As we draw closer to the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the middle of December, a few major remaining questions burn away in our minds. Why is Luke hiding on that island? Who are Rey’s parents? One of the biggest questions we have regards Snoke, the shadowy leader of the First Order who was seen briefly in Star Wars: The Force Awakens but who left us with wondering who he really is and where he came from.
According to unconfirmed rumors, we may have just found out exactly who Kylo Ren’s decrepit master really is. We took a look at all the theories surrounding Supreme Leader Snoke, including a few wacky ideas about familiar characters of the past. Don’t worry, we’ll address those unconfirmed rumors too — possible spoilers ahead! You’ve been warned.
Snoke is Jar Jar Binks
Beginning with the most outlandish and clearly false ideas about Supreme Leader Snoke, there has been a fun fan theory floating around the internet for a while that Jar Jar Binks — the hated prequels character — was really a Sith Lord. Crazy, right? Well, when you dig into the entire explanation it’s really not as crazy at it seems. We won’t get into the whole thing here, but if you’re curious about the extended version there is a great YouTube video on the topic.
The cliff notes version is that there are context clues throughout the prequels that Jar Jar was actually very strong with the Force. His yellow Sith-esque eyes, his ability to jump and twist like a Force-user, and his very real role in the background manipulating decisions made by major characters. We’re never given a hint about his ultimate fate after Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith or any note about the life expectancy of a Gungan.
Could Jar Jar still be alive and truly a Sith Master, manipulating the First Order as he did Palpatine and the Empire? For this to make sense, you’d have to ignore that Snoke looks nothing like Jar Jar. Although he clearly has been scarred and deformed, so anything is possible.
Snoke is Darth Maul
Another popular theory about an old character returning to the franchise is Supreme Leader Snoke turning out to be Darth Maul. The red, devil-looking guy from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace actually survived being cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi, according to official Star Wars canon. He returned in Star Wars: The Clone Wars and appeared in several episodes, finishing his story arc when he battled — and was defeated by — Darth Sidious.
The theory behind Snoke being Maul is that they have both been around for a long time, both know the Sith and the Jedi well, and even have similar sounding voices. An old YouTube video explains the theory in greater detail and gives it some credence, considering other aspects of Maul’s history. The main problem is that Maul returned on Star Wars Rebels and was killed by Kenobi last season, ultimately bringing his storyline to a satisfying conclusion.
Snoke is Mace Windu
Again, this theory is a popular one on YouTube. Last we saw of Jedi Master Mace Windu — played by Samuel L. Jackson in the three Star Wars prequels — he was having his arm cut off by Anakin Skywalker and thrown out a window by Emperor Palpatine. Jackson himself has advocated for the theory that Windu survived his injuries and fall and is still alive.
Of course, that probably is simply because Jackson would relish the opportunity to have some sort of role in Star Wars now that Disney owns it since they seem to have no qualms about fleshing out any and all storylines. But what about the idea that Windu is Snoke? You could excuse away Snoke’s appearance as being created by the full power of Palpatine’s Force-lightning, mixed with the long fall he experienced at the end of the battle.
But outside of that, there aren’t many reasons to suspect Snoke is actually Mace Windu. They sound nothing alike, and even Jackson has shot down this wild theory. If Windu actually is alive in Star Wars canon, expect that he will return in some other way — like an anthology film taking place after Revenge of the Sith, maybe?
Snoke is a clone of Darth Vader
Ready for more crazy, outlandish theories? We have one that suggests that back in the time of Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine started the creation of a clone of Darth Vader after his apprentice’s disappointing and brutal loss at the hands of Kenobi on Mustafar. The ordeal left Vader as a shell of his former self, forced to live inside a personal prison — more machine than man.
This clone would end up being Supreme Leader Snoke. Think about the physical scaring of the body of Snoke — the scar on his head, specifically. It’s very reminiscent of how Vader’s scarred body might look, had it been cloned and then aged for several decades. The whole theory is weird and would probably deserve the collective groan that it would receive upon the reveal, but in the Star Wars universe, it’s certainly not out of the question.
Is it that odd to suggest that Palpatine might consider cloning Vader, just in case he needed a backup for his emotionally fragile and physically weakened apprentice? Or even to suggest cloning, period, knowing that such a thing is very possible? We don’t expect to see this theory come true, but it’s still fun given the plausible nature.
Snoke is Darth Plagueis
Probably the very first Snoke theory to come to light is that he is actually Darth Plagueis, the original master of Darth Sidious. Unfortunately, we don’t have a ton of official information about Plagueis since Disney took over the franchise and pushed all published novels out of the canon. But Palpatine did give a brief speech about Plagueis in Revenge of the Sith, telling Anakin about his power to manipulate the Force to create life. Of course, Palpatine then arrogantly tells the young Jedi about the great Sith’s apprentice killing him in his sleep.
All of this took place right around the time of The Phantom Menace. Is it hard to imagine that a great Sith Lord, the one that knew how to manipulate the Force to keep others from dying, could’ve cheated death himself? What if Plagueis, weakened by his own loss to Palpatine, went into hiding and waited out the fall of the Empire? While Disney has done everything they can to distance themselves from this rumor, you cannot deny that it makes sense.
Snoke is a completely new character
According to Andy Serkis, the actor that voices Snoke, the leader of the First Order is a new character entirely. Fair enough, Andy. Although Star Wars fans who are disappointed at that information should take solace. If Snoke were indeed something more than what meets the eye, it’s possible that the information wouldn’t be revealed to any of the actors — especially not at the time that this quote was given, just a month following the release of The Force Awakens.
Snoke being a brand new character makes sense, though. The new trilogy is all about new characters, with old ones such as Han Solo, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker remaining to help push the story forward. So Snoke, and by extension the First Order, rose from the ashes of the Empire to create a totally new foe — even if it’s vaguely familiar, compared to the old.
Snoke is an ancient Sith
Finally, we have the recent rumor that Snoke is an ancient Sith. According to YouTube channel Star Wars Theory, an inside source has leaked information that Supreme Leader Snoke is from the old Republic. His Force-essence was entombed, the narrator states, or locked away for the bulk of time and awakened by Order 66 at the end of Revenge of the Sith. The theory states that Snoke thrives on the essence of Force-users, essentially sucking out their souls.
In the canon novel Aftermath, Palpatine senses Snoke’s presence and goes looking for him in the farthest reaches of the galaxy. If all of this is true, it would make Snoke extremely powerful and far more of a terrifying adversary than Palpatine ever was. The description of Snoke in the video never confirms it, but the idea that his power is fueled by the essence of other Force-users could lend to the notion that he is Plagueis, after all. Perhaps Plagueis’ death merely locked him away inside the Force, as the video describes?
Take all rumors with a grain of salt, though. There was plenty of false information floating around in the months ahead of The Force Awakens, so some of what you will hear will certainly end up being totally wrong.
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