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  • Writer's pictureCaleb Kaltenbach

2 Palpatine Theories- “Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker”

***Fair warning—if you aren’t a Star Wars fan, you might want to consider whether you want to keep reading or not.

Emperor Palpatine by AnthonyFoti on DeviantArt

This particular post is all about Star Wars and is in good fun. I have absolutely NO inside information about Episode IX and haven't heard any confirmed spoilers. While it’s no secret that I’m not a fan of Episode VIII, I still deeply love Star Wars and have many of my own theories about Episode IX. This post reflects two of my theories, so if you’re a Star Wars fan, keep reading!

My first theory is probably less of a big theory and more of a theory of how pieces from the movies, books, and comics align. The second theory is probably just totally crazy and needs to be taken outside behind the barn and shot. I don't know... so, let's get started!!!!

Palpatine Was Snoke

I could never understand how Supreme Leader Snoke, who was supposedly this incredibly old and intelligent being, couldn’t sense Kylo‘s little "parlor trick" with the lightsaber. Now, perhaps it really was "pride before the fall" that kept Snoke from realizing Kylo was about to cut him in half, but it seems like more is happening behind the scenes—literally.

It could be that Emperor Palpatine was speaking through Snoke as someone would speak through a mask and/or costume. I think it's very possible that the Emperor was operating Snoke as one would operate a remote control car.

If what I’m saying is true, then how easily Snoke died in Episode VIII makes a lot more sense. If the Emperor was literally speaking through Snoke, he probably already knew what Kylo was going to do. It means that Snoke/Palpatine really was speaking about himself when he said that Kylo would kill his true enemy. The Emperor wanted Kylo to kill Snoke. For some reason, he wanted to unite Rey and Kylo together, which fits with the Emperor’s voiceover in the final Episode IX trailer: “Long have I waited. And now your coming together is your undoing.” Though the voiceover in the trailer occurs when Poe, Chewy, Rey, and Finn are together, I would not be surprised if in the movie the Emperor is actually speaking to Rey and Kylo. The two of them going before Emperor together only enhances this trilogy’s theme of light and dark.

This theory would also explain why Snoke taunts Rey and pits her against Kylo in a similar way as the Emperor taunted Luke and pitted him against Darth Vader. The Emperor leading the First Order through Snoke could explain Snoke’s fascination with Darth Vader, why he pursued Ben Solo, how he knew so much about the Galactic Empire’s fall, why a third Death Star was created, why Snoke’s red guards resemble the Emperor’s guards, etc. There are just too many similarities to ignore.

One last supporting idea to consider is that the background musical themes in Star Wars tell as much of the story as the acting, dialogue, and setting. The intentional placement of music gives purpose as to why we hear the Emperor’s theme (from Episode VI) when Snoke has Rey suspended in mid-air and is searching her mind. In similar fashion, George Lucas sped up the Emperor’s theme and used it for the parade theme at the very end of Episode I. Personally, I think both uses of the theme reveal the Emperor’s behind-the-scenes presence. As of now, my best guess is that Palpatine was using Snoke more than we have assumed, but hold on, because I'm resurrecting an old theory in a new way...

Darth Plagueis Is The Sequel Trilogy Main Villain

ArtStation - Darth Plagueis on Sojourn, Eben Schumacher

When Disney bought LucasFilm, they deemed video games, novels, and some Star Wars shows made before the Disney takeover as “Legends” or “Expanded Universe” (EU). The movies, shows, and some materials were kept and called “Canon.” Since the merger, Disney has borrowed ideas and reintroduced characters from the EU. What if Darth Plagueis (the Sith master of Palpatine) was the mastermind for the entire saga? What if some of the EU ideas about Darth Plagueis were borrowed to make him the villain the sequel trilogy needs?

There are more than enough reasons as to why Darth Plagueis has no major role in the sequel trilogy, but I believe there are still plenty of reasons as to why he still could be the main villain. I 100% understand that this theory is more than a stretch and is probably not true. Nonetheless, please hear me out…

  1. The most recent Vader Comic seemed to strongly imply that Palpatine was either solely responsible or bore some responsibility for Anakin’s birth through midichlorians. If midichlorians were manipulated to help create Anakin, then might the same be true of Rey? Perhaps Palpatine is responsible and learned the skill from Plagueis or it could be that Plagueis was responsible.

