Everything in the current Star Wars movies seems to be building to an epic showdown between Kylo Ren and Rey, and while we’re sure to get that fight scene in The Rise of Skywalker, it may not be the final lightsaber battle the movie has to offer. A compelling new theory argues that Kylo will have to face off against an even more formidable enemy at the end of Episode IX, and it references the original Star Wars trilogy to make an extremely convincing case.
Warning! Speculative spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.
Shared by redditor u/condawg4746 on the Star Wars speculation subreddit, this theory hinges on a pattern established by the previous Star Wars films. Specifically, it compares the final lightsaber battle at the end of the original trilogy and the prequels trilogy to predict how The Rise of Skywalker will end.
You can read the entire theory here, but this is the important bit:
PT: Jedi Lightsabers clash — to symbolize the Jedi’s destruction from within
OT: A clash of Sith Lightsaber and Jedi Lightsaber — to symbolize the return of Jedi
ST: A clash of Dark Side and Sith Lightsaber — to symbolize the dark side’s destruction from within
This might be pure speculation, but it does sync up with what we know about the plot of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Even if this movie is setting up a confrontation between Kylo Ren and Rey, we doubt that will be the final showdown. It seems more likely they’ll square off in the first or second act, ultimately putting Kylo on a path towards redemption (#bendemption) and (maybe) death. That’s where the Emperor comes in.
We all know Palpatine will appear in The Rise of Skywalker, giving the evil Sith Lord one last chance to dominate the galaxy. Kylo turning to the light and fighting the Emperor — his grandfather’s mentor! — would solidify his redemption and give the sequels trilogy the awesome final lightsaber battle fans deserve.
Of course, there are plenty of other ways this movie could play out. Rey and Kylo could take on the Emperor together, possibly mirroring the Darth Maul fight scene from The Phantom Menace. Or Rey could fight Palps on her own, proving herself to be the most powerful Force user in the galaxy.
But of all those options, nothing would be more badass than Kylo Ren vs. Emperor Palpatine. Search your feelings, you know it to be true.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.