The last few weeks have brought a number of pretty interesting Star Wars theories, specifically relating to Kylo Ren’s possible return to the light side of the Force in the upcoming Rise of Skywalker. But, a new theory goes well beyond speculation about Kylo, connecting Rey’s origins to Palpatine’s return, and even looping in the new character Zorri Bliss (played by Keri Russell).
This theory begins by outlining Palpatine’s contingency plan if he died. As we know, because of one key scene in Attack of the Clones, Palpatine spent his entire life searching for the key to immortality. As a Reddit user writes:
Palpatine told Anakin that they’d find the secret to stopping people from dying. I believe Palpatine secretly meant by this that he was planning on possessing Anakin to continue living after his body died. As we all know, Anakin killed Palpatine’s body, and thus derailed this plan.
However, Palpatine had a contingency plan. I believe the First Order is just that, the “first order” of events to be carried out should Palpatine be overthrown. As the recent MSW leak indicates, Palpatine has an elite fleet of troopers and ships in the Unknown Regions waiting to be activated. I believe that all of the First Order’s troops and weapons/equipment have been created here, which explains how they have such a robust army even though the Republic had been reinstated. Palpatine always had this contingency plan waiting in the Unknown Regions. This also explains why the Sith Troopers have FO design and not OT trooper design.
Now who was Snoke, then? Snoke was a dark side enthusiast, and vessel body that Palpatine was inhabiting to create the First Order from the Unknown Regions. However, Snoke was old, and weak. Palpatine knew that eventually he’d need a younger body to inhabit.
So, in this reading, Palpatine’s path toward immortality turns him into some sort of parasite that latches onto a host body while his conscious remains intact (Palpatine’s old master, from whom he learned the powers of immortality, was actually named Darth Plageius, which is a fitting name for this plague-like existence described here). Versions of this theory have been around since the first trailer for The Rise of Skywalker dropped—announcing the return of Palpatine. This theory goes one step further, though, connecting Palpatine to Rey and even the new character Zorri Bliss:
Enter Rey. Palpatine/Snoke feels a strong presence in the Force in a very young Rey. He realizes she would be a perfect vessel to possess and return to full strength. He hires a bounty hunter, Zorri Bliss to find Rey and steal her from her family to bring to the First Order. Zorri goes to fulfill this task, but realizes that she just can’t do this. She has a change of heart and decides to raise Rey herself. She tells the First Order that Rey had died. Snoke/Palps/First Order sets out to hunt Zorri down to punish her for letting Rey die, so Zorri and her husband/boyfriend/friend go on the run with Rey, raising her for years and hiding from the First Order (this is easier to do than hiding from the Empire, because the First Order still is an outlier force with the Republic.) They get by by junk-trading, and take up a drinking habit. (as Kylo referred to in TLJ). After years of close calls with the FO they realize that they can’t protect Rey properly and decide to leave her on Jakku with Unkar Plutt, imagining that some day, they’ll come back for her. They never get the chance. Meanwhile, Snoke/Palpatine has turned to their Plan B, Kylo. He will be raised and trained to use the Dark Side, and will one day be possessed by Palpatine.
It’s an interesting idea, and even though this theory has some flaws (they randomly become drunks?), this does introduce a pretty believable backstory for Rey and Zorri. The fan then goes on to discuss how all of this will play out in The Rise of Skywalker:
The resistance meets Zorri, who’s flying the same ship as we saw in TFA. Rey recognizes it, as she was raised on it. Zorri tells Rey the backstory, and this activates the Resistance to what awaits the Galaxy in the Unknown Regions. Rey finally understands her backstory and purpose. She was once set to be Palpatine’s weapon, and now realizes she must destroy him.
Kylo, now in control of a FO army that he knows nothing of the backstory of, meanwhile discovers Palpatine in the Unknown Regions with the help of his Knights of Ren and a “wayfinder” as described in the MSW. Palpatine’s spirit is there, disembodied, and it becomes clear throughout the movie that Palpatine’s plan is to possess Kylo and use him as a new host, just as he planned to do for Anakin and Rey. This, with Palpatine’s orders to destroy Rey, becomes Kylo’s breaking point to turn against the First Order and Palpatine. In an epic climax, Palpatine then possesses Matt Smith’s character, a “Dark Side acolyte” (as per the MSW leaks), and fights Rey and Kylo. As the MSW leaks indicate, Palpatine jumps into Kylo’s body, and Kylo tells Rey to kill him, to destroy Palpatine once and for all.
It sounds like a pretty solid outline, even though it doesn’t account for how Leia and Finn and the other major characters will play into this plot. But the core of it is pretty compelling. But we won’t know if it’s right until December 20.