The Emperor Palpatine that we saw in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” wasn’t a saved or revived body. It wasn’t the corpse of the dead Palpatine brought back to life. It was actually a clone.

What’s going on?

Screenrant reports that the novelization of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” includes a scene where Kylo Ren realizes that Palpatine’s spirit has been fused with a clone.

The passage read:

“All the vials were of empty liquid save one, which was nearly depleted. Kylo peered closer. 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.

“What could you give me?” Kylo asked. Emperor Palpatine lived, after a fashion, and Kylo could feel in his very bones that the 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.”

Why this matters:

  • The return of Emperor Palpatine was met with some raised eyebrows when “Rise of Skywalker” first debuted, especially since the film did little to explain why he had returned in the first place. There were some suggests that medical devices were keeping him alive and he was being held together by the Force. But a true explanation hadn’t been given.
  • The novel’s description gives us a clear indicator that Palpatine was in fact a clone with the original Palpatine’s spirit inside.
  • For Star Wars fan, this is a big deal, according to Slate: “Elderly ‘Star Wars’ fans are a superstitious and cowardly lot, and they seem to take a lot of comfort from the idea that a fiercely hierarchical organization like the Walt Disney Company can use a top-down management approach to tell interesting stories, then go back in and fix those interesting stories based on feedback from enraged customers whenever they screw up.”