Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Explains Why Palpatine Wanted Luke To Kill Him In Return Of The Jedi


The debate surrounding Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker continues to rumble on as fans dissect every moment of the Skywalker Saga’s concluding chapter. At this stage, most people are in agreement that the story underwent hasty revisions to try and distance itself from the backlash that greeted The Last Jedi, and all J.J. Abrams ended up having to show for it was worse reviews and lower box office numbers.

Palpatine’s involvement has come under particular criticism, with Abrams returning to the well and revealing the Emperor to be the main villain for the third trilogy in a row, which characterizes the Sequel Trilogy’s approach to originality in a nutshell. The expanded universe, meanwhile, is filling in some of the gaps created by The Rise of Skywalker‘s various plot holes, and now the movie’s ending has been directly tied to the events of Return of the Jedi.

In Episode VI, Palpatine urges Luke to kill him in their dramatic showdown, even though being dead would surely put the brakes on his plans for intergalactic domination. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ends up justifying his desire to be struck down, though, by revealing that he’d discovered the secret to immortality, allowing a Sith to transfer their spirit to another host. Palpatine had created innumerable clones to this end, but he ultimately wanted granddaughter Rey to be his successor.

This gives a whole new meaning to his face off with Luke, because Palpatine would have known that transferring his essence to the son of Anakin Skywalker would have resulted in even greater power than he could imagine. The transfer of power can only happen if the host is under the influence of the Dark Side, and if Luke had committed murder, then he would have instantly become the ideal candidate.

Whether this was a deliberate move on Abrams’ part to contribute to the mythology or simply a coincidence is up for debate, but it at least answers another question that fans have been asking for decades.