With a limited runtime, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker didn’t care enough to let us know how the evil Emperor Palpatine survived his fall in Return of the Jedi, but the new novel adaptation of the last installment finally sheds some light on what actually went down.
Ever since learning that Darth Sidious was making a comeback in the last chapter of the Skywalker Saga, fans have been speculating as to how he survived his fall down a reactor core on the Death Star. In fact, if that wasn’t enough to kill the sinister lord of the Sith, the planet-killing space station actually blowing up should’ve done the deed. But despite everything, Palpatine survived and returned to haunt the galaxy one last time in The Rise of Skywalker. So, the million-dollar question is: How did he survive?
Well, luckily for fans, the new novelization not only details what Palpatine did after surviving the destruction of the Death Star, but it also reveals what really happened when Darth Vader threw him down a reactor shaft. As it turns out, the evil master had been preparing for the eventuality of his apprentice betraying him, so he used the Force to transfer his subconsciousness to a body that was being assembled by the Sith Eternal on Exegol mere moments before hitting the ground on the Death Star.
Palpatine found his mind inside a vessel that was incomplete and deteriorated, which is why he attempted to get a new body by sacrificing his own through Rey. Ultimately, the ‘Senate’ achieved unlimited power by sucking the Life Force out of Ben and Rey, whose coming together apparently fulfilled the prophecy of a Force Dyad (I know, we were just as lost when we heard this for the first time).
Of course, while these details don’t really help change the unfulfilling resolutions of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, they can still help fans make better sense out of the plot as a whole.
Tell us, though, are you satisfied with this explanation? Sound off in the usual spot below.