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The novelization of The Rise of Skywalker tells us that the new Sith Lord is a clone of Emperor Palpatine. Not the original, but a clone.

Palpatine clone in a metallic throne-like chair

“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.

“What could you give me?” Kylo asked. Emperor Palpatine lived, after a fashion, and Kylo could feel in his very bones that this clone body sheltered the Emperor’s actual spirit. It was an imperfect vessel, though, unable to contain his immense power. It couldn’t last much longer.”

But his face looks scarred like the original.

cloaked Palpatine, with orange eyes

Why would his face be scarred like the original? If he got a whole new clone body, wouldn't it be new? Did the cloning process somehow mimic the facial scars that he received in his duel with Mace Windu?

Palpatine getting electrocuted by lightning

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    "It was an imperfect vessel, though, unable to contain his immense power. It couldn’t last much longer.” - Says it right there in the question – Valorum Mar 3 at 7:21
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    @Valorum The cause was not the same. One was Force Lightning, the other was Dark Side corruption. – LincolnMan Mar 3 at 7:47
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    I think the answer you want is "something something something dark side". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… – LincolnMan Mar 3 at 7:48
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    Wait. Hold on. Are you suggesting there was an aspect of The Emperors return that wasn't carefully thought through!? – DavidS Mar 3 at 11:27
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    I don't really follow Star Wars anymore, but a few answers on this stack suggest that the scarred face is his real face, and Palpatine just a mask. That would at least explain the look of the clone. – Eike Pierstorff Mar 3 at 12:03

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