It’s said that teamwork makes the dream work, and that might prove true in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. With Emperor Sheev Palpatine’s return imminent, it’s all hands on deck. Rey, Finn, and Poe will need the full support of the Resistance, as well as the backing of unlikely allies in Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren, to take down the biggest Star Wars villain. Throw in the Force ghosts of Luke and Anakin and Palpatine doesn’t stand a chance. An exciting new theory finds a way for three generations of Star Wars characters to work together, just not in the way we thought.
Warning! Possible spoilers ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
A while back, a leak from Making Star Wars editor Jason Ward claimed the Force ghosts of Leia Organa, Luke and Anakin Skywalker would help defeat Emperor Palpatine. This presumably occurs in the film’s final act — and after good ole Palps throws Kylo down a deep hole. The specific wording of the leak claimed that Rey would be “empowered by generations of the Jedi that came before”.
Over on Reddit, u/thebrywalker took this a step further by expanding upon exactly how the Force ghosts might assist in the fight. Basically, the theorist predicts Palpatine is possessing the body of an acolyte. To become corporeal once more, he’ll need Rey and Kylo. Now, this part is more or less in line with the MSW leak that claimed Palps needed Kylo and Rey to siphon Force energy and rejuvenate himself. Ok, cool.
However, here’s the most interesting part: it will take the strength and power of three generations of characters, including Luke and Anakin, to ultimately destroy Palpatine, but they won’t be able to kill him together. Wait, what? Yeah, it’s a bit tricky, but the gist is that even if all three generations joined forces and defeated Palps in one swift lightsaber strike, that would only kill Sheev’s physical form. If his spirit is still out there, roaming the afterlife, then he could eventually possess someone else to carry out his diabolical plan.
So, Rey and Kylo will first have to “defeat his host body so Anakin andLuke defeat Palpatine in the spirit form.” This is actually a clever theory, since fans haven’t devoted much attention to about what happens to Palps’ spirit if he’s killed in the final act of Episode IX. This setup utilizes all three generations of characters, gives each one an important role, and is also the best use of Force ghosts thus far. After all, there’s no way for Rey and Kylo to dispatch Palpatine if he has no body, right?
Since The Rise of Skywalker is the longest Star Wars movie ever, the film has plenty of time to allow for buildup before coming to this potential conclusion. And though many fans are worried that reshoots have edited out the Force ghosts altogether, there’s still hope that the final trilogy film will figure out a way to factor in all of the franchise’s most beloved characters one way or another.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters December 20.