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Despite Kylo Ren telling Rey in Star Wars: The Last Jedi that her parents were nobodies, it was revealed in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker that they were anything but. It turns out that Rey’s father was the son of Emperor Sheev Palpatine, and that when Rey was born, he and her mother hid out on Jakku to protect her, though they were ultimately killed in their efforts to keep her safe.
Needless to say that Rey being Palpatine’s granddaughter was one of he biggest bombshells dropped in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but there’s more to her father than what was highlighted in the movie. While the Rise of Skywalker novelization is still weeks away from hitting shelves, plot details gleaned from advanced copies have already made their way online, and among them is that Rey’s father is a failed Palpatine clone.
You might have already heard about how the Palpatine we see in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker isn’t using the same body we saw in the Prequel and Original Trilogies. Before meeting his demise in Return of the Jedi, ol’ Sheev transferred his consciousness into a clone body that ended up decaying and looking like his original form. The book (via ScreenRant) describes this transfer as being “imperfect,” and Palpatine’s worshippers, a.k.a. the Sith Eternal, attempted to create a new body for Palpatine’s essence.
One of their attempts is described as a “useless, powerless failure” and a “not-quite-identical” clone. This body wasn’t deemed an appropriate vessel for Palpatine to reside in, but it did go on to live its own life, ultimately becoming the man who would sire Rey.
So rather than Palpatine hooking up with a woman and having a son the old fashioned away, his “son” came to be through cloning. This isn’t the first time an offspring has been come to be like this in a galaxy far, far away. Remember, when Jango Fett agreed to be the template for the Republic’s clone army on Kamino, as part of his payment, he received an unaltered clone who aged normally, and that’s how we got Boba Fett. Oh, and let’s not forget that former Supreme Leader Snoke also ended up being a clone.
Because Rey’s father was deemed a failure by Palpatine and the Sith Eternal, I wonder why they allowed this clone to keep living rather than just destroy him and start working on a different clone. Furthermore, how was Rey’s dad able to leave Exegol and start his own life, during which he met Rey’s mother?
Knowing Palpatine’s penchant for planning ahead, he might have thought that this failed clone could still be useful down the line and waited Sheev Jr. (I’m assuming this is Rey’s father’s name until told otherwise) to have a child. Once Rey was born, that’s when Palpatine demanded that she be seized for his nefarious schemes, requiring her parents to go into hiding and eventually leave her behind on Jakku.
Although the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy and the entire Skywalker Saga are over, there will be plenty of opportunities in the coming years to explore the three-decade gap between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens even more in other novels, comic books, video games and maybe even TV shows. So perhaps there will come a day when we learn specific details about Sheev Jr’s life, how he met Rey’s mother and what the couple was doing immediately before being killed by Palpatine.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be available to buy digitally starting March 17, and the Blu-ray and DVD copies will arrive on March 31. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more news on what the Star Wars film series has coming up.