With the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi now in clear view, there have been a lot of little hints dropped in teasers, interviews, and even recent video game releases. Fans want to know more, specifically on a few topics. Who are Rey’s parents? What in the world is going on with Luke Skywalker? And, of course, who is Supreme Leader Snoke and what, exactly, are his motivations?
Snoke actor Andy Serkis recently dropped some revealing new information about Snoke’s twisted history, his role in The Last Jedi, and what he wants with Rey. We took a look at all of that, plus other interesting tidbits that we’ve heard about the First Order’s leader and how he might link to Emperor Palpatine.
What we know about Snoke’s origin
In short, there isn’t much known about Snoke. He’s a scarred and deformed humanoid and spends most of his time pulling the puppet strings from behind the scenes. Snoke lets Kylo Ren and General Hux do the dirty work with the First Order, building Starkiller Base and tracking down the Resistance. We also know that he has an obsession with making sure that Luke Skywalker never returns, whether that means actually finding him or just making sure nobody else can.
The earliest clues about Snoke go back to the end of the Empire. With Emperor Palpatine dead, the remaining factions of the Empire headed toward unknown space led by Officer Rae Sloane. They later returned, stronger than ever, with Snoke at the helm. The First Order was born. But there might be more that ties Snoke with Palpatine.
Some clues tying Snoke to Palpatine
In the Aftermath: Empire’s End novel, we get an explanation of some of Palpatine’s plan in the event of his own death. In regards to the unknown regions of space, here is what the novel says:
Before Palpatine’s demise at the hands of the rebels, the computers finished their calculations, finally finding a way through the unknown. The Emperor was convinced that something waited for him out there – some origin of the force, some dark presence formed of malevolent substance. The Emperor called it a signal – conveniently one that only he could hear. Even his greatest enforcer, Vader, seemed oblivious to it.
Could this signal, as the Emperor called, have been Snoke? It states that this was a “dark presence formed of malevolent substance,” which would probably be a pretty good description of Snoke. The novel never actually states that it was Snoke calling to Palpatine from the unknown regions, but it seems too much of a coincidence that the shattered remains of the Empire followed the path set by the Emperor and returned to the galaxy with Snoke as their new leader.
What is Project Resurrection?
Project Resurrection is first referenced in the new (canon) video game, Star Wars: Battlefront II. What we know about the project is that it was an operation overseen by Gideon Hask of the First Order, right around the time of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The project is interrupted and relocated, and no new information is known.
However, YouTuber Mike Zeroh has pointed out that there is a DLC for Project Resurrection scheduled to come out on Dec. 13, just before the release of The Last Jedi. Matt Martin, an employee of Lucasfilm that has a hand in the story for the movie, said this on Twitter: “If you want to go in to TLJ (The Last Jedi) completely blind you might want to consider waiting to play the Resurrection DLC until after the film.”
That confirms that Project Resurrection will have some sort of tie to Snoke in The Last Jedi, but we still don’t know what this mysterious project is all about. Of course, that won’t stop us from some fun speculation.
Is Snoke trying to bring back Palpatine?
Because of the previously established ties between Palpatine and Snoke, the first thought is that Snoke could be attempting to bring the long-deceased Emperor back from the dead. How this might actually be possible is beyond us, but this is the Star Wars universe, after all. There’s a weird machine in Snoke’s Throne Room that has been visible in several of the teasers, and there is some speculation that Project Resurrection could have something to do with this device.
The other notion is that Snoke is using this machine, which contains some sort of energy, to regenerate himself. We can see that he’s somewhat frail, and Andy Serkis mentions that in an interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The thing about Snoke is that he is extremely strong with the Force, the dark side of the Force. He’s terribly powerful, of course. But he is also a very vulnerable and wounded character. He has suffered and he has suffered injury. The way that his malevolence comes out is in reaction to that. His hatred of the Resistance is fueled by what’s happened to him personally.
Is that what Project Resurrection will end up being, just a way for Snoke to finish rebuilding his own strength? Or could it be a massive twist in the movie that director Rian Johnson has promised would contain many?
Snoke calls out to Rey
In a recent teaser, we see Rey meditating in the Force with Luke guiding her. The Jedi Master asks her to describe what she sees, and Rey states, “Light…the darkness…and something else.” The teaser then shows Snoke, reaching out his hand as if towards Rey. It’s not too subtle what they’re trying to hint at. Next, Rey states with a tremble in her voice, “It’s calling me.” Luke pleads with her to resist it, with obvious fear in his eyes.
We saw in The Force Awakens that Snoke has a major interest in Rey because of her power. He seems outraged, at first, that she resists Kylo Ren’s mind-control techniques. But then, he demands that she be brought to him. What does he have in mind? Does Snoke want her to replace Kylo Ren as his apprentice, or are his intentions more sinister?
Snoke’s motivation with Rey
On the topic of Snoke’s motivation regarding Rey, we go back to EW‘s interview with Serkis. “His training of Kylo Ren is not yielding what he wants,” Serkis says. “Therefore his anger towards Kylo Ren is intensified because he can’t bear weakness in others. Part of the manipulation is goading him with Hux and playing them off against each other.”
This implies that Snoke is planning to ditch Kylo Ren in favor of Rey at his earliest convenience. It shouldn’t be too surprising, considering that Han Solo predicted exactly that right before his own son ran him through with his lightsaber.
The only other reasonable theory is that Snoke wants Rey for her power, stealing it from her to store in his mysterious energy machine. But that’s completely speculation, at this point.
Will Kylo Ren turn on Snoke in The Last Jedi?
With everything we know — and what we have been able to decipher — would it make sense for Kylo to turn against Snoke in The Last Jedi? The redemption story arc isn’t new to Star Wars, with Anakin Skywalker’s redemption being the major theme of the first six movies in the Skywalker saga. Is that where the sequel trilogy is headed with Anakin’s grandson, the former Ben Solo?
If we look to the novelization of The Force Awakens, there are some clues. The novel goes deeper into the conversation between Supreme Leader Snoke, Kylo Ren, and General Hux that leads to the destruction of the Hosnian system by Starkiller Base. It describes Ren’s reaction to Hux’s suggestion that they blow up the planets as disbelief and confusion, and then later deep regret for what happened.
Mike Zeroh describes in another YouTube video his theory that Kylo ramps up his pursuit of Rey to ensure no other planets would suffer the same fate.
It doesn’t sound as though Ren feels completely confident in his place with Snoke and the First Order. Will Kylo come around at just the right moment, saving Rey from the clutches of the Supreme Leader?
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