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The Rise of Skywalker Palpatine is back

New Revelations about Sidious’ Return and Rey’s Dad

When word came out that Darth Sidious would be returning for The Rise of Skywalker, fans speculated as to how he survived. In October, I posted an article talking about a story from the old Expanded Universe that saw the Sith Lord resurrect himself through cloning. I theorized that this would be a likely explanation as to how he returns in Rise of Skywalker. Sadly, the movie never explained it, so I had to leave that as my headcanon.

Then, I found this article on Screenrant, and I couldn’t help but smile. The newly released novelization of The Rise of Skywalker confirmed that Sidious had, in fact, survived by cloning himself. Before his death in Jedi, he had sensed that Vader may turn on him, so he came up with a massive contingency plan to ensure his return and the resurrection of his Empire.

Sidious’ Plan B

Sometime before the Battle of Endor, Sidious secretly had most loyal followers to create batches of clones for him to inhabit once his body failed him. When Anakin threw him over the railing, his original body died, but his spirit refused to go to hell. Instead, he traveled to Exegol, his secret Sith stronghold in the Unknown Regions, to take his new body.

Meanwhile, those most loyal to him enacted to the Contingency Plan. On the surface, it seemed to be a mad scheme to destroy the Galaxy in retribution for his demise. In reality, it was meant to purge the Empire of all but it’s best and most loyal people. When the Galactic Civil War came to an end, those followers fled into the Unknown Regions where they founded the First Order. What almost none of them knew was that they were one piece to Sidious’ plan. When the time came, he would reveal himself, take command of the First Order, and reconquer the galaxy.

It’s a long and complicated plan that would require decades of plotting in the shadows. It’s also the kind of long-term game that only Darth Sidious could play, and reminds us why he’s one of the most evil beings in fictional history. He even went the extra mile by creating Snoke to lead the First Order and corrupt Anakin’s grandson.

Fortunately, his plan hit a snag. As this article from SyFy Wire explains, Sidious minions couldn’t create a suitable clone of him in time. As a result, he was stuck in an imperfect body, unable to handle his Dark Side powers. That’s why he looked like he was falling apart in the film.

The Truth About Rey’s Father

That same SyFy article reveals the truth about Rey’s father. Instead of being the biological child of Darth Sidious, Rey’s dad was more like a Boba Fett person. The Sith Eternal managed to create another, unidentical clone of Sidious that had none of his power in the Force. Instead of killing him, Sidious sent his clone into the galaxy to continue his bloodline as another backup plan. That’s how Rey was eventually born.

So, since her dad was a clone of Palpatine, that technically makes Rey Sidious’ daughter rather than grand-daughter. This doesn’t change the fact that she’s descended from the guy who’s actor considers more evil than the Devil himself. What this revelation does do, though, is make fans cry out in relief.


Like almost every fan of the franchise, I was dumb-founded at the fact that Darth Sidious could have any children. Mainly because of what that implies. What sentient being in their right mind would do that with that hideous, twisted abomination? It’s a huge relief to know that it was just a clone!

Why Didn’t They Say So?

Unfortunately, these dual revelations about how Sidious cheated death and had a son also reinforce just how much better The Rise of Skywalker could have been. There were just so many small details left out that could have gone a long way to improving the film. If they had dropped more hints about this stuff before the movie was released, or even decided to split the film into two parts, then the film wouldn’t be so controversial.

Still, that’s the beauty of Star Wars. Whenever the films don’t get to explore a subject or topic, the expanded universe will be able to build on that. So I guess this is a good start. Now all Disney has to do is push forward, stop dragging their heels, and bring the Jedi back in full!

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