Matt Smith recently said he has no role in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The trailer didn't include his presence, and there was no reason to believe he was lying. Except, maybe he was just trying to save himself the headache of even remotely explaining what he is tasked to do without any spoilers, because, if he really, truly is in the movie, his role sounds insane.

A new rumor has surfaced this morning, and it allegedly explains the presence of Emperor Palpatine in the first teaser trailer that was released during Star Wars Celebration last month. After the title was revealed, the Emperor's iconic laugh is heard. Ian McDiarmid claims he didn't record any new dialogue, or provide a few new chuckles, and that this audio came from the Lucasfilm archives. Now, perhaps we know why. Maybe Ian McDiarmid isn't even in the movie? If he is, he may have been relegated to glorified cameo.

Before going any further, the rest of this story deals with the end of the movie. So this could potentially be one of the biggest SPOILERS you're likely to read. That said, don't proceed if you want to go in fresh this December when the final chapter in the Skywalker saga is released country wide.

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This latest rumor claims that Matt Smith's character, who does not yet have a name, is possessed by Emperor Palpatine. Rey and Kylo Ren will eventually set aside their differences, teaming up to take this ultimate evil presence down. But when Matt Smith's husk containing the soul of Sheev Palpatine is struck down, the Emperor's spirit will move onto Kylo, as Palpatine's consciousness takes over Ben Solo's body.

This is where the big dramatic beat comes in. Kylo is said to kill himself in a sacrifice that will obliterate Emperor Palpatine once and for all. This also may extinguish the dark side in Ben Solo, destroying his mind and body altogether. Which ultimately means there will not be a Ben Solo Force Ghost at some point in the future, or showing up during the song at end credits.

This is a pretty big reveal if true. And it will be an interesting way to end the Skywalker saga. Kylo Ren's destiny will mirror his grandfather's in that Darth Vader was eventually saved from the Dark Side and turned to the light, redeeming himself. This gives Kylo a way to redeem himself that isn't an exact carbon copy of what we saw in Return of the Jedi.

There will be questions lingering. Did he do this to save himself? To save Rey? Was it all for the greater good of the galaxy? What kind of implications will this have moving forward? Recetly, John Boyega, who plays Finn, claimed that Star Wars 9 will bring the end of all war in the galaxy. And hinted that there will be no future movies set within this ongoing timeline. It all ends here, with Kylo Ren sacrificing himself to extinguish the greatest evil in the galaxy.

That certainly sounds grand and epic in nature. But is it what J.J. Abrams really has planned for this final installment in one of cinema's greatest franchises? This is all just theory and rumor for the time being. This initial news comes from Making Star Wars. This Saturday is May the 4th be With You. Perhaps we'll get some kind of fun reveal then?

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange