Its a good time to be a Star Wars fan.
Jedi: Fallen Order is the best Star Wars video game in years. Comics and spinoff novels like Doctor Aphra and Resistance Reborn are introducing all kinds of fun new characters and expanding the Star Wars mythos in interesting ways. The Galaxys Edge theme park is everything we hoped it would be. Theres more Clone Wars on the horizon. And Obi-Wan. And Cassian Andor.
And then weve got The Mandalorian and Star Wars: Episode IX The Rise of Skywalker.
The Mandalorian is Disney+s flagship title, the first live-action Star Wars TV show, and a groundbreaking technological achievement. The Rise of Skywalker is the final chapter in the Skywalker Saga, the story that began way back in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope and has propelled Star Wars forward ever since.
Together, they mark a massive shift for Star Wars, and following 2019, Star Wars is never going to be the same. But what if, in Star Wars new everything counts, Disneyfied-canon, theyre linked more than that? What if The Mandalorian sets up some of The Rise of Skywalkers biggest plot twists?
Its more likely than you may think. (Warning: Potential spoilers await ahead.)
The Mandalorians breakout star is Baby Yoda, a green-skinned, 50-year-old infant who seems to be, at the very least, the same species as Lukes old Jedi master. Its easy to see why hes so popular with the shows characters and viewers alike. The little guy is cute as a button, hes the key to one of the Star Wars Universes biggest mysteries, and his Force abilities are already extremely formidable.
So far, The Mandalorian hasnt explained what Werner Herzogs ex-Imperial warlord, known as the Client, is planning on doing with Baby Yoda, but the third episode dropped some hints. When the Mandalorian is surveying the Clients hideout, he overhears the Client talking about harvesting the babys genetic material. More importantly, Herzogs assistant, Dr. Pershing, has a patch on his costume that looks like the symbol of Kamino, the cloning facility featured in Attack of the Clones.
The Kamino backstory gets a little convoluted, but basically, the facilitys scientists were creating a secret clone army when they were discovered by Obi-Wan Kenobi. Soon-to-be Emperor Palpatine tricked the Republic into deploying the clone forces against the rebel Separatists, then used his new army to decimate the Jedi and establish the Galactic Empire.
However, clones soldiers had some problems. Because every member of the clone army came from the same genetic template, they were all susceptible to the same diseases. Palpatine also considered clones inferior, and preferred pure human soldiers act as the Empires representatives. Over time, the Emperor phased out the clones and replaced them with normal human Stormtroopers.
Still, The Mandalorian implies that not every member of the Empire agreed with Palpatine. If the Client is making clones a few years after Return of the Jedi, who knows how far the technology has gotten 25 years later when The Rise of Skywalker is set? If clones are still an ongoing concern, they could answer two of The Rise of Skywalkers biggest mysteries.
Going into The Rise of Skywalker, there are two big questions: Why is Rey so skilled with the Force, and how does Emperor Palpatine come back from the dead? Could The Mandalorians dabbling in cloning be implicit confirmation that, indeed, Rey is Palpatines clone?
Theres a precedent for this kind of thing. In the old Expanded Universe, which Disney deemed non-canon after it bought Lucasfilm in 2012, Palpatine cheated death via cloning in the Dark Horse comic book series Dark Empire. In that story, Palpatine reveals that hes gained immortality by transferring his consciousness to a series of clones, although his new bodies wear out quickly. Palpatine decides to possess Han and Leias third child and make its body his new, permanent form, but is defeated by Leia.
The Rise of Skywalker wont repeat the same beats, but it could borrow Dark Empires general concept. Clones are already a fundamental part of Star Wars lore, so JJ Abrams and his crew wouldnt have to invent anything new to explain Palpatines return. The heavy lifting is already done.
Similarly, Abrams remains evasive when asked why Rey is so talented. Recently, Rolling Stone asked Abrams how Rey learned to use the Force so quickly.Spooky, right? Abrams replied. Its not an accident.
Abrams teases hint that theres more to Reys background than The Last Jedi let on, and if Reys a clone of a powerful Force-user, it wouldnt violate anything established in Episode VIII. Technically, Star Wars clones dont have families. Theyre born in labs. Reys parents could literally be nobody, and as a clone, she could still be related to one of the most important characters in the galaxy.
Weve already theorized that Rey is a clone of Palpatine. The Mandalorians Kamino references back this up. Rey was born about 10 years after Return of the Jedi, and five years after the first season of The Mandalorian. That gives the Client and Dr. Pershing five years to perfect cloning technology and bring the Emperor back from the grave. If theyve already cloned (or tried to clone) Baby Yoda, then they have experience working with Force-sensitive subjects. Bringing Palpatine back maybe in a few different forms seems like the next logical step.
This could all be a red herring, of course. Maybe The Mandalorians clone references are just a nod to Star Wars history and nothing more. Still, The Mandalorians release schedule hints that the new show and movie might be further connected.
Under Disney, everything Star Wars is carefully coordinated. The second-to-last episode of The Mandalorian drops on Wednesday, December 18. The Rise of Skywalker debuts on December 20, with preview screenings on December 19. Dont be too surprised if the penultimate episode of The Mandalorians first season contains a big, clone-related reveal.
Read this article:
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