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"You want to kill me. That is what I want. Kill me, and my spirit will pass into you. And all the Sith that live in me."

Darth Sidious to Rey, The Rise of Skywalker

In The Rise of Skywalker, Darth Sidious invites Rey to strike him down, so that his spirit and that of all the Sith in him, would pass into her, making her the new Sith Lord.

In Return of the Jedi, he extends a similar invitation to Luke Skywalker.

"Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenceless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred, and your journey towards the Dark Side will be complete."

Darth Sidious to Luke, Return of the Jedi

Did he have the same plan for Luke as for Rey, to have his spirit pass into Luke?

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    I got the impression he wanted Luke as an apprentice, it was only because his body was broken that he wanted someone to take over instead.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Feb 4, 2020 at 12:38
  • @TheLethalCarrot well, if this would be how the Rule of Two always works, Sidious might have preferred Luke's young body to Darth Vader's largely mechanical one.
    – SQB
    Feb 4, 2020 at 12:40
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    No. With Rey, he was trying to escape a failing clone "temporary body". Apr 1, 2020 at 16:26

2 Answers 2

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In short, no. With Rey, she literally shared his power (Kylo Ren, The Rise of Skywalker). Luke was arguably more powerful than Rey, as he was the son of Anakin Skywalker and we hear in The Return of the Jedi from Darth Vader that Luke was more powerful than the emperor himself. Because of this power (and the fact that he wouldn't rely on a life support suit and would be able to project Force lightning without ready access to a kyber crystal), he was more desirable to the emperor than Vader. However, also because of this power and his lack of a family connection with Luke, Palpatine's plan for Rey would not have worked on Luke Skywalker. And he wanted a new apprentice/replacement (he didn't care whether or not he died, so long as Luke's rage consumed him) rather than a host at that point, anyway.

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  • This answer could be improved by including the actual quotes; I definitely don't recall Vader telling Luke he is more powerful than the Emperor.
    – DavidW
    Aug 10, 2021 at 16:22
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    My paraphrasing may be off, but I interpret Vader saying "Luke, you can destroy the Emperor. He has foreseen this. It is your destiny. Join me, and together we can rule the galaxy as father and son," as Vader saying that Luke is more powerful than the emperor. Aug 10, 2021 at 16:28
  • Well its also Vader saying together they had a chance at taking down the Emperor. Luke might be more powerful but he also might be just a lucky shot. Vader is definitely wanting a sith appreciate per rule of 2. Palpatine wouldn't mind a new apprentice but I suspect he would have been content to leave Vader in place even if Luke turned to the dark side. Luke presumably wants to take down the Emperor more than Vader even without knowing who his father is. Why have two boss fights if you can have one. Aug 10, 2021 at 19:32
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Short Answer: I do not think he had an option to treat Luke the same way. At least not immediately. Long term? Well, that is another mater entirely.

Long Answer:

The Mind Transfer rules and limitations

"You want to kill me. That is what I want. Kill me, and my spirit will pass into you. And all the Sith that live in me."

Darth Sidious to Rey, The Rise of Skywalker

In essence, the force is a magic system. And it is a exceedingly common rule that permanent mind transfer or power inheritance works better/easier/"only" with Blood relations:

  • In Dragon Age, Flemeth was seemingly limited to transfer her mind into biological daughters of her current host
  • In Batman Beyond "Out of the Past" there was similar story (besides using Computers): Rhas was at first only able to only transfer his mind to a "close genetic match"
  • In Marvels X-Men movie "Days of Future Past", they are only able to send back Wolverine into himself
  • In Assasins Creed a thing that is - in effect - time travel, is explained with "Genetic Memory" and a VR simulation. A Blood requirement with another limitation
  • Propably a few dozen other cases that I can not remember of the top of my head

It think it is save to infer a similar limit to this little thing.

However, note that the Batman Beyond case was a bit if a subversion: Originally only a close genetic match would work. But he had been working on it until he was capable of transfering himself into

a lazarus pit rejuvenated Bruce Wayne.

So short term Palpatine would propably have no option.

Long term? I would bet a Death Star worth of credits it was a longterm plan. It would have propably been a lot more work - requiring both reinforcing the 2nd Skywalkers Dark Side connection and a more elaborate ritual setup - but it was not off the table.

The whole Family thing ran in paralell of course. Palpatine was always one to hedge his bets. And why do the hard thing, if there is a low hanging fruit you just need to pluck from the family tree?

I can feel your anger

"Good. I can feel your anger. I am defenceless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred, and your journey towards the Dark Side will be complete."

Darth Sidious to Luke, Return of the Jedi

I think his short term goal was to either:

  • turn Luke or Leia to the Dark Side, to get a younger and less damaged model of Skywalker as his hand. Despite his performance, Vader was hindered heavily by being mostly cyborg/dead. I think the novellisation of "Revenge of the Sith" spelled that out.
  • have Vader kill Luke and Leia trying to convert them, to remove the remaining goodness that might have turned him back or hindered him from unlocking his full potential

Both would have served him as well as the defeat of the rebellion.

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