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!

Darth Sidious

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.


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.



I got to learn more about the Knights of Ren from Kylo Ren’s origin story comic book. Even though they did not get a prominent appearance in the movies, we did get more insight into this group of dark side practitioners in the comics.

Compared to the Sith, the Knights were weaker in the dark side, described to be clumsy, untrained, and using the dark side like a hammer. Their ideology was also more flexible and liberal than that of the Sith. The Knights of Ren believe in a lifestyle where they can do whatever they want, taking what the galaxy gave them, and consuming what the dark side sent them. Apparently, the Knights tend to find things to burn during their free time. They refer to the dark side as the “Shadow” and you need to be Force-sensitive and able to tap into the dark side to be a member. Like the Sith, joining the Knights of Ren requires sacrificing someone who is close to you. While the rest of the Knights wield primitive weapons, their leader is the only member of the group who wields a red lightsaber, which the Knights call the “Ren” and see it as a symbol of power and leadership. The Master of the Knights of Ren is the strongest of the group and traditionally holds the title “Ren” in their name.

Based on all these facts, the Knights of Ren are interesting and unique, but there is nothing special about what makes them. Unlike the Jedi or Sith, the Knights of Ren don’t have any kind of formal training in either combat or the Force. They are essentially untrained thugs with a natural affinity with the dark side. Due to this, it is very likely, and possibly inevitable, that a similar group of dark side practitioners will rise to replace them in the aftermath of Rise of Skywalker. Either that, or the Knights of Ren left behind some kind of scripture or record that will inspire others to follow in their footsteps and become the next version of the Knights of Ren. If the Knights of Ren continued to be active, I believe their mastery of the Force would grow the more they call on it, which would have eventually turned them into an even greater threat.


I had another idea for a potential story idea for after Rise of Skywalker. As Rey rebuilds the Jedi Order, the possibility exists that she will face the same situation that Luke Skywalker did with Ben Solo. One or more of her apprentices may turn to the dark side and attempt to cause chaos in the galaxy. Will she cope with it the same way Luke did or would she do it another way? Would her fledgling Jedi Order survive such an event or would Rey have to start all over again? Would these fallen students become Sith, Dark Jedi, or some other form of dark side practitioner? These questions are intriguing and will provide challenges for Rey’s new Jedi Order and the galaxy at large.



In Rise of Skywalker, we finally know who and what Supreme Leader Snoke is. He is an artificial life form created by Palpatine to serve as the puppet ruler of the First Order. We saw multiple clones of Snoke floating in vats on Exegol. I rather like these revelations about Snoke because they provide something to the dark side we didn’t see in Canon yet. In Legends, the ancient Sith made frequent use of what is called Sith alchemy, which is the practice of using the dark side to create and distort life. The very first Sith known as the Exiles invented Sith alchemy and used it to create all kinds of unholy abominations that helped them forge the original Sith Empire. In Legends, Palpatine was also a practitioner of Sith alchemy so it would make sense that he would be in the new Canon. Let us not forget that Palpatine’s own Master, Darth Plagueis, could use the Force to create and prolong life. It is possible that Palpatine not only used his old Master’s tricks to cheat death but also create a being that was strong in the Force. Palpatine would make Snoke as strong as he needed to be in order to convince the galaxy that he was the true power behind the First Order. With Snoke serving as his proxy in the First Order, Palpatine himself was safely outside of the reach of either New Republic and Resistance and able to rebuild his true strength with impunity. This is a trick that was used by Padme Amidala, who used her handmaidens as her proxies and doubles. Palpatine, who came from the same planet as Amidala, clearly stole the same idea from his former queen. Some fans may not like this idea about Snoke, but I can see and understand the method behind it. I look forward to seeing or reading a show or book that talks about how Palpatine created and trained Snoke in the dark side. It will be like a Star Wars version of Frankenstein.


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.