Following Daisy Ridley’s comments earlier this week that confirms Emperor Palpatine’s return will be more than just a brief cameo in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, others have chimed in.

Director J.J. Abrams has spilled some more beans to MTV News:

“I will say that that’s part of what the story is, and also, I will say that with the Emperor around, he’s not going to be your, you know, the cuddly pal. I can’t wait for you to see how that plays out, but he’s in the poster for a reason.”

Abrams also discussed the redemption arcs inherent in Star Wars, and how they cause speculation around Kylo Ren:

“I will say that with an actor like Adam Driver, you can never limit what that man can do. I will say, without talking about redemption or not, that he is mind-blowing in this. He’s brought a whole other level to this, so I can’t wait to see what happens with him.”

He also spoke about Oscar Isaac’s Poe Dameron and said he needs more to do this time around after being somewhat sidelined by womansplaining and nonsensical plans in The Last Jedi:

“Particularly with Poe, I think people will be surprised to see that he has a bit more of an ambiguous past. He’s not just kind of that squeaky-clean flyboy.”

In a different interview with IGN, actor John Boyega also talked about the Emperor.

“I think the Emperor and his doctrine has trickled down to so many of the characters in the Star Wars universe. The Dark Side, it is what it is because of a lot of his actions and plans. To have him come back, he’s like the greatest foe, the greatest enemy. I mean, we might as well take him down properly.”

He also reveals that the Resistance isn’t in a much better position following the end of The Last Jedi:

“The Resistance are broke, they don’t have weapons. Not a lot of allies. You know how they were left after Last Jedi. It’s not a great situation. … Darkness, for the first time in a long time, has taken like 10 million leaps forward. And for us to deal with that as Resistance heroes is a bit of madness. And there’s conflict between us, between ourselves, figuring out our past. And all of that is just approached in a magnificent way and I can’t wait for it.”

Damage control is also in full effect in the office of Kathleen Kennedy, which is now claiming, that she enjoys the criticism from fans:

“You develop a little bit of an armor, but you learn from that. It’s kind of like having a continual focus group that’s out there.”

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker opens in cinemas on December 20th.