When the first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker debuted, audiences were shocked to hear the iconic laugh of Emperor Palpatine, which only teased that the villain would return, only for the film to then explain how the villain somehow managed to survive the events of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi on the mysterious Exegol. With the film having to conclude not only the sequel trilogy of Star Wars films but also the entire Skywalker Saga, there were a number of unanswered questions about the locale, though the latest issue of Star Wars: Darth Vader brought with it the unexpected reveal that Vader knew about the planet.
WARNING: Mild spoilers below for Star Wars: Darth Vader #9
The current storyline of the comic has seen Vader abandoned by the Emperor on Mustafar, with Ochi of Bestoon enlisted to attempt to eradicate Vader. During this journey, Vader ended up finding the Eye of Webbish Bog and obtained the Sith Wayfinder that would lead someone to Exegol. With the series unfolding after the events of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, it confirms that Vader was aware of the mysterious planet before his fatal confrontation with Palpatine in Return of the Jedi.
In The Rise of Skywalker, fans were still left with unanswered questions about the specifics regarding Palpatine's return, though various books and comics connected to the franchise have added more insight into the feat. Given the timing of this reveal within the franchise's timeline and with readers still unaware of what Vader does with this new information, it's unknown the extent of what Vader knew about Palpatine's plans.
One possibility is that, while Vader might want to visit the remote Exegol, he never actually learns the significance of the planet and how it connects to Palpatine, if Vader even manages to arrive at this destination. Another possibility is that, even after confronting Palpatine, the Emperor still keeps his intentions a secret from Vader.
What could possibly complicate a lot about the franchise would be if Vader manages to get to Exegol and learn that Palpatine has uncovered the secret to extending his life past death, which could add a new wrinkle to Vader's actions in Return of the Jedi. If Vader knew Palpatine couldn't be killed yet still threw him down a chasm on the Death Star II, it could potentially cause some fans to question Vader's true motivations in his final moments.0comments
Stay tuned for details on the future of the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: Darth Vader #9 is on sale now.