Spoilers for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" follow!
We're all still reeling over every explosion, revelation and leftover mystery from "Star Wars: The Force Awakens." But while everyone's got their own ideas of who Rey might be related to or who's gonna end up being our OTP this time around (hint: clearly Poe and Finn, right?) it seems like nobody really knows what to make of Kylo Ren's master and the First Order's boss, Supreme Leader Snoke. Who is he? What is he? What even is his deal?
Which isn't to say that we know nothing about him -- there are some bits and pieces here and there that we can try to bring with us into "Episode VIII." According to supplementary material, Snoke reportedly rose to power within the First Order right after "Return Of The Jedi" ended. We also know that the good guys were well aware of him, especially Han and Leia, who lost their son to his influence. And we also know that he's played by Andy Serkis and that he is super, super weird looking.
But how did Snoke and Kylo Ren meet, given that he's a 25 foot tall hologram? And how did he become the leader? And who is he? Luckily the Internet is not short on ideas about Snoke's true identity, and neither are we. Here are the most interesting theories about this mysterious villain we've come across so far, and why they could be -- or couldn't be -- possible:
Snoke is a Sith lord.Lucasfilm
Given his penchant for the Dark Side, his insistence on taking an apprentice, his creepy face and and his sense of robe-like fashion, this feels like a pretty sure thing -- even though no one ever drops the term in the movie.
Why it works: Jedi fight Sith, and vice versa. Them's the rules.
Why it doesn't work: Wouldn't it be more fascinating if there weren't any more Sith this time around, and a new evil was threatening the Galaxy?
Snoke is a member of the Munn race.Disney XD
First of all, look at the Muun -- they're giant, thin, pale weirdos. They're also in charge of the Intergalactic bank, and most of the Muun we've met in "Star Wars" canon so far have been pretty antagonistic towards our heroes in "Attack Of The Clones," "Revenge Of The Sith" and "Clone Wars." In Expanded Universe lore, they are often depicted as self-serving, calm and controlled, very invested in conducting rigorous tests for their successors, and uninterested in non-conformity. All of these describe what we know of Snoke to a tee.
Why it works: Did I mention, look at the Muun?
Why it doesn't work: There are literally no reasons why this doesn't work, at least not that I can think of.
Snoke is actually just a normal (or even teeny)-sized creature who uses holograms to make himself bigger.
As much as I am 100% on board with Muun-Snoke, the idea of an "Wizard Of Oz" style reveal where the Man Behind The
CurtainHologram is actually an itty bitty dude gives me such delight and joy. It was my first thought about the character upon leaving the film, and if it turns out to be true, mark my words that I will have a to-scale paperweight of the littleist Supreme Leader as soon as they are commercially available.
Why it works: Like Kylo Ren, this version of Snoke would be posturing towards grandiosity and might that he does not necessarily wield -- which not only mirrors the reveal of Darth Vader as a sickly old man in "Return Of The Jedi," but also provides an especially interesting contrast to Yoda's insistence that "Size matters not." Apparently if you're evil, it totally does.
Why it doesn't work: I'll admit that it's pretty silly -- maybe a little too silly for even a "Star Wars" movie. Anything that's already been used as a punchline to a "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" episode probably isn't the best way to conclude a billion dollar franchise.
Snoke is Darth Plagueis.Del Rey Publishing
According to what Anakin was told in "Revenge Of The Sith, Darth Plagueis "was a Dark Lord of the Sith so powerful and so wise, he could use the Force to influence the midi-chlorians to create life. He had such a knowledge of the Dark Side, he could even keep the ones he cared about from dying." Except that backfired when he was reportedly slain in his sleep by his apprentice -- who later became Emperor Palpatine.
What if he didn't completely die, though? We know that Jedi can re-appear as Force Ghosts, after all. What if, according to the now very popular theory, he'd been waiting all this time for the right moment to create a new body for himself Voldemort-style, take back his throne from Emperor Palpatine and rule the galaxy with a new, much more gullible apprentice in tow?
Why it works: He's big and bad, and considering how much power Snoke already wields, it makes more sense that he's an established character we're already partially familiar with -- and in the Expanded Universe, he was of the Muun race, so his physical appearance checks out too.
