Spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Snoke's identity has been one of the biggest topics of Star Wars speculation in the two years since The Force Awakens, and with Andy Serkis' mo-cap villain not getting much fleshing out in The Last Jedi, theorizing is only set to increase. But has the truth been staring us the in the face all along: is Snoke the first Jedi?
Episode VIII's marketing smartly and carefully kept the focus off of the First Order's Supreme Leader. The title turned everyone's attention to the Luke-Rey dynamic, while the official trailer shifted that to be more about the potential for alliance (or, at the very least, bridging of the Force divide) between Rey and Kylo Ren. The absence alone led to intense speculation, although we now know it was something else: Snoke's a red herring, killed by Kylo Ren out of nowhere in a move that allows Ben Solo to truly embrace his dark future.
This may lead some to think we'll never find out what was really going on with the late Supreme Leader. However, before that lightsaber twist-and-ignite shocker, we may have got all the evidence we need to crack the case of who he is. And it's a big deal. We've been focused on the Last Jedi and the new generation so much we've never considered how the film is also looking into origins: the past of the Ben Solo and Rey, but also the Jedi Order itself.
Is Snoke The First Jedi? (This Page)
What We Actually Know About Snoke
Before we get into the First Jedi theory, it's important to outline what we actually know about Snoke. In a word, little.
In The Force Awakens, we were introduced to the scarred, wrinkled giant (massive as a hologram, 9 foot in person) and learned a few careful details. He's the mysterious leader of the First Order. He doesn't want Luke back in the fight. He turned Ben Solo to the dark side (and later made him kill Han). He has a flair for the theatrical. Since then, a few more details have emerged: he's seeking revenge; he's not a Sith, yet is still more powerful in the Force than Darths Sidious and Vader.
The Last Jedi offered little more overtly. We got clarification he's powerful enough to create a psychic bond between Rey and Kylo and wants the scavenger to serve as a final test for his apprentice, but otherwise we're still left with more an idea of what he isn't: he's not Ezra Bridger; he's not Darth Plagueis (but we'll coming back to him); and he's definitely not Jar Jar.
Read More: The Many Snoke Theories
With all that stated, it's easy to see why there have been so many theories. And thanks to new evidence, we have the ultimate one.
Is Snoke The First Jedi?
The main lesson of the first Jedi Temple on Ahch-to where Luke Skywalker has exiled himself to is that the dogma of the religion is what's held back generations and powered the once farm boy's removal from the Force. We don't learn anything about its origins, nor what's in those sacred texts, ostensibly because it's not important.
There's more to Ahch-to that just that, though. In the cave by the cliffside outcrop, there's a mosaic in the floor showing a meditating figure. We see this several times, with the camera making sure it's in proper focus at least once. From the Star Wars: The Last Jedi Visual Dictionary, we get a clearer image of the design and learn this is described by the Caretakers who care for the island as "an image of the Prime Jedi, the first of the Order, in a state of meditation and balance". We can easily now see that this is a Star Wars version of the yin-yang symbol (something that has appeared before in Attack of the Clones as a cloud formation in the middle of Anakin's turn) with the Prime Jedi in front. It's in a typical cross-legged meditative position, but what's of interest is the shape of his head: it's the same engorged, grey alien outline as Snoke's.
That's a detail we can't ignore, especially as the shape is what the aforementioned lingering shot really takes in. Could that be a mural of the Supreme Leader from millennia ago?
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018