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The Mandalorian reveals how Palpatine returned (Image via Lucasfilm)

The Mandalorian: How Palpatine’s return was kept a secret from the New Republic

The Mandalorian continues to be a story that connects it to all the eras of Star Wars. The series often revisits Order 66 as Grogu’s past is linked to the event, connecting with the days of the Clone Wars through Bo-Katan Kryse and Ahsoka Tano. Moreover, it bridges the gaps to the future through Luke Skywalker.

However, along with Luke, The Mandalorian Chapter 19: The Convert also built a roadmap to the return of Emperor Palpatine after his demise in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Dr. Pen Pershing’s union with Officer Elia Kane reveals the dark truth of Emperor Palpatine’s return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.


The Mandalorian dives deep into Palpatine’s return

Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars Episode 9 (Image via Lucasfilm)

After getting thrown down the shaft by Darth Vader, many were surprised about Palpatine’s return in episode 9. Most people reacted in the same way that Poe Damaran did by saying:

“Somehow Palpatine returned.”

However, the real answer to his return is cloning.

Palpatine was always worried about losing his power. So, he created “The Contingency,” a plan that helped him reclaim the Empire if he were ever killed. The Sith Lord’s contingency began with Operation: Cinder, which included sentinel droids that destroyed several locations of the New Republic and the Imperial that might have held clues about Palpatine’s survival and return.

As a result, the entire process of Palpatine’s return was supposed to be kept a secret. However, the measures that were taken to keep this a secret were revealed in The Mandalorian.

How Palpatine returned and lost

Palpatine vs. Rey (Image via Lucasfilm)

Emperor Palpatine used to study immortality on the planet called Exegol. When Palpatine died, his consciousness was transferred to a cloned body on Exegol. However, the problem with cloning was that this body was too weak to hold his consciousness.

So, they built more clones that could be stronger vessels for him. Snoke was created for the same reason. He was made to lead the First Order, which eventually led Rey to Grandpa Palpatine. The Sith Lord wanted to use his granddaughter as a vessel to contain his consciousness, and that led to a massive battle between Rey and Palpatine in episode 9, resulting in the loss of the latter.

How Imperial spies kept Palpatine’s return a secret

Dr. Pen Pershing and Elia Kane in The Mandalorian (Image via Lucasfilm)

The Mandalorian chapter 19 brought the former Imperial scientist, Dr. Pershing, to the New Republic. In his speech, he revealed that due to the groundbreaking work of the Kaminoans, cloning became possible. In his words, a duplicate of a person could be created even with 1 small genetic strand. Moreover, he wanted to complete his research and help the New Republic.

But he trusted the wrong person as Officer Elia Kane set up a trap for him. She was a former Imperial who worked on Moff Gideon’s ship before being reallocated to the New Republic. However, she was still loyal to the Imperial army and worked as a spy in the New Republic.

Dr. Pershing under the Mind Flayer in The Mandalorian (Image via Lucasfilm)

Officer Elia Kane bonded with Dr. Pershing and motivated him to continue his research, but when they went to a decommissioned Imperial ship, she got him caught red-handed. He was then put under experimental treatment through a Six-O-Two Mitigator that uses light voltage to fix a person’s mind. However, Elia raised the voltage and turned it into a Mind Flayer.

For those unaware, the Empire used the Mind Flayer to wipe out the brains of people and even interrogate them. Elia Kane also later used it on Dr. Pershing to protect Palpatine. If Pershing were allowed to help the New Republic, then his knowledge could have allowed them to find out about Palpatine’s cloning and existence. As this was a way to prevent Imperial secrets from leaking out, the aforementioned steps were taken by them to keep Palpatine’s return a secret for so long.


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Edited by
Priya Majumdar
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