Palpatine Had a Major Role This Whole Time, According To a New ‘Rise of Skywalker’ Clip

Probably the most-anticipated part of The Rise of Skywalker is answering the question: Why the hell Palpatine is back in the Star Wars universe? Fans know that Luke gets through to Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi, which makes Anakin throw the Emperor down a hatch in the Death Star. While there was an explosion and everything, the very first trailer revealed that Palpatine would be back in Episode IX

CAUTION: Potential spoilers for The Rise of Skywalker ahead!

The cast and creators for 'The Rise of Skywalker' on stage during a press event.
The cast and creators of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ | Yuichi Yamazaki/Getty Images

There are theories about where he’s been all this time, but a new clip shows that Palpatine hasn’t been dormant during the sequel trilogy. Nope, ever since Ben Solo turned on Luke Skywalker and ransacked his new Jedi temple, Palpatine has orchestrated Ben’s turn to the Dark Side. 

A new clip confirms Palpatine has been in Kylo Ren’s head this whole time

As Fansided reported, the clip wasn’t shared to any official Star Wars account but was posted to Facebook and the account @StarWarsStuff released it as well. It’s a minute and a half and it shows Kylo Ren on a stormy planet, with water sloshing all around, and he’s all alone. He seems to be in an old Jedi or Sith temple and Palpatine speaks to him.

The Emperor says that he’s the voice that’s been inside his head, but that’s not the wildest part. He switches into Snoke’s voice and lastly Darth Vader’s. Kylo Ren wields his lightsaber at someone, possibly Palpatine. 

This confirms that Palpatine has goaded Kylo Ren and formed him into who he is in The Force Awakens and beyond. 

This would explain Ben Solo’s twisted concept of Darth Vader

In The Force Awakens, Kylo Ren reveres Darth Vader’s broken mask. He talks to his grandfather’s relic as if its a person. This was not only a bit odd but also confusing. Because Anakin prevailed over Vader at his death. So even though he was on the Dark Side for decades, he ultimately turned good. 

So why did Ben Solo get it so twisted? Well, now that we know Palpatine has been in Kylo’s ear, it’s possible that he spoke many convincing lies as Darth Vader, too. And when Kylo is seen talking to the mask, he might have actually heard something back.

Will Kylo Ren break out of his grasp?

It’s obviously tough to say if Ben Solo will push through, defeat Palpatine once and for all, and turn away from the Dark Side. When fans last saw him in The Last Jedi, he was furious he hadn’t killed the Resistance instead of trying to kill Luke. He wasn’t really turning towards the Light, plus trailers show a fight or two with Rey. 

However, Adam Driver recently told Entertainment Weekly that he doesn’t see Kylo in need of a redemption arc. “[Kylo Ren] has a different identity, a different definition of what redemption is,” he said. “He’s already been redeemed in his story. I don’t think there is a thought of redemption. He doesn’t have an outside lens of the events, you know — you know what I mean? That’s more of an outsider’s view of his world.” While that’s an odd take, if Ben Solo shines through and helps defeat Palpatine, then Driver’s right. He wouldn’t need that atonement.

Kylo Ren with Stormtroopers at the 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Japan Premiere & Red Carpet.
Kylo Ren with Stormtroopers at the ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Japan Premiere & Red Carpet | Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Disney

It was important for Palpatine to come back for the final film

J.J. Abrams told Empire magazine recently that it felt right to bring the Emperor back for the final Skywalker installment. “Some people feel like we shouldn’t revisit the idea of Palpatine, and I completely understand that,” he said. “But if you’re looking at the nine films as one story, I don’t know many books where the last few chapters have nothing to do with those that have come before. If you look at the first eight films, all the set-ups of what we’re in IX are there in plain view.”

The Rise of Skywalker is shaping up to be a massive finale in the Star Wars franchise. With Palpatine back and tensions high, who knows how it could end.