We all know that The Rise of Skywalker will feature Kylo Ren and Rey in an epic lightsaber battle that spans several locations (including a retro Throne Room from Return of the Jedi) but, the scene in which Rey faces Emperor Palpatine seems to be set on a mysterious rocky planet surrounded by ominous grey clouds.
Different leaks and rumors will tell you all sorts of things about this planet, but what if we’ve seen it before? What if the final confrontation between Rey and Palpatine happens on a Sith planet first seen in Star Wars Rebels? When you look at the visual clues, combined with one detail about C-3PO, there’s striking evidence that in The Rise of Skywalker we’re totally heading to the planet Malachore.
Speculation ahead for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
Right now, the following Rise of Skywalker planets are known:
- Pasaana (a desert planet)
- Kijimi (a snowy haven for smugglers)
- Ajan Kloss (probably the jungle planet and the home of the new Rebel base)
- An Ocean moon (probably a sister world of the Forest Moon of Endor)
In terms of what we’ve seen in the trailers, this pretty much leaves two locations unidentified:
- The Cloud City-esque spot where Rey and Kylo destroy Vader’s helmet
- The dark, rocky world with the stone throne, where the Emperor seems to be chilling.
Let’s focus on that second spot.
On some level, a lot of this stuff looks like it could be the Force-planet Mortis from The Clone Wars, but, if you look at it another way, this could be the Sith world of Malachore from the two-part episode “Twilight of the Apprentice” in Rebels. Here’s what that looks like.
Now, while it’s fairly obvious that none of these shots from “Twilight of the Apprentice” are a one-for-one match, the overall vibe of the planet feels similar to what we see of Rey’s surroundings during these brief Palpatine scenes in the trailer. Plus, unlike the sort of metaphysical qualities of Mortis, Malachore is a legit, real planet. It’s also, most relevantly, a planet that houses a Sith temple.
In “Twilight of the Apprentice” Ahsoka tells Ezra that they are on Malachore to find “forbidden” knowledge. Ashoka also notes that a lot of the writing on Malachore is in “the old tongue,” which, seems to directly connect to the rumors that C-3PO will be required to translate ancient writing at some point in The Rise of Skywalker. Obviously, ancient languages can exist in all sorts of places in the Star Wars galaxy, but basically four details conspire to make you think that Rey and the Emperor are maybe on Malachore in Episode IX.
- It kind of looks like Malachore.
- Weird Sith writing or “forgotten lore” is probably involved with the plot of the movie. Malachore’s got that stuff.
- The planet has a history of Sith, and specifically had a Sith temple underground. The Emperor probably likes that.
- There was an ancient superweapon on this planet, and there are rumors that there’s a “new” superweapon in The Rise of Skywalker.
Finally, there’s one more really interesting link to the sequel trilogy and Malachore. Because this planet was the site of an ancient battle between the Jedi and the Sith, there are a bunch of old lightsabers lying around, including a cross-guard lightsaber in the same style as Kylo Ren’s.
So, here’s the theory: Not only is the Emperor hiding out on Malachore, but Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren have already been there. Kylo got a lot of sick Sith knowledge, plus an idea for how to make (or fix) his lightsaber. Plus, if Kylo went on a few Darth Vader pilgrimages, it would make sense to go here since Vader fought a pretty intense duel with Ahsoka on this planet.
Visually, from ambiance to lightsabers, a ton of the aesthetics of Malachore match up with what we’re seeing in The Rise of Skywalker trailers and marketing. In all of Star Wars canon, it’s also probably the planet that is strongest with the Dark Side, meaning, if Rey is going to defeat the Dark Side once and for all, it would make sense to send her — and maybe a few friends — into the belly of the beast. We saw Luke’s Jedi temple in the last two movies. Maybe it’s time to knock on the door of the Sith church of darkness.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is out everywhere on December 20, 2019.