This article contains potential SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The first trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker reveals the return of Emperor Palpatine, but it also confirms our suspicions about the birth of Kylo Ren--and exactly who seduced Ben Solo to the dark side of the Force.
Our theory isn't as outlandish or even as speculative as others being made among the Star Wars fandom, especially considering the question of just what form of the Emperor is laughing at the end of the trailer. Instead, we're focusing on the evidence seemingly offered in the trailer itself. There was always something that didn't add up about the idea of Supreme Leader Snoke somehow playing a more convincing mentor than Luke Skywalker.
Luke played a role in chasing his nephew Ben into the arms of the First Order, without question. But with Star Wars 9 revealing what still lives on Endor's moon... Kylo Ren's fall suddenly makes perfect sense.
- This Page: Kylo Ren Wasn't 'Seduced' By Snoke
- Page 2: The Emperor's To Blame For Ben Solo's Fall
The Movies Claim Snoke Seduced Ben Solo
Any strength in the argument that "Ben Solo was seduced to the Dark Side by Supreme Leader Snoke" completely evaporated when Snoke made his first appearance. A great pupil is a reflection of a great mentor, so Kylo Ren's status when the audience meets him--emotionally out of control, overcome with rage, internally torn, and unable to master his Force power with any finesse, just raw anger--is all the proof needed to say Snoke is a Terrible master. A gifted manipulator, and wields verbal, emotional, and physical violence as good as any tyrant. But compared to even the worst Sith Lords, the idea of him "persuading" Ben Solo to do anything always felt... well, like part of the story was missing.
The films themselves offered more than one explanation, both in the movie and offered in expanded universe fiction (comics, novels, and TV shows). The fact that Kylo Ren had Darth Vader's helmet in his possession was a more convincing notion on its own--suggesting that just like in the comics, the Sith helmet was possessed by Dark Side energy, which would hold Kylo back from the light better than Snoke's barked orders ever could. And with The Last Jedi revealing Luke's betrayal, perhaps Ben was simply running for his life to the nearest Force sensitive who would oppose him. Thankfully, the trailer for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has ended the questions.
Star Wars 9 Reveals The Truth?
The true significance of the moment may be lost in the overall rush of new Star Wars footage, but fans will want to absorb it. We're referring to the final shot of the trailer revealing Rey, Finn, and Poe approaching the grassy cliffs overlooking a roiling sea. And marking that sea from the waves to the clouds is the unmistakable dish of the second Death Star, destroyed in the orbit of Endor's forest moon. Which means the sea, like the heroes, are all but certainly located on the surface of that very moon.
Just as the tomb of Emperor Palpatine comes into view--the final resting place of whatever remained following his explosive death at Darth Vader's hands--the screen cuts to black, with only the Emperor's disembodied laughter echoing. In the process, giving the final clue we needed to understand what had REALLY caused the fall of Ben Solo... and Kylo Ren's true master, even if he doesn't realize it himself.
Page 2 of 2: How We Know The Emperor Seduced Ben Solo
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019