Warning: the following contains SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker! Proceed with caution.
Aside from continuing to serve as the main antagonist of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy (which will naturally involve him dueling Rey again), we haven’t learned much about what’s in store for Kylo Ren in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. However, a new clip for the last chapter of the Skywalker Saga, and wow, it teases one doozy of an encounter between him and one of the Star Wars franchise’s most formidable figures.
Seriously, this is your last chance to bow out now if you’ve had your fill of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker previews and would rather go into the movie as freshly as possible. I’ll give you all a minute… okay, everyone else here? Good, good!
We’ve known since the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker teaser trailer dropped in April that Emperor Palpatine, who was last seen in Return of the Jedi being tossed into the second Death Star’s reactor, g, but understandably, the specifics of his presence have been kept under wraps. Thanks to this new Rise of Skywalker clip from the Star Wars Facebook page, it’s now confirmed that Palpatine and Kylo Ren will indeed meet one another.
Well, technically we don’t see Palpatine and Kylo Ren face-to-face on this stormy world, but as the latter enters a mysterious and gloomy temple, he starts to hear the voice of the former all around him. But here’s where things get extra creepy: Palpatine tells Kylo that he’s been every voice he’s ever heard inside his head, but Palpatine’s voice is only heard saying the first part of that sentence. The latter half is uttered by Supreme Leader Snoke and, wait for it… grandaddy Darth Vader!
I don’t remember Vader ever saying “inside your head” in the Original Trilogy, Revenge of the Sith or Rogue One, so clearly J.J. Abrams and the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker team managed to get James Earl Jones to record new dialogue and ominous breathing. More importantly, Palpatine is admitting that he’s been manipulating Kylo Ren’s life all this time, although remember, it’s wise to ingest what Palpatine says with a healthy amount of skepticism.
I’m curious what this reveal means for Supreme Leader Snoke, who Kylo killed in The Last Jedi. Was Snoke serving on Palpatine’s behalf, or was the Emperor also secretly manipulating him from afar to carry out his bidding. Regardless, Kylo’s encounter with Palpatine in the clip cuts off when he abruptly turns around and points his lightsaber at someone. Whether it’s Darth Sidious himself or someone else is unclear.
The rest of this Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker video showcases a mix of both footage from past previews and a sprinkling of new material., but this Kylo Ren/Palpatine encounter that’ll have people talking the most. Frankly, with just a week to go until the movie’s release, I’m surprised Disney and Lucasfilm were willing to release something this spoiler-y.
Fortunately, there’s still plenty of secrecy surrounding Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. For one thing, we still haven’t gotten an actual look at the hooded Sith Lord. Does he basically look the same as he did in Return of the Jedi, or has he become even more deformed? And what does he have in store for Rey, since it seems like they will meet at some point? We don’t have much longer to learn the answers to these questions and more.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on Friday, December 20. Feel free to start planning what you’ll watch on the silver screen next year with our 2020 release schedule.