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? The reappearance of Emperor Palpatine, 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.”

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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.

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