“Corrupt the kyber crystal. Teach it your pain. Teach it your anger. Hear it sing a hymn of darkness. Make it bleed.“
Some people have wondered why the lightsabers of dark side practitioners were red. In Legends, it was because the crystals were synthetic. However, the new Canon provides a far more satisfying explanation. The minerals that power lightsabers, kyber crystals, are living things. In order to submit to the will of a dark side practitioner, the crystal must suffer and bleed. To achieve this, the Force wielder would imprint their own dark side rage and hatred into the crystal. When the crystal and the blade it generates becomes red, it effectively becomes a slave to the will of the dark side practitioner. So far, there are three prominent examples of this ritual.
After claiming the lightsaber of a Jedi he killed, Darth Vader returned to Mustafar to perform the ritual. Initially, Vader’s efforts backfired and the crystal rejected him because his dark side rage was no strong enough to make the kyber crystal submit. However, after renewing his resolve and commitment to the dark side, Vader was able to make his kyber crystal suffer and bleed. The power Vader summoned was so intense that it ravaged Mustafar with earthquakes and devastating storms.
While preparing his Final Order fleet of Star Destroyers on Exegol, Palpatine harvested a mountain of kyber crystals to power the planet-killing cannons of his fleet. He had his Sith Eternal cultists working around the clock to make the mountain of crystals submit to his will. The hellish pain that the crystals were enduring was so intense that you can hear the crystals scream like a damned soul. The dark side energy the bleeding crystals were producing was so powerful that it completely overwhelmed someone of Darth Vader’s caliber. Vader even screamed like he never screamed before as he was bombarded by the crystal’s power. It is possible that Palpatine was feeding off of the crystal’s pain since he was completely unaffected by its energy. According to Palpatine, the dark side energy his mountain of kyber crystals were producing was unlimited power that was strong enough to burn his target’s flesh and mind, ready to incinerate them in an instant.
After his fall to the dark side, Kylo Ren performed this ritual on the kyber crystal of his Jedi lightsaber. Kylo Ren imprinted his rage and hatred so intensely that the crystal cracked in his hand. In addition, the ritual produced a pulse of dark side power that rippled through the Knights of Ren’s ship. Because his crystal cracked, Kylo Ren’s lightsaber was unstable and crackled, which threatened to make the lightsaber explode. To counter this, Kylo Ren remodeled his lightsaber so it would have its cross guard. The cross guard acted as filters that vented the excess energy produced by the cracked kyber crystal.
Overall, I like this explanation for red lightsabers better than the one in Legends. It provided a much deeper look into the philosophy of the dark side. It also symbolizes the cementation of a dark side practitioner’s commitment to the dark side.
“Through the ages…I’ve seen evil take many forms. The Sith. The Empire. Today, it is the First Order.”
Maz Kanata, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Since Rise of Skywalker, I have been brainstorming on where the Star Wars story will go in the future. The return of the Sith has been thwarted, but the dark side has ways to return. The dark side is an integral part of the Force and will never go away. Due to this, it will always find a way to turn others against the light. The question is what form will the dark side take in future installments? What kind of evil will Rey Skywalker’s Jedi Order face?
“I thought there were only two Sith.”
“These are not Sith.”
“But they could be should you fall.
Ochi of Bestoon, Darth Vader, and Darth Sidious
“Only two Sith, just as you say, but any one of these might replace you.”
Darth Sidious to Darth Vader
The Sith may be gone, but they left behind a dark legacy. That legacy has taken the form of ruins, artifacts, and the cults who worship the Sith like gods. The cults are an intriguing bunch because they themselves are not true Sith and yet they are devote believers of the Sith religion. So far, the new Canon has featured three Sith cults such as the Sith Eternal, the Acolytes of the Beyond, and the Alazmec of Winsit.
