Fans have called for answers to mysterious or unrevealed plot details in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker for some time, and now many of those answers are available thanks to the official novelization. Unfortunately, some are quickly realizing they may have been better off left in the dark, as the official answers to Episode IX's burning questions have left many unimpressed.
The hubbub first started in the Reylo community, which had hoped to see the expanded material confirm the romance between Rey and Kylo Ren. Alas, the quotes on their fated kiss left much to be desired, as it was described as one of "gratitude," rather than love. The news disappointed many fans of the Star Wars movies, who are still confused why a passionate kiss had absolutely no romantic implications.
It's a confusing detail for the novelization to include, especially considering the strong notes of romantic tension between Rey and Kylo throughout Star Wars: The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. It's problematic, but in terms of the plot at large, perhaps not something that would cause an uproar amongst the fandom at large.
At least, not in the way the Emperor Palpatine reveals did. The Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker novelization revealed how Palpatine survived Return of the Jedi, but it was a little bit more uninspired than what many were hoping to learn. It turns out that Emperor Palpatine was a clone, which means he wasn't the Palpatine seen in the Prequel and Original Trilogies. At least physically speaking, as the novel made a point to note Palpatine's spirit embodied this clone via some means of possession. In terms of all the ways Sith can achieve with their abilities and the various survival methods in Star Wars canon, some felt the explanation was pretty bland.
It turns out the "secrets only the Sith knew" was the secret of clone troopers most people in the world of Star Wars already knew. The cloning didn't stop there either, as the Star Wars novelization took things that much further by revealing that Rey's father was a Palpatine clone. No, not the Palpatine clone she fought and destroyed, but a completely separate clone who had absolutely no Force sensitivity.
Yes, a non-Force sensitive clone Palpatine was Rey's father, according to the Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker novelization. This creative decision sounds bizarre considering the massive amount of Force ability Rey is shown to have, and that Palpatine's Force sensitivity was somehow passed onto her through a failed clone of himself. The reveal baffled many, and some have more questions than they had before all these reveals started coming out.
The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelization also revealed that Finn was Force sensitive, though that knowledge was revealed before the book ever hit store shelves. There was a fair amount of grumbling in regards to why that was left out of the movie at the time, but it appears the anger from fans right now is primarily directed at the newer information.
Right now, the general consensus seems to be that the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelization actually made things worse, not better. That's sad news for many who hoped it would fix their problems with the movie, though of little consequence to those who never intended to read it in the first place. To some, Episode IX blew it the first go-around.
The Star Wars franchise has had a rough go at the movies in terms of fan approval as of late, but there's hope for improvement down the stretch. The High Republic initiative will eventually lay the groundwork for more stories to be adapted to film, and folks are still all about The Mandalorian and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. In short, there are enough good things happening for fans to remain interested in Star Wars, which means even the worst novelization won't sink this franchise.
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