Star Wars Saga actor Ian McDiarmid, you know him better as Emperor Palpatine, spoke at Fan Expo Canada (via ComicBook) and addressed recent rumors saying the Emperor will return as a Force Ghost in Episode VII.
"Well, there’s so many rumors. I like you, know nothing, because there are no facts yet. We know that John Williams is doing the music. Kathleen Kennedy announced that when we were all in Essen, but she and everyone else is unable to say anything else at the moment, because I understand they’re still working on the script."
Sounds like a possible 'programmed response' answer that a studio would tell an actor to say when asked certain questions about future movies. McDiarmid continued.
"There’s been all sorts of rumors. No conversations have been had, and no deals have been struck. And anyway, I’m dead…but I could be resurrected. Yes, I’ve heard of ghosts, I’ve heard of clones. There’s all sorts of possibilities. But until I get that phone call, like the one I had before, I won’t believe I’m in it.
"And I think I won’t be working for it, because it’s a whole new world now that I think is going to be invented. There might be some old favorites in it, but I should imagine it’s about the adventures of the descendants of the first characters and new villains that no one except George has ever imagined. And I hope it is, because the great thing about Disney is that it will continue in a new form with new people and be reinvented, just like all great works of art are sooner of later."
Now that sounds more like an actor giving an honest answer saying he really isn't in the next Star Wars movie. But things can change quickly especially if the script is still being finalized, as McDiarmid said.
One thing really stands out and it could be a clue hinting that the Emperor will not make a comeback in Episode VII is the part McDiarmid says "...it's a whole new world now..." This sounds like he may know a tiny bit information about Episode VII. Maybe.
Nothing is certain with Star Wars Episode VII except that Disney and Lucasfilm are assumed to have the highest levels of security surrounding the project right now. So all fans can do is look at comments made by actors and try to figure out who is telling the truth and who is using 'programmed responses' per the studio in order to throw fans and the media off the path of truth.