Theory: Snoke IS Darth Plagueis (And Star Wars 9's Real Villain)

Kylo Ren Rey Snoke and Darth Plagueis in Star Wars 9

The popular Star Wars fan theory that Supreme Leader Snoke would be revealed as Darth Plagueis in Star Wars: The Last Jedi seemingly died with Snoke, but the story could still be true for Star Wars: Episode IX, making Darth Plagueis the biggest Star Wars villain of them all.

Star Wars: Episode IX arguably has even more riding on it than Star Wars: The Force Awakens did as the franchise revival after the Disney purchase. Not only does Episode IX have to wrap up the sequel trilogy, but fans will also be looking for it to give some sort of greater significance to the two trilogies made by George Lucas. On top of that, the poor box office performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story and divisiveness of Star Wars: The Last Jedi put an additional burden on it to "course correct" (needed or not).

Related: All The Parallels Between Star Wars 9 and Return of the Jedi (So Far)

The abundance of fan theories is one of the frequently suggested reasons for the backlash against Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with fans getting too invested in what they speculated might happen instead of receiving the story as presented by Rian Johnson. While fans should certainly avoid getting too invested in theories about how the story could go, theories are half the fun of the anticipation. The theories for Star Wars: Episode IX are sure to come in as much, if not more, abundance as there was for The Last Jedi, and the Darth Plagueis theory should be right up there as one of the best options for wrapping up the nine-episode Skywalker saga.

The Snoke is Darth Plagueis Theory

Darth Plagueis from Star Wars

The "Snoke is Plagueis" theory was born out of early speculation for Star Wars: The Last Jedi as fans scrambled to discover the true identity of the new villain and master to Kylo Ren, Supreme Leader Snoke. Part of the initial arrival at Darth Plagueis was born out of a fan desire for everything in Star Wars to be connected, in the same way, fans speculated Rey was a Skywalker, Finn was related to Mace Windu or Lando Calrissian, Lor San Tekka was an old Boba Fett, and etc..

Plagueis wasn't a name fans arrived at simply by grasping at straws, though. Plagueis originates from the story Chancellor Palpatine told Anakin Skywalker as he schemed to turn the young Jedi to the dark side. He knew Anakin was scared for his wife Padme's wellbeing and had already vowed to not lose anyone else close to him after his mother died, so he told him the story of "Darth Plagueis the Wise," a Sith Lord who supposedly had the power to manipulate the mid-chlorians to both create life and prevent death. He taught his apprentice, Darth Sidious (Palpatine), everything he knew, and Sidious killed him in his sleep. Palpatine said it was ironic that Plagueis could save others, but not himself.

Related: Star Wars 9 Theory: VADER Corrupted Kylo Ren, Not Snoke

What made the theory that Snoke is Darth Plagueis so enticing was that it brought the third Star Wars trilogy into a more thematic continuity with the prequels and the original trilogies. Sure, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi brought back plenty of original trilogy heroes, but it was a new arc. A clean break after Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi.

Something very interesting happened with the Star Wars prequels, and fans were looking for the sequel trilogy to emulate this dynamic. While the original trilogy presented Luke Skywalker as the series protagonist, a wider view of both the prequels and the original trilogy reveal a larger story about Anakin Skywalker, making his character arc far more significant than Luke's. And while Darth Vader was the villain of the original trilogy, and Palpatine only came in at the last second to serve as a bigger villain, the prequels bookend everything that happens as a part of Palpatine's master plan to create the Empire and rule the galaxy.

After the prequels so fundamentally changed the way fans see Star Wars as a whole, how could the new series come in and do that again? It's certainly a tall order, but anything else would feel like a cheap cash grab. A third trilogy that is standalone and doesn't go all the way back to the prequels and reveal a larger story would be, in essence, just an epilogue. It could be satisfying as an individual film or as a whole trilogy, but it would always stand apart from the Lucas trilogies.

This is all solved by making Snoke Darth Plagueis. In the same way Palpatine book-ended the first two trilogies as the ultimate villain, Darth Plagueis could come in at the end and reveal that even Palpatine and his Empire were simply caught up in the web of an even bigger schemer all along. It ties the themes and continuity together and gives the shared universe the kind of connectivity fans want.

Unfortunately, Snoke is unceremoniously killed off in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and fan theories about Plagueis died with him in the throne room of the Supremacy. Or did they?

Page 2: Snoke as Darth Plagueis Could Still Be Star Wars 9's Best Villain

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Key Release Dates
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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