The novelisation of The Rise of Skywalker arrived early this weekend at C2E2 in Chicago, which took place at the home of Celebration Chicago McCormick Place, and as copies hit the convention floor eager fans scoured the book for the additional information such releases always reveal.
Be aware, if you’re keen to remain completely spoiler free for the novel then step away now.
Rae Carson’s adaptation – expanded, just as The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story were – reveals that the Palpatine we see in the film was a clone. Not entirely surprising, given the nuclear blast of the second Death Star 30 years before, the tank full of Snoke clones on Exegol and the proliferation of clones during Palpatine’s reign (referring to it as the Clone Wars is somewhat of a clue).
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.
We’ve seen the effect the dark side can have on a body – look at the physical difference between Kylo Ren and Ben Solo after being healed by Rey on Kef Bir – and the fury of the dark side within Palpatine must be almost impossible to contain, and this adds motive to Palpatine wanting Rey as his next vessel, containing the light side as much as he contains the dark.
There will certainly be more revealed in the novel, and stay tuned for our review here on the site when the book officially arrives later in March.