'Star Wars' Rumor: Could Emperor Palpatine Return?

Emperor Star Wars

Two days ago, Jedi News posted an item that claimed an unnamed source informed them that Ian McDiarmid, the excellent British actor who played the Emperor in the original trilogy and his younger, less obviously evil version Senator Palpatine in the prequel trilogy, is expected to return for the new film slated for Summer 2015.

Cool! Wait, what?

Yeah, so as the world knows, "Episode VII" will take place after the events of "Return of the Jedi" and after Emperor Palpatine totally went out like a chump.

If there is any truth to this rumor — which for the record is activating our B.S. meter — how the hell would the Emperor ever come back?

The one possibly that Jedi News names and the one that should be obvious to anyone familiar with the Star Wars Expanded Universe is cloning. In the novels and comic books spun-off from the films, Palpatine created several clones of himself with the intention of living forever.

In the comic book "Dark Empire," Luke Skywalker stumbles across this cache of Emperor copies and even finds one alive and well that convinces him to join the Dark Side. (Yeah, it wasn't a popular plotline.) Anyway, that iteration of the Emperor gets taken out by Luke and Leia, but he manages to come back three more times before the stash of clones is finally destroyed.

If we're taking cloning off the table — which would probably be a good idea since it would be cool if the new movie was, you know, good — there is another no-brainer option that is worth considering. Maybe the all-powerful Sith lord that infiltrated the Galactic Republic was able to survive the fall. We never did see what happened down there...

Just something to think about.