Warning: SPOILERS for Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Snoke #1
From the moment that Emperor Palpatine's return was confirmed for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, fans have spun almost every possible theory one could think of. The most important ones tasked with predicting how and in what form the last Sith Lord might be resurrected. Will it be as a Force Ghost? A case of Force possession creating Dark Side Rey? Or is a grander, more sinister plan in the works?
Every option seems just as plausible until the movie arrives, but the newest Star Wars comic puts Supreme Leader Snoke's earlier days under the microscope (specifically his methods of training Kylo Ren to be his apprentice). And while theory-spinning fans may have considered the idea that Snoke is working for Palpatine, the comic uses a bit of dialogue Taylor-made to excite fans who believe Emperor Palpatine and Supreme Leader Snoke are secretly the same person... the disfigured villain merely a physical body claimed by Palpatine from beyond the grave.
The issue of Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Supreme Leader Snoke begins straightforward enough, with the First Order leader 'training' Kylo by levitating him off a gigantic cliff, then dropping him to his death--leaving only Kylo's abilities to instinctively stop himself to either save or kill him. When Kylo points out that's not a terrific strategy for keeping new apprentices alive, Snoke says that if he were to catch Kylo like Luke Skywalker surely would, his student would grow weaker as a result. And his weakness is already the reason they're headed to a familiar proving ground for a new kind of trial.
At this point in their story, the comic book Snoke (just like the movie version) is aware of the struggle between light and dark, and hatred and love tearing his young pupil apart. To advance him to his next stage of training, Snoke escorts Kylo to the planet Dagobah so that he can enter the same Force Cave as Luke in The Empire Strikes Back. But before readers are even able to grasp HOW Emperor Palpatine could know about this location at all, he and Kylo sense the lingering presence of Luke Skywalker. When Kylo asks why Snoke seems to speak of Luke with reverence instead of hatred or dismay, the Supreme Leader sets his new apprentice straight--while also dropping one curious line of dialogue concerning Snoke's past:
One of the most formidable Jedi began his training here... He has earned my respect... and my fear... If I had your uncle by my side instead of you, the galaxy would have been mine a long time ago.
To those fans who always imagined Snoke's rise as relatively recent, beginning with the downfall of the Empire (since his past has never been confirmed as extending into the Imperial days), his meaning is hard to grasp. Unless of course Snoke had been attempting to rule the galaxy before, and noted the ability Luke Skywalker had to make it possible. In which case, it's easy to see why this could be taken as a direct reference to Palpatine seeking Luke as his apprentice, with wording intending a wink to the audience.
We can't say for sure if the makers of the book intend to taunt, troll, or simply tease fans, or even weigh in on the theory that Snoke is Palpatine in disguise. But they're clearly aware of it, with lines like these skirting the line enough to keep the most devotes of fans hooked right up until the Emperor makes his movie return. Check out the issue's full synopsis and credits below:
- STAR WARS: AGE OF RESISTANCE - SUPREME LEADER SNOKE #1
- Written by: Tom Taylor
- Art by: Leonard Kirk, Cory Hamscher
- Cover by: Phil Noto
- THE DEVIL’S APPRENTICE! SUPREME LEADER SNOKE’S brutal training of KYLO REN begins. Will the sadistic Snoke break his tormented protégé? Or has he underestimated the son of HAN and LEIA?
Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Supreme Leader Snoke #1 is available now at your local comic book shop, or direct from Marvel Comics.