Who is Snoke? That’s the question Star Wars fans have been asking before The Force Awakens was even released. While several people working on the production of the new Star Warstrilogy have supposedly debunked many fans’ theories, remember that creators can and do lie about the details of their projects, sometimes because they’re under contract to do so and sometimes for the sake of not spoiling a big reveal within a movie.
Snoke Is Darth Plagueis
Despite what J.J. Abrams and others involved in the production of The Force Awakens have said about Snoke not secretly being Plagueis, fans of science fiction franchises in general and Abrams in particular are familiar with this game – Khan, anyone? For those of you who (understandably) fell asleep during the prequels, Plagueis was Palpatine’s master. He was a supremely powerful Sith Lord who supposedly found a way to cheat death.
One compelling bit of evidence that supports the theory that Snoke is Plagueis is in the respective scores of Revenge of the Sith and The Force Awakens. As the video above illustrates, the music playing when Palpatine tells Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis is nearly identical to Snoke’s theme in The Force Awakens. This theory from Reddit user DatAEK971 operates on the belief that Plagueis knew Palpatine was going to attempt to kill him and somehow managed to trick Palpatine into believing he succeeded.
Some concrete facts we do know about Snoke is that he is a) old and, b) has been watching events unfold from the shadows. As is mentioned in the book The Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Snoke says that he “watched the Galactic Empire rise, and then fall.” From this, it can be implied that Plagueis played a key role in the rise of the Empire.
He secretly orchestrated a number of key events that led to the formation of the Empire, most notably the building of the clone army and the appointment of Palpatine as the Supreme Chancellor of the Galactic Republic. Also, the novelization of The Force Awakens describes Snoke as being “tall and gaunt” and “humanoid but not human.” Plagueis was not human, but a Muun – a species described as “thin, tall humanoids.” Although the cast and crew of the new trilogy have emphatically denied that Snoke is Plagueis, it remains the most compelling theory.
Snoke Is Just A Completely New Character
The reigning theory amongst the “who is Snoke?” theories is not a theory at all – some fans just think he’s an entirely new character. This would fall in line with what the cast and crew of the new trilogy have said about Snoke’s identity, as they’ve repeatedly debunked theory after theory.
Andy Serkis, who plays Snoke in the films, was quoted saying, “He’s a new addition to the storyline.” And Pablo Hidalgo, the creative executive at Lucasfilm, actually made some handouts that perfectly encapsulate his feelings on the matter. They read, rather succinctly, “Your Snoke Theory Sucks.”
Snoke Is The Grand Inquisitor
Another popular theory, detailed in the video above, postulates that Snoke is actually the Grand Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels. The Grand Inquisitor was a Force-trained being who answered directly to Darth Vader, tasked with finding and eliminating the remaining Jedi. So, what are the tenants of this hypothesis?
Snoke and the Inquisitor have similar facial features, and both are very powerful Force users. While the Inquisitor died on an episode of Rebels, just before his death, he told Kanan, “You have no idea what you’ve unleashed here. There are some things more frightening than death.” This ominous warning could have foreshadowed his return as someone greater and even more powerful, like Supreme Leader Snoke.
Snoke Is The Original Chosen One
The novel Darth Plagueis describes how Palpatine’s master attempted to manipulate midi-chlorians to create a living embodiment of the Force. This supposedly resulted in the creation of Anakin Skywalker, who was prophesied as the Chosen One, the one who would bring balance to the Force.
There is a theory, however, from Reddit user dacalpha which posits that Snoke is a prototype of the Chosen One, inadvertently created by Plagueis’s experiments. This would explain Snoke’s malformed appearance, since he would essentially be a failed version of the Chosen One.
Snoke Is Palpatine
One of the biggest criticisms of The Force Awakens is that it recycled many plot points from A New Hope. Therefore, some fans might be upset if the following theory from Reddit user EpicEnder99 about Snoke being Palpatine turns out to be true. At the end of Return of the Jedi, Palpatine was thrown down the second Death Star’s reactor shaft, resulting in the Sith Lord’s death.
