Although this has not been confirmed by LucasFilm or Walt Disney Pictures, insiders claim that actor Ian McDiarmid is returning for Star Wars: Episode VII.

While his role is unclear, it seems likely that the British actor will return as Chancellor Palpatine/The Emperor, who he played in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. There is the possibility that he could come back as a clone, which is an ancient Sith ritual that would explain how he could survive being thrown down a reactor shaft in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi.

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Of course, nothing has been confirmed by Walt Disney Pictures or LucasFilm yet, so consider this information a rumor for the time being. Harrison Ford , Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher are said to return as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, with Billy Dee Williams (Lando Calrissian) and Anthony Daniels (C-3PO) also reportedly coming back.

J.J. Abrams is directing from a script by Michael Arndt, with production scheduled to begin in early 2014.