Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker Novelisation Sheds New Light On Emperor Palpatine’s Return

Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

by Ben Travis |
Published on

Months after Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker hit the big screen, certain sequences, moments and surprises are still being embellished and further clarified on the page. After last week’s reveal that the Marvel comic book adaptation of Episode IX would include ‘extended and deleted scenes’ from the movie, an early release of the official novelisation has cleared up some of the ambiguity around one of the film’s most notable plot points. This is your official spoiler warning if you haven’t caught the final film in the Skywalker Saga.

This weekend’s C2E2, aka the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo, gave fans an early chance to pick up Rae Carson’s Rise Of Skywalker novel, and a passage from it has firmed up the exact nature of Emperor Palpatine’s return. According to the novelisation, the body of the resurrected Emperor in Episode IX is indeed a clone, but one that contains of the soul of the original Sheev Palpatine. The reason that the body is so gross and messed up? It’s struggling to hold the sheer, corruptive power of Darth Sidious, hence its rotting, cracked appearance. Here’s the passage as it appears on the page:

”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.”

That’s all in keeping with what we see on screen – there’s evidence of cloning taking place on Exegol at the hands of the Sith Eternal, the revelation that Snoke was a clone body himself, and the line uttered by Dominic Monaghan’s Beaumont Kin about “dark science, cloning, secrets only the Sith knew”. It's also worth noting that Palpatine returning via clones isn't a brand new idea – it was previously explored in the Dark Empire comic book series published through the mid-'90s, part of the now-decanonised Expanded Universe. But in The Rise Of Skywalker itself there’s nothing that explicitly confirms Palpatine as a clone hosting the spirit of the original Palps. Expect more clarified plot beats from the film when the novelisation goes on wider sale from 19 March. The film comes to Blu-ray (with plenty of extras, but without any deleted scenes) on 20 April.

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us