Palp Fiction

A Star Wars comics character could be the key to Palpatine's return

A rumored Disney+ show could pave the way for more Sheev.

After The Rise of Skywalker, you may believe Emperor Palpatine's fate is totally and completely sealed forevermore. The only way he could reappear would be in flashbacks, perhaps in the upcoming Cassian Andor or Obi-Wan Kenobi shows, right? Whether he returns after the events of the movies or in flashback, there's a good chance one of the characters involved in his revival will be a beloved comics character who hasn't made it to the screen — not yet, anyway.

Chelli Lona Aphra, best known as Doctor Aphra, combines two of Harrison Ford's best roles: the swashbuckling heroism of Indiana Jones and the swaggering, anything-for-a-buck streak of Han Solo. In fact, she assisted Han when he was brainwashed by a hivemind, so the comparison doesn't totally do her justice.

Her mother died in the wake of the Clone Wars, and her father, an archaeologist obsessed with the Jedi, was never around much. Aphra studied to become an archeologist as well, but got caught up in quite a bit of trouble, turning rogue and selling her artifacts for profit. This led to eventually enlisting to help Darth Vader himself, and after running from him, going on her own adventures. This is where Palpatine comes in.

Doctor Aphras Sr and Jr

Marvel Comics

At the start of her own comic series Star Wars: Doctor Aphra, her father asks her to assist with finding the lost temple of the Ordu Aspectu, a sect of the Jedi obsessed, like Palpatine, with finding the key to immortality. Turns out, they succeeded. Sort of. One member known only as Rur was able to transfer his consciousness to a crystal, where he could remain forever, armed with the power of technopathy, meaning the ability to take control over nearby machines.

This crystal ends up in the possession of Darth Vader through an epic battle, who then returns it to his master for safekeeping. Could Palpatine, who knows the ins and outs of cloning technology very well, have replaced the immortal Rur with a copy of his own consciousness?

Darth Vader delivers the immortal Rur to the Emperor

Marvel Comics

Even if the crystal isn't the way Palps returns, we could get a reappearance of classic Palpatine with the help of Doctor Aphra. With the news that Leslye Headland is developing a female-led Star Wars series combined with the rumored Doctor Aphra series coming to Disney+, its not outside the realm of possibility.

The only obstacle is the announcement that Headland's series will focus on a part of the Star Wars timeline not included in the existing movies and tv shows, and Doctor Aphra's comic series takes place in the years 1-3 ABY, in between the events of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. So while it's technically true, it's a bit of a stretch for that criteria.

Regardless, the Doctor Aphra series was built for television, especially a series with Headland as showrunner. Throughout the various arcs, the story morphs from classic Indiana Jones to classic Star Wars to a Killing Eve-style tension-filled cat and mouse chase. If done well, it could be the key to a new era of prestige TV for Disney+, as well as a new era of Palpatine appearances.

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