Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker wrapped up the latest Star Wars trilogy, but it didn’t really answer two of the most asked questions of the new trilogy – “How Palpatine Returned?” & “How He Turned Ben Solo into Kylo Ren?” First things first, we got a very vague explanation for Palpatine’s return. Back in Star Wars: Episode VI, Darth Vader killed Emperor Sheev Palpatine aka Darth Sidious to save Luke Skywalker. But he has made a surprising return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The explanation we got was actually the same dialogue Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith where Palpatine told Anakin about how he killed his master Darth Plagueis.
“Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith, so powerful and so wise he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. … He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying. The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”
Apparently, the “dark side of the Force” was used for the convenient return of Palpatine. But no one told us how this worked physically. Now we know how it happened, thanks to leaks from the book – The Rise of Skywalker: Expanded Edition. It confirms that Darth Sidious in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was a clone. Here’s the passage from the book that was posted on Reddit:
“Falling … Falling … Falling … down a massive shaft, the betrayal sharp and stinging, a figure high above, black clad and helmeted and shrinking fast. His very own apprentice had turned against him, the way he himself had turned against Plagueis … whose secret to immortality he had stolen.
Plageuis had not acted fast enough in his own moment of death. But Sidious, sensing the flickering light in his apprentice, had been ready for years. So the falling, dying Emperor called on all the dark power of the Force to thrust his consciousness far, far away, to a secret place he had been preparing. His body was dead, an empty vessel, long before it found the bottom of the shaft, and his mind jolted to a new awareness in a new body — a painful one, a temporary one.”
Just like Sidious had betrayed Plagueis, he had figured that Darth Vader will also turn on him. So he had prepared a secret base far away in the galaxy. While falling down the shaft, the dying Emperor called on all the dark power of the Force. With that, he pushed his own consciousness into a temporary clone at his secret base. This transition had happened long before Palpatine’s soulless body hit the body of the shaft. Being in the clone was painful. That’s why Sidious wanted to get into Rey’s body. This was the big explanation that was shortened to just “The dark side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.” Extending the movie for 10 more minutes to show this would have given us a better understanding and thus made the film better.
The next question was about Ben Solo turning into Kylo Ren. All we got were little snippets of Ben turning to the Dark Side. But now, from the comic book – Star Wars: The Rise of Kylo Ren #4, we get to know how Ben became bad. The Knights of Ren and Ben Solo arrive on id Rim, The Minemoon of Mimban in order to loot a precious artefact known as “The Mindsplitter.” Ben & his group is ambushed by his former friends from Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Temple, Voe and Tai.
Tai, Ben’s best friend tries to reach out to Ben through the Light side of the force. Looking at this, Ren realizes that Ben was about to turn back to the Light Side, so he snaps Tai’s neck with the Dark Side of the Force. This causes a rage filled fight between Ren & Ben. During this fight, Palpatine speaks from his hideout on Exogel, feeding his Snoke puppet the exact words Ben needs to hear in the moment:
“Now you will be who you are. Who you were always meant to be… Yes my boy… yes… Claim your birthright and strike him down.”
Ben & Ren fall off a cliff and upon the landing, Ben brutally impales Ren, and the Knights of Ren bow to him as their new leader. This is how he turned into Kylo Ren, and the story ends with Ben taking the Kyber Crystal from his lightsaber and converting it into a dark side crystal, which further shows us his new iconic sword-hilt lightsabre. “What is your name?” These are the last words that Palpatine projects into Ben’s head. We obviously know the answer to this question. It would’ve been nice to see all of this on the big screen, but obviously there was no time for a proper explanation for this. But still, Palpatine could have been handled better.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Domhnall Gleeson, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, and Billie Lourd. Joining the cast of Episode IX are Naomi Ackie and Richard E. Grant. They are joined by veteran Star Wars actors Mark Hamill, Anthony Daniels, and Billy Dee Williams, who will reprise his role as Lando Calrissian”.