Emperor Palpatine has always been obsessed with two things: destroying the Jedi and achieving immortality. But what if those two goals were connected all along? A new theory based on some recent Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker plot leaks explains why Palps needed to kill (almost) all the Jedi before he could fulfill his old master’s dream and cheat death.
Warning! Possible spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.
This new Star Wars theory from redditor u/chris41336 hinges on a few key details we’ve already covered extensively. First, multiple Rise of Skywalker leaks suggest that Sheev Palpatine’s evil plan in Episode IX involves uniting the Light and Dark sides in a “dyad” consisting of Rey and Kylo, which will allegedly unleash an enormous amount of energy capable of bringing old Palpy back from the brink of death.
Second, we’re pretty sure the current Star Wars trilogy could be referencing one of the weirdest concepts in franchise canon: Mortis. Originally introduced in The Clone Wars animated series, Mortis is a mysterious region inhabited by three immortal Force users (the Father, the Son, and the Daughter) who are locked in eternal battle. More recently, Rian Johnson admitted to watching TCW while developing The Last Jedi and seemingly snuck a Mortis reference into Rey’s cave vision scene.
So why does any of this matter? Well, as u/chris41336 theorizes, Palpatine’s plan to achieve immortality could be directly linked to the immortal beings who live in Mortis. After all, the way he pitted Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker against each other in Return of the Jedi already resembles the power struggle between the Father, Daughter, and Son.
“The Sith actually discovered this long ago, and it’s why they created the rule of two,” the theory says. “One master. One apprentice. Eventually, when powerful enough, when the light came to meet the rising darkness, the master would bring an equally powerful light user before his apprentice to battle, in the hopes that they would form a Force dyad. In the presence of such force energy, the Sith master would perform the ritual and create the trinity. Hence why Palpatine did this over and over.”
The problem with this plan, the theory continues, is that it doesn’t actually work until the three Force users involved are the only Force users in the galaxy. Otherwise, it dilutes the power of the “dyad.”
Enter, Order 66…
As you probably remember, Order 66 was Emperor Palpatine’s ultimate checkmate against the Jedi. When the time came, he triggered a chip in the brain of every clone trooper that forced them to betray their Jedi commanders. The result was the immediate death of almost every single Jedi in the galaxy, which finally paved the way for Palps to complete his plan for immortality.
Of course, as we all know, Palpatine’s plan ultimately failed when Darth Vader betrayed him, but as the first trailer for The Rise of Skywalker revealed, the Emperor never really went away. Instead, he apparently went into hiding, waiting until his next opportunity to create the Force dyad.
During that time, Luke even tried to bring back the Jedi by training a new crop of Force-sensitive pupils, including Kylo Ren. Through the lens of this theory, it seems clear that it was Palpatine who influenced Kylo to turn on Luke and kill the other Jedi-in-training. (You could even argue that it was the Emperor, acting through Snoke, who corrupted Kylo in the first place.)
Now that Luke is dead and Rey really is the “last Jedi,” it seems Palpatine’s long-planned scheme may finally succeed. Then again, if history is any guide, we have a feeling that Kylo Ren will follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and betray the Emperor just in time, finally putting an end to the greatest villain in Star Wars history.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.
Read the full theory below: