Lucasfilm Confirms Emperor Palpatine Was a Clone in ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘. The novelization of the film, ‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘ confirmed many suspicions that Emperor Palpatine did NOT survive the events of Return of the Jedi and merely it was his undying spirit that brought him back to life, but this time in the body of a clone.
If you wish to refrain from spoilers about the film consider this your SPOILER ALERT… Moving on.
Let’s dive in. First off, I know, I know, NONE of this was explained in the movie itself and it’s left to the imagination of moviegoers as to how Palpatine survived. The way we know this version of Palpatine in the film is a clone is a passage in the novelized version of The Rise of Skywalker. The book is not yet available, and is expected to hit shelves on March 17th, but Star Wars Fans who attended C2E2, a mega-popular convention hosted annually in Chicago, IL, were able to purchase the book at an early unveiling during the special event.
The passage in the book reads:
“All the vials were empty of liquid save one, which was nearly depleted. Kylo peered closer. He’d seen this apparatus before, too, when he’d studied the Clone Wars as a boy. The liquid flowing into the living nightmare before him was fighting a losing battle to sustain the Emperor’s putrid flesh.
“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.”
There is no denying this is the intention of this moment within the movie, but with so many stories to bring to a close, it’s no wonder this portion of explanation was left out of the final cut of the film. From what the text reads, it seems somehow Palpatine’s spirit was transferred to a clone body that has been too weak to harbor the spirit of the Sith Lord and was deteriorating rapidly. The deterioration was apparent in the film, but it seemed to be related more to the injuries Palpatine had sustained after being defeated by Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi rather than the explanation that the cloned body was not equipped to take on his spirit. This also would put more stock into Palpatine needing a strong apprentice who could help to sustain the body until a stronger form was raised and would honestly help to fill some plot holes left in the film itself.
I could go on and on about what this could mean for the film if fans had been made aware sooner, but we will have to wait and see what other goodies and bits of information can be found in the novelization of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when it hits shelves on March 17th.
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Featured Photo Credit: Lucasfilm
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