The first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was everything fans were hoping it would be. It promised a satisfying yet exciting ending for the Skywalker saga of Star Wars films, gave audiences plenty to over-speculate about, and even teased the return of the franchise’s biggest baddie — outside of Darth Vader himself. Yes, we’re talking about Emperor Palpatine, the former senator turned chancellor who was a Sith Lord all along. Even Ian McDiarmid, the actor who played Palpatine, returned for the trailer’s reveal.
Sure, the teaser trailer ended with a shot of the Death Star II’s broken remnants and Palpatine’s iconic evil laugh, but does this mean he’s actually going to be in the film? After all, as McDiarmid revealed at Star Wars Celebration on Monday, he didn’t record a new laugh for the trailer:
“They did let me into a secret that the Emperor might be laughing, but I have to tell you that that particular laugh was not specially recorded. They found it somewhere. Probably from one of the movies or the digital vault. Or, maybe George’s iPhone I don’t know.”
That being said, the actor is probably just being coy about the matter, as Disney and Lucasfilm’s PR team has probably trained him not to say anything even remotely revealing about The Rise of Skywalker — including whether or not he’s actually in it.
Besides, if Luke Skywalker, Yoda and Obi-Wan Kenobi can all come back as force ghosts, then why can’t Palpatine? “From the past, maybe from Hell, a laugh that comes,” McDiarmid continued to tease the Star Wars Celebration audience. “Which sort of implies, ‘Yeah, right.’ In other words, ‘Skywalkers? Rising? I don’t think so.'” Watch more below.