The mid-season trailer for the fourth season of the animated Star Wars Rebels series came out yesterday, and it looks like our dear old friend The Emperor is back.

The great Ian McDiarmid has returned to voice Emperor Palpatine for Star Wars Rebels.  It appears that he’s going to appear in at least a couple of episodes before the series wraps up this March.  Executive producer and cowboy hat enthusiast Dave Filoni spoke with Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican, and Filoni said this of The Emperor:

He is the one running everything and the evil of the land. We dealt with his lieutenants, and Vader is a lieutenant. This is the ultimate source of darkness in the galaxy. He’s a sophisticated villain. That makes you more worried for Ezra.

I watched a couple of episodes of this series in its first season.  I couldn’t get past the style of animation used, but I really liked that they were using a lot of Ralph McQuarrie’s concepts and designs. Friends have told me that this show is pretty decent overall, so perhaps I’ll check it out someday.

Emperor Palpatine goes flying backwards in Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The Emperor was flying long before Leia!

Old Friends

I know that Star Wars Rebels has brought back Billy Dee Williams and James Earl Jones to do voice cameos in the past.  Similarly, I think it’s pretty cool to bring back McDiarmid.  His completely over-the-top performance in Revenge of the Sith was one of that film’s few genuine saving graces.

Star Wars Rebels airs on Disney’s XD channel. Check out the airing schedule here.


    • I don’t like the style either. I figure the “no details” style is there so it’s quick and easy to render.

      But…doesn’t quicker, easier lead to the Dark side?

      • Give it a chance. It really grows on you and the writing is very good.

        It’s basically sold as a kids show(both of them) but they are much more. Anakin is actually a likeable and sympathetic character in Clone Wars. He should have been portrayed that way in the movies.

    • It’s the total opposite of The Last Jedi; this cartoon gives you decent storytelling and respect for 40years of mythology…but it is dogshit ugly.

      • I think some of it is artistic choice and some is budgetary reasons. Dave Filoni has discussed that even with 3D computer animation you need to do various tricks to keep costs down. But it’s a very good show and it connects very well with Clone Wars and the movies including Rogue One.

      • I’m wondering how they will end it. Ezra and Kanan need to go if Luke is A New Hope. My suspicion is that they may go into some form of exile possibly on Mortis. Or so badly injured fighting Vader that it’s very clear they have no hope at all of beating him.

        I can’t see Disney killing them off on a kids show, but some parts of Rebels and Clone Wars get pretty dark.

  1. The handling of Vader is superb. At least one classic new line. Gonna be weird when they have to recast the voice eventually.

  2. I care more about the characters in this cartoon than the new movies. And these characters are on the edge of blasphemy regarding the cannon of the whole thing.

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