The Acolytes of the Beyond was the first Sith cult we were introduced to in the new Canon. The Acolytes were known to collect Sith artifacts such as lightsabers or masks to either returning them to their owners in death by destroying them or using them as symbols of power. They staged attacks across the fledgling New Republic during the last year of the Galactic Civil War. When attacking, they would paint their weapons red to emulate the red lightsabers the Sith would use. Members included Darth Sidious’s closest confidants such as Yupe Tashu and Ochi of Bestoon. Some members joined the Sith Eternal on Exegol, but the rest of the cult’s fate is unknown.
Darth Vader got his own cult known as the Alazmec of Winsit, who were stationed in the ruins of Vader’s castle on Mustafar. In addition to Vader, these cultists worshipped an ancient Sith Lady who once ruled Mustafar in the distant past. They would plant trees on Mustafar in her honor. Several of their number were slaughtered by Kylo Ren, but it is unknown if there were more of them elsewhere on Mustafar.
The most powerful Sith cult so far was the Sith Eternal, who were stationed on the hidden Sith world of Exegol. They were Darth Sidious’s primary supporters alongside surviving Imperials. The majority of the cult was destroyed during the Battle of Exegol when Darth Sidious was destroyed by Rey Skywalker.
“You’re clumsy. Untrained. You use the dark side like a hammer.”
Luke Skywalker to the Knights of Ren
When one considers a potential return of the Sith, one must consider the potential evolution of Sith cults across the galaxy. It remains unknown if the Acolytes of the Beyond were wiped out or vanished into the shadows at some point. The Alazmec of Winsit took heavy casualties at the hand of their god’s grandson, but it is unknown if the whole cult was wiped out or just a fraction. Due to having vast influence across the galaxy, it is possible that not all members of the Sith Eternal died with their compatriots on Exegol. Essentially, if even one member of any of these cults remains, they can rebuild themselves from the ground up. Also, the Alazmec of Winsit and the Sith Eternal were introduced to us in one movie. TWO Sith cults in one movie! That means there is a strong possibility that there are many other Sith cults scattered across the galaxy, hiding in the shadows. These cults gained power and influence due to the presence of Darth Vader and Darth Sidious even after they were defeated. This means the remaining cults could gain more power and influence despite the Sith Eternal’s defeat simply because Darth Sidious was involved.
Not all Sith cultists were Force sensitive, but there is a strong possibility that some of them were. This means they have the ability to learn to use the Force and may claim the title of Sith for themselves. However, these pseudo-Sith would be a shadow of what the true Sith were. With the true Sith gone, their ability to learn would be limited to what they can salvage from holocrons, ancient texts, and self-teaching. Due to this rudimentary and imperfect form of learning, these cultists’ usage of the dark side would be similar to that of the Knights of Ren, which Luke Skywalker described as being clumsy, untrained, and being like wielding a hammer. This would hint that the pseudo-Sith would discard skill and finesse in exchange for raw power.
In addition to their usage of the dark side, these pseudo-Sith would also have imperfect lightsabers. I can imagine their lightsabers to be similar in design to Kylo Ren’s. Kylo Ren’s lightsaber was crudely made with an unstable blade. The lightsabers of these pseudo-Sith may be as crudely made and unstable of Kylo Ren’s, but they likely will not have the crossguard. When these pseudo-Sith cannot build their own lightsabers, they may likely use ones they find that were already built. However, the Acolytes of the Beyond and the Knights of Ren used regular melee weapons instead of lightsabers. This hints that some of these pseudo-Sith won’t use lightsabers at all, but will use normal melee weapons.
Another source of dark side power these pseudo-Sith could draw from would be Sith artifacts such as masks. The Acolytes of the Beyond were known to utilize Sith masks. When such a mask is worn, the wearer would be consumed by an uncontrollable rage and slaughter everything in sight. When Lando Calrissian hijacked Darth Sidious’s personal yacht, he found a treasure trove of Sith artifacts on board. Like Sith masks, these other artifacts corrupted the minds of everyone who either touched them or came near them. The pseudo-Sith may use whatever Sith artifacts they can find as a way to further augment their power in the dark side.
“Soon enough, you will stop denying the truth of so very many things. And you will understand that I am not a traitor, but a visionary! Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hatred leads to suffering. But what the Jedi failed to teach you, what I have learned, is how to persevere, to pass through the suffering, and achieve ultimate power!”