However, if anyone were to survive that kind of fall, it would be Palpatine. He was one of the most powerful Force users in the galaxy, and if Darth Maul could survive a similar fall, chances are Palpatine could as well. Also, Snoke has what appear to be burns covering his face, which could be explained by the energy burst that travels up the shaft after Palpatine falls.
There’s also the possibility that Palpatine managed to possess another being just before his body was destroyed. In the Empire’s End comics, Palpatine was resurrected when he transferred his spirit into one of the many clones he had created of himself. While this event is no longer part of the official canon, some of the movies and shows have set a precedent for borrowing material from Legends.
Snoke Is Gallius Rax
Some argue, like the above video, that Galius Rax from the canon Aftermath trilogy is actually Snoke. Rax was an admiral in the Empire who tried to rebuild the Empire after the events of Return of the Jedi. The most compelling evidence to support this theory is Rax’s close connection to Palpatine.
As a young boy, Rax snuck onto Palpatine’s ship. Upon finding the boy, Palaptine told him, “I sense in you potential. A destiny. Most people have no destiny.” Although Rax is killed in the final book of the Aftermath trilogy, many Star Wars characters have found a way around death, and that destiny Palpatine spoke of could be training Kylo Ren as the head of the First Order.
Snoke Is Jar Jar Binks
As far-fetched as this theory from Reddit user Lumpawarroo might sound, there’s a lot of intriguing evidence to support it. The theory argues that Jar Jar is a highly intelligent and manipulative Force user who knowingly plays a part in the formation of the Empire and the rise of Palpatine. If turns out to be true, it would redeem George Lucas in the eyes of many fans who were outraged by Jar Jar as a character.
A big portion of this theory is based on the belief that Jar Jar is as skilled a warrior as the Jedi, outwitting his enemies with relative ease. His fighting style is supposedly modeled after a popular kung fu discipline called Drunken Fist wushu. This skill is used to deceive others into thinking you are uncoordinated and beating your opponents with sheer luck, but in truth each move is highly calculated.
The most convincing evidence that supports the Darth Jar Jar theory is the link between Palpatine and Jar Jar – they did come from the same planet – and the Gungan’s ability to convince the Senate to grant emergency powers to Palpatine, effectively ensuring the rise of the Empire.
According to Ahmed Best, the actor who played Jar Jar in the films, there was a deleted scene which gives credibility to the Darth Jar Jar theory. He said of the scene: “It was a very dark, very personal, very quiet scene, but for some reason, Palpatine decided to confide in Jar Jar that pretty much he was going to wreak havoc.” If the theory is correct, then it’s entirely plausible that Jar Jar filled the power vacuum left behind when Palpatine died and established himself as Snoke.
Snoke Is The Son Of Mortis
This Snoke theory comes from Reddit user ReptoidRyuu. The supposition is that the Son from The Clone Wars “Mortis” arc is actually Snoke. For the unfamiliar, the Son was one of three Force wielders Anakin met on the planet Mortis. These potent beings, also called The Ones, came from a species of highly powerful shapeshifting Force users. While on Mortis, the Son attempts to lure Anakin to the dark side by showing him his eventual fall, but he ultimately fails and is killed by Anakin.
So what do Snoke and the Son have in common? Well, many fans have noted the striking resemblance between the two. They’re both tall, thin, bald humanoids. Beyond that, there isn’t much evidence connecting the two characters. However, one interesting bit of speculation links the Ones’ ability to erase people’s memories with The Force Awakens.
In one scene, the Father erases Anakin’s memories of his future as Vader. In The Force Awakens, it seems as though Rey has had her memories of her family erased. Mind wiping is a rare Force power that is typically only performed by incredibly powerful Force users. If Snoke is the Son, he would have had little trouble erasing Rey’s memories of her family and early childhood.