‘Star Wars: Episode VIII The Last Jedi’ Spoiler: A New Snoke Theory

Snoke in a chair, shrouded in shadow, looking down at the camera

Supreme Leader Snoke | Lucasfilm

The Star Wars community has been rife with rumors since the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. J.J. Abrams’ debut entry in the new trilogy posed all sorts of unanswered questions, and we’re still a ways off from getting anything in the way of concrete answers. This in turn, has led to an answer vacuum of sorts, leaving fans to fill in the gaps themselves sans any alternative options.

So with that, it should come as no surprise that one person claims to have acquired a “leaked” section of the Star Wars: The Last Jedi script. Here are our thoughts on the leak, and some additional theories surrounding Snoke’s true identity.

1. The leak in question

Bearing in mind that all we have to go off of is one YouTube user’s claim that he’s actually reading from a leaked page of script, here’s the alleged scene: Luke has finally found Snoke’s hideout, where the Supreme Leader has lured him after capturing Rey. After a bit of back and forth, Snoke cryptically reveals that he is in fact Anakin Skywalker’s father, describing the man who would later become Darth Vader as his “creation.”

That’s where the scene (apparently) concludes, leaving us with what would amount to a franchise-shattering revelation. Many have theorized that The Last Jedi will feature a twist akin to the one we got in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, and this would certainly fulfill that requirement. As for its feasibility though …

2. Does the ‘leak’ fit in with the greater Star Wars story?

A young Anakin wearing a backpack, running through the desert

Anakin in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace | Lucasfilm

In theory, yeah, Anakin Skywalker could very well have had an evil absentee father wandering the galaxy during the prequel trilogy. That said, it would require some considerable thematic gymnastics to make it true. The first major change would be that it means Shmi Skywalker was straight up lying to Qui-Gon Jinn when she told him she had a virgin birth. This information also flies in the face of the idea that Anakin was a child created purely from the Force (also contradicting much of the Messiah mythology surrounding that).

It also leads us down a separate theory that would mean Shmi knew Anakin’s father, and found him to be so evil that she’d rather tell people her son didn’t have a father at all, than simply lie about him and say he was a deadbeat who bolted after the birth.

That all being so, the Star Wars story has always been a lengthy drama about the saga of the Skywalker family, something the “leaked” reveal aligns with well.

3. Cut to the chase, is the leak true?

Anakin, Yoda, and Obi Wan, standing together and smiling as Force ghosts

Anakin’s ghost at the end of Star Wars: Return of the Jedi | Lucasfilm

Short answer: probably not. Lucasfilm has been notoriously tight-fisted when it comes to their future projects. For bigger films like this, where leaking details is apt to get your pants sued off, it’s incredibly unlikely that a pivotal scene made its way out into the world. It’s Lucasfilm’s prime directive to keep the Star Wars franchise under wraps until each movie releases, and you can bet they have about a million failsafes for ensuring they do just that.

It’s also worth pointing out that it’s not just unlikely for a full scene to leak, it’s damn near unprecedented. We’re closing in on 40 years of Star Wars films, not one of which ever had a single page of the script accidentally make its way off the studio lot. A leak of this magnitude would be historic in nature, leading us to the simple conclusion that it’s a fabrication from an ambitious YouTuber.

4. Snoke is Darth Plagueis

Palpatine kneeling before Plagueis in cover art for the book

Star Wars: Darth Plagueis cover art | Torstein Nordstrand

Based on our assumption that the “leak” is not really a leak at all, we’ve come up with additional theories on Snoke’s true identity.

For anyone who doesn’t remember, Darth Plagueis was the Sith lord who trained Emperor Palpatine and was brought up briefly in the prequel trilogy. In terms of the Star Wars canon, Plagueis possessed the power to bring his loved ones back from the dead, before his eventual betrayal and death at the hands of Palpatine.

Things only get more confusing from there; Lucasfilm had originally commissioned an expanded universe novel explaining Plagueis’ origin as a Muun (the species known as the leaders of the Banking Clan), his behind-the-scenes role in the original trilogy, and his responsibility for accidentally triggering the virgin birth of Anakin Skywalker.

