The Star Wars universe is vast. It includes games, novels, movies (of course), TV series (live and animated), comics, and more. That’s a wealth of material.
We’re taking a very nerdy deep dive into the Star Wars novels to unpack what we know about the Sith Troopers and, most importantly, where they’ve been this whole time. We know the extended Star Wars universe causes headaches for many, so we’ll do our best to distil the vast information at hand.
The contemporary saga has already pulled from one trilogy of novels in particular: Aftermath, by Chuck Wendig. In particular, when we find Rey on Jakku at the beginning of The Force Awakens showing the planet ravaged by war.
The Last Jedi drew heavily on the novels, particularly in referencing, however indirectly, the Unknown Regions.
Episode 7 previously saw Rey and company after the map-McGuffin. This map led Rey to Luke Skywalker, who had fled after Ben Solo burnt down his Jedi school and killed many of his apprentices. It turned out, Luke was in exile on an Unknown Regions planet called Ahch-To.
Ahch-To is one planet within many systems in the Unknown Regions and was the site of the first Jedi Temple. The regions also include multiple star systems and the origin point of Starkiller Base, which debuted on cinema screens in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
During the Imperial Era, Palpatine set his sights on the Unknown Regions. Together with Thrawn, an Unkown Regions native, Palpatine was able to begin mapping the area.
With the help of Thrawn, Palpatine was able to set up storehouses, shipyards, and laboratories throughout the area. But in the meantime, Palpatine had also set up a secret observatory on Jakku, whose computers were busy plotting a safe course into the Unknown Regions.
Then came Return of the Jedi and the Battle of Endor which resulted in Palpatine’s death – or so we thought.
Shortly before Palpatine “died”, the Jakku computer found a route, and Palpatine’s ship, the Eclipse, was sent on a trailblazing voyage. It was followed by none other than
comical villain Armitage Hux. It was in these dark areas of the universe that the First Order was born.
Given we now presume Palpatine isn’t dead – or at the very least, has some controlling hand in the plot – the idea that he populated a segment of the Unknown Regions with his own Sith Troopers isn’t far-fetched at all.
Another way the Unknown Regions could feature in The Rise of Skywalker is through the planet Ilum. This planet was a source of kyber crystals, aka the things that make lightsabers go zhwwoooommm.
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With Luke’s lightsaber in pieces at the end of The Last Jedi, Rey could be on the hunt for a way to repair it, which would lead her straight back into the Unknown Regions.
Luckily for those who don’t want to spend literal hours exploring all the unknown regions of the Star Wars universe, the movies have always been approachable for the most casual of fan. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker surely won’t be an exception.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will be released on Thursday, December 19 in the UK and Friday, December 20 in the US.