Emperor’s Backstory Was in Earlier Versions of Rise of Skywalker

Earlier Versions of The Rise of Skywalker Featured More Emperor Backstory

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker remains a mixed bag amongst critics and moviegoers — 54% on Rotten Tomatoes versus an 86% audience score — with many decrying the way certain plot elements came together in the final film. One such element is the reappearance of Emperor Palpaltine, who was presumed dead at the end of Return of the Jedi, but alive and (kinda) well at the start of The Rise of Skywalker with nary an explanation. However, according to co-editor Maryann Brandon, earlier cuts of the latest Star Wars extravaganza went a bit more in depth with ole Palps’ backstory.

“It was kind of a delicate balance and went back and forth a lot about how much we wanted to reveal,” Brandon told The Huffington Post. “Some scenes changed quite a bit, the way that we wanted to present it to the audience. In the end, we ended up showing a lot less of it than we started with.”

According to Brandon, there was originally “a little more information about it, what was keeping [Palpatine] alive,” but, Brandon said, “it seemed to go off topic. There was so much information in the film and so many characters that we wanted to have an audience concentrate on. I think we felt we didn’t want to clutter the film up with things you didn’t need to know.”

So, there you have it. As someone who really enjoyed The Rise of Skywalker, I can’t say I needed any more information about the Emperor or his return. He has always been something of a mysterious character and his sudden reappearance didn’t bug me. But maybe I’m just a biased Star Wars fan.

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Returning cast members for The Rise of Skywalker include Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast are Naomi Ackie (Doctor Who), Richard E. Grant (Logan), Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings), and Keri Russell (The Americans), who will also be joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian. The role of Leia Organa will once again be played by Carrie Fisher, using previously unreleased footage shot for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

In addition to directing, J.J. Abrams co-wrote the screenplay with Chris Terrio (ArgoJustice League). Kathleen Kennedy, Michelle Rejwan, and Abrams will produce, with Callum Greene and Jason McGatlin executive producing. Composer John Williams, who has scored every chapter in the Star Wars saga since 1977’s A New Hope, will return to a galaxy far, far away with Rise of Skywalker.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is now playing everywhere!