Heading into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, many of us weren’t too keen on the idea of Palpatine — who died in Return of the Jedi — making a return. However, we walked in with an open mind because hey, it all boils down to how the scriptwriter (in this case it’s Chris Terrio and JJ Abrams) and director (JJ Abrams) tells the story. Perhaps Palpatine would make a return ala Voldemort in Goblet of Fire? Maybe we would get an explanation that’s interesting and emotionally logical. Alas, neither happened.
We were just casually told in the opening credits that Palpatine has indeed risen from the dead (“the dead speak”), and weren’t provided with any explanation beyond that. While it was poorly executed and annoying, a lot of us just assumed that Palpatine had indeed mastered death. After all, in Revenge of the Sith, Emperor Palpatine did talk about a Sith legend, Darth Plagueis, who was so intuned with the dark side of the Force that he could prevent death.
However, in what is becoming a horrible pattern, we’ve received major information about a Star Wars movie from the extended canon. The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelisation will only be hitting shelves in the middle of March, but excerpts from the novel are already making its rounds on the internet. One excerpt, in particular, confirms that the Emperor Palpatine we see in The Rise of Skywalker is in fact, a CLONE.
Excerpt via ScreenRant:
All the vials were empty of liquid save one, which was nearly depleted. Kylo peered closer. He’d seen this apparatus before, too, when he’d studied the Clone Wars as a boy. The liquid flowing into the living nightmare before him was fighting a losing battle to sustain the Emperor’s putrid flesh.
“What could you give me?” Kylo asked. Emperor Palpatine lived, after a fashion, and Kylo could feel in his very bones that this clone body sheltered the Emperor’s actual spirit. It was an imperfect vessel, though, unable to contain his immense power. It couldn’t last much longer.
Seriously? Why did JJ Abrams and Chris Terrio choose to leave this vital piece of information out of the movie? Was this even part of the script or is it just something author Rae Carson created for the novelisation to fill in the gaps?