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Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Theory Explains A Big Darth Vader Mystery

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may hold an answer to one of the franchise's biggest mysteries involving Darth Vader and the abduction of Force-sensitive children. 

Darth Vader
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker may hold an answer to one of the franchise’s biggest mysteries involving Darth Vader and the abduction of Force-sensitive children.

Say what you will about Episode IX, a movie that had to wrap more than 40 years of storytelling while paying tribute to every major aspect of what made that galaxy far, far away so successful in the first place, but you can’t deny the Mouse House’s lack of commitment in addressing some pretty major questions in J.J. Abrams’ last entry. From reinterpreting established lore – like the Sith rule of two – to explaining what really went down with the resurrection of Palpatine, over the past few months we’ve learned a lot more through tie-in material than we did in the film itself.

However, a new theory related to the movie may now explain where the Sith cultists from Exegol came from. You know, the ones who nursed Palpatine back to life and somehow managed to build him the biggest fleet of Star Destroyers the galaxy has ever seen? In George Mann’s canonical Star Wars: Myths & Fables, a story revolving around Darth Vader explains how the Sith Lord went to different worlds and abducted Force-sensitive children.

Image via Lucasfilm / Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

As you know, the Emperor ordered Vader to kill all the Jedi and other Force-sensitive individuals, so where did these children go? Well, in The Rise of Skywalker, we learned that both Vader and Palpatine possessed Sith Wayfinders that’d lead them to the Sith stronghold on Exegol. So, what if the Chosen One took those children to Exegol to be brainwashed into the ranks of Sith Eternal?

As ScreenRant explains:

Children at a young age are particularly impressionable, and it is far easier to indoctrinate a child than it is an adult. Thus these Force-sensitive children would be taken to Exegol, where they would be brainwashed by the dark side of the Force, and then integrated into the society of Exegol – possibly as Sith Cultists. No doubt Darth Vader only tended to steal children from backwater worlds like Cerosha, where his actions would draw no attention from either Imperial rivals or Rebel sympathizers in the Senate.

The theory could explain the sheer number of cultists on the Sith redoubt and all the details check out, too. It would even sit well with the philosophy behind the First Order and their stormtrooper recruits. The junior novelization for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has hinted that the Dark Side of the Force may have been involved in the process of brainwashing these individuals, but it wasn’t foolproof, as Finn and many of his comrades found a way to escape its influence.

Tell us, though, what’s your opinion on this particular Darth Vader mystery? As always, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

About the author

Jonathan Wright

Jonathan is a religious consumer of movies, TV shows, video games, and speculative fiction. And when he isn't doing that, he likes to write about them. He can get particularly worked up when talking about 'The Lord of the Rings' or 'A Song of Ice and Fire' or any work of high fantasy, come to think of it.