Palpatine rumor
Image: Disney/ Lucasfilm

[Warning: Some spoilers and speculation ahead about] Recently there has been a lot of buzz about “The Skywalker Saga” coming to an end with the upcoming release of Episode IX: The Rise Of Skywalker. This episode will complete the third trilogy of the episodic saga. Overall, the saga follows the Skywalker family (Shmi, Anakin, Luke, Leia, Ben/Kylo Ren, & maybe Rey?) over a period of more than 60 years. It documents the fall of the Galactic Republic and the Jedi Order, the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire and the death of Sheev Palpatine, the rise (and possible fall) of The First Order, the rise and fall of the New Republic, and finally (hopefully) the rise of a new order of more balanced force wielders and governance.

At first glance, it makes perfect sense to name this saga after “Skywalker”. This small little family always seemed to be at the heart of each of these events. But what many fans fail to remember is that, while members of the Skywalker family certainly had huge roles to play in these events, there was one mastermind behind them all: Sheev Palpatine.

Timeline of Palpatine’s Plotting

32 BBYOrchestrating the Trade Federation conflict on NabooEp I
32 BBYManipulating Queen Amidala to get Palpatine elected ChancellorEp I
32 BBYManipulating events surrounding the creation of the Clone Army, and secretly implanting Order 66Ep I
24 BBYOrganizing (through Count Dooku) the Separatist AllianceEp II
22 BBYGaining the trust of young Anakin SkywalkerEp II
22 BBYEnsuring that Anakin and Padme spent plenty of time togetherEp II
22 BBYObtaining emergency powers to commission an army and initiate the Clone WarsEp II
20 BBYUsing Separatist resources to begin construction of the Death Star Ep II
19 BBYSeducing Anakin Skywalker to the Dark Side, turning him into Darth VaderEp III
19 BBYFraming the Jedi and destroying them through Order 66Ep III
19 BBYEnding The Clone Wars by facilitating the execution of the Separatist leadersEp III
19 BBYSeizing control of the Republic and creating the Galactic EmpireEp III
0 BBYCompleting the Death Star, which was used to destroy Jedha & AlderaanEp IV
3 ABYInitiating the destruction of Echo Base and the trap on Bespin to lure Luke to confront VaderEp V
4 ABYConstructing a 2nd Death Star, allowing Rebel spies to steal the plans, and luring the Rebel fleet into the trap that nearly wiped them outEp VI

Likely, you may be thinking that the destruction of the 2nd Death Star and death of the Emperor was the end of his story. At least, that’s what you thought until you heard the Emperor’s unmistakable laugh in the teaser for The Rise Of Skywalker.