The ruined Death Star was shown in the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Why is the relic returning for the Skywalker Saga finale?
After months of waiting and speculation, the trailer for Star Wars: Episode IX was finally released at Star Wars Celebration, which has since then, sent the fan base into a frenzy.
The biggest takeaways from the trailer were in the closing moments, where the Emperor’s iconic laugh was heard over a black screen, after which the movie’s title was revealed to be The Rise of Skywalker.
While both of those have had Star Wars fans going rampant online with speculation on what Emperor Palpatine’s role will be in the movie and their opinion’s over the movie’s title, one piece of the trailer which has been slightly less talked about was from the final shot prior in the trailer, which featured our hero’s staring out into a sea towards the ruins of a crashed Death Star.
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The Death Star is one of the most, if not THE most iconic feature from the original trilogy, and it was a surprise to most fans to see it return in the Episode IX trailer.
The only question is “why was it being included in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker?”
While it is unknown whether the Death Star seen in the trailer is the first or second version of the infamous super weapon, the consensus among fans is that this is the second Death Star which is now a ruin on the forest moon of Endor, as this is the one which Emperor Palpatine died in.
If that is the case, then the likelihood is Rey and friends have traveled there in search of something relating to the Emperor’s inclusion in the film, which goes back to the question of what role Palpatine will have in The Rise of Skywalker.
Currently, many are speculating online that the inclusion of the Emperor’s laugh means that he will be returning alive in Episode IX, and if that is the case, then the team of heroes could be going to the Death Star to search his old throne room for clues on how he survived, or even to find his corpse in order to confirm is this person claiming to be the “real emperor” is in fact an impostor.
Another theory is that the Emperor really did died in Return of the Jedi, and his inclusion in Episode IX will be in a minor role, and that the team may be going to search the Death Star to find an old Holocron of the Emperor that contains information that may help them defeat Kylo Ren.
Emperor Palpatine was also a known collector of ancient Sith artifacts, which he mainly kept in his Imperial Palace on Coruscant or on his luxury pleasure craft, the Imperialis, but it remains possible that he kept a few in his chambers on the Death Star as well.
One of the most famous artifacts that Palpatine had is the Mask of Lord Momin. For those unaware of the Mask of Lord Momin, in Star Wars Legends, it was worn by the Sith Lord and Sculptor, Lord Momin at the time of his death.
As a result of his strong connection to the dark side of the force, Momin’s consciousness was engraved into the mask, and the mask had the ability to still communicate with other force users, and in some cases manipulate and control others.
While I highly doubt that the Mask of Lord Momin will make an appearance in The Rise of Skywalker, the idea of a cursed relic haunted by the ghost of Emperor Palpatine is something that I think we could see.
If that is the case, it would make sense that the relic be located where he died, hence the need for the heroes to have to journey to the Death Star II in order to find it. As for what Palpatine could be haunting, it could be his Sith robes, his lightsaber, or even the Death Star itself, as the super weapon was one of his most prized possessions.
Regardless of how they are included, I am interested to see how director J.J. Abrams will include both the Emperor and the Death Star into The Rise of Skywalker. My only hope is that what ever happens lives up to our expectations and makes for a satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker Saga.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is due out in theaters on December 20th, 2019.