The Rise of Skywalker: 5 questions on Emperor Palpatine having a family

Photo: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999).. © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /
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Star Wars
LAS VEGAS – MAY 29: Actor Ian McDiarmid’s Emperor Palpatine character from the Star Wars series of films is shown on screen while musicians perform during “Star Wars: In Concert” at the Orleans Arena May 29, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The traveling production features a full symphony orchestra and choir playing music from all six of John Williams’ Star Wars scores synchronized with footage from the films displayed on a three-story-tall, HD LED screen. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker revealed that Emperor Palpatine had a son. The big reveal raises some questions about the Sith Lord and his family.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was a jam-packed ride of adrenaline and exposition, with loose ends revealed and tied together at a breakneck pace. Even amidst flying and crashing and fighting and sneaking and plenty of huge reveals, perhaps no revelation was more breathtaking than the reveal of Rey as the granddaughter of Emperor Palpatine.

This was one of a handful of popular theories bandied about by Star Wars fans ever since the release of The Force Awakens. Even so it seemed the most unlikely; wouldn’t it make more sense for her to be a Skywalker, or a Kenobi, or a Solo?

With the uncovering of a mystery comes the start of many more. We may now know Rey’s biological heritage — that she is a descendant of a Dark Lord of the Sith, the Phantom Menace, the architect of the Galactic Empire and the First Order — but there are huge gaps in our knowledge.

Who exactly was her father? And what about her mother? We get only a couple of lines and a brief sequence of shots in the movie. The identity of her mother is too removed to even guess at reliably, but it’s her father’s lineage that is deemed important by the movie anyway. What are the implications of how and why Sheev Palpatine had a son?

Let’s walk through five questions related to this newfound power family. What do we know (precious little), and what could be revealed later on? Let’s start with the basics of having a son: who was his mother?