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New Star Wars Leak Says an Older Villain Might Return, so Let’s Still Not Retcon Anyone’s Parents

Emperor Palpatine plots evil in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

A few weeks ago, at a local comic con, a fellow came up to me to share his theory that Palpatine, not Han Solo, was the real father of Kylo Ren. Apparently, much like how Darth Sidious used the Force to create Anakin Skywalker through the Force (which, was that ever confirmed anywhere?), Palpatine created a contingency plan that involved him knocking up Leia via the Force to create the Galaxy’s Next Top Sith Lord.

As he told me this, I did what many women do when faced by a strange man in a public setting: I smiled politely, pretended that I had listened, and hoped he’d leave me alone.

Now, rumored leaks are suggesting that Palpatine will be making an appearance in Episode IX, and I find myself hoping that JJ Abrams, purveyor of odd mystery boxes, does not decide to make Palpatine the secret relative of either Kylo or, even worse, Rey. Just because both Rey and the Emperor stabbed at an opponent with a lightsaber does not mean Rey is a Palpatine; lightsaber fighting styles are not genetic!

The leak reads:

Emperor Palpatine will play a role in Episode 9. Specifically, Kylo Ren with an ignited lightsaber, presumably his cross-guard lightsaber, cutting through a blast door on some jungle planet and entering what appears to be a vault. Eventually Kylo Ren is holding a square object that projects a lifelike projection of Emperor Palpatine. Palpatine’s hand is raised in front of Kylo Ren showing blueprints or plans that could be a new weapon.

First off, let’s stop trying to make there be a Bigger Bad than Kylo. Palpatine is not secretly pulling the strings behind Snoke and the First Order. Kylo killed the Emperor figure of this trilogy and is now the Emperor himself. He’s the endgame villain here, if we are going by The Last Jedi‘s text, so to retcon in a surprise even Bigger Bad would feel forced.

Secondly, this does not fit in with Lucasfilm’s canon in the slightest. Palpatine did have a contingency plan for fear of an unknown thing lurking in the Unknown Regions, which was first brought to his attention by Grand Admiral Thrawn in the novel Thrawn. Chuck Wendig’s Aftermath series hints at this strange plan, dropping clues at some unearthly horror lurking at the fringes of the galaxy that Palpatine was trying to prepare for. When Grand Admiral Rae Sloane, who should be the other primary villain in the sequel trilogy, finally makes it to the Unknown Regions, she finds a series of strange things and a Star Destroyer waiting for her to take command.

I assumed that the threat in the Unknown Regions was Snoke for the longest time. My theory, of course, turned out to be false. That does mean that there’s a bigger threat possibly out there, but to bring in Palpatine’s contingency plan and the history of the First Order this late in the game would be confusing. For those of us who devoured the books, we’d be able to dive in, but they’d need too much exposition to prep the general audience, which is the target audience for the films.

The First Order, while made up of remnants of the Empire, has not made any mention of following in Palpatine’s footsteps so far. Darth Vader’s footsteps yes, but the Emperor has been mentioned a grand total of once in the sequels. There is no grand master plan that Palpatine is controlling from the grave, unless there’s an eleventh-hour plot twist coming, and it would undermine the idea of legacies and controlling your own destiny that has been the running theme of the sequels.

Also, we don’t need another Death Star. We have had so many Death Stars and Starkiller Bases.

Now, this leak seems about as credible as me standing on the sidewalk yelling about my own personal theories based on a trailer screencap and a prayer (which is usually how I base most of my theories). Of course, Palpatine might make an appearance somehow, but I doubt that this one will pan out the way the leak has described. Especially if it involves a sneak reveal that Rey’s nobody parents meant she had a grandfather who was somebody. Please, I can’t do this any longer.

(via Esquire; Image: Lucasfilm)

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Kate (she/her) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions she has. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, she is now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for her favorite rare pairs.