Eventually, you reach a point where you have to wonder whether the creatives behind Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker are actively trying to anger the fandom. The novelization of the film has revealed, among many other details the movie glosses over, that the Palpatine we saw in the pic was not his original form reborn, but a clone body in which his spirit was housed.
The book isn’t actually on sale until later this month, but advance copies were made available over the weekend at Chicago’s C2E2 convention, giving fans the chance to re-experience the film’s stark mediocrity in text form. In the book, when Kylo arrives on Exegol and encounters Palpatine, he recognizes the machinery the former Emperor is attached to from studying the Clone Wars, deducing that the liquid being pumped into the undead body is all that sustains its grip on life and that without imminent intervention it will expire. The revelation has spread, and as you might imagine, people are far from happy about it.
absolutely nothing funnier than disney nuking the EU only to do a movie about a clone palpatine, not actually say so in the movie, and "confirm" it in a book months after everyone stopped caring https://t.co/bGYb7ndC0G
— yuuko from nichijou (@headfallsoff) March 1, 2020
>Disney confirms the palpatine from the Rise of Skywalker movie is a clone
can we stop fucking things up any further thank you very much pic.twitter.com/tWIBYnehDW
— Seyren (@S4Seyren) March 2, 2020
We all have phases in life but none quite as diverse as Palpatine. Politician, secret practitioner of evil space magic, malevolent Emperor and then the ghost living inside decrepit clone husk waiting to become his granddaughter. https://t.co/sPoXZHu6Uq
— Dean Dobbs (@DeanDobbs) March 2, 2020
— Sierra Solo🌻🦋 (@TheAussieLady) March 3, 2020
So was anyone gonna tell me the Star Wars – Fortnite crossover gave us the important plot detail that the emperor was a clone and not like…the original dude or was I supposed to just play fuckin' Fortnite to get this kinda massive detail
— 🌒 Sparkle Furby 🌘 (@EerieCipher) March 3, 2020
— Chuck Credo IV (@ChuckCredoIV) March 3, 2020
So we get the Emperor being a clone from the EU but not Mara Jade? Fucking Star Wars. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/aQFLn2Ud3o
— Mackenzie J (@xoMarvelGirl) March 2, 2020
"He's the same one from Jedi, and is a clone. He's always been a clone. I know we didn't write those movies, we're Lucasing this Mother."
— DeadAssPat (@ThePatMann) March 2, 2020
Making the Emperor a clone in #TheRiseOfSkywalker is the most, "uh, no one liked this, what do we do? I dunno, let's just do this!" executive run writers room thing ever.
— Mikey (@Mikey_Co84) March 2, 2020
Just proving that there’s apparently nothing new in the saga, the idea has marked similarities to the 1992 EU comic series Dark Empire. This was set six years after Return of the Jedi and also had Palpatine return from the dead in a clone body, and saw him attempt to turn Luke to the Dark Side to replace Vader as his apprentice. It also pre-empted Rise of Skywalker with the World Devastators, planet-killing superweapons far more imaginative in operation than simply Star Destroyers outfitted with Death Star lasers.
What the book does not explain is exactly how Palpatine’s death in The Rise of Skywalker can be definitively considered as his final one, and what there is to stop lazy writers obsessed with rehashing the past from resurrecting him again instead of bothering to come up with a new big bad for the heroes to face off against. Honestly, the sooner we can all move on from this divisive trilogy and onto things that have nothing to do with Skywalkers, Solos or Palpatines, the better.