While the pseudo-Sith would be a threat on their own, it is possible more dangerous individuals may join their ranks. Even if Rey Skywalker rebuilds the Jedi Order, it is likely some of her pupils might turn to the dark side. If they turn and find their way to the pseudo-Sith. The difference between the pseudo-Sith and these fallen Jedi would be that the fallen Jedi would have proper training while the pseudo-Sith did not. With this in mind, the fallen Jedi could use their superior mastery of the Force to take over the pseudo-Sith and the Sith cults. After acquiring the dark side knowledge the cults accumulated, these fallen Jedi may become true Sith. When that happens, the Sith’s rebirth can begin in earnest.
“This is how it must be. The Empire became this…ugly, inelegant machine. Crude and inefficient. We needed to be broken into pieces. We needed to get rid of those who want to see that old machine churning ineluctably forward. It’s time for something better. Something new. An Empire worthy of the galaxy it will rule.”
After the Sith Eternal and the Final Order were defeated, the rest of the galaxy rose up against the First Order. With no Supreme Leader or high-ranking generals to lead them, the First Order’s hold over the galaxy began to crumble. However, I do not think we have seen the last of the First Order. When the Galactic Empire fell, it managed to survive in the form of remnants. Most of these remnants were destroyed by Palpatine’s Contingency while the rest formed both the First Order and the Final Order. This time, Palpatine is not around to enact another Contingency against the First Order. This means that numerous remnants are bound to survive the First Order’s defeat. Some may establish holdouts in known space while the rest may retreat to their territory in the Unknown Regions. The surviving remnants of the First Order would then be given an opportunity to rebuild their strength and reorganize themselves just as their Imperial precursors did before them.
“Our time has come. For 300 years, we prepared. We grew stronger. While you rested in your cradle of power, believing your people were safe… and protected. You were trusted to lead the Republic—but you were deceived, as our powers of the dark side have blinded you. You assumed no force could challenge you…and now…finally…we have returned.”
Through the combined efforts of Sith cults and fallen Jedi, I strongly think the Sith will rise again. In the safety of the Unknown Regions, the remnants of the First Order would be able to rebuild their strength just as they did in the past. For both the Sith and the First Order, the slate would be wiped clean, which would give them ample room to rebuild. That would take years or even centuries. If left unchecked, these two factions can regain enough strength to become a real threat once again. Individually, they would dangerous on their own, but what if they combined their power? For these reborn Sith, their power in the dark side would not be enough to conquer the galaxy. To achieve that, they would need to acquire an army, which they can find in the remnants of the First Order. With this in mind, it would be likely that the reborn Sith and the rebuilt First Order would join forces to renew their quest to retake the galaxy.
“General Leia thought they’d destroyed the Emperor at the Battle of Endor, but he came back. More powerful than ever.”
“You think he might come back again.”
“Maybe or some other evil will rise. Evil always rises.”
“Naw. Not for a long time, anyway.”
Poe Dameron and Finn
Overall, the Sith may be gone and the First Order may be fragmented, but I strongly believe there are ways for them to return in future stories in the Star Wars saga. It’s either that or some other evil will take their place. Rey Skywalker’s Jedi Order is going to have their work cut out for them.
“If an Empire cannot protect its Emperor then that Empire must be deemed a failure. It collapses not only because its central figure is gone, but because it must not be allowed to remain!“
After Rise of Skywalker, several fans were not happy that Emperor Palpatine returned. However, after analyzing all the clues and Palpatine’s meticulous mindset, I think I have a complete overview of Palpatine’s machinations that led to his return. The plan makes perfect sense and was utterly brilliant when you analyze all the clues that can be found in the extended Canon. Palpatine was a man who always had plans within plans so it would make sense that he would have a plan for his eventual death as well.
Shortly after the original Expanded Universe of Star Wars was scrapped, we were introduced to Emperor Palpatine’s Contingency program. The Contingency was an insurance policy that would destroy the Galactic Empire if Palpatine died prematurely. In Palpatine’s mind, if the Empire could not protect him then it must be destroyed. Also, Palpatine was so greedy that he did not want anyone to succeed him as Emperor.
