The confusion was so intense, it was Palp-able.
The plot of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” aka “Episode IX,” hinged on Emperor Palpatine returning and threatening the galaxy with a seemingly immeasurable fleet of star destroyers. However, considering Darth Vader killed Palpatine at the end of “Return of the Jedi,” when fans found out he was back, it was as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror asking one question: “How?”
Now, “Star Wars” is finally explaining things ... in a book that’s coming out months after the movie.
Palpatine was a clone.
According to Screen Rant, Lucasfilm Publishing sold advanced copies of the novelization of the film at pop culture convention C2E2 in Chicago over the weekend. The book has various reveals, including Ben Solo’s last words to Rey, and confirms that Palpatine’s spirit entered a clone body.
The info comes in a passage describing Kylo Ren’s first meeting with Palpatine, per Screen Rant:
“What could you give me?” Kylo asked. Emperor Palpatine lived, after a fashion, and Kylo could feel in his very bones that this clone body sheltered the Emperor’s actual spirit. It was an imperfect vessel, though, unable to contain his immense power. It couldn’t last much longer.
Cloning comes up a couple of times during “The Rise of Skywalker,” with Snoke being confirmed as a clone during one instance, but how Palpatine came back was never clearly spelled out in the movie. It’s basically chalked up by Dominic Monaghan’s character to a multiple-choice of “cloning,” “dark science” and “secrets” only the Sith knew.
Before the reported confirmation, it was just a big mix and match.
Following the release of “The Rise of Skywalker” in December, HuffPost spoke with “Episode IX” editor Maryann Brandon, who said that originally the film had more information about Palpatine’s background and what was keeping him alive, but it was later cut.
“There was so much information in the film and so many characters that we wanted to have an audience concentrate on. I think we felt we didn’t want to clutter the film up with things you didn’t need to know,” she said.
With so many unanswered “Rise of Skywalker” questions still lingering around, we can probably expect a few more revelations coming from the book, which is officially out March 17. As a possible alternative novel title, we’d suggest “The Emperor’s New Clones.”