Some fans think Palpatine’s return in Rise of Skywalker negated Anakin Skywalker’s sacrifice in Return of the Jedi, but I completely disagree. Let us not forget that Palpatine returned in Legends and no one seemed to complain. Also, after Palpatine’s final death, the Sith returned three or four times in Legends ranging from Lumiya’s Sith, the Lost Tribe of Sith, and the One Sith. Who knows? The Sith might return again sometime after Rise of Skywalker in the new Canon. The Prophecy of the Chosen One did not say if the Sith would be destroyed permanently nor did it say how long the balance in the Force would last. As far as I’m concerned, Anakin fulfilled the prophecy even if it was for a brief time.
I REALLY love how Darth Vader was reimagined in the new Star Wars canon. In the old Expanded Universe, there were several stories in which multiple characters who could beat Vader. I do not like this version of Darth Vader because the Galactic Empire would have fallen sooner than it did if Vader was that weak. Now, the new canon truly portrays how Vader instilled an all-consuming fear in the Empire’s friends and enemies. Disney has made us fear Vader again in ways we didn’t before. The greatest villains are not hated; they are feared. Darth Vader is not the most feared Jedi killer in recent history because he looks terrifying and is ruthless, but because he is STRONG!!! The new canon showed Darth Vader being too strong both physically and in the dark side, portraying him like a force of nature instead of a person. Even Vader’s subordinates whether if they are Inquisitors or Imperial officers would rather kill themselves than face his unstoppable wrath. With this version of Darth Vader, you can’t fight him and all you can do is run for your life. When it comes to Darth Vader, you are not running from a man or a machine but from death itself. Not only could most of his enemies not match him in lightsaber combat, but Darth Vader’s power in the dark side is so extreme that he could literally tear his surrounding environment apart if it means crushing his prey. Against weaker opponents, Darth Vader toys with them like a cat playing with a wounded mouse. I can see why Kylo Ren wants to be like his grandfather. Not just because of Vader’s immense power in the dark side, but also the respect he instilled in his minions and the fear he instilled in his enemies. The scariest thing of all is that the ancient Sith Lord Momin implied that the ancient Sith were even stronger than either Vader or Palpatine. I look forward to seeing this in future works. In the meantime, I get to enjoy watching Darth Vader in all his sinister glory in the new canon.
We got a glimpse of the resurrected Palpatine in the new trailer of Rise of Skywalker. After seeing that, I went through a number of plot leaks and several of them corroborated Palpatine’s return. What I found was frightening! It looks like Palpatine DID die in Return of the Jedi, but the way he came back was grotesque! I don’t know how Palpatine got off the second Death Star before it exploded, but I know what he becomes and how. As we can see in this picture, Palpatine was hooked up to some kind of life support system chair that moves on its own like some kind of cybernetic wheelchair. However, that is just what keeps him alive for the moment. How he came back is a lot more bizarre. Apparently, Palpatine DID use his old Master, Darth Plagueis’s, method to cheat death. However, his resurrection was imperfect due to the extreme damage to his body, which is what made his life support system necessary. Essentially, Palpatine has become an undead cyborg abomination that is worse than Vader ever was. Additionally, Palpatine will be in far worse condition than he was with his deformities. On the other hand, experiencing death clearly made Palpatine more powerful in the dark side. According to the plot leaks, Palpatine’s power in the dark side will become so great that he could conjure vivid illusions that could reshape entire environments and his Force Lightning could envelope the atmosphere of an entire planet. That was where all the lighting we saw in the trailer was coming from. Also, it looks like Rey and Kylo Ren are part of Palpatine’s plan to fully restore himself. With Luke Skywalker and Supreme Leader Snoke dead, Rey and Kylo Ren are the last prominent practitioners of the light and dark sides of the Force. I think Palpatine needs their power in the light and dark to complete his resurrection. I believe in the endgame, Rey and Kylo Ren will team up to take down Palpatine.