Thanks to the information provided by Grand Admiral Thrawn, Palpatine was able to map out a route through the previously unexplored Unknown Regions. Throughout his reign, Palpatine established shipyards and training facilities in key locations in the Unknown Regions. If anything were to happen to the Empire, only he and a select few would know the way to safety.
Thanks to the efforts of Palpatine’s protege Fleet Admiral Gallius Rax, the Galactic Empire imploded. However, only the weakest Imperials and the resources that were deemed unnecessary were wiped away. Those that were deemed strong and useful were spared. After the Battle of Jakku, whatever Imperials remained escaped into the Unknown Regions. Those Imperials would become the founding members of what would become the First Order. However, it was clear in Rise of Skywalker that not all the surviving Imperials went in the same direction in the Unknown Regions. While some surviving Imperials formed the First Order on Starkiller Base, others and members of the Acolytes of the Beyond formed the Sith Eternal and Final Order on Exegol.
As revealed by The Mandalorian, some Imperials such as Moff Gideon, Grand Admiral Thrawn, and their followers did not escape into the Unknown Regions. However, it was hinted that Moff Gideon’s Imperial remnant had ties to the First Order. This was revealed by what looked like failed attempts to create Supreme Leader Snoke floating in tanks. It has also been implied that Moff Gideon may have been using Grogu/Baby Yoda to help create Snoke. This was due to the fact that Moff Gideon was after Grogu’s midichlorians since the Force was strong with him. For all we know, they could have been trying to give Snoke an artificial connection to the Force by transplanting Grogu’s midichlorians into him. Either that or Moff Gideon needs Grogu’s midichlorians to help stabilize Palpatine’s imperfect clone body.
Now, we come to the core of Palpatine’s real plan. In the novelization of Rise of Skywalker, it was revealed how Darth Plagueis discovered the secret to cheat death. Unlike his Legends counterpart, Plagueis intended to transfer his essence into a clone body. Plagueis was even in the process of preparing his clone bodies, but Palpatine killed Plagueis in his sleep before he was ready to perform the ritual. Before Palpatine killed Plagueis, he seized his Master’s secret to cheat death for himself, which he later used when Anakin Skywalker killed him in Return of the Jedi. Also, Plagueis was a master at manipulating midichlorians to create life and Palpatine could have used that technique while creating Snoke and later Rey’s father.
Since the Galactic Empire was deemed a failure in Palpatine’s eyes, he resolved to create a newer and stronger Empire to take its place. Thanks to the revelations in Rise of Skywalker, we got a better idea of how he planned to do that. With Snoke as his puppet, Palpatine used the First Order as the vanguard to destroy the New Republic while Palpatine himself was safely hidden and prepared the last touches to the Final Order in the shadows. Thanks to decades of planning, Palpatine’s followers were able to refine and improve technology that was created during the reign of the Empire such as Death Star technology, which resulted in the creation of the Final Order’s fleet of Star Destroyers. The existence of this fleet would have ensured the long term continuation of Palpatine’s reign. Taking out one of those planet-killing Star Destroyers accomplishes nothing since there were thousands more in reserve. After the First Order fulfilled its function to wipe out the New Republic and make the wider galaxy vulnerable to invasion, Palpatine was ready to reveal himself to the galaxy, which was when he released his broadcast.
Unfortunately, despite Palpatine’s extensive planning for his return, he still needed one final piece to complete his scheme: a new body. Even though Palpatine was able to cheat death, the clone body his essence inhabited was imperfect and its composition was worsening due to his immense power in the dark side. If Palpatine was truly going to continue his reign, he needed a stronger and fitter body that would last a lot longer. That’s when he turned his attention to Kylo Ren, the grandson of his final apprentice, Darth Vader.
