STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER Poster Shows Palpatine in Full Force

We’ve been anxiously awaiting new details about Star Wars: Episode IX for a long time, and thankfully the D23 Expo in Anaheim brought the goods. The expo is a celebration of all upcoming Disney projects, and teased new footage for The Rise of Skywalker during the Disney Studios panel on Saturday. We’ll have more to say on that in a bit, but for now, let us appreciate this other tidbit dropped during the panel: This amazing poster for the film, a D23 exclusive.

Holy Palpatine, Batman! We’ve known since the first teaser trailer dropped for The Rise of Skywalker at Star Wars Celebration back in April that the Emperor would be involved in the plot of Episode IX, but we had no real idea what to expect. We still don’t, really, but using his iconography to sell the film implies that he’s going to have a major role in this film. And we can’t lie: We’re pretty stoked.

What role will Palpatine play in the movie? Will he be an offscreen presence, threatening Kylo’s new stance as Supreme Leader? Will he influence our characters from the beyond, or did he find some way to cheat death? It’s hard to say, and we’re sure we’ll have theories once we get a chance to catch our breath, but for now, we’re just excited to see another classic character having such a major presence in The Rise of Skywalker.

The poster also shows Rey and Kylo fighting in what looks to be either rain or snow, which implies these two will still have some sort of major connection in Episode IX. We can’t wait to see how Palpatine factors into their story when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20, 2019.

Header Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Disney

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