“Somehow Palpatine is back” became a Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker meme dialogue. The line was so vague and unintentionally hilarious that it spread like digital wildfire across the internet. The line was meant to express the Emperor’s return in the final film of the Sequel Trilogy. But do you know that George Lucas himself hated the idea? Let’s explain.
George Lucas and his take on Emperor Palpatine’s return
There “Somehow Palpatine is backThe line was clearly a last-minute decision since nothing in the first two Sequel Trilogy films hinted at it. It was a widely reviled move, one that even George Lucas once opposed.
Long before the Sequel Trilogy was a glint in Disney’s eyes, the Lucasfilm Publishing division was running full steam ahead. Former Lucasfilm Publishing Director Lucy Autrey sat down with Star Wars Interviews and talked about George Lucas’ involvement in the project.
She said the creator wasn’t too involved in the editing department. And in fact, he apparently didn’t get the book and comics until after they were published. Autrey notably mentions his reaction to Palpatine’s cloning in the Dark Empire books. She says:
“After reading the Dark Horse Dark Empire trilogy, he told me the Emperor would never have been cloned.”
Interestingly, something he didn’t want to happen was indeed canonized by Disney. Also, the Expanded Universe that wasn’t canonized was kind of brought back as well. After all, House of Mouse revealed that the idea of cloning the Emperor was taken from the Dark Empire books and put into the movie so Palpatine could be a villain for Kylo Ren and Rey.
Lucy Autrey talks about the non-canonization of the Star Wars books
Star Wars includes the 3 main movie trilogies, a number of animated shows, and now also a universe of TV shows. But that’s just the visual media. The Galaxy Far, Far Away also had books and comics continually expanding its history.
But after the Disney acquisition, these books and comics were relegated to the Expanded Universe or EU and declared non-canon. Lucy said the Star Wars book universe was never meant to be canon, so Disney’s decision didn’t come as a shock to her. She says:
“Our expanded universe books and comics were never meant to be canon. Only what George wrote was canon.
Although she felt saddened by the decision not to canonize the books, she understood why it was done. She explained:
“The continuity that we had worked so hard on was pushed aside. They didn’t really have a choice. We had expanded the universe so much that it would have been very difficult to hire new talent and tell them that their hands were tied as to what they could do. There were a lot more people who got in on the action besides novel and comic book writers, including several movie makers, TV developers, computer gamers, etc., which made things much more complicated.
What do you think of George Lucas’ comment on cloning Palpatine? And how did Rise of the Skywalker handle it?