Embed from Getty Images “The Dark Side of the Force is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural,” Palpatine told Anakin Skywalker. This is the quote that will serve as a backdrop. One that will link five major Star Wars characters to paint a bigger picture.
In “The Force Awakens” we know Kylo Ren is drawn to the mask of Darth Vader. In my opinion this goes beyond family. In Charles Soule’s Darth Vader comic series it ends with Darth Momin performing a Force ritual that got interrupted by Jedi. The imbalance in the Force caused Momin’s ritual to go wrong, and his spirit was trapped inside the mask he wore. That mask became one of Palpatine’s treasured possessions, and one that would end up on the head of Anakin Skywalker.
Having learned how to achieve the ability to live on through studying his master Darth Plaguies work. Palpatine killed him. Or so we are lead to believe.
The connection between Snoke and Palpatine, is interesting. Palpatine was killed by his apprentice Darth Vader, Snoke is also killed by the very person he had been grooming as well Kylo Ren. Darth Nihilus and accent Sith Lord, became so corrupted by the Dark Side he just became a spirit who was able to live in a mask and robe. This coupled with the teaching of how to cheat death from Plaguies lends it’s self to Emperor Palpatine saving himself as he was thrown over the reactor chamber in “Return of the Jedi.”
Like Darth Plaguies, Palpatine could use his spirit to enter people and control them. Someone like Supreme Leader Snoke. Once he no longer need Snoke he allowed Kylo Ren to strike him down.
In “Return of the Jedi” Vader asked Luke Skywalker to take the mask off so he could see him through untainted eyes. Kylo Ren smashed his mask after he took it off and was conflicted between the Light and Dark Side of the Force.
With “The Rise of Skywalker” set to hit theaters this December, In my opinion we will find that it has been Emperor Palpatine calling the shots the whole time. Including using the possessed Darth Vader mask to control Ren.