Now, before you crawl up my arsehole with angry emails about including Palpatine’s name in the title, let me kindly remind you that his presence in the film was teased in the marketing — Disney spoiled the surprise themselves. So miss me with that bullshit, fanboys, and let’s get to the business.
Warning: spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.
If you’ve already seen Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, then odds are you’re a pretty big Star Wars fan and have been keeping up with The Mandalorian. And if both of those things are true (if they weren’t, what are you even doing reading this article, mate?) then you likely noticed the Force healing powers that debuted in Chapter 7 of The Mandalorian, “The Reckoning”, carried over to The Rise of Skywalker and was featured relatively heavily in the plot.
And according to a new theory from The Hollywood Reporter, it is that connection that may explain how Baby Yoda can explain Palpatine’s return.
As THR‘s article points out, in the early episodes of The Mandalorian, The Client and Dr. Pershing want to acquire the child in order to “extract the necessary material and be done with it.” While Dr. Pershing — who can be seen “wearing a uniform with the Kaminoan cloning symbol on it, a reference to the events of Attack of the Clones” — very much wants the Child alive, The Client — in addition to other various bounty hunters — has been instructed that killing the Child works just as well.
Regardless, it is this hint towards cloning that has led some to believe the process used to create Baby Yoda could have also been used to re-create Palpatine.
In the same episode of The Mandalorian that gave us Force healing, the Ugnaught Kuill introduced the concept of a Strand-Cast, a new term for the Star Wars universe. Based on the context of Kuill’s conversation, we can gather that a Strand-Cast isn’t specifically a clone but a new creature specifically created by customized genetic design, as if one could take a variety of strands of DNA and string them together in a new way.
Also in that episode, we discovered that The Client is working for Moff Gideon, a leader in the remnants of the Empire, who specifically wants the creature alive. We don’t yet know his intentions, but it doesn’t seem like such a reach to suggest that all these things might be related. That in a single week of movies and television we learned about Force healing and Strand-Casts, Sith spirit transfer, alongside our previous knowledge that Baby Yoda and cloning are somehow related, appears to be no mistake.
Are Snoke and Palpatine’s various bodies, new and old, Strand-Cast creatures created using Baby Yoda’s Force sensitive DNA with a combination of Kaminoan cloning technologies and unnatural Sith abilities? Only time will tell. [via The Hollywood Reporter]
Given that The Mandalorian looks poised to run for a few years, if this theory were to be true, we likely won’t get confirmation of such until a few seasons down the road.
Eric is a New York City-based writer who still isn’t quite sure how he’s allowed to have this much fun for a living and will tell anyone who listens that Gotham City is canonically in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter @eric_ital for movie and soccer takes or email him email@example.com.