George Lucas was working on the Star Wars Underworld live-action TV series for years. It was going to be dark and seedy and it was going to take place between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The show was originally announced in 2005 and went through a number of writers and scripts over the course of the following five years before finally being canned. Now, some clever Redditors have gone through and found information about the aborted show and may have even uncovered how Rey and Emperor Palpatine could be connected in The Rise of Skywalker.
While looking back at an old 2016 interview with God of War video game writer Cory Barlog, he sheds some light on what Star Wars Underworld could have been. George Lucas apparently had some pretty radical story ideas for Emperor Palpatine, which would have shown us another side of the character that nobody saw coming. Barlog had this to say about what the show had planned for Palpatine.
“When I was working at Lucas, I was allowed to go up to the ranch and read the scripts for the (canceled live-action Star Wars) TV show. It was the most mind-blowing thing I’d ever experienced. I cared about the Emperor. They made the Emperor a sympathetic figure who was wronged by this f*cking heartless woman. She’s this hardcore gangster, and she just totally destroyed him as a person. I almost cried while reading this. This is the Emperor, the lightning out of the fingers Emperor. That’s something magical. The writers who worked on that, guys from The Shield and 24, these were excellent writers.”
Just thinking of Emperor Palpatine hooking up with a “hardcore” space gangster is a lot to take in. The fact that George Lucas was possibly planning to show one of the most iconic villains of all time in a sympathetic light is also pretty mind blowing. But, how could this possibly have anything to do with The Rise of Skywalker? For that, we have to dive a little further into what may be considered to be some wacky waters that involve Star Wars: A Solo Story and Qi’ra. In this new theory, Qi’ra is the daughter of Emperor Palpatine and the coldhearted gangster woman. In the end, Qi’ra appears to be pretty coldhearted herself.
The theory then goes on to state that Qi’ra and Han Solo end up having a daughter, who is, you guessed it: Rey. This would mean that Rey is the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine, which could be shown in The Rise of Skywalker. While this is certainly a huge (massive) stretch, the Star Wars franchise has done some pretty bonkers things over the years and they seem to be borrowing quite a bit from the old Legends material lately.
There’s been a lot of talk about the return of Emperor Palpatine in Rise of Skywalker over the past several months. Obviously, we’re going to learn some more information about Rey, but will it reveal that her grandfather is mastermind behind the Empire and First Order? While this theory brings things together, it seems a little too easy and one would hope that J.J. Abrams and crew have something a bit more clever up their sleeves. This theory first popped up on Reddit.