When Star Wars returned to the big screen with The Force Awakens, Disney promised that the story would move forward and explore the galaxy after the fall of the Empire. Fans were filled with hope and joy, unaware that The Last Jedi and Rise of Skywalker would seemingly contradict each other at every opportunity.
Few fans remember, though, that Emperor Palpatine’s son and grandchild were already introduced decades earlier in the young reader Jedi Prince series, and while Disney refuses to acknowledge the Extended Universe, a book for children reading at the third-grade level had a better story than Rise of Skywalker.
The six-book series included The Glove of Darth Vader, The Lost City of the Jedi, Zorba the Hutt’s Revenge, Mission from Mount Yoda, Queen of the Empire, and Prophets of the Dark Side. Centered on the character of Ken, a force-sensitive young boy, the series takes place a year after the end of Return of the Jedi. Ken, introduced in the second book, meets up with Luke, Han, and Leia for a galaxy-spanning adventure as they have to stop the son of Emperor Palpatine from reforming the Empire.
Trioculus, The Son Of Palpatine
The Galactic Warlord Trioculus is seeking out the glove of Darth Vader to bring the Dark Side Prophet Kadaan’s prophecy about the new Emperor true. Somehow, Emperor Palpatine had a son with three eyes, and the former Imperial Officers were aware of this, so they ended up accepting Trioculus as the new Emperor. In the second book, Lost City of the Jedi, Trioculus’s evil plan to raze the forests of Yavin IV to the ground is thwarted by the Rebel Alliance, but in the process, he meets Leia and vows to make her his wife.
If that sounds a little similar to another forgotten Star Wars villain, Prince Xizor from Shadows of the Empire, it is, but the Jedi Prince novels were first by four years. Trioculus, for the villain of a young reader novel, is surprisingly vicious. Still, even more shocking, after trying to marry Leia at an amusement park filled with holograms after backstabbing Jabba the Hutt’s father, Zorba, he’s killed.
As readers soon learn, however, in a twist that would become commonplace for Star Wars, Trioculus wasn’t the real son of Palpatine.
Triclops, The Real Son Of Palpatine
Over 20 years before Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Mission from Mount Yoda revealed how the Empire designed the Death Star. Triclops, the real three-eyed son of Emperor Palpatine (his third eye is in the back of his head), dreams of weapons while sleeping in his prison cell, which formed the foundation for the Empire’s war machines, from AT-AT’s to the Death Star. Seemingly mad from his treatment at the hands of the Empire, Triclops is freed and joins the Rebel Alliance to help take down the Dark Prophets.
If the mutated son kept prisoner in an Imperial base that dreams of weapons of mass destruction isn’t confusing enough, the official Expanded Universe timeline that the Jedi Prince series did take place on then reveals Ken is Triclops’ son, making him, like Rey, the grandchild of Emperor Palpatine.
The twist in Rise of Skywalker already happened 30 years earlier, and arguably, again, a young reader series handled it better.
Triclops And Ken In The Disney Star Wars Timeline
When Disney purchased Star Wars, most fans knew that the Expanded Universe was on borrowed time. Shuffled into the “Legacy” branding, all the stories, from Grand Master Thrawn and Mara Jade to even the Jedi Prince series, which included Han proposing to Leia, were wiped from canon. Given the big swings taken in the six-book series, it’s clear that Disney will never acknowledge the mutant son of Palpatine or the child he had with a female Jedi.
This is a shame because, for a young reader series, the Jedi Prince novels were great and filled with things that even adults would love to know about the world of Star Wars. In addition to expanding the Palpatine family tree and Han’s proposal, the series also introduced Zorba the Hutt, Jabba’s father, out for revenge against Leia and brought the Dark Side Prophet Kanaan to the forefront as a major villain.