Without a doubt, Supreme Leader Snoke has become one of the most fascinating and controversial figures in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Played by Andy Serkis, this mysterious evil being leads the terrible First Order, turned Kylo Ren to the Dark Side, and yet we only see him as a hologram.
Who is Snoke? That mystery has driven the internet crazy, spawning tons of theories about his nature and origins. Here are 13 theories that probably aren’t true—and you shouldn’t need to be told at this point, but yeah, there will be spoilers for The Force Awakens below.
Why it’s possible: The daddy of all Snoke rumors, via Digital Spy. Fans have been drawing comparisons between the mysterious Sith master who trained Palpatine and Snoke for ages. The rumors were fanned by several alternate designs making the character look more like a Muun, the alien species that Plagueis was one of. This is backed up by the fact that the music that’s used in Revenge of the Sith during the scene Palpatine discusses Plagueis with Anakin bears some similarities to Snoke’s theme. Plus, Plagueis was researching how to cheat death. Maybe it worked, and he survived being murdered by Palpatine?
Why it’s silly: Palpatine spent literal decades planning the return of the Sith to power. Would he really have screwed up the crucial step of murdering his Master? Plus, the Art of Star Wars: The Force Awakens book confirmed that at some point the team were potentially going to make Snoke female. Plagueis is canonically referred to as Male, so that seems like it’s out of the picture either way.
Why it’s possible: Because Boba Fett is A) one of the most popular characters, B) a villain, C) age appropriate and D) we never exactly found out whether he died. Moviepilot also points out that after however long he was in the Sarlacc Pit, he’s probably scarred. There’s also plenty of motive for him to hate Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.
Why it’s silly: Though Boba Fett was a powerful bounty hunter, he never exhibited a connection to the Force, let alone one that would make him a Supreme Leader. Sure he could’ve potentially learned the Force at some point in between movies, but you could say that about anyone. Linking Snoke and this fan favorite simply feels lazy.
Why it’s possible: Because Palpatine spent ages trying to find a way to cheat death like his master—plus, as Collider points out, Snoke bears a passing resemblance to Ralph McQuarrie’s original Palpatine concept art, and the character’s theme music is more than a little similar to the theme used for Snoke.
Why it’s silly: Because when you think about it, Palpatine didn’t just fall down a giant shaft in the Death Star II, the Death Star II promptly exploded shortly after. If the fall didn’t do him in, being vaporized into itty bitty Palpatine-molecules did—with or without some mysterious ability to cheat death.
Why it’s possible: We don’t know where Jar Jar Binks has been. We don’t know if he’s dead, and there’s lots of evidence the Force is strong with him. This theory originated on Reddit and explains in detail that Jar Jar’s idiocy can best be explained by a deep connection to the Force. He also pretty much started the Clone Wars by giving Palpatine power and his deep embedding within the Jedi and Senate hint at a decades long plan for domination.
Why it’s silly: Do we really need to say? It’s Jar Jar Binks. The most hated character in Star Wars—so much so that Force Awakens writer J.J. Abrams jokingly mentioned considering putting his bones in the film. Do you really think Lucasfilm would let this happen? It’s a really fun thought, but it’s grasping at strings, no matter how much evidence there may or may not be.
Why it’s possible: io9 reader Ian Fiebig passed this one along to us, and it really is crazy. The theory goes, according to The Second Take, that the facial scars inflicted by Rey to Kylo Ren’s face are similar enough the the wounds seen on Snoke’s face—he, the ultimate form of Kylo’s fall to the Dark Side, is communicating with his younger self to push him further down the path to the Dark Side.
Why it’s silly: For starters, time-travel isn’t exactly a common trope used in the Star Wars universe, so this would be pretty left-field if it ever happened. Plus, the theory also posits that there’ll be an equivalent to the “No, I am your Father” scene from Empire Strikes Back in Episode VIII, in which Snoke tells Kylo “I’m you.” Which sounds absolutely awful.
Why it’s possible: The Inquisitors were a group of Force sensitive mercenaries who were used by Darth Vader to hunt the Jedi down before Episode IV. Sure, their leader, the Grand Inquisitor (above) was killed by Kanan, but there are others. Plus Snoke certainly looks like the Grand Inquisitor, and these beings are strong with the Force without being Sith. They also knew, followed, and learned from Darth Vader and the Emperor.
Why it’s silly: It’s not, outside of the fact there’s literally no evidence. We know the Inquisitors have a larger part to play in all of this, but would the Supreme Leader of the new Star Wars saga really be introduced on a Disney XD show? I don’t think so.
