Lucasfilm dropped a bombshell last week, giving fans a look at the harrowing scene from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker where Kylo Ren first encounters Emperor Palpatine. The clip, which seems to take place on a mysterious planet referred to in leaks as Exegol, features Palpatine speaking through voices of Snoke and James Earl Jones’ Darth Vader (suggesting Palps has been pulling the strings for decades) and also teases the return of some other ancient Sith legends, but the biggest reveal could be something else entirely.
Before Kylo event enters Palpatine’s new hideout he has to pass under a sort of floating pyramid. This scene was described in earlier leaks from Making Star Wars, but now it’s been confirmed. And the visual of this eerie floating structure bears a shocking resemblance to an ancient ship from the earliest Jedi history: Tho Yor.
We’re about to go deep into the Star Wars Extended Universe, and that means things will get really weird and really non-canonical really fast. But there’s also reason to believe the mystical, ancient Tho Yor spaceships could turn up in The Rise of Skywalker. So consider yourself warned: This Star Wars speculation might just turn out to be an Episode IX spoiler.
What the heck is a Tho Yor? No one in Star Wars seems to really know, but the short answer is that they were eight semi-sentient ships that carried Force-sensitive creatures (including humans and the original Sith species) to the planet Tython where the Je’daii Order that would eventually become the Jedi began. This was happening way back in the year 36,453 BBY (Before Battle of Yavin) and predates almost everything else that happened in the Star Wars Extended Universe.
Most important, Tho Yor can be used as a weapon. In one situation, the Je’daii were able to shoot “orange beams” capable of destroying enemy ships by channeling Force energy through a Tho Yor. Now imagine Sheev Palpatine with that kind of power.
Of course, this all assumes that the Tho Yor actually exists in the current Star Wars canon, which they officially don’t. However, the latest canonical Star Wars comic did just confirm that the planet Tython does, in fact, exist in canon. So if the original home of the Jedi exists, maybe these mystical ships that helped populate that planet with Force users exist too.
And if Tho Yor just became canon, then that floating pyramid in the Rise of Skywalker clip makes a lot more sense. Still, the question remains, how did Emperor Palpatine get his hands on a mystical Force-connected spaceship that’s tens of thousands of years old? And, more importantly, what does he plan to do with it?
Star Wars: Episode IX might not reveal the answer to that first question, but the second one feels pretty obvious. After all, when has Palpatine shied away from using a powerful weapon to scare the galaxy into submission?
The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20.