I’m not talking about changing Return of the Jedi’s title back to “Revenge.” The title of this post just conveniently describes the exact same change that I wish happened elsewhere.
I’m actually referring to a cathartic line in The Rise of Skywalker, as Palpatine prepares to down the citizens’ fleet himself.
“Nothing will stop the return of the Sith!”
It’s a perfect delivery and brilliant setup to an epic scene (except for the fact that the sound effects for the lightning start over when the camera cuts to the exterior instead of continuing as one smooth flow of energy, which would have been nicer).
I’ve been torn between two lines of thought: I like the line, but I also have issues with it, as well as a potentially better alternative.
What if “revenge” replaced “return” there?
The modified line feels more representative of Palpatine’s motivations. Nothing about coming back ever concerned him before: “Once more the Sith will rule the galaxy.” He doesn’t care for the Sith’s return as much as he does his own quest for infinite power and exacting his revenge on any who oppose him.
One could bring up the argument that the Sith’s revenge was completed with the Empire, but once Palpatine throws Ben down the pit like Anakin once did to him, it’s clear that his first death only gave him reason to seek further revenge.
In that effort, he’s retraced the steps of the ancient Sith who first came to Exegol. I believe the planet was revisited after the Rule of Two started, and it became the place where the Sith would hide until the right time to return.
Was that motivated by the desire to return to power, or for revenge on their enemies? It’s up to your discretion, but it can be counted as both—and since the revenge and return of the Sith are intrinsically tied together, I think that they're most certainly interchangeable, and the opportunity for a cooler line was missed.