Though he hasn’t featured in the flesh, a major part of the marketing for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the promise that Emperor Palpatine will return for this final chapter in the Skywalker Saga. Details on his role have been kept under wraps, but it seems we can look forward to him serving as the big bad of the movie. That said, another key villain will also make a comeback in Episode IX, with their origins revealed to be tied into the Emperor himself.
According to our sources – the same ones who told us Leia would be Rey’s new trainer and that Rey and Palpatine have a “special connection,” both of which are now confirmed – Snoke is set to feature in Rise. And not in the form of a flashback, either. This sounds nonsensical seeing as the former Supreme Leader of the First Order was killed by his protege Kylo Ren in The Last Jedi, but apparently, Snoke will be unveiled to be a clone that Palpatine created to act as his puppet.
Not only that, but Darth Sidious manufactured many of these clones and it’s another of these that we’ll see in some capacity in TROS, hence how he returns following TLJ. Our sources can’t confirm how big Andy Serkis’ role as the bald, robed foe will be, but it seems likely he’ll have just enough screentime to explain the character’s unexpected origins.
Director J.J. Abrams has already noted that the twist of Snoke’s death in Episode VIII made him laugh out loud, so it seems he’s decided to add in his own surprising revelation about the villain now, taking a character that folks have labelled a cheap knock-off of the Emperor and having him literally turn out to be a clone. Of course, we’ll have to see whether fans take to this development when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker lands in theaters on December 20th, but something tells us it’ll definitely stir up some controversy.