Jedi Fallen Order Palpatine's plan

In the Star Wars universe, Emperor Palpatine proved himself to be a master of the long game. The prequels showed us that this shriveled old Sith was once as a devious and cunning strategist, someone who was content to manipulate from the shadows until the moment was right to strike and seize power in the galaxy. We’re about to see that character return (somehow) in next month’s Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, but the recently-released video game Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order may have just added to Palpatine’s legacy by revealing him to be even more of a long-term planner than we thought.

Spoilers for Jedi Fallen Order (and maybe even The Rise of Skywalker) ahead.

If you watched Star Wars: The Clone Wars, you may be familiar with a planet called Ilum, a snow-covered planet where Jedi harvested kyber crystals, the Force-attuned crystals that are a key component when making lightsabers. The planet appeared on a couple episodes of the show, where kyber crystal caves were established as an important part of a Jedi’s training cycle. But because of the crystals’ ability to amplify energy, the Empire ended up using them in massive laser weapons like those found in the Death Star(s) or Starkiller Base.

Speaking of Starkiller Base, that’s where this new theory comes in. Inverse says that in Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, players travel to Ilum so the game’s protagonist can find a kyber crystal to create his own lightsaber. The outlet points us to a Redditor who noticed a similarity between Ilum and Starkiller Base itself:

Proof that the Empire turned Ilum into Starkiller Base? (Jedi Fallen Order) from starwarsspeculation

The theory suggests that the Empire, which had taken over the planet to mine for its crystals, eventually transformed Ilum into Starkiller Base.

The impressive part about this, and how it ties back into Palpatine, is that Fallen Order takes place only a few years after Revenge of the Sith. The implication is that if the Empire is already underway on a mining operation, they’re doing so at the behest of the Emperor himself – and that maybe, he planned to make Starkiller Base from the start, long before the events of the original trilogy played out.

There’s one more piece of evidence points to Ilum and Starkiller Base being one and the same: a canonical reference book. The 2017 book Star Wars Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to a Galaxy Far, Far Away doesn’t explicitly confirm that they’re the same place, but it does establish that both Ilum and Starkiller Base have the same diameter: 660 kilometers.

If it was indeed part of Palpatine’s long-term plan to create a planet-sized weapon, what exactly was his endgame? Perhaps we’ll find out next month, when we see the old geezer make his inexplicable return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.

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