One of the biggest surprises to come out of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was its controversial revelation that Rey wasn’t actually “nobody.” But less surprising is that the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelization continues to give us information about the movie that we never asked for. The latest is another whopper about Rey’s identity — or rather, her father’s identity.
The Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker novelization reveals that Rey’s father is actually a failed Palpatine clone, thus ending the months-long discussion over what woman would actually let a wrinkled, undead Palpatine father her child.
You’ve probably heard the revelation that the Palpatine we see in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker isn’t the exact same Palpatine we saw in the prequel and original trilogies. Before his demise in Return of the Jedi, Palpatine transferred his consciousness into a clone body, which led to the decaying form we ultimately meet in The Rise of Skywalker. When Rey meets her grandfather for the first time, she passes by other unfinished clones, which means he had tried this process before. Little does she know, the last clone attempt was her own father.
During the scene when Rey pretends to take part in the Sith Ritual on Exegol to trick Palpatine, she has visions of her grandfather’s past. In this vision, the novelization describes (via ScreenRant) that Palpatine “thrust his consciousness” into a clone body, but “the transfer was imperfect” and the members of the Sith Eternal worked to engineer a new vessel for Palpatine’s essence. One of these attempts was labeled “a useless, powerless failure” who was “a not-quite-identical clone.” That failed clone would still manage to live on, escape Exegol, meet Jodie Comer, and become Rey’s father.
This isn’t the first time that cloning has produced offspring in the galaxy far, far away. When Jango Fett agreed to be cloned for the Republican’s army on Kamino, he received as part of his payment an unaltered clone who aged normally and became the iconic Boba Fett. And of course, there’s the former Supreme Leader Snoke, who also ended up being a clone. No word yet on whether he is anyone’s grandfather.
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