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How Star Wars Is Fleshing Out One Of The Rise Of Skywalker's Biggest Mysteries

We’re coming up on two years since Star Wars’ Skywalker Saga concluded with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Among the ways Episode IX stood out from its predecessors was introducing Exegol, the planet located within the Unknown Regions where Palpatine and the Sith Eternal hid the Final Order fleet and created Supreme Leader Snoke. However, even coming out of Rise of Skywalker, there were still a lot of questions concerning Exegol, but it looks like some of that mystery will be cleared up in an upcoming novel.

One of the new Star Wars books coming out next year is called Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith. Set nearly two decades after the Battle of Endor in Return of the Jedi, the story sees Luke Skywalker being haunted by visions of the dark side, which foretell an “ominous secret” growing on Exegol. Shortly after experiencing these visions, Luke is approached by Lando Calrissian, who, while searching the galaxy for his missing daughter, crossed paths with a Sith assassin named Ochi of Bestoon. The Rise of Skywalker viewers might remember seeing him as a skeleton on Pasaana, as well as on a hologram. 

In exchange for being given a “sacred blade” that will answer many of the questions he’s had since the Empire fell, Ochi is tasked by an envoy of the Sith Eternal to return to Exegol with “the key to the Sith’s glorious rebirth”: Palpatine’s granddaughter Rey. So while Ochi hunts down young Rey and her parents, Luke Skywalker and Lando Calrissian will “race into the mystery of the Sith’s lingering shadow and aid a young family running for their lives” over the course of Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith. 

Billy Dee Williams’ Lando mentioned in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker how he and Luke had embarked on a quest to learn about the growing darkness in the Force in the years prior to The Force Awakens, and now we’ll get to see how that journey unfolded. Shadow of the Sith will be released on June 28, 2022, and is available for preorder now.

Rey in front of Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

This won’t be the first time Exegol has been explored in Star Wars media post-The Rise of Skywalker. Greg Pak’s Darth Vader series over at Marvel Comics saw its eponymous protagonist learning about the planet following his duel with Luke Skywalker on Cloud City. This arc also threw Ochi into the mix, and now we’ll learn what sort of trouble he got into decades after the second Death Star was destroyed. More importantly, fingers crossed Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith clears up any plot threads concerning Exegol and Palpatine’s master plan that The Rise of Skywalker left hanging.

Other Star Wars books arriving in 2022 include Brotherhood, which follows Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi during the early days of the Clone Wars; Stories of Jedi and Sith, a middle grade anthology delivering tales from ten authors; and Padawan, which focuses on Obi-Wan Kenobi back when he was Qui-Gon Jinn’s apprentice. If you’re curious about what the franchise has in store for the big and small screens, look through our upcoming Star Wars movies and TV shows guide.

Adam Holmes

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.