The Bad Batch Just Fixed Rise of Skywalker's Dumbest Plot Hole

Somehow, context has been added.


The Rise of Skywalker contained a lot of baffling choices. Rey and Kylo, the grandchildren of Palpatine and Anakin, kissed. It was revealed that Poe Dameron used to be a spice runner. A random shot of a slug alien earned meme immortality. But the strangest and most divisive choice was randomly bringing back Palpatine as the secret mastermind behind the entire sequel trilogy.

Star Wars has been working hard to retroactively justify that plot twist ever since. The Mandalorian has hinted at a big backstory behind “Somehow, Palpatine returned,” and now the latest episode of The Bad Batch has revealed just how deep the conspiracy goes — and how far the Empire would go to keep it covered up.

Force-sensitive children are hunted down by bounty hunters for Project Necromancer.


In Season 3, Episode 10 of The Bad Batch, “Identity Crisis,” the Batch doesn’t actually appear. Instead, we follow the recently promoted Dr. Emerie Karr as she’s given access to a new area of the Mount Tantiss research facility. The exclusive area known as the Vault contains several Force-sensitive children whose midi-chlorian counts are high enough to provide samples for testing. Why children? Well, The Bad Batch is set only a few years after the events of Order 66, which ostensibly murdered the vast majority of Force-sensitive adults.

While it’s implied this project covered decades of research, it was never mentioned before The Rise of Skywalker. That’s the genius of The Bad Batch’s reveal. Project Necromancer, the experiments meant to keep Palpatine alive forever, was on such a need-to-know basis that Dr. Emerie Karr didn’t know about it until she was directly working with the subjects.

Later in the episode, project head Dr. Hemlock is summoned to speak with Governor Tarkin, who appears to be in charge of the Empire’s finances. When Tarkin questions the amount of funding being sent to his facility, Hemlock tells him it’s “for a project that is of personal interest to the Emperor.” When Tarkin presses for more details, Hemlock responds, “Oh, I’m afraid that’s classified.”

Dr. Hemlock didn’t tell Dr. Karr about Project Necromancer until it was absolutely necessary.


So while Palpatine’s return seemed sudden to the Resistance (and the audience), it’s been bubbling behind the scenes for decades, a surprise even to high-up officials like Tarkin. Even when Darth Vader and the Inquisitors were hunting down Jedi less than a year later as part of the Great Jedi Purge, they seemed to have no idea that the Emperor had another use for the Force-sensitive. Anakin Skywalker, the infamous Sith lord, was kept in the dark just in case.

Retroactively seeding Palpatine’s return has always been a focus of the Disney+ Star Wars era, especially in The Mandalorian. In Season 1, we see Grogu being hunted down for his unique biology. In Season 2, Din Djarin infiltrates an Imperial remnant base and stumbles on the rejects from a cloning project to create Snoke. In Season 3, we even see Dr. Pershing describe some of his research to the New Republic.

Now, in The Bad Batch, we’re finally seeing this research take place. Hopefully, when future generations watch The Rise of Skywalker decades from now, the Palpatine reveal won’t be a huge shock because TV shows will have done the work to set it up. Poe will still be surprised, but audiences shouldn’t be.

The Bad Batch is streaming on Disney+.

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