Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker can finally do something the Star Wars sequel trilogy so far hasn’t: make Kylo Ren into a true Sith Lord. It was made clear early on in the Disney-era that Kylo Ren and Supreme Leader Snoke weren't Sith, despite both being very strong with the dark side of the Force. That means while we’ve seen Jedi in Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we’ve not yet seen their age-old enemy. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker can change that.
Thanks to that stunning reveal in the first Star Wars 9 teaser trailer, we know Emperor Palpatine returns in Episode IX. That fact alone means there will be at least one Sith in the J.J. Abrams movie, but it also pushes the door wide open for Kylo Ren to fully complete his journey to the dark side and become a Sith as well.
The Rule of Two is the most crucial bit of Sith lore in the Star Wars universe. Established by Darth Bane, the philosophy states that there must always be two Sith: a master to embody the power, and an apprentice to crave it. All of the movies have followed this - the Emperor and Vader; Sidious and Maul, then Dooku; talk of Plagueis and Sidious, and so on. Even the sequel trilogy followed it by having Snoke and Kylo, albeit without the Sith label, with Kylo even following the ancient tradition of the student killing their apprentice and taking control. Kylo is attuned to the dark side; he’s murdered his master, he wears the attire, and wields the red lightsaber commonly associated with the Sith; all that’s missing is the tag.
That’s something Palpatine can achieve. Assuming he fills the void left by Snoke’s death - and, on top of that, is revealed to be the one pulling the strings all along - then he’d be able to step into the role of being Kylo Ren’s master. Kylo is obsessed with following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Darth Vader, and there’s no bigger step to take with that than becoming the Sith apprentice of Palpatine. We've seen that Kylo is hungry for power, even asking Rey to join him so that they could rule the galaxy together, and crowning himself Supreme Leader after Snoke's death. And if his twin goals are being the new Vader and being a ruler, then becoming a fully fledged Sith Lord are wise steps to take.
Star Wars 9 is titled The Rise of Skywalker, which is likely to have various meanings that will become apparent during the film. This could include Rey taking the name as a title, but it also likely refers to Kylo in some way, since he’s effectively the last of the Skywalkers. His rise, in this case, would be him rising up to become a Sith Lord, like his grandfather before him. That could play into his redemption arc, should Abrams be headed down that route. It's one thing for a conflicted Kylo to come back from the dark side, but it's an even bigger deal if becomes a Sith. Alternatively, it could be a reason not to redeem him. That he ends up committing so fully to the dark side that there is no choice but to kill him. Either way, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker can give rise to a new Sith Lord - and that could very well be Kylo Ren.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019