Regardless of how the movie turned out, for better or for worse, there was this one part which confused many fans. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker saw the return of Emperor Palpatine or Darth Sidious. As Kylo Ren visited Exegol, he met the Sith Lord who told him about his plans for the Final Order. While many fans theorized him to be a clone, Star Wars itself has confirmed this theory.
Palpatine Was A Clone, Star Wars Novel Tells
Even Ian McDiarmid did not expect the franchise to bring back his old role for the final movie of the Skywalker Saga. After the movie, all we got as an explanation to his return was that the Dark Side was a pathway to many abilities some would consider unnatural. Fortunately, thanks to the Rae Carson’s novelization of Episode IX, we finally know happened with the Sith Lord Darth Sidious.
When Kylo Ren meets Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker, he decides to take a look at the machinery connected to the Dark Lord. According to what the novel reads:
“He’d seen this apparatus before, too, when he’d studied the Clone Wars as a boy. The liquid flowing into the living nightmare before him was fighting a losing battle to sustain the Emperor’s putrid flesh.”
Next, just like everyone was predicting, the novel confirms the Star Wars theory about Palpatine:
“Kylo could feel in his very bones that this clone body sheltered the Emperor’s actual spirit. It was an imperfect vessel, though, unable to contain his immense power. It couldn’t last much longer.”
In the Dark Empire comics by Tom Veitch and Cam Kennedy, the story revealed that Darth Sidious could transfer his spirit, or consciousness, to a cloned body. Although this comic was not considered canon, the idea indeed has taken up into the canon movies, confirming the brilliant and dark powers of the Sith Lord Palpatine.
Now, does this mean that we might continue to see Palpatine in future Star Wars movies?