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Star Wars Has Forgotten There’s More To The Sequel Trilogy Than Just Palpatine’s Return



  • Palpatine’s return dominates Star Wars media and its sequel trilogy connections since The Rise of Skywalker.
  • Multiple new projects have worked to justify and establish Palpatine’s resurrection in the Star Wars canon via cloning and midichlorian manipulation.
  • There is more to the sequel trilogy beyond Palpatine’s return that should be explored with new Star Wars projects.

There are some truly dynamic elements from the sequel trilogy that Star Wars could explore with new projects. However, Lucasfilm seems committed to focusing almost solely on Palpatine’s return in The Rise of Skywalker. While it’s likely an overcompensation for how little the former Emperor’s resurrection was explained in the final movie of the Skywalker saga, there’s so much that could and should be explored beyond his return.

While interesting, the execution of the Emperor’s resurrection in The Rise of Skywalker was widely panned by audiences due to the lack of explanation or precedent, especially given the unfortunate line in the movie: “Somehow… Palpatinereturned.” However, multiple pieces of Star Wars media that have been released since have taken great pains to justify how exactly the Emperor came back to life via cloning, midichlorian manipulation, and the dark side. While that’s all very welcome, the concept of Palaptine’s resurrection has effectively dominated the space while other exciting elements from Star Wars’ sequel have largely been ignored.


How To Watch Star Wars Movies In Order

Here is how to watch all Star Wars movies and TV shows chronologically and in order of release, and how each fits into the Star Wars timeline.

Star Wars Is Setting Up Palpatine’s Return… & Not Much More

Project Necromancer Has Dominated Sequel Trilogy Set-Up

Dr. Pershing giving his speech on Coruscant in The Mandalorian season 3, episode 3 next to Palpatine's zombified clone from Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

Multiple pieces of Star Wars media have worked to establish that Palpatine’s resurrection plans were all part of his grand design, seeking to claim a form of immortality with the ability to transfer his essence into a viable Force-sensitive clone body upon his death. To that end, comics such as Marvel’s ongoing and canonical Darth Vader series by Greg Pak and Raffaele Ienco have established the existence of Palpatine’s experiments on Exegol as well as his Sith Eternal cult during the events of the original trilogy, and the novel Shadow of the Sith by Adam Christopher set up Exegol as well.

Likewise, The Mandalorian seasons 2 and 3 established that Grogu was valuable to the Imperial Remnant due to his blood and its high midichlorian count, meaning that Force-sensitive clones could be created via transfusions. To that end, both The Mandalorian and The Bad Batch have confirmed that Palpatine’s Project Necromancer was in place for years with the mission to provide him with a sustainable clone body, a goal that took years to accomplish and first began during the age of the Empire. However, not much else from the sequels has been explored since The Rise of Skywalker.

The Star Wars Sequel Trilogy Isn’t Just About Palpatine

There’s More Than Can Be Explored


Custom Image by Corey Larson

While the New Republic Era shows such as The Mandalorian and Ahsoka have shown more of the New Republic government and its struggles post-original trilogy, the New Republic was destroyed in The Force Awakens. As such, nothing from the sequels has been set up or explored to the same degree as Palpatine’s return which has come to define the era. Daisy Ridley is set to return as Rey in the Star Wars franchise with a new movie, and yet there’s been next to nothing on-screen nor on the page to help set up that return.

Additionally, there are still big sequel trilogy mysteries such as Finn’s backstory and future, his possible Force-sensitivity, as well as the First Order’s stormtrooper brainwashing program at large. Furthermore, Lando Calrissian’s daughter is still missing post-Rise of Skywalker. Whether it’s other heroes, events, or villains, one can only hope that new Star Wars projects will share some of the sequel trilogy spotlight in the future, rather than continuing to focus primarily on Palpatine’s return.

Star Wars The Rise of Skywalker Poster

Star Wars: Episode IX- The Rise of Skywalker

This is the third installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy and serves as the culmination of the Skywalker saga. The film sees Rey (Daisy Ridley), Poe (Oscar Isaac), and Finn (John Boyega) team up to put an end to the First Order after Palpatine mysteriously returns. Jurassic World helmsman Colin Trevorrow was originally named director back in 2015 when the film first entered development, but he parted ways with Lucasfilm due to creative differences over the script. In September 2017, Star Wars: The Force Awakens director J.J. Abrams signed on to finish what he started.


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