  2. Let’s take the whole idea of reusing Star Wars musical themes a step further. In Episode III, then Chancellor Palpatine tells Anakin, "Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the dark side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying." The music during this scene is eerily similar to the forbidding music during Snoke’s first scene in Episode VII. If the music in Star Wars is intentional, then maybe there’s more to the story? Palpatine claimed to have murdered Darth Plagueis, but there's a chance that Darth Plagueis has been lurking around unseen in the shadows for the whole saga.

  3. Darth Vader was the main villain of the original trilogy and Palpatine of the prequel trilogy, so what if we aren’t fully aware of the sequel trilogy’s main villain? Granted, it could very well be Palpatine who is the villain of the sequel trilogy (which would make him the main villain of the entire saga), but it’s entirely possible the villain is someone else that we already know of… like Darth Plagueis.

  4. There appears to be a parallel between Darth Plagueis allowing Palpatine to “kill him” and Snoke allowing Kylo to kill him. What if Plagueis returned shortly after to inhabit Palpatine and will do (or has done) something similar in Episode IX. In the EU book Darth Plagueis by James Luceno, Palpatine feels uneasy after he kills Darth Plagueis. Apparently, he felt like Plagueis was reaching out to him from the Force. Since Disney does borrow ideas from the EU, there’s a possibility the idea has been applied in some way to Palpatine… or Plagueis. To some degree, Darth Plagueis could’ve inhabited Palpatine or Snoke or both and could’ve had many other identities through the years which allowed him to manipulate events from behind-the-scenes.

  5. When Han Solo talks about Snoke, Ben/Kylo says, “The Supreme Leader is wise.” In Episode III, Palpatine refers to Plagueis as “Darth Plagueis the Wise.”

  6. At the end of the first official Episode IX trailer, Luke says in a voiceover, “No one’s ever really gone.” What if that doesn’t just apply to the Emperor, but to others like Luke and Plagueis?

  7. The novelization of the sequel trilogy indicates that Snoke is very old… as in hundreds of years old. We don’t know much about the Darth Plagueis of Canon (we know much more about him in the EU) so he could be very old or inhabiting different individuals throughout the years. We know that Snoke was scarred from some serious past injuries, so who knows…?

  8. When Darth Vader throws the Emperor down the Death Star’s reactor, an immense amount of power surged out of the reactor. I don’t think there’s been another force-sensitive being in Star Wars canon who had that occurrence at their death. It might be signaling to something else happening. In the EU, Palpatine was able to inhabit/possess the bodies of clones that he prepared beforehand. What if that idea was borrowed and applied to Darth Plagueis? What if he’s been inhabiting the bodies of different individuals and the power surging from the Death Star reactor was his presence moving on.

  9. Palpatine wanted younger apprentices. When we first meet Darth Maul in Episode I, he’s young. His next apprentice—Darth Tyranus/Count Dooku—was older, but Palpatine never intended for him to become his main apprentice. In Episode VI, Palpatine wanted Luke Skywalker (who was young at the time) to replace Darth Vader as his apprentice. Why would he want a younger apprentice if not to inhabit or to eventually drain their power in some way? In Episode III, Palpatine told General Grievous, “Soon I will have a new apprentice, one far younger and more powerful.” When fighting Yoda, Palpatine bragged to him, “Darth Vader will become more powerful than either of us!” Palpatine didn’t want to selflessly invest in Vader/Anakin—he wanted him to be strong for his own selfish benefit.

Of course there are many other theories out there: Snoke is just Snoke and is dead… Snoke is still alive… he was created by or was an apprentice of Plagueis or Palpatine, and the list could go on and on. Maybe Jar-Jar is the evil Sith Lord we all want him to be? Perhaps Thanos will show up in Episode IX or Voldemort was the main Star Wars villain the whole time. Who knows???

These ideas are fun to think about, so thanks for indulging me—especially if you made it this far in the post! December 20 can’t arrive soon enough!!!


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