Emperor Palpatine will rear his shriveled face once more in The Rise of Skywalker, but where has the Sith Lord been hiding out all these years? Several recent Star Wars leaks claim the answer could be a brand new planet introduced in Episode IX, and a deeper look into that planet’s name may reveal some pretty shocking details about how the story will end for one specific character — and how it all connects to the movie’s mysterious title.
Warning! Possibly huge spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.
According to a handful of Star Wars: Episode IX leaks, the final showdown between the Emperor, Rey, and Kylo will take place on the “dead world of Exogol,” where Palps has constructed a new home base complete with a cavernous throne room. Exogol sounds like a pretty spooky place, but it also seems to be a totally new creation in the Star Wars franchise, which led one fan to come up with a pretty compelling theory about what the word “Exogol” might be hinting at.
“The name is intriguing to me,” writes redditor u/JSpring2017. “Golgotha was the place traditionally that Jesus was crucified, sacrificed, if you will. Literally, ‘The Place of the Skull.’ Could it be that Exogol is the place that Kylo is sacrificed and, beyond that, rises again?”
“The Place of the Skull” sounds pretty spot on for Emperor Palpatine’s evil hideout, but the whole Jesus comparison is where things really get interesting. Multiple leaks seem to confirm that Kylo Ren will die (or, at least, appear to die) in his fight against Palpatine, leaving Rey to finish the job herself.
However, if this theory is correct, then The Rise of Skywalker could be setting us up for a twist by having Kylo rise from the grave to defeat Palps. That would also make him the Skywalker that rises in Episode IX, giving the movie’s title a hidden meaning that’s not revealed until the very end.
Of course, this does feel like a bit of a leap, but it’s not the first time Star Wars has used the names of people and places to create connective tissue. George Lucas famously claimed that he named the villain of A New Hope Darth Vader as a hint that the character was Luke Skywalker’s father (Darth Vader allegedly means Dark Father in German, according to Lucas). It’s since been proven that Lucas landed on that name at random and had no idea Vader was Luke’s dad when he wrote A New Hope, but that hasn’t stopped the myth from spreading.
Could The Rise of Skywalker do something similar — but this time, on purpose? We wouldn’t be surprised if that’s exactly what J.J. Abrams had in mind when he named the new planet. Then again, maybe Abrams just liked the way it sounds.
Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.