34

At the end of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, Palpatine tells Rey...

...that if she kills him, he and all the Sith will possess her.

Rey decides...

...not to kill Palpatine. But then decides to kill him about 10 minutes later using the power of all the Jedi.

So then why didn't he possess her after all?

  • 1
    Because he's far more likely to be monologuing than executing? – Eric Towers Dec 27 '19 at 21:05
  • 1
    how do you know that he didn't possess her? – hanshenrik Dec 29 '19 at 14:02
48

The way I understood it was a question of intent. The journey to the Dark Side is through emotions, specifically fear and hate. Anakin transforms himself into Darth Vader by choosing to attack others.

  • He slaughters the Sand People that he considers responsible for the death of his mother.
  • He decapitates an unarmed Count Dooku who had already surrendered.
  • He strikes down unarmed children in the Jedi Temple.
  • He force-chokes his wife in rage.

Rey, in this case, is defending herself from Palpatine's force lightning. She is not so much lashing out in violence against him but defending herself and deflecting the lightning back to Palpatine. In a way, Palpatine kills himself, thwarting his plan.

The other possibility is that

She actually does get possessed, but Ben's sacrifice to her exorcises the dark side from her.

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  • 26
    We see this in ROTJ, too. Luke striking down (or attempting, at least) the Emperor in cold blood is treated very differently than Vader killing him in active defense of others. – ceejayoz Dec 26 '19 at 16:15
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    @ceejayoz As Yoda says in Empire Strikes Back, "A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, never for attack." – nick012000 Dec 27 '19 at 12:34
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    The funny thing about RoS was that Palpatine talked his way into defeat. He said if Rey killed him he would win, and then kept on repeating it -- effectively talking her out of it. If he'd just kept his mouth shut he would have won! #silenceisgolden – Stephen R Dec 27 '19 at 18:49
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    The exact same thing happened in RoTJ: he kept telling Luke that giving in to hate and fear would drag him to the Dark Side, and right when Luke had defeated Vader and was just about to take him out, Palpatine started cackling and urging him to finish Vader and take his place. That was what got Luke to look at his own prosthetic hand after he chopped off Vader's, realize he was becoming just like his father, and calm down and toss away the lighsaber. If Palpatine had just shut the hell up, there was a good chance Luke kills the helpless Vader. So it's consistent characterization. – Keith Morrison Dec 29 '19 at 0:54
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    @KeithMorrison Of course, it's also possible Palpatine had to make Luke/Rey aware of what they're doing, or it wouldn't work. Hard to tell with these Sith types. – Luaan Dec 29 '19 at 9:06
28

She...

didn't kill him - he killed himself, technically. She did not use her lightsaber to strike him down in an act of anger or hatred. Instead she blocked his own Force Lightning that then blew back on him when he was too obsessed to lay off with it as she approached. Apparently this is different enough in the "eyes of the Force" that she wasn't Sithiated.

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  • 13
    Love the last word. :D – Eric Duminil Dec 27 '19 at 9:49
14

He was lying.

Palpatine always wanted Ben and Rey to come to face him together. He tells Ben that he wants Rey dead to throw him off the real plan of bringing her to him. We know he was lying about wanting her dead because he says as much when they finally meet face to face.

He does allow Rey to try and attack him, but this is more than likely posturing to keep them from being too scared to face him together. We see that directly after they begin the assault Palpatine removes himself from danger until they are in front of him and drained of their connection. His speech as he does so leads me to believe that this was the plan from the beginning.

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  • I had forgotten all about that! – LCIII Dec 27 '19 at 16:30
2

In that moment Ray had more than just herself, but also

had the power of all the Jedi

which may have provided a defense against whatever Palpatine expected to happen next.

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0

because Rey didn't strike him down... she redirected his lightning back to him. he basically killed himself.

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  • Whilst maybe somewhat likely do you have any evidence to back it up that this was indeed why it didn’t happen. Any evidence to add in? – TheLethalCarrot Dec 29 '19 at 9:41

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