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We Now Know The Identities Of The Sith Statues In Rise Of Skywalker

There's a hidden reference to some pretty obscure Star Wars lore in Rise of Skywalker.

The towering statues seen as Kylo Ren navigates the hiding place of Emperor Palpatine on the planet Exegol near the film's opening are renderings of key figures in the very formation of the Old Republic. The connection was made by the intrepid denizens of Reddit weeks after the film's release.

The statues are the Four Sages of Dwartii: Braata, Faya, Sistros, and Yanjon, ancient philosophers who played a key role in the development of the very first Constitution of the Republic. While it may seem a bit odd for such a hardcore Empire guy as Sheev Palpatine to take refuge in a place housing looming statues of key architects of the Republic, the choice is a bit more fitting than one might think.

The Four Sages were said to be open to the teachings of myriad philosophies, and as such, they did not necessarily view the existence of the Dark Side of the Force as a bad thing. Their teachings may have even been an early influence on the Sith, meaning that the entire duel between the Dark Side and the Light — you know, the struggle that consumed the galaxy far, far away for literally thousands of years — might have begun with these four guys.

The statues are pretty creepy looking, but if you're into that sort of thing, you can purchase replicas — much, much smaller ones — from the Galaxy's Edge installations at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, and Disneyland in Anaheim, California. If you're wondering where you may have seen these statues before, well, you've got some extremely sharp eyes.

Have we seen the Four Sages onscreen before?

Versions of these statues actually made their first appearance in 2002's Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, in a pretty significant place: the office of Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid), when he was still acting as Supreme Chancellor of the Republic (and hiding his true identity as Darth Sidious, the Dark Lord of the Sith). They can be seen during the scene when Palpatine meets with Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Chistensen), as the two are having a little walk-and-talk.

The conversation is incredibly significant, as Palpatine tells his future apprentice that — in direct contradiction to the opinion of Obi-Wan Kenobi — Anakin doesn't need guidance from anyone. "In time, you will learn to trust your feelings," Palpatine says. "Then, you will be invincible." As this dialogue is taking place, a statue of Sistros can be seen in the background.

In the 2014 novel Tarkin, a canon work taking place shortly after the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, it was revealed that after Palpatine became Emperor, he converted the remains of the Jedi Temple into the new Imperial Palace. He took up residence in the palace, bringing the Sistros statue with him. Obviously, old Palps felt a pretty strong connection to Sistros in particular, and the Four Sages in general — and he wasn't the only one.

Mas Amedda, a former Republic Senator featured in the Star Wars prequel films who defected to the Empire during the Clone Wars, was seen to have a small statue of Sistros atop his staff. Also, Supreme Leader Snoke — who was revealed in Rise of Skywalker to be a clone, and a puppet of the Emperor — wore a ring inscribed with glyphs of all four Sages.

Could the Four Sages be featured in future Star Wars movies?

One might be tempted to think that all of this could serve as foreshadowing, and that we might actually see the era in which the Four Sages lived — heck, perhaps even see them featured as characters — in a future Star Wars movie. While this certainly isn't outside the realm of possibility, we have thus far gotten no news indicating that this could be the case.

Sure, you may have heard the rumor that Lucasfilm is kicking around the idea of producing films set in the so-called "High Republic" era, which would take place hundreds of years before the events of the Skywalker Saga (via Forbes). This hasn't been officially confirmed, but even if it's true, the era of the Four Sages was not hundreds, but thousands of years prior to any of the stories we've seen onscreen to this point.

No, movies set in the "High Republic" era would be likely to feature Jedi Master Yoda (who, remember, lived to be about 900 years old) kicking ass and taking names, with the contentious power struggle between the Sith and the Jedi having been in full swing for centuries. Perhaps one day, we'll get to see the story of how that struggle began, all of those millennia ago — or, you know, maybe our grandchildren will.