Through his puppet Snoke, Palpatine was able to orchestrate Ben Solo’s fall to the dark side and his transformation into Kylo Ren. Due to his own experience of killing his Master before he was ready to transfer his essence as well as his own death by Anakin’s hands, Palpatine did not want to train Kylo Ren himself. If Kylo Ren killed Palpatine before he was ready to transfer his essence, all of Palpatine’s plans would be ruined. Therefore, Palpatine used Snoke as his proxy to train Kylo Ren in the dark side. Eventually, Kylo Ren betrayed and killed Snoke and seized the mantle of Supreme Leader for himself. However, this was exactly what Palpatine wanted. Palpatine wanted Kylo Ren to develop the bloodlust and cunning necessary to strike down his Master. As revealed in Rise of Skywalker, the essence transfer ritual required Palpatine to be struck down and his essence would possess his killer. Since Kylo Ren proved able to strike down Snoke, he had the necessary instincts to initiate the ritual even if he was doing it unwittingly. Even though Palpatine said he was making Kylo Ren the new Emperor, but he was actually grooming him to become his eventual vessel. That was one of the reasons Palpatine released his broadcast to the galaxy: partly to spread confusion and fear to the wider galaxy and partly to make Kylo Ren come for him.
After Kylo Ren turned away from the dark side, Palpatine no longer considered him a suitable vessel to possess. This caused Palpatine to turn his attention to his granddaughter, Rey. Rey was selected as a potential vessel for two reasons: for her obvious blood ties to Palpatine himself and possessing her would end the Jedi. When she arrived on Exegol, Rey could feel Palpatine trying to influence her mind and she could see his thoughts and memories. When Rey refused to participate in Palpatine’s essence transfer ritual and sided with the redeemed Ben Solo, Palpatine no longer saw her as a viable vessel.
Palpatine tried to use Force Drain on Rey and Ben Solo, but he discovered that they were a dyad in the Force. As a dyad, Rey and Ben were two beings who were one and made more powerful through their bond. Palpatine quickly discovered that this dyad had the power to restore his ailing body to its full strength and drained Rey and Ben’s dyad. With his body and full power restored, Palpatine had achieved the final piece to his planned return and no longer needed to transfer to another body.
However, Palpatine’s successful return was short-lived as he was permanently destroyed by Rey and the combined strength of all the Jedi of the past. It is unknown if Palpatine managed to transfer his essence to another body before he was destroyed. Considering the only clone body he could inhabit after his first death was an imperfect one and Palpatine had thirty years to try and replace it and failed, it seems unlikely that Palpatine will be able to return this time. Also, the powerful army and fleet he spent decades to build was defeated by the combined strength of the Resistance and the Free Worlds fleet. In the end, Palpatine’s attempt to create a better and stronger Empire failed miserably.
Overall, Palpatine’s plan to cheat death and create a more powerful Empire was indeed brilliant and carefully planned out. It reveals the full extent and true nature of the Contingency program. It almost succeeded, but it was thwarted at the very last minute. One can only imagine how the galaxy would have turned out if Palpatine’s plan did succeed.
Even though the Sith Eternal and the First Order were defeated in the Rise of Skywalker, I suspect we have not seen the last of either of them. The Sith themselves may be gone, but they have left behind a dark legacy. When the Galactic Empire collapsed, there were Imperial remnants that remained active throughout the galaxy. It is possible that the same thing will happen with the First Order. Even though the Final Order’s fleet of Star Destroyers were demolished on Exegol and the First Order was suffering losses everywhere else, there are bound to be fleets and bases that will survive.
In addition, even though the Sith Eternal was destroyed along with Darth Sidious, there is no guarantee that all the cultists died. Even though Exegol was their headquarters, it is possible that they may have bases on other Sith worlds such as Moriband. Also, if there are some cultists who are Force-sensitive, they may learn to use the dark side on a similar level to the Knights of Ren. They won’t be Sith, but they would still be a potential threat to future Jedi. If even one cultist survives, the Sith Eternal will inevitably start anew.
If there are remnants of both the First Order and the Sith Eternal, it is possible they may combine their strength. They won’t be as powerful as they were when their alliance was first formed, but they would still serve as a threat to the galaxy at large. I think it would be interesting if this is what happens in the aftermath of Rise of Skywalker.
