How are Acolytes of the Beyond connected to Palpatine?

Aug 26, 2019
Early concept art of Kylo Ren with Vader's burnt helmet

What is the connection of the Acolytes of the Beyond to Palpatine and the Knights of Ren?

OK, bear with us on this one....

"Acolytes of the Beyond" is a group of four words that dropped into Star Wars canon when they were introduced in the Aftermath book written by Chuck Wendig.

Aftermath describes that the Acolytes were were trying to buy Vader's saber from a vendor who claims to have discovered it so that they may 'destroy it and return it to its master in death.

First of all, what is an acolyte?

Isn't that something found in Gatorade?

No, an acolyte is someone who performs religious duties as part of a ceremony or who has been inducted into a particular ministry.

In this case, the acolytes are presumably in the ‘ministry’ of whatever the Beyond is. They worship fallen Sith and wish to venerate them by returning their 'earthly' weapons to them... in spirit.

We could presume the Beyond is the realm of the Force inhabited by Force ghosts such as Gui-Gon Gin, Obi-Wan Kenobi and good old Yoda.

Remember, if Qui-Gon can learn the tricks of the Force, so can Darth Sidiou AKA The Emperor.

Are the Acolytes of the Beyond in touch with Palpatine? 

Are they serving him?

The connection to the Knights of Ren is that Kylo has probably had dealings with the the Acolytes. 

We know he has Vader's helmet which Luke left burning on the funeral pyre on Endor.  We presume he got it from the Acolytes. 

And Vader's saber? Is it possible that the crystal in Ren's saber was that saber?

Perhaps an even more broad question is did the Knights of Ren form out of the Acolytes of the Beyond? Remember in The Force Awakens, Kylo is certainly trying to channel the spirit of Vader via the helmet...

Here's a cut from the Aftermath:

"No Sith remains. And the lone Jedi that exists--the son of Anakin Skywalker--possesses an untouchable soul. At least for now. We must instead move towards the dark side. Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our map was where his power came from. Over the many years he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the Galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the dark side like a man looking for a wellspring of water."

This is where things get a little bit 'big picture' in the context of The Rise of Skywalker.

Instead of a metaphysical 'beyond' like the Force, they are talking about a physical beyond, one that stretches past the known quantities of the universe.

Now let's wildly speculate about this beyond and tie the Acolytes to Emperor Palpatine and any other crazy theory we can up to.

It's clear that Palpatine is back for The Rise of Skywalker.

How is this the case?

How did he survive his apparent Death at the hands of Vader and the destruction of the Death Star II?

Is he a clone? Has he possessed Rey or other character?

Is Rey his clone? (Probably not as Obi-Wan and Yoda would surely have figured that out already).

Time will tell.

What we do now know is that there is a massive fleet of ORIGINAL Empire Star Destroyers in the trailer for the Rise of Skywalker. They are not First Order ships.

Where have these ships been for thirty years?

Have they been hiding out in the great beyond, the place that Palpatine said was beyond the edges of the maps?

Have they been hiding where the labs and communications stations are?

Are these ships under Palpatine's control? Did the Acolytes look after them while he has been 'dormant'?

Who's been there? Thrawn? The Acolytes? Palpatine himself?

What's cool is the official poster for the Rise of Skywalker features the Knights of Ren. It is quite possible we may learn some answers about who this group actually is, how Kylo uses them and any connections they may have to Palpatine (or even Snoke) and perhaps the Acolytes.

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