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Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Novelization Offers Explanation For Palpatine Still Being Alive

March 6, 2020 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker Palpatine

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker didn’t provide a concrete explanation of how Emperor Palpatine survived the events of Return of the Jedi but the novelization has some details on it. The official novelization of the film is set to release later this month, but the Star Wars Leaks subreddit has already gotten ahold of the scene thanks to its appearance at C2E2, which reveals that – as expected – Palpatine managed to project his consciousness into the body of a clone as he was able to do in the Expanded Universe material.

The scene in question flashes back to Palpatine’s being tossed into the Death Star by Darth Vader, and reveals that Palpatine (or Sidious, if you prefer) had been preparing for betrayal and had a clone ready in a “secret place.” He pushed his consciousness into the clone so that his original body was “dead, an empty vessel, long before it found the bottom of the shaft.”

However, there was a catch; Palpatine was forced to use his clone too soon and the preparations were not complete, which resulted in an imperfect transfer. This is why in Rise of Skywalker he is decaying and near death, needing Rey to kill him so that he can take over her body. The Rae Carson-written book releases on March 17th, the same day the film will be available on Digital HD.