Leading up to the recent release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the return of Emperor Palpatine was largely teased in the film trailers, which most certainly excited fans – especially for those who have followed the series since the start of Anakin’s journey. So when the thought-to-be-dead Death Sidious eventually made an appearance in the latest trilogy instalment, it was hardly unexpected, though the reveal did come across as perplexing and random at the same time.
Mind you, it’s one thing for franchises to bring back dead characters (yes Disney, looking at you) for sheer fanservice and plot convenience, but it’s another to gloss over the development of a supposedly significant narrative component. The one in question? Emperor Palpatine’s mysterious broadcast in The Rise of Skywalker, first highlighted in the opening crawl.
It reads, “The dead speak!” before proceeding to tease a cryptic message from the Emperor that promises vengeance. Apart from this, and a subsequent reiteration by Poe Dameron as he speaks to the Resistance, however, there were no other details about the oh-so-important revelation throughout the rest of the movie. Instead, the message was brought over to an…admittedly unexpected platform: Fortnite.
Debuting in the special Star Wars event within the popular battle royale title a week ago, it features the voice of original actor Ian McDiarmid, and contains the following text:
At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The day of revenge. The day of the Sith!– The mysterious Palpatine message in Fortnite‘s special Star Wars event.
The message reeks strongly of Palpatine’s manipulative leadership charisma and villainy, so it’s a pity that it didn’t make the cut for the movie itself. In fact, director J.J. Abrams had originally intended for the audience to hear it in all its full glory, but was ultimately unable to weave it in without interrupting the pace of the story.
Not that there was really much to the plot in the first place. Where The Rise of Skywalker is concerned, nostalgia and fanservice are the winners.