Hello everyone and welcome to The Sarlacc Pit. If you are like me, then you were fascinated by Supreme Leader Snoke, the robed figure giving orders to Kylo Ren and General Hux in “The Force Awakens.” Also if you were like me, you were a little bit disappointed when you found out he was just a hologram in the movie, and not a twenty foot tall giant (although technically, we cannot be certain that he isn’t, in fact, a giant). Since this movie was just the first in the Sequel Trilogy (ST) of the Star Wars franchise, fans were left with numerous questions, including who Supreme Leader Snoke really was. Numerous people have chimed in with various theories, and I think it is time for me to address them. So, let’s discuss some of the most prevalent fan-theories concerning the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke.
What Do We Know?
We know that Snoke was a Force-sensitive (strong in the dark side, though not confirmed as a Sith) male humanoid (human-like but not quite) who witnessed the rise and fall of the First Galactic Empire. We know that he trained Ben Solo and at least one other apprentice in the dark side of the Force, and gave Ben the name Kylo Ren, Master of the Knights of Ren. We also know that he chose Ben Solo because he believed that as Luke Skywalker’s nephew and Darth Vader’s grandson, Ben would have a good mix of dark side and light side within him. We also know, based on his face, that he has seen some hard times. So with these facts in mind, let’s hear what some fans think.
Have you ever heard the story of Darth Plagueis the wise? Well, if you’re a fan of “Revenge of the Sith,” Legends stories, or memes, then you probably have. The first, and arguably most prevalent, theory I will discuss claims that Snoke is none other than Darth Sidious’ master, who was supposedly killed in his sleep by ol’ skeevy Sheev himself. However, those who know Plagueis’ story have pointed out that he was able to manipulate midi-chlorians to save lives, and thus may have prevented his death. Further advocates claim that since, in Legends, he was involved with the cloners on Kamino it is possible that he made a clone for his spirit to inhabit once his first body died (this is something that was done a lot in Legends by the Emperor after his death, and a couple times in canon by Dr. Cylo in the Darth Vader comic series). So, could the old master have survived to outlive his apprentice, simply biding his time until the Emperor died so he could take his place?
I doubt it. There are a few problems I have with this theory. First of all, that’s not how the Sith operate. If Sidious killed Plagueis, and Plagueis came back to life then I could guarantee there would have been a major battle that would have only ended once one of them was totally dead. Second, does Sheev Palpatine look like a man who would only half way kill someone? If Skeevy Sheev even thought for a second that Plagueis could come back to life, he would have destroyed that chance before slitting his master’s throat (or however he killed him). But let’s say that Plagueis did come back to life without Sidious knowing and that he had a change of heart and decided to let his apprentice keep on ruling the galaxy. Then what has he been doing this whole time? Just waiting for a power vacuum? If that is the case then Plagueis is a wuss and not to be feared in the slightest. At this point that is just bad story telling and I have more faith in Star Wars than that. Furthermore, in Legends canon, Plagueis was a Muun (which have high foreheads and high-pitched voices). However, his species was not canonized, so I guess there is still a slight chance th
Another theory is that Snoke is a revived clone of Darth Sidious, or that Sidious somehow survived being thrown into the bowels of the Death Star II. In Legends canon there were several stories in which Luke and the New Republic or the revived Jedi Order had to deal with another clone of Palpatine. Even in canon, there are many instances where Palpatine is interested in cloning technology before he becomes the Emperor. So, is Snoke just Sidious back from the dead?
I hope not. Darth Sidious is one of my favorite villains of all time. He did some crazy political scheming, engineered a never-ending war, brought about the downfall of the Jedi Order, then imposed a brutal dictatorship on the galaxy. Even in the end the good guys only won because Darth Vader betrayed him, the Sith way (sure, it was to save his son, so love and compassion won, but still). I feel like bringing him back to life is unnecessary, especially if he is not going to look the same. I could point to the fact that Snoke is a humanoid alien while Sidious was a human, but if it’s just Sidious’ spirit inhabiting a clone body then that could possibly be explained away. (Cylo made human/alien hybrid bodies to use when he died). Furthermore, if Sidious came back from the dead, I don’t think he would change his name and hide out in some remote location. I feel like he would come back from the dead and yell “I’M BACK, BITCHES!!!!!!” I do not think he would lay low and start his Empire back from basically scratch.
