With the final trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker teasing the return of Emporer Palpatine, I thought I’d put together some of the best fan theories for how the villain survived the events of Return Of The Jedi and could come back for the movie.
Throughout this video we will be going over some of the most likely ways that the Emperor could return as well as the way he comes back in the plot leaks.
There’s potentially heavy spoilers here if we’re right about anything just know we didn’t FORCE you to continue. That’s my one force joke for the video.
With that out the way thank you for clicking this, now let’s get into our breakdown of how Palpatine survived and could return.
Star Wars Comic Books
Ok so the first method was actually hinted at in one of the recently released Star Wars comic books. The story published earlier this year titled Star Wars: Age Of Resistance – Supreme Leader Snoke takes place just before The Force Awakens and it pretty much documents the training that Kylo Ren went through under Supreme Leader Snoke.
During one of the sessions, Snoke makes Ren levitate in the air, similar to what we saw the character carry out on Rey in The Last Jedi before allowing him to fall hundreds of feet to see if Ren can save himself.
Just before Ren hits the ground, he manages to use the force to levitate himself. We learn in the storyline that this is a form of fear manifesting with the force that allows Sith Lords to have this ability and the emotion allows Ren to stop himself from plummeting to his death. Fear is, of course, a powerful ally of The Sith and it makes sense that Palpatine would have this ability which could be used to stop himself falling to his death when he was thrown into the depths of the Death Star by Darth Vader at the end of Return Of The Jedi. From here he could have hidden from the Galaxy, slowly putting the pieces in place to emerge once more.
Whilst this theory makes a lot of sense, I think it kinda undervalues the ending of Return Of The Jedi so hopefully, this one isn’t the case as for me at least, it’s a bit lackluster. The whole I stopped myself from falling thing is a bit weak so I thought I’d put it up as the first entry just to get it out the way.
Star Wars: Episode 9: Plot Leaks
The next theory comes directly from the plot leaks and whilst these haven’t been validated yet, they could potentially happen. Apparently the film follows the heroes and villains looking for a device known as The Wayfinder that will show them where Emporer Palpatine’s arsenal of secret weapons is. Ren joined by the Knights Of Ren is hot on the tail of Rey and co and the story goes from planet to planet until they eventually end up at the ruins of the second Death Star. Here it’s revealed that the Wayfinder actually contains Palpatine’s spirit and at the Death Star it’s revealed that The Knights Of Ren have been secretly working on a way to ressurect the character and now have the ability to do so. According to the leaks, The Wayfinder opens and possesses one of The Knights Of Ren, played by Matt Smith, who uses his new, younger body to fight both Rey and Ren.
Palpatine apparently used his force powers to transfer his soul before his death and this is how he is able to live on.
This seems kinda jarring to me but I guess we will see when the final film is released but if this does turn out to be true, it seems kinda meh. Now I have already done a full video on all of the plot leaks for the film which I’ll link above right now if you wanna go watch that. It was released before the last two trailers and it predicted a lot of things that happened in them and it seems pretty legit so make sure that you go and check it out if you don’t mind having the movie ruined.
Overall though this just seems like a bit of a waste of the lore of Star Wars and I hate when they introduce plot devices at the last moment to retcon things in. There’s no precedent for this in the Star Wars lore thus far so it seems a bit FORCED…I’m sorry, that I know I said I wouldn’t…look please don’t unsubscribe.
Up next is the Darth Plagueis theory and it’s the one that I hope that the creative team have gone with as this ties in a lot with the lore of the franchise. If you cast your mind back to Star Wars: Revenge Of The Sith then you may remember that the entire plot of the movie revolved around Anakin trying to save Padme Amidala from a death he prophecised for her.
When discussing his fears with Palpatine, Anakin learned of an ability that the Dark Lord Darth Plagueis had which allowed him to influence midichlorians to create life and also stop people from dying. Whilst we never get confirmation of this, it’s heavily implied that Palpatine was Plagueis’ apprentice and that he learned the secrets from his master before killing him in his sleep.
Palpatine seems well versed in the knowledge of this and even tempts Anakin to turn to the dark side based on the fact that they could learn the secrets and use it to save Padme. Though the two never manage to, I think we can safely say that her death was all part of Palpatine’s plan but that doesn’t mean that he doesn’t possess the ability to manipulate life and survive death.
Now at the time of watching this it never really struck me as a way for the character to survive his own mortality, however, in light of the fact that we know that he is returning for the sequel, it seems like a very good method to take to ensure that he makes it all the way to episode 9.
It’s my personal favourite out of the lot and I hope that this is the one that they go with as it just ties so much into the lore of the franchise. It’s the big one that actually has been set up in prior films and it actually makes the prequel trilogy slightly better, which, let’s face it they could do with a bit of goodwill so yeah, fingers crossed that when we come to watch the movie on December 20th that this is the one they go with.
The next theory is Clones…yep….Clones, could it just be that he’s a clone? Hmmmm, well I hope not but with Star Wars it might well be. I’m gonna try and flesh out this a bit so it’s just not the worst theory in the world and give some of the evidence that could back this up. Ok so in the Darth Vader comic book series we learn Emporer Palpatine was researching something known as ressurection technology that involved uploading your mind to databanks and thus allowing your consciouness to be put into a cybernetic body. On his mission Vader meets a character named Cylo V that has went through this procedure. However, the biggest drawback of this would be that Palpatine could probably not interact with the force due the the inabilities of machines. He could however have developed the technology to transfer this into a clone body that may have some cybernetic parts to it.
This could explain though why he is seen in a huge mech, or at least what appears to be one in the trailer and perhaps Palpatine is overcompensating for his lack of force powers by turning himself into a transformer.
Lobot In Disguise.
Overall I think the clones thing is a bit of a weak angle and it just sort of breaks the universe as, if anyone can be a clone then no characters really die and it sort of strips the deaths in the series so far of their importance. Whilst I am aware that in the extended fiction of the universe that there are several clones and copies of characters such as Luke Skywalker and so on, these always strike me as something that is kind of weak and if Palpatine is just a clone then what’s to stop him from cloning himself over and over again and Disney just riding the money train until the wheels fall off?
Not much but overall I hope there is at least some creativity to his resurrection that doesn’t break the story so far and actually leads to a satisfying conclusion. Hopefully this is the end of Palpatine and we don’t get another trilogy where he pops up as the big bad at the last second again. I think the only one that stops this is the Darth Plageuis one as if he outright dies, he won’t have a chance to do whatever ritual keeps him alive and thus the secret dies with him so we don’t get anymore characters forced back on us after they’ve already had satisfying send-offs
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you think ya boy Palpatino survived and if you have your own theory then make sure you leave it in the comments section below.