We already know that Emperor Palpatine is still alive in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker but the film never really revealed how he managed to stay alive after all this time. Luckily, the novelization of the movie may have offered some explanation on how the villain survived after the events in Return of the Jedi.
In The Rise of Skywalker, it was immediately confirmed that Palpatine was being kept alive by Sith loyalists. But how exactly did they manage to do that? We never got an explanation for that but the film's novelization may have revealed that some clone technology was involved (via Comicbook.com).
An excerpt from the Rise of Skywalker novel reads as follows:
"All the vials were empty of liquid save one, which was nearly depleted. Kylo peered closer. He'd seen this apparatus before, too, when he'd studied the Clone Wars as a boy. The liquid flowing into the living nightmare before him was fighting a losing battle to sustain the Emperor's putrid flesh."
So what could this probably mean? Although things aren't thoroughly explained in the book, it does suggest that the Palpatine that appeared in The Rise of Skywalker might not be the original villain from Return of the Jedi. Interestingly, there is a possibility that Palpatine had commissioned a clone of himself or the Sith loyalists did so on their own. Either way, this could shed some light on the mystery.
Do you think the Palpatine in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker was just a clone? Sound off in the comments below.