Emperor Palpatine's new look has reportedly been discovered in some The Rise of Skywalker promotional material. Star Wars fans had speculated about the villain's return for months, which was later confirmed when the first trailer dropped in April. The villain's iconic laugh shows up at the very end of the footage, and fans were both excited and very confused. Just how has Palpatine come back from being thrown down a Death Star shaft by Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi?

The Star Wars 9 Final Trailer features Palpatine's throne and then a quick shot of him sitting in it, though his face is obscured. Some new pint glasses promoting the December release of the movie have been revealed. The first of the two glasses puts the focus on The Resistance, while the second is all The First Order, including Emperor Palpatine. The villain appears to have redder eyes than in the past and looks like he could use some galactic eye drops. Other than that, he looks very much the same as when we last saw him.

There are many theories floating around about Emperor Palpatine's return. Some are under the assumption that he never really died and that he has been hanging out on the dead planet of Exogol, waiting for Rey and Kylo Ren to connect and combine their powers so that he can take over on them. Others believe Palpatine could be a clone with only his soul surviving all of these years. As usual, J.J. Abrams and Lucasfilm are keeping everything under wraps until this December when The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters.

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With The Rise of Skywalker so close to premiering, it's only a matter of time before some more merchandising leaks start to happen. Force Friday merchandise this year was already proven to be spoiler-proof, which was done by design. With the release date getting closer, the merchandise, especially action figures, will be hard to keep a secret since they will be hitting stores on, or around, the release date. We were able to see a lot about Supreme Leader Snoke before The Last Jedi hit theaters, thanks to the action figure leaks provided by Hasbro, so we expect the same thing to happen this time around too.

The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th. We're now less than two months away from seeing how J.J. Abrams puts an end to the Skywalker Saga. The director and Chris Terrio have a lot of pressure to them to deliver the goods and come up with a satisfying ending for 42 years of storytelling. It's big job, but Abrams is sure that they have come up with a good ending for the Skywalker Saga and the sequel trilogy at the same time. You can check out the Emperor Palpatine images from The Rise of Skywalker below, thanks to the Jedi Fright Twitter account.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick