Before Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker‘s first trailer was revealed, fans didn’t have the foggiest clue what would happen. With Supreme Leader Snoke dead, just who was going to be the big bad guy of the final movie in the saga? Well, after the first trailer, everybody had their answer. It would be Palpatine, the same Palpatine we saw fall to his death way back in 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

However, his return has infuriated some followers of the franchise. So we now take a look at 10 things surrounding the Sith Lord’s return that were just plain bizarre.

10 His Very Existence

It certainly looked as if we’d seen the last of Palpatine when he fell down the chute of the second Death Star way back in 1983. The fact there was all that blue lightning, coupled with the fact the space station blew up shortly afterward, meant there was surely no way back.

Except there seemingly was – although the movie didn’t explain a thing. That, certainly, has rankled with fans. If you’re to bring the big bad guy back, it at least has to make sense. And while Disney may be trying to cover their tracks through novels and comic books, using the clone theory, it still doesn’t fix the movie.

9 His Look When We First See Him

Palpatine has always had a very distinctive look. There’s his horrible, deformed skin (a result of his lightsaber duel with Mace Windu in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith) and then his bright yellow eyes, which seem to glisten with each hideous and heinous act he commits.

But at the beginning of The Rise of Skywalker, he actually looks pretty good skin-wise. And his eyes are milky white, suggesting he’s blind. How can somebody look better dead than when they were alive? Once again, it’s something the novel has tried to tidy up. However, there’s still no denying that, aesthetically at least, Ian McDiarmid’s character was actually better in this blockbuster.


8 He Was Snoke?

The reason we put a question mark is because we still don’t actually know the truth about Supreme Leader Snoke. “I made Snoke,” Palpatine says when Kylo Ren mentions his old master. We see bacta tanks which suggest cloning was certainly used to create the former First Order leader.

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But…why? If Palpatine survived just why did he need Snoke? Is Snoke a failed clone attempt, or was he actually someone? It would have made more sense if Palpatine had just come back rather than hide behind somebody else. It’s all rather strange to be honest…

7 His Sith Loyalists

While we’re on the subject of Snoke, we may as well talk about the strange little creatures near the bacta tanks on Exegol. These things are called Sith Loyalists, people who revered Palpatine and seemingly spent years trying to bring him back to the land of the living and land of the able-bodied.

But where they came from is a mystery. Palpatine wasn’t exactly a likeable figure, and it seems odd that he’d use creatures that don’t appear to be anything special. Their presence in the movie and the big fight at the end is baffling. What’s it to them if Palpatine rules or not? There just seems to be no reason to get behind somebody as evil and twisted as Ian McDiarmid’s character.

6 He’s Got Technology He Didn’t Use First Time Around

In Return of the Jedi, Palpatine is aware of the threat of the Rebel Alliance. He also knows that they’re camped on Endor, engaged in a tight battle against the Imperial Empire.

And it turns out the Sith Lord could have killed them easily had he wanted to. The Star Destroyers in The Rise of Skywalker that he raises from the ground all have Death Star technology, meaning they’re all capable of obliterating a single planet. It doesn’t make sense that Palpatine would hold back here: if he had this technology the first time around, he’d certainly have used it.

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5 Two Wayfinders

Palpatine never trusted Darth Vader. He sensed light within the darkness of Anakin Skywalker’s corrupted soul and, therefore, always did his best to keep his apprentice at arm’s distance. With the Sith known for betraying each other, the former Emperor was always mindful of what Vader knew, which makes the fact Vader had a wayfinder to Exegol all that bit more confusing.

It’s a place that Palpatine himself planned to hide should things go awry and, knowing his apprentice’s state of mind, his decision to give out directions certainly seems rather bizarre.

4 What He Calls Leia

Near the third act of the movie, Leia Organa tragically passes away as she sacrifices herself in order to reach out to her son one last time. Her action has its desired effect, with Kylo Ren shedding his villainous identity and becoming Ben Solo once again afterward.

Palpatine finds out about this and then labels her the ‘Princess of Alderaan.’ While it’s not an incorrect statement, it seems a strange thing to say – especially when you consider Alderaan no longer exists. General Organa would have been more appropriate given that was her rank at the time of her death.

3 He Wants Rey To Kill Him

Yes, we understand that if Rey strikes Palpatine down he’s able to hop into her body and possess her. That’s because ‘all of the Sith live in him’ meaning that, no matter how strong of heart Daisy Ridley’s character is, she’d become consumed by darkness.

But Palpatine isn’t exactly the sort of guy who would be happy controlling Rey’s body. Part of the reason he siphons the Force from both her and Ben Solo is so he can keep his own body without having to essence transfer. And while we’re on the subject of that…

2 Why Not Go Younger?

Palpatine is a shell of a man for the most part in The Rise of Skywalker. But he’s able to rejuvenate himself at the end of the movie, draining the Force from Rey and Ben Solo in order to get back to how he was at the time of the Empire’s fall in Return of the Jedi.

This is understandable; he’s powerful at this moment in time. Yet it seems a bit odd that he doesn’t decide to go younger. The Palpatine from ROTJ was still rather old and needed a cane to walk. It would have made sense to press the rewind button and go back to his age before his disastrous duel with Mace Windu.

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1 Using Force Lightning

When it comes to Force lightning, you’d think Palpatine would know better. His decision to use the power against Rey backfires – which is exactly something he should have foreseen.

He lost to Mace Windu because the Jedi Knight was able to repel the lightning back at the villain during their confrontation in Revenge of the Sith. And he lost in Return of the Jedi because his own lightning ended up rebounding into his face once Darth Vader picks him up. We think it would have been wiser to use a lightsaber instead, particularly when you consider his prowess with the weapon.

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