Star Wars: Episode IX: Not complaining, but how is the Emperor alive?


Hats off to Star Wars for keeping the secret quiet all this time. The Emperor is alive and coming back in Star Wars: Episode IX, but how is he alive exactly?

No doubt you were just as surprised as me when you heard that oh so familiar laugh in the Star Wars: Episode IX teaser trailer. The Emperor is on his way for a surprising reveal in the final installment of the Skywalker saga, aptly named Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, and while I am definitely not complaining, I am curious at how he is alive exactly.

For anyone still wondering if the Emperor coming back is a sure thing or not. J.J. Abrams has confirmed this is a sure thing. The Emperor is definitely coming back for the final installment of the Star Wars franchise.

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Unsurprisingly, fans have been speculating how exactly the Emperor could have survived his fate in Return of the Jedi, the moment the big reveal was made during the Star Wars Celebration panel. There are some wild theories out there, along with some ideas that very well could be the real deal.

The one idea that looks promising is the Emperor Palpatine artifact theory. A theory where an object in the Star Wars universe contains the spirit of Emperor Palpatine and is able to bring him back from the brink of death. Think the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes. This artifact is believed to have been on Death Star II, the remnants of which we could see in the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer.

Other theories being thrown around amongst fans are:

  • This is the original Emperor and a clone version was killed in Return of the Jedi
  • Snoke was The Emperor all along but he came back from the dead all wrong and had to die again to come back as we knew him from the original trilogy.
  • The Emperor has always in fact been Darth Plaigus who jumps between vessels and he left the vessel of The Emperor just before being killed in Return of the Jedi and is finally making his return.
  • He won’t be coming back, he will just be the Sith version of a Force Ghost like Darth Bane in the animated Clone Wars series.

And there are more. A lot more, this is just the less crazy ideas being thrown around by fans.

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The Emperor Palpatine artifact theory seems to be the leading theory among everyone. It would certainly make the most sense without being hugely disappointing like the clone version being killed idea and it doesn’t get too overly complicated like the vessel jumping idea.

With them showing us the remnants of Death Star II in the trailer before the famous laugh came in, it is like they are trying to drop us the hint that something there, like an artifact with the Emperor’s spirit, is there.

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What are your thoughts? How do you think the Emperor is alive in Star Wars: Episode IX? Are you looking forward to the movie at the end of the year? Drop a comment just below sharing your thoughts.