As Star Wars theories go, this one really takes the 'it makes no sense' cake. We're just putting that out there from the start. But we can understand the impetus to create it because... so much of what The Rise of Skywalker did made no sense.
So fans have taken to reading between the lines of the films –and subsequent books, comics and shorts – to fill in some of the gaps. Unfortunately, these theories often cause more problems than they solve.
In this case, fans began to wonder how Palpatine–a great Sith lord with undeniable power – was in the dark about Rey for so long. After all, if he'd wanted to he probably could have used the same tricks he used on Kylo Ren with Rey.
Rise of Skywalker revealed that all the voices Kylo Ren had heard encouraging him to the dark side were Palpatine. Even Snoke was a clone through which Palpatine controlled his protégé.
The theory explains this simply: Palpatine's son met Luke Skywalker on Jakku, and Luke helped shield them from Palpatine. It sounds wild, but the precedent is actually there.
Thanks to a 2017 Star Wars novel, The Legends of Luke Skywalker by Ken Liu, we know that Luke was on Jakku during the infamous battle which ended the Galactic Empire.
Of course, this is also up for debate since the entire novel is exploring the 'legend' of Luke.
Liu told Entertainment Weekly: "I thought it'd be interesting to try to write a book of stories about Luke that would treat him as a figure of legend." This means that everything in the novel has to be taken with a pinch of salt, as legends can often be exaggerated.
Setting that aside, if we take it as true that Luke was on Jakku in 5 ABY, during the Battle of Jakku, it stands to reason he would have run into Rey's father who, as we saw in The Rise of Skywalker, was clearly averse to the dark side and his "father's" legacy.
There are a lot of assumptions that have to be made for this theory to hold water. We have to assume Palpatine didn't know that his son's partner (played by Jodie Comer in The Rise of Skywalker) was pregnant.
We also have to assume the clone-son believed Palpatine had died. Why, you ask? Because if he hadn't then surely he would have told Luke, which would then make Luke's remaining on Ach To really a selfish decision since he would have known the threat he had left to grow.
So, we take for fact that all Rey's father wanted to do was protect himself and his daughter from the dark side and other Sith. This is where Luke comes in.
As the powerful Jedi that he is, Luke could likely have shielded Rey's mother and father from the dark side. Given that Rey was born ten years after the Battle of Jakku, he likely didn't protect Rey herself but through his protection of her parents, she was also shielded.
This explains a few things, namely how Leia knew that Rey was a Palpatine before they even knew Palpatine was still out there. It also explains Luke's obsession with Rey not trying to figure out who her parents are.
Of course, it is a flimsily-built theory, and also opens up way more plot holes than it fills. But it goes to show that The Rise of Skywalker's chosen method of explanation – 'because we said so'–doesn't always fly with fans, and they will come up with their own justifictions, as bananas as they might seem.
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