Rey’s parentage, the reason behind Luke’s disappearance, and whether or not Finn and Poe will just pull the trigger on their obvious sexual tension-- there are a lot of questions that The Last Jedi (and beyond) must answer for Star Wars fans. Throughout all the theorizing that has accompanied the invigoration of the galaxy far, far away, one mystery hangs high above them all: the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke. It has caused more confusion, speculation, and wonderment than anything else introduced in The Force Awakens.
As is typical with Star Wars, Snoke was introduced in a manner that suggested the audience should know much more about him then they do. Snoke is brand new but he was presented as a well-established and almost immortal figure. This, more than anything else, has sparked the fire of speculation around him. It doesn’t help that several details have been leaked and teased about Snoke, each being more complicated (and seemingly more contradictory) than the last.
With all the ambiguity, Star Wars fans have done what they’ve done best with mystery: invented increasingly crazy and impossible explanations for the man / thing called Snoke. It’s likely no one has landed exactly on Snoke’s true identity. In fact, odds are good that Snoke's not anyone other than Snoke and has no big story. Some of the theories are so outlandish that they’re worth exploring. In a strange way, some theories are so nuts that they might just be true.
Here are the 15 Craziest Fan Theories About Star Wars' Snoke.
15 The Revenge of Plagueis
The fan theory that spread like wildfire immediately following the release of The Force Awakens is that that Snoke was the infamous Darth Plagueis. Mentioned by Palpatine in Revenge of the Sith and explored in an eponymous novel which is currently at a questionable level of canon, Plagueis was Palpatine's master.
Though it's implied in Revenge of the Sith that Palpatine killed his master (and confirmed in the novel) this theory states that Plageueis survived and went on to become Snoke.
It's not that outlandish. Plageuis was obsessed with “defeating death” and something clearly traumatic happened to Snoke. No one just wakes up with their skull half crushed. It would certainly explain why Snoke is so obsessed with Kylo Ren and the dregs of the Empire too.
It just might be a little too simple an explanation. Nearly every hardcore fan has heard or believed it, at one point. If Snoke is Plagueis it would be a bit of dud.
14 The Birth of the Rebellion... and a Villain
Star Wars: Rebels is canon-- Easter eggs (and characters) from the show were even referenced in Rogue One. Fans still want there to be more connective tissue between the TV show and the movies. This is a big factor in the fan theory that Snoke is, shockingly, the hero of Rebels: Ezra Bridger.
The concept of a hero falling to the dark side is a big recurring theme in the Star Wars universe. There’s more to the Ezra is Snoke theory than this recurrence. Throughout Rebels, Ezra has delved into the history of the Jedi and the Sith. He’s also flirted with the dark side, having a lengthy partnership with Darth Maul. It’s outlandish but there are just hints of possibility hidden with the theory. It’s unlikely to be confirmed but it could.
At the very least, Rebels has to explain some reason why Ezra is nowhere to be seen in the original trilogy, despite being trained by a Jedi and being force sensitive.
13 Another Not-So-Secret Apprentice
In the defunct Expanded Universe, a good rule of thumb was “when in doubt, add a secret apprentice.” Throughout the Star Wars’ EU, secret Sith apprentices were popping up all over the place, whether they were pledged to Darth Vader or Sidious. This fan theory posits that EU’s favorite trope will make it back to canon and Snoke will be a previously unknown apprentice of one of the former dark lords.
It's twist fans will recognize but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense. Vader was very into building a biological dark dynasty with his son, Luke. It seems equally unlikely that Palpatine would have an apprentice who outlived him.
There are variations on the theory that Snoke’s appearance is due to one of his masters trying to kill him. However, it's not enough to make the theory seem likely.
12 From Lackey to Leader
Now we’re getting into the real tinfoil hat territory. While Rogue One managed to fill a huge plot hole from A New Hope and manage to be a fascinating movie in its own right, some fans still want more from it. Rogue One is about the history of Star Wars but according to one fan theory it also informs the franchise’s future.
During one of the movie’s incredible Darth Vader scenes, Vader is greeted in his bacta tank by a cloaked figure. This character, who was later named Vanee, has been theorized to be a younger Snoke. This is believed by some fans despite the fact that Vanee has two lines in the entire film and does virtually nothing but introduce Vader.
The theory mainly raged when Vanee was seen from behind, as a cloaked figure, in the trailer. This happened during a time when everything about Rogue One was mysterious and rife for theorizing. There’s no evidence in the movie to suggest Vanee is Snoke but, as conspiracy theorists will posit, there’s no evidence that contradicts it.