There has been leaked images of Kylo Ren battling someone powerful on board a Star Destroyer while all the surrounding stormtroopers were blown away. Some people think this mysterious opponent is Luke Skywalker’s Force Ghost while others say it is Anakin Skywalker’s Force Ghost. However, with the revelation of Darth Sidious’s return, Kylo Ren’s opponent could be Sidious himself. The First Order is essentially the Galactic Empire reincarnated while Kylo Ren is the current Supreme Leader after Snoke’s death. Because the First Order is the culmination of his legacy, it would make sense that Darth Sidious would challenge Kylo Ren for leadership of the First Order. Even though Kylo Ren will clearly become stronger in The Rise of Skywalker, he doesn’t stand a chance against Sidious. Darth Sidious has proven to match Yoda in both mastery of the Force and in lightsaber combat. It has been implied that Force users become more powerful after they experience death, which means Sidious might be even more powerful than he was when he fought Yoda in Revenge of the Sith. I can imagine Sidious saying, “Get off my throne, boy!” If Sidious defeats Kylo Ren, he may take Kylo Ren as his new apprentice, which would give Kylo Ren a chance to continue his grandfather’s work as Darth Sidious’s enforcer and executioner.
After the trailer for Rise of Skywalker, we received confirmation that Emperor Palpatine AKA Darth Sidious will return from the dead after Return of the Jedi. I did a lot of brainstorming on how this is possible and I think I may have reached a conclusion. There are a number of ways that the Dark Lord of the Sith can return. In the Dark Empire comics, Palpatine was able to cheat death by transferring his essence into a clone body. I think Disney has been drawing inspiration from this for the sequel trilogy. What if Supreme Leader Snoke was not an original character at all? What if he was Palpatine’s essence inside of a failed clone body? After Kylo Ren killed Snoke in The Last Jedi, what if Palpatine’s essence transferred itself to another body whose whereabouts are unknown? Also, after his death, Palpatine sent a number of messenger droids to specially selected Imperial officers with posthumous orders in case he died prematurely. By the end of the Galactic Civil War, the Empire was in the process of mass producing these messenger droids. Instead of a recording, what if one of those droids actually became Palpatine’s host? Even though Palpatine may not be able to call on the Force with a droid body, he would still have his devious and cunning intellect that would allow him to manipulate events from behind the scenes. Finally, Palpatine’s Master was Darth Plagueis the Wise, who was a Sith Lord who mastered ways to cheat death. Even though Plagueis failed to save himself from death, Palpatine must have perfected his Master’s research and found the secret. Hopefully, we will find out soon.
I heard a rumor of how Kylo Ren will evolve in Episode IX. J. J. Abrams will be taking over in the film’s creation and he has HUGE ambitions in Kylo Ren’s character development. A year after becoming the new Supreme Leader of the First Order, Kylo Ren is said to become more powerful and more evil than his grandfather, Darth Vader. J. J. Abrams wasn’t kidding when he said he had big ambitions about Kylo Ren’s character development. Making him more evil than Darth Vader, the most infamous Star Wars villain of all time, is definitely as ambitious as you can get. Some may find this to be impossible, but I can see the method to their madness.
Ever since Revenge of the Sith, we wondered just how powerful Darth Vader would have been if he never became more machine than man. The Force is generated by living things and it took living flesh to manipulate it. Because of this, Vader lost most of his Force potential after he was maimed and burned alive on Mustafar. With most of his power gone, Vader never had the strength he needed to overthrow Palpatine and rule the galaxy under his own power.
Kylo Ren’s limitations in the Force are mental instead of physical, but he apparently overcomes these limitations by Episode IX. Also, unlike his grandfather, Kylo Ren has all his flesh and blood, which means his Force potential is at full power. If Kylo Ren overcomes his psychological restrictions, he would finally have access to all the power at his disposal and become the dark side practitioner he was meant to be.
