HomeOriginal ContentRanking The Rise of Skywalker Theories from The Absurd to The Plausible

Ranking The Rise of Skywalker Theories from The Absurd to The Plausible

It is no secret that Star Wars fans love a good theory. In the golden age of social media and YouTube reaction and theory videos, you can almost find a new theory of the new Star Wars movie every other day. Sometimes they are absurd, sometimes they are ridiculous, and occasionally they are semi-plausible. There are plenty of theories to choose from, but for this list, I have selected five, some are good, while some are downright ridiculous.

5. Luke Has Been Dead

Theory: “He was killed when Kylo Ren attacked the Jedi Academy a decade ago. Luke didn’t know how to turn into a ghost-like Yoda and Obi-Wan did (never learned that trick), so he was lost in some magical force plain of existence and couldn’t materialize before people. That’s why he couldn’t save Han, he couldn’t kill Snoke, etc. He could only project visions into people’s minds in one particular place in the galaxy that is strong with the Force.

So, we’re seeing Rey on this island, having visions about Luke and Luke struggling to materialize himself as a force ghost. He’s not there, we’re seeing everything from Rey’s point of view, only visions of Luke. This is why we don’t see Luke talking with Chewie, because Chewie can’t see him. R2 was the closest sentient being to Luke when he died a decade before, so some part of Luke was in R2 which is why R2 was broken in The Force Awakens.

Luke Skywalker is not some (bleep) that doesn’t care about his friends, he’s a confused ghost that’s disconnected from the universe of the living. Then once he’s able to figure out how to project his ghost to the world of the living, he immediately goes and saves everyone.” – Reddit user, 27SwingAndADrive1

Reaction: Okay, this theory is one of the wilder ones out there and there are a LOT of components to break down. I sort of like the idea of him being a vison that Rey sees on the island of Ahch-To. The island seems to be extremely Force sensitive based upon the dark vision that Rey has in a cave and the old Jedi Temple. So far, the theory would have some legs and be semi-plausible. This theory would give a reason to why he was missing during big moments such as Han’s death and when Ren is taken in by Snoke. Where this theory really loses me is the how Luke would project himself so everyone could see him towards the end. There’s a moment towards the end of The Last Jedi where he and Leia embrace, he gives Leia Hans old dice, and other characters interact with Luke including Kylo Ren fighting him. Why would other characters interact with Luke if he’s a vision from another planet not on Crait? The other issue with this theory is why would one of the last shots of The Last Jedi be Luke disappearing into the force back on Ahch-To.

Verdict: Partially plausible, mostly absurd. I do like the concept of this, but for this to be a reveal in The Rise of Skywalker is a little far-fetched for my taste. This would have been a very intriguing plot point during The Last Jedi, but I feel that there are a few too many flaws for it to be something to happen in The Rise of Skywalker. This concept would work great with another character in a future book, comic or a future non-Skywalker movie.

4. There Will Be A Young Palpatine via Flashback/Force Vision

Theory/Reaction: I am not sure who first came up or reported this theory or speculation. I’ve seen a few reports that Matt Smith would portray a younger Sheev Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker and this would be done in some sort of flashback or force vision. The part of this theory that has some traction is the fact that in the current canon there is no appearance or mention of a young Palpatine in any medium. There used to be in James Luceno’s book Plagueis, but since Disney retconned all Star Wars media when they purchased Lucasfilm that no longer exists in the current canon timeline. There seems to be a thirst for some more young Palpatine, but it doesn’t make a ton of sense for it to end up here in this final installment of the Skywalker Saga. Palpatine and Plagueis in a spinoff, potentially that Kevin Feige’s movie that just got announced? Probably not but let me dream.

Verdict: It would be cool, but this doesn’t seem like the time to do it. I think Matt Smith would make a great young Palpatine. I also think that eventually, we get some canon stories that have to do with Palpatine, but it doesn’t make sense to me now. We all know that Palpatine will be back and as cool as that is, it does not seem like this is his movie. A flashback or focus on young Palpatine would be useful in his own movie, but not this movie. As much as I just shot down this idea, if it happens, I would love it. I just don’t think it will happen.

3. Rey Is a Palpatine

Theory: There are a ton of Reddit posts about this theory, so I am not sure who first came up with this theory, but here is a quote to a Reddit post that summarizes the idea rather well.

“After the trailer released for Episode IX it’s starting to feel like the theory for Rey being Palpatine’s daughter is more plausible:

1. Dark Side Ben Solo (Skywalker through Leia) fighting Light Side Rey who would be poetic as a reverse from the Original Trilogy.