11 The Man Behind the Force Curtain
There’s many a Star Wars fan who breathed a sigh of relief when Snoke’s presence in Force Awakens was revealed to be a hologram. Snoke is not Voldemort’s gigantic cousin. Snoke might not be human, but he’s at least human-shaped. However, some theories posit that everything about Snoke is as fake as that huge hologram.
According to them, Snoke has no power of his own. Snoke’s ancient but he was unable to impact anything in the world until he managed to seduce Kylo Ren (and the First Order) to his side. The big reveal might actually be that Snoke is useless.
It’s an interesting idea (even if it’s been done countless times before) but it’s still far-fetched. The new Star Wars trilogy needs some compelling threat. Kylo is an complex villain but he’s not exactly scary. No one wants Snoke to do Palpatine death rolls in Episode 8 or 9 but he should have some genuine power of his own.
10 The Dead Youngling
As previously mentioned, Snoke must have been through some traumatic event or else he's just an extraordinary ugly alien. So, this theory believes that Snoke suffered his injuries because he's one of the young padawans that Anakin cut down in Revenge of the Sith. Yes, despite Obi-Wan’s angst and concerned beard stroking, Anakin didn’t kill all the “younglings.”
The meme factory of the internet would have a field day with this one if true. If Snoke is revealed to be the cockney kid who said, “Master Skywalker, there are too many of them, what are we going to do?” the internet might break. It’s just not going to happen.
It would be a nice way to tie Snoke into the literal rise of the Empire but it’s otherwise pretty ridiculous.
9 Palpatine is Back... Again
The twin twist of a secret Sith apprentice in Star Wars Legends is that Palpatine is, inexplicably, always alive. Thanks to clones and several other convoluted explanations, Palpatine survived long after his one-way trip down a Death Star shaft in the EU. Some fans believe that The Last Jedi or Episode 9 will bring this twist back to canon with Snoke being revealed to be Palpatine in some new form.
It's understandable. Palpatine is one of the best villains in pop culture. Ian McDiarmid brought the perfect level of camp and menace to the Emperor. It’s just about time that someone else become the Big Bad of the Star Wars universe.
Palpatine has five movies and one (and a half) animated series under his belt. It’s time to retire the character. The memory of him can live on but he should stay dead.
8 Paplatine's a Proud Father
This is the “reasonable” version of the "Snoke is Palpatine" theory. This theory states that Snoke isn't literally the Emperor but is, instead, his son, whether biologically or through more sinister methods.
It falls in line with the secret apprentice theory in a lot of ways. While Palpatine was mentoring Vader, he had plans for Snoke in the background. Palpatine either tried to conceive a child through The Force or found some slavish devotee to procreate with him. This was all for the goal of producing the most powerful and sinister Sith.
Star Wars is huge on legacy and bloodlines but the chances of Palpatine having a “No, I’m your father” moment from beyond the grave are slim to none.
7 Kylo Goes Back to the Future
When fan theorizing reaches the point of using time travel to explain things, the speculation has gone far off the deep end. This theory states that Snoke is Kylo Ren, albeit a Kylo from a far distant future. Ben Solo didn’t father himself, but he did birth his own dark side persona. (Believe it or not, the theories will get much crazier from here.)
Tracing the origin of this crazy theory is migraine inducing but there’s just no logic to it. Maybe it’s that Rian Johnson, director of the Last Jedi, did helm one of the great modern time travel movies in Looper. However, this doesn’t mean that all his movies will involve time travel.
It's impossible to introduce time travel into a middle of a story without opening a can of worms. Star Wars has a lot of fantastical sci-fi elements to it, but time travel has never been one, nor should it become one now.
6 Will the Real Last Jedi Stand Up?
Even though Rian Johnson has confirmed that, at least in his mind, "The Last Jedi" refers to Luke Skywalker, some fans can’t give up the theory. People are still convinced that the title of Episode 8 refers to more than the most obvious answer. Some of these theories even make sense from a certain point of view. However, the view that Snoke is the Last Jedi just seems wrong.
There are variations, but the most popular interpretation is that Snoke was a member of the first ever Jedi council. Snoke was either banished by the Council and subsisted off of the hate of the Dark Side for centuries or the first Jedi were much different (i.e., more evil) than many have assumed.
It certainly can’t be discounted that The Last Jedi will upend what fans know about history of the Council. Luke must have discovered something big during his island exile. The fact that it will involve Snoke being on the Council just seems silly.
