM6D
— kevin jenkins (@kev_jenkins) June 14, 2020
As you can see from the image above, the sketch bears a lot of similarities with what we eventually saw on screen, though it appears like in this art Palpatine has mechanical arms.
Palpatine, also known as Darth Sidious, has been a menace and chief villain across the entire saga but perhaps he has never been as frightening than in his ghoulish appearance in Episode IX.
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).