Last 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 — maybe the dead Emperor wanted a new body to inhabit.
This is totally normal for Star Wars. When Jedi die, they can become Force ghosts and hang out with people. It’s not crazy to assume the Sith could become similar ghosts as well — and if a spectral Emperor was out there, he’d definitely be telling someone in his R&D department to figure out a way to bring him back. If the idea of a Force ghost finding a way to return to the world of the living doesn’t jive with your idea of Star Wars, I remind you that none other than Palpatine himself told Anakin Skywalker, “[Darth Plagueis] had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying” in Revenge of the Sith.
As Darth Sidious, Palpatine was Plagueis’ apprentice, and I’m pretty confident Palpatine kept his boss’s research notes after murdering him. So if there’s anyone in the Star Wars galaxy who might have an inkling on how to keep people from…