5 Straight Out Of the Sarlacc Pit
The fact that Star Wars will always find a way to apologize for their favorite action figure-- Boba Fett-- has become a universally acknowledged truth. Although Boba does a grand total of nothing and gets eaten by a sand monster in the original trilogy, some fans want more from one of the franchise’s best designed characters.
In Star Wars Legends, Boba does survive and has a series of awesome adventures but that’s no longer canon. This hopeful theory therefore states that Boba escaped the Sarlacc Pit (with accompanying scars) and rechristened himself Snoke. Snoke (or Boba) then got revenge on the family that left him for dead by seducing their precious son, Ben, to the dark side.
Everyone wants more for Boba but this just isn’t realistic. The bounty hunter showed no interest in The Force before his Sarlacc dip. Boba was a thug and bounty hunter, not a magical mastermind.
4 Meesa the Bombad Evil
It started out as a joke but somewhere along the way the theory that Jar Jar is the ultimate evil of the Star Wars universe gained legs and true believers.
The fact that Jar Jar’s inane idiocy may be an act meant to cover his true intentions of bringing down everything his friends hold dear is amusing. It even “fixes” some of the problems of Jar Jar's character. However, it's important to recognize that this is most likely nothing more than a joke.
The theory goes truly over the edge by suggesting that Jar Jar isn’t just evil, but that he went on to become Snoke. It’s a big enough jump to assume that every single one of Jar Jar's cringeworthy jokes was a ruse, but assuming that the bumbling Jar Jar actually became the Supreme Leader is a leap that not even Obi-Wan “High Ground” Kenobi could make.
3 Mace Windu Strikes Back
Revenge of the Sith came out more than a decade ago but some fans can’t let go how Mace Windu was killed off. They have a point. Mace might have been played by the bad-ass from every movie you’ve ever seen, Samuel L. Jackson, but his death was the definition of anticlimax. It doesn’t help that Mace’s body was never shown, as he was blasted out the window, and this is always fertile ground for a conspiracy.
Hoping that Mace survived is one thing, but thinking that Mace survived his fall and became the Supreme Leader Snoke is whole other, much crazier thing.
It’s not that shocking that Mace Windu could turn to the Dark Side. Jackson always played the Jedi Master as one argument away from a Pulp Fiction-esque meltdown. However, there’s no explaining how Mace remained a secret for the Empire’s entire existence, only to emerge well after it fell.
2 Luke's Greatest Shame
The Phantom Menace might be maligned by many fans but one of its key plot points has still been the basis for many wacky theories. The prophecy that Anakin would one day bring balance to The Force has been the foundation for a lot of speculation.
Some fans think that the prophecy was left unfilled as Anakin died. Anakin didn’t so much bring balance, as he just wiped out one side of the equation in one melodramatic throw. The same fans believe, therefore, that Luke is the Skywalker to bring balance.
After Anakin’s sacrifice, whether intentionally or not, Luke brought Snoke into being through The Force. This brought back the Dark Side and gave a counterpoint to the Light. Luke is therefore Snoke's "father."
It’s insane for many reasons, including that it turns Luke into a much different character. Luke seems broken in The Last Jedi trailer but that’s likely due to Kylo's betrayal. The fact that Luke could have created the next evil in the universe is far too depressing even for Star Wars.
1 The Evil Twin Twist
Another expositional bit in Phantom Menace that has created many theories is Shmi Skywalker's assertion that Anakin was immaculately conceived. This was expanded on in the Darth Plagueis novel. It’s revealed that Anakin was birthed by The Force as a countermeasure to Darth Plageuis’ experiments of life and death.
Plagueis attempted to create life using the force but it came out twisted and wrong. The Force reacted and created Anakin as everything that Plageuis' creation was not. The theory states that this “creation” became Snoke. So essentially Snoke is just a much eviler version of Anakin Skywalker, conceived by the Dark Side of The Force.
The theory taps into Star Wars’ recurring theme of balance, but this is the only part of it that seems to fit. Darth Plagueis is currently in a state of flux when it comes to being canon. It’s also way too complicated and soapy for Star Wars. A brother and sister did share a passionate kiss in the best movie from the franchise, but the idea of Anakin (who already fell to the Dark Side) having an even more evil twin is just too insane to be true.
What is your favorite crazy Star Wars fan theory about Snoke? Who or what do you think Snoke is? Sound off in the comments!