'Star Wars 9' Leak Reveals Palps May Be More Frightening Than We Thought

Emperor Palpatine, Sith machine of the galaxy?

Exactly how Emperor Palpatine will return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is still a secret, but a key new piece of information might make the franchise’s big bad far creepier in Episode IX than anyone had imagined. Previous theories have suggested that Palpatine used Force Essence transfers or bodily possession to come back. However, a new leak suggests that the rest of his flesh has been replaced with mechanical parts, so the idea that Palpatine has a new form may not be completely false.

That’s right, good old Palps might have actually been able to salvage some parts of his own body and fuse them to become the ultimate half-man, half-machine Sith Lord in the galaxy. 

palpatine creepy
Imagine this Palpatine, but with a mechanical arm. Yeah, it's the stuff of nightmares.

On Instagram, noted Instagram leaker Bespin Bulletin posted new details about some of the events taking place in Episode IX. The most fascinating piece of information is, of course, the revelation that Palpatine may be part machine, and the description is the stuff of nightmares.

Here’s the breakdown:

“Kylo and Rey confront Palpatine. Ian [McDiarmid] was on set. Palpatine was next to a bunch of mechanical stuff including what looks like some big mechanical arm. He might’ve actually been attached to this mechanical stuff.”

This leak changes everything we know about how Palpatine might look like upon his return. After all, many fans had speculated that Matt Smith’s unknown character might be possessed by Palpatine, or that “Dark Rey” was actually Palpatine. So many different forms of the Emperor have been posited that we overlooked the most obvious transformation: from man to machine.

And why not? It’s not like Palps doesn’t have resources at his disposal. 

Ian Mcdiarmid as Emperor Palpatine in 'Return of the Jedi.'
Will Palpatine also have a mechanical face?

But how exactly did Palps manage to preserve his body well enough to then fuse it with machinery? After all, the former emperor supposedly died after falling down into the reactor core in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi, which was immediately followed by a ginormous explosion.

Now, let’s think about the impact this event might’ve had on Palps over the decades. What if the reactor and the following explosion somehow damaged his body, forcing him to hide out for years to recover and rebuild himself? Was the damage done to his flesh too irreversible? Is he tied directly into a lethal weapon or a control panel that can control the Sith Fleet?

Obviously, The Rise of Skywalker will have to give us an explanation as to how Palpatine managed to survive that blast for this version of him to make sense. Even if his spirit was rescued, somebody must have gone back to collect his mangled body, right? Whatever the reason behind his mechanical arm (and any other mechanical body parts), it’s safe to say that Palpatine’s return just got that much scarier.


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

Media via Lucasfilm