Darth Sidious returns in the first teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode IX

The first footage from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been revealed at Star Wars Celebration in Chicago – and it came with an almighty shock

YouTube/Disney

The first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX has been revealed, and it came with a revelation that has got us squealing like overexcited Porgs.

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The trailer dropped during the Star Wars Celebration event on Friday 12th April in Chicago, which was live streamed on YouTube.

Watch the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.

Hear that cackle right at the end? Yep, that’s right, Darth Sidious AKA Emperor Palpatine AKA actor Ian McDiarmid is part of Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

ORLANDO, FL - APRIL 13: Ian McDiarmid attends the 40 Years of Star Wars panel during the 2017 Star Wars Celebrationat Orange County Convention Center on April 13, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images for Disney)
Star Wars actor Ian McDiarmid made a shock appearance during the Star Wars Celebration panel – is Darth Sidious alive in Episode IX? (Getty)

The actor appeared on stage right at the end of the Star Wars Celebration event, which also confirmed the film’s title, The Rise of Skywalker.

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director JJ Abrams had both earlier taken to the stage during the event to discuss Episode IX details – but the best reveal was saved until right after the teaser trailer was revealed.

Abrams said on stage that the characters first introduced in The Force Awakens would have to unite to defeat what he called “the greatest evil”.

Well, now we know exactly what that means.


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Director JJ Abrams also confirmed during the Star Wars Celebration event that the film does not pick up immediately after the events of Episode VIII.

“This is an adventure that the group goes on together,” Abrams said. “One of the great things about the movie was the dynamic between the characters. They are the most wonderful together, and that’s the thing I’m most looking forward for you to seeing.”

Reprising their roles are Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn and Adam Driver as Kylo Ten, while Mark Hamill will reportedly return as Luke Skywalker in some form, following his apparent death at the end of The Last Jedi.

“On this adventure I think Finn has found his footing and his identity within the Resistance,” Boyega said. “In this film he is a fully-fledged sexy Resistance young man!”

Kelly Marie Tran and Oscar Isaac also joined the cast on stage for the reveal, along with Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo.

Billy Dee Williams, the original Lando Calrissian, also appeared on stage to confirm his return to Episode IX, along with new Star Wars addition Naomi Ackie (below) as character Jannah.

(Getty)
(Getty)

The film, helmed by Abrams, the director of The Force Awakens, is reportedly set a year after the events of The Last Jedi. Marking the end of the so-called ‘Skywalker saga’, the new film will feature repurposed footage of the late Carrie Fisher in her role as General Leia Organa.

JJ Abrams (Getty, EH)
JJ Abrams (Getty)

Asked about his return to the franchise, Abrams explained to Rolling Stone, “The opportunity to sort of take what we had learned, to take the feeling of who these characters are and what they are and give them a final chapter that felt in the spirit of what we begun? It was too delicious of an opportunity to pass up.

“When the opportunity presented itself to finish a story that we had begun with these new characters, to tell the last chapter of their story, it felt like there was a chance to do it in a way where we could go beyond, and do better than we did in VII. I learned so much in that movie and I saw that this was a chance to sort of realise something that we hadn’t quite achieved – and part of that was it was simply the beginning of these new characters and their story.”

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Last Jedi
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The Last Jedi finished with Rey’s new realisation of her powers, pitting her directly against her enemy-turned-confidante-turned-enemy-again Kylo Ren, son of Han Solo and Leia.