O.K., so Snoke was around before the rise of the Empire, wants to kill the remaining Jedi, is strong in the dark side of the Force, and is crazy scarred. That means he’s Mace Windu right? I mean, last time we saw Windu, he was being shocked by Force lightning and thrown out a window, that could probably scar someone pretty bad. Plus, Jedi survive falls like that all the time, they have the Force. Finally, in Legends, Windu used some line-blurring Force abilities allowing him to straddle the line between the light side and the dark side. So did Mace Windu take years to recover, turn to the dark side, and then lead the First Order?
I almost did not include this theory because of how dumb it is. Does Mace Windu have a reason to be angry with Anakin Skywalker? Sure. Is it possible he survived being thrown out a window after having his arms cut off and being shocked by Force lightning? Maybe. But this theory implies that the Force lightning changed his facial features, skin color, and species, and that is a major leap. Also, a major piece of this theory comes from Legends canon that Mace Windu straddled the line between the dark side and the light side. While Windu’s fighting style in current canon may have been a bit more aggressive than some Jedi, there is no canon evidence that he was close to the dark side. Finally, proponents for this theory say that Windu would have had a grudge against Anakin, which would explain why Snoke was trying to hunt down and kill Luke but this idea makes no sense. Why would someone hire their enemy’s grandson to kill their enemy’s son? That is a grudge that no longer makes any sense. This theory make very little sense and I have no idea how it got so popular.
Gallius Rax was a child born on Jakku 15 years before the rise of the Empire. As a child he stowed away on Sheev Palpatine’s ship after seeing one of Palpatine’s advisors begin excavating a piece of land on Jakku. He eventually met Palpatine and was given the option of a quick death, or to return to Jakku and accept the destiny that awaited him. Rax chose the latter, and was essentially a ghost until the years following the fall of the Emperor, after which he began to orchestrate the revival of the Empire and set into motion the events that led to the Battle of Jakku. In the novel Aftermath: Life Debt, Gallius Rax comes of as cunning, charismatic, and a little bit creepy, all of which could be applied to Snoke as well. Rax was also instrumental in bringing in General Hux’s father, and it was his idea to begin recruiting children for the stormtrooper program. So did Rax get a name change and become Supreme Leader Snoke?
While I want to think that this is correct, it’s most likely wrong as well. First off, Snoke was a humanoid, while Rax was a human. Secondly, it is unlikely that Disney would make these novels mandatory reading if you want to get Snoke’s backstory. While extended canon adds details and rounds out characters, you generally get the full story from movies, and little spoilers are actually released in the extended canon. I will say this, however, Rax got his start with Palpatine by helping to monitor a site on Jakku. Perhaps Jakku, which later became one of the last holdouts of the remnants of the Empire led by Rax, may hold the origins to the real Supreme Leader Snoke.
Bonus Theory: Rey Update
While this has nothing to do with Snoke’s identity, a while back I posted another collection of fan theories about Rey’s parents. I stated in that post that my favorite theory was that it was Kylo Ren who saved Rey from his own betrayal and dumped her off on Jakku. I cited Ren’s use of memory-related Force abilities and Rey’s apparent lack of real memories before her time on Jakku as possible evidence. However, J. J. Abrams has seemingly negated this theory, stating that Kylo Ren and Rey never met before the events of “The Force Awakens.” So, unless he’s talking like Obi-Wan Kenobi, a.k.a. essentially lying, then that’s my theory, officially dead.
These are the most popular fan theories about Snoke’s identity, and as you can see, I don’t agree with any of them. “So,” you may say, “if you’re so smart, who do YOU think Snoke is?” Well, random reader with questions, I believe that Snoke is….Snoke. I have said this in past posts and I will say it again, Star Wars has a real problem with recycling characters. Every character is related some how to some other character and when a new movie comes out (especially in the Prequel Trilogy), there are always more family connections than necessary. So I think that maybe Star Wars would benefit from a new villain. Plagueis is history, Sidious had his time to shine, and Mace Windu is dead. No one knows who Rax is, so why can’t we just let Snoke be Snoke? Maybe I’m wrong about those theories, but one thing is for certain: he is definitely not Jar-Jar Binks.
That’s all for this week. Next week I plan on writing about a few of the most common alien species seen in the Star Wars franchise. Also, don’t forget to check out my Instagram page @thesarlaccpit_starwarsblog for more Star Wars tidbits throughout the week! Thanks for reading, and may the Force be with you!