‘The Rise of Skywalker’: Fans Speculate Luke Skywalker Had More to Do With Palpatine Than Revealed

Before The Rise of Skywalker came out, the buzz humming around the movie said, “Emperor Palpatine is coming back? How? Cool!” After The Rise of Skywalker came out, the buzz humming around the movie said, “Emperor Palpatine coming back made very little sense.” 

That’s why fans are asking questions about how Luke Skywalker and Palpatine’s offspring could have connected sometime between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. The very idea that Palpatine could have procreated gave some fans chills.

Did Rey’s father meet Luke somewhere?

Mark Hamill in Star Wars
Mark Hamill | Rich Fury/Getty Images

The big reveal of The Rise of Skywalker was that Rey was a Palpatine – specifically Palpatine’s granddaughter. In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren told Rey her parents were nobodies — junk dealers who abandoned her. In The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo Ren insists he wasn’t lying but not revealing the whole truth that Rey’s parents were trying to hide her from the Empire. 

Fans have been trying to reconcile this revelation from what they’ve been told before. On Reddit, one asked, “I believe the reason why Palpatine jr wasn’t addressed to be Force-sensitive is that because he blocked himself from the Force. I think he could have met Luke, maybe before Rey was born and Luke might have helped him blocking himself from the Force, so that Sheev or Snoke or some Dark Side entity couldn’t find him. What do you say?”

Some fans responded that this made sense, but others thought the fact that the question is even being asked is evidence of how The Rise of Skywalker failed to wrap up the saga well, One fan said, “Putting too much thought into this. It’s poor writing on JJ (Abrams) and crew’s part. Otherworldly forces is the best explanation.” 

Many feel ‘Rise of Skywalker’ is poorly structured

A great many essays and videos about The Rise of Skywalker’s shortcomings cram the internet, but the through-line that connects them is that Episode IX has a broken structure. In fact, one image that has circulated is of faux Rise of Skywalker credits that say the movie was “written and directed by Reddit” as a way of placating fans after The Last Jedi proved to be very divisive. 

However, a video essay by the channel Films and Stuff argues the movie was poorly plotted. Admittedly, JJ Abrams and his team had the Herculean task of trying to finalize the saga. But  In so doing, the filmmakers tried to jam an entire trilogy into one movie, rather than letting Rise of Skywalker play out like the third act of a story. 

“Resurrecting the Emperor was JJ’s way of tying together all three trilogies, and ultimately, Rey’s revelation is there to justify his return. However, instead of tying these stories together, it ends up making both of them worse, robbing Rey of her search for identity and nullifying Anakin’s victory, which was the only purpose for the Emperor in the first place” the narrator says in the essay

What will be the legacy of ‘The Rise of Skywalker?’ 

As the dust settles over how well Rise did or didn’t wrap up the saga, some would argue that after the heated debates of The Last Jedi, the prevailing feeling about Star Wars is exhaustion. Instead of marveling at the conclusion of a story told over 42 years, fans and Disney are faced with the reality that The Rise of Skywalker is the lowest-grossing movie of the sequel trilogy. It’s not any kind of financial failure, but Disney surely hoped for better. 

Box office analyst Scott Mendelson wrote, about the film’s unclear storytelling, saying, “What was John Boyega’s Finn trying to tell Rey? What happened between Leia, Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren and Daisy Ridley’s Rey during the second-act climax? Who were the folks Kylo was slaughtering in the opening scene? Those were just a few relevant plot points which were explained in post-release interviews or secondary media because the content was unclear or absent from the movie”

Now Star Wars finds itself in a very uncertain place. No one seems sure what the next movie will be, and both the Obi-Wan Kenobi and Rogue One TV shows for Disney+ seem to be hampered by script issues.

There’s also Season 2 of The Mandalorian to look forward to, but other than that, for the first time since 2005 and Revenge of the Sith, there seems to be no clear path forward or backward.