Why it’s possible: Another theory from The Second Take, this one relies on the fact that Palpatine has had multiple apprentices in the past, despite the “Rule of Two” among Sith Lords (this was something both Vader and Palpatine did a lot in the old Expanded Universe). Snoke could have been one of his earliest students, kept secret from the likes of Maul, Dooku, and Vader to play a long game.
Why it’s silly : Snoke seems far too old to even have been a Pre-Maul apprentice of Palpatine, and even then, in the past Palpatine wasn’t particularly concerned about keeping his minions in the shadows. If any thing, Palpatine’s apprentices were always on public display while Palpatine himself stayed hidden.
Why it’s possible: The bald creepy appearance, interest in the Skywalkers and Solos, and a strong connection to the Force. Vader also had been looking for a way to beat death since he was a kid—so maybe a deeper commitment to the Dark Side allowed him to do just that.
Why it’s silly: The above photo has been making the rounds on the Internet of late and people keep pointing to the scars. “They’re the same scars!” No, they’re not! Snoke’s head scar goes through his forehead, Vader’s does not. Snoke’s cheek is all mangled, while Vader’s is clearly above that. Not to mention Vader turned from the Dark Side before dying and was reborn in the Force as Anakin Skywalker. To be Snoke, he’d have to be in two places at once. Not likely, considering J.J. Abrams almost put Anakin in The Force Awakens.
Why it’s possible: Another day, another Palpatine theory. Man, he got around! This one’s from Moviepilot, that claims Palpatine had a son, hoping to train him as an apprentice... before he discovered that son wasn’t Force sensitive, leading Palpatine to set his eyes on young Anakin as a new potential.
Why it’s silly: There’s exactly zero evidence that Palpatine ever had a son—let alone a non-Force using one. Plus, in the movie, Snoke pretty heavily implies that he can feel the presence of the Force, and if he’s training Kylo Ren in the Dark Side, he must have at least some force sensitivity.
Why it’s possible: This one comes from io9 reader thegmoat, who points out that we never saw Windu die. Plus Palpatine’s Force lightning would have scarred him, and he certainly would have a vendetta against the Skywalkers, since he was all but killed by one. He’s also very powerful with the Force.
Why it’s silly: Because he’s dead. Because not all Jedi come back from the dead and not all of them turn to the dark side to get revenge. A few do, but Windu staying hidden for decades while Palpatine and Vader ran everything is a major stretch. Also? Snoke looks nothing like Mace Windu, and there’s no reason why he’d want his hologram to look that radically different (and weirdly alabaster.)
Why it’s possible: This mysterious character first appeared in the tie-in novel Star Wars: Aftermath, one of the first pieces of post-Return of the Jedi canon introduced by Disney. As Screenrant points out, this theory is based on the shadowy unidentified character who wants to recruit disenchanted members of the Imperial Remnant into a new organization that will rejuvenate the Empire, who appears in the last pages of the book.
Why it’s silly: It’s actually possible—after all, Snoke is the architect of the First Order, so someone like The Operator recruiting Imperials into this new organization to bring about the Empire again actually makes a lot of sense. But in all likelihood, Snoke wouldn’t be introduced in a spinoff book like Aftermath. Maybe The Operator is just a henchman, rather than a head honcho.
Why it’s possible: Anything is possible until it’s proven false, right? That’s pretty much it. YouTuber Crazy Kahzmoh has his reasons, which basically break down to if Rey is Luke’s daughter, there must be a mother, and the First Order feels like it has more in common with the Jedi than the Sith.
Why it’s silly: We don’t know Luke doesn’t have a wife or love interest, but if he does, for her to go so far as to try and destroy the galaxy feels overly dramatic. There’s also, again, zero evidence of this and only tangential evidence this character even exists. (The photo is of Mara Jade, a fan favorite non-canon character.)
Why it’s possible: We’d chalk this one up as another “anything is possible until proven false”, but this Kylo Trump joke from Imgur was too fun not to include. He’s even got a parody twitter!
Why it’s silly: Well, this one’s obvious, isn’t it? It’s a joke! Plus, Trump’s far too busy contemplating villainy in this galaxy to head to one far, far away.
Why it’s possible: Occam’s razor. All things equal, the explanation that has the least hypotheticals is usually right. And Snoke simply being a new character without any direct link to any previous one feels like the most likely scenario. He surely has thoughts and connections to these old characters, he’s been around for a long time, but you’ve gotta believe he’s just who he is.
Why it’s silly: Because if Snoke does end up being one of these other characters, it’s just gonna feel so cheap. And yes, this is #14, but since this one isn’t crazy, we didn’t count it. In the wake of the ridiculous rumors about Snoke though, people are starting to throw this one around in the mix in a pretty funny way.