As we know though, the original expanded universe novels are no longer canon, leaving us largely in the dark as to who Plagueis is past what we were told in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (which, incidentally, was very little). It seems like no coincidence that Snoke looks a lot like early artist renderings of Plagueis. There’s also a certain poetry to bringing a character who’s been around since the beginning of the Star Wars timeline back full circle.

All that being said, Lucasfilm Creative Executive Pablo Hidalgo recently debunked this theory on Twitter, confirming that “Sidious killed Plagueis. He killed him. Killed. As in “to kill”. Like, there was killing.”

5. Gallius Rax, ‘The Operator’ from the Star Wars: Aftermath series

An exploding Death Star on the cover art for Aftermath: Journey to The Force Awakens

Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens | Del Rey

This theory is a little more obscure, but still carries as much weight as any other. In the first Star Wars: Aftermath novel, the story centered around a summit of Imperial leaders meeting on Akiva directly following the destruction of the second Death Star at the Battle of Endor. The summit was betrayed by one of their own, an admiral by the name of Sloane. Sloane in turn was working under instruction of an informant known only as “The Operator,” whose goal was to destroy the remnants of the old Empire in the interest of building “An Empire worthy of the galaxy it will rule.”

Later on, Life Debt, the second novel in the Aftermath series, reveals The Operator to be Gallius Rax, a mysterious fleet commander with a bold vision for a reborn Empire. Throughout Life Debt, Rax prefers to move behind-the-scenes, pulling the necessary strings of his subordinates in order to accomplish his goals. All that seems to prime him perfectly for eventually assuming the role of Supreme Leader Snoke.

6. The Grand Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels

The Grand Inquisitor from Rebels, staring menacingly, with a red lightsaber in front of his face

The Grand Inquisitor | Disney XD

Disney’s Star Wars Rebels cartoon series introduced a whole load of new canon to fans, chief among them the presence of the Empire’s Force-trained Inquisitors, tasked with hunting down and destroying the remnants of the Jedi Order. The Grand Inquisitor, voiced by the always-ominous Jason Isaacs, would make an interesting fit for the true identity of Snoke. He fell to his death after an ill-fated duel with former Jedi Padawon Kanan Jarrus, but as we all know, death is rarely permanent in major franchises.

What’s even more intriguing are the Grand Inquisitor’s final words: “You have no idea what you’ve unleashed here today. There are some things far more frightening than death.” Showrunner Simon Kinberg has long teased at an eventual connection between Rebels and the new trilogy. Could the Grand Inquisitor’s warning be a foreshadowing of that connection, and more specifically, a hint at a return as Supreme Leader Snoke? It would be a little bit of a stretch, but the physical resemblance and cryptic final words don’t seem unintentional.

7. Darth Bane

The ghost of Darth Bane, wearing black, flaming armor, with glowing yellow eyes

Darth Bane | Lucasfilm

If we’re going to talk about bringing characters back full circle, we’d be remiss in not bringing up Darth Bane. Bane’s only canonical appearance in the Star Wars saga came in the Star Wars: The Clone Wars cartoon series finale (above), when Yoda battled his ghost on the Sith home world of Moraband.

Historically, he’s an ancient Sith Lord responsible for devising “The Rule of 2,” declaring that the Sith must only ever have one master and one apprentice at all times. Bringing Bane back as a resurrected Force ghost would be digging deep into the canon, pitting our heroes against the most formidable evil the Star Wars universe has to offer.

8. An entirely new character

Andy Serkis speaking at the New York Comic Con

Andy Serkis at the New York Comic Con | Theo Wargo/Getty Images

For all our theorizing, there’s still a distinct possibility that Supreme Leader Snoke is a new creation entirely. The best evidence supporting this comes from actor Andy Serkis in an Entertainment Weekly interview, where he matter-of-factly states, “he’s a new character in this universe.”

If you’re someone who takes statements like that at face value, it wouldn’t be a stretch to believe Serkis’ claim. That being said, it’s not beyond Lucasfilm to pull a bait-and-switch on us. Whoever Snoke is though, the revelation of his identity will likely be one of the biggest moments in the new trilogy.

Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest

Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!