After doing some digging around, I finally found out the identity of Rey’s father. It turns out his relationship to both Rey and Darth Sidious is a lot more complicated than we thought. It turns out Rey had no grandmother and Palpatine had no lover. After Palpatine died in Return of the Jedi, he transferred his essence into an imperfect clone body.
Because of his new body’s hopelessly flawed composition, Palpatine’s cultists in the Sith Eternal worked tirelessly to create a better body for his essence to inhabit. The cultists tinkered with genes and muscle tissue, resulting in the creation of many abominations. Supreme Leader Snoke was one such abomination, but even though Snoke had power and a mind of his own his body was just as frail as Palpatine’s new one. As a result, Snoke was deemed a failure as a replacement body, but he was still useful to Palpatine’s plans with running the First Order and training Kylo Ren.
There was another clone of Palpatine that was physically healthy and stable, but had no Force-sensitivity. Because of the clone’s lack of power in the Force, Palpatine deemed him a failure and discarded him. In Sidious’s eyes, this clone’s only use was to further Sidious’s bloodline naturally. Sometime later, the clone had a wife or girlfriend and together they had Rey. Rey’s youth and immense power in the Force made her the ideal vessel for Palpatine’s essence to inhabit.
One could argue that Rey’s father is Palpatine’s “son” in the same sense that Boba Fett is the “son” of Jango Fett. Rey’s father also looks nothing like Palpatine despite being genetically identical. This is similar to the clone trooper unit known as the “Bad Batch.” Despite being clones of Jango Fett, the Bad Batch looked nothing like him.
Due to her father being a clone of Palpatine, one could argue that Palpatine was Rey’s biological father and grandfather at the same time. Because her father and Snoke were creations of Palpatine, Rey’s story was closely intertwined with Darth Sidious’s return. Ironically, Palpatine’s attempts to create a suitable body for himself ultimately led to his final demise.
I have been watching several clips that displayed the enormity of Darth Sidious’s power in both the Force and in lightsaber combat. Darth Sidious was easily one of the most powerful Sith Lords who ever lived and one of the most proficient masters of the Force the galaxy has ever known. His lightsaber skills were deadly enough to cut down three Jedi Council members in quick succession, versatile enough to defeat Darth Maul and Savage Opress, and powerful enough to fight Mace Windu as an equal. His mastery of the Force was complex enough to fight Yoda to a draw, mysterious enough to cheat death, and strong enough to demolish entire fleets.
What is even more fascinating is that all of this power and potential flows in Rey Skywalker’s veins. She has it in her to become a Jedi version of her grandfather. That would make her a real force to be reckoned with while fighting agents of the dark side. The only reason why she was able to defeat her grandfather is because her hereditary power was being augmented by the combined strength of all the Jedi who came before her. Even after defeating Palpatine, the exertion of fighting him briefly killed Rey. Due to this, she is nowhere near the height of her grandfather’s power and could not become his equal on her own. However, with enough time and training, she will become as powerful as her grandfather if not stronger. Who knows? Rey may become what Luke Skywalker became in Legends: the ultimate Jedi!
Due to her Sith heritage, Rey naturally has an affinity with Force Lightning. That power will always be a part of her, which means sooner or later she will need to learn how to control it. I think she could use Force Lightning in a similar fashion to how Mace Windu used his personal lightsaber style known as Vaapad. Vaapad allowed Mace Windu to convert his inner darkness into a weapon of the light. Using this method takes the wielder through the penumbra of the dark side. Due to its aggressive nature and tendency to lure its wielders dangerously close to the dark side, only a handful of Jedi were allowed to learn it. In the end, Mace Windu was the only Jedi who mastered Vaapad without turning to the dark side thanks to his strong willpower and extensive training. I think Rey will master Force Lightning in a way that is similar to how Mace Windu mastered Vaapad. In addition, Rey may forbid teaching Force Lightning to her students out fear that it could turn them to the dark side.
