Now, I love Star Wars theories as much as the next guy. In fact, a majority of posts on this very blog have been theories. I’ve posted theories on Wedge’s death, Sabine’s mother, and the fate of the Ghost Crew.
But one side of Star Wars fandom I’ll never understand is the incessant need to figure out who Snoke is. So here, I’ll lay down the law on why exactly some of the most popular theories are wrong.
The original, and perhaps most popular theory, poses that Snoke is really Darth Plagueis. A character first mentioned in Revenge of the Sith, Plagueis was the Sith master who trained Palpatine in the dark arts. Only for his apprentice to murder him in cold blood when felt he no longer had any purpose for him.
Canonically, that’s all we know about Plagueis, though the Legends novel Darth Plagueis adds a lot of backstory to the character. Including his race, Muun, which bears resemblance to the character design of Snoke.
Sure, appearance-wise, it makes sense. And there’s a certain cyclical poeticism to Plagueis returning after the demise of his apprentice to finish what Palpatine started.
There’s only one problem: One of the few bits of information we have on the character is that he’s dead. Furthermore, Storygroup member and real-life superhero Pablo Hidalgo has been pretty vocal on the matter on Twitter.
Another popular character linked to Snoke is Gallius Rax. Rax is an Imperial officer featured in the Aftermath series of books. Recruited on Jakku as a young boy three decades before the Battle of Endor, he became one of Palpatine’s most trusted advisors. He disappeared after Palpatine’s death, but returned a few months later with a secret fleet to unite the remnants of the failing Empire for one final strike at the Battle of Jakku.
There’s a few details in Aftermath: Life Debt that definitely seem to point at Rax becoming Snoke: He’s a pale man with dark eyes, same as Snoke. He was there to, as Snoke puts it, “See the Empire rise and fall”. His modus operandi seems to be to rule from behind a puppet leader (Rae Sloane in Life Debt, versus Snoke’s use of Hux in The Force Awakens). And he’s very intent on using Brendol Hux’ vision of indoctrinating children as soldiers from a young age, a practice still used by Snoke in the time of the First Order.
Now, there’s no doubt in my mind that this character was created to invoke comparisons to Snoke. Whether they’re the same person remains to be seen… But again, Twitter seems to point to ‘no’. A sarcastic Pablo Hidalgo has mocked people stating the theory as fact (though without 100% denying it). And Aftermath/Life Debt author Chuck Wendig has gone on record saying all the Imperial officers in his books are human. Considering Snoke is described in the TFA novelisation as “humanoid, but not human”, that’s another strike against this theory. It’s looking more and more like Gallius Rax is just a red herring.
With the recent premiere of Rebels season 3, I’ve seen this one bandied around a lot lately. Ezra Bridger, hero of the animated show (and one-time partner of Bossk!) who is currently experimenting with dark techniques from a Sith holocron. Assuming he actually turns to the Dark Side and kills Kanan (a big “if”!) , and assuming there’s a plausible reason for him to then not participate in the events of the original trilogy, this theory would have some merit..
..If we gloss over a few details. First off, he was born on the same day as the Empire. While technically it wouldn’t be a lie to say he “witnessed the Empire rise and fall”, it’s an Obi-Wan style half-truth at best. Second, should he fall to the Dark Side, the influence of the holocron would likely have him adapt a Sith name. Conversely, JJ, Pablo, and others all proclaimed that Snoke and Kylo are not Sith. Third, Snoke is more than a dark Force user; he’s also an extremely cunning and thoughtful mind. Attributes I wouldn’t ascribe to Ezra. And then there’s the TFA novelisation again, with the “humanoid, but not human” description of Snoke.
Mace Windu, Sheev Palpatine, or Anakin Skywalker back from the dead
Lumping these together because they’re all equally ridiculous. These characters all lack the motivation, personality, physical description, and/or living bodies required to be Snoke. In all of Star Wars canon, a whopping óne character came back from the dead: Darth Maul. Due to sheer popularity and it also happening in Legends, Boba Fett might get the same treatment… But it’s definitely not as common an occurrence as some people seem to think.
The craziest theory of all: Supreme Leader Snoke is just that, a new character named Snoke. With his alien appearance and behaviour unlike anyone we’ve really seen in the Star Wars universe, it should be clear that he’s an entirely new creation. Furthermore, even if any of these theories would have any weight to them, I’m having trouble envisioning when they would exactly be revealed. Some of them require a lot of explaining, and none of them would really make any difference to the main characters of the current trilogy. No legendary “I am your father” moment can be had with Snoke’s identity, so just leave it alone.
But hey, if you don’t believe me, just listen to Pablo one final time!
DISCLAIMER: Send any complaints or suggestions to my Twitter, not Pablo’s. That man has seen the word “Snoke” in his mentions far more often than any sane man ever should.