Fortnite’s ongoing Star Wars crossover brought more than new skins, lightsabers, blasters, and crashed TIE Fighters to Epic’s battle royale juggernaut. It also included a preview clip from The Rise of Skywalker and, as players have realized since seeing the film for themselves, an exclusive look at an important in-universe Star Wars moment.
Yes, Fortnite gave its players something that viewers of The Rise of Skywalker are only told about. To say more will wade into spoiler territory, so be warned:
So, as trailers for The Rise of Skywalker hinted, Emperor Palpatine’s an important figure in the new film. You probably remember Palpatine got tossed down a pit in the second Death Star by Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker… and that the second Death Star later exploded, so the galaxy’s fairly sure Palpatine died.
And yet, the opening crawl in The Rise of Skywalker begins by telling viewers that a broadcast in the voice of Emperor Palpatine has carried a threat of revenge across the galaxy. This leads directly into the film’s opening scene, where Kylo Ren leads an assault to recover a device that’ll let him find the origin of the Palpatine broadcast.
We never hear the broadcast during the film, but Fortnite players present for the live in-game Star Wars event this past weekend did hear Palatine threaten his revenge just after a skirmish between the Millenium Falcon and some TIE Fighters:
Here’s a transcript for those unable to watch:
At last the work of generations is complete. The great error is corrected. The day of victory is at hand. The day of revenge. The day of the Sith!
In the grand scheme of things, the content of Palaptine’s broadcast isn’t important to the plot of The Rise of Skywalker, but it’s easy to imagine a version of the film where we get to see characters react to the message with confusion and fear. Instead, the message was sent out to Fortnite players who were jumping around and doing dance emotes. No matter how you feel about the way J.J. Abrams brings the Skywalker Saga to a close, that’s a plot twist hardly anyone saw coming.