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Who Was Rey’s Father? Rey’s Father Was a Palpatine Clone Star Wars Reveals in The Rise of Skywalker Novel
With the big reveal that Darth Sidious is actually Rey’s grandfather, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker confronted fans with a very serious question: Did Palpatine fuck?
It’s a question that I explored in some depth, trying to figure out when and how Palpatine might have fathered a child. In non-canon Star Wars history, there was precedent for Sheev Palpatine having sexual partners at various points in his long, horrible life. But the film itself did not bother to answer this specific question about Rey’s parents, even if it used this moment to reverse a powerful reveal that she was just a regular young woman capable of incredible things based on her own talent and not the bloodline of a galactic mass murderer.
So, we were left to wonder who Rey’s parents were and how old Sheev ever had kids. Thankfully, a new novelization of The Rise of Skywalker reveals that Rey’s father is actually a failed Palpatine clone. It’s revealed early on in the book that the Palpatine we’re seeing on screen is not the same one from Return of the Jedi, but in fact a clone of pappy Sheev. As one passage in the book reads:
Emperor Palpatine lived, after a fashion, and Kylo could feel in his very bones that this clone body sheltered the Emperor’s actual spirit.
But, the clone we see in The Rise of Skywalker is only one of many attempts in recreating the Sith lord. According to Comicbookmovie.com the novel reads:
“One genetic strandcast lived. Thrived even. A not-quite-identical clone. His ‘son.’ … But he was a useless, powerful failure … Palpatine could not even bear to look upon such disappointing ordinariness. The boy’s only worth would lay in continuing the bloodline through more natural methods.”
This, it’s implied, is the clone that eventually becomes Rey’s father. However, we don’t really have the details to fill in the timeline between the clone’s creation and it supposedly finding love, escaping from its genetically identical “father” Palpatine, and eventually, sacrificing itself for Rey. Sounds like a good story! And, if I know Star Wars at all, it will almost certainly be told in some form very soon.
The other news here? It’s now quite possible in Star Wars canon that Darth Sidious died a virgin.
Matt is the Culture Editor at Esquire where he covers music, movies, books, and TV—with an emphasis on all things Star Wars, Marvel, and Game of Thrones.