Near the end of the movie, Rey encounters emperor Palpatine who demands that she strike him down in anger so that he and the Sith can continue to rule through her. This is almost identical to the "offer" he makes to Luke in ROTJ, though he seems to be even more forthcoming with Rey since he even admits that he hopes to essentially possess her afterwards.

My question is, why tell the hero this? If he really wants them to go through with it, why show them that it's all part of his evil plan? Wouldn't that make them less likely to want to strike him down? Why not try to goad them into it without making it apparent that it is exactly what he wants?

Having thought about it a while I've come up with a few personal theories, none of which I find very convincing.

  1. The hero (Rey or Luke) needs to be made fully aware of the consequences of their action for the plan to work. Only if Rey knew and accepted that she would become corrupted after killing Palpatine would she truly fall to the dark side. If this is true, striking Palpatine down in anger is not so much what causes the hero to fall as the submission to his will.
  2. Palpatine is using reverse psychology to prevent the hero from actually killing him, waiting for them to let their guard down so he can turn the tables and kill them instead.

I favor #1 a lot more than #2, but I wonder if there's a better explanation.


1 Answer 1


Palpatine seems to think that Rey has no choice at this point. His fleet and Sith lightning is about to finish off the Rebellion once and for all, making him an unassailable ruler of the galaxy. Rey of course wants to save her friends and the galaxy but the only way to do it is to kill Palpatine.

It's similar to his attempt to turn Luke, i.e. attacking his friends and the Rebellion to force Luke to kill him in anger.

  • Paplaptine is clone. So killing him wouldn't change anything. He knows it. Rey (maybe) not. Also what is "no choice" and striking in anger? Sad Sand boi didn't given Obi Wan chance and he had to cut of his legs and arms and leave him in lava. Yet he didn't turned into dark side. It might be that it's not in what state you kill force users but the killing itself. But then why Darth Vader came back as spirit and not other Jedis from order 66? Younglings? The movie, IMHO is just badly written and is incosistent with previous history and itself. Mar 20, 2020 at 11:33
  • @SZCZERZOKŁY Rei knows he is a clone. He basically tells her and she previously saw the other cloned bodies on her way to meet him.
    – user
    Mar 20, 2020 at 11:39
  • I meant He knows he transfered previous Palpatine into current. And can do it many times. We don't know if Rey think that killing this one would end everything or just remove one head of hydra. Do Palpatine have hive mind? We don't know. We don't know if Rey know of think about that. How would change killing talking Palpatine if she "killed" other clone bodies? Again, bad writing. Mar 20, 2020 at 11:46

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