Star Wars: How does Palpatine’s return change Kylo Ren’s story?


Palpatine’s addition to Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker changes the tone of Kylo Ren’s story and allows for a path to redemption.

With Kylo Ren cutting down Snoke and taking control of the First Order, the assumption was that he would be the big bad heading into Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. 

Ha. Ha. Ha.

That’s actually J.J. Abrams laughing at our assumptions. He turned them on their heads at Star Wars Celebration with the teaser trailer that had Palpatine laughing at the end. Then added to it at D23 with the new Episode IX poster and some of his quotes afterward.

Take a look at this poster:

Star Wars
Photo: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.. key art.. 2019 Lucasfilm Ltd. All Rights Reserved. /

It’s simple yet effective. There is a lot going on here and really confirms Palpatine is back. The biggest thing is Palpatine actually looks like a puppeteer controls his marionettes with the battle playing out below him.

We quickly go from Kylo Ren being a cold-hearted killer (except when it comes to his Mama) to looking as though his entire story has been controlled by this master manipulator.

More from Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

We know what Palpatine is capable of. Star Wars fans have been living with it for 40 years. He manipulated nearly every person to cross his path. Some found out too late. Others let him take control.

Then you had someone like Luke Skywalker who managed to fight through and appeal to Darth Vader’s humanity in order to defeat Palpatine — or so we thought.

Yet knowing Palpatine is back changes how Kylo Ren is seen and allows a redemption arc to actually take place if that is the way J.J. Abrams decides to go. It paints Kylo as a bit weak-willed, which we already saw. He has struggled with his emotions and allowed Snoke to manipulate him.

When it seemed as though he finally took over, he again looked like a petulant child when he came to fight Luke at Crait.

However, it turns out that those crazy emotions, the ones that seem to have driven him through the two films may been the way into his will in order for Palpatine to take control. He’s so much like his grandfather and he doesn’t even realize it.

At D23, Abrams told MTV:

"You know with the Emperor around, he’s not going to be your cuddly pal. … I can’t wait for you to see how that plays out. You know, he’s in the poster for a reason."

Thanks, J.J. That says nothing with actually saying a little something.

Remember people, the Emperor is not your friend.

If it turns out that Kylo Ren has been led around by Palpatine this whole time, it changes the way he’s seen. He’s still a bad guy and has killed people. That does not change. But some of the harsh edges become a little softer.

There might be room for redemption after all.

Next. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Top 5 moments from the D23 teaser. dark

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker premieres December 20.