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.