Why Emperor Palpatine Never Had A New Sith Apprentice After Darth Vader



  • Emperor Palpatine didn’t need a new Sith apprentice during the sequel trilogy because he was focused on his resurrection and regaining Sith power for himself.
  • Palpatine used proxies like Supreme Leader Snoke and Kylo Ren to serve his own ends instead of taking on a new apprentice, allowing him to retain his power in a new form.
  • Even if Palpatine had chosen a new apprentice, his fate in the Star Wars sequel trilogy would likely have remained the same due to the Force dyad between Rey and Ben Solo.



Even though Emperor Palpatine resurrected himself using the dark side, he didn’t take on a new Sith apprentice in the Star Wars continuity. Following the events of Return of the Jedi where both Palpatine and Vader met their demise, one might have expected that the resurrected Dark Lord of the Sith would have found a new apprentice to continue the legacy of the Sith Lords. However, there are a few important reasons explaining why Palpatine didn’t need one during the sequel trilogy of Star Wars movies.

As confirmed in The Rise of Skywalker Palpatine returned from the grave, biding his time and growing more powerful in the shadows since the fall of his Empire in the original trilogy. Responsible for the First Order and the danger it posed to the galaxy, The Rise of Skywalker saw Palpatine unleashing the full extent of his power with his Final Order and Sith Eternal cult. However, he seemingly had no need for a new apprentice after the betrayal of Darth Vader in Return of the Jedi.

Related: Star Wars Already Warned You That Palpatine Could Return In Rey’s New Star Wars Movie

Palpatine Was Focused On His Resurrection – And Having Sith Power For Himself

Emperor Palpatine in The Rise of Skywalker.

It’s been confirmed in the established Star Wars canon that Emperor Palpatine made plans and contingencies to extend his life after death long before his actual demise in Return of the Jedi. As a result, a clone host body was already ready for Palpatine’s spirit after his physical body died on the second Death Star. While weaker than his original body, the resurrected Palpatine began working in the shadows to restore his power and rule the galaxy once more. Supported by his Sith Eternal cultists, Palpatine remained hidden for years on the secret Sith world of Exegol, a dark and sinister planet located in the Unknown Regions of space.

The work of renewing Palpatine’s strength took time. It stands to reason that finishing construction on the Final Order fleet and securing a more permanent body took the majority of Palpatine’s attention, explaining why he didn’t acquire a new Sith apprentice. Additionally, it would follow that he perhaps didn’t want one, choosing instead to retain the bulk of his power in the dark side of the Force after Darth Vader’s redemption and subsequent betrayal as seen in Return of the Jedi. In his weakened state, it would have been easy for a new apprentice to kill Palpatine once they learned all they needed to become a master themselves.

Palpatine Used Others To Serve His Own Ends Without Taking On A New Sith Apprentice

Star Wars' Snoke revealed his identity to Kylo Ren

Additionally, Palpatine also had his proxies operating in the galaxy who served a similar function that a Sith apprentice would have. The First Order’s Supreme Leader Snoke was nothing more than Palpatine’s puppet and figurehead while he remained hidden on Exegol. Likewise, Palpatine used Snoke to corrupt Ben Solo into the new dark side warrior Kylo Ren who in turn also fulfilled a similar role a legitimate Sith apprentice would have had in Star Wars’ sequel trilogy. The same is true for his servants in the Sith Eternal.

Both Snoke and Kylo Ren were designed purely to serve Palpatine’s ends. Both of their roles allowed him to live on and retain his power in a new form rather than keeping to the traditional master/apprentice dynamic via Darth Bane’s Rule of Two. Additionally, it’s worth noting that Palpatine only ever cared about the Rule of Two insofar as it served his own purposes and needs. As such, it seems he felt as though Snoke and Kylo Ren were enough, no longer needing a Sith apprentice in this new era of the Star Wars galaxy.

Related: Star Wars Reveals Palpatine Had Spies In The Jedi Temple During The Clone Wars (But Is It A Plot Hole?)

Palpatine Choosing A Sith Apprentice Wouldn’t Have Changed His Fate

Palpatine with Kylo Ren and Rey in The Rise of Skywalker

Even if Emperor Palpatine had chosen to take on a new Sith apprentice after Darth Vader, his final fate in Star Wars would have likely remained the same at the end of The Rise of Skywalker. Assuming the plot of the sequel trilogy largely remains the same aside from a theoretical Sith apprentice training with Palpatine on Exegol, it stands to reason that Palpatine still would have met his end thanks to the powerful Force dyad that was Rey and a redeemed Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (following in the footsteps of his grandfather Darth Vader).

It makes sense why Palpatine didn’t find himself a new Sith apprentice following his resurrection. Not only would that have opened Palpatine up to an additional threat to his power due to the nature of the Sith, an apprentice on Exegol likely would have felt redundant next to the agents Palpatine already had such as Snoke and Kylo Ren. While dueling a Sith apprentice may have made Rey and Ben’s final battle more interesting rather than simply fighting the underutilized Knights of Ren before Palpatine, it’s better that Palpatine didn’t have a new Sith apprentice in Star Wars’ sequel trilogy.