In The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren said, “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That’s the only way you can become what you were meant to be.” Maybe the reason Kylo Ren became more powerful over the last year was because he was destroying anything that could be linked to his past as Ben Solo. It is as the Sith say, “Through victory, my chains are broken. The Force shall free me.” By destroying anything linking him to his past, Kylo Ren is effectively breaking his chains, becoming stronger and more sinister with each chain broken.
In addition, with the Knights of Ren at his side, Kylo Ren’s new dark side order will be a force to be reckoned with. Like Kylo Ren, the Knights of Ren are said to become even more powerful and dangerous than they were before. They could be the makings of an order that could rival the Sith. If Kylo Ren is defeated and a single Knight of Ren survives, then their order can start anew. If that happens, then the Jedi will rise again through Rey and the Sith will rise again through Kylo Ren’s legacy.
Overall, Kylo Ren will represent what Darth Vader could have been if he overthrew Palpatine and ruled the Galactic Empire in his stead.
As Star Wars Episode IX draws closer, I brainstorm on what will happen next in the Star Wars universe. Obviously, Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren will be defeated and that will leave us wondering what will happen next. In order for there to be balance in the Force, the resurgence of the Jedi must be balanced by the rise of another group of dark side practitioners. The Sith may have died with Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, but I think there will be ways for the Sith to be reborn just like in the Legends Universe.
To begin with, Star Wars Rebels revealed how Sith Holocrons can be found and used to learn dark side knowledge and techniques. Ezra Bridger learned how to completely control a person’s mind as well as draw strength from his rage. It is likely that there are other Sith holocrons yet to be discovered, especially in the Sith’s home world of Moraband. If someone somewhere discovers a Sith Holocron, it is possible that someone will learn the knowledge and power that is inside and become a Sith.
In the Aftermath book series, we were introduced to a Sith cult known as the Acolytes of the Beyond, who collected Sith artifacts such as lightsabers and masks. Even though their owners are long dead, the artifacts still have a strong dark side essence imprinted on them. This essence is still strong enough to possess an unsuspecting victim and turn them to the dark side. One Acolyte wore a Sith mask and wielded a Sith lightsaber, which drove her into a dark side rage. We do not know if the Acolytes have any connection with the Knights of Ren nor do we know what their fate is during the Sequel Trilogy. Like real life terrorist cells, I believe that even if the Jedi and New Republic manage to wipe out most of the Acolytes, it is possible that the Acolytes will reform when enough time passes. If the Acolytes become more refined dark side practitioners and get their hands of more powerful Sith artifacts, then it is possible that they could become a new generation of Sith.
The corrupting nature of Sith artifacts was made apparent in the Lando comics. When Lando Calrissian and his companions highjacked Emperor Palpatine’s personal yacht, they came upon his collection of Sith artifacts. Within moments, some members of Lando’s crew became corrupted and possessed by the dark side essence of the artifacts. Even though they may not be true Sith, Sith artifacts would have the potential to turn unsuspecting victims into dark side driven murderers.
The ancient Sith Lord known as Momin was able to preserve his essence in his mask. Whenever someone wore the mask, Momin’s spirit was able to possess them and take control of their bodies. Even though Momin claimed that he could not use the Force while possessing someone, he was still able to open a portal into the dark side in order to resurrect his physical body. So even though they may not be as powerful as they were in life, a Sith spirit can still call on the dark side to a certain degree while possessing someone. It is possible that Momin may not have been the only Sith Lord who cheated death in this fashion. If another Sith mask with a Sith spirit exists somewhere in the galaxy and possesses someone, they could pass their knowledge to a collection of apprentices and acolytes. Through this method, the Sith could rise again with the wielder of the mask being the new Dark Lord of the Sith.
Overall, I don’t think we have seen the last of the Sith. If we have another trilogy that takes place after the Sequel Trilogy, we may see the Sith rise like a dark phoenix from the ashes. There can be no light without darkness to balance it. That is the fundamental law in the Star Wars lore regarding the nature of the Force. I hope my theories are right and I look forward to finding out.