'Rise of Skywalker' theory: Kylo photo hints at Emperor's new Dark powers

The Force has done a lot more than awaken recently. But what's going on here?

Kylo Ren in a deleted scene from 'The Force Awakens'

Darth Vader famously said: “The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” But what if the power of the Force we’ve seen so far is insignificant next to the power we’ve yet to see? Nearly every rumor about Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suggests we will see the Force used as never before: from time travel fights to impossible resurrections to a possible Force ghost jamboree. So, if the Force was like a storm system, The Rise of Skywalker is going to be like a hurricane.

Speculative spoilers ahead for The Rise of Skywalker.

And now, a new photo from the film shows Kylo Ren being blown away by … something? Empire has begun releasing exclusive photos from The Rise of Skywalker and the most interesting one shows Kylo Ren bracing himself in the docking bay of a Star Destroyer while he and bunch of First Order Stormtroopers are knocked over by a blueish looking wind. So what’s going on here? Here are three possibilities.

First off, here’s the photo itself. Looks intense, right?

3. Wild Space

One big rumor about The Rise of Skywalker is all about the existence of a massive fleet of Star Destroyers, possibly called the Sith Fleet. In the D23 trailer, we saw these old school Star Destroyers hanging out in a part of space beset with electrical storms and all sorts of weird stuff. This supports the rumor that this fleet of ships has been in a little-visited region of the galaxy that is a little bit “wild.” What that means exactly isn’t clear, but in both real canon and old Legends canon, “Wild Space” is the part of the galaxy beyond the outer rim. In both The Clone Wars and Rebels, people visited parts of Wild Space, in fact, the character Zeb originates from a planet in this region. So, that’s one possibility right there: Kylo Ren is reeling from the effects of Wild Space, but still determined to get something from it.

The Force-storm in 'Dark Empire'
The Force-storm in 'Dark Empire' 

2. It’s a Force-storm in space, like the one the Emperor made in Dark Empire

Ever since the Emperor was revealed to be back in The Rise of Skywalker, some fans haven’t been able to stop talking about Dark Empire, the 1991-1992 Dark Horse mini-series in which the Emperor came back to life and Luke Skywalker went full goth. Today is not going to be the day when I stop talking about Dark Empire, as one possible explanation for this scene is something that happens in the climax of that series. Because he senses he’s about to lose, the Emperor resorts to an all-powerful Force-storm which would destroy everything in its path. So far, nothing like this Force-storm has been seen in contemporary Star Wars canon, probably because it’s just too all-powerful. But, the Emperor used a lot of these throughout Dark Empire, and they were pretty sweet. Some of them acted as wormholes and even could transport people across the galaxy.

In Dark Empire, Luke and Leia use their combined powers to turn the big, all-destroying Force-storm against Palpatine and the whole thing ends up swallowing his ship. It’s pretty epic, but also very simple. Because Palpatine is back from the dead in The Rise of Skywalker, could one of his crazy comic book Force powers have come with him? And if so, is Palpatine using a Force-storm to destroy Kylo Ren?

1. It’s just Chewie and Lando kicking in the hyperdrive, like a couple of badasses

One hilariously awesome Reddit theory suggests that there’s nothing particularly big or epic about this image at all. Instead of some massively weird part of space or the power of the Force crashing down on Kylo Ren, maybe we’re just seeing the wake of the Millennium Falcon as it punches into hyperspace from inside the bay of a Star Destroyer. Prior to The Force Awakens, we hadn’t seen a ship jump to hyperspace inside of another ship, but after Han and Rey pulled it off, it feels possible Chewie and Lando could do the same thing in Rise of Skywalker. So, that would mean this image is simply showing Kylo Ren super pissed-off as his two step-uncles steal the family car away from him, likely, for the last time.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.

Media via Godxon, Dark Horse Comics/Marvel, Punchitchew1e, Lucasfilm