Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has been draped in so much secrecy that we didn't even get the official title before Star Wars Celebration 2019. However, with the release of the first Rise of Skywalker trailer, and the big reveal that Original Trilogy villain Emperor Palpatine is making his return, there are now more rumors about Episode IX's story beginning to leak.
Today's rumor digs into the biggest secret that J.J. Abrams and the makers of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker would want to keep: How the movie's finale plays out! Naturally, the breakdown that follows below may be full of POTENTIAL MAJOR SPOILERS, so don't read any further if you don't want to know!
YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
According to Making Star Wars, the finale of Rise of Skywalker will bring us into a sequence where Emperor Palpatine essentially attempts to resurrect himself by possessing the body of another. That "other" is rumored to be a dark side acolyte, played by none other than former Doctor Who actor Matt Smith; Smith has been rumored for Episode IX for some time, with no details about how he fits in the movie or who he's playing ever being revealed. The rumor goes further to describe how the final battle takes place in the Death Star graveyard seen in trailers, as Matt Smith/Palpatine has an intense duel with both Rey and Kylo Ren, until Kylo kills the Emperor's host body (Matt Smith).
After that, Palpatine's evil spirit possesses Kylo Ren, forcing Kylo to struggle with his dark side / light side conflict, in order to keep himself in control, and stop Palpatine from killing Rey. To protect Rey, Kylo reportedly musters the will to re-embrace his light side identity as Ben Solo, and sacrifices himself to stop Palpatine's resurrection. Palpatine's spirit is then said to be defeated, since Rey is too pure of heart for Palpatine to possess.
This theory about the final battle in The Rise of Skywalker echoes an earlier rumor that we reported on, which stated that Episode IX will reveal a particular connection between Palpatine and Snoke. That connection would be Snoke being the original host body for Palpatine's spirit to inhabit, before Snoke transferred that spirit into some kind of object. With this new rumor seemingly continuing that same narrative thread, it seems likely that this object containing Palpatine's spirit could be the major MacGuffin of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. The scenario for the final duel proposed above would certainly bring the Kylo Ren / Rey thematic arcs to a proper close - as well as tying up the entire larger Skywalker Saga with Ben Solo's sacrifice finally ending the threat of Palpatine, and bringing true balance back to the Force.
What do you think of these rumors? Sound like a good Star Wars finale to you? Let us know in the comments!
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.
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