Early on in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Ahsoka Tano helped save Force-sensitive children from being captured and used by a faceless enemy. Audiences knew what Ahsoka didn’t: That Palpatine was behind the kidnapping attempts (and likely plenty of unseen successes). And his motives were pure evil.
It was no accident that decades later, when Ezra Bridger and his companions discovered inquisitors were kidnapping Force-sensitive babies from the arms of their parents in Star Wars: Rebels, Ahsoka showed up again to help save those tiny lives.
She has once again crossed paths with a victim of this same mysterious trafficking in The Mandalorian. Grogu is thus far the most devastating example of Palpatine’s crimes we’ve seen. We know that scientists were specifically taking his blood, and most have assumed it had something to do with cloning. He, too, has managed to escape thanks to Din Djarin.
But the troubling part of all this is that we know eventually, Palpatine still technically succeeded — if his goal was in fact become his own clone, but a much more sinister version of his former self. In The Rise of Skywalker, we learned Snoke was an artificial creation. And Palpatine was … a version of himself, though clearly not his desired final form.
Grogu is a very dark yet hopeful example of one of the children who survived. What happened to all the children our heroes didn’t save? That’s a little too dark for Star Wars television, but the easiest answer is probably “you don’t want to know.”
For all who were saved, there were many more who weren’t. But all it took was a series of selfless acts to finally bring Palpatine’s trade to an explosive end.
It’s possible Rey’s parents were the ones that finally broke the cycle when they left her on Jakku. It was a heartbreaking decision that eventually allowed her to grow strong enough to face Palpatine head-on — and defeat him with the level of power he could never quite obtain for himself.
In the end, it really was his selfish desire that finally destroyed him once and for all.
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