…but I like it anyway, since it really ties the
room Saga together.
Who is Snoke?
He may just be some evil dude who does bad stuff, but he’s also sort of a big deal to Luke, Leia, and Han, since he personally wrecks their son and all of their lives and the entire Republic, yet we don’t know the first thing about him. So I think it’s a question worth answering, even if it will almost certainly not pertain to the new trilogy. So here is the backstory I would give him, taking into account the prequels as well:
The Jedi and the Sith are both on quests for immortality. Qui-gon is the first Jedi to discover a way to return from the netherworld of the Force, but the Sith have long known of another way. It is the primary secret of the Sith, since it is never spoken even between master and apprentice.
Consider: The ability to kill in cold blood, completely devoted to the Dark Side, is the single most important quality of the Sith. Combined with the otherwise absurd Rule of Two, it is reasonable to assume that the apprentice killing the master is a time-honored tradition, and in fact is the way that the apprentice knows that they have become the master. A master would not dare train an apprentice if they knew that it would be their end, since the Sith think only of themselves. And so there must be some other reason, and this is the secret: The Sith train apprentices to become vessels for their evil spirits upon death. The rush of the dark side when a sith apprentice kills a master is part of that master’s spirit being imbued with the apprentice, filling them with the power of the Dark Side.
It is established that killing increases one’s power, but only if an apprentice is totally dedicated to the Dark Side in the first place. Han’s death does not increase Kylo’s power, which is why Rey was able to defeat him soon after. Similarly, Anakin’s murder of dozens of students and Separatists leaves him torn in two, and soon after he is broken and burning beside a river of lava.
In Palpatine’s story about Darth Plagueis, he explains that his master was the first Sith powerful and wise enough to save ordinary people from death. It was not enough to save Plagueis, as he was killed in the time honored tradition of the Sith and his spirit was infused with his apprentice, but the wisdom would have to be regained. Palpatine doesn’t want Anakin to kill him yet because it will take time for him to pass on his wisdom to Anakin, but his plan is to eventually do so, if Anakin wishes it. When he reveals himself as a Sith to Anakin, he revels in Anakin’s anger, seeing an apprentice who would not be conflicted about killing him and continuing the Sith line. When he undergoes his transformation, he even speaks of unlimited power. Where did he get such power? From the many Sith that came before him, and that amplified his strength beyond what should be possible in a single lifetime.
But death does come for all, and in Return of the Jedi we see Palpatine’s inevitable downfall. There is an explosion of blue light traveling up and out of the shaft, but since Anakin acted out of love for his son he is not imbued with this evil spirit. It flees out into the universe, seeking another to infect.
Snoke is this other. It doesn’t matter what sort of creature he is or where he came from, for the spirit of the Sith is strong in him. His speech is even similar to Palpatine’s. Based on what we see of his abilities in The Last Jedi, he is stronger than the old Emperor, and this is as expected if Palpatine resided in his soul.
But when Kylo murders him, his spirit does not flee out into the universe. This implies that the Sith now reside in Kylo Ren, the last Skywalker, who has attempted to kill the past but who is now completely controlled by it. His dominant personality may remain the same, but he’s now infected by this evil power.
Snoke is Plagueis.
Snoke is Palpatine.
Snoke is the Sith.
And now so is Kylo.