So… something people commonly bring up in response to the criticism of Snoke lacking any backstory in TFA and TLJ is that Palpatine lacked a backstory in the OT, which I disagree with when it comes to Palps.
Palpatine was part of the original trilogy, it was a new universe part of a new franchise, there were no movies nor prequels for it to contradict, the existence of Palpatine does not contradict anything that was before A New Hope and therefore does not need a backstory in order to patch up these plot holes and explain why he makes perfect sense.
I do see as to where those who criticize Snoke’s supposed lack of backstory in TFA and TLJ are coming from…
They believe his existence in TFA and TLJ contradicts the original saga, that “we are supposed to believe at this point that he had existed the entire time due to how old he appears to be and acts, and yet he chose not to interfere for no reason at all.”
In other words, people are saying Snoke himself is a plot hole whereas Palpatine wasn’t because there was no information before the original trilogy for Palpatine to contradict which would create plot holes.
Again, I agree with what they’re saying about Palps, they’re saying he didn’t need a backstory because he isn’t a plot hole, and I do see where they’re coming from when it comes to Snoke, they’re saying his mere existence is a plot hole since he supposedly existed during the OT.
I understand what they’re trying to say, but I disagree with this notion that “Snoke is a plot hole and needed a backstory to fill in that plot hole”.
As I pointed out in another post, Snoke’s backstory is already inferable from TFA alone, and this relies on inference.
Snoke was an old Force-sensitive being who was in hiding during the original trilogy because, at that point, Palpatine was already ruling the galaxy and had not only a Sith apprentice but also an Empire to back him up. If Snoke went out to interfere during the original trilogy, Palpatine would have sent in his forces to annihilate Snoke, he is just one guy against the organization that is ruling the galaxy.
So, Snoke chose to go into hiding, waiting for Palpatine to die and for the Empire to collapse — only after RotJ, after Palpatine died and the Empire became crippled, did Snoke get the chance to interfere and fill in the power vacuum without anyone annihilating him.
Some might call me out for using “mental gymnastics” and might say that “there is nothing from TFA from which we can infer Snoke’s backstory,” which I disagree with, as there is evidence left out in TFA from which Snoke’s backstory is inferable.
In the original trilogy, it is established Palpatine is ruling the galaxy and has a Sith apprentice as well as an Empire to back him up.
Snoke clearly did not interfere during the original trilogy, and he clearly chose not to, say, assassinate Palpatine. This implies Palpatine is stronger than Snoke, and that Snoke is a coward who hid from the Galactic Empire for his safety, waiting for them to perish — that Snoke is just one dude (who has nothing) against a man who runs the organization that is ruling the galaxy and has who is essentially a hitman.
This is an inference.
I’ve seen people point out that Snoke is so powerful he can corrupt other Force-sensitives from faraway distances without meeting them in person whereas Palpatine repeatedly met Anakin in person and it took a decade until his corruption of Anakin was complete, which is incorrect. There was no indication he can do this from faraway distances, and even then it is clear Leia and Han had met him in person, how else do they know about them. Thus, it is inferable he groomed Ben in person without Leia and Han realizing.
I’ve also seen people point out that Snoke seemingly has infinite resources, enough to build the First Order — basically saying that he should have built some sort of army to, say, deal with the Galactic Empire during the original trilogy —, which is incorrect. Notice how there is a trench in Starkiller Base — this implies the First Order strip-mined the planets for its resources to build its ships, machinery and all that, hence the trench clearly visible from space.
And yeah, I do acknowledge that it was revealed in TRoS that Palpatine created Snoke himself, but this post is focusing more on specifically TFA and TLJ, which was released before TRoS. (I should also note that Snoke’s backstory needed to be changed in TRoS to reinforce Palpatine as the mastermind behind everything.)