Is this book suggesting Emperor Palpatine knew about Kylo Ren during Episode V?

Ian McDiarmid in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.
Ian McDiarmid in Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved. /

Did Emperor Palpatine know about Kylo Ren long before he was born?

An exciting Star Wars anthology book is out now, From a Certain Point of View: The Empire Strikes Back, which brings together a collection of short stories about narratives from side-characters in the fifth Skywalker saga movie. Ahead of it coming out, Star Wars shared the entire excerpt of a chapter that brought back Solo’s beloved L3-37 character. But now, a truly interesting excerpt has been released and shared on

This chapter, written by Mike Chen comes from the perspective of Palpatine during the events of Episode V, and it reveals something very interesting that could really change the lore of the entire Skywalker saga… or at least add some intense background to what we already know.

The first part of the chapter begins with Palpatine sensing a disturbance in the Force. He’s currently in his deep underground layer in an old Jedi temple, and he stops to observe what in the Force is going on. At first, he begins to think of the last disturbance in the Force when the (first) Death Star was blown up. At this current moment in the story, he has no idea who Luke Skywalker is; he just happens to know there was something awfully peculiar about the skilled pilot who somehow destroyed the Empire’s mega-weapon. But even that isn’t necessarily what he’s feeling pulled to meditate on. At the end of the chapter, this is revealed about a vision he begins to have:

"What Palpatine saw in the Force should have frightened him.On the floor of his office in the Imperial capital lay the bodies of two Royal Guards, their severed red helmets tossed across the space. And next to them, a figure stood.Stoic. Intimidating. Cold.Just as the Sith of legend, with power emanating from its very breath.The Sith, after all, always attempted a coup. It was the way of things.This figure remained at attention, the crimson glow of a drawn lightsaber reflecting off panoramic transparisteel. Shadows cast over the figure’s hooded face, a brief glance enough to show that it was a young man; not an old wizard like Dooku, not covered in demonic tattoos like Maul, and not a lumbering clash of organic and mechanical like Vader.Only, it seemed, a boy."

This ending was left quite ambiguous. But at the same time, it leads to a very narrow window of candidates who Emperor Palpatine could be seeing in his vision. And right now, the strongest candidate seems to be Kylo Ren himself.

Kylo checks many of the boxes: young, hooded, and, of course, wields a red (er– crimson) lightsaber. But we’re sure, at this stage, Palpatine is asking himself, “What do I do with this information?” To explain Kylo Ren and his story, you have to backtrack a lot.

First, he would have to know about Luke’s connection to Vader. Second, he would have to also add in the fact that the princess of Alderaan is Luke’s twin, and she’ll have a relationship with the scoundrel they’ve been riding around with. And then on top of that, he’ll have to know that when his Empire falls, Luke will embrace becoming a Jedi to train the son of the princess and the scoundrel, all for the son to betray his family and become the hooded Kylo Ren that he sees in his vision. (And that’s just the abridged version.)

Plus, if it really is Kylo Ren he saw in his vision, it explains a lot about how and why he would plan to make a comeback all revolved around Kylo Ren in The Rise of Skywalker. At this point, we know from the very beginning, Ben Solo/Kylo Ren was being absolutely used, especially considering Snoke (or, the Emperor?) always had a watchful eye over the young Ben Solo. But now, knowing this vision that the Emperor had, it explains why the whole operation was set up to begin with.

It’s a fascinating chapter, and there’s a lot more where that came from in the newest From a Certain Point of View book.

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Do you like this new bit of lore about Emperor Palpatine and Kylo Ren? Let us know in the comments?