The presence of the Force dyad in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker notably calls back to an important moment in Revenge of the Sith. Then, as in The Rise of Skywalker, characters were exploring the possibilities that could be created by a bond between Force users. While Star Wars might not have had all its cards in line for elaborating on what precisely a Force dyad was when Revenge of the Sith was released in 2005, the franchise even then playing with the idea of two Force users bonding to create something bigger and more powerful than their disparate selves that went beyond the established Sith Rule of Two.
The Force dyad concept introduced in The Rise of Skywalker signifies a naturally occurring bond between Force-sensitive beings. In that movie, this Force dyad blossomed between Rey and Kylo Ren, but it began developing as early as Star Wars: The Force Awakens when they probed each other’s minds. It was a Sith prophecy that such a bond would not only amalgamate two Force users into one being, but grant them a power as great as life itself, spanning across time and space. However, the idea of a Force dyad was also alluded to in Revenge of the Sith, even if it was not named as such at the time. Palpatine says to Anakin: “To cheat death is a power only one has achieved, but if we work together, I know we can discover the secret.”
What Did Palpatine Know About The Force Dyad?
The legendary Sith Lord Darth Plagueis is the one who Palpatine cites in his conversation with Anakin. Darth Plagueis is the Sith Master to Palpatine’s apprentice decades before The Phantom Menace takes place (and before Palpatine knew Jedis could achieve their own version of immortality through becoming Force ghosts). Plagueis’ success with immortality sowed the seeds of obsession for Palpatine, and he sought its power out throughout the Skywalker saga.
It also predated the Sith Rule of Two, which was about power cultivated through the Sith Master and apprentice dynamic. This is what Palpatine as Darth Sidious tried to form with Anakin as Darth Vader. The Rise Of Skywalker novel even references the Rule of Two as a “…pale imitation, an unworthy but necessary successor to the older, purer doctrine of the Dyad.” After failing to form a bond with Anakin two generations previously, Palpatine believed producing a Force dyad with his granddaughter Rey could be the key to his immortality. By tricking her into killing him, he could possess her body. He did not understand that Rey had already formed a dyad with Kylo Ren, which became his undoing.
Why The Emperor Couldn’t Create A Force Dyad With Darth Vader
Why Palpatine failed with Darth Vader in Revenge of the Sith is the same reason that it worked with Rey and Kylo Ren in Rise of Skywalker: a dyad requires a balance between the light and dark sides of the Force. Both Rey and Kylo Ren had flirted with each side of the Force throughout the sequel trilogy, and were suitable avatars for the dyad’s formation. One theory argues that the Sith are unable to create a Force dyad as unequivocal users of the dark side of the Force, and both Vader and Sidious were dark users by that point.
Another theory points out that Anakin was the Chosen One, an ancient prophecy similar to the Force dyad that argued that one user would one day bring balance to the Force between light and dark. If Anakin was already a balance between light and dark, then it makes sense that he would not need another user to balance what he already personified in Revenge of the Sith. After Vader sacrifices himself to save Luke, his death paves the way for Rey and Kylo Ren’s dyad to be formed and culminated in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, as the balance he embodied was lost.
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