Darth Sidious is returning, and his role in the plot of Episode IX may have been revealed to us back in 2017!
We now know the villain of Star Wars: Episode IX, will be the revived Darth Sidious. Sidious was last seen canonically in Return of the Jedi when he was cast down the shaft of the Death Star by Darth Vader. He then exploded in a burst of blue force energy, and all thought he was dead and gone. However, it was revealed in the Rise of Skywalker trailer (and later by J.J Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy) that Emperor Palpatine will indeed be returning in the film.
Now, many have asked how Darth Sidious could return. It is clear he “died” in that his body was destroyed. However, we have seen in the Darth Vader comics that Sith can live on after death and even form a new body (see Darth Momin) and, in the old expanded universe, we saw many Sith use artifacts and buildings to “Haunt” locations.
Howeve,r the above ways may not be how Sidious is going to return, we know from Star Wars lore that Sidious was potentially the wisest force user in history. We saw his skill in that he was able to hide from the entire Jedi Order and best Yoda in single combat. He was also obsessed with eternal life, and not just living forever, but living as a Force Ghost! In Revenge of the Sith, he says to young Anakin:
"“To cheat death is a power only one has achieved through centuries of the study of the Force. But if we work together, I know we can discover the secret to eternal life.”"
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The “One” he is referring to is Qui-Gon Jinn. Sidious already knew how to prolong his life by use of relics and architecture, but he did not want to haunt. He wanted to be one with the dark side of the force. Which leads us to the tiny clue that the plot of The Rise of Skywalker may have been hidden in the book of concept art of The Last Jedi.
The photo from the book shows a concept scene from the book. It shows Luke Skywalker in his hut on Ahch-To, seemingly meditating, when he is visited by the specter of an evil-looking force ghost, who bares some resemblance to a Sith lord. What is interesting is the accompanying text that is printed about the photo. In it, director Rian Johnson says the following:
"“We’ve seen dead Jedi come back as blue ghosts. Maybe Sith can come back. And maybe there’s some all-powerful Sith that’s controlling whatever the dark side is. We did talk a lot about how the final battle frontier for Jedi might be in the spirit realm. So you have to have a bad-guy ghost.”"
When this book was released, it barely caused a blip on the radars of Star Wars fans. However, now that we know Sidious is returning in Episode IX and that director J.J Abrams has referred to the group of heroes facing “The Greatest Evil”, one does wonder if the above photo shows us the secret of the plot to Episode IX. We know Sidious will return as a villain, and we know the film is also looking to bring a definite conclusion to the Jedi/Sith conflict. What if Darth Sidious is the all-powerful Sith that’s controlling whatever the dark side is? It could be that Episode IX will by finally destroying Sidious once and for all be destroying the Dark Side once and for all, as well!
If this is true, we could be seeing some epic action scenes taking place in the netherworld of the force, and this could include Jedi like Luke, Obi-Wan, Yoda, Qui-Gon Jinn and Anakin facing the Dark Lord of the Sith.
What do you think? Do you agree that Darth Sidious could be the one controlling the Dark Side? Let us know below!