Are we all forgetting how the EU brought Palpatine back more times than Jason Voorhees? And if we look to one of Lucas’ inspirations, Flash Gordon, Ming The Merciless always survives somehow to menace another day.
There was even a fan edit around here where Palpatine was going to survive ROTJ. Don’t know if it was ever finished.
The old Expanded Universe were wiped away from canon for some pretty good reasons. One of those being the cloning of familiar characters. Ever since George Lucas introduced the concept of cloning in Attack of the Clones, some writers have written some pretty silly stories.
There is, of course, the army of clones Palpatine had archived that became a threat to Luke after Return of the Jedi, and there are the evil clones Luke had as well. Their names were “Luuke”, and “Luuuke”. And let’s also not forget about the clones Vader made of Starkiller in The Force Unleashed II.
Whatever Lucasfilm does with Palpatine’s role in The Rise of Skywalker, it will be much more well written and better told for how Palpatine returns. Whether he survived, or he is a Dark Side Force spirit, we’ll see what happens this December. It will also be exciting to see that Palpatine will not only be a threat to Rey, but a threat to Ben as well.