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Warning: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker SPOILERS ahead!
When the Star Wars Prequels were released, the internet was not what it is today and although there were mysteries about how we would get there, we all knew where that trilogy was ultimately headed. The Sequel Trilogy has been quite different. The Skywalker Saga films under the Disney era of Lucasfilm, concluding with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, ventured into the unknown and the modern internet afforded fans a venue to discuss, speculate and theorize about what would happen next and what it all means.
Naturally, with countless people around the world putting their heads and imaginations together to come up with theories, some of them were bound to be correct. With Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker now playing, we know which fan theories were near the mark and which were right on the money, with all the rest now lost to the ether of forums and comments sections, left for some future generation to unearth.
So here are 6 Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker theories that ended up being true.
Rey Is A Palpatine
Following Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Star Wars fan community engaged in what amounted to a very long episode of Maury, where everyone tried to find how who the father was to newcomer Rey. Who is this girl that was so powerful with the Force and who were her parents? Pretty much every famous last name in the Star Wars universe was thrown out as a possibility, including Palpatine, the surname of the Emperor who ruled the galaxy.
While Star Wars: The Last Jedi made us think Rey’s parents were nobodies, we knew Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would give us more answers. The film revealed that they were nobodies by choice. Rey was in fact Rey Palpatine, the granddaughter of Darth Sidious. This explained why she was abandoned, why the Dark Siders were so interested in her and why her abilities were so far beyond not only someone without training, but the majority of people with it.
The Emperor Was Behind Snoke
Right up there with Rey’s parentage, the most theorized aspect of this entire Sequel Trilogy has been the identity of Snoke. And other than the truly out there theories that had the late Supreme Leader linked with Mace Windu or Jar Jar Binks, most of the theories about Snoke revolved around Emperor Palpatine or Darth Plagueis or both. Many theorized that Snoke either was Palpatine or was a clone of Palpatine or some other variation that had Darth Sidious as the big bad of the galaxy.
We now know that Emperor Palpatine was indeed behind Supreme Leader Snoke (whether this was the initial plan is a different discussion). The mechanism by which Palpatine created and controlled Snoke remains unclear, but what is clear is that Darth Sidious was indeed playing the puppet master, still pulling the strings long after his supposed demise.
Leia Trained As A Jedi
We’ve known that Leia has some Force sensitivity since The Empire Strikes Back when Luke called out to her on Bespin. In Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker tells his sister that the Force runs strong in his family before revealing their familial connection. It wasn’t until Star Wars: The Last Jedi though that we saw her really use some Force powers. Still, that didn’t necessarily mean she was a Jedi, but it did make fans speculate about the potential training she received. Many have long theorized that Leia was trained as a Jedi and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker finally proved that theory true.
Luke Skywalker trained his twin sister to become a Jedi Knight and in The Rise of Skywalker we see the two practicing on the last night of her training. Leia ultimately did not pursue life as a Jedi, despite having the skills and the training, because she sensed it would be disastrous for her son. But at least we now know that the long-held belief (and one that exists in Legend Canon) that Leia trained as a Jedi is true. Princess. General. Jedi Master.
Kylo Ren Is Redeemed
Saying that Kylo Ren would be redeemed in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker wasn’t so much a carefully thought out and intricate theory, as it was a general assumption that Star Wars fans have had pretty much since Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But theories don’t have to be deep dives into canon lore to prove true, sometimes they can just be conjecture based on a feeling. And as many of us predicted, Kylo Ren was indeed redeemed in The Rise of Skywalker.
Thanks to a wake up call in the form of a lightsaber to the gut from Rey as well as a pep talk from dear old departed dad Han Solo, Ben Solo finally saw the error of his ways and found his way back to the light. He gave his life for Rey’s and like his grandfather before him, died as the man he was born as, not the monster he became.
Finn Has The Force
Throughout Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, John Boyega’s Finn keeps trying to talk to Rey, only to be interrupted every time, unable to get her alone for a private moment to tell her…something. It sort of seemed like he wanted to confess his love to her, but we never find out what that something is in the film’s runtime. But it seems that something was not a last ditch effort to escape the friendzone; Finn apparently wanted to tell Rey that he was Force sensitive.
Finn being Force sensitive is something that fans have theorized about since we first saw the former stormtrooper ignite a lightsaber on Takodana in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Although that aspect of his character took a backseat in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we got more hints of it in The Rise of Skywalker and now know that this theory is true. Being Force sensitive doesn’t necessarily make someone a Jedi, but perhaps Finn can be Rey’s first student if she ever rebuilds the Jedi Order.
Rey’s Staff Is A Lightsaber
When Finn first met Rey on Jakku, he quickly discovered that the scavenger was anything but a damsel in distress. She was a capable fighter who was particularly adept with the staff she carried around. Her skill with the staff and the fact that she never left it behind had many of us wondering if the staff might hold some future importance. Well, Chekhov’s staff finally came into play at the end of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker when on Tatooine, Rey ignited her new lightsaber, with a yellow blade emanating from the staff.
The assumption is that Rey made her staff into a lightsaber given her preternatural ability with the weapon and so she could retire Luke's blade. So the theory that the staff was already a lightsaber wasn’t true to the letter. But the staff did ultimately become a lightsaber (I’m still curious if it was double-bladed or not), so I think we can call this theory close enough to count as correct, because it was right eventually.
For all these answers and revelations that matched up with fan theories, there are still many unanswered questions that fans have also theorized about. We still don’t know exactly how Palpatine was alive or how Maz Kanata got Anakin’s lightsaber. I suppose those answers will be left to supplemental canon materials. For now though, we enter a period where any Star Wars theorizing we’ll be doing will be about the content coming on the small screen.