It's beginning to look like Luke Skywalker may have been manipulated by Emperor Palpatine for quite some time now. A new Star Wars comic book, Age of the Rebellion - Luke Skywalker, attempts to go back and fill in some canon stories in between the original trilogy and the latest involving Luke. When Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker trailer was released, fans were stunned to see the return of the Emperor. However, it looks like he never really left and like he may have had a direct influence over Luke's exile.
In Age of the Rebellion, the Emperor reaches out to Luke for the first time using the Force. Part of the ultimate plan was to push the young Skywalker as far away as possible after he was unsuccessful in luring him to the Dark Side. The story, written by Greg Pak, Chris Sprouse, Scott Koblish, and Stefan Landini, shows this first contact, which Luke can only feel as a dark feeling. Over time, the Emperor gets better and Luke is more open to suggestion. The main takeaway is that people in authority, from both the Rebellion and the Empire, can be led astray and become bad. Luke has this implanted in his head, possibly sending him off the deep end.
Age of the Rebellion also replays the famous scene where Luke Skywalker watches his Jedi Academy burn, which is one of the main turning points we have seen that leads up to the Luke we see in The Last Jedi. From there, he is off to live in exile, believing he can't do anything further to help a doomed galaxy through the use of the Force. It's also possible Emperor Palpatine has been manipulating Kylo Ren this whole time too.
There have already been Rise of Skywalker fan theories bringing Kylo Ren and Emperor Palpatine together. This is also a strong rumor when it comes to the rise of Supreme Leader Snoke and the First Order, stating Palpatine has always been pulling the strings from behind-the-scenes. With Luke Skywalker off in exile, the Resistance is wide open to attack and the strongest Jedi is out of the way, or so Palpatine thinks. It's going to be very interesting to see how the Age of Rebellion comic series helps tie into The Rise of Skywalker.
The Emperor has always been a powerful figure in the Star Wars universe and we may have underestimated that power over the years. With that being said, J.J. Abrams and crew have crafted a new story, which will be the final installment in the Skywalker saga and these upcoming comics from the Age of the Rebellion series may prove to be crucial reading for Star Wars fans preparing for The Rise of Skywalker to hit theaters at the end of the year. Fans can head over to Marvel Comics to buy the first issue, both digitally and physically, in order to learn more about the Emperor's influence over Luke.