The new Star Wars film may reveal that The Last Jedi’s big villain was actually a character from George Lucas’s original trilogy.

At this stage, it’s known that JJ Abrams’s Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker will bring back Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), but a new fan theory suggests that he appeared in Rian Johnson’s previous film – disguised as Snoke (Andy Serkis).

It’s already been theorised that Emperor Palpatine could have moved his consciousness into another body using the dark side’s Sith Force, known in the series as Essence Transfer. While this could explain his return in the new film, it also backs up a theory generated by Reddit user overthecause that Palpatine became Snoke.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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First up, it would explain how Snoke had such a vast knowledge of the Old Republic and the history of Darth Vader.

It’s also worth pointing out that both of their deaths came after an “overconfidence” made them unable to see they were about to be betrayed by trusted allies.

This is what led to Palpatine being killed by Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi and made Snoke unaware of Kylo Ren’s shifting allegiance that caused his death in The Last Jedi.

Backing all of this up is Johnson’s choice of music cue in The Last Jedi scene that saw Snoke torturing Rey. 

Fans were quick to point out that this is Palpatine’s theme. Now his return has been confirmed, does this mean Johnson was using the cue to hint this particular reveal all along? Quite possibly.

Another enticing theory is doing the rounds relates to a brand new character played by Keri Russell and her potential link to Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).

This particular showdown could unlock several clues of what to expect in The Rise of Skywalker, a film whose final shot is apparently so "mind-blowing" that Abrams prevented filmmaker Kevin Smith from looking at it when he recently visited the set.

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker is released 16 December.

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