Ted Lasso is back. Season three of the series about the lovable soccer coach/fish out of water follows AFC Richmond once more, this time in the Premier League. The underdog team has a number of rivals they must defeat to come out on top, but Rebecca is focused on one team in particular: West Ham. Her ex-husband Rupert Mannion owns the club—the same club Nate Shelley betrayed Richmond to join. The season three premiere took us to West Ham’s offices, showing Rupert’s office with an extremely Emperor Palpatine vibe. The nod to Star Wars‘ ultimate villain was intentional.

a side by side collage of Emperor Palpatine on his throne beside Rupert and Nate in Ted Lasso
Lucasfilm/Apple TV+

Speaking with Variety, Ted Lasso’s production designer Paul Cripps said Rupert’s office has Return of the Jedi influences. The circular window, the color scheme—nothing about it is warm and inviting. Cripps said:

We always talked of Rupert being like — not saying anything about West Ham the team — but wherever Rupert is, it’s his empire, and he’s the Dark Lord who’s interfering all the time. I just thought, well, actually, why can’t we make him an office that feels like the scene when Luke meets the Emperor?

Apple TV+

We have no doubt that Rupert has plenty of dark side behavior up his sleeve.

New episodes of Ted Lasso air on Wednesdays on Apple TV+.

Originally published on March 16, 2023.