OK. If you haven’t seen The Force Awakens, you probably don’t want to read this, as it contains spoilers.
But I’ve been chatting with friends about the obvious question in Ep VII: Who is Supreme Leader Snoke, and it sort-of developed into a massive conspiracy theory for the whole of the Star Wars saga, which while huge in scale is disturbingly plausible.
Let’s start with Supreme Leader Snoke. At first I thought he was Palpatine, who somehow survived the Death Star or is back from the sea, Obi-Wan style. To try and find evidence for this I went digging in the soundtrack. Remember when John Williams inserted the Emperor’s theme into Episode I, when they’re parading past Palpatine?
Snoke’s theme is a dark monastic chanting affair. Interestingly it has a counterpoint that comes in towards the end, and that counterpoint sounds a lot like the main melody in the Emperor’s theme from Return of the Jedi.
But then there’s also this scene in Episode III, where Palpatine is telling Anakin about Darth Plagueis the Wise. Clearly Palpatine’s master, he was so powerful with the force he could use it to create and manipulate life itself. The guy is basically immortal, only his pupil killed him in his sleep. Oops.
So Plagueis is gone, or is he? The music playing in the background here is very, very, very similar to Snoke’s theme.
And there’s this bit where Kylo Ren (AKA Darth Emo – can you imagine this guy dealing with a printer paper jam? He’d lightsaber the printer to death while screaming that it wasn’t fair) talks of Snoke:
“The Supreme Leader is wise”.
Darth Plagueis the Wise, perhaps?
It seems plausible that Snoke is Plagueis, so what’s his game here?
You are Darth Plagueis the Wise, the most powerful Sith Lord, and probably most powerful Force user of all time. You want to rule the galaxy. You are immortal and can afford to play the long game.
You also have a power mad psychopath for an apprentice. He is clearly bent on galactic domination. Aw, bless.
Teach him just what he needs to know, point him at the galactic senate, planting the idea of bringing the Republic down, then let him think he’s killed you, and go into hiding.
Problem is, this guy is going to be a liability once he’s brought the Republic down, so you need an insurance policy: a force user of your own design who is almost programmed from birth to bring your snot-nosed ingrate of an apprentice down once he’s toppled the Republic.
So you use your ability to manipulate the force into creating life to conceive a force user of your own design; a warrior who will be drawn to Palpatine, help him in his initial task, then turn against him and kill him. Because you are basically designing this person from scratch, you can direct his personality so this is likely to go the way you want.
Enter Anakin Skywalker.
The rest is history. Your apprentice, with Anakin’s help, brings down the Republic and renders the Jedi all but extinct. Your apprentice then installs himself as galactic emperor, and your plan enters phase II.
You now need to bring the emperor down. So you pull some strings behind the scene, help create a resistance, or bolster an embryonic one that’s already formed: The Rebel Alliance. Arrange for your ticking time bomb’s son and daughter to get embedded within them, to flip him over into “kill Palpatine” mode. Make sure that things like plans for Palpatine’s super weapons get to them, and generally work behind the scenes to help them out.
And eventually Anakin and Palpatine take other out. Anakin had kids, but that’s OK. You’re immortal, remember? One of them is quite powerful, but he’s a Jedi knight, and they’re not supposed to have kids themselves. The other one gives birth to a new force user. That’s problematic. Better see if you can subvert him and bring him over to the Dark Side for you. Since he’s one quarter Anakin Skywalker, your creation, you kinda know how the guy ticks, so no worries.
Luke Skywalker probably knows he can’t beat you, so he will go off into hiding and you just need to wait for him to die of old age.
And there you are, Supreme Leader of the Galaxy.
You’ve pulled the strings, orchestrated the events, everything has gone according to your plan. Luke Skywalker is a worry, but not a huge one. You know how he ticks.
But you let the Force’s genie out of the bottle, and it went and did something you didn’t expect. There’s another player in town. A force user so powerful that without any training at all they can go toe to toe with Kylo Ren in battle, and force-dominate a stormtrooper into releasing them from prison.
So who is Rey? Is she Luke’s daughter? I’m not sure. I wonder if Palpatine worked out what his old master had done, and came up with an insurance policy of his own; arrange for someone to be born who would avenge his death.
This is all very far fetched, but at the same time somewhat plausible, and it does tie together lots of loose ends.
I think Supreme Leader Snoke is Darth Plagueis the Wise; I think he orchestrated pretty much everything that happened, including playing both sides in the Empire/Rebel Alliance war; and I think Rey is going to bring him down when Luke Skywalker fails to.