Here is a shortened and slightly edited version of Snoke’s monologue to make him seem less ancient and hone in on his mysterious origins:
Snoke knew he himself was a virtually unknown ruler, just about the furthest thing from what the tattered remnants of Palpatine’s Empire had imagined as their leader. The admirals and generals who’d survived the fury of the Empire’s implosion and the New Republic’s wrath had envisioned being led by someone else, someone more recognized: pitiless, devious Gallius Rax; dutiful, cautious Rae Sloane; the slippery political fanatic Ormes Apolin; cold, calculating Enric Pryde; or even the unhinged but ambitious military architect Brendol Hux.
All of those would-be leaders had been co-opted, sidelined, or destroyed, leaving only Armitage Hux, the mad son of a mad father. And that one was but a mouthpiece, a miscast tinkerer whose rantings could only persuade the sort of rabble who blindly worshipped rage and lunatic certainty.
Palpatine had engineered the Contingency to simultaneously destroy his Empire and ensure its rebirth, ruthlessly winnowing its ranks and rebuilding them with who and what survived. The rebuilding was to take place in the Unknown Regions, secretly explored by Imperial scouts and seeded with shipyards, laboratories, storehouses, and stockpiles of all types - an enormously expensive effort that had taken decades, and been kept hidden from all but the elect.
But the Imperial refugee’s military preparations had been insufficient bulwarks against the terrors of the Unknown Regions. Grasping in the dark among strange stars, they had come perilously close to destruction, and it had not been military might that had saved them.
It had been knowledge - Snoke’s knowledge. Which, ironically, led back to Palpatine and his secrets.
Palpatine’s true identity as Darth Sidious, heir to the Sith, had been an even greater secret than the Contingency. And the Empire’s explorations into the Unknown Regions had served both aspects of its ruler. For Sidious knew that the galaxy’s knowledge of the Force had come from those long-abandoned, half-legendary star systems, and that great truths awaited rediscovery on them.
Truths that Snoke had learned from and made to serve his own ends.
One obstacle had stood in his way - Skywalker. Like his father, Skywalker had been a favored instrument of the will of the Cosmic Force. That made it essential to watch him. And once Skywalker endangered Snoke’s design, it had become essential to act.
And so Snoke had drawn upon his vast store of knowledge, parceling it out to confuse Skywalker’s path, ensnare his family, and harness Ben Solo’s powers to ensure both Skywalker’s destruction and Snoke’s triumph.
Now the endgame he had foreseen was at hand.