News about 'Star Wars: Episode 7' began as a slow trickle and has been reduced to full-stop, but the latest rumor, if true, feels like the kind of thing that could open the floodgates. The new buzz surrounding the highly anticipated (and potentially troubled/rushed) production is that the villainous Emperor Palpatine is set make an appearance ... and not in the way you may think.

When buzz first began circulating that Ian McDiarmid's iconic villain would grace the new film with his evil presence, many fans speculated that the new film would be taking a cue from a 'Star Wars' comic series storyline which saw the Emperor brought back to life through cloning. However, the folks over at Latino Review (who have been on top of the 'Star Wars' scoop hunting game for months now) report that his return is very different and significantly more mystical in nature. Unless their source is a liar and/or full of it, Palpatine be seen as a "Force ghost" in the new film.

Here are the details:

Palpatine comes back as a Force Obi Wan. (Sith Lords learned similar techniques, which in some cases allowed them to physically interact with their environment.) Palpatine will not be a clone, not in human form.


You'll surely remember the ghosts from the previous films, where powerful Jedi Knights like Obi-Wan Kenobi and Yoda were able to speak to the living from beyond the grave using the power of the Force. It seems that the whole ghost thing works both ways -- Sith can do it, too. But, who would Palpatine be talking to if he came back as an Evil Sith Ghost? Well, the same report mentions that Palpatine had another apprentice before he kicked the bucket at the end of 'Return of the Jedi,' so it's entirely possible that he's been training a new villain from beyond the grave.

And, that's all the rumor that's fit to print at this point. It may not be too much, but it's certainly interesting and it's certainly a heckuva lot more than Disney and LucasFilm have let the fans know so far.