One of the many mind boggling plot holes in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was the apparent resurrection/survival of Palpatine aka Darth Sidious. In the movie this was merely explained by one line from Palaptine to Kylo Ren, where he told him that the Dark Side was a path to many abilities that some may find unnatural, cool throw back line from the prequels, but then that was it, nothing else.
We have heard there was initially more to it, but for some reason this was removed in the edit and we were left baffled (or I was at least). I thought we may never get into the nitty gritty of this, but I must have been having an off day. Of course we will find out more about it in some other medium that’s not the movie. In this case The Rise of Skywalker Visual Dictionary will detail it all out. Though you can just get the TLDR here of course, courtesy of MovieWeb.
Remember those hooded figures who surrounded Palpatine’s throne? It turns out these folks are called The Sith Eternal, and they used a combination of tech, and Sith magic to resurrect old Papa Palps, hence his limited functionality. and if you wondered how that fleet of Star Destroyers (Xyston-class), with ‘frikking laser beams attached to their heads‘ got under the ice, then wonder no more. It was The Sith Eternal, who smuggled in parts from across the Galaxy to build the fleet over the course of the years between Return of the Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker.
Now, I know what you are thinking, what about the Sith Troopers, the crews for the ships etc? I’ll give you one guess, ok, you are right, it was The Sith Eternal, who apparently let all their kids and families be used for crew and cannon fodder. So that’s one plot hole filled in, right?
None of this was ever in a version of the movie, it was never filmed, any variation in the opening we got was just that, a variation which might have explained a little more. However, the fact that information this important, has to be gleaned from a companion book, because there just wasn’t enough run time in movie, does not sit well with me. Some things can be left to companion books, little details about how a species breathes in certain air, or what drive shaft powers the Executor-class Star Destroyer. How the main villain was resurrected, for what purpose, and how his massive Sith Fleet was built, are far too important to be left to a book.
In another universe, if someone had actually (not pretend) intended for Palpatine to return, then these people (The Sith Eternal), their goals and purpose could have been a major focus of the middle episode of a trilogy. However, as we know, Disney had no idea Palpatine was coming back until J.J Abrams dreamed up the idea around a year and a half ago (comments from Colin Trevorrow and Ian McDiarmid give weight to this). There was clearly no way this complicated explanation could have made it into the movie without The Rise of Skywalker slowing down the hyperspace pacing of the movie. Who cares about exposition, just turn off your brain and watch the pretty lights going “pew, pew” and trust that you are supposed to be enjoying this drivel.
I do not think this sequel trilogy is going to age well, but who knows, now there is an uprising of fans saying the prequels were misunderstood masterpieces, so what do I know? What do you think of this information, does it work for you, even if it’s off screen? Leave us your thoughts below.
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