Ian McDiarmid says his Emperor Palpatine laugh in The Rise of Skywalker trailer was not a new recording. Star Wars fans were blown away when the teaser for the upcoming movie was released and revealed McDiarmid's iconic emperor laugh at the very end. Ever since, fans have been trying to guess how the character will be back and which form he will take on. There have been teases of his return in other official canon stories for the last few years.
In a recent interview, Ian McDiarmid was asked about returning for The Rise of Skywalker. Director J.J. Abrams was shocked that McDiarmid's arrival on the set never leaked out to the press, and Star Wars fans were equally as shocked they never knew. While the actor was a part of the top secret production, he did not know all of the finer details. When it came to the official title, McDiarmid was in the dark, just like the rest of us. He had this to say.
"Like everybody else, I had no idea what the title was. They did let me into a secret that the Emperor might be laughing, but I have to tell you that that particular laugh was not specially recorded, they found it somewhere, probably from one of the movies or the digital vault or maybe George's iPhone, I don't know."
J.J. Abrams has said the Resistance will face their biggest threat so far in The Rise of Skywalker and many now believe that the return of Emperor Palpatine is the threat. Ian McDiarmid seemed to hint at his return being the aforementioned threat in the same interview. Obviously, the actor could not go into specifics, but he left fans with a nice tease. McDiarmid explains.
"What I liked about it, though, that's why I think it is a real tease, I mean, the new title, (The Rise of Skywalker) is wonderful, and then, from the past, maybe from Hell, a laugh that comes. Which sort of implies, 'Yeah, right.' In other words, 'Skywalkers? Rising? I don't think so.'"
It has been heavily rumored The Rise of Skywalker will feature another character from the original trilogy. Harrison Ford reportedly suited up as Han Solo one last time to shoot a scene with his son, Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren. It isn't clear how the feat was accomplished, but Luke Skywalker might have something to do with the return, though none of this has been officially confirmed at this time.
Ian McDiarmid has been officially confirmed for The Rise of Skywalker, but were unsure of what direction J.J. Abrams took to bring him back. Was Supreme Leader Snoke a part of Emperor Palpatine's contingency plan after Return of the Jedi? The plan ended the Galactic Empire and sent it to the Unknown Regions for a rebirth. This has led to speculation that Palpatine was behind the First Order this entire time. However, this is just speculation at this time. You can check out the interview with Ian McDiarmid below, thanks to the Star Wars YouTube channel.