The film received a mixed reception when it was released last year, some of the criticism arguing that it failed to explain how the villain could return given his apparent death in Return of the Jedi.
However, advanced copies of Lucasfilm’s official novelisation of The Rise of Skywalker have reportedly been distributed at Chicago’s C232 convention, with an extract posted on social media revealing that the Palpatine we saw was actually a clone.
The passage, which takes place during the scene where Kylo Ren encounters the Emperor on Exegol for the first time, reads: “All the vials were empty of liquid save one, which was nearly depleted.
“Kylo peered closer. He’d seen this apparatus before, too, when he’d studied the Clone Wars as a boy. The liquid flowing into the living nightmare before him was fighting a losing battle to sustain the Emperor’s putrid flesh.
“‘What could you give me?’ Kylo asked. Emperor Palpatine lived, after a fashion, and Kylo could feel in his very bones that this clone body sheltered the Emperor’s actual spirit. It was an imperfect vessel, though, unable to contain his immense power. It couldn’t last much longer.”
The moment also suggests that the clone body is too weak to be able to contain Palpatine’s Dark Side power, hence why it is so decrepit.
Meanwhile, Lucasfilm has announced a new series of books and comics called The High Republic to kick-off Star Wars‘ next phase.
The series will be set 200 years before The Phantom Menace, and will kick-off with novels Light of the Jedi, A Test of Courage, The High Republic, Into the Dark and The High Republic Adventures.