Why it doesn't work: Why would Plagueis wait so long to rise to power? Why wouldn't he use his own Sith title as a way to inspire his troops, considering that he literally came back from the dead? And also, do we really want to have to say "Plageuis" with a straight face going forward? I can barely handle "Sheev Palpatine," to be honest.
Snoke is Ezra Bridger.Disney XD
Sorry in advance for the emotions, "Star Wars Rebels" fans. This idea, which first surfaced on Reddit in August, suggests that something terrible's going to happen to our favorite Jedi-in-training in the next five years before the Death Star explodes, which will eventually lead to him embracing the Dark Side -- and collecting Darth Vader's helmet for himself somewhere along the way, which he's already fairly fond of doing.
Why it works: It would be a perfectly horrific way to tie the "Star Wars Rebels" television series into the main canon of movies -- and would be particularly fitting considering that the previous animated series, "Clone Wars," was built on the premise that Anakin Skywalker would eventually fall to the Dark Side and that almost every character we met would most likely have been killed by clone troopers in "Episode III." Isn't it fun rooting for people who will one day betray us? Plus, they're both CGI and have surprisingly similar noses
Why it doesn't work: There's not a whole lot of evidence to go on here, and Plagueis looks much older than the fifty-ish years Ezra would have on him by the time "The Force Awakens" rolls around.
Snoke is the Grand Inquisitor.Disney XD
Unlike Ezra, the bad guy who hunted the rebels all through season one of the series, The Inquisitor already kind of looks like the Supreme Leader, what with the tallness and the pale grey skin. He's also older than Ezra, which lines up with how decrepit Snoke looks -- and last we saw him, he appeared to die in a explosion, so that would explain why his face is all messed up. Plus, he has plenty of experience as a Force-corrupting Jedi hunter -- and we never knew his name, either, so maybe it was Snoke the whole time!
Why it works: While less traumatic than the idea of Ezra turning to the Dark Side, it makes a lot of sense as a way to bridge the gap between "Rebels" and the "Star Wars" canon.
Why it doesn't work: Why would Snoke wait so long to seize power? (Could he possibly have feared Palpatine's wrath after all these years?) And why wouldn't they cast Jason Isaacs in the role, either?
Snoke is Boba Fett.
A theory from Moviepilot suggests that maybe Snoke's true identity is that certified badass we've known and loved for years -- Boba Fett.
Why it works: Considering how Boba Fett literally does nothing but stand around, look cool, and die, it would be nice to give him a chance to return. Plus, it would explain why there are so many rumors about a possible Boba Fett standalone film -- gotta learn more about the guy before we can accept him as a villain, right?
Why it doesn't hold up: There's nothing in previous "Star Wars" lore to suggest Fett has any force sensitivity, which we're pretty sure Snoke has -- he felt the Force Awaken, after all, and he's been training Kylo Ren since he left the Jedi Temple. Also, Boba Fett? Really?
Snoke is Luke Skywalker.Disney
This theory, which hit the Internet quite recently via Reddit, posits that like Senator Palpatine before him, Luke is pulling an incredibly long con and playing two parts -- one on the Light Side of the Force, and one on the Dark Side.
Why it works: Mark Hamill did always say he thought it would be fascinating if Luke eventually joined the Dark Side. Plus, wouldn't that be a pretty killed Darth Vader-Father level revelation?
Why it doesn't work: Hamill's been doing voiceover work for years, and famously played one of the most iconic villains of all time -- the flippin' Joker -- longer than any other actor. Why wouldn't it? Unless, of course, the "Star Wars" crew assumed his voice would be too obvious. You know, because he's the Joker.
But even then, the timeline doesn't quite line up. We know from supplementary material that Snoke took over the remnants of the Empire almost immediately after it fell -- for that to be Luke, he'd have to pull a complete 180 from the excited, Light side-loving Jedi we left him as in "Return Of The Jedi." And why would he be allowing Kylo Ren and the entire first order to search for himself?
Nope, it's safe to say that Luke is probably still a hero. Too bad we have no idea what he, Rey, and the rest of the Resistance are up against.