Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker continues to be divisive among the fan base months after its release, thanks to some extreme creative decisions imposed by J.J. Abrams. Was Palpatine's return the right thing to do? Should Luke have been given a larger role? Was it the best thing to listen to fans who hated The Last Jedi and retcon a lot of that film's reveals? Does it make sense that Rey's a Palpatine?
That said, one thing most people can agree on was that the film did wrap up the Skywalker Saga nicely. The Sith were finally defeated, and Rey headed off into the sunset ready to carry on the Jedi Order. There was peace in the galaxy. Right?
One Reddit user's come up with an interesting theory that Palpatine isn't really dead (again) after the events of the film. The theory states that he actually got what he wanted all along, and was able to possess Rey as he initially hoped.
The theory goes like this - at the start of the film, Kylo Ren is informed by the Emperor that all of the voices in his head (Vader, Snoke etc), bending him to the will of the dark side, were all his doing. Later, he instructs Rey to kill him and allow his soul (and that of all the Sith) to enter her body. Obviously, she refuses and hears the voices of the Jedi, thus spurring her to defeat Palpatine.
But what if it wasn't the Jedi in her head? What if it was the Emperor, knowing it would cause her to strike him down and achieve exactly what he wanted?
The theory claims:
"Palpatine revealed that every single voice Kylo ever heard in his head was all Palpatine, and demonstrated this ability as proof. Palpatine also explained that his plan was to get Rey to kill him so he could possess her. Well, what was instrumental in Rey taking those last steps and finally killing him? A bunch of voices in her head!
"So, Palpatine has demonstrated that he can imitate voices in people's heads, he's right there in the room, he asks Rey to kill him and she refuses, then she hears voices in her head which get her to kill him. It's clear: Palpatine manipulated Rey into carrying out his plan, by making her hear encouraging Jedi voices in her head, urging her to dewit. So she does.
"Rey Palpatine is now possessed by Sheev Palpatine. Mission accomplished."
It certainly would make for an interesting episode ten of the saga (because it really is inevitable one day). Rey turns to the dark side and Palpatine makes yet another return. A new sequel could see Rey continuing to grapple with her heritage while Palpatine tries to convince her to give in to the pull of the dark side. If anything it even fits with the rhyming structure of the saga, and makes the Emperor the big bad for yet another trilogy.
Would you like to see Palpatine make another grand return?