Why This Overlooked Star Wars Planet May Be Key in 'The Rise of Skywalker'

Have the answers been in front of us this whole time?

When Luke Skywalker remarked in Star Wars: The Last Jedi that Rey’s home planet of Jakku really was nowhere, he was so very wrong. The late, great Jedi master who prided himself on having all of the facts straight forgot at that moment that Jakku is arguably the most pivotal planet in the Star Wars Skywalker saga. When it comes to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Jakku might hold answers to Rey’s origins, how Palpatine will return, and it could even be the site of the film’s most climactic moments which will help wrap this sweeping intergalactic saga up.

Jakku, a remote desert planet located in the Jakku system, has either been mostly ignored by the rest of the galaxy or considered the perfect spot for game-changing battles and working on secret, nefarious plans. It’s easy to ignore Jakku, which is why it’s been easy to write off the people who live there and the things happening on this desert planet, but in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, Jakku could play a shocking role in answering some of the movie’s biggest mysteries.

Daisy Ridley in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'
Rey practices with her lightsaber in the desert.

Jakku Is a Pivotal Part of Rey’s History

Rey’s origins have been a huge blank spot ever since Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Theories about who Rey’s parents are or where Rey originated from have been a cottage industry, so to speak, within the Star Wars fandom. All Rey believes — and what these movies want us to believe is true — is that she was born to junk trader parents who bartered her for money and left her on Jakku. Rey grew up untethered from any kind of origin story, unable to give anyone information about her past because those secrets seem locked away to her.

But what if Jakku turns out to be the key to all of Rey’s origin questions that finally get unpacked in Rise of Skywalker? The Last Jedi attempted to confirm that she came from nothing, but Rey’s control of the Force at the end of The Last Jedi speak to powers and a connection to her surrounding that surpass humble junk trader origins.

The Skywalker saga may want us to believe Rey is nothing but those facts just don’t line up. With Rey continuing to be a key player, it’s worth investigating if Jakku has more answers hidden a crashed ship, perhaps, buried under the dunes and waiting to provide our heroine with more information. All I’m saying is: Jakku is not a planet to be easily written off, just like Rey is not a character to be easily written off.

The Future of the First Order and Emperor Palpatine Is On Jakku

Adam Driver in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'
Kylo Ren contemplates his mask in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi'

Thanks to the menacing laugh heard at the end of the Rise of Skywalker trailer, we know that Emperor Palpatine, aka Darth Sidious (played by Ian McDiarmid), will return in some fashion. Palpatine has loomed large throughout the entire Skywalker saga as the Sith Lord who trained Darth Vader and worked to ensure that the Empire would remain in power throughout the galaxy.

Palpatine’s death at the end of Star Wars: Episode VI — Return of the Jedi might seem like a fly in the ointment if The Rise of Skywalker is planning on his return. But what most fans have potentially forgotten is that Palpatine knew of Sith Lords who had come back from the dead and was actively researching resurrection and transferring consciousness into cloned bodies (as seen in Chris Soule’s Darth Vader comics). So, with a resurrection sorted out and highly inevitable, what’s an evil Sith Lord to do?

Return to his secret base and resume work on the Contingency, a plan designed to ensure Palpatine’s plans to conquer the galaxy remained intact even if Darth Vader failed to do it. Palpatine’s Contingency was explored in-depth in Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath trilogy, confirming Palpatine had a secret base on Jakku, the Jakku Observatory located on the Plaintive Hand. There, Palpatine mapped out jumps from Jakku to Unknown Regions, providing the information to his forces so they could make the jump and ostensibly await his return (assuming Palpatine planned for dying and ultimately coming back to resume his work).

It stands to reason that if Palpatine is coming back, he’s going to get right back to work doing absolutely nothing positive for the rest of the galaxy. Kylo Ren seems like the most obvious candidate for “Already Evil and In Need of a Master to Follow and Serve,” despite still seemingly being caught between the Light and Dark Sides of the Force. With Kylo and Palpatine connected by their personal relationships to Darth Vader, I’d put good money on Kylo’s The Rise of Skywalker arc involving going to Jakku with a plan to resurrect Palpatine in hand, raising him from the dead, and helping him continue the Contigency, be it building a new superweapon (Palpatine was one of the masterminds behind both Death Stars after all) or calling back his forces from the Unknown Regions.

Jakku Will Be the Location of Rise of Skywalker’s Biggest Battle

Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega in 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens'
Finn and Rey face off against Kylo Ren.

We thought we’d left Jakku behind in The Force Awakens but it feels very likely a second Battle of Jakku is coming as the Light and Darks Sides of the Force collide and the Resistance and First Order make their final stands. The Rise of Skywalker is going to have to tie up big loose ends in the Skywalker saga and Jakku, being the key to the arcs of two huge characters at this point in the franchise, is the site where it will all get tied up.

If all roads lead back to Jakku, we should expect this desert planet to be where Rey, Kylo, and their respective teams end up to come head-to-head. Suddenly, it feels like Vanity Fair writer Joanna Robinson’s hint about a big clue hidden on Kylo and Rey’s shared VF cover is going to come to fruition. The backdrop for both covers shows a desert planet with Kylo and Rey seemingly sharing the same space. Fans didn’t understand it at the time but what if we’re seeing these two on Jakku, the site of the final Skywalker saga battle?

One of the most insignificant and easily overlooked planets will surely be one of the most pivotal in wrapping up the Skywalker saga. Whether it means getting more clarity on the origins of the ostensible hero and future of the Jedi forces (probably) or keeping tabs on who is plotting and scheming in their secret base somewhere on the planet, Jakku is inevitably going to be the site of major revelations in Rise of Skywalker.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker arrives in theaters December 20, 2019.

Media via Walt Disney Motion Pictures., Star Wars, Lucasfilm/YouTube., Lucasfilm