How Palpatine's 'long con' was an own goal

Dec 17, 2019
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How Palpatine's last play was his undoing


Have you seen Christopher Nolan’s epic film, The Illusionist? The Brothers play the ultimate long con and it’s not till the very end when things start to go really badly that the con is revealed.

Maybe Sheev Palpatine should have studied Nolan’s work.

While The Return of the Jedi supposedly killed off Emperor Palpatine, JJ Abrams and Chris Terrio have ‘revived’ Sith Lord Darth Sidious for one more throw of the Force dice to end the sequel trilogy and the reign of the Sith.

Once and for all.

The re-introduction of a dead character turns a lot of the original trilogy on its head, and even warrants a re-watch of The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi under a news of clarity.

We now know for example, that Snoke was a mere cloned puppet of the Emperor’s and that even twenty years after his ‘death’ he was ultimately the villain pulling at Kylo Ren’s strings and setting himself up to continue his domination of the galaxy.

It was a long con.

But something the Emperor was used to doing.

He was The Phantom Menace off course. He conned and connived his way to power until he was finally the SENATE himself.

He did this by feigning attacks on himself as a ruse and granted himself powers to take full control of the Senate until he was El Supremo in the universe.

Heck, he took part in his own kidnapping by allowing himself to be captured by General Grievous.

He tricked Anakin Skwalker into joining the Darth Side with lies and false promises and half truths.

And while that was all happening, Sheev was building up a ‘spare army’ just in case.

And even though Palpatine was considered dead, the Acolytes of the Beyond were still advancing his cause.

In ROTJ, the Emperor is still playing games. At the start of the film, when arriving on the Death Star II, he feigns age with the use of a walking stick. When he stands to take on Luke, he does so agelessly. Another con.

30 years later, and a few years after Rey has been crowned The Last Jedi by the actual Last Jedi, Palpatine sends a message from the dead that he’s back.

As if he had been watching too many Poltergeist movies in his down time…

That announcement sets of a classic chain of Kylo Ren and Rey dancing across the universe as they duke it out to be the one who finally ends the threat Palptine has.

Things at this point are going well for Palpatine - his plan to have Rey and Kylo appear before him so he can drain their Life Force and restore himself to full operationally status has hit his stride.

And then, it turns out that Rey is actually THE CHOSEN ONE and kills Palpatine flat out.

Oh, did we mention that Rey is actually Sheev Palpatine’s granddaughter?

Being killed by your own family member is a bit of a thing in Star Wars eh?

So clearly not the goal Palatine was going after.

But that’s not the real own goal.

Let’s forget for a moment that the Skywalker lineage is now finished in a genetic sense.

Rey, now with full knowledge that her parents died trying to protect her from Palpatine and that she is of his make up, rejects her familial line completely.

She deliberately takes on the mantle of being a Skywalker. While Ben Skywalker rose from the pit to save her life is a Skywalker rising (and thus perhaps the ultimate act of the Skywalkers) the real rise of Skywalker is Rey taking on the ‘family’ name.

She is now the ultimate symbol of balance in the Galaxy.

A symbol of peace and freedom where your destiny is your own.

Which is the exact opposite of the unlimited power that Palpatine had gained.

And thus, his inability to handle what ‘awakened’ from within the Force (as Snoke pointed out to Kylo in The Force Awakens) was his ultimate undoing and an own goal.

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