'Rise of Skywalker' theory: One Palpatine line hints at Kylo's redemption

Ben Solo might return before the end.

If Kylo Ren really wants to honor the legacy of his grandfather Darth Vader in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, then he’ll undergo a last-minute redemption. One line from Palpatine in the latest trailer could be a huge hint that this is exactly what happens in the final act.

Potential spoilers follow for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

During The Rise of Skywalker, Kylo Ren and Rey duel on the wreckage of the second Death Star in the oceans of Kef Bir, but we also see them destroying some kind of monument with Darth Vader’s helmet on it together. In the midst of these and other scenes showing their battle, we hear Palpatine say a line that feels crucial:

“Long have I waited, and now, your coming together is your undoing.”

We hear him say this just before the touching scene where C-3PO says goodbye to his friends, so the trailer implies that Palpatine is talking about the Resistance coming together. The far more likely context, however, is the coming together of Rey and Kylo Ren — or, to be even more accurate, Rey and Ben Solo. After Kylo Ren is redeemed, they probably team up to fight Palpatine.

Why doesn't Kylo Ren have his lightsaber ignited here?


If this was another situation like in The Last Jedi where Kylo Ren brought Rey before Snoke, why would Palpatine refer to it as a “coming together”? We’re not dealing with an apprentice bringing a prisoner before their master.

The language here makes it sound like a redeemed Kylo Ren reassumes the identity of Ben Solo and teams up with Rey to confront Palpatine. Various leaks about The Rise of Skywalker over the last few weeks also support this idea. Rey and Ben may think teaming up to confront Palpatine is the only way they can defeat him, but they may also inadvertently help him achieve the immortality he’s sought for so long.

Because Palpatine also says “long have I waited,” he probably never died in Return of the Jedi. He’s clung to life all these years, but he needs to execute some kind of ritual to heal himself.

Some leaks that originate with Making Star Wars indicate that Palpatine needs Rey and Ben Solo together so he can create a “dyad,” a trinity of Force-wielders through which he can siphon the power of the Force to rejuvenate himself. Part of why he executed Order 66 — and why Rey and Ben are so innately powerful in the Force — is because with so few Force-wielders left, the power of such a ritual is even more concentrated.

Will the combined power of Rey and Ben Solo be enough to overcome Palpatine after he rejuvenates himself? We’ll have to wait and see.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released in theaters December 20.

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