One of the key factors behind those reactions was the return of Ian McDiarmid's Emperor Palpatine . The villain's sudden comeback was met with a critical response, with the film simply explaining the character's presence with a simple line of reference .
As a result, several tie-in books that were released after The Rise of Skywalker took the chance to do a deep dive into Palpatine's stunning resurrection. However, it still didn't change the perception of some viewers on how the film handled the character's arc.
While fans debate if Palpatine's comeback was earned, multiple behind-the-scenes images from the set of The Rise of Skywalker have emerged that highlight the character's off-camera presence.
STUNNING LOOKS AT KYLO REN AND EMPEROR PALPATINE
Twitter user @adamdriveredits shared a new batch of behind-the-scenes images from the set of Star Wars : The Rise of Skywalker .
The latest image shows Adam Driver and Ian McDiarmid shaking hands while in their respective costumes as Kylo Ren and Palpatine, with both actors showing appreciation to each other before filming an intense scene.
The second photo showcases a fascinating look at JJ Abrams directing a key part of the final battle of the threequel. Driver and Daisy Ridley are seen taking tips from Abrams while McDiarmid looks from afar.
TRIBUTE TO THE EMPEROR'S RETURN
It's always fascinating to see a charming behind-the-scenes moment from the set of a film like Star Wars, and these images are a prime example of how the monumental franchise became a generational phenomenon.
Driver and McDiarmid's respect for one another is clear and all the more special considering that both of them served as the chief villains of their own respective trilogies. In a way, the photo is essentially a passing-the-torch moment between the two Sith Lords (at least before Kylo turned to the Light by the film's end).
Meanwhile, the ultimate Star Wars moment is featured in the second behind-the-scenes image. The final stand of Rey and Kylo against Palpatine is no doubt one of the top confrontations of the galaxy far, far, away, and it's good to have an exclusive glimpse at the ordeal while cameras stopped rolling.
While the debate still looms regarding Palpatine's unexpected return in The Rise of Skywalker , these images serve will continue to serve as a reminder of the actor's impressive performance in the film, ultimately cementing his mark at the epic space saga.