Following on from the astronomically successful Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the intriguingly titled follow-up, The Last Jedi, is sure to be a massive hit when it's released later this year on 15th December.
Its predecessor left a lot of questions mysteriously unanswered. Why does Maz have Luke’s lightsaber? How is Rey so adept with the Force? Why is Kylo Ren so whiny? The biggest mystery of all though pertains to the identity of Supreme Leader Snoke.
Master of Kylo Ren and Dark Side advocate, Snoke leads the tyrannical New Order from a distance as a pant-wettingly intimidating 25-foot-tall hologram. Quite why we haven’t yet seen the big man himself in real-world form is only one of many hovering questions surrounding the enigmatic leader.
Snoke’s identity will no doubt be unveiled soon enough, until then let’s take a look at the theories that could well come to pass...
5. Snoke is a time-travelling Kylo Ren
The appointment of Rian Johnson as director of The Last Jedi was a surprising one. Known for his smaller-budget ventures, this will be Johnson’s first foray into blockbuster filmmaking. Not only that, his previous output has often messed with the perception of time particularly in his 2012 hit, Looper.
Clearly, Johnson is a pretty radical choice to helm The Last Jedi. It is this radical thinking that has lead to the theory that Snoke is none other than tantrum-throwing Kylo Ren, sent from the future. Before you shout ‘no way!’ at your screen, the facial wound that Kylo Ren receives in the final act of The Force Awakens is similar to the scarring we see on Snoke.
Along with the fact that pretty much anything is achievable using the Force, from telekinesis to resurrecting the dead, so why not time travel? Snoke could well be an old Kylo, travelled back to guide his younger self. Admittedly far-fetched, it’s certainly a fun theory that would surprise everyone.
4. Snoke is Darth Sidious' son
Family has always been a big part of the Star Wars mythos, with the first six movies revolving around the Skywalkers. Perhaps this new trilogy is moving away from them, bringing in a new bloodline to sit at the center of the galaxy: the Palpatines.
Episode III revealed that the trusted politician, Senator Palpatine, had actually been the disguise of croaky-voiced Darth Sidious who used his power and influence to overthrow, well, everything. Presumed dead at the end of Episode VI, what if Sidious managed to pass on his pale, evil genes? This would explain Snoke’s hatred of the Skywalkers as he seeks revenge for the betrayal and murder of his father.
It would of course also explain his vast knowledge of the past and his power over the Dark Side as well as his peculiar features and pale complexion. Snoke being Sidious’ bitter offspring would certainly make sense, while adding another dynamic to the familial influence at the center of Star Wars.
3. Snoke is Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader
This particular theory stems from the disfiguring scars that tarnish Snoke’s otherwise still odd-looking face. Looking at the two characters together there are undeniable similarities between them. Both look like they’re knocking on death’s door for one thing. Other than that, the scarring is almost a perfect match with both characters displaying grisly wounds on their heads and under their left eye.
The main problem with this theory is that Anakin Skywalker is dead. Now, death usually gets in the way of any future plans for most people, but this is Star Wars. Possible resurrection has already been alluded to, and although Darth Vader reverted back to the Light Side before dying there could easily be other influences at play. After seeing Darth Vader’s lauded return in Rogue One, no one will be complaining if this turns out to be true.
2. Snoke is Darth Plagueis
One highlight from Revenge of the Sith is the eerily intense regaling of the story of Darth Plagueis The Wise. Told to a young Anakin by his mentor Senator Palpatine, the story is so rich with tragedy and death that it would make the Ancient Greeks proud. It is suggested that Plagueis could create life and raise the dead, all the while creating some real animosity in his students…
Having been murdered by his student, Palpatine, Plagueis may have come back to life years later under the guise of Snoke, creating the New Order and taking on a new apprentice so he may once again be all-powerful. Nobody really knows the logistics of this resurrection method – perhaps Plagueis’ consciousness leaps into the bodies of others and he is currently inhabiting the decaying vessel of Anakin, thus merging two of these theories together in a collision of insane speculation!
The most convincing element to this theory is in the score. Snoke’s choral theme composed by John Williams uses elements of Plagueis’ from Episode III, which would be one massive coincidence if it ends up leading to nothing.
1. Snoke is simply a new character
After all this speculation and theorising, it could turn out that Snoke is simply a brand new character created solely for the purpose of this new trilogy. The Force Awakens introduced us to a host of delightful new characters never before seen in Star Wars lore, so it stands to reason that Snoke could be another child born of JJ Abrams and his team’s imagination.
With the talent of Andy Serkis lurking behind the mo-cap character, this would certainly be no bad thing, and indeed Snoke could turn out to be more interesting than any of the theories floating around on the web. He could very well be one of the mysterious Last Jedi alluded to in the title of the film, or perhaps even usurp Darth Vader as the greatest villain in Star Wars history.
Who do you think Supreme Leader Snoke is? Tweet us your most convincing theories @Cineworld.
Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.