A new illustrated Star Wars book is here from Marc Sumerak called The Secrets of the Sith! This book has lovely illustrations by Sergio Gómez Silván. It has been out at Barnes and Noble for several days, and out for order on October 12th. I’m going to share with you five very cool things from The Secrets of the Sith.
By the way, this book is a companion piece to the wonderful Secrets of the Jedi by the same author. Secrets of the Jedi was written from the perspective of Luke Skywalker before he undertakes his force projection to Crait. Similarly, The Secrets of the Sith takes place during the events of the Rise of Skywalker, before Palpatine’s demise.
This lends the book a somewhat humorous irony, as Palpatine’s arrogance and wrongness color his perspective of events including his eventual fate. Nevertheless, Darth Sidious offers valuable insight into Sith lore that clarifies aspects of sequel trilogy. Most of this information is not entirely new, but alongside this valuable storygroup article about Palpatine’s Contigency, we can understand Palpatine’s motives more clearly.
Secrets of the Sith Dishes About The Force Dyad in A Big Way
Secrets of the Sith gives The Force Dyad a two page spread in this book. It is easily the most intriguing portion of the book. Palpatine has no idea that Ben and Rey are a Dyad, of course. However, he has a lot of ideas about the dyad from his own Sith education. The Dyad underpins the Rule of Two of the Sith, though I suspect this is probably a misinterpretation of an ancient notion from the Prime Jedi.
Weirdly, Palpatine contemplates whether he and Rey can be a Dyad. Considering that Palpatine sought to possess his daughter, this leads me to think that if Rey had been possessed, she would have maintained some of her identity alongside her Grandfather’s. Ugh.
Darth Sidious had previously tried to create a dyad between himself and Anakin. That failed, of course.
Still, the Dyad appears central to the Sith and the Jedi as a concept. The Sith believe that when the rare Dyad comes along it will “usher in a new era”.
While Palpatine’s knowledge is biased, that line emphasizes again that the Dyad figures heavily in Jedi and Sith prophecy. What is the new era? What did that mean for Ben and Rey? According to the text, the Dyad cannot be broken. This naturally has me wondering what is in store for Ben and Rey in the future. Death can’t keep true love apart, and I doubt it can keep the Dyad apart either.
Palpatine Never Believes Kylo Ren Will Go Full Dark
Palpatine has never trusted Ben Solo aka Kylo Ren to remain in the Dark Side of the Force. Darth Sidious primarily used Kylo Ren to disrupt the Skywalker family and subdue the Galaxy. This isn’t too surprising, since he view Kylo Ren as Darth Vader’s heir apparent. And he wasn’t exactly please without Vader turned out in the end.
In both the The Rise of Skywalker novelization, and one of the short stories in The Empire Strikes Back: From A Certain Point of View, Darth Sidious grows suspicious of Vader’s musing and reflection on Padme. Palpatine doesn’t care if Dark Side apprentices try to kill him, he expects it.
But he doesn’t want them to return to the Light. Anakin Skywalker returned to the light and tossed Palpatine down a shaft. With Luke and Leia squarely in the Light, Darth Sidious does not trust the Skywalkers, including Ben Solo.
Palpatine thinks he can trust his own bloodline, or at least a relative with his power. Palpatine and his Acolytes began working harder to create a host body for himself, and prepare for his eventual death.
Palpatine’s main goal in TROS and for a few decades prior, was to have his granddaughter Rey brought to him to be his host. He asks Kylo to kill Rey to test the Kylo’s resolve, but he does not truly believe Kylo will do it.
The film shows towards the end that Palpatine simply wanted Kylo to bring or lure Rey to him. The Emperor assumed tasking Kylo with killing her would achieve that goal.
Palpatine already knows that Kylo is drawn to Rey. According to Secrets of the Sith, he partly created the Force Bond via Snoke to lure Rey to himself. Of course, Rey and Kylo were already bonded in the Dyad but neither Palpatine, nor Snoke know this.
All that Palpatine and Snoke knew is that they created a Force bond. But, heh heh, they didn’t. It was a dyad created long before. We know this from the comic series The Rise of Kylo Ren. Fourteen year old Rey sense her dyad mate’s fall in the Force.
Secrets of the Sith Highlights Why Rey is So Important to Palpatine
Why is Rey so important? It seems Palpatine is obsessed with bloodlines, and from the book it seems his Acolytes and himself believe their bloodline is the key to a suitable host for himself.
So far in both The Mandalorian and the Bad Batch, we are getting a gradual story of Palpatine’s cloning efforts. While Darth Sidious may have entertained possessing Anakin and Luke Skywalker, he and his Sith Acolytes come to believe that Palpatine’s bloodline is ideal to act as a host for his powerful Sith prescence.
Most of the information of The Secrets of the Sith is scattered about in other extended materials. But this book brings that all together for clarity. A picture comes together of Rey being the culmination of the Sith Acolyte’s experiments into creating a young host for Palpatine.
This book also clarified Snoke’s role in the story.
Snoke is Palpatine’s Puppet, But Is Not Related to Him
According to Secrets of the Sith, Snoke was an early attempt to create a host for Palpatine. However, Snoke is not related to him. Only Rey’s father was a viable strandcast of Palpatine. Whoever Snoke is related to is still up in the air.
All we know about Snoke is that he is a puppet of Darth Sidious for him to enact his master’s will. From the story group, we also know that his job was to bring Rey to Palpatine. Clearly, Snoke disobeyed that order. This is not unusual for Dark Side apprentices and servants. I suspect Snoke’s intention to have Kylo Ren kill Rey, was to eliminate his Master’s future host body.
Oddly enough, right before Snoke dies, he has more faith in Kylo’s ability to be a Dark Sider than Palpatine ever did. Not that it worked out for him.
So what about Palpatine’s actual son? Well, he hates him.
We already guessed that from the Rise of Skywalker, and its novelization by Rae Carson, but Secrets of the Sith further elaborates on that. Here, Palpatine hates his son so much, he refers to him as an “it”. This is in marked contrast to how the treated Anakin Skywalker and Gallius Rax. He referred to both these young men as “son”. Of course, Palpatine did not actually care for either of them, his paternal veneer was all an act.
The Secrets of the Sith Gives Us A Great Ochi of Bestoon Picture
Ochi of Bestoon looks pretty heroic in Secrets of the Sith, standing there with his dagger upheld. That is all.
I highly recommend getting The Secrets of the Sith. It’s an intriguing book, especially where they Dyad is concerned. If you want to read more about the symbolism of the Dyad, check out Reddit user Observa’s insightful posts here and especially here.
In addition, Girls With Sabers will have a livestream discussing the Dyad here: