If you’re anything like us, you probably had an Obi-Wan Kenobi wishlist set aside even before the Disney Plus series started airing. Some things – such as Young Leia and that whole Grand Inquisitor situation – admittedly took us by surprise. Others, including a certain cameo in the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale, were maybe a little more predictable – but no less exciting. And it’s an appearance that’s sent fans into a frenzy.
Spoilers for Obi-Wan Kenobi episode 6 follow.
No, we’re not talking about Liam Neeson’s return as Qui-Gon Jinn. We’re talking about someone who has abilities some might consider to be… unnatural.
Somehow, Palpatine returned. Following Vader heading back to Mustafar with his tail between his legs after being defeated by Obi-Wan, he is seen in conversation (over hologram) with none other than Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor – making his sixth appearance in a Star Wars live-action project.
“I wonder if your thoughts are clear on this, Lord Vader,” Palpatine hisses at Vader. “Perhaps your feelings for your old Master have left you weakened?”
Vader ends up swearing fealty – as did plenty of other Star Wars fans watching at home who were excited to see Palps back in action.
“Nice of you to show up Palpatine,” one wrote on Twitter (opens in new tab). Another said (opens in new tab) they were “lost for words” at the nostalgia overload, which included the Emperor’s cameo.
“It was so awesome to see Palpatine and Qui-Gon again. I like that they gave Ian McDiarmid the old makeup from Return of the Jedi,” one viewer remarked (opens in new tab). Another wrote (opens in new tab), “You have just got to love Emperor Palpatine putting Vader in his place yet again.”
For more on the Obi-Wan Kenobi finale, read on for how the episode reframes an important A New Hope moment, as well as all the reaction to that big prequel callback. Plus, discover what’s coming next to a galaxy far, far away with our guide to upcoming Star Wars movies – and if Obi-Wan Kenobi season 2 could also be in the pipeline.