Overall, I am envisioning Rey Skywalker eventually becoming a female version of Starkiller from The Force Unleashed. Thanks to Rey Skywalker, the power of Darth Sidious, which has been an instrument of evil and a weapon of the Sith for decades, will finally be used for good and become a weapon of the Jedi.
Some fans have wondered how it was possible for Palpatine to have a love life despite his evil nature and disgusting appearance. Due to his status as a Sith, Palpatine was incapable of feeling love so it is likely his relationships were out of lust instead of love. I searched for possible answers in Legends and I think I have an idea of how Palpatine fathered a son who would be the father of Rey. In Legends, Palpatine had a number of women in his inner circle that included Dark Jedi and Imperial officers. While these women were not drawn to Palpatine’s looks or nature, they were drawn to the power he wielded and could provide. Each of Palpatine’s supposed lovers were ambitious women and they saw Palpatine as the key to satisfying their ambitions. Ultimately, these relationships resulted in a few children, including one man named Triclops whose son would become one of Luke Skywalker’s apprentices. This is similar to how Palpatine’s son would sire Rey and Rey would go on to be Luke Skywalker’s final apprentice. Even though the identity of Rey’s grandmother is currently unknown, it is possible that she was either a Dark Jedi or Imperial officer who was tempted by Palpatine with promises of power and status. I hope we find out her identity soon. Overall, I am glad Disney is using some of the lesser known aspects of Legends and reimagining them in a new light.
I discovered something interesting about the cybernetic apparatus Palpatine was hooked up to in Rise of Skywalker. It is called the “Ommin Harness” and it used to be worn by an ancient Sith king. The name “Ommin” is a clear reference from Legends regarding a Sith sorcerer known as Ommin. Like Palpatine, Ommin’s power in the dark side of the Force was so great that it caused his body to decompose and fail. The only way Ommin could move and survive was to hook himself up to a cybernetic exoskeleton. I thought this reference was a nice touch that connects the new Canon with Legends.
I finally found out how Palpatine survived his first death in Return of the Jedi. It turns out he didn’t survive. His original body was disintegrated when he fell down the reactor shaft. The method he used to cheat death gives me a powerful sense of nostalgia because it is a reference to how Palpatine returned in Legends in the Dark Empire storyline. Like the Dark Empire, Palpatine transferred his essence into a clone body. Also, like the Dark Empire, Palpatine’s power in the dark side of the Force was so great that his new clone body could not withstand it. As a result, his clone body was decomposing under the weight of his dark side power. Unlike the Dark Empire, Palpatine clearly did not go through one clone body after another. Instead, Palpatine hooked himself up to a medical apparatus that constantly pumps him with fluids that slow down the decomposition of his body. Also, the apparatus aides in his movements like a puppet on strings. One could argue that using a clone body to return may seem outrageous, but it is far from improbable. The reason for this is because Palpatine had dealings with the cloners of Kamino since before the Clone Wars. When the Clone Wars ended, the production of clone troopers was terminated. Apparently, Palpatine turned Kamino’s resources to creating a clone body for him in case he died prematurely. The Kaminoans have expressed interest in experimenting with the DNA of a powerful Force user. This would be a mutually beneficial arrangement for Palpatine and the Kaminoans: he gives them DNA to tinker with and they give him a way to cheat death. Overall, I am glad that Disney did this reimagined homage to the Dark Empire storyline and I got to see it on the big screen.
With the introduction of the High Republic Era in the Star Wars universe, we are introduced to a new cast of villains to the franchise: the Nihils! The Nihils are a band of raiders, marauders, pillagers, reavers, and plunderers who came from the outskirts of the known galaxy. The Lucasfilm Story Group refer to them as “space vikings.” I don’t know if they are Force-sensitive or if they are normal criminals, but from what I hear even the Jedi are afraid of the Nihils. The Sith may have been the Jedi’s oldest and most prominent enemy, but the Nihils are clearly the Jedi’s greatest fear. The Jedi are not allowed to feel fear because it can lead to the dark side. So, if the Nihils are able to make the Jedi tremble with fear, then we know that they are a group to be feared. I look forward to when these blood thirsty warriors reveal themselves later this year.