Nerd Processor

A Highly Scientific Theory About Rey’s Origins in ‘Rise of Skywalker’

It involves the Emperor, clones, and highly questionable bioethics

Rob Bricken
Published in
6 min readApr 19, 2019

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© The Rise of Skywalker/Disney

LLast weekend, Disney rocked the worlds of millions of nerds — and several million regular folks — with its shocking trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX, now known as The Rise of Skywalker. Fans have already been sifting through the footage to find every clue and solve every mystery put forth since the new trilogy was announced.

They can cease their investigation because I have the ultimate theory about the secret at the heart of these new Star Wars movies — including Rey’s true identity. I believe Rey’s origin story is tied directly to the biggest surprise of the first The Rise of Skywalker trailer, which teased the return of Emperor Palpatine via his iconic cackle.

So, let’s start here. How could Palpatine be back after being tossed to his death in Return of the Jedi? Easy: cloning. We know the technology exists in the Star Wars galaxy, obviously. Since the Emperor is only now revealing himself, it’s reasonable to think it took Imperial scientists a while to figure out this process — otherwise Palpatine would have been back in charge of the First Order years ago. Maybe it’s not as simple as there being a second Emperor…

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Rob Bricken
OneZero

The former editor of io9.com, Rob Bricken has been a professional nerd since 2001. He also often cries at children's cartoons.