Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Theory Explains How Palpatine Cheated Death

Emperor Palpatine Star Wars

The Force is strong with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker this month, as the marketing machine picks up speed to hype the fans for the last movie in the Skywalker Saga.

Director J.J. Abrams isn’t holding back on anything that’d make the last movie in the Sequel Trilogy more awesome and conclusive. That much is apparent with the return of Emperor Palpatine, the sinister Sith Lord who served as the main antagonist for the first two trilogies. Additionally, we know that Darth Sidious won’t appear in a force vision or a hologram, as a leaked photo confirmed we’ll see him come back in his physical form.

The only question remaining is how? Well, knowing that Abrams loves his ‘mystery boxes,’ fans have been going through tie-in canon content in the hope of finding clues. Now, a closer look at the novel Star Wars: Myths and Fables has revealed a way through which Palpatine could’ve survived his fall.

Myths and Fables contains nine stories, and one of these tales (named “Gaze of Stone”) tells of a mysterious stone statue on the Sith homeworld of Moraband (also known as Korriban). Ry Nymbis was an apprentice of Darth Caldoth, and as is tradition among the lords of the Sith, he grew with the ambition of thwarting his master. So, he searched the ancient rituals and found a way to transform flesh into matter. Caldoth was smarter though, so he sabotaged the ritual and it backfired on Ry Nymbis, turning him into a stone statue that would forever stand watch on the plains of Moraband.

We already know that Palpatine is obsessed with ancient Sith knowledge as he told the tale of Darth Plagueis the Wise, a powerful Sith Lord who could cheat death, to Anakin Skywalker during Revenge of the Sith. This should explain how Palpatine survived his own death from Return of the Jedi. As he fell down a shaft, the dark lord released an energy wave that could very well have been his force spirit escaping the Death Star. But one problem still remains: how can he take back his physical form again?

Well, in Chuck Wendig’s Star Wars: Aftermath novels, it’s suggested that Palpatine could be resurrected through a mysterious ceremony. A Sith cultist named Yupe Tashu attempts to perform this ritual in one of the emperor’s throne rooms, but is interrupted and killed before managing to finish it. What if someone were to perform this ceremony again though, but this time with more success?

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Screenshot

The last film in the saga will probably spend a lot of time building to the revival of Darth Sidious’ physical form, but we’re still unsure as to how it might occur. One possible hint is in Rey and Kylo returning to the ruins of Death Star and confronting each other in the Throne Room (as seen above), but for now, all we can do is speculate.

In any case, while The Rise of Skywalker is currently tracking for the lowest opening of the Sequel Trilogy, Disney’s hype train could alleviate the situation and also give us more details about the return of our favorite Sith Lord. One way or another, though, we’ll have our answers when Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th.