Hello there, and welcome to all you Sith Lords, Jedi Masters, Padawans, protocol droids and of course bucket heads. It is, of course, that time again where I pluck some random Star Wars subjects from this incoherent, slightly bizarre, brain of mine and attempt to make it legible. In building up to The Last Jedi’s release at the end of the year, I thought it would be fun to compile my favorite theories on just who Supreme Leader Snoke is. The true identity of the First Order leader is continuously one of, if not the most, talked about questions left by Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
We Star Wars fans are never content with the simple explanation are we? There always has to be something deeper, something meaningful. Well, our community has had 18 months to truly think about Snoke’s identity and come up with some incredible theories. Now, these are not my theories. I am simply just compiling my favorite ones I have come across. Some theories make total sense, others not so much…
The first appearance Plagueis made was when Palpatine told Anakin the tale about his older master’s demise. This theory even had traction before the release of The Force Awakens as fans had learned that motion capture legend Andy Serkis was set to play the Supreme Leader. Plagueis, according to Legends was of an alien race known as the Munn.
But why Plagueis? Apart from just sheer hope for many fans, there are actually two compelling bits of evidence in The Force Awakens. Firstly, when Kylo Ren is speaking with his father he says;
The Supreme Leader is wise
Palpatine obviously refers to Plagueis’ moniker while reciting the tale to Anakin. There are a plethora of different words Kylo Ren could have used but, he plumped for wise. The most important bit of evidence for this theory though is all in the music.
The two pieces of music do sound decidedly similar and, generally, these intricate details are never just coincidences when it comes to Star Wars. Plagueis also fits the description of the Supreme Leader is very old and witnessed the rise and fall of the Galactic Empire.
This is a new theory and came around after the release of the fantastic Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. There is not much information about Lord Vader’s attendant and, we only found out his name thanks to the Rogue One Visual Guide. So why is this relatively unknown character being touted as a possible candidate for the Supreme Leader? Well, Vaneé is Vader’s aide so he would have had unrestricted access to the Dark Lord of the Sith. Could Vader have been secretly training Vaneé as a secret apprentice to help him overthrow Palpatine? There isn’t a whole lot to do on Mustafar so they had to kill time somehow.
Could Lucasfilm be hiding the Supreme Leader in plain sight? And what better Sith Lord to learn the power of the Dark Side from than Vader himself.
Jar Jar Binks
This is obviously one of the more far out theories but, it has a lot of traction and a lot of fans seem to be buying into this. There was always a sort of half-serious thought that Jar Jar was indeed Sith, which is detailed here on Reddit, but surely not one of the most powerful Sith in history? This theory isn’t suggesting that Jar Jar himself is Plagueis but, Plagueis was using an extremely powerful force ability, force illusion.
The theory goes that after Plageuis survived the attempt on his life by Palpatine, he went into hiding somewhere in the future that the Emporer would never think of looking, his home planet. While hiding Plagueis went about creating plans to mold the galaxy to his will but, no amount of hiding would, of course, make Palpatine forget what his old master looks like. Plageuis needed a disguise and not just a pair of glasses and a hat. Poor old Jar Jar was in the wrong place at the wrong time and ultimately met his fate by the hands of Plageuis. He then used force illusion to portray himself as Jar Jar to anyone else that saw him. This has never been done quite like this before but, Palpatine did talk about just how powerful Plagueis is. Disguised as the clumsy Gungan, Plagueis managed to worm his way into a position of authority and started to shape the galaxy in accordance with his grand plan.
I said it was one of the more far out there ones but, you cannot deny it is rather clever and entertaining.
Here is another theory which is one outside of the box but, a bit more plausible than the Jar Jar one. There isn’t much we know about the Supreme Leader but, what we do know is that he witnessed the rise and fall of the Empire. If Mace survived his free fall from Palpatine’s office then that box is checked. How could Mace have survived such a fall? Well, we simply don’t know. Samual Jackson is a keen advocate that the former Jedi Master is alive. We know the Jedi can fall from unimaginable distances and survive, and there have been a few Jedi who have lost a hand, and been zapped by force lightning, and lived to tell another tale.
So Mace could have survived his encounter with Palpatine, but would this have turned him to the Dark Side? Well, Mr. Windu was never the altar boy of the Jedi Order. His actions tilted towards the Dark Side on occasions and the color of his lightsaber symbolized his balance between the light and dark side of the Force.
His appearance though? Well, he did take a full shot of force lightning to the face. That would be enough to disfigure anyone.
Supreme Leader Snoke is also obsessed with finding Luke. If Mace did survive, but became twisted with hate and fell completely to the Dark Side, it makes sense that he would want to find the son of the man who betrayed him.
This one really just boils down to the fact that the Grand Inquisitor looks a bit like Snoke. It is still a fun theory to think about though, and when you dive into the history of the Inquisitors then it begins to make a bit more sense.
We know that Snoke is not actually a Sith Lord. He knows the Dark Side but he isn’t a Sith. The Inquisitors also know the Dark Side and they themselves are again not Siths. They were the Empire’s tool to hunt down the reaming Jedi that survived Order 66.
The Grand Inquisitor also falls into the witnessed the rise and fall of the Empire category as he was a former Jedi Temple Palace guard. *SPOILERS*
He did allow himself to be killed by Kanan Jarrus in Season One of Rebels, so this one really is just a fun one to think about rather than a serious contender for Snoke’s true identity.
A New Power?
Back to a more conceivable theory here. Chuck Wendig’s first Aftermath novel introduced us to Yupe Tashu. He was one of Emporer Palpatine’s closest advisors and one of the few people privy to the knowledge that Palpatine was a Sith Lord. Tashu was not Force sensitive himself, but he was a Dark Side historian and obsessed with the Sith. After Palpatine’s death, he was a member of the Imperial Future Council. A collection of surviving high-ranking Imperial officials and officers who tried to decide on the best course of action to take the Empire. What has this got to do with Snoke I hear you ask? Well Tashu had the following to say when asked how the Empire should endure and continue Palpatine’s legacy;
No Sith remain. And the lone Jedi that exists—the son of Anakin Skywalker—possesses an untouchable soul. At least for now. We must instead move toward the dark side. Palpatine felt that the universe beyond the edges of our maps was where his power came from. Over the many years he, with our aid, sent men and women beyond known space. They built labs and communication stations on distant moons, asteroids, out there in the wilds. We must follow them. Retreat from the galaxy. Go out beyond the veil of stars. We must seek the source of the dark side like a man looking for a wellspring of water.
This theory obviously involves Snoke being a brand new character. A powerful being from beyond the known galaxy. Someone who was watching, and waiting for the perfect opportunity to seize power. Like Tashu mentioned, the source of the Dark Side he and Palpatine believed, belonged beyond the borders of the known galaxy. Could Snoke be directly influenced by the true source of the Dark Side? If so his power could be unimaginable.
So that’s my favorite bunch of ‘who’s Snoke’ theories. There are a lot more out there, some that make sense and some that are just crazy. Who do you think Supreme Leader Snoke is? Do you think he is a character we have already met in the saga? A character that was only briefly mentioned or is he simply just Supreme Leader Snoke? Let us know in the comments below and until next time, Peace is a lie and May the Force be with you.