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Star Wars The Force Awakens – Who is Snoke? (Spoilers)

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Welcome to day three of my week long Star Wars discussion! Please take a look at my posts about my thoughts of The Force Awakens and my thoughts on who Rey is when you have a moment. This post is dedicated to another mystery of the Force Awakens. The mystery of the identity of who Supreme Leader Snoke is.

Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Entertainment Tonight
Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Entertainment Tonight

What do we know about Snoke? We know that he is in charge of the First Order. We know that he has, and will continue to, train Kylo Ren. We also know that he has been around since the beginning and is aware of the past events. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Serkis says this of Snoke…

“No, he’s a new character in this universe. It is very much a newly-introduced character,” Serkis says. “He’s aware of what’s gone on, in the respect that he has been around and is aware of prior events. I think it’d be fair to say that he is aware of the past to a great degree.”

He goes on to say…

“Supreme Leader Snoke is quite an enigmatic character, and strangely vulnerable at the same time as being quite powerful,” Serkis says. “Obviously he has a huge agenda. He has suffered a lot of damage. As I said, there is a strange vulnerability to him, which belies his true agenda, I suppose.”

So does this mean that Snoke was around during the days of Anakin and Luke? I believe that it is possible. We all know who Palpatine is. In the original trilogy we just knew him as “The Emperor” or “Emperor Palpatine.” By the time the prequel trilogy was released, he had a new back story and another name, “Darth Sidious.”

Image Credit: Lucasfilm
Image Credit: Lucasfilm

In Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine tells Anakin Skywalker the tragedy of Darth Plagueis “The Wise.” Palpatine goes on to tell the tale to young Anakin

“Darth Plagueis was a Dark Lord of the Sith who lived many years ago. He was so powerful and so wise that he could use the Force to influence the midichlorians to create life… He had such a knowledge of the dark side that he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying.”

“He became so powerful… the only thing he was afraid of was losing his power, which eventually, of course, he did. Unfortunately, he taught his apprentice everything he knew, and then one night, his apprentice killed him in his sleep. It’s ironic that he could save others from death, but not himself.”

What if Plagueis was able to save himself from Palpatine and he has been in the background since his former pupil’s rise to power? It is possible he denounced his Sith name of Darth Plagueis and started to go by his given name of Snoke. There is evidence to even back this theory up.

Exhibit 1. The Music

We all know that John Williams’ music is able to tell the story of what is happening without the listener having to watch what is going on. We all know that the characters of the saga all have their own themes. We know the main Star Wars theme as Luke’s theme and the Imperial March as Vader’s.

So, lets go back a moment to Episode III during the opera scene. When Palpatine is telling Anakin the story of Darth Plagueis, listen to the music that is playing in the background. Below is the music you hear during that story. Its a really dark piece of music and fits that scene well. Take a listen.

Now, lets jump ahead to The Force Awakens. When they introduce Supreme Leader Snoke, listen to the music.

It is eerily very similar. I know they are not the same but similarity is always key when talking about relationships in Star Wars. Is it possible that the new Snoke theme is a modified version of the Palpatine’s Teachings song? Is John Williams revealing the true identity of this character?

Exhibit 2. The wounds.

Earlier, I quoted Andy Serkis describing Snoke. He spoke about how the character suffered a lot of damage. We see clearly in the film that his face is messed up. How did this character come by this damage? Again, going back to Episode III, Palaptine states that Plagueis’ pupil betrayed him and killed him in his sleep. Once again I have to ask, is it possible that Plagueis was thought to be dead by Palpatine but instead was able to save himself?

Early concept art shows that this character has a very, Emperor-esque quality to him. We clearly see in the concept art that this character is messed up pretty bad.

Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Entertainment Tonight
Image Credit: Lucasfilm/Entertainment Weekly

As you can see in the final picture, he retains some of the qualities from the concept art but is lacking the mechanical features. This image clearly shows someone who has suffered massive damage of his body. Are these the scars of war or are these the scars of treachery from a former pupil?

 Exhibit 3. The Comparison

Let’s take a moment to ask ourselves who Darth Plagueis is. In the 2012 novel Darth Plagueis by James Luceno, we learn that Plagueis was the one to create Anakin by manipulating the Force. We also learn that he was responsible for getting Padme appointed as Queen of Naboo. Plagueis wanted to rid the Sith of the ancient “Rule of Two.” This is the rule that states that there can only be two Sith at any given time, the apprentice and the master. This usually always ends with the apprentice destroying the master and taking on a pupil themselves.

The novel goes on to reveal that Plagueis is a Munn. Munns are a very tall, very thin humanoid alien with a long face. The novel also explains that Plagueis was hiding in plain sight and served as the head of the InterGalactic Banking Clan under the name Hego Damask.

We know later that this novel was no longer considered canon but elements from the novel appeared in a new 2015 novel by James Luceno titled Takin. With elements making it into the new book, we can agree that some of the elements can be considered cannon.

Darth Plagueis Novel by James Luceno
Darth Plagueis Novel by James Luceno

Now, take what we know from the novel and apply it to Snoke. The first thing would be riding the Sith of the Rule of Two. We know that Snoke is able to use the Force and has trained Kylo Ren. But Ren is not Sith. Nor are the Knights of Ren. Also, we see that their are multiple knights and there is Snoke. Is it possible that Plagueis, now known as Snoke, has denounced the Sith way and started his own version of Force users?

The second thing is his appearance. Plagueis was a Munn and we dont know what exactly Snoke is. It is possible that he could be a Munn but was so badly damaged is taking on a new head shape. I would like to think that since the original novel is no longer canon, that possibly Plagueis is another race all together. Neal Scanlan, head of creature effects on The Force Awakens, describes Snoke in an interview with People Magazine…

“This character is much better executed as a CGI character. That’s just a practical reality when he’s 7-foot-something tall; he’s very, very thin.”

This falls in line with the description of what a Munn is in the Star Wars universe.

Comparison of a Munn and Snoke.
Comparison of a Munn and Snoke.

Finally, the First Order rose to power after the fall of the Galactic Empire. We know that Snoke is the head of this new organization. The First Order appears to be heavily financed by someone. With Plagueis being the head of the InterGalatic Banking Clan, it would make sense where all that money is coming from. Now remember, that book is no longer canon but elements of the book are. What if he Plagueis doesn’t go by the name Hego Damask but by Snoke?

Before I close out this discussion, I do want to debunk a silly theory going around on the web at the moment. The theory states that Snoke is actually a very small character, that is why he uses a huge hologram. Does no one remember the Emperor from The Empire Strikes Back?

Well, there you have another theory from the film The Force Awakens! Stay tuned tomorrow for another post on this week long topic when I take a stab at Kylo Ren and the Knights of Ren. If you want to comment on this topic, please leave your thoughts below. I would love to hear what you think.

Slade started Temple of Geek in 2012 with his friend as a podcast. Since then, it has become a lot more. His obsessions are Transformers, Star Wars, Classic Video Games, Superheroes, and comedies.

Slade’s life was turned to the Darkside when his father gave him a gift in 1985. He was presented with the leader of the Decepticons, Megatron. Since then, Slade has become a collector of the robots in disguise.

The only other thing that comes close to Slade’s love of Transformers is Star Wars. He has met a few of the cast over the years. Slade’s one goal in life is to meet with George Lucas and just discuss movies with him.