"Kathy Kennedy and [SVP] Michelle Rejwan had a clear plan for where they wanted things to end," Terrio said. "They had clear plans about certain narrative marks they wanted us to hit. They also gave us a lot of freedom within that. We knew that Rey and Ren were utterly key to this trilogy, but we also felt that there was no way that we were going to not find a path to redemption for Kylo Ren, the son of Han and Leia."
"That’s when we really started aggressively pursuing this idea that there is old evil that didn’t die," he continued. "The source of the evil in the galaxy is this dark spirit waiting for its revenge and biding its time. The entity known as Palpatine in this version – his body died in Return of the Jedi – is patient and has been waiting. He dug his fox hole and has been waiting for his chance to re-establish his total domination."
"Well, I can’t speak to Kathy’s overall intent. That was certainly discussed and was discussed before I ever came on. Kathy had this overall vision that we had to be telling the same story for nine episodes. Although from the sleight of hand of Episode VII and Episode VIII, you wouldn’t necessarily know immediately that we were telling the same story. She thought it would be a very strong end for the ninth movie. This fits well with J.J. because he loves magic tricks."
"When you rewatch the earlier films," he added, "things start to make additional sense. Ren and his devotion to the idea of his grandfather. The voice that he’s always heard in his head. The certain similarities between Snoke and Palpatine. The intention was that, by the time you get to Episode IX, you realize there were real reasons this is all happening. It all shows how this story is being fought cyclically through the series."
Kathleen Kennedy had a "clear plan" for the ending of the Star Wars saga that included Palpatine's return, says Rise of Skywalker writer.