2. Rey’s parents are someone! The writing was either made to throw us off or Ryan Johnson was diverting 100% from J.J. Abrams original plan, but there is no reason they would stress the importance of her parents for them to be no one.

3. Rey is naturally gifted in the Force and was lured to the dark side back in the cave when trying to find the identity of her parents.

4. Rey’s accent is more imperial in nature.

5. Palpatine was teased in the trailer as well as the ruins of the second death star. Though Palpatine is most likely dead and may exist as a dark spirit the room for speculation is easily there.”

-Reddit user, 1491097

Reaction: Sigh. Alright, this theory is one that I have thought about long and hard. In my opinion, it does make a little sense, but let’s break it down here bullet point by bullet point.

First things first, I do love how this user or theorist wrote this relatively recently referencing the first peek at The Rise of Skywalker. I will admit that the first trailer and footage of the movie fueled the flames of this theory that I first read about way back in 2014 and 2015 when folks were speculating who Rey even was before The Force Awakens was released. The first part of this summary that I can get on board with is the cinematic poetry of a dark side Skywalker fighting a light side Palpatine. With that thought, there is an issue with that poetry because depending what form, or how much of the movie Palpatine is actually in, that would negate the idea of a light side Palpatine because you would have both a light side and dark side Palpatine. It just seems that the poetic idea could get messy based on who is in the upcoming installment.

Okay, yes Rey’s parents are technically someone! Are they someone notable, who’s to say? It feels that people have cared a little too much about linage being connected to the protagonist of the Sequel Trilogy in my opinion. Not everyone has to be a character from a developed family name in this massive galaxy, and we already have a Skywalker through Ben Solo/Kylo Ren so why make the hero of this trilogy up to this point also from a famous family. To me, it just doesn’t make a ton of sense. Now maybe Rian Johnson and JJ Abrams had different opinions on who her parents were, but through two-thirds of this trilogy, it seems that the overarching theme is that anyone can be a hero and you don’t have to come from a known family to make a difference. Deep down I do think Rey’s parents are probably someone significant and I am okay with that. I just don’t think they have to be someone for her story to work and I don’t think it is enough evidence to prove that she is Palpatine’s daughter or granddaughter. 

Yes, Rey is naturally gifted in the Force. Some might call her a Mary Sue, I most certainly do not and for those people calling her a Mary Sue this idea that she comes from a force-sensitive lineage creates a reason why she is so powerful without a ton of training. Then again, I go back to the idea of this current trilogy and how they have honed in on the idea that anybody can be a hero and they don’t need excessive training to be the hero of a story, and they certainly do not need to be someone from a famous family. See broom boy form The Last Jedi for evidence that anyone can have force powers.

I’m just going to call the bluff on the accent thing. Actress Daisy Ridley and actor Ian McDiarmid are from a similar area in the world. They sound the same, lots of actors sound the same. It does not mean that their characters are related, and this is the weakest point of the argument for me.

The final point of this theory is the appearance of Palpatine in the trailer. This could come in a variety of ways through the movie. Maybe it’s a spirit, maybe it’s a clone called Sheev, maybe it’s a hologram, and maybe he shows up in physical form (please no). I think that Palpatine being a part of the first teaser for this movie is saying that he’s going to be a part of the movie and nothing more. I can’t see this being some elaborate plot twist where Rey is connected to him in some family tie. It just doesn’t make a ton of sense and all the reasons laid out above show why it is kind of a lazy theory, to begin with.

Verdict: This is a half-baked theory. Sure, when thinking about different connections Rey could have to different characters it can be fun to imagine who she might be the offspring of. I’ve done this from time to time thinking she was a Skywalker or a Kenobi, but it just doesn’t seem like the type of reveal that would occur in the final act of a trilogy and a nine-movie saga. This would be a reveal that you might want in the middle of the trilogy (i.e. Empire Strikes Back). So, this doesn’t seem that plausible, and if this list was made with some more details on the movie it might be pushed back towards the number ten spot.  

2. Kylo Ren is Possessed

Theory: For this one, I am going to put the too long, didn’t read version. There is quite a lengthy Reddit theory here:


This is the TL; DR version: “Darth Plagueis was able to cheat death by transferring his essence into other host bodies through death. He possessed his apprentice Palpatine, then possessed Snoke, and finally possessed Kylo Ren when Kylo killed Snoke. Episode IX will be about the battle to save Kylo by defeating Darth Plagueis once and for all.” – Reddit user, EmperorDeathBunny

Reaction: This honestly might be my favorite theory for The Rise of Skywalker. There have been rumors that J.J. Abrams has tried to connect all three trilogies and this would be one way to do it. Darth Plagueis has been a character that Star Wars fans have been itching to know more about since Luceno’s novel about Plagueis. There was a brief mention of Plagueis in Revenge of the Sith and this has sparked fan theories since then with almost every installment of the Skywalker Saga. This has even included a theory that fans had created that Snoke was Plagueis.

