J.J. Abrams is typically tight-lipped about the details of his newest Star Wars film. But in a recent interview with Uproxx, we learn that he is bringing Emperor Palpatine for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Fans freaked out after recognizing the Emperor's laugh in the theatrical trailer, but there was still a shadow of doubt of whether or not Ian McDiarmind would reprise his notorious role. After all, it's been a long time since the evil character was seemingly cast off by Darth Vader in Episode VI. But according to Abrams, the Emperor is such a crucial part to the story that "his absence entirely from the third trilogy would be conspicuous."

As it turns out, Abrams has had plans to bring back Palpatine for years now, ever since The Force Awakens. But the specifics were not set in stone.

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"That’s not to say there was a bible and we knew what happens at every step," Abrams tells Uproxx. "But when Larry Kasdan and I worked on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we didn’t do it in a vacuum. We very purposely looked at what came before. We chose to tell a story that touches upon specific things and themes and ideas that we’ve seen before, to begin a new story."

This means that the series has been gearing up towards the Emperor's return without us even fully registering it.

Now we have another reason to keep anxiously awaiting Episode IX, which arrives to our galaxy December 20th.

Gallery — Star Wars: Episode IX Images