Star Wars Episode VII Rumors: Palpatine, Darth Maul To Return?

Yeah, we know. Star Wars: Episode VII news was scant at Disney’s D23 expo over the weekend. But luckily, there’s a fresh batch of Star Wars rumors to keep you afloat until the next major announcement is made… whenever.

The most interesting (but probably untrue) rumor is that Emperor Palpatine will make a comeback in some form in the new film. Ian McDiarmid, who played the villainous Emperor in Return of the Jedi and the odious prequel series has expressed interest in making a return, and Jedi News reports that is is indeed expected to make an appearance in Episode VII.

As you know by now, the new film will chronologically take place after the original trilogy, with a story being charted in unknown territories previously occupied by the Expanded Universe, in which Palpatine (at least, a younger clone version) does indeed reappear.

So will McDiarmid come back and get a youthful air-brush touch-up in post-production? Who knows, but another recent rumor suggested that the main villain of the film will be a Palpatine acolyte, so the door is open for him to appear at least in a cameo of some sort.

Another iconic Star Wars villain who could make a return? Darth Maul.

Actor Ray Park, who played the devilish and acrobatic Sith foot-soldier in The Phantom Menace has also expressed his desire to return:

“I’ve said that I would play anything to do with Star Wars,” he said. “But really, deep down, I would love to come back as Darth Maul — that’s what I want to do. I would go crazy, go mental, lock myself in a cabin, you know. Do the whole ‘method’ for two or three months, spear-fishing and stuff, just to play the character again.”

If he’s really going to go “method” he should do all of that without the aid of his legs. Darth Maul was famously bisected by Obi Wan Kenobi in the first prequel film, though the animated TV series The Clone Wars established that he survived his first encounter with the Jedi Knight.

What do you think? Could Emperor Palpatine and Darth Maul reappear in Star Wars: Episode VII, or should J.J. Abrams go in a different direction altogether?

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