This theory would be partial fan service but would succeed in the vision that Abrams has had to connect all the trilogies. I know that there are some issues fans might have with the idea of excessive fan service, but if done the right way I think that this is a theory that could pan out and fit well into the final installment of this saga.

Kylo Ren has been a focal point in this Sequel Trilogy and to add this twist would complete and extremely satisfying arch. It would draw from some ideas from comics in the Disney era canon as well as drawing from some Legends material as well. This is a move that would be bold and rather difficult to pull off, but not impossible. Connecting the big bads of Plagueis, Palpatine, Snoke, and Kylo Ren would add to the lore of the dark side and Star Wars as a whole.

Verdict: This one is a stretch, but aspects of it could very well happen. I don’t think every single part of this theory happens. It would be a lot to include in what will most likely be about a two-hour movie. The theory suggests that Plagueis would be the one that possesses Kylo Ren and I think this is just a little far-fetched. I think the much more realistic and reasonable plot point would be Sheev Palpatine possess the mask of Kylo Ren. In the first images of The Rise of Skywalker, we see Kylo’s mask reconstructed with a glowing red in the cracks. I think it would be completely reasonable to assume that Palpatine has possessed the mask and in doing so has taken control over Kylo Ren to an extent, pushing him further and further in the dark side.

1. Skywalkers are the New Jedi

So, we just had The Last Jedi. It seems well within the reach of Star Wars that the Jedi as we have known them are pretty much done and that a new order, The Skywalkers led by Rey. There was not a place I could find as the source for this theory but is a rather simple one. In TLJ we see Rey and Luke talk about a lot of the flaws of the Jedi over the last thousand years. Luke is very adamant that it is time for the Jedi to end because of these failures.

Now Rey does not see eye to eye with Luke on this subject matter. She even goes to the extent of putting Luke and the Jedi on this pedestal. Now even though Luke is advocating for the end of the Jedi as we know it, Rey is determined to learn what she can and even take the ancient Jedi texts to learn from them.

TLJ leaves off with a shot of the Jedi texts that Rey has obtained from Luke which completely sets up the theory of the new order being known as The Skywalkers. From what we know the Jedi are almost nonexistent at the start of TROS. Simply based on the title, there is going to be a rise of a Skywalker, and it does not seem like it will be a character. As of now, Kylo Ren is the last surviving Skywalker blood and with no apparent offspring, it appears that there will be no more Skywalkers by blood. In canon, Force users have been referred to as Skywalkers, so it makes sense that the rise of the Skywalkers would be a new religion and new order after the fall of the Jedi. Now, this is all speculation based on the title. Who knows, maybe there is another character who is a Skywalker who will appear and leave the saga more or less balanced. Or maybe a certain Skywalker (Anakin) will rise from the ashes to help bring balance to the Force?

Reaction: I love this theory. It almost makes too much sense to not come true. At this point, as we gear up towards the release of TROS, I am almost treating this as a face rather than a theory. When the title was first revealed I was overall underwhelmed by the title. The title was something that seemed to be a new chapter in a story rather than the closing story in a saga.

With this theory though the title makes a ton of sense. If the Skywalkers are the ones who rise up and lead the galaxy into an era of peace and prosperity, this title makes a ton of sense. I would much rather this be the case than introducing a brand-new Skywalker-centric character to lead the final act into its sunset.

Verdict: Similar to what is written above, I think that this will happen. If I were to place a bet on any theory that may come true, this would be the theory that I would choose. I think this makes the most sense from a storytelling perspective and fits with a lot of the themes of this current trilogy. This would be a great way to cap the Skywalker saga. If you move from people named Skywalker to anybody being able to be a Skywalker in this new order/religion, it brings a close to one of the best stories ever told all while having the closing to the overall arch remain poetic. All the theories discussed are fun to daydream about, but this one seems more like the reality of the situation than anything.

Start the discussion by clicking on the link to our Discourse forum below or select “forum” via the menu bar up top. May the Force be with you!

Will Custer
"We must keep our faith in the Republic. The day we stop believing democracy can work is the day we lose it.” — Queen Jamillia

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