Luke Skywalker has returned to the planet where Baby Yoda sent out an SOS. In a forthcoming new Star Wars novel called Shadow of the Sith, the big reveal is that Luke manages to get to that super-secret Sith planet Exegol — but not the way you think. An excerpt released by StarWars.com is mostly focused on connecting pre-Force Awakens Luke with Exegol, but the way he gets there is more important. And it has everything to do with a pivotal scene from The Mandalorian Season 2.
Here’s what this new Luke Skywalker story might mean and how it raises more questions than it answers. Mild spoilers ahead.
What is Shadow of the Sith?
Set in 21 ABY about 12 years after The Mandalorian and 13 years before The Force Awakens, Shadow of the Sith reveals the adventures Luke had with Lando Calrissian, which previously were only hinted at in The Rise of Skywalker. We know that at some point before the sequel trilogy, Luke Skywalker was combing the galaxy for all sorts of Sith and Jedi artifacts. This new book, written by Adam Christopher, is set to illuminate some of Luke’s questing.
Ahead of the book’s June release, StarWars.com released an excerpt in which Luke seems to come face-to-face with the Force ghost of his father, Anakin Skywalker, on the surface of Exegol.
It might seem like a big deal that Luke knew about Emperor Palpatine’s secret Sith planet before it showed up in The Rise of Skywalker, but if you look carefully, that’s not the biggest shock. Instead how Luke “found” Exegol stretches into The Mandalorian canon in an interesting way.
Luke Skywalker on Tython
The Shadow of the Sith excerpt doesn’t just have Luke rolling up on Exegol in his X-Wing. Instead, it hints that right before this scene where Luke meets Anakin’s ghost, he was at the seeing stone on the planet Tython (that thing Grogu used to call out for another Jedi in The Mandalorian Season 2).
Here’s the line from the new book:
“Luke took a breath and could taste dry dust on his tongue, and then he realized he wasn’t sitting on the seeing stone anymore. Tython was gone.”
Somehow, just sitting on the seeing stone transported Luke to Exegol. Either that or the seeing stone propelled Luke into some kind of magical realm where he thinks he’s on Exegol. Either way, Tython, and the seeing stone just got even more important than they were before.
Tython first appeared on screen in 2020 in The Mandalorian Season 2 episode, “The Tragedy,” although it was referenced in a canonical Doctor Aphra comic in 2019. There’s also a non-canon version of Tython that goes back into Legends, which was a planet from which an older version of the Jedi Order (the Je'daii) originated.
When Mando busted out Tython and the seeing stone, that was retroactive continuity, but also a retcon that was connected to slightly older Legends canon. (Plus, pretty much everything not set after The Rise of Skywalker is retcon these days, right?)
How it changes Star Wars canon
The larger point is this: The fact that Luke was using the seeing stone on Tython to find Exegol at some point after the events of The Mandalorian really makes you wonder how much Luke knew about Tython prior to Mando.
Because Ahsoka was taught at the Jedi Temple, it makes sense she would know about Tython; she has traditional, pre-Empire Jedi training. But in 9 ABY, Luke has significantly less formal Jedi training, especially when it comes to this kind of deep history stuff.
As Mando proves, the simple existence of the seeing stone was very useful in terms of Luke getting a sense of where Grogu was. Now, with Shadow of the Sith, it seems like the seeing stone is at least partially responsible for Luke (maybe) astral projecting to Exegol, or being transported to some other ethereal plane.
Bottom line: The seeing stone is a massive Force power game-changer. It allows a Force user to send out a massive message across the galaxy, and now, apparently, it can also put you in touch with certain Force ghosts you may want to talk to.
If Luke became aware of the seeing stone in 9 ABY and was using it for Sith research in 21 ABY, it seems very likely it was a much bigger deal than we ever realized. In terms of pre-Force Awakens plot devices, it seems that the seeing stone on the planet Tython is the true phantom menace of canon secrets.
Star Wars: Shadow of the Sith is out on June 28, 2022, from Del Rey Books.