WARNING!!! POTENTIAL SPOILERS AHEAD.
“No one is ever really gone.”
Luke – The Rise of Skywalker Teaser
Well. Well, well, well.
The return of Sheev in ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ threw a curveball in the fandom and there is speculation everywhere and the fan theories are building… and do here are a few of mine.
Palpatine did not die on the Death Star. We have seen Force Users falling from a great height and surviving. He is an incredibly powerful Sith and so would have been able to control his fall after Vader threw him down the reactor shaft, and knowing that the battle was lost he escaped the battle station before it exploded.
We know that there were Imperial ships in the Unknown Region, including Palpatine’s own Super Star Destroyer ‘The Eclipse’. Perhaps he managed to get on board one of the Star Destroyers at the Battle of Endor and had them meet the Imperial forces in the Unknown Regions.
Once he’s gotten to safety, Palpatine has Operation Cinder initiated and the final contingency initiated which culminates with the Battle of Jakku which has the few Imperial survivors heading to the Unknown Regions.
Once there, Palpatine oversees the installation of Snoke as the head of the First Order and from behind the scenes pulls the strings that builds the First Order into the formidable force it becomes by the time of ‘The Force Awakens’.
Once the Republic is destroyed Palpatine can once again take control but uses Snoke to do so, allowing Palpatine to focus on his more sinister plot… whatever that may be. We do knot that Palpatine spent the years after the rise of the Empire doing research into the Unknown Regions where he believed the Force originated, which is why he was so interested in Thrawn when he was brought to the Empire and this was where he found Snoke and had Snoke become the figurehead of the First Order to maintain the illusion of his death.
Now, according to rumours and leaks (so potential SPOILERS AHEAD) during the events of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ the Knights of Ren return from the Unknown Regions after going on an undisclosed mission with Kylo’s Red armoured Stormtroopers. Could they have found Palpatine? Have they joined with Palpatine and become his personal army and they have been sent to integrate the First Order with Palpatine’s machinations which could lead to the new Empire splitting, with Kylo leaving with the younger members of the First Order whilst the older Officers who were once Imperial followers following their former leader. Perhaps Hux even sides with Kylo and with him the main Stormtrooper army which could be where rumours of a Stormtrooper rebellion come from.
Then the former First Order join with the Resistance heroes and in the end it is the Balance of Kylo and Rey that finally finish what Anakin started, the end of the Sith.
Of course this is all speculation and I could be (probably am) completely wrong about all of this but it’s where my head has at with the whole Palpatine in the Sequel Trilogy.
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