Bringing Palpatine Back and Not Explaining How
In The Rise of Skywalker, Emperor Palpatine returns from the dead. We all knew this was going to happen as soon as we heard that terrifying laugh at the end of the first teaser trailer. The question many fans had was how? Personally, I wasn’t opposed to bringing him back, as long as it was properly explained. It wasn’t.
The opening crawl just said Palpatine was back and then when he’s sought out by Kylo Ren, all he does to explain it, is recite the line from Revenge of the Sith about the Dark Side being a path to unnatural abilities. That is all fine and great, but knowing how he came back is essential to figuring out how to destroy him. Rey defeats him at the end by deflecting his Force lightning back into him, but who knows if it is permanent this time. If it was his spirit that lived on until it found this cloned or manufactured body, then why wouldn’t he just be able to do that again?
If they were going to bring Palpatine back, it would’ve made more sense to do it in The Force Awakens. Maybe his spirit or essence lived on and it was Kylo Ren’s goal to bring him back to life which he finally accomplishes in the third film.
One other negative about bringing ol’ Sheev back from the dead, is that it lessens the redemption of Anakin Skywalker. He sacrificed himself to destroy the Emperor to save his son. Having the Emperor just come back unexplained 30 years later drastically reduces the importance of that sacrifice.
It’s worth arguing that having Darth Plagueis, who according to Sheev from Episode III, had such a knowledge of the Dark Side that he could cheat death, be the main villain. He would arguably be even stronger than Darth Sidious and it wouldn’t have tainted Anakin’s heroic, redemptive ending.