'Star Wars 9' Leaks May Reveal How Palpatine Cheated Death

It could also explain how another iconic dead Sith returns in 'Episode IX.'

When most fans imagine Emperor Palpatine’s great return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, it usually doesn’t involve the use of material objects. The “Wayfinder” device seems to be the exception, and a new theory argues that he could be the key to revealing how Palps cheated to death to return in Episode IX.

Warning: Possible spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.

While this enigmatic gadget hasn’t appeared in any of the films, it has been mentioned in several leaks. One theory suggested that Kylo would look for the device in Episode IX in hopes to destroy Palpatine.

But, what if Kylo went to resurrect him instead? A fun new theory claims that the wayfinder device will not only find and resurrect Palps, but will also bring back another major character. It’s a bit of a stretch, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. Let’s get to it, shall we?

Redditor u/Xandi5 theorizes the wayfinder essentially works like Voldemort’s horcruxes (yeah, we know it sounds a bit weird) from Harry Potter. However, unlike the aforementioned theory — which proposed that the object needed to be destroyed to prevent Palps from transferring his soul or essence into a host body — u/Xandi5 claims that the wayfinder need only come into close enough proximity to Palpatine’s hiding place in the Force nexus, allowing him to reemerge from the in-between world (aka, the World Between Worlds).

(yeah, we know it sounds a bit weird). However, unlike the aforementioned theory — which proposed that the object needed to be destroyed to prevent Palps from transferring his soul or essence into a host body — u/Xandi5 claims that the wayfinder need only come into close enough proximity to Palpatine’s hiding place in the Force nexus, allowing him to reemerge from the in-between world (aka, the World Between Worlds).)

Kylo Ren Star Wars 9
Was Kylo Ren talking to Vader to find out the location of the wayfinder device?

The biggest twist in this theory is that there are two wayfinders, one of which was created for Anakin Skywalker to return as well.

“These two sith holocrons/artifacts contain two things, making the term “Wayfinders” a double meaning. One, the coordinates to the force nexus in the unknown regions. Two, a portion of their souls/essence etc,” they write.

The rest of the post goes into detail about how Kylo learns about the wayfinders by way of Darth Vader’s helmet and how Palpatine found the Force nexus, but we won’t bog you down with those details. The main (hor)crux of the theory works only because it essentially achieves two goals at the same time, bringing back the ultimate Star Wars big bad and Anakin Skywalker all in one go.

After all, the two had been working together prior to Darth Vader’s brief pivot to the Light side of the Force in Return of the Jedi. We also know that the Force nexus is actually a place that exists, so if Palpatine were to hypothetically choose a location to bide his time before his return, the nexus is the ideal choice.

Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine
This is exactly what Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine look like while chilling in the Force nexus.

Without the wayfinder, it seems Palpatine’s life would’ve ended decades before, but the device instead brought him immortality. Many fans have speculated about the ways in which Anakin could also come back and one theory suggested that he might return as a Force ghost to help both Kylo and Rey fight Palpatine.

On one hand, Kylo’s actions in the previous sequels would make a lot more sense and killing off Supreme Leader Snoke would’ve been the last thing on his list before venturing to find the true leaders of the galaxy. On the other hand, it’s unlikely that Kylo would spend so much time trying to find Palpatine in Episode IX when he could instead rule the First Order on his own. Wayfinder or not, Palpatine will find a way to return, he’s just been waiting for the opportune moment.


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