'Star Wars 9' trailer may have leaked how Rey and Kylo find the Emperor

This secret may be hiding in plain sight.

We thought he was dead, but it appears Emperor Palpatine has been out there all along, lurking somewhere on the edge of the galaxy. We still don’t know where (one popular rumor is that he’s been hiding on a new planet called Exegol), but a fresh Star Wars leak could reveal how Kylo Ren finds Palps at the start of Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker.

Warning: Huge possible spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker below.

The latest Star Wars trailer features at least one big reveal in Leia’s lightsaber, but it could be hiding an even bigger one in plain sight. According to a new report from Making Star Wars, one shot in the latest Rise of Skywalker TV spot reveals how both Rey and Kylo travel to Exogol and confront Emperor Palpatine.

Here’s the moment in question:

A screenshot from the latest 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' trailer
A screenshot from the latest 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' trailer

Wondering why everything is an odd shade of red? Well, according to Making Star Wars, we’re looking at the entrance to the “Hyperspace lane to Exegol.” In other words, this is how Kylo, and later Rey, will reach Emperor Palpatine.

According to this report, Kylo makes the trip early in The Rise of Skywalker. Once there, he “walks under the giant cube, and finds an old man in his bed claiming to be Darth Sidious.” Soon afterwards, the rest of the First Order follows their leader, reuniting the new evil army with the remains of the Galactic Empire.

Later in the movie, Rey and her squad allegedly visit the remains of the Death Star on Endor where they find a “Wayfinder” device that leads them to Exogol too. This gives Finn and newcomer Jannah a chance to stop the First Order once and for all while Rey confronts the Emperor, who’s apparently her grandfather (yeah, we’re still confused on that part too).

The point is, that red area could be a key point of contention in Star Wars: Episode IX. And based on this screenshot, it looks like the Resistance (left) and the First Order/Empire (right) could face each other head-on for control of the Hyperspace lane to Exegol.

A screenshot from the latest 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' trailer
Here's that image again. See the big Empire-looking ship on the right?

Of course, that’s assuming this latest Star Wars leak is correct. And while we have no doubt Emperor Sheev Palpatine will play a role in The Rise of Skywalker, the rest of the specifics are still a mystery. So maybe he really is hiding on some far-off planet only accessibly by a mysterious red portal.

Then again, this is a J.J. Abrams movie. Maybe it’s just a really big lens flare.


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker speeds into theaters on December 20.

Media via Lucasfilm