'Star Wars' Rumors: Obi-Wan Kenobi & Emperor Palpatine as Ghosts?
It's been awhile since we had a juicy Star Wars: Episode VII rumor, and a couple eyebrow-raising bits just popped up on the Internet, so let's explore them shall we? While there are no story details that have surfaced regarding the anticipated sequel to one of the most highly regarded trilogies of all-time, director J.J. Abrams has kept things even more hush-hush then usual, and not even Disney's D23 Expo unveiled any tidbits (SlashFilm's Germain Lussier does a great write-up on Lucasfilm's absence right here). But now two rumors have surfaced regarding the return of two iconic characters. But these characters are dead. Read on!
First up, there's been a rumor swirling that Ian McDiarmid, who played the scheming senator and secret Sith Lord Darth Sidious, who would become Emperor Palpatine at the end of Revenge of the Sith. With this rumor, there came an assumption that there was a clone of Palpatine that no one knew about, and considering his hand in creating the clone army from Jango Fett (not to mention the use of a clone in the books and comics), that didn't seem unreasonable. However, Latino Review has word that McDiarmid will return in another capacity, and that information comes with potential plot details, so if you don't want any spoilers, you should stop reading now.
Supposedly, Palpatine would be returning as a Force Ghost, not unlike the presence of Obi-Wan Kenobi in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. However, along with this little detail, Palpatine apparently had a new apprentice before he was killed, which doesn't necessarily jive with the Sith's rules of only having two members at any given time. But perhaps Palpatine felt that Darth Vader might betray him for his son Luke, and made a back-up apprentice so that he wouldn't completely lose power. This is all just a big rumor right now, so take it with a grain of salt. But there's another…
As we said, at the end of Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker waves to a trio of ghosts in the form of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Yoda and his father, Anakin Skywalker. In the special edition DVD and Blu-Ray releases of the film, Hayden Christensen was added in as Anakin as opposed to Sebastian Shaw, the man who was unmasked on the second Death Star and became a ghost after his death. Now there's a rumor that Obi-Wan Kenobi's presence might also be felt in the sequels as his ghost will still be around in some capacity. However, what's causing a bit of skepticism on our part is that this presence would now be played by Ewan McGregor, who played Kenobi in the prequels. And that's just silly.
Now we all know that Sir Alec Guiness is dead, so he can't exactly play Obi-Wan Kenobi. But unless the plan is to make McGregor look very old like Alec Guiness, that plan seems a little far-fetched. And if their plan is to have McGregor play a young ghost version of Kenobi, that doesn't make sense either since the reason Lucas switched out Shaw for Christensen in the later releases of Return of the Jedi was because of who Skywalker was before he turned to the dark side and that's who he became when he actually died on the second Death Star. Honestly, it all sounds ridiculous when you type it out like this, and we're not sure we buy this rumor either. One other thing this story says though is that McGregor is keen on doing a standalone film as Kenobi, so we'll see if that ever happens. But for now, let's hope we hear something official soon.